No. 24 NAI Gavan Duffy Papers 1125/12
Paris, 3 September 1919
A Sheoirse dhíl,
Your very formal note of this evening first gave me the impression that you were playing a joke; but reflection made me wonder if I take you too literally when you declare so frequently that our work here just now is not serious, that we can do little more than mark time till we are recalled, that we are wasting money etc, etc, etc, etc.
We are then to take ourselves and each other very seriously? In that case I apologise and even admit bad manners for it always makes me ratty to be teased about doing things in which I see no importance but in excuse I must plead that I sincerely thought you also saw no importance in these things judging by your own words.
I am not adverse at all to strict business methods if you think that would alleviate the woes of our exile. With regard to the despatches, here they are for you and welcome. I have no objection whatsoever to showing them except the torment of dragging them to light every time you ask them. I will overcome that and will even read all yours. See what you let yourself in for! Had we not better carry this to its logical conclusion and see each others letters also? I presume you have not reconsidered my original suggestion that we write and sign our despatches in common?
Does not this exchange of 'notes' look amusingly like a parody on the Germans V. the Allies recently at Versailles?
Overlook my faults anyhow they are I know even worse than usual here.
Do chara go buan,
Sean T. O'Ceallaigh
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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