No. 22 NAI DE 2/269

Dáil Éireann Report on Foreign Affairs

Dublin, 19 August 1919

The following members of Dail elected to serve on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, namely:-
A. McCabe, T.D., Liam de Roiste, T.D., J. McBride, T.D., J.A. Burke, T.D., T. MacSuibhne, T.D., M. MacStain, T.D., and, D. FitzGerald, T.D.

Two meetings of this Committee were called but both proved abortive, as only three members put in an appearance in the first case, and two members in the second case. I hope the Committee will become a useful one and I desire to receive suggestions from the members, and to keep them in touch with our activities.

Since the last meeting of An Dail the Peace Treaty with Germany, which was the particular work of the Conference in Paris, was signed, and the more important members of the Conference returned to their respective countries. Persons of lesser importance remained in Paris to complete the work of the Conference on the negotiation of Peace Treaties with the other belligerents. M. Clemenceau, of course, remains, and all outstanding claims are in his charge, for the time.

It is now definitely established that M. Clemenceau has declined to take action upon the resolution of the American Senate requesting that the case of Ireland should be heard before the Conference. Mr. J.A. Murphy who is in charge of the American Delegation in Paris, wrote to M. Clemenceau on the 22nd ult., protesting against his decision. For certain reasons which will be communicated verbally, the Ministry instructed their representatives that it was not desirable to press for a reply to their demand for a hearing once the more important members of the Conference had left.

Messrs. Walsh, Ryan and Dunne returned to America to engage in the campaign which was initiated there by the President of the Republic. They were replaced in Paris by Mr. J.A. Murphy, and he is still working in close co-operation with our representatives in Paris. He intends, however, to return to the Unites States, the business of the Delegation being completed.

The Ministry considered that in view of the international importance of Paris it was essential that the services of Messrs. O'Ceallaigh and Duffy should be retained there for the time being. These envoys have expressed a desire to be allowed to return as soon as convenient, but, there is a difficulty in securing a suitable person to replace them. For the last month or two they have been mainly engaged in endeavouring to secure the support of the French Press and indirectly to influence the French Government from Ireland's point of view. Mme. Vivanti has left Paris for Switzerland and Italy and is meeting with great success in her propaganda, particularly in the latter country. Victor Collins and Mrs. Gavan Duffy have also returned, and there now remain in Paris only Messrs. O'Ceallaigh and Duffy. Erskine Childers went recently to assist them. Mr. Childers' services were considered likely to be extremely useful owing to his acquaintance with influential persons in Paris.

Notwithstanding the difficulty of constantly maintaining our propaganda in France, the more serious papers and reviews are now publishing well-informed and sympathetic articles on the claims of Ireland.

Members of the Dail are of course aware how the President's visit to America has been received. He has addressed immense meetings in all parts of the States, and his efforts to float the loan are meeting with such success that he has recently asked the Ministry to allow him to increase the amount of the issue at his discretion.

The President is particularly anxious that attacks against President Wilson and the American administration should not be made by the Irish Ireland papers, or by responsible Republicans.

The press in America has recently been very favourable and has given the President's visit considerable attention. The news items appearing in the Irish papers regarding his visit are for the most part very meagre, and afford a remarkable comparison to the cuttings which we have received from the American Press.

A complete revolution has taken place in American opinion, and Ireland has been made an important factor in American politics. The presentation of Ireland's case has had the effect of weakening the Anglo-American friendship which is also suffering as a result of Trade jealousies.

Apart from Mme. Vivanti's visit, little has been done in this country. As Geneva is the Headquarters of the League of Nations, the importance of having a diplomatic representative there is obvious, but, it is very difficult to secure the services of a suitable person. Owing to the situation of Switzerland, it is a very useful centre from which to organise propaganda among the people of Central Europe.

Foreign Trade.
This comes more particularly within the province of the Director of Trade and Commerce but, it may be mentioned here that Consuls have now been appointed to the following countries:- United States of America, Argentina, France and Italy. The appointment of a Trade Consul for Switzerland has been decided.

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