No. 300 NAI DFA ES Box 8 File 55

Extract from report for June 1922 from Michael MacWhite

7, Place Clapar?, Geneva, 1 July 1922

Report On Situation For Month Of June.

During the greater part of the month of June the foreign press devoted a good deal of space to speculating on the result of the Irish elections.1 The Panel agreement found favour nowhere as the events that lead up to it were neither understood nor appreciated abroad. Besides English propaganda pretended that its object was to prevent free elections and to secure the return of practically all the old members of the Dail. The sweeping victory of the advocates of the Treaty was welcomed as the prelude to the establishment of more peaceful conditions throughout the country.

The English propaganda offensive against Ireland which was launched in the House of Commons towards the end of the month was not confined to the precincts of Westminster. Almost simultaneously it made itself felt abroad and the death of Sir Henry Wilson coincided so well with it that it seemed to be part of the scheme.2 All the odium of this crime fell on Sinn Fein. It was effectively used against us in Allied and pro Ally countries where the late Field Marshal was well known and highly respected. In refutation of the accusations made by English agencies against Ireland I used part of the speech of the English Home Secretary to some advantage and had it distributed to the principal Mid European news services as well as to the Swiss press. The efficacy of Wilson's death as an anti Irish propaganda weapon was, however, considerably attenuated by the death of Herr Rathenau which took place twenty four hours later as the latter occupied the attention of the press and the public to a far greater extent.3

The energetic action of the Government in asserting its authority and in putting an end to acts of brigandage and disorder has made a very good impression abroad where it was generally recognised that Ireland was no more immune from the laws that govern revolutionary epochs than any other country. Nearly every European State in like circumstances had to employ severe measures before tranquility was restored and the authority of the people respected. During periods of transition lawless elements usually mount to the surface and history shows no instance where those have been restrained by conciliatory means. In the whole of the European press there is no good word said in favour of the Irregulars. On the contrary, they are accused of creating a situation which would justify English intervention and of plunging their country into the throes of civil war in order to satisfy their inordinate vanity. The Provisional Government is, if anything, blamed for dealing too leniently with its adversaries.

M.[ichael] MacWhite

1 The election was held on 16 June 1922.

2 Wilson was assassinated in London on 22 June 1922.

3 Walther Rathenau: Foreign Minister of the Weimar Republic, assassinated in Berlin, 24 June 1922.


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