No. 44 NAI DT S8535

Letter from Eamon de Valera to James McNeill (Dublin)
(Personal) (Copy)

Dublin, 30 April 1932

Dear Governor General,

Whilst making allowance for your justifiable annoyance at the occurrence of which you complain, I must confess that the tone of your letter has surprised me not a little.

It is not 'part of a considered policy that the Governor General should be treated with deliberate discourtesy' either by members of the Executive Council or by The Irish Press.

As regards The Irish Press: It is a newspaper. It gathers its news as other newspapers do, and publishes what it gathers at the discretion of its editors. Any particular item of news would, it is true, be suppressed were I to issue an express order to that effect, but ever since the paper was founded I have carefully refrained from giving any such orders. The incident at the dance was bound to become public. The Irish Press account did not, in my opinion, give any undue prominence to it, not nearly so much prominence as was given to it in the Irish Independent for instance.

As regards the Ministers: The incident was no less embarrassing for them than for the Governor General, and the publicity which ensued might have seriously affected the public interest.

The whole affair was unfortunate and regrettable, and should never have been allowed to occur.

If the Governor General's public social engagements are communicated to me in advance, such an incident will certainly not occur in the future.

There are other reasons why it is advisable that I should be kept informed of the Governor General's public engagements. It might very well happen on occasion that the attendance or non-attendance of the Governor General at a public function would have serious reactions which the Government might desire to avert.

The entire situation is, as you are aware, delicate and difficult. Understanding and co-operation between the Governor General and the Government is essential.

I regret that the pressure of work has delayed this reply.

Faithfully yours
[initialled] E. de V.

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