No. 82 NAI 2003/17/181
London, 7 September 1937
Last evening I conveyed to Mr. Malcolm MacDonald the intimation contained in your Secret minute of 4th September1. He seemed very pleased at the acceptance of his suggestion of conversations with the President.
We spoke of the various points at which a meeting might be arranged but it is unnecessary to report that part of the talk because when Mr. Walshe (please see Mr. Walshe's separate note of this meeting - enclosed herewith2) and I paid a courtesy call on him today Mr. MacDonald stated that he is going to Geneva on Monday next as a member of the United Kingdom Delegation. Before the Summer vacation Mr. Eden had asked him to join the Delegation but he had declined because he did not wish to be engaged in Geneva if there was a possibility of the President being agreeable to a meeting somewhere other than Geneva. Yesterday Mr. Eden had repeated his request pointing out that the United Kingdom Delegation was undermanned in that it contained only himself and Mr. Walter Elliot, who as an individual minister 3 was less concerned with Geneva than Mr. MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald was doubtful about going since it might look as though he had suddenly put himself into the Delegation on learning that the President was to be in Geneva. As the result of a talk between Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Eden, and himself he had now decided to go and he thought that it would be possible to arrange a meeting or meetings in some convenient place outside Geneva.
Yesterday I reminded Mr. MacDonald of the lengthy conversations which had already taken place at the Grosvenor Hotel 4,and I suggested that if real progress was to be made he should be prepared to leave generalities and formulate however tentatively their proposals for dealing with the questions outstanding between the two countries.
His reply to this suggestion, which reply he more or less repeated today to Mr. Walshe and myself, was that at the Grosvenor Hotel much the biggest part of the talk turned on the Constitution when the President was good enough to expound what his intention and objective were. That conversation had been of immense value to him, (Mr. MacDonald). It had enabled him to go to his colleagues and explain precisely what was in Mr. de Valera's mind. There were still a few points on the Constitution where some difficulty remained for his Government notably its relation to the Six Counties. The other questions of Defence, Financial Settlement, and Trade Agreement, had scarcely been touched upon; he wished to give the President the whole of his mind on these questions and in return to be informed of the whole of the President's mind. His hope then was to return to London after about a week in Geneva, consult with his colleagues here and in the light of those discussions to have a further talk in London with the President on his way home from Geneva when he hoped progress would be made.
Mr. Walshe has joined me whilst I was dictating this report and has handed me his note of the subsequent part of the conversation. It is therefore unnecessary for me to go over the same ground.
[signed] J.W. Dulanty
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