No. 354 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Timothy A. Smiddy to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(Secret and Confidential)

London, 24 March 1930

With further reference to my report of the 19th March1, with reference to our candidature for the Council of the League of Nations, I should be glad to ascertain before discussing this subject, quite informally, with Mr Henderson if you could give me some reasons which might appeal to Mr. Henderson and would induce him and the Foreign Office to at least2 withdraw their opposition(!) to our candidature.

I feel inclined to believe that Mr. Henderson and the Foreign Office are actuated by the conviction that we would use our Seat on the Council ostensibly to advertise our independence, and that we would subordinate British interests to this object. It is also possible they may have in mind that we should exert influence on the Council to have some major disputes with Great Britain brought to the Permanent Court of International Justice.

It is also possible (even probable) that the Foreign Office will exert pressure on New Zealand not to support our candidature. Therefore, in view of these difficulties, you might suggest to me some reasons in addition to those I already gave Lord Passfield as mentioned in my report of the 19th March, it would give Mr. Henderson some assurance in our favour. I also believe that if I give similar assurance to Mr. Wilford, High Commissioner for New Zealand, he would recommend his Government to support us. I shall also ask Mr. Fenton before he leaves London to use his influence on our behalf with his Government.

When discussing to-day with Mr. te Water, the subject of your telephone message regarding the Anglo-Soviet Commercial Modus Vivendi, I asked him if his Government contemplated being a candidate for a Seat on the Council. He said that he heard nothing about it and felt certain they would not contest the Seat. In fact, he mentioned that Mr. Louw, before leaving London, told him that the Irish Free State would probably be a candidate and that he was strongly in favour of supporting our candidature.

Mr. te Water assured me that we could count on him to exert his influence on our behalf not only with the other High Commissioners here, but also as subtly as he could with the British. He is convinced that the enlightened self-interest of the British should induce them to make a good gesture towards the Irish Free State and support our candidature for the Council.

[signed] T.A. Smiddy

1 See No. 350.

2 Underlining and subsequent exclamation mark inserted by a reader.

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