Saturday, May 16, 2015

ADSS 1.38 Maglione to Nuncios: update on papal peace proposal

ADSS 1.38 Luigi Maglione, Sec State to Nuncios and Apostolic Delegates in London, Warsaw, Berlin, Paris, Washington, Ottawa, Berne, San Sebastian, Budapest, Belgrade, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires.

Reference: Telegrams 7,27,80, 91, 143, 31, 17, 43, 34, 22, 13, 45, 30
(AES 2771/39)

Location and date: Vatican, 10.05.1939.

Summary statement: Maglione explains the intentions and results of the Pope’s peace proposals.

Language: Italian


On 03.05.1939, by order of His Holiness, I took a diplomatic step with France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Poland with the dual purpose:

1) To ascertain the peace intentions of the Governments of the five Powers concerned and to emphasise the opposition among all people to war:

2) To call a Conference of the same Powers if such a meeting appeared to be possible and necessary or at least useful in the present circumstances. 

The first purpose seems to have been attained: the Holy See has received assurances of good will and of the intention of the various Governments to preserve the peace so desired by the people.  Regarding the second point, the Conference does not appear at the moment to be necessary on account of the improvement of the general situation that has taken place in the meantime.  There is, in fact, the feeling that there is an easing of tension in international relations. (1)

Added for Washington: Your Excellency is asked to bring the above to the knowledge of the President informing him that the Holy Father had intended to request his good offices should the idea of the Conference have been carried out.

(1) It appears that the same communication was given to the Ambassadors, because D’Arcy Osborne, the British Minister to the Holy See, reported it to Lord Halifax by telegram on 10.05.1939.  See DBFP, Series 3, Volume 5, n454, pp 498-99.

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