Volume 1 1919~1922

Doc No.

No. 311 NAI DFA ES Paris 1922-1923

Sean Murphy to Michael Hayes (Dublin)


Suggested Re-Organisation of the Paris Mission

No matter to what lengths the present enmity with England may go, we cannot expect France to put herself in a false position by recognising a Diplomatic representative from Ireland, until England herself has explicitly acknowledged our right to such representation. At present it is not likely that England will consent to Ireland having Diplomatic Representation except at Rome and Washington.

With that fairly safe hypothesis as a basis I suggest the immediate abolition of the Paris Delegation and the establishment in its place of a small Bureau. Two good rooms in a fairly central house, Office furniture and a Library of Irish Books (of which there is a fairly good nucleus) would be the material elements. This Bureau should not be called a Press Bureau. Its work would be seriously hindered by placarding its intentions so openly. We must get into the Press by slow and insinuating penetration, the distributing of interesting information, a little at a time, and rather to individual journalists than to the Head-quarters of the newspapers.

One side of the Bureau's activities, namely getting Lantern Lectures delivered on Ireland can be considerably developed. It is one of the easiest ways of getting Propaganda done by other people in France. Naudeau gave six Lectures last year in Northern France and was converted himself after the third lecture by the enthusiasm of his audience and was paid in each case by the local Societies. Several other people gave similar lectures.

Apart from doing useful propaganda without noise and without discouraging the dignity of the Envoy, this Bureau should be a collecting centre for every form of information which might be useful to the Irish Government. The French Authorities will always be most willing to give us every help in this matter and when it comes to framing new laws, the Bureau could send in Reports on the working of analogous legislation in France.

Though it would be an advantage to have this Bureau in the same Building as the Consulate - they should in any case work in the closest co-operation [-] it seems better to have them independent of each other. The Consulate must devote its time and energies to the technical details of trade development and it cannot spread itself over the broader questions of Propaganda without seriously injuring its efficiency.

I further suggest that one of the two men (the number proposed) should join a course of lectures on constitutional and general French Law. I should be very willing and eager to follow this course myself, as I have been either practising or studying Law for more than nine years and am genuinely interested in it.

It would be almost a necessity to have at our disposal the services of a good well-proven French Journalist who would occasionally spend a few hours in the Bureau for translation or advisory work. A man of the type of Maurice Bourgeois with similar Government associations will be invaluable from every point of view.

Suggestions have been made from time to time that an Irish News Agency should be founded and affiliated to the chief Continental Agencies. Such an enterprise would be extremely costly and probably cannot be undertaken by our Government for some time to come. Meanwhile the Bureau could be kept constantly informed about events and personalities at home.

Reliable and interesting paragraphs about definitely constructive work will always be welcomed by the newspapers if presented through the proper channel without the appearance of being tenacious.

I respectfully suggest to the Ministry that as a considerable degree of prestige has been lost through the depredations of the Irregulars, it is very necessary to undertake the re-organisation at once, so as to be able to restore our credit in the shortest possible time after the beginning of the Reconstruction period.The lines of operation are very simple and by taking due pains I believe that the Bureau can be established and made a useful working institution within a few weeks.

The above notes are mainly intended to form the basis for an interview at which I hope to be able to make the details clearer.

1 Hayes was acting minister from 12 August to 9 September 1922.