No. 104 NAI DFA ES Box 37

Extract from a letter from Lindsay Crawford to Timothy A. Smiddy

NEW YORK, 27 July 1923

Dear Mr. Smiddy,

[Matter omitted]

While our friends remain supporters of the Free State, there is evident uneasiness at the announcement that the President will attend the League Assembly. Apart from the local arguments in favor of such a course, it is significant that on this question all factions on this side are united against the entry of Ireland. If a step has been taken which cannot be retraced, the next best thing in my judgment is for the Irish representatives to implement, by some decisive pronouncement, the statements sent out by MacWhite regarding Ireland's independence of Great Britain in the League. This can only be done in the Assembly. Much stress was laid last night by several speakers on the point, that whereas United States would enter the League with one representative, the British Empire would be represented by six votes. Including Ireland, it would mean seven votes. I can see where the League might be utilized on behalf of Irish independence - as a spectacular appeal to the world - but cannot conceive of any action that would improve her international status, seeing that India is on the same footing as the other dominions in the League, and that the jurisdiction of the League is definitely restricted in respect of matters affecting the territorial integrity of the British Empire. All the influences at present arrayed in the United States on the side of the League are concerned in denying the charge that the British Empire has seven votes in the League, against the one that would be allowed the United States, and will do all that is possible to prevent the realization of the extra votes of the Dominions as separate and independent votes. Thus, in respect of international status, Ireland, should she enter the League, may possibly find arrayed against her the combined forces of Leaguers and anti-Leaguers in United States, in any effort to secure a separate and independent status in the League as a leverage for more extended recognition in international relations. The effect on relations at Washington cannot be underestimated. My growing conviction is that Ireland will stand better at Washington by keeping out of the League. The next President will have as definite a mandate as Harding,2 to keep the United States out of European entanglements, and sympathy for Ireland will be considerably weakened by taking action that may be interpreted as part of the British propaganda for inducing America to break with the Washington tradition.

Yours very truly,

1See No. 81 above.

1Warren G. Harding, President of the United States of America (November 1920-2 August 1923).

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