Volume 7 1941~1945

Doc No.

No. 596  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/8

Extract from a letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(Personal and Confidential)

ROME, 26 May 1945

During the past fortnight the newspapers here have devoted little space to anything outside of the tense situation in Trieste and Piedmont and the impending Cabinet reshuffle. As a result, the Taoiseach's reply to Churchill got but little publicity. Besides, the tendency at the moment, because of the Tito menace, is to court the favour of the British and to report nothing they would be likely to resent. The diplomatic colleagues, however, who listened or read the copy I gave them, considered the statement most dignified and statesman-like. Amongst a crowd, at a diplomatic reception yesterday at the Argentine Embassy, the Nuncio in a loud voice addressing me said 'that reply of Mr. de Valera to Mr. Churchill was excellent'. The Brazilian Ambassador remarked 'Churchill wished to overthrow de Valera but seemed, himself, to slip in the process'. Everybody appeared to feel that Churchill could not restrain himself from expressing his resentment towards the only head of a neutral Government that refused to bend the knee to him. And to think that that was an Irish Government for which he so frequently expressed contempt must have been indeed a humiliation for him.

[matter omitted]