No. 42 UCDA P80/1407

Extracts from a handwritten letter from Desmond FitzGerald to Mabel FitzGerald (Dublin)

Geneva, 22 September 1926

My Dear M[abel],

All goes fairly well here except that I am utterly worn out. We gave a dinner last night to my commission, very successful. After dinner I moved about amongst them and did quite well with appropriate remarks, little jokes etc.

[matter omitted]

The Austrian Minister in Berne is perfectly charming - fairly young - truculently Catholic. We are sworn friends - we gravitated together from the beginning. We give another dinner tonight. I am writing this, dodging lunch. I can't take time for lunch as I have to write a speech I shall have to give this afternoon at the end of my commission. It is a worry as I have to survey all the Commission's work. Then I have to semi preside at the Assembly when 2nd Commission matters come on. I am very tired, nervous and worried - but I think that if all goes as well in the last days here as so far I shall feel pleased about it afterwards. I have accepted unlimited invitations from people to visit them in their respective places - mostly in Paris of course - and I have had to urge lots of people to come to Ireland - I hope that they won't take my requests more seriously than I do theirs.

I hope to get up to see poor old Dem after it all, I hope there won't be any whining for me to hurry back because I feel thoroughly worn out and not in a mood for those rushed journeys. But it will be such a relief when it is all over - I don't know for certain when that will be.

I know that my letters must read as though I were utterly self-centred - but you don't know what a life I have had this time. I went to the Bureau yesterday at 10.00am (I wrote to you before that)1 and I may say that I hadn't a minute to myself until 2.30 this morning. I was at the Secretariat at 10.00am. Am here now instead of luncheon, write this speech and then a commission - then time to change for dinner. I am host - receive people and have to have special appropriate remarks and jokes for everyone. It is not a life I would choose. Now I have to settle down into the speech - in it I have to bring in all the orators of the Commission with varied gracious remarks for all of them. I think Ernest will at least go back impressed that this job is not a holiday for me. But I am pleased with many of the friends I have made here, not merely because it is flattering to me - but because so many of them are really nice.

Cheer up old soul,

1 See No. 41.

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