No. 40 UCDA P24/2252

Handwritten letter from Ernest Blythe to Anne Blythe (Dublin)

Geneva, 21 September 1926


John MacNeill1 left on Sunday. The work of the Assembly however seems to be bucking2 up and it is now not certain that we shall be able to finish on Saturday. Our commission is meeting every day. I must say that business is got through very slowly.

Many of the speakers are very verbose and translation occupies a devil of a time. This afternoon we spent three and a half hours discussing a quite formal business which in the end was referred to a sub-committee. In the Dáil it would have been better discussed in an hour.

Desmond's Commission has made good progress and he says he will finish to-morrow but I think almost all the others will be going till Saturday morning. We shall hardly be able to leave here till Monday morning at earliest. In order to play the part which we ought to play and which it would be worth our while to play at the League we must in other years make much better preparations in advance. Also I think one or two people in External Affairs must be put on to League work all the year round.

We are giving the first of our dinners to-night - to the members of Desmond's Commission. We shall have about 50 guests. To-morrow we are giving a dinner to all the British Commonwealth delegates. On Thursday we are giving a lunch to some of the Scandinavian and other north European delegates. These latter are undoubtedly the best people in the League - somebody called them the moral leaders of the League. They take up an intelligent, independent and disinterested attitude on every question.

We went for a motor run on Sunday after seeing John off. We set out to go to Montreux but stopped at Phelan's bungalow to bathe. Then lunch took a long time so that when we got as far as Vevey we turned home. I think the British delegation are a bit sore with us but relations are friendly. I am going to a dinner given by Lord and Lady Cecil on Thursday evening.


1 Eoin MacNeill.

2 This word is unclear, it appears that Blythe began writing one word and changed his intentions whilst writing it. The word may have been meant to read ' backing' or even 'fucking', though in none of his letters does Blythe use expletives.

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