No. 146 TNA: PRO DO 35/398/1

Handwritten memorandum by Joseph P. Walshe on British-Irish relations
'My Personal Opinion'

London, 29 October 1932

My personal opinion

I believe that it would be quite impossible for Mr. de Valera to enter into negotiations on the specific question of the Oath. The oath continued into the new Irish State all the historic grievances and discontents of the Irish Nation. It epitomised for the people all the old elements of servitude - and no Govt. however moderate or conservative could have held out much longer against the clamour for its abolition. That clamour has nothing whatever to do with the position of the King as the Constitutional Monarch of the I.F.S. The Ireland of today must be regarded as inseparable from the Ireland of history. The Oath is regarded as the symbol of all that was evil in our history and its permanent abolition is a fundamental necessity of our State life. No realist Statesman could seriously contemplate reintroducing - what was in real fact treated as an empty formula by all parties - as a serious issue between the two Govts. If the issue of the Oath is raised again by G.B. it will be regarded as an act of tyranny and enmity - and the raising of the issue will be treated by the Irish people as an indication that our continuance in the Commonwealth is neither consistent with our dignity as a people nor desired by G.B.

J.P. Walshe

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