No. 174 UCDA P150/2176

Letter from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(Secret and Confidential)

London, 3 March 1933

I saw Mr. J. H. Thomas today and handed to him a letter in the terms given in the enclosure to the Department's Minute of yesterday.1 He asked me to thank the President for giving him this intimation. I got the impression that Mr. Thomas was startled somewhat on learning the decision of the Government to use the sums received from the Land Annuities and other charges now in the Suspense Account to finance normal Exchequer requirements.

Sir Edward Harding was sent for, and Mr. Thomas instructed him to get out a copy of the letter just delivered immediately to the Irish Committee of the British Cabinet and to say that he would summon a meeting early next week.

As he had been engaged during the whole of the morning at a Cabinet meeting, and was then going to consult a specialist about his wife, Mr. Thomas had only a few minutes available, consequently there was practically no discussion.

We walked to the car, where Mrs. Thomas was waiting, and he told me, in a purely private and unofficial capacity, that he was afraid my Government would not get a square deal from the N.U.R.2 He had, himself, asked only as recently as last evening, why when the political relations between the two countries were what they were, this strike had been embarked upon. The answer to this question, which he said he put to one of the principal men, drew the reply that they were 'trying it on the dog'. Mr. Thomas said with some strength of language that it was one of the cruellest decisions his old Union could have taken. There were Irish engine drivers in Asylums in Ireland today as a result of the last strike, and he feared that the big number of men who would not be reinstated was too appalling to contemplate.

(I understand that the British Cabinet uses Mr. Thomas as a special adviser on Railway questions in addition to his Dominion Office work and certain other tasks which he has been asked to undertake.)

[signed] J.W. Dulanty
High Commissioner

1 Not printed.

2 The National Union of Railwaymen.

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