No. 70 NAI DFA Secretary's Files S1

Despatch from Eamon de Valera to J.H. Thomas (London)
(No. 95) (Copy)

Dublin, 2 July 1932


The Government of the Irish Free State has considered your Despatch No. 137 of the 22nd of June.1

2. It is noted that the British Government is unwilling to agree to the removal of the restriction which it desires to place on the choice of the personnel of the proposed arbitral Tribunal. Mindful of the importance of arbitration as a method of settling international disputes the Government of the Irish Free State would regard it as deeply regrettable were artificial restriction on the personnel of the Tribunal to be allowed to stand in the way of acceptance of arbitration in the present instance. Freedom of choice by the parties in the selection of their nominees on the arbitral Tribunal is of the very essence of arbitration, and the Government of the Irish Free State does not abandon the hope that the British Government will reconsider its attitude in this regard.

3. With reference to the matters adverted to in paragraph (4) of your Despatch, the Government of the Irish Free State disputes the claims of the British Government not only in regard to the Land Purchase Annuities, but in regard to all other annual or periodic payments, except those made in pursuance of agreements formally ratified by the Parliaments of both States.

These disputed claims include those in respect of:

Bonus and Excess Stock under the Irish Land Acts 1903-1909;

Pensions and compensation allowances to ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary under the Constabulary Acts;

Civil, including Judicial, Pensions;

Annuity in respect of advances made from the British Local Loans Fund through the Commissioners of Public Works and the Land Commission in Saorstát Éireann before the 1st April, 1922;

Annuities arising under the Public Offices Site (Dublin) Act, 1903; the Telegraph Acts, 1892-1921; and the Railways (Ireland) Act, 1896 and Marine Works (Ireland) Act, 1902;

the payments on which in the aggregate, added to the Land Purchase Annuity payments, impose on the people of the Irish Free State a financial burden which they are unable to bear.

4. The Government of the Irish Free State is in full accord with the British Government in the view that both parties must agree in advance to be bound by the arbitral award. As pointed out, however, in the last paragraph of my Despatch No.89,2 it will be necessary to obtain the prior approval of the Oireachtas for any agreements which may be reached between our Governments in regard to the acceptance of arbitration, the constitution of the Tribunal, and the issues to be submitted to the Tribunal for determination.

I have the honour to be,
Faithfully Yours,
[stamped] (Sgd.) Eamon de Valera
Minister for External Affairs

1 Not printed.

2 See above No. 66.

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