This note, written in entire ignorance of the proposals that may have
been submitted to last meeting of Dail and its decisions on the matter, is intended
to emphasise the urgent importance of establishing at once an efficient
press bureau in Paris.
- A general continental press and information bureau is wanted.
- It should be in Paris, because
- Paris is still the political capital of Europe;
- It is the most important international meeting ground;
- There is there no censorship and comparative liberty of speech and growing hostility to England and a genuine traditional sympathy for Ireland;
- Switzerland suffers from 2 grave drawbacks, viz: that it is in abject terror
of Bolshevism with which English propaganda confounds S.F., and that it
has become more abjectly pro-English than any other country in Europe;
consequently the bureau's tenure there would be most insecure, decidedly
more so than in France;
- Latin Europe is the Europe that matters most today; Central Europe is
too unsettled and desperate to trouble much about remote affairs, while
the tendencies in Germany are now in general quite openly pro-English and
for reasons both commercial and political seem likely to become more
so; Scandinavia and Holland need propaganda, but are of much less account
than the Latin countries; Paris is the best centre to combine work in France,
Spain, Portugal, Italy, Rumania, Switzerland, the Rhenish Provinces and
Belgium, remoter countries being dealt with as occasions offer;
- It is not unlikely that the Paris Envoy will sooner or later be evicted;
it would in that event be very unfortunate to have no representative in
Paris save the Consul, but an established press bureau would have a chance of
surviving the Envoy's departure since it would not be transgressing by setting
up as the diplomatic representative of a country not diplomatically
recognised and its suppression would be much harder to justify;
- Paris has an immense advantage in its splendid facilities for
communication with London and its nearness; the further from London the bureau is
planted, the less in touch and the more cut off it will find itself, especially in an emergency.
- The bureau should by no means take the place of a London bureau to
feed and check the continental telegrams; that bureau is needed very badly.
- The bureau should be quite separate from and in the main independent
of the Delegation.
- The functions of the bureau would be: - to receive, adapt, translate
and disseminate the Bulletin - to go thro' some 4000 cuttings per month in
the Latin languages and such cuttings as can be got in the other languages,
analyse and file same, answer at once every hostile article and acknowledge to
author and editor every friendly article, offering them further information, and
also to correct or contradict the tendentious and lying telegrams from the
agencies - to give interviews to pressmen - to get out pamphlets and leaflets and
circulate them among deputies, clerics and public men and newspapers - to be ready
to supply with appropriate literature all enquirers on the many phases of
Irish activity, such material to be in French - to guide and document the Irish
press on all matters of continental interest to Ireland - to supply all the libraries
of Europe with up-to-date and accurate material on Irish developments - in
a word, to be a centre from which knowledge of Ireland would radiate all
over the Continent.
- It would be necessary to have competent Frenchmen, preferably
Bretons, on the staff or available at short notice.