Volume 1 1919~1922

Doc No.

No. 14 NAI DFA ES Paris 1919

Sean T O'Ceallaigh and George Gavan Duffy to Georges Clemenceau (Paris)

Paris, 3 June 1919

Monsieur le Président,
We had the honour to deliver to you on the 22nd ultimo a Memorandum of certain decisions of the Elected Government of the Irish Republic.

That Memorandum was sent to you in your capacity of President of the Peace Conference, and we ask you to regard it as the official declaration of our Government, whereby the Elected Government of the Irish Republic notifies the President of the Peace Conference and the Members of the Conference that the Nation of Ireland acknowledges no right in the British Government to sign the Treaty of Peace or any other pact whatsoever, for or in the name of Ireland; the Nation of Ireland repudiates in advance and in the most emphatic and determined manner any such claim which the British Government may make.

None can validly exercise that right but delegates appointed, with the necessary powers, by the Elected Government of the Irish Republic; that Government has appointed as its Delegates Plenipotentiary for the purposes of the Peace Conference, Messieurs Eamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith and Count Plunkett; and these Delegates have up to the present moment been, and still are, obstructed and prevented by the British military occupation of Ireland from coming to Paris to fulfil their mission here.

In these special circumstances, we have the honour, on behalf and by direction of the Elected Government of the Irish Republic, to request that the Peace Conference shall intervene to secure the necessary safe-conduct for the Delegates above named.

Messieurs de Valera, Griffith and Plunkett are instructed to lay before the Peace Conference the plain right of the Nation of Ireland to affix its own seal through its own delegates to every treaty which purports in any manner to involve Ireland; they will at the same time, if proof be needed, show by conclusive evidence that the Government of His Britannic Majesty has no right and no qualification whatsoever to sign the Treaty of Peace for or in the name of Ireland.

We should esteem the courtesy of the earliest intimation possible of the Conference's reply to the demand which we have the honour to make in this letter.

We beg you, Monsieur le Président, to accept the expression of our highest respect and esteem.

Sean T. O'Ceallaigh
G. Gavan Duffy
Envoys in Paris of the Elected Government of the Irish Republic