No. 92 NAI DT S5428

Letter from William T. Cosgrave to L. S. Amery (London)
(Private and Confidential)

Dublin, 18 May 1927

Dear Mr. Amery,

I have, since acknowledging your letter of the 21st ultimo, had an opportunity of discussing with my colleagues the suggestion that periodical Naval Cruises in Irish Waters should be resumed. I may say at once that we should be very glad to be in a position to welcome such visits, which we believe would give general satisfaction. The only question which arises is whether the present is a suitable time.

Conditions in the Irish Free State are now undoubtedly peaceful but they cannot yet be said to be quite normal. There is still a minority of fairly extensive proportions antagonistic to the Treaty and to the Constitution. There is a small section of that minority which carries this feeling so far as to be prepared to resort to violence, if opportunity safely offered, to create a breach in the good relations which have happily been steadily growing between our two countries. That the number of these persons, and their power for evil, are decreasing rapidly we feel confident, but notwithstanding the large quantities of arms which have been collected during the past five years, our police authorities know that there still remains in the possession of revolutionary and criminal elements a certain quantity of concealed weapons.

In the circumstances we feel that we would not be justified in taking any risks particularly during the present year when the general election which is now imminent is bound to arouse a certain amount of partisan excitement. We feel that it would be extremely unwise to afford any opportunity to evil-intentioned persons to take advantage of that excitement. We hope, therefore, that the Naval Authorities will not accede to the request of the Cobh Tourist and Development Association to arrange for a visit during the summer of this year. This particular district is, in fact, one which has given us much cause for anxiety in the past, and one in which our police forces find it necessary to maintain constant vigilance.

We shall be very glad to reconsider the whole position next year in the light of the improved circumstances which we hope will then obtain.

Yours sincerely,
[copy letter unsigned]

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