174 No. NAI DT S1983A

Draft despatch to be sent by T.M. Healy to the Duke of Devonshire (London)


My Lord Duke,1

I have the honour to refer to Your Grace's Despatch No. 689, of the 29th ultimo, with regard to Clause I (11) of the 'Ministers and Secretaries Bill 1923' at present before the Oireachtas, and to inform Your Grace that My Ministers thoroughly concur with the opinion expressed in paragraph 2 thereof to the effect that there will be need for consultation with His Majesty's Government should any question arise in the future as to special Diplomatic representation of the interests of Saorstát Éireann abroad in any particular instance.

It is on this understanding that they desire me to inform Your Grace that they have been convinced of the urgent necessity of appointing an Irish Minister in the United States of America.

They have decided that Mr. Timothy A. Smiddy would be a suitable person to assume that position, and would be glad if His Majesty's Government could cause enquiries to be made as to whether such an appointment would be acceptable to the President and Department of State at Washington.

In the event of a favourable reply, they would be glad to receive credentials for Mr. Smiddy from His Majesty the King, in the form already employed in the case of Plenipotentiaries sent for specific purposes to represent, and negotiate on behalf of the other Dominions.

My Ministers are confident that Your Grace will appreciate the considerations which have prompted them to arrive at this decision. The financial and commercial interests of Saorstát Éireann in the United States are very considerable and the pressing problem of Irish emigration to America has for a long time engaged the earnest attention of My Government. They have found, in dealing with these matters, that they are severely handicapped through lack of an official mouthpiece at Washington: - but they have been influenced also by a consideration of still graver import. Your Grace is aware that the vast majority of the Irish Race is settled in America, of which a misguided section is keeping alive, by propaganda and financial support a revolutionary movement which, for the time being, the Government of Saorstát Éireann has succeeded at the cost of much blood and treasure, in suppressing at home.My Ministers cannot but view with dismay the prospect of an indefinite continuance of this activity, and they are confident that nothing could more effectively eliminate it, or more effectively consolidate the relations between our people and the rest of the Commonwealth, than the presence of an Irish Diplomatic Representative in the United States.

My Ministers are fully aware that although the Dominion of Canada decided some years ago to appoint a Minister at Washington, the appointment, and the necessary understandings consequent upon such an appointment have not yet been made. They are convinced that by a frank exchange of views such an arrangement can easily be arrived at, whereby the Irish Representative, while transacting the business which only affects Saorstát Éireann, will act in the closest and friendliest cooperation with the British Ambassador (and the representatives of other Dominions should such be appointed) in all matters which might affect the interests of other members of the Commonwealth, or of the Commonwealth as a whole.

1This draft despatch, though not sent, has been included because of the scope of information it contains, especially when compared with the final text of the despatch as sent (No. 177 below).

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Free Download

International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
Read more ....

Website design and developed by FUSIO