No. 7 NAI DFA 219/22B
ROME, 12 February 1941
The activities of the Irish Legation to Italy since the outbreak of the European conflict have been exceedingly onerous. Towards the end of July 1939, just as the war clouds were breaking, enquiries began to pour in from Irish people scattered throughout Italy, the Secretary of Legation1 was suddenly transferred to the United States and he has not since been replaced. From then, up till now, I have been fully occupied with clerical and Consular work and am consequently unable to perform the normal duties of a Minister Plenipotentiary. Frequently I have not been able to go out of doors between Sundays.
Fortunately I have had no illness of a serious nature during the year, as if I had, the Legation work would have come to a standstill. As things are, it is not possible for me to cope with the demands made on my time. Besides there are many things that a properly run Legation should deal with that for want of assistance I am unable to undertake. For instance, I have not the time nor the leisure to establish close relations with the important officials of the Foreign Office, the leaders of Italian opinion, or even my diplomatic colleagues.
[signed] M. MACWHITE
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