Sunday, August 28, 2016

ADSS 1.197 Osborne to Maglione: UK believes Holy See has done everything it can for peace

ADSS 1.197 D’arcy Osborne, UK Minister to the Holy See, to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.

Reference: British Legation Number 99/14/39, (AES 6552/39)

Location and date: Rome, 09.09.1939

Summary statement: Lord Halifax believes the Holy See has done all it can for peace.  Drew attention to allied declaration to pursue ‘human methods of war.’

Language: French


In our last conversation you asked me if I thought that the Holy See had done everything possible for the sake of peace.  I unhesitatingly replied that I was convinced that she had. (1)

I discussed this conversation with Lord Halifax (2) who asked me to tell Your Eminence that he entirely agrees.

I added when writing to Lord Halifax that Your Eminence has again reassured me that you were always ready and willing to hear any suggestion from my Government regarding any action that it might consider possible or useful for the Holy See to take.

Lord Halifax then asked my to draw Your Eminence’s attention to the statements of the belligerent powers as to humane methods of war and to suggest to you the possibility of the Holy Father’s making some public mention of these.

Personal note of Domenico Tardini:

The Holy Father referred to the above in his speech on the occasion of the presentation of credentials by the Belgian Ambassador. (3)

(1) ADSS 1.171, n3
(2) Edward Wood (1881-1959), Viscount Halifax, UK Foreign Minister 1938-40.

(3) Adrian Nieuwenhuys, Belgian Ambassador to the Holy See 1939-45. ADSS 1.202.  Tardini’s note was added after 14.09.1939.  The pope’s speech could not have been inspired by Osborne’s letter.

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