No. 62 NAI DE 2/526

Eamon de Valera to Robert Brennan

Dublin, 28 February 1921

As regards organisation Foreign Affairs Department I think it would be well if not merely those on the Continent but those in the 'New World' were instructed to send on general communications to Sean T. at Paris, from thence they could be forwarded here by hand. You would of course have to give Sean T. his instructions in this matter.

You had better draw up a memo on the general organisation you propose, and I will look over it and may have some suggestions to make. Three definite divisions occur to me at once.

  1. The general correspondence clerk, who is to deal with the correspondence from our representatives abroad and to cater for their requirements, anticipating them as far as possible, by sending them propaganda matter.
  2. A legal attaché knowing international law, making himself acquainted with diplomatic forms and procedure, watching out for opportunities for formal protests to foreign governments, and drafting the necessary letters, etc.
  3. Head of your research department, who would be responsible for collating material and who would keep in close touch with the general propaganda department. Your own duties would be to superintend and give work to all three, and to see that proper publicity is secured for such communications as we desire to make public.

The correspondence clerk would probably need a Stenographer and in the research department you may need a larger staff. This department you should arrange in co-operation with the Director of Propaganda. It is as much his department as yours. It is in fact what I have called the 'Statistical' or permanent-value-department of propaganda. From it should be given to your correspondence clerk such material as we want sent to our representatives abroad.

In the letter which you forwarded from Count Plunkett you probably noted certain suggestions of his as regards keeping foreign governments informed - I think I mentioned before that the 'Case' we presented at Washington partially covered these.

Coming back again to our representatives abroad, besides the regular general summary of the situation which I mentioned some time ago, and which they are to make the background of their pubic statements, up-to-date information must be sent them by making arrangements for the forwarding regularly of :-

  1. The Bulletin.
  2. Irish dailies and national weeklies, e.g. 'Young Ireland.'
  3. Weekly editions of say 'London Times' and 'Manchester Guardian'.

If this list is considered too large we might cut it down to say 'The Weekly Cork Examiner' and 'The Weekly Independent,' plus the 'Guardian' and 'Times'. The latter they may be able to get themselves directly. Your correspondence clerk would need also to keep in close contact with the Trade Department so as to be able to forward such matter as they might require. You had better get in touch with this department and inform them.

I must be kept informed by a weekly report of the work done in the Foreign Affairs Department. It is the one for which I feel the most immediate personal responsibility.

Eamon de Valera

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