Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - International Correspondence.

asked the Minister for External Affairs if he will circulate to Deputies copies of all the correspondence which he has had with His Majesty the King, or with the British Government, since March, 1932, in regard to the external affairs of Saorstát Eireann, including the correspondence dealing with the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives, the making of international agreements, and the phraseology used in Saorstát passports.

It would be against all precedent to circulate copies of correspondence of this character. In so far as the King is concerned, the correspondence has been confined to formal advice signed by me concerning the appointment of consular or diplomatic representatives, whether by this Government to foreign countries, or by foreign Governments to Saorstát Eireann, or in relation to full powers for signing certain types of international agreements. The advice is always accompanied by the document which has to be signed. The advice, of course, is always accepted. Correspondence with the British Government, on the other hand, covers a very wide field. Much of it concerns matters which form the normal routine of the communications between two neighbouring States. The British Government, in addition, supply to us, as to the Governments of Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, a considerable amount of information relating to foreign countries and to Great Britain's relations with them. Information of a technical character relating to numerous subjects is also supplied. With regard to the question of the phraseology used in our passport, no correspondence has taken place since the present Government came into office.

Might I ask the President whether there has been any correspondence with the British Government in connection with the problem of defence?

Not that I know of.

That is a separate question.