No. 24 NAI DFA 5/249
London, 19 February 19371
Last evening I went to a meeting of High Commissioners in Mr. MacDonald's room at the Dominions Office, but on finding that the business for discussion was the arrangements for an Empire youth rally at the Coronation I asked Mr. MacDonald to excuse me since my Government were not interested and I could, obviously, contribute nothing to the discussion. He agreed.
I had, however, a few minutes conversation with him in which I once again reminded him that our position on the Coronation was one of detachment and protest, quoting the words of the statement which I had made orally to him in accordance with the Department's minute of the 30th January2. Further, if the President were questioned in the Dáil about the Coronation or the Oath the answer he would make would be similar to the above-named oral statement. Mr. MacDonald said he quite understood that but he hoped that the word 'protest' could be avoided. It would materially help him and others who were working towards a settlement if the use of that word could be avoided.
He referred to the intended omission of Article 1 from the proposed new Constitution and said he got the impression from his talk with the President in the Grosvenor Hotel3 that the President himself intended to give further consideration to this point. I said that I thought there was no hope of my Government having as he, Mr. MacDonald, had suggested4 an amending Act to the second of the two Constitution Acts passed in December last. Mr. MacDonald said that he would be grateful if the President could see his way to send me a draft of whatever provision it was proposed to make in this connection in the new Constitution. He was of course not making this suggestion with any idea of United Kingdom approval. The draft could be shown by me privately to Sir Harry Batterbee so that it would be possible to say there had been no communication even of an informal character with the British Government. He thought it possible that they might be able to make suggestions which would meet their difficulties and which suggestions he though the President would be ready to consider. On these matters, as both he and the President were already aware, the form would be of high importance.
I said that I would communicate his request to the President.
[signed] J.W. DULANTY
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