No. 248 NAI DFA ES Paris 1922-1923

Michael MacWhite to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin)


Geneva, 24 February 1922 (Received 28 February 1922)

A Chara,
The Irregularity you refer to in your letter 5/19221 was inevitable under the circumstances. When it was decided to invite Monsieur Albert Thomas to dinner nobody, so far as I know, anticipated that it would lead to such results. Amongst those present were Messrs MacNeill, Speaker; Michael Hayes, Minister of Education and Desmond FitzGerald, Minister of Propaganda.

After we sat down to table M. Thomas asked if any steps were taken towards seeing the French Premier or the French President, but on being informed to the contrary the conversation branched off on other subjects. When dinner was about finished M. Thomas again suggested the advisability of a delegation waiting on M. Poincaré and as he interrogated those present by a glance there seemed to be general assent. He then stated that he would do his best to facilitate matters and after being supplied with writing material asked for the names of those who were to form the Delegation. There could be no delay as he, himself, was leaving for London by the 11 p.m. train. It was then about 9.45 p.m. The three names suggested were written on a slip of paper and handed to M. Thomas. The latter then called for the name of an intermediary and my name was pronounced.

M. Thomas wrote a personal letter to M. Poincaré which he enclosed with another letter to M. Roques which I was to take to the latter the first thing the following morning.

Owing to the immediate departure of M. Thomas for London it was impossible to postpone matters or to consult any other person outside of those present while to decline to act on his suggestion would be looked upon as a discourtesy not only to himself but also to his government.

Whatever action we took in this matter was spontaneous on our part and entirely devoid of any arri? pensée. The role I played was entirely dependent on the wishes of the members of the Government who were present.

With reference to the last paragraph in your letter 5/1922, I may add that the Foreign Office Memorandum 1/1922 dated January, 25th 1922 did not reach me until after my arrival in Geneva on Feb 1st.

Le meas mór
Michael MacWhite

1 Not printed.

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