No. 530 NAI DFA 7/55

Letter from J.J. McElligott to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(F. 48/5/30)

Dublin, 7 March 1931

With reference to Mr. Cremin's minute of the 3rd December (L.N. 30u/378)1 enclosing a copy of a communication from the League of Nations, I am directed by the Minister for Finance to inform you that no special investigation has been carried out by this Department as to the causes of the present economic depression. The Saorstát is affected less than a number of other countries; but this is a relatively unimportant State from the point of view of world economics and its position is, therefore, to a considerable extent dominated by factors outside our control and especially by the degree of prosperity enjoyed by certain more highly-developed countries.

So far as other countries are concerned the depression which prevails at present is generally attributed to various causes including reparations, international indebtedness generally, tariffs, political unrest in South America, China, India, Russia and elsewhere, over-production of certain primary products, rationalization, decline in the value of silver, inflation of currencies, maldistribution of gold, and a number of other factors. Economists are not agreed as to the priority or relative importance of the various causative factors, and this Department is not disposed to formulate any conclusions on the subject.

In these circumstances, the Minister2 doubts whether any useful purpose would be served by furnishing to the League Secretariat a memorandum on behalf of the Saorstát Government dealing with the phases of the present depression and the circumstances which led up to it. It is unlikely that any memorandum which could be officially furnished would contain anything not already known to the Economic and Financial Organisation of the League.3

[signed] J.J. McElligott

1 Not printed.

2 Ernest Blythe.

3 See No. 564.

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