No. 320 NAI DFA EA 231/1/1929

Confidential Report from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(M.P. 1008-42-29) (Confidential)

Washington DC, 27 December 1929

During my visit to Kansas City, Mr. Robert E. O'Malley of the Midland Life Insurance Company was designated by the Knife and Fork Club and also by the Chamber of Commerce to be at my disposal. He was very useful as he knows nearly everybody. He has been for some years leader of the Clan-Na-Gael and is always a delegate to its general convention. He was in Dublin four or five years ago and got to understand the position of the Saorstát. He never tires of telling the members of the Clan how necessary it is for the Saorstát to be on good terms with its best customer, etc. He says that when a member of the Executive Council makes a statement that appears friendly to England, Diarmuid Lynch, James Reidy of the Gaelic American, and other officials of the Clan want to launch an attack on the Saorstát Government right away in the Gaelic American. Judge Cohalan never tires of telling them that the Saorstát should adopt a more forward policy with regard to England, by which he means an aggressive anti-English policy irrespective of the consequences.

As far as I can judge, the Clan-Na-Gael is a dwindling force. Its members, for the greater part, consist of men who were born in this country and whose parents were in touch with the Fenian movement. Their ages are from forty-five upwards. As a matter of fact, I am told by representative Irish people in the various places I visit, that it is almost impossible to keep Irish organizations together in this country since the Free State was established. The Ancient Order of Hibernians have lost about thirty per cent of their members. Young Irishmen coming to this country will not join the organizations, as they say there is no necessity for them now, and American born children of Irish parents who have been through high schools and universities have still a great deal of Irish sentiment, but are not connected with any Irish movement the same as the young men of a generation or two ago.

[signed] M. MacWhite

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