No. 363 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Seán Lester (Geneva)
(L.N. 80/97) (Secret and Confidential) (Copy)

Dublin, 16 April 1930

I am directed by the Minister to ask you to be so good as to communicate to the Department any information that may now be available as to what states are likely to seek election to the Council in September.

The Chinese Minister at Paris informed Count O'Kelly that China would be a candidate and the Norwegian and Swedish Ministers indicated that the Scandinavian Group would also be in the field. Perhaps you could state when any other candidates are yet in the field and whether, apart from the Scandinavian candidate, it is likely that one of the South-Eastern Baltic group, e.g. Lithuania, will claim to succeed Finland.

Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand have now definitely promised us their support. It is anticipated that a similar promise will be given by the British Government. It remains to be seen whether this unanimity among the Commonwealth States will influence Sir Eric Drummond's views on the subject of China's candidature, as you suggested it might in your note of the 4th February.1

The following passage occurs in a secret note on this subject from the High Commissioner:-

'Undoubtedly the Secretary-General of the League will exert his influence to secure the success of the candidature of China, in view of the special mission of the Assistant Secretary-General of the League to Nanking in 1928, which was arranged by the Chinese Central Government and Sir Eric Drummond. Probably some undertaking was given by the Chinese Government to Sir Eric Drummond to secure the candidature of China.'2

I am to ask you to be good enough to furnish your observations on this passage and to communicate any information that may be available as to the purpose of the special mission of 1928 and the nature of the undertaking alleged to have been given by the Chinese Government to Sir Eric Drummond.

In this connection I am to state, for your information, that the Minister strongly deprecates the partisan attitude of Sir Eric Drummond with regard to this election. No doubt his attitude is dictated by a perfectly sincere, if mistaken, notion of the importance of securing China's election to the Council; but it is a matter of no less importance for the future of the League that the Secretary-General should preserve in all such matters a strictly non-political and impartial attitude. Although the Secretary-General appears to make no secret of his anxiety to see China elected, the Minister is not aware that he has taken any active steps to advance China's candidature. If he were to do so, or if he were to appear in any way to use his influence in favour of one candidate for the Council against another, the Minister would feel bound, in the interests of the League, to raise the matter at the next Assembly,

[stamped] (signed) J.P. Walshe

1 See No. 334.

2 See No. 361.

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