No. 180 NAI DFA LN16

Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(N.S. 185/23)

Geneva, 31 December 1923

A Chara,
After the admission of the Saorstát to Membership of the League of Nations reference was usually made in League documents to 'Ireland' and not to the 'Irish Free State'. Recently, however, this order of things has been changed, most probably, at the request of the British Foreign Office.

The International Labour Office has, I understand, also had a communication from the British Ministry of Labour protesting against the employment of the word 'Ireland' instead of 'Irish Free State' by the Chairman of the Governing Body of the Labour Office in his speech on the opening of the Fifth International Conference.

I have, also, reason to believe that the legal lights of the British Home Office are anxiously looking for a formula by means of which the ratification of Conventions by Great Britain will not be binding on 'Northern Ireland'. Their argument is that as the Imperial Parliament does not legislate for 'Northern Ireland' in matters relating to Labour, Commerce, Education, Health, etc. they must avoid implicating the Belfast Parliament without the consent of the latter. The object of this line of argument would be to make a case in favour of the admission of 'Northern Ireland' to separate Membership of the League of Nations.

On the other hand, the British Government did not hesitate to include the Saorstát in the instrument of ratification of the Amendment to Article 393 of the Treaty of Versailles without even consulting the Irish Government beforehand on the matter. From this, it is evident that there are some high officials in the British Foreign and Home Offices as well as in the Ministry of Labour whose anti Irish activities cannot be ignored.

Is mise, le meas,
[signed] M. MacWhite

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