No. 27 NAI DFA 315/28

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to John Leydon (Dublin)

Dublin, 29 October 1945

With reference to your minutes T.I.C. 28893 of the 21st and 31st August,1 I am directed by the Minister for External Affairs to state that this Department has no observations to make on the provisions which it is proposed to include in the Foreign Trade (Development) Bill.

As your Department is, no doubt, already aware, public opinion, and even public policy, in some other countries - particularly in the United States - is strongly opposed to Government foreign trade monopolies. The opposition arises from the feeling that such monopolies tend to have a discriminatory character in operation. The proposed Corporation is apt to be regarded unfavourably in the countries referred to, and this attitude may make itself felt in the event of commercial negotiations with them.

For the foregoing and other reasons, it would seem to this Department desirable that, particularly in its operations abroad, the Corporation should assimilate itself so far as possible to an ordinary commercial concern, keeping its governmental character in the background. The local agents of the Corporation will, of course, be in no sense representatives of the Government, and official dealings with foreign Governments and governmental authorities with regard to our trade relations will continue to be handled by the local diplomatic and consular representatives where they exist. There is no reason, therefore, why there should be any conflict of function, or duplication of effort, as between Irish diplomatic and consular officers and the local agents of the Corporation, but any questions of that kind can, it is thought, be left to be discussed and settled between the two Departments according as they arise.

1 Not printed.

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