No. 58 NAI DFA 119/21

Annual report from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin) (108/36)1.

Washington, 19 May 1937

During the fiscal year 1936-37 the services of the Legation and of the various Consulates have been employed to a greater extent than heretofore. The demands on the Legation for information regarding political, economical, educational, and social developments in the Saorstát have been considerable. A custom has developed here in schools and colleges to devote a day or even a week to the study of different European countries and amongst these Ireland seems to occupy a very prominent place. This is to some extent due to the fact that a large number of teachers are of Irish extraction. A number of schools have made a special display of Irish tourist literature but owing to the limited supplies we receive from the Irish Tourist Association, we are not always able to satisfy the demands.

The number of visitors to the Saorstát during the year showed an appreciable increase. 11,172 seem to have landed in Free State ports. The number of passports issued by the Consulates and the Legation was 2,128, of renewals 1,636, and of visas 7,408 (see annex A2). Documents legalized totalled 1,063 and there were 528 registrations under the Nationality and Citizenship Act. Cash receipts amounted to approximately $91,000. Due to the reduction in the visa fee, the receipts for the current year are not likely to amount to more than one-third of this sum.

In addition to the foregoing, a considerable number of estates were handled and important sums of money were remitted to heirs through the Department of External Affairs, and through local Solicitors acting for the parties concerned. Some of this money would have been lost to the heirs in Ireland either in the form of exaggerated legal dues or through being diverted to other channels if the Consuls had not been active in their interest.

Many enquiries respecting the finding of markets for Irish products have been received. The demand for our whiskies and woollens is gradually increasing, and there is undoubtedly a market here for many other Saorstát products if only our manufacturers were sufficiently enterprising. They should, in their own interests, make a study of the American markets and of the system of marketing prevailing here. The American purchaser is very discriminating and the way in which the goods are presented to him is of considerable importance.

Annexed hereto are reports from the different Consulates giving their activities during the year3.

[signed] M. MACWHITE

1 Marginal annotation by Sheila Murphy: 'Seen by Sec[retar]y'.

2 Not printed.

3 Not printed.

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