No. 516 NAI DFA 19/9A

Confidential Report from William J.B. Macaulay to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

New York, 30 January 1931

On the ship, coming with me from Ireland, were three representatives of the Belfast Linen Industry. They were coming out here independently, making an annual visit to arrange their Export Programmes for the present year. They told me that while trade was very bad in the Damasks and heavy Linen lines, conditions were fairly satisfactory as regards the demand for Handkerchiefs and fine Linen.

All three of them are Orangemen, but apart from that they seemed to be very decent men. All of them regretted the existence of the customs barrier between the Saorstát and the Six Counties, not, apparently, solely because it interfered with their business. They resented very much being tied up with England's Free Trade policy, as it has very seriously affected the market for their goods there. One of them, Mr. Charlesson, who covers a great part of the United States, alleges that so far as his firm is concerned, there were no appreciable effects of the boycott, which was instituted in this country in 1919-1921.

The most serious competitors of Irish Linens in the States are Belgian and Czechoslovakian Linens, both of which are sold at lower prices, but neither of which has the lasting qualities of the Irish products.

[signed] W.J.B. MacAulay

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