No. 133 UCDA P150/2183

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Eamon de Valera
(Dublin) (Secret)

London, 22 January 1938

Dear President,
Thanks for your letter of the 21st January.1 Since your departure I have continued to impress on Harding the necessity of doing something in relation to the Six Counties. I read for him the Washington Cable of the 19th January containing Press comments on the Conference.2 (As you are I am sure aware the American Press has adopted the attitude which you formulated in the sound film on Wednesday night.) I intend to leave a copy with him immediately so that he may show it to his Secretary of State. Meanwhile I am asking Sean Murphy to send to me all the good Press comments available from the United States. It seems to me that American opinion is playing a very important part in the negotiations.

I think that it would help very much if you would make a concrete suggestion as to the first step which the British should take towards bringing partition to an end. You will remember that Harding told me during our first conversations immediately after Christmas that any concrete suggestion should come from our side. At present I cannot see them going any further than agreeing to the establishment of a common organ which would constitute a means of co-operation between the Belfast Government and ours, and which would at the same time be external evidence that the process of unification has begun. Naturally I shall have to be very careful in my talks with Harding about this matter, and the more evidence of discontent with partition (both in Ireland and in America) I can have the better my case will be.

While I am pressing the matter with Harding the High Commissioner will maintain pressure, as he has been doing, on the Secretary of State.

I hope that, notwithstanding the last paragraph of your letter, you are fundamentally optimistic about the ultimate issue of the negotiations. After the Six Counties elections, when the negotiations resume, the British will have a freer hand in regard to doing something positive and if the responsible American press could be induced to continue the campaign in favour of unity as a factor of world peace I have a very real hope that the British will take some substantial step towards the desired goal.

With great respect and esteem,
I remain,
Dear President,
Yours sincerely,
[signed] J.P. Walshe

1 Not located.

2 Not printed.

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