Saturday, April 18, 2015

ADSS 1.23 William Godfrey, UK to Maglione: British response

ADSS 1.23 William Godfrey (1), Apostolic Delegate United Kingdom to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.

Reference: Telegram no 4 (AES 2357/39)

Location and date: 05.05.1939

Summary statement: Before replying to the papal proposal the British Government wishes to consult its allies.

Language: Italian


While Government indispensably [sic] appreciates in full His Holiness’ initiative considers it is necessary, to avoid misunderstandings, to mention British point of view to French and Polish ministers before sending formal reply.

I have been asked if similar requests re being made to parish and Warsaw and if British Government can consult France and Poland. (2)

(1) William Godfrey (1889-1963), Apostolic Delegate to the United Kingdom 1938-53.
(2) See DBFP, Series 3, Volume 5, n385, pp 439-40.  Viscount Halifax (1881-1959), British Foreign Secretary 1938-40, reported his conversation to D’Arcy Osbourne (1884-1964), British Minister at the Vatican 1936-47.  The pope’s message sent through Godfrey was reported ibid, n362, p420. See too Owen Chadwick (1986), Britain and the Vatican, pp 62-63.  Halifax expressed his disappointment that Russia had not been invited to which Godfrey replied that the Pope was not in a position to invite the Soviet Union.

William Godfrey (1889-1963)
Apostolic Delegate 1938-53

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