No. 125 UCDA P80/535

Extract from a handwritten letter from Eoin MacNeill to William T. Cosgrave

GENEVA, 19 September 1923

My dear President,

The Times 'canard' about registration has obviously arisen from some Diehard in the entourage of the British Delegation here or of the Secretariat of the League. It was telegraphed from here. We see that it has been taken up seriously by the London Press. We have had no occasion to refer to the matter in any public way here. When it is mentioned to us in conversation we quote the facts, namely [1] that it is true that we have gone to extra trouble to provide everyone who needs them with French versions not only of the Treaty but of all the principal documents that go to define or illustrate our position, seeing that the great majority understand such documents much better in French than in English; (2) that we for our part do not consider the similar work done by practically every Delegation a matter for press telegrams, nor do we go about to collect information as to what other delegates may do in the late hours in their hotels, and we should not desire that any reputable Irish journal would encourage this kind of thing; (3) that the question of registering the Treaty is still one to be decided for us; even though the British press seem anxious to make a decision inevitable; (4) that the League Covenant enables any Treaty or agreement between members of the League to be registered; (5) that press opinions do not affect the facts of our status; (6) that British journals themselves must explain their assumption that a dispute exists between us and the British Govt. on the Boundary clause, seeing that no such dispute has arisen, and that we have always expected that this clause, like every other clause in the Treaty, will be fulfilled honestly and amicably on both sides. In fact, the relations between our governments are not reflected in the sinister attitude of certain British journals. It may also be noted that the Times telegram indicates that our work of translation was undertaken after your departure, whereas you are aware that it was completed before your departure from Geneva.

[Matter omitted]

We are still extending the circle of our friends here, and our digestions have so far proved equal to all occasions. We were glad to see how Dublin has appreciated the significance of events. Our own Diehards seem to be as much rattled as our neighbour's.


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