Volume 1 1919~1922

Doc No.

No. 225 NAI DFA ES Box 34 File 239

Robert Briscoe to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin)


Berlin, 21 January 1922

On the 20th inst. I called accompanied by Charles ----1 to Mr. Bewley's office and put the matter to him. At first he attempted to deny the directness of his attitude, but later on, after some words admitted that he had acted not only indiscreetly but also as a cad without justification and offered to go along with me to those premises to apologise to the proprietors as well as myself. This Mr. Bewley did.

While in Mr. Bewley's office to our surprise he was visited by Mr. Juergens2 and Professor Pokorny.3 I immediately without hesitation explained Mr. Juergens affair and asked Mr. Bewley there and then to have nothing to do with him and treat him with contempt.

This Mr. Juergens is the man who attempted to embezzle 21/2 million marks of the republican funds, and who on being approached for the return of this money threatened to report my activities to the English agents. We have recovered practically all this money, but there is still a small matter to be refunded. How can Mr. Bewley explain his receiving this man to discuss as Mr. Bewley says trade with Ireland, or as Juergens says to hear his story to enable him (Juergens) to justify himself. Bewley has no excuse, for I personally on a previous occasion had acquainted him with all of the facts and even had Mr. Bewley's admission that the action had to a very great extent upset the calculations of those at home, who were counting daily on the arrival of the goods which this rogue never even had.

Further this Juergens affair is in my hands and Mr. Bewley on account of his position had no business to investigate same.

The meeting, as can be well understood, was one of a very stormy nature. I however excused myself to Professor Pokorny and have made arrangements to give him a true history of the matter when he has time to meet me.

Robert Briscoe

1 Charles McGuinness

2 The owner of the Hamburg shipping company Juergens and Co.

3 Professor of Celtic Studies at Berlin University.