No. 12 NAI DFA ES Paris 1919

Eamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith and Count George Plunkett
to Georges Clemenceau (Paris) (Copy)

Dublin, 26 May 1919

Sir,
On May 17th we forwarded to you a note requesting you to warn the Conference that the Irish people will not be bound by the signatures of English or British Delegates to the Conference in as much as these Delegates do not represent Ireland.1

We now further request that you will provide an opportunity for the consideration by the Conference of Ireland's claim to be recognised as an Independent Sovereign State.

We send you herewith a general memorandum on the case and beg to direct your attention in particular to the following:
(1) That the rule of Ireland by England has been and is now intolerable - that it is contrary to all conceptions of liberty and justice, and as such, on the ground of humanity alone should be ended by the Conference.
(2) That the declared object of the Conference is to establish a lasting Peace which is admittedly impossible if the legitimate claims to Self-Determination of nations such as Ireland be denied.
(3) That incorporated with the Peace Treaty under consideration is a Covenant establishing a League of Nations intended amongst other things to confirm and perpetuate the political relationships and conditions established by the Treaty. It is clear that it is radically unjust to seek to confirm and perpetuate what is essentially wrong, and that it is indefensible to refuse an examination of title when a confirmation of possession, such as that provided by the Draft Covenant of the League of Nations, is intended.

Ireland definitely denies that England or Britain can show any just claim or title to hold or possess Ireland and demands an opportunity for her representatives to appear before the Conference to refute any such claim.

We feel that these facts are sufficient basis to merit for our requests the consideration which we are sure you, Sir, will give them.

Please accept, Mr. President, the assurance of our great esteem.
Eamon de Valera,
Arthur Griffith,
George Noble, Count Plunkett.


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