No. 108 NAI DFA ES Box 27 File 158

Stephen O'Mara to Charles Evans Hughes1


Washington, 9 September 1921

Sir: It will not have escaped your attention that negotiations have been proceeding between the Government of Great Britain and Dail Eireann with a view to restoring peace between England and Ireland; that up to the present the positions of the two Governments have been presented through the medium of official correspondence; and that the latest proposal is to proceed to a conference between delegations representing the two Governments for the formulation of a treaty between them.

I am unaware whether this proposal, made by the British Prime Minister, will be accepted or not, but I desire respectfully to remind you that one of the main obstacles to agreement, as disclosed by the correspondence, is the demand by the British Government for naval control in the ports of Ireland, coupled with a further demand for use of the land of Ireland for military air service. It is clear that there has been objection made to these proposals from Ireland, on her own account, and also, what in Ireland is considered of great importance, because such measures are interpreted in Ireland as being in fact directed against the United States.

That the objection made by Dail Eireann to these proposals has not been without effect may be inferred from the following paragraph from the latest letter of the Prime Minister, published today:

'It would be open to you in such a conference to raise the subject of guarantees on any point in which you may consider Irish freedom prejudiced by these proposals.'

In the circumstances I venture to hope that the Government of the United States will realize that in this matter the Government representing Dail Eireann, while contending in these matters for the right of Ireland vis a vis Great Britain, is also deeply concerned for the future good relations of Ireland with the United States; and I trust that you, Sir, may be moved by these friendly dispositions on the part of Ireland to take, during the present period of negotiations such measures as may seem to you likely to conduce to the elimination of the difficulty by which the negotiators for Ireland are faced.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Chargé d'Affaires2

1 American Secretary of State.

2 The letter is unsigned, but it is assumed to come from O'Mara, acting in Boland's absence.

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