British Empire
The end of the British empire - Ireland
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Letter sent to the Foreign Office in 1916, commenting on the effect of British policies in Ireland on opinions in the USA
(Catalogue ref: CAB 37/150/8)
Received at the Foreign Office from an Irish gentleman at New York.

I am daily hoping for a tiny piece of statesmanship in regard to the handling of Irish affairs. The Irish vote here may not only be considered as lost to us, but every Irishman is now a centre of anti English propaganda. When the rebellion first started I tried to rally the Irishmen round the U.I.L. standard by sending a telegram to Redmond, which put us on record as claiming the Botha clemency for the rebels, and I started an Irish relief fund. The A.P.A. and the "Sun" refused to publish our telegram or to announce our relief fund: two days later the executions started, and the Sinn Fein, Clan na Gael crowd, using the Friends of Irish Freedom organisation, swept every active and passive Irishman into their net.


Meetings are daily held everywhere. 30,000 are said to have been present at Philadelphia; 20,000 were present at a meeting I attended in Madison Square (and practically all were Irish, and bitterly incensed Irish); meetings of from 500-10,000 are recorded in every newspaper.

17,000 dollars were collected at Philadelphia; 30,000 dollars at Madison Square Garden; I have been told of one donation of 10,000 and of another of 8,000; the Committee assert the funds are nearing 250,000; no lists, however, are published, and I think the total is exaggerated. But most of the money collected is being spent on anti-English propaganda.


I hear from Canada that Irish recruiting is a farce now and the pathetic skeleton of the Irish Rangers is eliciting ridicule. The Irish and the French now more than ever make common cause. Irish will now unsparingly support the French language agitation. Also Curtis's Round Table talks will fall on bad ground. The Canadians seem more willing to interfere in English affairs and to accept an arrangement which will give them the English market; but they are noting the inefficiency we have shown in war, and are less inclined to permit English control to increase in Canadian affairs.


I had a letter from a prominent Irishman in Australia describing a condition of things there which you may readily infer.

Indeed, I think there is not only an anti-English movement of much menace here, but also an anti-Imperial movement in the Colonies.
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