No. 329 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(M.P. 1010-1-30)

Washington DC, 27 January 1930

On receipt of your letter of the 19th of December last,1 referring to the notification of the Diplomatic Corps on the candidature of the Saorstát for a non-permanent seat on the Council of the League, I endeavoured to get the reports of the discussions of the last Assembly affecting these last seats and after some difficulty succeeded. From these reports I learned that Norway's advocacy of the rotation system for Council seats was one of the reasons why that country, though not an avowed candidate, secured such a large number of votes for one of these seats. The protest made by the Portuguese Delegates also showed that a number of small States are opposed to the allocating of seats to certain groups of countries or certain spheres of interest.

At the 1926 Assembly, if I remember right, the Saorstát Delegation entered a protest to the same effect. For these reasons I thought it wiser that notification to the League Members of our candidature should contain no reference to Canada's secession as that will, in any case, be generally understood.

I enclose herewith a copy of a letter which I had prepared to send to my Colleagues here, in accordance with your instructions, when your cable No. 6 of January 25th2 arrived. It seemed to me from the outset that Washington is not the most suitable place for such a communication to be made, as it is so far away from the centre of the League activities, and the majority of the Members of the Diplomatic Corps are not au courant with League affairs. Only the Heads of three Missions, Cuba, Czechoslovakia and China, assisted at the last League Assembly. It would, I think, be much more effective to approach the Members of the Diplomatic Corps in Paris and other European capitals who have been, themselves, delegates to the last Assembly, as they will most probably be also to the next. Personal contact is, of course, much more effective than formal communications and should, when possible, supplement the latter.

My relations with the Members of the Diplomatic Corps here are most cordial. I meet all the European Representatives frequently, and at least twelve from Latin-America have been to my house. During the coming months I hope to find many occasions to urge upon them the necessity of having their respective Governments support the Saorstát's candidature but, as I have already remarked, the representations to this effect made by the Heads of the Washington Missions to their Governments could not be so effective as those coming from the Delegate's themselves.

[signed] M. MacWhite

1 Not printed.

2 Not printed.

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