No. 25 NAI DFA ES Paris 1922-23
PARIS, 31 January 1923
To-day I have issued the following notice to the Press through Radio: 'The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs informs the Press that Mr. Sean Murphy of the Bureau Irlandais, 28, rue Pauquet, Paris, has been appointed Acting Trade Agent for the Irish Free State. All communications should be addressed to him until further notice'.
In view of the transfer to this office of the duties of Trade Agency it is necessary that the whole system be organised on a thorough basis with a comparatively intense publicity in order to ensure that the cleavage between Free State and Republic be made as definite as possible and that there should not be left an interval of stagnancy and indecisiveness during which the Republican representative can make headway. Also it will be essential, until we are accredited[,] to work with discretion and tact, seeing that, as I informed you in one of my recent communications, we are not recognised by France. Under these circumstances if we give opportunity to Kerney to enter into controversy with us, there is the possibility of his turning the whole affair into something like a political dogfight, and if there are any public incidents I am informed by people in administerial circles that the French Government would probably expel the whole circus bag and baggage, Free State and Irregulars and let us fight out our differences elsewhere. Whereas if we are accredited this cannot happen, and we can apply at once for the expulsion of the Irregulars with all the right and dignity of an accredited Government. But in all this I would respectfully suggest that we must act quickly and not leave things to chance, for apart from public incidents it is to be taken for granted that the Irregulars will commence widespread propaganda here, and on account of the intensely anti-English mood of the French at this moment, it is not unlikely that they would be prepared to support the Republic as being anti-English and not the Free State which they have not been able to regard as anything else but a part of the British Empire. (I have certain reason for knowing that 'Anti- English' will be the chief component of Kerney's propaganda).
In reference to propaganda I would like to mention that this office has never paid anything to journalists for articles. Now a number of journalists began to cultivate this office with protestations of sympathy with Ireland, etc., and wrote articles in support of the Free State. Of course no one with a knowledge of French journalists could be deceived into a belief in the disinterestedness of their protestations. They soon found that they were not being offered remuneration for their work and so they quit. There are still two left who are better stayers than the rest, but even they are beginning to insinuate that their services are worth money. In view of this it may be essential to take into consideration the necessity for judicious payment for propaganda and journalistic influence on questions which are vital to a proper understanding of our position as against that adopted by the Irregulars.
In this connection I would suggest that the appointments paid to M. Bourgoeois (sic) be discontinued as his services are to my mind, of no practical utility to the working of this office.
I have written at some length in this and recent communications because I consider it my duty to give you as clear an impression as possible of the situation here, in view of recent events, and offer my opinion of the course of action entailed by the conditions in Paris.
I would be glad to receive detailed instructions from you for my guidance during the absence of Mr. Murphy.
Is mise, le meas mór,
[signed] VAUGHAN DíOMSAIGH
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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