No. 122 NAI DFA EA 104(b)

Letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(M.L. 04/074)

Geneva, 30 November 1927

A Chara,

I had an interview yesterday with Mr. Litvinoff, Assistant Commissary for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., on the question of trade relations between the Saorstát and Russia. Mr. Lounatcharsky, the U.S.S.R. Commissary for Education and Fine Arts was also present.

I explained to them the nature of the principal articles the Saorstát could furnish, such as horses for military and other purposes, hides and skins, wool and herrings, for all of which there is a good demand in Russia at present.

Mr. Litvinoff informed me that the U.S.S.R. would be very glad to open up commercial relations with the Saorstát, but as their foreign trade was entirely in the hands of the State, it would be necessary for them to send a Trade Commissioner to Dublin so as to arrange for purchases and sales. The question was, could they do so? I told him that there were difficulties in the way, but personally I did not think they were insurmountable. That was, however, for my Government to decide and I hoped to be able to let him have a reply in due course. He asked where it would be possible to have a visa for entrance to the Saorstát, to which I replied that if my Government decided to admit their representative that difficulty could be got over.

I explained that as there was no passport barrier between the Saorstát and Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it was probable we should require a guarantee, if we accepted their representative, that he would not enter either of those territories without a formal authorisation from the British Government. The U.S.S.R. are prepared to give such a guarantee.

It is evident that if any trade is to be done with the U.S.S.R. it can only be through their trade representative. The question is, therefore, whether you are prepared to receive such a representative. I shall be obliged for your decision as I promised to convey it to Mr. Litvinoff.


Mise, le meas,
[signed] M. MacWhite

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