No. 97 NAI DT S4714B

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Diarmuid O'Hegarty (Dublin)
(L.N. 4/7/18) (Secret and Confidential)

Dublin, 10 June 1927


A Chara,

I am directed by the Minister for External Affairs to request that an opportunity may be given to him at the next meeting of the Council to raise the following matter in connection with the Conference at Geneva:-

Mr. Amery has written a letter to the President enclosing a copy of a telegram to the Dominions (copies of both attached).1 He requests that certain technical proposals to be put forward by the British delegation should be agreed to by the Saorstát Government before the 16th instant. The Minster advised the acceptance of the technical proposals. They are in accord with the general principle of the reduction of armaments and, as we have no Navy, we are not interested in the precise technical effects of their application. But the latter part of the telegram makes a suggestion the adoption of which would weaken the constitutional position already won in connection with the complete and exclusive representation of the Dominions by their own delegates. The British Delegates want to be in a position - (the telegram states) - to say at the Conference that their proposals have the general assent of the Dominions. The Minister considers that the Dominions, in order to maintain their position, should speak for themselves and he proposes sending the following reply to Mr. Amery:-

'The President has handed me your letter of the 6th June and enclosure. His Majesty's Government in the Irish Free State are in general agreement with the proposals set out in the Prime Minister's telegram, and they are ready to support these or other proposals which are best calculated to lead to a realisation of the objects for which the conference has been called. On the other hand, they feel that these objects would be better served if the Dominions formally supported in open conference the proposals under consideration than if the delegates of His Majesty's Government in Great Britain acted as their spokesmen. As all the nations of the Commonwealth are to be present with complete and exclusive full powers, there will be no difficulty in following this procedure, and His Majesty's Government in the Irish Free State are strongly of the opinion that it would be adopted.'

Le meas,
[signed] S.P. Breathnach

1 Not printed.

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