No. 489 NAI DFA EA 231/1/1929

Confidential Report from Michael MacWhite to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(MP-1009-18-30) (Private and Confidential)

Washington DC, 4 December 1930

My dear Joseph:1

From conversations I have had with high officials of the State Department during the week, I gather that they are not at all pleased with our delay in ratifying the London Naval Treaty. Of course, no word to this effect transpired, but it is not difficult to draw conclusions from the way things are said.

As you were informed by my cables, the President of the United States was most anxious that this Treaty should be implemented before the opening session of the Preparatory Disarmament Commission which was convened early in November at Geneva. All the other Governments concerned, excepting ours, took steps to have their ratification effective by that date. I was instructed by your cable of the 9th of October2 to invite the United States Government to send a formal note to Dublin to the effect that the Naval Treaty could not be implemented until after ratification by the Saorstát. They complied with this request, and were, no doubt, surprised that it had not the desired effect.

I am not aware that any reply to that despatch was transmitted to Washington, nor did I hear anything more on the matter until the State Department made further inquiries a few days ago. I informed the State Department, at the outset, that ratification of the Treaty without the sanction of the Dáil would present certain difficulties of a Constitutional nature, which they appreciated. I am, however, of the opinion that unless there were substantial reasons for assuming these difficulties could be surmounted, we should not have asked the United States Government to facilitate us in the matter. The fact that they complied with our wishes without achieving their object places me in a rather delicate situation vis-à-vis the State Department, as they will naturally hesitate in future before they accede to any request of mine.

At the moment, I do not know whether the Dáil has authorized ratification of the Treaty, but in President Hoover's message to the two Houses of Congress which was read in the Senate yesterday, he states that 'during the past year the London Naval Pact was completed, approved by the Senate and ratified by the Governments concerned'. The full text of the President's message is enclosed herewith.3

Yours sincerely,
[signed] M. MacWhite

1 Handwritten marginal annotation: 'Mr Murphy' 'Seen, SM'.

2 See No. 447.

3 Not printed.

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