No. 42 NAI DFA Letter Books (Paris 1923-24)
Dublin, 1 March 1923
I am instructed by the Minister of External Affairs to forward the attached amended patent in French and English.1
The French Government was informed by the British Ambassador in Paris on the 13th inst. that you had been appointed as 'Acting Trade and General Agent of the Irish Free State in Paris.'
The Minister wishes that you should forthwith act accordingly and make yourself known officially to the chief officers of the Ministries which may now or at any future time be useful for the purposes of our Paris Office.
It is also desirable that you should leave your cards on the British Ambassador and Consul without delay.
The Canadian High Commissioner would be able to give you valuable information as to his own position vis a vis the French Government and the British Ambassador.
You will naturally proceed with great caution in all things concerning the extent of your powers, and whenever any question is put by the British regarding them you will have to confine yourself to the words 'TRADE AND GENERAL AGENT' without committing yourself to define the implications of the word 'GENERAL'. On the other hand you should seize on every opportunity given by the British to create precedents in our favour. Thus if you are asked by them to look after the interests of Irish Citizens or do anything whatsoever concerning Irish interests which formerly came within the sphere of the British Missions, you should seize the opportunity offered no matter what the difficulties involved.
The Minister fully appreciates the difficulties of your position and the delicate and responsible nature of the task committed to you as the first recognised Irish Agent in Paris, and he feels confident that you will carry it out with all due zeal and discretion.
It is essential that you should realise how vague the position of the Nations forming the British Commonwealth still remains with regard to Foreign Affairs, and how much depends on the individual discretion of those who are in a position to influence that side of our political evolution.
The implications of your new responsibility will be given our attention immediately.
A list of your requirements as to Staff, etc. should be sent as soon as possible.
I attach a list of personalities, whom in the opinion of M. Blanche, you should visit at the earliest opportunity.2 The British should be visited first.
M. Blanche suggests that the Office of the Protocole would give you every information as to procedure. Advice or documents on this would be most valuable to us.
[copy letter unsigned]
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