No. 225 NAI DE 2/301

Hugh Kennedy to William T. Cosgrave (Dublin)
(1229/24) (Strictly Confidential)

Dublin, 9 June 1924

A Uachtaráin, A Chara,

I have had for a considerable time a collection of papers in several files relating to the former unpleasantness that arose in relation to representatives in Germany.1 You will remember that a lengthy correspondence took place during the regime of George Gavan Duffy, in which certain imputations were made on certain persons. Portion of the correspondence I think was before the Cabinet at one time and there was a good deal more of a most disagreeable character. Just before he resigned from office George Gavan Duffy brought me all the files containing what purported to be the entire original correspondence and copies. He stated that he felt that before going out of office he must leave them with someone who would understand the matter. He had previously spoken to me about it on several occasions and assumed that I understood the whole thing. He asked me to keep the documents in the strictest confidence and to hold them until such time - if ever - as they might be called for, if the trouble developed after his resignation.

I do not feel that I can take these documents away with me now2 and guard them against the day when some question arises. Moreover, the trouble to which they referred has, I believe, entirely blown over and it would be very improper that such papers should be held by me and possibly fall into other hands. I am in great doubt what to do with them, because I feel a responsibility and I do not feel that they should be open to all and sundry to read and gratify curiosity. I have come to the conclusion accordingly, that the proper course for me is to deliver them into your hands as custodian of State papers, and to ask you to be good enough to have them filed away amongst secret papers under your own charge. I therefore send them, strapped together in a parcel with this note.

Mise, do chara,
(Hugh Kennedy)

1From January to September 1922 relations at the Irish office in Berlin were soured by a dispute between Charles Bewley (Irish Trade Representative) and John Chartres (Irish Diplomatic Representative) over their relative spheres of operation. Bewley had also acted offensively by insulting Robert Briscoe, a Sinn Féin supporter working as an arms purchaser in Germany, on his Jewish faith. Chartres came under suspicion in Dublin for appearing to support the anti-Treatyites in his propaganda activities in Germany. Chartres was transferred to the Department of Industry and Commerce in late 1922. Bewley took over the operation of the Berlin office but resigned in February 1923 and returned to Ireland. Cornelius Duane kept the Berlin office in operation for a time, but it was closed in the winter of 1923 for financial reasons. (See DIFP Vol I documents No. 224, 225, 229, 230, 243, 257, 258, 260, 263, 264, 286, 294, 302, 307, 313, 319, 323, 326 and Vol II documents Nos 149 and 162).

1On his apppointment as Chief Justice on 5 June 1924 Kennedy relinquished his Dáil seat and resigned as Attorney General.

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Free Download

International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
Read more ....

Website design and developed by FUSIO