No. 246 NAI DFA GR508

Memorandum by E.J. Riordan (Department of Industry and Commerce) on Free State trade representatives

Dublin, 9 July 1924


The Representatives in New York, Brussels, Paris and Rotterdam have obtained a considerable amount of first class information concerning markets in their districts for goods produced in the Saorstát; information which has led to a decided improvement in Saorstát exports to these countries. In the first four months of the current year Saorstát direct exports to these countries were as follows:-

United States, America   £87,549   or approximately   £262,647   for the year
Belgium   48,985   "    "   146,955   "    "
France   18,425   "    "   55,275   "    "
Holland   6,314   "    "   18,942   "    "

It should be borne in mind that these figures do not represent the total exports to the countries mentioned, but only those consigned direct.

They have also provided Irish manufacturers with information which has enabled them to procure raw materials from these countries at lower costs than might otherwise have been incurred.

They have been instrumental in preparing the ground for a considerable further increase in trade as soon as foreign exchanges become more settled. They have supplied the Ministry of Industry & Commerce with a valuable fund of commercial information which that Ministry has been able to pass on to interested persons in this country. They have, on a number of occasions, prevented firms here from suffering serious financial losses incidental to the trading with firms in foreign countries. They have also done very valuable work in checking the practice of unscrupulous firms advertising and selling non-Irish goods as Irish. They have brought representatives of Irish firms visiting their countries into immediate touch with reliable buyers and sellers in those countries, and, in a variety of other ways, have proved themselves an indispensable link between traders in Saorstát Éireann, and the countries they are attached to. The view taken by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, which has had direct proof of their usefulness is, that not alone have they fully justified their appointment, but have demonstrated the necessity for the appointment of additional trade representatives in other important centres abroad.

[signed] E. J. Riordan

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