No. 379 NAI DFA 26/95

Memorandum from Count Gerald O'Kelly de Gallagh to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(Confidential) (109/B/30)

Paris, 11 June 1930

I have the honour to report that I have just had an interview with M. Guerrero on the subject of our candidature for a seat on the League of Nations Council. M. Guerrero, who is actively canvassing for us, made the following statements and suggestions:-

I)   That, as we know, China was running for the Council and had a large measure of support, France, among other countries, backing her;
II)   That in the circumstances our policy should be not to aspire to any particular seat, but simply to be a candidate for one of the vacant seats. China would be urged to adopt a similar attitude and in this way our respective candidatures need not be antagonistic;
III)   Because there would be available for division between us the seats vacated respectively by Canada and Finland;
IV)   This, of course, entails the elimination of Norway, who is a candidate for Finland's succession, but the Norwegian delegate to the League has made himself persona non grata with all the Latin American countries and they will vote against Norway. The Little Entente is expected to act with them, as it always does;
V)   M. Guerrero has information 'de ce qui peut s'appeller de bonne source, puisque c'est du côté du Secretariat' that Britain will support our candidature. He knows that Canada supports us (His secretary is Mr. Roy's son-in-law);
VI)   That I personally ought to make every effort to be in Geneva in September 'pour travailler sur place les collègues que vous aurex vous ici';
VII)   That with the aid of Latin America, the Little Entente, the commonwealth nations, and sundry countries such as Bulgaria, Persia, etc., we should certainly secure election;
VIII)   But that we should make a point of not opposing China but of running concurrently with her to the exclusion of Norway so that countries who feel bound to support China for motives of world policy need not find any difficulty in supporting us as well.

Immediately on leaving M. Guerrero I came back to the Office to make the above report of our conversation which I think of great importance. You may be able to verify from other sources the bien-fondé of the arguments advanced by M. Guerrero in favour of counting on the elimination of Norway rather than of China. M. Guerrero seemed very confident and I confess his arguments appeared convincing. He is lunching with me at Vaucresson on the 19th. In the circumstances I would much appreciate any comments you may have to make before that date. I would also like to have your instructions as soon as possible as to what action to take vis-à-vis of the French Government. If France is supporting China I do not see that any harm would be done by asking her to support us as well in lieu of Norway, though Norway's name need not be mentioned in the conversations. The important thing is to get our word in first, if possible.

I have asked for interviews with the Belgian, Spanish and Polish Ambassadors and hope to interview them within the next two or three days. If we can swing what I might call the non-syndicalised votes in favour of the idea of considering the Finnish seat as 'open' then I think our chances of election would be very great indeed.

[signed] Count G. O'Kelly de Gallagh

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