Volume 1 1919~1922

Doc No.

No. 144 UCDA P150/1897

Robert Brennan to Patrick J. Little (South Africa)

Dublin, 28 July 1921

Dear Sir,
[Matter omitted: 212 words dealing with Little's financial position.]

The situation at home here has, as you know, undergone a change since you left. You can take it that the official bulletins of the London conference represent the situation. Our people entered the conference conscious that there was more than a chance that the enemy was merely using it as a political move but conscious also that they were anxious for a settlement because of the pressure of world circumstance. At the moment of writing it is impossible to say how things will go but most people regard a resumption of hostilities as almost inevitable. The event may have been decided before you get this. You may be certain that there will be no negotiations on any basis inconsistent with our present status as recognised by ourselves. The affair has strengthened our position very considerably. We have assured the position at least that if there is a resumption of hostilities they cannot well deny a state of war and they cannot use the old label 'murder gang' to such advantage. So thorough is the truce that things are absolutely quiet everywhere outside the N.[orth] E.[ast] corner. The P.[resident] made a very good impression in London and on the continent his name stands high as a statesman for his handling of the situation. The morale of the country continues excellent.

With regard to the permanent situation in South Africa, it is not intended to appoint an official Representative. The plan that is in mind and the one that will be followed in all British Dominions will be to act through the local organisation the chairman of which will communicate with this Department [of Foreign Affairs]. He will receive any official instructions also from this Department. This is in order to prevent cross currents which have been found mischievous elsewhere. The local organisation should be able to finance its own business and our propaganda and also to remit a proportion of its funds to the Home firm through No.15. These are the lines you are wisely working on.

P.[resident] desires me to say that the work you have done is excellent and more than justifies the despatch of the mission.

Your friend Fosythe and Mac Loughlin called and duly reported, and the latter brought the much needed focloir.1

Kindly remember me to Ben [Farrington] and to James Donoghue and also any other friends you may happen on.

With very best respects.
Yours sincerely,
[Copy letter is unsigned]

1 Irish for dictionary.