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Historical documents

80 Beasley to Chifley

Cablegram unnumbered PARIS, 17 November 1948, 7.40 p.m.


Reports of the Irish and Indian talks in Paris have now reached
you but I wish to add that their handling by British Ministers has
not been in keeping with the views of the Doc [1], Fraser or
Pearson. They argued that in accordance with the International Law
covering Treaties, Ireland would be a Foreign Country after the
repeal of the External Relations Act, whereas Irish Delegates
stoutly refused to accept this view and maintained they had no
desire to be a Foreign Country or treat Australians, New
Zealanders, British or Canadians as foreigners.

Only for the Doc, and he was supported by Fraser, and Pearson, the
Conference would have bogged down and the obstinacy of both sides
left further unpleasant memories. The Doc produced the Form of
Declaration requesting it to be made in the Irish Parliament
clearing this nationality question and MacBride agreed to so
declare when the Repeal Bill is introduced.

On the Doc's representation, MacBride and his colleagues agreed to
amend their Nationality Bill and will announce this fact in due

The Conference concluded in a most friendly atmosphere, the Irish
privately fearing a little that the British Delegation may go back
on conclusions agreed upon. I feel I must indicate the Doc's
attitude not only produced the right atmosphere but provided the
text upon which the future relationships can be mutually
maintained. Naturally the Doc would have liked to have obtained
much closer links but the point is that the problem must be kept
fluid just now as the future, and not too distant, may, as
indications at the Conference showed, bring these peoples very
close together.

[matter omitted]

1 i.e. H.V. Evatt.

[AA: A1838/283, TS899/6/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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