Saturday, June 6, 2015
ADSS 1.45 Howard Carrol, NCWC to Cicognani: US Gov't informed of Papal peace proposal
ADSS 1.45 Howard Carroll, Under-Secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Council to Amleto Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate USA.
Reference: Attached to report number 366/39 (AES 4632/39)
Location and date: Washington DC, 16.05.1939
Summary statement: Under-Secretary of State, Sumner Welles has been informed of the Pope’s peace initiative.
By appointment, I met Mr Sumner-Welles, Under-Secretary of State of the United States government, on May 16, 1939, at 12.45pm, in his office, and communicated to him the here enclosed Memorandum (message) given me for him by his Excellency, the Apostolic Delegate. Mr Sumner-Welles asked that I convey to his Excellency the expression of his deep gratitude for his kindness.
Mr Welles then enquired whether the Secretary of State of His Holiness had intimated specifically what had been the reactions of the individual Governments to the question regarding the calling of a conference of nations. I replied that in the message I had been asked to deliver there was no mention of the reaction of the Governments separately.
Mr Welles states that the latest information in the United States Government has is of the effect that France and Poland, while highly appreciative of the good offices of the Holy Father on behalf of peace, are fearful that a conference at this time would lead to their being required to make concessions: that the attitude of Germany towards the Holy Father’s efforts is antagonistic: that England is non-committal and that Italy’s reaction is unknown.
Mr Welles declared that regardless of the outcome of attempts to bring about a conference of nations, the efforts of the Holy Father have been of the utmost value, not only by reason of his enormous influence, but also because of the fact that this efforts were made at a moment when international tension was so grave.
Commenting on the point of the message I conveyed to him, that tension had lessened, Mr Welles observed that in some respects he agreed, but in other respects he could not concur. He did not elaborate the remark.
Mr Welles requested me to inform his Excellency, the Apostolic Delegate, that the message would be given to the President this afternoon. He had previously asked me to repeat the statement that in the event that a conference were deemed possible, His Holiness intended to communicate with the President of the United States.
I told Mr Welles that should he wish to discuss the matter further with the Apostolic Delegate, his Excellency would be very happy to receive him. I also informed Mr Welles that his Excellency would be most please to have him lunch with him or visit the new Delegation, and that he would assure him there would be no publicity given to the visit.
Mr Welles expressed his deep gratitude to his Excellency, declared that nothing would please him more than such a visit, and observed that as far as publicity is concerned, he had little anxiety.