Monday, January 25, 2016

ADSS 1.171 Maglione, notes: request to publish Pope's peace appeal of 31.08.1939

ADSS 1.171 Luigi Maglione, Sec State, notes.

Reference: AES 6142/39

Location and date: Vatican, 01.09.1939

Summary statement: Charles-Roux, (France), D’Arcy Osborne, (UK) ask that the papal appeal of 31.08.1939 be published.  Osborne hints that the UK may declare war.

Language: Italian


Today at 12.30hrs the French Ambassador, M. Charles-Roux, called on me and asked if yesterday’s appeal to the Governments would be published. (1)

Having answered in the affirmative, the Ambassador suggested that the Holy See should comment on it, explicitly condemning the German attitude.  I replied that the document and the facts speak for themselves. (2)

At 17.45hrs the British Minister made the same request to me and I replied in the same way.

The British Minister told me also that the House of Commons would be in session toady and, in all probability, the declaration of war against Germany would be announced.

Having mentioned the Italian proclamation of neutrality – hoped for and predicted by me – I took the opportunity of suggesting that he should let his Government know that it is not advisable to prod Italy; not to get her involved.  He fully agreed and mentioned that he and the Ambassador to the Quirinal had already spoken in this sense to London.

Before taking his leave, he wanted to repeat that the Holy See had done “admirable work of conciliation” and in truth had done everything that could be done. (3)

(1) The Appeal of 31.08.1939 was published in L’Osservatore Romano on 01.09.1939.
(2) Charles-Roux in Huit Ans au Vatican p 334, said that the visit to Cardinal Maglione was about midday; to his renewed request for a protest the Cardinal replied, “The facts speak for themselves.” (Ibid) L’Osservatore Romano for 02.09.1939 said that Nazi aggression knew neither delay, ultimatum or declaration of war.
(3) D’Arcy Osborne (1884-1964), British Minister to the Holy See 1936-47, mentioned that he had personally requested this interview with Cardinal Maglione. DBFP, Series 3, Volume 7, n687, p495.

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