No. 255 NAI DFA D3904

Joseph P. Walshe to James McNeill (London)

Dublin, 16 July 1924

Dear High Commissioner,

I am instructed by the Minister of External Affairs to confirm 'phone message of to-day as follows:-

'Representation proposed constitutes derogation from status of Dominions recognised at Versailles Conference. At Versailles Dominions had twofold representation. They were represented in the first place as separate nations on an equal footing with Belgium and in the second place as part of the British Empire delegation by means of the panel system. Representation as separate nations was claimed in December 1919 by Sir Robert Borden for Dominions and agreed to by Imperial War Cabinet. In the circumstances we find it impossible to agree to representation by panel system alone at the London Conference.'

and wire as follows: 'Consider better not attend Colonial Office[.] Writing.'

After the latter wire had been sent a cabled Despatch was received from Thomas stating that he would meet the High Commissioners to-morrow to report to-day's proceedings and to further consider question of representation.

In the new circumstances the following wire was sent:

'Since wiring[,] have learnt Conference arranged between Thomas and Commissioners to-morrow morning to report proceedings and further consider question of representation[.] Please attend and follow lines of to-day's 'phone message.'

The Minister regrets that you have had so much trouble about this Conference. Events have succeeded each other so rapidly that it has been difficult to keep the Ministers informed and to obtain their views.

The Minister will be glad to have result of to-morrow's discussion on representation by telephone or wire.

Sincerely yours,
[copy letter unsigned]

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