No. 278 NAI DFA Letter Books Department of Justice 1923-25

Joseph P. Walshe to the Private Secretary to the Minister for Justice1

Dublin, 21 October 1924


This Ministry has mainly concerned itself with work of a character preparatory to the gradual taking over of all our external relations.

Professor Smiddy's appointment as Minister in Washington establishes direct contact between us and the U.S.A. and completely eliminates the Foreign Office from the whole field of our relations with that country.

America is the only country with which our relations are entirely free and independent from any outside control. Mr O'Higgins may wish to emphasize the need for equally independent relations of the Dominions with all countries if the Commonwealth is to continue to exist. The entire trend of thought both conservative and liberal in Canada is in favour of complete control of all external relations.

As far as the broad lines of international policy are concerned, Ireland's geographical position will always oblige her to have a policy similar in all important respects to that of Great Britain so much so that Saorstát Diplomatic Representatives in the principal countries of the world should be welcomed by Great Britain as certain supporters in essential points.

Mr O'Higgins may wish to refer to League of Nations, International Conferences, power of making treaties, etc., or other matters connected with this Department. I shall be very happy to give you any information he requires on specific questions, but the main accomplishment in our external relations is the establishment of a Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington. Ireland is the first and only State of the Commonwealth so far to have such representation.

[copy letter unsigned]

1 See No.281 below.

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