No. 86 NAI DT S3260

Letter from Timothy A. Smiddy to Desmond FitzGerald (Dublin)

Washington DC, 30 April 1927

Dear Mr. Minister,

With reference to the recent visit here of Mr. de Valera, I have received many reports of a conflicting character, from which my general inference is that it was not successful from the point of view of good publicity for his cause. The Press of the country on the whole took little notice of his speeches, with which his agents found fault. I have been unable to estimate, even roughly, the value of the contributions received by the committee set up to collect funds to enable him to fight the coming elections. In a previous communication I mentioned the sum of $100,000, but I have been unable further to verify this statement. This sum had been mentioned to me by people who had some indirect contacts with his supporters.

The receptions he received from the Governor of Massachusetts, Mayors of New York and Boston, got wide-spread publicity. But one must bear in mind that any notable receives such receptions; and Boston and New York contain many Irish men and women who support de Valera and whose votes in local politics are worth catering for.

It is claimed that fifteen hundred people attended his meeting in the auditorium in Washington; this is a contrast to the thirty thousand who attended one of his meetings here on the occasion of his previous visit. Fearing lest influences may be at work here to obtain for him a reception by the President, I had it conveyed to the Department of State that my Government would feel offended if such reception was accorded to him. The city authorities in Washington gave him the right of way from the station to his hotel. This was the only recognition he obtained in Washington. Invitations were sent by his committee to all Embassies and Legations except the Irish Free State; these included one to the British Ambassador and Minister Chilton,1 who is Counsellor to the British Embassy. I have been informed that the following Legations applied for boxes at the auditorium at which he spoke: Persian, Swiss, Romanian, Columbian and Dominican.

All the available newspaper cuttings on his visit were forwarded to you. Mr. de Valera sails from Boston, Saturday, the 30th.

Yours sincerely,
(Signed) T.A. Smiddy

1 Sir Henry Chilton, Counsellor at the British Embassy, Washington DC (1921-28).

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