No. 91 NAI DE 2/526

Art O'Brien to Eamon de Valera (Dublin)
(No. L-25-P)

London, 4 June 1921

Imperial Conference. I have been intending for some days past to write to you on the subject of Smuts and the Imperial Conference. Smuts is due here next Saturday.

Tom Casement (a brother of Roger) is a very intimate friend of Smuts and is in continual correspondence with him. It would be possible therefore for him to introduce anyone in a quiet friendly way to Smuts.

I think it might have some considerable value if I could meet Smuts in this way soon after his arrival and have a quiet talk with him. If you agree in this I would suggest that you send for Tom Casement and ask him to come over here for that purpose. I believe he is already considering coming over to see Smuts, and I think it would be in every way advisable that we should make use of his services. I know Tom Casement, he is a good genuine type and on the whole fairly discreet, but it would be advisable for you to impress upon him that he should treat his mission as absolutely confidential. Another thing is I think you should ask him to stay here as long as I think there is need of his services, and as I know he is not blessed with much of this world's wealth I would suggest you inform him that we will meet all his expenses.

My line of action with regard to other members of the Conference would be guided by the result of my activities in the case of Smuts.

The above suggestions may possibly cut across plans which you have in mind. I submit them for your consideration, but if you adopt them I suggest that Tom Casement come across as soon as possible. He is living with John ffrench (Lord ffrench's brother) at Castleffrench, near Ballinasloe. It is possible he may have left there before this reaches you, and will be in Dublin, in which case he will probably be staying with the Hon Margaret ffrench, 35 Waterloo Place where a note could be sent for him, or, he will probably be calling on Dermot Coffey to whom a suitable message could be sent.


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