No. 377 NAI 2003/17/181

Letter from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 86) (Secret)

London, 4 November 1936

At their request on Tuesday evening last I went to No.10 Downing Street and saw Sir Horace Wilson and Sir Harry Batterbee.

I informed them that my Government had considered their request for some memorandum or document setting out precisely the Government's intentions in the new Constitution in relation to the position of the King on our own internal affairs. I stated that my instructions were to repeat what I had already said, that whilst it was not proposed at present to make any change in the Constitution in respect of those external functions at present exercised by the King it was definitely decided that the King should have no part or lot in the government of our own internal affairs.

It was however hoped that in about a fortnight's time a note would be sent to me which would summarise the situation as a whole and enable Sir Horace Wilson to see exactly what are the provisions of the new Constitution.

Sir Horace Wilson said he quite understood the position and would be grateful for a note or summary as soon as was convenient. He went on to say that, speaking for himself alone, he thought even non-partition1 in internal affairs might be dealt with if it were not too contentiously or aggressively expressed, or - to put it colloquially, if we could avoid 'giving the King the boot'.

I mentioned that I understood the President would that night probably make some reference to the Constitution though to what extent he would enter into a description I could not say. Sir Horace Wilson said that he hoped we might avoid anything that would be construed as a positive expulsion of the King; stress rather the determination for independence in internal affairs. He would also like to suggest that we might emphasise to the utmost that whilst insisting on independence in internal affairs it was intended to adhere to the King as the symbol of co-operation with the other States Members of the Commonwealth on external affairs. (These observations it will be recalled I telephoned to the Secretary of the Department on the evening of the 3rd instant).

I asked again whether there were any proposals or suggestions which they could make with regard to the question of a united Ireland. Sir Horace Wilson said he was sorry that he had nothing to add on this point.

[signed] J.W. Dulanty
High Commissioner

1 Dulanty may have meant to write 'non-participation'.

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