No. 13 NAI DFA ES Box 28 File 185

Timothy A. Smiddy to Desmond FitzGerald

Washington, 6 January 1923


A Chara:

For some time I have had operating secret service agents, especially during recent weeks. I also secured the services of six competent men in connection with the recent trouble in the Consulate Office.1 The secret service that I have had operating up to now is not organised, and I am of the opinion that for some months to come there is need of a thoroughly well organised intelligence service in New York especially. For this purpose it is essential to appoint an Organiser of Intelligence on this side who would direct and report on the activities of his subordinates. Naturally, such an organisation will be expensive, but I am of the opinion that it is necessary and may produce satisfactory results. I can procure an organiser on this side who, I am of the opinion, would be more efficient on account of local knowledge than one sent from Ireland, unless you wish to have an agent from Ireland cooperate with him.

I have had the movements of Mr. Briscoe2 watched and reported to me for the last six weeks and I was prepared for his activities with regard to the Consulate. He is a great intriguer and I am endeavoring, if possible, to find out if there is any connection between his activities and Bolschivist propaganda. Mr. George McGrath will give you an account of his Dublin social relations. He officially calls himself here an ‘Irish Republican Soldier’.

I sent you cables with reference to information I got about the shipment of guns which I trust was of some use: unfortunately, I could get no details.

I have learned from inside sources that an attempt was contemplated, after the execution of Mellowes,3 on the lives of Geddis (sic),4 the Representative of the Irish Free State in Washington, and Judge Colohan, and that attempts will be made to carry out their intention should de Valera be shot. They will not succeed in getting away with action of this kind in America as easily as they are, unfortunately, doing in Ireland.

I have got the names of some of those who are active in the shipping of guns, and also of the Liverpool gun men whom I am having carefully watched.

Lawrence Ginnell5 came to the states by Halifax and through the Canadian border. By this method they avoid the difficulty of getting a pass-port to the United States. Perhaps, you could take up this matter at your end. I shall also endeavour to see what can be done on this side. I am about to take up the subject with the Bureau of Immigration and Labor, and the activities of some of the Irregulars with the Department of Justice.

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

1 See No. 8 and No. 10 above and No.14 below.

2 Robert Briscoe.

3 Liam Mellows.

4 Sir Auckland Geddes, British Ambassador in Washington (1920-24).

5 Former Dáil Éireann Director of Propoganda (1919-21), Special representative to Argentina (September 1920 to March 1922), oppossed the Treaty.

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