No. 92 UCDA P4/859

Hugh Kennedy to Arthur Matheson1 (Dublin)

DUBLIN, 23 June 1923

1. In confirmation of our discussion on the subject of the Bill relating to the League of Nations, I have to say that the Minister of External Affairs sent forward his proposal for a Bill at my request. Under the Covenant of the League of Nations, of which I have lent you a print, you will observe that it is provided that applicants for admission must give effective guarantees of their intention to carry out their international obligations, and also must give undertakings to comply with international regulations for the restriction of armaments.

2. It occurred to me that if Parliament had not sanctioned the giving, by the Executive Council, of such guarantees and undertakings, any nation which was not well disposed to our admission to the League might raise it as an objection and cause the postponement of our admission for another year. I think, therefore, such a Bill is required.

3. There is a further reason why such a Bill should be presented at an early date and it is this that it will enable each House of the Oireachtas by its vote on the Bill to give its approval to the action of the Executive in applying for admission. The Senate has already shown some jealousy in the matter.

4. My view of the Bill is that it should be a very short enabling Bill and that it need not go into the details under the several headings set out in the letter from the Ministry.

5. I think it should commence with a recital of the fact that application for admission was made by the Executive Council. I think it should recite the clause of the Covenant of the League of Nations which requires the guarantees and undertakings, and it should then enact in the first section a provision that it be lawful for the Executive Council to give the guarantees, and in the second section that it be lawful for the Executive Council to enter into the necessary undertakings. It does not seem to me that anything more than this is required.

[copy letter unsigned]
Attorney General

1Parliamentary Draftsman.

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