No. 284 NAI DFA ES File 30 Box 199

T.A. Smiddy to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin) (Copy)

Washington, 15 May 1922

A Chara:
Mr. Liam Pedlar who had been military attaché in Washington and who returned here again some months since is still on the pay sheet of, and is receiving his salary from, the Diplomatic Office. I have just ascertained that he was sent here on this last occasion by Mr. Liam Mellows and is now engaged in purchasing guns for the anti-Treaty party. Mr. McCullough has already made a general reference to his and other activities in a report sent by him to you some time ago. Naturally, his salary and expenses ought not to be paid out of the funds of the Government in the destruction of which he is aiding by the purchase of guns, etc. Hence, I shall be glad to have a direction from you by return on the matter.

I just accidentally discovered from an outside source (from a Mr. Martin Gillen) that Joe Begley brought some guns and some thousands of rounds of ammunition from Washington on last Friday night. The motor car was provided by Mr. Frank P. Walsh's son who drove the car. Both were held up in Jersey and locked up for the night. However, they were released next morning, probably through the influence of Mr. F.P. Walsh, and they were allowed in possession of the guns. [Handwritten: Young Walsh knew the captain of police and by paying $20 each got released.] The guns and ammunition were acquired in Washington by Harry Boland, and he asked Walsh's son to get these guns to New York. Begley was the moving figure in mobilising these guns. Probably, as he intends leaving for Ireland at the end of the month he was desirous to have them removed to New York, where they will be cared for and sent to their destination by Pedlar and Ward.

McCullough has already reported on the Hoboken guns. In the event of the guns or money being handed over measures should be adopted to guarantee that they fall into the right hands. At present the matter is being handled by those opposed to the Treaty. I am informed, however, that there is little likelihood of the case dealing with the matter being settled by the Courts for some months. I have asked McCullough to ascertain accurately all the facts of the case as it stands at present and the name of him or those who have here a legal title to them. Perhaps the Minister of Defense has already all the facts and particulars of the case!

The feeling here is strongly in favour of early elections and is strengthening still more against the forces of anarchy and armed hostility to giving the people of Ireland a free opportunity of expressing themselves for or against the Treaty at the elections. There are many references to the pronouncement of the Bishops at Maynooth in the editorials here; Mr. Collins's message got prominence in all the papers of the U.S.A. and has exceedingly disconcerted the Pro-Develaites here, especially as it came the morning of the Washington Convention.

A paper published here by a Mr. Connelly called the 'Irish Nation' has emphasized in a Leading Article of last Saturday the fact 'That the political future of Ireland is to be determined by the people of Ireland themselves, and, whatever their decision in this connection, we as citizens of another state have no right to interfere'. This is rather significant as Connelly has been a supporter of de Valera here and has attended all Stack's meetings in New York, he actually spoke with Stack and O'Flanagan at a meeting in New York in April. He evidently realises that the de Valera group are weakening daily and now count for little here.

I was speaking yesterday to a Father Fullerton from Belfast who attended the Convention at Washington of the A.A.R.I.R. He said it was a most farcical affair, absolutely the counterpart of a noisy meeting of Poor Law Guardians. The discussions were all on trivial matters and no national note or what was best for Ireland was referred to. He said there were about 300 delegates. His statements are worthy of belief as he is a strong republican.

I enclose a further editorial dealing with me 'talks' in New Haven.

Is mise,
le meas mór
Timothy A. Smiddy

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