No. 406 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Seán Lester to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Geneva, 1 September 1930

A Chara,

Saorstát and the Council

I saw Sir Eric Drummond to-day and in the course of his remarks he confirmed the report that Portugal would be a candidate for the Council. In his opinion, the possibility of China's election was gradually becoming more remote, and he thought that Portugal would be our strongest rival. Portugal is one of the States which is not attached to any group. The presence in Geneva of M. Vasconcellos, ex Prime Minister and Ambassador in Paris, may be connected with the sudden appearance of Portugal in the field.

I asked the Secretary General if he had seen the statement by the Minister for External Affairs regarding the independent candidature of the Saorstát.1 He had, and I remarked that that should affect the attitude of States which were opposed to the group idea. He said it would help to do so, but I failed to draw any further comment.

Discussing the Chinese candidature, he said he had again suggested to them its withdrawal this year, and had been told that the Chinese Minister had apparently some faint hope that the Saorstát Delegation might withdraw the Irish candidature. Sir Eric Drummond told me that he had warned the Chinese Minister that that was the most unlikely thing to happen. I imagine this was before Dr. Woo Kaiseng came to see me (my letter of 26th. inst)2 on which occasion I had told him that the Irish Government's decision was irrevocable.

Regarding the Presidency of the Assembly, the Secretary General said the only name he had heard mentioned as probable was that of M. Titulesco, but, he added, someone had suggested that Dr. Wu (Chinese Minister at Washington) might be chosen, especially if China withdrew her candidature for the Council. That he said, smiling, would look a little like 'a deal'. (It was support for the Presidency I had in mind when I told the Chinese Minister I thought the Irish Government would be prepared to demonstrate its friendliness in any way other than withdrawal: 26/8/30).3 The position regarding the presidency, as well as that of the Chairmen of the Commissions, will become clearer towards the beginning of next week.

A copy of this letter is being retained here for the information of the delegation, in case Mr. Cremins will have already left Dublin before its arrival.

Mise, le meas,
[signed] Seán Lester

1 See No. 405.

2See No. 402.

3See No. 402.

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