No. 270 NAI DT S1983

Desmond FitzGerald to William T. Cosgrave (Dublin

Geneva, 12 September 1924

My dear President,

I have just received your note. The matter you speak of is one that has given me a good deal of concern, and I do not need to say that I am prepared to do anything in the matter.1

This occupied my mind so much that I talked it over with Judge Cohalan the day I left. I told him that I felt that it would be necessary for me to go across, and he recommended that quite earnestly, but he urged that it should not be before November, as it would be thought in America, if I went there before the election there, that my presence there had some political significance, in other words that I was trying to interfere in the election, or trying to use the circumstances of the election in order to get something for ourselves by party bargaining. Naturally, his advice in this matter had considerable weight with me. But if you think this matter so urgent that the consideration put forward by the Judge should be disregarded, I need not tell you that I shall return immediately on receiving a wire from you to that effect, and I should be ready to start within a week (allowing me a few days to get some extra clothes). Everything is going quite well here. The little hitch with the Marquess before we left has quite passed away, and has left nothing behind. Heffernan suffered from grievances a bit at the beginning, but I think he also is now quite mollified.

The big issue in the League is disarmament, which is a struggle between England and France. I should be inclined to think the gulf quite unbridgeable, but that in talking to the two delegations most concerned I find them most optimistic. I am told that in the League there will be agreement on one point, disagreement on another, that it will then go to the Conference which has been proposed, and that there things will be settled, mostly behind the scene.

Our delegation is very successful in its relations with others. Delegates from all countries seem to follow the boundary question more or less intelligently. They all refer to it in their conversations with us. Always with sympathy for our side.

As I have said above, on receipt of a wire from you I shall return immediately, but I think that we have to give some weight to the Judge's advice in the matter.2

I hope all is well at home, and particularly your own health,

Do chara,
D.[esmond] FitzGerald

1 The appointment of T.A. Smiddy as Irish Free State Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States provoked a campaign against the new minister amongst sections of the Irish-American community; FitzGerald was prepared to travel to America to counter this campaign.

2 See below No. 275.

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