No. 409 NAI 2003/17/181

Memorandum by Joseph P. Walshe of a conversation with John W. Dulanty

Dublin, 19 December 1936

Report of Conversation with High Commissioner
at 5.20 p.m. on Friday, the 18th December

The High Commissioner's Office had been twice phoned by Mr. MacDonald's office before the High Commissioner's return to London, and enquiries were made as to when he would return. The High Commissioner therefore went to see Mr. MacDonald yesterday.

Mr. MacDonald expressed himself as warmly grateful for what we did last week re legislation to provide for the abdication of King Edward and the succession of George VI. The Cabinet had not yet considered our legislation, but he thought privately that there would be no difficulty, but the last word rested with the other Members of the Commonwealth. They had no difficulty about No. 1 Bill: No. 2 was giving them certain difficulties. He repeated the suggestion previously and frequently made that the Dominions Office Legal Adviser should have a conversation with our Legal Adviser. The High Commissioner suggested that the difficulty should be written down and given to him to transmit to Dublin, but Mr. MacDonald replied that after the trouble about the paragraphs on Defence in Fisher's letter he was very reluctant to set down any views in writing again. He wanted to be word-perfect before the next session of Parliament and to have the fullest information. He had put off two questions put by Members from Northern Ireland, and he knew that there would be questions again immediately on the opening of Parliament and it would be necessary to give some answer. After that he would be glad to begin talks for the purpose of coming to an agreement on the ports, on a financial settlement and a trade agreement. He talked as though real business could be done in these matters. The High Commissioner was very strongly in favour of our agreeing to discussions between the two Legal Advisers. I objected that an agreement to any discussion on the two Acts might be taken as tantamount to an implied acceptance on our part either that we were ready to modify the Acts or that the contents were in some way the affair of the British Government. It would, I suggested, be a different matter if Bushe wrote down his views personally and passed them on through the High Commissioner

[initialled] J.P.W.

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