No. 365 NAI DFA EA 231/1/1929

Confidential Report from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(M.P. 1008-21-30) (Confidential)

Washington DC, 16 April 1930

While in New York last week, I heard a rumour to the effect that the Gaelic American newspaper was in financial difficulties, and that if money was not forthcoming from one source or another, it would soon have to cease publication. I have no means of testing the validity of this rumour, but I am inclined to think that the money will be procured, as some of the people directly interested in its future have many friends in local politics to whom it might be helpful at times.

On four occasions during the past year, a list of people interested in the 'campaign to increase the sale of the Gaelic American' was published in its columns. This list, in fact, included the names of all the subscribers on its books, and on having them counted I find that the number is approximately 400. The number of copies sold in the newspaper depots throughout the United States can hardly exceed this figure, so one cannot be far wrong in concluding that the total weekly circulation of the paper is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 800.

The circulation of the 'Irish World' is a little higher than that of the Gaelic American, perhaps double, as it is an old established organ and has many legal advertisements of 'wills' and 'next of kin' type, from which most of its revenues are derived. The Gaelic American comes in for only a small share of these advertisements though, I understand, that some years ago the contrary was the case. The change is due, perhaps, to its decline in circulation, or to a shift in political patronage, or probably the both combined.

The death of John Devoy1 was a severe loss to the paper, as his personality counted for much amongst Irish-Americans, whereas its present editors are practically unknown and their influence as well as that of the paper seems to be negligible.

[signed] M. MacWhite

1 John Devoy (1842-1928) died in Atlantic City on 29 September 1928.

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