No. 168 NAI DFA 119/45

Annual report from Robert Brennan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)1

Washington, 21 April 1938

As will be seen from the summaries enclosed2, the work of the Legation and of the various Consulates continues to increase from year to year. The total fees received for the year ending the 31st of March 1938 were $34,340.00 as against $90,877.00 for the preceding year, but this is entirely due to the reduction of the visa fee from $10.00 to $2.00. Actually the total number of visas issued shows an increase of 1328 on the previous year, the number being 8736. There were 2361 passports issued and 1071 renewals; documents legalized totalled 1228, and there were 1716 registrations under the Nationality and Citizenship Act. A considerable number of estate cases were handled by the Consulates and as will be seen from the various reports, considerable sums of money - which might otherwise have been lost to the heirs - were through the instrumentality of the Consulates transmitted to heirs in Ireland either through the Department or through local Solicitors.

During the past year there have been more demands than ever on the Legation for information regarding developments in Ireland. This was in a measure due to the coming into effect of the new Constitution and the change of name, but the queries covered all sorts of subjects bearing on the political, economic, social and cultural developments in the country. In this connection we very badly need a Year Book, something on the lines of the Saorstát Hand Book of 19323. The information we supply on various subjects including the Irish language, Irish literature, plays, family names, vital statistics, etc., though it entails a great deal of work, could not of course replace the information that would be given in such a publication. From the cultural point of view, the reissue of this book up-to-date would create a very good impression. Everyone who has seen it has expressed appreciation of its beauty and stated that it outranks any Year Book issued by any other country.

We were able to supply a great deal of tourist literature and to answer more fully questions on tourism thanks to the more abundant supplies and better informed literature furnished by the Irish Tourist Association and the Travel Companies. There is more and more interest being taken here in Ireland as a tourist resort, and this is shown not merely by the increased number of tourists (about 14,000 for the year) but also by the increased number of queries we receive. There is no doubt but that increased publicity here would produce good results in this respect, but from a remark made by Mr. O'Brien4 of the Irish Tourist Association when he was here recently I gathered that they are not quite ready yet for a big influx of American visitors.

The Legation supplied a great deal of material for St. Patrick's Day addresses in various parts of the country and also for articles and speeches on other subjects. When the partition issue suddenly appeared on the horizon, we were able from the material in our files to supply to the Consulates and various bodies interested, a fairly complete statement of the case for the unity of Ireland and a great deal of favourable publicity resulted.

Annexed are the reports from the various Consulates5.

Chargé d'Affaires a.i.

1 This document is annotated as having been seen by Joseph P. Walshe.

2 Not printed.

3 Saorstát Éireann: Irish Free State Official Handbook (Dublin, Talbot Press, 1932).

4 J.P. 'Jack' O'Brien, Secretary of the Irish Tourist Association.

5 Not printed, but see above No. 162 for excerpts from the annual report of the Irish Consulate in New York

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