Volume 1 1919~1922

Doc No.

No. 7 NAI DFA ES Paris 1919

George Gavan Duffy to Cathal Brugha (Dublin) 1

Paris, 20 April 1919

Le Cathal, a Chara,
I hope all goes well with you and that the new Executive is equal to its promise. I want to give you for their information my frank impressions after 10 days here. You will have had my previous note to the effect that passports will pretty surely be given - but probably not safe conducts, for the trip to Paris. In my view they OK? Insist on several others, including MacNeill and two people who speak French will like young Esmond[e], accompanying them as expert couriers and secretarial staff, with a view to setting up a regular office here.

The worries are
(1) That Ll G. will oppose the hearing of our envoys by the Peace Congress and that a lot of pressure will have to be used publicly and privately to create the dangerous precedent of actually hearing our envoys before the P[eace] C.[onference] instead of their merely depositing a memo - with Secretaries of the PC:
(2) that I believe the hearing will eventually be given, though very reluctantly, but with great effect;
(3) that I am sure this will not be before peace is signed, and I myself believe it will not be till Oct or Nov. when the League of Nations gets into working order at Geneva, though Sean T. is more optimistic on the ground that Wilson can't go home in May without having secured something definite for us;
(4) that De Valera should inaugurate a League of Nations No. 2, consisting of the oppressed and dissatisfied nations to meet in Paris at first. Now, if this prognostication is correct, we want tremendous propaganda in the meantime, particularly in France, which will be more receptive to anti-English stuff if and when Peace signed. France's friendly but ignorant. Seán T. has had a very hard wall to break through, he has certainly got the fact well known that Ireland is in Paris and is knocking at the door. And the French censor steps in to stopreal propaganda. On the other hand, English propaganda is alive and vicious (a good instance of England's fears) and we are not allowed publicity to contradict it. My view is that this will change after Peace is signed, and that France, then very angry and no longer so dependent on England, will become very receptive and I am spending a lot of time in putting into French my best propaganda stuff. But we shall want a proper style copy with this and plenty of money.
[remainder of letter unreadable]

Always yours,
George Gavan Duffy

1 The handwriting in the original of this letter is very difficult to read.