No. 196  NAI DFA Secretary's Files S94/39

Memorandum on co-operation with Northern Ireland from John Leydon to Seán Lemass (Dublin)

Dublin, 15 June 1938

I have already given you a verbal report of the discussions which took place last week when Mr. Jenkins of the Board of Trade and the Secretary1 and the Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce2, Belfast, came here for the purpose of discussing certain points arising out of the Trade Agreement.

2: The attached notes indicate the various matters which came under consideration. So far as the Board of Trade is concerned, there is really nothing of any importance to talk about and there is no doubt that Mr. Jenkins' real object in arranging for the discussions is shown at the passage I have marked 'A' in his letter to me of 30th May3.

3: The atmosphere was extremely friendly throughout the discussions; the officers of the Northern Ireland Government said they were very anxious to promote closer co-operation between the two governments and to meet at fairly frequent intervals for the discussion of matters of common concern; they suggested that the next meeting should take place in Belfast at an early date. They expressed the hope that it might also be possible at a comparatively early stage to arrange for a meeting of Ministers of the two Governments even if those meetings should only be of a rather informal character. This, in my opinion, would be all to the good, and Mr. Scott thought that it might be possible to arrange that his Minister, who sometimes comes to Dublin, should call to see you.

4: I venture to suggest that in present circumstances co-operation between officers of the various Departments concerned in Dublin and Belfast will afford a useful method of improving relations between the two Governments. Apart from matters in which this Department is interested, there are also, I think, a number of matters which concern the Department of Agriculture; flax is one of them and I should think that it offers considerable possibilities in this particular direction.

5: Mr. Scott seemed to be quite keen on the scheme for hydro-electric development on the Erne. If this scheme should offer any reasonable possibilities from the commercial point of view it has occurred to me that it might be possible to establish some kind of a Joint Operating Company which it has been agreed to establish in connection with Transatlantic Air Services; I did not, however, mention this suggestion to Mr. Scott.

1 Sir William D. Scott, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Belfast.

2 G.H.E. Parr, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Belfast.

3 Not printed.

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Free Download

International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
Read more ....

Website design and developed by FUSIO