No. 461 NAI DT S6009/3

Extracts from a letter from Patrick McGilligan to William T. Cosgrave (Dublin)
(Secret and Confidential)

London, 25 October 1930

Dear President,

I have had a fearfully rushed time for the last few days and plead this an excuse of not replying earlier to your letter of the 23rd.1

[matter omitted]

Up to yesterday I had no expectation that Mr. Bennett of Canada or Mr. Forbes of New Zealand would come to Ireland. Yesterday, however, at a meeting at Downing Street, Mr. Bennett asked me if he would be given an opportunity to visit Ireland and if, when he got there, there would be any objection to his going on to Belfast. This makes it clear that he too will make the trip. About Forbes I am still in the dark. It is clear, however, that invitations should be addressed to these two also.

The Governor General stopped here for a few days on his way back from the Continent. I discussed the proposed visits with him and he is most anxious that all the Prime Ministers and any other Ministers who travel with them should stay with him at the Lodge. If Mr. McDunphy gets into touch with him I think you will find the Governor General very keen on this.

I am disturbed by your request to have O'Hegarty sent back to Dublin, more disturbed than I feel I can convey to you in this brief letter. We are almost at a deadlock here on three points and so bad was the situation yesterday morning that I had almost taken the decision to return home myself on the week-end. Yesterday things brightened a little bit, but there is still a probability that I shall have to go home either in mid-week or next week-end in order to get a Cabinet decision on these three points - the Privy Council, Nationality, and a certain difficulty about the making of Treaties. I can only hint at the seriousness of the situation by telling you that in their endeavours to stop us on the Privy Council question the British have brought forward a new theory about our constitutional position which, if pressed, would to my mind make it imperative on us to indicate that that was not the Treaty as we understand it, and that new negotiations for the establishment of the Treaty as we understand it would have to be entered upon. In such circumstances I am sure you will agree that O'Hegarty's value to us is inestimable and we would feel very helpless on the political side without him. I have already had to refer at a meeting of Heads of Delegations to this theory of the British, making on it a comment that it meant that the 'Treaty had been imposed by us on our own people by false pretences'. That may show you the point of difficulty to which we have come.

Yours sincerely,
[signed] P. McGilligan

1 Not located.

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