No. 38 NAI DFA 315/28

Extract from a memorandum from Joseph P. Walshe to Éamon de Valera (Dublin)
'Foreign Trade Development Scheme'

Dublin, 22 November 1945

The Departmental comments on this scheme were of necessity very restricted. Everyone is conscious of the need for developing foreign trade. Apart from the immediate direct advantages, the development of markets other than the British market will not only make us less dependent on the latter, but it will promote that general and frequent intercourse with the world outside Britain which is an essential element in creating a proper national and international outlook in our people. Most of the aspects of the scheme itself are the subject of objections by other Departments and do not concern us. In our minute to the Department of Industry and Commerce,1 we made two brief incidental points:- 1) that Government trading is unpopular in certain countries, especially the United States, and that, accordingly, the Corporation should assimilate itself as far as possible to an ordinary commercial concern, keeping its Governmental character in the background; and 2) that the agents of the Corporation abroad should restrict themselves to purely commercial activities and be careful not to usurp the function of Governmental representation in trade matters. Official dealings with foreign Governments with regard to trade relations would have to continue to be handled by diplomatic and consular representatives where they exist.

There is no reason why there should be any conflict of function, and, should any such difficulties arise, they can be discussed and solved between the two Departments.

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