No. 48 NAI DT S3332

Kevin O’Shiel to each member of the Executive Council (Dublin)

Dublin, 14 March 1923


A Chara,

1. I send you herewith a further Memo. from our Mr. Waller on certain aspects of the routine and procedure necessary should we decide to join the League of Nations, which was prepared in reply to queries put to him by me.1

2. In so far as our investigations in the Bureau have guided us we are unanimous as to the desirability of Saorstát Éireann joining the League of Nations at the earliest possible moment. I need not here put forward our reasons for this conviction, as that has already been done amply in previous Memoranda, which are on your files.

Suffice it is to say that in so far as our particular work on the Boundary Question is concerned it is absolutely essential for us to make use of every position opened to us by the Treaty of London, 1921 in consolidating and solidifying our international status and thereby giving beforehand a strong international complexion to our Boundary dispute which, quite conceivably, will be vigorously challenged on this head before the Boundary Commission.

3. Apart from the League of Nations it is also our opinion, towards the further advancement of this objective, that we should avail ourselves of our right to join the Imperial Conference.

Our idea is, that in the event of a contention over the judgment of the Boundary Commission we should first take the matter before the Imperial Conference - given that provision is made either in its constitution or its precedents for the consideration of such disputes - and in the event of receiving no satisfaction there, go thence to the League of Nations.

4. At any rate we should lose no time in consolidating every inch of our position. You will see from the Memo. attached that Mr. Waller favours an early application for membership to the League in order to cope in time with the great volume of procedure necessary.

He suggests also that we should register the Treaty first of all as a mere 'non-conforming' outsider.

Whether or not we should do so is a matter for Governmental policy. An objection occurs to me that by doing so we gain no immediate good, and perhaps only 'blow the gaff' on our future policy of joining the League. However, as against this, it can be urged that, once we make formal application to the League Secretariat for admittance, it will be the public property of the world within a few hours afterwards.

5. In order to provide against any little disagreeableness or sourness that may arise from an imperial quarter - although of course it should not - we might perhaps send in our applications for both the League and the Imperial Conference together.

6. I would be glad to have your views on the important points raised by this and previous Memoranda on the question of our joining the League.

The above are my own views and the views of those working with me in the North-Eastern Bureau.

Assistant Legal Adviser

1Not printed.

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