No. 138No. 12 NAI DFA Letter Books (Paris 1923-24)
Dublin, 3 January 1923
I am instructed by the Minister to ask you to be ready to proceed to Rome for the purpose of clearing up affairs there within a few days. Count O’Byrne1 should reach Paris on the 7th or 8th from Saint Jean de Luz. He will explain to you the whole position as far as possible and will give you any introductions, authorisations etc. which may be necessary.
The object of your mission will be:
a) To close up the house and get rid of the staff.
b) To find out if there is any possibility of keeping the house until the expiration of the lease without a tenant being in occupation.
If the landlord still insists on not accepting any successor to Count O’Byrne there is not much use in holding on to the lease for the remaining few months as presumably the option to renew only held good for the immediate successor of Gavan Duffy.2
In the circumstances when a representative is finally sent to Rome he will have to look for another residence.
To maintain the house without an occupant might lead to serious complications as presumably we should be held responsible for thefts or injury to furniture, and all things considered the Minister advises surrender now in order to avoid complications and annoyance.
You will of course be careful while in Rome not to give the impression that we are either abandoning the post or intend to make an immediate appointment.
[copy letter unsigned]
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