No. 31 NAI DE 2/245

Eamon de Valera to Arthur Griffith (for Cabinet) (Dublin)

Washington, 6 March 1920 (received 26 March 1920)

The public misrepresentation here has ceased, but there is a good deal of private undermining going on that cannot be stopped, but it may be rendered comparatively innocuous. The people have given the Judge1 pretty clearly to understand that they do not approve of his attitude. You will find herewith a leader in the Hearst 'Journal', and also copies of letters exchanged between the Judge and myself privately. His letter I have annotated.

Dr. McCartan might be considered by you as a Delegate from our Government to Russia to ask for official recognition from the Soviet Government. I hope to get in a day or two a letter of introduction for him from Mr. Martens. I think he should be accompanied by at least two others - one representative of organised labour, for example, [Cathal O'] Shannon, [Thomas] Johnson, or O'Brien, and one representative of industry and trade. You ought to consider what is the best way to reach Russia. It may be thought advisable for the Delegates to start from here. Trade may be re-opened with the Soviets, in which case it will not be difficult, but now seems the most opportune time for the application for recognition.

I am trying also to get invitations for Irish Labour representatives to the Montreal Conference of the American Federation of Labour next June. One or two men directly from the Labour Party, and from Ireland, could do a great deal of work there.

We will soon be in the midst of the political struggle here. It seems to me there is only one hope, and that is to get both sides pledged to the principle of recognition of the Republic. In fact it is my belief that every nerve should be strained now to get resolutions urging recognition passed through Congress here. Of course all, except our ardent friends in Congress, will try to block all such attempts. They prefer not to be put on record either for or against. It is our business to try to get it put up to them.

The Mason Bill has no chance of passing, for difficulties will be raised on purely technical grounds. A similar Bill by Clay was held up for five or six years. In order to avoid the technical2 difficulties I suggested the enclosed. It is not of course quite as good as the Bill would be, but as there was no hope whatever that the Bill would pass, and as time is pressing all our friends here, even the Judge, consider this move wise.

The subscriptions to the Bonds are proceeding fairly satisfactorily. As regards the shipping, Fawsitt has a proposal from Moore and McCormack, which would give the Irish Government a one-half interest in four ships for trade between Ireland and the Continent - ships which would not otherwise be put on these routes.

I am asking him to make out a complete memo for you, and when you receive it we would like you to take action on it at once.

The frequent successful raids - particularly the seizing of French's3 mail, created a good impression here.

I am once again breaking my resolution not to write much to you, seeing what capture of a dispatch might mean. From the American papers you will gather what our activities are.

We hope to start on a tour of the Southern States, accompanied by Dr. Irwin, the second week of April. We hope to have something accomplished here in the Capitol by that date.

Yours sincerely,
Eamon de Valera

P.S. Try to get the young fellow for me as soon as possible. He must be trustworthy personally and efficient as a stenographer and typist. None but first class any use to me. With a good man I could double the work I am able to do. Sean [Nunan] is permanently tied up and Harry [Boland] has to be away very often.

Harry may be able to get the Fawsitt memo to send with this. I will not be able to see it, but I know there are arguments for and against it. If the Cabinet can consistently act as he suggests it would mean a great deal. If I had to decide it personally I would say yes. I fear the Cabinet will not take this view.

1 Judge Daniel Cohalan.

2 Handwritten note in margin: constitutional.

3 Lord French (John Denton French), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1918 to 1921


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