No. 548 NAI DFA Unregistered Papers

Extract from a letter from Patrick McGilligan to J.H. Thomas (London)
(Secret and Personal) (Copy)

Dublin, 6 May 1931

My dear Thomas,

[matter omitted]

An agreement which was not opposed to the Constitutional position might be the most satisfactory method of dealing with the Privy Council, but on reading your letter I have been forced to the conclusion that no formula satisfactory to us can be found within the limitations which you say your Parliamentary situation imposes on you. My own method of dealing with the Privy Council still remains open to me, and I do not see that any other method is left. I had the legislation which I require in an advanced stage of preparation, and simply postponed the finishing touches because you requested consideration of an agreed solution. Time is, however, of the essence of this problem for us, as we must have the legislation on the Statute Book before we rise for the summer recess, and the fruitless search for an agreement has not merely lost us valuable weeks, but has also led to Press articles here and Parliamentary questions with you which are certainly based on the knowledge that conversations are proceeding, are well enough informed to be able to appreciate the points raised on your side and have for their object to defeat the will of the people of this country on this matter. I am therefore having the legislation finally decided upon, so that the first reading of it can be taken while I am away in preparation for the second stage immediately I return.

In these circumstances, I cannot see much good resulting from another meeting between us. I do cross to England on Sunday night, arriving in London on the morning of Monday, 11th May. It has been my intention to go straight through to Paris, and, while I could delay until the afternoon train, I am so rushed and have so much preliminary work to attend to in Geneva that I would stop over until the afternoon only if I had an expression of opinion from you that you had in your mind a formula suitable to your own state and satisfactory to us on which an agreement could be framed so speedily that I could lay it before my Parliament in the second week of June - the date on which I now propose to take the second reading of my Bill.

Yours sincerely,
(Sgd) P. McGilligan

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