No. 36 NAI DFA 217/33

Letter from William Warnock to Frederick H. Boland (Dublin)

Berlin, 22 September 1939

Dear Mr. Boland,

I was very glad to receive your letter of the 8th September,1 which arrived here yesterday (21st inst) with some later correspondence.

The German Post Office does not censor letters addressed to the Legation, nor, so far as I am aware, does it open correspondence sent by us. We can send our correspondence for the Department to any address you wish. So far as I can find out here, the German Post Office places no difficulty in our way. The obstacle seems to be the British postal authorities. We receive the Irish newspapers, though irregularly, and occasionally I receive personal letters from Ireland.

Could you arrange permission through the International Postal Union for us to use mailbags in our correspondence with the Legation at the Holy See? I am sure that the Union would assist us.

I duly received the bank drafts for $5,000.

I informed the Foreign Office of the new order obliging our ships to fly the Irish flag, and no other: Mr. O'Donovan telephoned from Rome early in the month about it, and I took action at once. I asked for observations or comments, but so far I have received no questions.

Dr. Mahr, the Director of the National Gallery,2 and Dr. Reinhard,3 the Director of Forestry, are still in Germany. Both of them wish to return to Ireland.

We are feeling in splendid form at the Legation. The Foreign Office arranged for us to get supplies of food, so we have no anxiety on that score. We are hoping that supplies will hold out well. If things disimprove, we may have to ask for your co-operation in sending out food to the starving garrison.

Please remember me to Mr. Walshe and to the Department in general.

Yours sincerely
[signed] W. Warnock


P.S. The Foreign Office have just phoned to say that the Under-Secretary of State wishes to see me on Monday. I shall report the interview through Rome.4

[initialled] W.W.

1 See No. 13.

2 Mahr was in fact Director of the National Museum.

3 Dr Otto Reinhard, appointed Director of Forestry to the Irish Free State (1935). Recalled to Germany in March 1938, Reinhard returned to his post in Ireland in May 1938. He left permanently for Germany at the outbreak of the Second World War.

4 Handwritten postscript by Warnock.

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Free Download

International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
Read more ....