No. 115 NAI DFA 26/31

Letter from Seán Lester to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(S. Gen 20/65)

Geneva, 29 August 1932

Presidency of the Council - Opening the Assembly

Some months ago I sent you a note in which I stated that a speech on the opening of the Assembly by the Acting President of the Council might be regarded as optional. This is still so but, especially if we have the Minister himself in Geneva, I strongly urge that a short speech is desirable on the point of view of his personal dignity, apart from any other matter.

There has been discussion for some years as to whether such a speech was necessary or desirable, but I think the balance of practice and opinion is on the side of a speech. The Minister will understand that that will not be his speech as our national representative. Our points of view would not be put forward in that speech but in a later declaration in the course of the general discussion on the Secretary-General's report. The idea will be briefly to summarise and report on the work of the Council during the year.

I saw today the Secretary-General's Chef de Cabinet and explained to him that I thought a short speech was desirable. He said that there was no objection from the point of view of the practice and that in previous cases the Secretariat had prepared a first draft of such a speech covering the Council work. I said I would be able to take that draft as the basis on which to prepare the speech for the Acting President of the Council. This will be available for consideration at a later period.

[signed] Seán Lester

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