Volume 3 1926~1932

Doc No.

No. 561 NAI DFA 19/10

Confidential Report from Daniel A. Binchy to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Berlin, 29 July 1931

The flying visit of Messrs. MacDonald and Henderson has just ended. I met both of them at the dinner in the British Embassy last night. Henderson professed to remember me from Geneva and spoke of the Minister's recent visit. The Prime Minister was pleased to be humorous: he asked if I was returning home for the Horse Show and on my replying that I had no leave to spare, suggested laughingly that I should ask leave from him and thereby precipitate a Constitutional crisis!

I was the only diplomatic representative asked to the dinner party, all the other guests being German politicians. The other foreign representatives were merely asked to the reception which followed. On the other hand, it is typical of the lack of appreciation of the nature of the British commonwealth which obtains in official circles here that I should not have met the British Ministers at all were it not for the Embassy dinner. Yet they were able to invite such people as the Turkish Ambassador, the Danish Minister, and other foreign representatives to their official banquets. Curiously enough, I had been asked to all the Government functions which had been arranged for the original visit, so I am inclined to attribute this omission to a somewhat typical oversight of the Protocol section of the Foreign Office.

I have the impression that little beyond talk has resulted from the visit. Mr. MacDonald was obviously jaded and is probably delighted to have the visit over. Some papers suggest that Henderson urged concessions in the shape of suspension of the projected Customs Union and of work on the second pocket battleship. All the journalists seem agreed that politics rather than finance formed the basis of the discussions.

[signed] D.A. Binchy