No. 17 NAI Gavan Duffy Papers 1125/21
Dublin, 25 June 1919
Since I wrote you on 7th inst. we have received:
1. Mr Gavan Duffy's letter; no. 2 of 7th June enclosing advance copy of American Delegation Report.
2. Your message of 15th inst. no. 4.
3. Mr Gavan Duffy's complementary memo of the same date no. 5 and his memo of 22nd inst. no. 6.
4. I will reply to all these together. 1
We had already some idea that a difficulty existed in America, and Harry Boland was accordingly sent out to straighten matters. He is meeting with good success. His presence and that of the President will, we think, obviate any recurrence of the difficulty. It is of course unfortunate that Mr Duffy's letter got into wrong hands, but that cannot be helped. The prospects of the American campaign appear to be very rosy, and we may rest assured that Boland and the President will make good use of their opportunities.
We are glad to have your views regarding salaries of consular representatives, and note that you think the proposed salaries much too low. Of course, the >distinction between consular work and political activities is clearly realised, and it is our idea that one man shall not hold the dual position if possible. In any event the consular system is only in its infancy, and we are quite alive to the difficulties of getting suitable men. Your opinion of G is confirmed by advice from other sources and we will not appoint him to represent us in Switzerland.
Madame Vivanti will be able to do very good work in Italy at present. The value of her services to you is keenly appreciated and we would be extremely pleased to fall in with Mr Gavan Duffy's suggestion that we should find means to show her our appreciation. We would be glad to have your views as to the most suitable method of doing so. With regard to Monsieur Goblet, we are arranging to have a copy of Yeats's Works sent out to him. Please give us the address of the bookseller to whom they should be sent.
You know of course that the American Labour Convention adopted a resolution in favour of recognition of the Irish Republic. This is a great advance. Cathal O'Shannon is still at home. We quite understand why you wanted his address, and we are confident that you realise to the full the necessity of carrying on no negotiations without instructions from here. Please do not think that the remark on this subject in my letter of 2nd inst. was intended in any other spirit.2
Now that V[ictor] C[ollins] has left you it is very fortunate that Mrs Gavan Duffy was able to get across. From what you say regarding your requirements, I have no doubt but that she will be of the greatest assistance. The difficulty with V C is regrettable of course, but it is only human nature, and cannot be prevented.
The Senate resolution was very helpful, as also was the report of the American Commission. Both these matters have been the cause of the latest uneasiness to the Empire and this is a very good criterion of their value. The letters in the 'Independent' confuting Mr MacPherson should be valuable propaganda and with this view I am sending you also copies of some Resolutions adopted by public boards on the same lines.
Your report of the Wilson Walsh interview is very interesting. It is quite apparent that something on the lines of Mr T P. O'Connor's statement is bound to come - but we think that it will not have the desired effect either in America or elsewhere. In this connection also the presence of the President in America is bound to keep things straight.
We are very glad you had that interview with Monsignor Cheretti. It will help to keep his Government in touch with Ireland's actual view point. The assurance that no legation from the Vatican is being appointed to London is highly satisfactory.
The Ministry are averse from identifying Ireland's case with that of the other victims of the Empire for the reasons mentioned in my despatch of the 7th inst. Of course they have our full sympathy and any mutual assistance that can be rendered without definitely aligning our position with theirs is very desirable. We note that you understand our views regarding this matter. It is undoubtedly correct that resolutions denouncing England as the arch-tyrant at international meetings would be damaging to England, but we think that they would be less helpful to us in the eyes of the world, than definite demands for the recognition of Ireland's elected government. For example, the American Labour Resolution is infinitely more assistful to us than it would have been if it were merely on the general lines of denouncing England as the oppressor of small nations. For this reason, while we do not disapprove of the arrangement for such denunciations, we do not think it desirable that the proposal should emanate from us, and we accordingly think it unwise to adopt the suggestion of asking Liberty Hall to take the matter up. Generally speaking we feel that your views on this matter coincide with ours.
As to your stay in Paris the Ministry feel that it is too early yet to come to
a decision as to when your should return. We do not know what activities
will continue in Paris after the Peace Treaty has been signed. When you know
this you will be able to advise us as to what should be done. There is
accordingly no immediate necessity to deal with the appointment of a successor to you.
We observe from Mr Gavan Duffy's despatch that you have handed
the copies of Ireland's case to the various delegates. You will remember that it
was proposed to present copies to the Foreign Ministers of all the Powers who
have representatives in Paris, through these representatives, with an indirect
request for recognition. The form of covering letter for this purpose will be sent to
you shortly. Please let us know if you will require further copies of the Case
for this, as we are having a reprint made on paper, and could let you have a
further supply. The parchment copies are very costly, and we do not think we
should get any more.
(Follow miscellaneous unimportant items.)
Diarmuid Ó hÉigeartaigh.
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