No. 383 NAI DFA Paris Embassy 109B

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Count Gerald O'Kelly de Gallagh (Paris)
(L.N. 80/217) (Confidential)

Dublin, 17 June 1930

With reference to your minute of the 11th June (109/B/30),1 I am directed by the Minister to state for your information that Norway secured 11 votes for membership of the Council in 1928 when the retiring members were China, Colombia and The Netherlands. In 1929, the votes she received increased to 22, the retiring members being Chile, Poland and Roumania. This year Finland, a State contiguous to the two groups - Baltic and Scandinavian - is retiring, and there seems to be an impression that Norway has a very fair chance of election this year, especially as it would seem that Finland secured the seat in 1927 largely because of her geographical position in relation to the northern groups mentioned.

The Minister is desirous that we should not do anything which would antagonise the Scandinavian group, especially as M. Hambro has shown great friendship for this country. You could tell M. Guerrero that the Irish Free State is proceeding on the assumption that there will this year be two 'free' seats, namely, those to be vacated by Finland and Canada - the third seat will as a matter of course go to a South or Central American State - and that the Irish Free State is going forward simply as a Member of the League, and is claiming no precedence over any candidate in respect of the seat to be vacated by Canada.

M. Guerrero's support of China is somewhat disconcerting in view of the apparent strength of the Norwegian candidature. Did you gather anything from him regarding China's prospects of obtaining the necessary two-thirds majority vote for re-eligibility, without which China could not be elected this year? (China failed to get such a vote in 1928). As you are no doubt aware, the position of the Nanking Government is far from stable, and China is moreover abnormally in arrears in subscriptions to the League. In your conversation with M. Guerrero you could, as far as you may judge fit, use these facts as feelers rather than arguments. Especially do not stress the arrears question, as some of the South American States are offenders in this respect. The question of your attendance at Geneva was under consideration here even before the receipt of your note. I hope it will be possible soon to notify you of a decision in the matter.

The Minister would be glad if you would approach the French Government on the lines you suggest. You may also be able to do something regarding Tchécoslovaquie? You are aware of course that the Irish Government supported Poland last year, and it may interest you to know that our National group intends to nominate a Polish Jurist (Comte Rostworowski), as well as M. Guerrero, for membership of the Permanent Court. The Belgian suggestion in the latter regard will have due consideration.

You may expect a further minute on the Chinese question in the course of a day or so.

[signed] J.P. Walshe

1 See No. 379.

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