No. 342 NAI 2003/17/181

Letter from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

London, 11 June 1936

It1 will be recalled that at the request of Mr. Malcolm MacDonald I submitted to the President on the 30th ultimo an enquiry by the former as to whether the Government of Saorstát Éireann would welcome the appointment of a United Kingdom High Commissioner in Dublin. The United Kingdom Government were ready to appoint a High Commissioner if there were no objection on our side. The President instructed me to reply that he did not at this moment regard with favour the proposal to make such an appointment - though this was not a determining point, he was not happy about the title of High Commissioner because of the imperialistic associations with that designation - but that he would not rule out the possibility of considering the question at some later date, if and when circumstances became more propitious. It was, however, to be clearly understood that the willingness to consider the suggestion at some future time did not in any sense imply a promise on the part of the President to agree to such an appointment.

Owing to the Whitsuntide recess it was not possible to see Mr. Malcolm MacDonald until yesterday afternoon when I informed him of the President's reply as outlined in the foregoing paragraph. Mr. MacDonald said he was sorry that his suggestion had not been accepted by the President. I did not get the impression that the President's reply was any great disappointment.

As already reported orally I mentioned as a matter of courtesy to Mr. MacDonald - in accordance with the President's conversation of the 30th May - that I had that day delivered to Buckingham Palace a Submission and Memorandum from my Government intimating their decision to set up a new Constitution2 in which provision would be made, inter alia, for the creation of an elected President and the abolition of the office of Governor General. I was very definite that my Government did not consider that the United Kingdom Government were in any way concerned with the proposed Constitution and for that reason I repeated that this intimation was a matter of courtesy simply and not to be regarded as in any way implying that, from our point of view, the Government of the United Kingdom had any say on the form which the proposed new Constitution might take. This position Mr. MacDonald said he clearly understood and accepted my intimation on that basis.

[signed] J. W. Dulanty
High Commissioner

1 Handwritten marginal note: 'Read to P. on phone. 15th June 3.15'

2 See above Nos 340 and 341.

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