No. 177 NAI DE 2/304/1

Memorandum from Eamon de Valera to Arthur Griffith (London)

(No. 7) (Copy)

Dublin, 25 October 1921

I received the minutes of the Seventh Session and your letter of the 24th.1 We are all here at one that there can be no question of our asking the Irish people to enter an arrangement which would make them subject to the Crown, or demand from them allegiance to the British King. If war is the alternative, we can only face it, and I think that the sooner the other side is made to realise that the better.

As time is so pressing the Ulster question should be pushed ahead at once, and the moment they can be sounded upon that the big question should be put up to them at once. It ought to come, I think, before the end of this week.

MUNITIONS: We had a chat with the M.F.2 on Saturday and Sunday - I suppose he told you the result. We agreed that an undertaking might be given that in order to meet them we would not import munitions during the continuance of the negotiations, altho' we did not consider ourselves bound to do this in accordance with the truce terms.

MY GOING TO LONDON: The M.F. told us that there was a general desire amongst the members of the Delegation that I should hold myself in readiness to go to London. You understand fully the considerations of tactical advantage which determined me in holding the view that I should remain here. If any new considerations arise it would be well that we should know them exactly so that we may weigh them all and if possible secure unanimity for whatever action is taken. My own position is that I am loathe to go unless the situation imperatively calls for it, and I am keeping an open mind. I have asked the others to do the same.

(signed) E. de V.

P.S. I hope to receive text of the counterproposals put forward by our side tomorrow.

1 No. 176, minutes not printed. A note by Robert Barton on a copy of this memorandum in the UCDA (P150/1923) reads 'the first paragraph of this letter created a scene', with Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, and Eamon Duggan being 'very angry'. The letter was received on the morning of 27 October but not shown to Gavan Duffy or Robert Barton until the evening.

2 3 Minister for Finance, i.e. Michael Collins.

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