No. 328 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Count Gerald O'Kelly de Gallagh to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Paris, 27 January 1930

I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your telegram of the 24th inst.,1 as follows:-

  'reference second paragraph your letter fourth January2 do not send official letters in any case writing'.

I have this morning received your confirming minute of the 25th inst.,3 explaining the reason for your telegram. I confess that the possibility of the letters in question constituting a breach of diplomatic etiquette had not occurred to me. Up to date I have approached 17 chefs de mission on the subject and have written 17 letters. In each case I interviewed the chef de mission first and told him I would write that same evening. Though my relationship with certain of these ministers is such that they would most assuredly have warned me had it occurred to them that the course I was adopting was not in conformity with diplomatic etiquette, I did not receive the smallest hint from any of them that the procedure adopted was incorrect. I wonder whether the breach of diplomatic etiquette might not arise only in the case of countries with whom we were already in direct diplomatic contact. For instance I can quite conceive that it would be incorrect for me to approach the German Embassy here on the subject, inasmuch as we are directly represented in Berlin. If that is the principle, then the procedure adopted would obviously be incorrect for any country that had a generally organised diplomatic service, but in our case I think the circumstances are different. It would be helpful to me for my guidance if it was possible for you to tell me the source of your information on this subject.

I will continue my round of canvassing visits but, unless you instruct me to the contrary, will not write official letters. At the same time may I call your attention to the fact that in view of the number of letters already sent, sudden departure from this practice might conceivably cause comment among chefs de mission whom I may approach in the future and who may be perfectly aware that in the case of their colleagues I had written as well as spoken.

[signed] Count G. O'Kelly de Gallagh

1 Not printed.

2 Not printed.

3 Not printed.

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