No. 33 NAI DFA ES Box 32 File 228
The President referred to the wisdom of publicity. I know they want publicity of it and in principle are opposed to secret Treaties. There is no use in sending a mission if we are afraid to take the consequences. I know from my talks with their representatives here that they would only laugh at us and treat us as well-meaning but cowardly fools if we proposed such a course. It seems to me therefore we have to go the whole way or not start at all. There is no middle course.
As to the personnel of the Mission the understanding at present is that I shall be in charge of the Mission and that John T. Ryan of Buffalo who had to leave this country on account of his activities on our behalf be another member. The President has suggested other names. Personally I think the Mission should be small in the beginning and additions made to it in the way of experts and as occasion arises. The experts might be only temporary. The experts might not always be Sinn Feiners. For instance if we were negotiating about flax Harold Barbour would be useful. Again Russia wants ships and we might want an expert from Harland and Wolfes etc. etc.
As far as I am personally concerned I'll go only on condition that I get plenary powers and that I shall have absolute authority no matter who is sent to make final decision in case of disagreement. This may seem at first sight an extraordinary demand but it is the only satisfactory course. Franklin when sent from this country to France had no end of wrangles with his colleagues and in the end had to take the bull by the horns and act as his own judgement dictated. Casement had not full powers from home with the result that Devoy was constantly undermining him from New York and left him to an extent powerless and even suspected. It is the same in all such cases and history is constantly repeating itself. I have not so far discussed this aspect of the question with the President but will do so as soon as we reach that point.
As I have been working on this for the last few days I shall make a few notes on some of the clauses that may help when you are discussing it there. The notes may suggest improvements as well as explaining all that is implied in it as I read it.
In addition to this I shall discuss the question of hostages. That is if England murders any of our soldiers in or out of prison they will agree to execute a Britisher as a reprisal. They have them. We may get this but I'm not sure.
P.S. In order to get quick action cable to Fawsitt that is 'Cavehill New York' in case of full acceptance say 'are agreeable to accept agency'. In case of reserved acceptance cable 'Agency acceptable on conditions forwarded'. In case of rejection cable 'Agency terms unacceptable'. The party to send these cables are the Irish Overseas Shipping and Trading Co. Ltd. In other words 'Outlook'. Cables have been coming from them.
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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