No. 429 NAI DFA 26/95

Letter from Ernest Blythe to Patrick McGilligan (Dublin)

Geneva, 18 September 1930

A Chara,1

I suppose you have heard all the news about our fight for the Council. Although we had six votes to spare, the contest was close enough, and, if we had not carried out an exhaustive canvass, I feel that we should certainly have been beaten.

I have attended a couple of meetings of the Council. A good deal of business, with which I was entirely unfamiliar, was disposed of. I feel certain that, if we are to make a decent show on the Council, the question of staff in the Department of External Affairs will have to be dealt with without delay - and I think, in view of the canvass we had to make, that everything that can be done ought to be done to enable us to play a fair part on the Council. It will be necessary to have some more staff in Dublin to deal with the League, or, at any rate, it will be necessary to enable those who have been dealing with the League business to give more time to it than has been possible in the past. It will also be necessary to give some assistance to Lester here. A great deal of the work for the Council is done in Geneva in collaboration with the League Secretariat. Ireland has been appointed Rapporteur for two subjects which appear regularly on the agenda of the Council - (a) health, and (b) child welfare.

I shall write you in a day or so about the General Act which, as you will have gathered from the paragraph in my speech, proved to be an exceedingly awkward subject for us here. If we had followed the line of your letter to Mr. Thomas,2 it would have, I believe, been fatal to our candidature for the Council. Until you have my letter, and perhaps until you have an opportunity of discussing the matter with us, I would urge you not to confirm in any way the statement that we have lost faith in the need for the General Act or its efficacy.

Le meas,
Earnán de Blaghd

1 Handwritten marginal annotation: 'PMcG 22/9'.

2 Not printed.

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