No. 229 NAI DFA ES Box 29 File 191

Extract from a letter from Timothy A. Smiddy to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Washington, 17 June 1924

A Chara:


I have just learned unofficially that there is disagreement among the members of the joint Committee of the Bureau of Immigration, the Department of Commerce and the State Department as to the assignment of a separate quota to the whole of Ireland or to the Irish Free State.

The Bureau of Immigration point out the following difficulties:-

administrative difficulties in allotting a separate quota to the 26 counties of the Irish Free State are very great, and will be still more so from July 1926 when racial origin will be the determining factor in the assignment of quotas;

there will be the possibility of intending immigrants of the six counties of Northern Ireland, when the British quota is full, coming under the Irish Free State quota, or vice-versa;

any quota for the Irish Free State at present would be unstable as the boundary separating the six Northeast counties from the Irish Free State is not yet finally settled.

It appears representatives of the Department of State favour a separate quota for the Irish Free State as it is more consonant with the terms of the Act - Northern Ireland being a political part of Great Britain and not being a self-governing dominion.

Yet, I am informed the opinion of the Bureau of Immigration is likely to prevail. Their real motive is to avoid the difficulties referred to which would entail investigations of a most complex character.

It was argued on the joint-committee of these departments that it is much more natural to put the six Northern counties with the Irish Free State with which they are geographically connected than with Great Britain from which they are separated by the natural boundary of the sea.

I regret there is this tendency to assign the quota to Ireland as a whole, and I shall endeavour - if I can - to have a separate quota assigned to the Irish Free State. It is a case in which diplomatic representation would be most helpful.

[Matter omitted]

Mise, le meas,
[copy letter unsigned]

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