No. 10 NAI DFA ES Paris 1919
Dublin, 19 May 1919
We are sending to-day by messenger certain official documents viz.
(c) General memorandum copies of which are to accompany our official demand to be allowed to present Ireland's case to the Peace Conference, and also our request for recognition of the Republic which will be addressed individually to the several Powers and States.3 These demands we are at present preparing and will forward in a few days.
1. as regards (a) - Hand it in to Peace Conference at once. Then give copies to the several Embassies in Paris and get published in the Press as widely as possible.
2. as regards (b) - After an interval of a few days send another such as this specimen draft signed by yourself and your colleagues to Clemenceau.
3. as regards (c) - We shall send you later over our signatures the formal demands referred to, viz:- for Clemenceau, that Ireland's case be heard at the Peace Conference as well as a further demand for Ireland's inclusion in the League of Nations; and for the several embassies, the demand for recognition of the Republic.
A copy of memorandum on Ireland's case to accompany these. The interval between the handing in of the documents should be carefully thought out and timed. We do not wish to tie your hands but not more than an interval of one week should be allowed between each.
In all cases when a document has been officially handed in the fact and copies of the documents should be given to the Press.We must keep the Irish Question continually hot now before the public. This is the time for beginning our `big push' everywhere.
In addition to using the Press you should get into the closest possible contact with the South Africans, Egyptians, Indians, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, etc. Also with the representatives of the smaller States of Europe, and the Neutrals during the war.
When dealing with political questions discuss trade questions also - e.g. the possibilities of direct exchange of commodities; ships coming with foreign cargoes to Ireland and returning with Irish products.
Keep us in as constant touch as you can with your doings. Number your messages - the first after this to be no.1 - so that we may know if any should go astray. The Irish papers will keep you informed as to the general situation. Of anything special we shall take means to inform you.
We shall be particularly anxious to hear as to how our American friends are progressing and their plans for future action when they have decided on them.
We here should not demand safe conduct from the British Authorities until we have failed to get it from the Peace Conference or have been referred to the British Authorities by the Conference.
Eamon de Valera
P.S. Should you find at any time that communications with us are cut you have of course wide discretionary powers for acting on your own initiative. Care must be taken however that there will be no conflict with the general direction from here. As an example, should we be prevented from sending the covering letters referred to in 'c' above, you will draft the necessary letters yourself to accompany the memoranda to Clemenceau and the several Embassies explaining why you have to act on our behalf. It is well to note that the copies of memoranda which you now receive are a late revise of a copy sent to America, so you will understand should duplicates come to you from America.
On... last I had the honour to present to you on behalf of my Government the official repudiation of the claim of the British Plenipotentiaries to sign any treaties on behalf of Ireland. That document contained assertions of which the signatories will be glad to furnish complete proof if summoned before the Conference, and the necessary safe conduct be provided them. The Conference is aware that the British occupation of Ireland at present prevents the Irish representatives from leaving Ireland except for such countries as are immediately under British rule
S.T. O Ceallaigh
G. Gavan Duffy.
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.
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