Volume 8 1945~1948

Doc No.

No. 71 NAI DFA 417/12

Letter from Michael Rynne to Francis T. Cremins (Berne)
(417/1) (Personal)

Dublin, 15 January 1946

Dear Frank,
Just a belated line to welcome you back to the desk again and to express appreciation of the very useful line of stuff you are sending us about the United Nations.1

As there's no longer a 'League of Nations Section' in the Department and as no candidate for the headship of a future 'UNO Section' has yet appeared, the Legal Adviser of the Department has had to add the new World Peace Organisation to his other duties. I'm sure you share my disapproval of this arrangement to the full; though I trust you will not overstress it! Naturally, UNO ought to be a whole-time job for someone on the political side with more faith and zeal for such institutions than I possess, but the Department, as usual is overworked and far from over-staffed. Indeed, just when the London Conference2 is on the job, I myself am crowded out with purely routine jobs of my own - all rather urgent and time-wasting. Hence your frequent minutes with useful enclosures are really a godsend and I sincerely hope you will keep them up to the end of my regency. I don't know who will be appointed to run the show if Ireland joins the Organisation; certainly, in that event, someone to do the thing wholetime will be quite indispensable. At the moment, however, the Government, as you see, is holding back. We do not take to the UNO for many of the reasons which seem to endear it to you (that's a hard one!). For instance, while we share your belief that the new organisation, unlike the old, possesses 'teeth', we fear that they may be 'dragon's teeth' which will eventually be employed to grind up (1) the ex 'enemy' States (2) the ex-neutrals and (3) the small nations, in that approximate order.

Before Ireland hands over her ports, airports and other facilities we should like to know (1) do we have to recognise the elimination of the ex 'enemy' Baltic States (you remember your old friend Feldmann,3 Latvia?); (2) do we have to refuse to salute neutral Catholic Spain (you remember your praise of the Alcazar?)4 and (3) do we have to take up arms every time a small state refuses to be bullied by a fellow who can veto action against himself?

It is all very difficult. However, the more views and material we can get, whether in support of, or contradictory to, these qualms, the better we shall be able to cope with critics and make the right decision finally.

Therefore, please do not relax your efforts on any account. The kind of thing you are sending at present is sufficiently heterogeneous to cover most of the points, so I'll give you no advice (much less a directive!); but if you feel you'd like the Department's 'reactions' on any particular aspect, for your own 'background', be sure to drop me the word.

Meanwhile, many thanks and good health and peace for 1946.

1 See above No. 29.

2 The first session of the UN General Assembly was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall, London.

3 Unidentified.

4 The siege of the Alcázar in Toledo during the Spanish Civil War, which ended in a victory for the besieging Nationalist forces of Francisco Franco.