No. 41 NAI DT S8531

Letter from James McNeill to Eamon de Valera (Dublin)

Dublin, 26 April 1932

Dear Mr. President,

I should like to draw your attention to a statement made in the Irish Press of yesterday. A report of the dance given by the Minister of the French Republic1 on Saturday last ends as follows:- 'Later the Governor-General arrived: this was a surprise, and Mr. O'Kelly and Mr. Aiken then left'.

There is no doubt as to the meaning of that categorical statement. It conveys to the public that two members of the Executive Council did not know that I intended to be present at the dance and that they left the dance in consequence of my presence. There are reports in other papers of gossiping comments at the dance regarding the departure of the ministers. The statement in the Irish Press is not a report of gossip.

Also the Irish Press is known to be under your personal control and statements of the kind to which I refer in that newspaper can only mean that it is part of a considered policy that the Governor General should be treated with deliberate discourtesy by members of your Council and by the newspaper which you control.2 I have looked at today's copy of the Irish Press to see if any further statement was published which would modify the impression made by the statement in Monday's paper. There is merely additional publicity.

In the absence of any explanation I must protest against the offensive conduct of the ministers and the use of your party newspaper to assist them. I think that while I am Governor General you and the members of your Council cannot honourably choose public occasions to behave with discourtesy whether or not the Irish Press gives added publicity to their conduct.

Yours truly,
[signed] James McNeill

1 Charles Hervé Alphand (1879-1942), Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Ireland (1930-32).

2 This sentence has been highlighted in pencil in the left hand margin.

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