No. 343 NAI 2003/17/181

Letter from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

London, 12 June 1936

At1 his request I saw Mr. Malcolm MacDonald at the British House of Commons today.

He stated that he had spoken to Mr. Baldwin on the subject of our conversation of the preceding day and his Prime Minister had asked him to write a letter to Lord Wigram. Mr. MacDonald had asked me to see him so that, as a matter of courtesy, he might acquaint my Government with the substance of his letter to Lord Wigram. The letter, he said, stated that he had been informed by me that the Irish Free State Government were proposing to set up a new Constitution which, while leaving unchanged the constitutional practices in respect of external affairs, would alter the internal constitution so as to provide for an elected President and for the abolition of the office of Governor General. The letter went on to say that this intimation was made as a matter of courtesy and was in no sense an admission by the Irish Free State Government that the United Kingdom Government were concerned. The issues raised were clearly of very great importance which it would be necessary for the United Kingdom Government to consider.

Mr. MacDonald said that this letter was not to be taken as an indication that the United Kingdom Government had reached any decision on the question as to whether or not they were concerned in the proposed new Constitution. It was merely an intimation that they were considering that question.

[signed] J.W. Dulanty
High Commissioner

1 Handwritten marginal note: 'Read to President by phone. 15th June 3.15'.

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