No. 437 NAI DFA Unregistered Papers

Letter from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Washington DC, 2 October 1930

Dear Joseph:

Since my return here we have been pretty busy in connection with the services of the new Consulate General. As regards the transfer of functions, I have agreed with the British Ambassador that this be done gradually, or in his own words 'to cross the bridges as we come to them'. He is facilitating us in every way, and so far no difficulties have arisen.

It is probable that the work of the Consulate General will be much heavier than has been anticipated. I am informed that the Senior British Consul in New York devoted all his time to matters affecting the Saorstát and Saorstát citizens. As similar matters would be dealt with by various British Consuls throughout the United States, it is not difficult to anticipate that the transfer will keep the New York Office well occupied. It is fortunate that the work has been started at a moment when the demand for visas has dropped off.

I find that it will be necessary that the Consul in Boston1 be granted an Exequatur as early as possible. He should be authorized to deal with all the Consular work in his district as is not necessary to be dealt with by the Consul General in New York. Although the present man has provisional recognition, this is not sufficient for the proper functioning of his office. An Exequatur is necessary for all our officers of Consular or Vice Consular rank, as the United States Authorities do not like dealing with people whose rank does not bear an official stamp. It is, therefore, necessary to have this matter put straight as early as possible.

It will also be necessary for us within a reasonable time to take over all Consular matters in the United States affecting the Saorstát. In order to do so, however, one must envisage four new Consular posts at Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis and New Orleans. Our Consular service cannot function in its entirety until this is done. In a short time, however, under present arrangements, we may be able to form an estimate of the revenue that is likely to be derived from the present change. I have hopes that it will exceed our expectations.

I don't know how long it is proposed that Mr. Galwey-Foley should remain here. If his successor is coming direct from Dublin, it is necessary that he should have the guidance of the Acting Secretary for a few weeks so that he may be introduced to the Liaison Officers of the different Departments, and also to some of his Colleagues whose services might be helpful.

There is another matter to which I should like to call your attention. You must have noticed, from time to time, the large number of Saorstát citizens who are deported from this country, some of whom have spent the best days of their life here. Sometimes they are worthy, sometimes not. If they have worked when they were capable, the community for which they sweated should support them in their old age; on the other hand, if they are of the criminal type, we don't want them, as they all become public charges on the Saorstát. I am inclined to think that we should not facilitate the U.S. Authorities in this matter to the same extent as in the past. In future, I propose to ask the Department of Labour to submit proof that the proposed deportee is not a U.S. citizen, a matter in many cases that is extremely difficult to determine. I think in cases where there is any doubt, or where documentary evidence of birth or citizenship is not forthcoming, we should refuse authorization for deportation altogether. It seems to me that the onus of proof lies with the United States Government and not with us in this matter.

Very sincerely yours,
[signed] M. MacWhite

1 P. Galwey-Foley.

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