No. 101 NAI DFA ES Box 14 File 96

Extract from a letter from Eamon de Valera to Robert Brennan


Dublin, 28 July 1921

Simultaneous Recognition: The idea of seeking a simultaneous recognition by a number of powers is a good one. We should be ready to make a vigorous effort in that direction if negotiations break down, but I think it had better be done in the first instance by diplomatic approach to the governments, to be followed later by appeal to the peoples.

The diplomatic approach should be made now through our different representatives, e.g. France, Germany, Italy, and United States. The time is opportune, for it can be represented that if foreign states desire Ireland to remain in isolation from the British group they must give the inducement of recognition which would be the best way of giving our people the encouragement that would make them fight to the end for isolation.
[Matter omitted]

Our representatives abroad should all get a general direction as regards the present negotiations to some such effect as the following:

'The present negotiations begun by the British Government may be a manoeuvre pure and simple, or they may have a really serious object or they may change from being the one to be the other according to circumstances and developments. Our attitude must be such as to meet the one or the other. If they are intended to be serious, or can be made serious and satisfactory for us, we should be the better pleased of course. The present position is that certain proposals have been made by the British Government. They are unacceptable. We are making counter-proposals which in their turn may prove unacceptable to the other side, but our counter-proposals are practically our last word. A copy of the British Government's proposals and a criticism of them goes herewith. By properly inspiring the press our representatives can defeat in advance the misrepresentation which will undoubtedly be attempted by the British Government. The facts of the Ulster question and our desire to deal fairly with them as well as the fallacy of Britain's strategic position, should be stressed. On no account must the British proposals be allowed to leak out from our side.'

I am unable to attend to the foreign affairs in general as I should like. If I am re-elected I shall nominate A.[rthur] G.[riffith] as Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am asking him to take over this department so you may begin to look to him even from now as your Chief.

Mr Childers is preparing the criticism of the proposals referred to, and will let you have them in a day or two. These should be sent by special dispatch lest they fall into wrong hands.


P.S. Try to see A.[rthur] G.[riffith] and put him in touch with the whole organisation.

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