No. 371 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Daniel A. Binchy (Berlin)
(L.N. 80/102) (Copy)

Dublin, 15 May 1930

I am directed by the Minister to acknowledge the receipt of your Note 15/29 of the 28th April.1

The Minister agrees that the present moment is particularly opportune for bringing our candidature for the Council officially to the notice of the Auswärtiges Amt. The Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Germany was, as you are already aware, signed on Monday, the 12th instant, and it is natural to expect, the commercial relations of the two countries having now been placed on a durable basis of mutual understanding and friendship, that official opinion in Germany will be more than usually receptive to your representations as regards the candidature of the Irish Free State for a nonpermanent seat on the Council.

The attitude of the British Government in this matter was conveyed by Lord Passfield in an interview with the High Commissioner on the 2nd instant. Lord Passfield said that the British Government, being anxious to avoid creating the impression in Geneva that it was a party to the formation of groups for the purpose of supporting candidates for the Council, would not commit itself in advance but would view the situation on its merits at Geneva in September. On the other hand, Lord Passfield added, the British Government would be in no way whatever adverse to our candidature.

It will be appreciated that, having no definite promise of support from the United Kingdom, we are hardly in a position to seek such a definite promise from Germany, as it appears to be your view that the attitude of Germany would be influenced by that of Great Britain.

Accordingly, you may think it advisable, in making your representations to Herr von Schubert, not to go beyond a formal notification of our intention to go forward and an expression of the hope that, when the German Government comes to consider the allocation of its votes in the next election for the Council, the earnest desire of the Irish Free State to secure a non-permanent seat will not be lost sight of. If Herr von Schubert asks whether Great Britain has declared its attitude, as you anticipate that he may, there would appear to be no objection to your informing him in the sense of Lord Passfield's statement to the High Commissioner.

As to the use of the information that four States Members of the Commonwealth have definitely promised to support us, it has to be borne in mind that we have no authority from the States in question to publish the fact that they have definitely promised their support, although there can be no objection, in cases where it seems clear that such information would help in our favour, to our making it known that they are favourably disposed towards our candidature. The Minister feels, however, that this question is best left to your personal discretion. As you are no doubt aware, some States would regard support of a Dominion as undesirable on the ground that it would be simply giving an additional vote on the Council to Great Britain, while on the other hand, as in the case of Germany, there are States which would not support a Dominion in opposition to Great Britain. In this case, there is of course no question of opposition to Great Britain, as the Irish Free State is now the only member of the Commonwealth which is going forward for a seat.

[stamped] (Signed) J.P. Walshe

1 Not printed.

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