No. 60 NAI DFA LN 65

Letter from Michael MacWhite to Desmond FitzGerald (Dublin)
(M.L. 03/0179)

Geneva, 11 February 1927

A Chara,

You will undoubtedly have noted in the Provisional Agenda for the Forty-fourth Session of the League Council that the British Representative is to make a Statement regarding the 'Form of Treaties negotiated in future under the auspices of the League of Nations'.

This statement will most probably refer to the agreements arrived at during the sittings of the Imperial Conference in London and will, consequently, directly affect the Saorstát, as well as the other Dominions.

Under Art. 4 of the Covenant, any Member of the League not represented on the Council shall be invited to send a Representative to sit on the Council during the consideration of matters specially affecting the interests of that Member.

If the statement to be made by the British Representative is such as I have anticipated, it seems to me that a Representative of the Saorstát should assist at the meeting of the Council while it is being read, even though he should have nothing more to say than that: 'the Government of Saorstát Éireann concurs'. Otherwise, Sir Austen Chamberlain can get up, like on a previous occasion, and announce that he is speaking in the name of seven Governments. Even if he made no such announcement, the same inference could be drawn.

The importance of the step which I propose cannot be overestimated as it would create a precedent next in importance to that of a Dominion being elected a Member of the Council and emphasise in no equivocal manner the quality of the different Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

The next meeting of the Council will be held at Geneva, on the 27th March.

Mise, le meas,
[signed] M. MacWhite

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