No. 81 NAI DFA ES Box 29 File 178

Timothy A. Smiddy to Desmond FitzGerald (Dublin)
(152/23P) (Strictly Private and Confidential)

WASHINGTON, 10 May 1923

A Chara:

I received to-day copy of letter 28th April sent by Director of Publicity1 to Trade Agent - Mr L. Crawford. On receipt thereof I sent you a cable[,] copy of which I enclose.

Mr. L. Crawford, as I have already stated, is, in my opinion, competent to act as Trade Agent. But I am convinced that on account of his political connections here the Government would act unwisely in giving him any responsibility or control of Publicity. He is most intimately associated, socially and politically, with a group here who are now leading a strong attack on the Irish Free State Government for their application to enter the League of Nations. They will also most probably institute in the near future strong propaganda against anything suggestive of complacency on the part of the Irish Free State with its inclusion in the British Commonwealth of Nations.

My most difficult position here has been to try and keep this group well disposed to the Irish Free State: and until your Government decided on entering the League of Nations, I was to some extent successful; and I still hope to be able to moderate their hostility or at least take the sting out of it.

When I appointed Mr Lindsay Crawford to take temporary charge (under my control) of the then 'Consulate Office' I had mainly in view his reliability for the situation that then arose, as also for his qualifications as provisional Trade Agent. I have also utilized his office occasionally as a medium for the distribution of publicity directly under my control. But at no time did I contemplate that he should have any responsibility or control of publicity which has sometimes important implications of policy. Hence, it is absolutely essential that any directions from the Government re. publicity or its distribution should come only through this office.

Again, as in all cases when responsibility is divided efficiency will be impaired and responsibility itself will vanish.

Mise, le meas,
[signed] T.A. SMIDDY

1Sean Lester.

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