Volume 3 1926~1932

Doc No.

No. 508 NAI DFA LN 80/1

Speech by Patrick McGilligan at a meeting of the 62nd session of the Council of the League of Nations

Geneva, 20 January 1931

There is no need for me here to repeat at length what the Irish Delegates have stated at each meeting of the Assembly since our election to the League that we have always held the view that the League of Nations had only one real object, namely that of eliminating war from the relations between Nations. All the subsidiary activities of the League, however admirable in themselves, may serve only to screen warlike preparations, unless that supreme object is constantly and relentlessly pursued. At last, after ten years, we seem to be at the beginning of our real task, but we should not deceive ourselves by thinking that the beginning is even relatively satisfactory. Notwithstanding its zealous and admirable efforts, the Preparatory Commission has merely enabled us to see more clearly the difficulties in the way. These difficulties are founded in deep rooted causes, which can only be removed by the most earnest good will and good faith on the part of all the nations concerned. Our whole endeavours in the interval before the General Conference opens, must be concentrated on removing the obstacles to peace, and especially on giving manifest proofs to the world that peace is the first consideration in the relations of States with one another. The draft Convention is an attempt at a first step towards a solution. We cannot regard it as anything more, and the Irish Government earnestly hopes that the relations between States will have so improved by the date of the Conference that it will then be possible to introduce the improvements which alone can make the Convention of permanent value.