Volume 5 1936~1939

Doc No.

No. 121 UCDA P150/2491

Various rough notes and press releases kept by Eamon de Valera during negotiations in London

London, 17-19 January 1938

Mr. de Valera said that in the view of his colleagues and himself the ending of Partition and the restoration of the unity of Ireland was the essential foundation for the establishment of real understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries and that so long as Partition continued friendship and cooperation could not be complete1.

In reply the representatives of the United Kingdom said that so far as they were concerned there could be no alteration in the relations between Éire and Northern Ireland which had not the consent of the latter.

You ask me what are my hopes for the future relations between the peoples of Ireland and Great Britain. I have always said that I desired to establish friendly relations with Great Britain1 between the two peoples. That is still my desire and hope. But the historic Irish nation has been artificially divided. At least a third of the population of that part of Ulster which has been cut off from the nation - and remember that third2 are resident immediately across the line which separates that part from us - want to be with us as citizens of a united Ireland.

We have no wish to coerce into a united Ireland our fellow-countrymen in the Northeast who differ from us. But we do ask them and all their friends to consider whether it is not their duty to play their part in bringing about a united Ireland, which is so essential now2 not merely for the betterment of relations amongst1 between2 ourselves in Ireland but for the establishment of friendly relations with Great Britain and for the promotion of peace in the world.

I appeal to people of Irish origin in Britain, America and all over the world to give us their aid. The partition of the motherland must be a source of pain and sorrow to all of them. Through their combined influence we can, with God's help, within a reasonably2 short time bring that partition to an end.

Given to Paramount News and March of Time at about 12.30 midnight.

Practically nothing to add to the agreed press communiqué.

A few weeks adjournment to enable experts on finance and trade matters to complete their detailed examinations. Preparations for trade agreements invariably take a long time.

Throughout the three days meetings the discussions have been frank and friendly, each side appreciating the view of the other. At nine o'clock Mr. Malcolm MacDonald is calling here to see me on a few matters in connection with the experts' examination. No more information to give about the question of partition.

January 19th, 1938

1 These words and others below have been crossed out in the document.

2 Handwritten insertion by de Valera reproduced in italics.