Volume 1 1919~1922

Doc No.

No. 227 NAI DFA ES Box 1 File 11

Foreign Office memorandum No. 1


Dublin, 25 January 1922

While the policy of the new government of the Republic is friendly to the Provisional Government set up under the Treaty with England, this government has undertaken the duty of maintaining the existing Republic and the efficiency of its machinery until the Irish people shall have determined whether or not to accept the proposed 'Irish Free State.' Moreover, if in the meantime the British Government should fail to carry out its engagements, Ireland must be in a position to resume the struggle without delay.

The Irish representatives abroad will continue to represent the government of the Irish Republic and that Government alone, but their position will be modified in three respects:

(a) Propaganda, in regard to England which has abandoned savagery in Ireland and has signed, and is now being put to the test of working out, a Treaty of peace, approved by Dail Eireann, must be consistent with the situation thus created, so long as the British Government faithfully observes its compact.

(b) As national unity is now broken by the emergence of two political parties in the Republican State, members of the diplomatic service will be under the obligation of reflecting faithfully the policy of the Government, whatever their personal opinion or party politics. It will be their duty to refrain from propaganda either for or against the Treaty.1

(c) The signing of the Treaty and its approval by Dail Eireann have had the effect of opening everywhere many portals formerly closed to us through fear of England. It should, therefore, be possible immediately to widen the circles of Irish influence on the Continent and to develop 'relations' political, diplomatic, intellectual, economic and social, to a very much greater extent than anything that has hitherto been attempted. Our representatives abroad will do everything possible to take advantage of present conditions to this end.

The publication of the 'bulletins' issued abroad should be continued. It is realised that the editor of the bulletin will have more difficulty under present circumstances in making his material interesting, and a bulletin may where necessary, be issued at less frequent intervals. But the publicity department has been instructed to supplement the information contained in the newspapers by special 'copy' in order that the reputations which the bulletins generally have acquired may be more easily maintained.

G. Gavan Duffy

1 Marginal Note. 'de V[alera] to S [ean] T. O'C[eallaigh] 28 April 1921 "Our Rep[resentative]s abroad, whether they be members of [the] Dáil or not, must regard themselves [unfailingly?] as the direct agents of the Dep[artmen]t of For[eign] Affairs, and must carry out the instructions of the Dep[artmen]t whether they personally agree to policy or not" - per L[aurence] Ginnell very reasonable.'