No. 71 NAI DFA ES Box 14 File 90

Extract from a letter from Eamon de Valera to Robert Brennan

Dublin, 1 April 1921

Foreign Affairs: Originally, I think on account of Griffith, the Count [Plunkett] and myself being named to represent Ireland at Paris, in forming the Cabinet two years ago I proposed that foreign affairs, instead of being under one head, should be controlled by us three in commission, or if, under our constitution, that were not possible, that I should myself retain the nominal headship.

I do not think there was ever a definite decision on the point, and I have always acted as if the commission principle had been accepted.

Before I came out of Lincoln [Jail] the Count was sole Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Whilst I was in America I am not sure whether he had become to be regarded definitely as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In any case, he is an Associate Minister of that department, so he can give you much information about foreign matters generally, especially about such matters as those for which we were on the lookout for the legal attaché to deal with. Please consult him on matters concerning the department as much as possible, and seek his opinions in advance so as to have them for me on such questions as foreign appointments, etc. etc.

I am sending you a letter which I received from him recently.

Despite my efforts to cut it down by departmentalizing it, my correspondence is increasing. You will do your utmost in your domain to reduce it to a minimum.

I am working at the foreign affairs stuff, and will give you definite decisions on all points as soon as possible.

As regards our representatives abroad, copies of all DAIL Decrees as they are passed should be sent. When they are inserted in the Bulletin a reference will be sufficient.

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