No. 104 NAI DFA Secretary's Files S1
Dublin, 9 August 1932
Following for Vice-President from President begins: My attitude as indicated in Dáil Statement is as follows:
The Treaty or Secession not involved in Government's attitude towards Oath and Empire Tribunal. Whether in favour of remaining within Commonwealth or not the Government's attitude towards Oath and Empire Tribunal would be the same.
The Treaty was not an issue at the election and acceptance of a position within the Commonwealth was implied in the limited mandate asked for. The present Government will respect the limits of its mandate but like every other Government can only speak for its own lifetime.
The future will depend on the state of public opinion in Ireland. Given a free choice between a united Ireland within the Commonwealth in a position of full co-equality with Britain and a separate Independent Republic, it would be difficult to prophesy what the people's decision would be. Advantage and disadvantage would no doubt be very carefully weighed and the decision made accordingly. The greater the freedom offered and the fewer the chafing bonds within the Commonwealth the more likely at any time would be a decision to remain within.
Speaking for myself I am sincerely desirous that the peoples of both islands should live in harmony as friendly neighbours co-operating with mutual advantage on matters of agreed common concern. With Ireland as an Independent Republic I believe that that desire is more likely to be realised than with Ireland forced against its will to be part of the Empire. This personal view, however, matters little. It is the public opinion of the future that will count and no man can tell in advance what that will be.
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.
The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
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