No. 13 NAI DFA 5/7

Letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(1008/37/32) (Confidential)

Washington DC, 18 March 1932

I have received your despatch No. 105 which reads as follows:

Reply from Secretary of State to President's wire has been published in press here. Source Washington correspondent United Press. Please enquire immediately from State Department.'

You will note from the wording of this despatch that the nature of the inquiry can only be determined by guesswork. A little more clarity would be appreciated.

On receipt of this despatch, I got in touch with the State Department, and the Chief of the Western European Division expressed his astonishment that the message from the Secretary of State had not reached its destination before appearing in the Press. It was thought by them that in order to be in harmony with the St. Patrick's Day good-will spirit, both messages should be pub- lished on March 17th. The State Department assured me that they would investigate the reasons for the delay and I left it at that. From an unofficial source I have since learned that the State Department has not been able to get in touch with the Minister in Dublin,1 and that a demand for an official explanation of his absence from duty has been sent to him.

In reference to the publication of the two messages, I was called up on the telephone about four o'clock on St. Patrick's Day and asked if I thought there would be any objection to releasing them to the Press. I replied that I had not seen the message from the Secretary of State to President de Valera, and consequently could not offer any advice regarding its publication. I was then informed that it had been forwarded to the United States Minister in Dublin, and that sufficient time had elapsed to permit of its being transmitted to the President. I learned at the same time that an acknowledgment (a copy of which is annexed)2 of the President's message to the State Department was on the way to me. I was then asked if the President's message to the Secretary of State had not been released in Dublin on Monday last. I was under the impression that it had as the text was cabled from Dublin to News Agencies in the United States on that day. The conversation ended here, but the impression grew on me that the State Department resented to some extent the publication of the President's message to the Secretary of State before the reply of the latter had been received as it seems to be the courtesy in cases of this kind that the joint messages should be published simultaneously.

[signed] M.MacWhite

1 Frederick A. Sterling (1876-1957), Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Ireland (1927-34).

2 Not printed.

Kindest regards
Sean T. O'Ceallaigh

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



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.

Free Download

International Counterparts

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.
Read more ....

Website design and developed by FUSIO