No. 27  NAI DT S9888

Memorandum by Joseph P. Walshe for Eamon de Valera (Dublin) on Ireland's contribution to the League of Nations

DUBLIN, 19 March 1941


  1. You directed some time ago that we should circulate to members of the Government an explanatory memorandum on the question of the payment of our contribution for 1940 to the League of Nations.1 Copies of the memorandum were sent to Mr. Moynihan for circulation on the 14th March. A copy is attached hereto.
  2. You also asked that when the memorandum was circulated, I should give you a separate note of the possible courses of action open to us. In my view these are:-
    1. To pay the whole subscription of £10,670.
      The objections to this course are, first of all, the financial one, and, in the second place, the fact that the League has become more and more an 'Allied' affair, and our continued association with it, which payment of our contribution would imply, would tend to put us rather too much in the 'Allied' camp.
    2. Not to pay anything.
      The main objections to this course is that it might be quoted against us as a breach of faith. The British or American press might make use of it against us.
    3. To pay so much of the contribution as would cover our share of the expenses of bodies like the Permanent Court of International Justice, the Permanent Central Opium Board, refugee organisations, etc. This would be about 30% of the total contribution or about £3,500.
    4. To pay, say, half the contribution or £5,350 instead of £10,670.
      This would be a compromise between the financial objection and the political disadvantages of making no contribution at all.
  3. Apart from the question of paying our 1940 contribution to the League of Nations, there is the question of our paying our contribution for 1940 to the International Labour Office. This contribution is provided for on the Industry and Commerce Vote, and we understand that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is circulating a separate memorandum with regard to it. So far as we are concerned, there is no strong objection to the payment of the contribution to the International Labour Office; but as this payment would fall to be made to the Treasurer of the League2 that being the proper procedure a payment in respect of the International Labour Office unaccompanied by any payment in respect of the League would tend to underline the significance of the omission.

[initialled] J. P. W.

1 Not printed.

2 Seymour Jacklin (1882-1971), Treasurer of the League of Nations.

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