No. 9 NAI DFA ES Paris 1919
Dublin, 17 May 1919
The Treaties now under discussion by the Conference of Paris will, presumably, be signed by the British plenipotentiaries claiming to act on behalf of Ireland as well as Great Britain.
Therefore, we ask you to call the immediate attention of the Peace Conference to the warning which it is our duty to communicate, that the people of Ireland, through all its organic means of declaration, has repudiated and does now repudiate the claim of the British Government to speak or act on behalf of Ireland, and consequently no treaty or agreement entered into by the representatives of the British Government in virtue of that claim is or can be binding on the people of Ireland.
The Irish people will scrupulously observe any treaty obligation to which they are legitimately committed; but the British Delegates cannot commit Ireland. The only signatures by which the Irish Nation will be bound are those of its own delegates, deliberately chosen.
We request you to notify to the Peace Conference that we, the undersigned, have been appointed and authorised by the duly-elected Government of Ireland to act on behalf of Ireland in the proceedings of the Conference and to enter into agreements and sign treaties on behalf of Ireland.
Accept, Sir, the assurance of our great esteem.
Sean T O'Ceallaigh
George 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.
The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
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