The Republican and the Empire

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Where: Ontario, Ottawa, Canada

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When: 21 July 1932

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
More a "Free Stater" rather than a "Republican" at that time but attending an "Imperial Economic Conference" showed that the Irish government were willing to talk and take part in the Commonwealth processes at the time. They were just seven years from the outbreak of World War 2 and the year before Hitler and his Nazis managed to get themselves elected so this was not yet as black as it might have been? Can we find out anything about the delegations and perhaps even find Sean T. in the image?

Sounding the People Identified Klaxon! Every single man identified by name.

Photographer: Unknown

Collection: Sean T O'Kelly Photographic Collection

Date: Thursday, 21 July 1932

NLI Ref.: NPA OKE/27

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 5268
nationallibraryofireland nationalphotographicarchive theseantoceallaighphotographiccollection imperialeconomicconference houseofcommons ottawa ontario canada 1932 theottawaconference sirhenrystarkosch india mrleemerson newfoundland mrpgwgrobler southafrica mrhsgullett australia sirgeorgeperley siratulcchatterjee mrseantokelly irishfreestate mrjgcoates newzealand mrstanleybaldwin mrbennett mrbruce mrnchavenga mralderdice mr humoffat southernrhodesia mrnevillechamberlain mrwdowniestewart newzealandmrseanlemass mrpdlflynn mrjhthomas mrwagordon mraduranleau mrchcahan mrebryckman sahibzadaabdulsamadkhan mrrjmanion mrwalterrunciman greatbritain sirpadamjeeginwala drjryan mrapjpfourie sirgeorgeschuster mrhughguthrie viscounthailsham sirgeorgerainy mredgarnrhodes sirphilipcunliffelister mrhstevens mrshanmukhamchetty sirjohngilmour hajiabdoolaharoon mrarthursauve mrrobertweir theparliamentbuildings parliamenthill peopleidentified thursday 21st july 1930s twentiethcentury

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  • profile

    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 13/Jul/2023 07:55:26

    21 July 1932 was a Thursday ...

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:04:56

    The Parliament in Ottawa is quite a pile; 8/10 for frillyitus. In c. 1901 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/3662339079/

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:08:29

    Googleball - goo.gl/maps/3sm4L9jE2momEjbGA

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    Deirge (Del)

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:08:47

    The Wikipedia article on British Empire Economic Conference is a start point; and it is being held in Ottawa, Canada. It seems to be about trying to recover from the Great Depression, and tariffs were being discussed. Even if not wishing to be part of the commonwealth RoI would be very interested in any trade/tariff implications with UK and indeed the Commonwealth and it was probably better to be at that to try to influence decisions than not be at it.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:22:48

    Was Lemass there too? Looks like him seated 3rd from right. O'Kelly seated 7th from left?

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:25:51

    The Time article references the Earl of Bessborough, Vere Ponsonby, but I don't see him. Also, I like saying "Smoot Hawley".

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:28:09

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Lemass was there.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2023 08:29:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Re "Smoot Hawley" are you using your own voice or do you add an accent?

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 09:09:22

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland It's like Bond, James Bond.

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 13/Jul/2023 09:21:00

    Leading up to this in May 1932, there was doubt Ireland would attend due to the 'Oath Bill' (I don't begin to understand!). Via Trove - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/129049066?searchTerm=%...

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 13/Jul/2023 09:48:27

    Flickr is sometimes amazing! Via https://www.flickr.com/photos/33535417@N05/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/33535417@N05/32396813715/

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    CASSIDY PHOTOGRAPHY

    • 13/Jul/2023 10:01:04

    It would be great to identify all the faces, for posterity.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 10:52:32

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Per wikipedia: The oath, pledging allegiance to the Constitution and fidelity to George V as King of Ireland, was required by the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in 1921, and had been the symbolic focus of Irish republican opposition to the Treaty in the 1922–23 Irish Civil War. When Fianna Fáil was founded in 1926 by veterans of the losing anti-Treaty side in the Civil War, abolishing the oath was a core aim. It was a main item in the manifesto for its successful 1932 general election campaign, after which it formed a minority government whose first action was to introduce the Constitution (Removal of Oath) Bill 1932. Seanad Éireann had more ex-unionists and others conciliatory towards the United Kingdom, and voted to reject the bill unless the Treaty could be amended by agreement. After the 1933 general election, the Fianna Fáil majority government was able to override the Seanad and enact the law.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 11:02:31

    So in the run up to this British Empire Economic Congress, there was doubt about whether the Irish would be acknowledging the King/Empire at all. Fianna Fail, the anti-treaty Republican party, were busy dismantling the Empire/King/Free State elements of the Irish constitution in the 30s. Dev appointed Domhnall Ua Buachalla as Governor General in 1932, but got rid of the position in 1936. He called Ua Buachalla on the phone, and said "Domhnall, you are abolished." Ua Buachalla was taken aback, but then responded "Éamon, you're a bollix, too".

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 11:09:13

    There is an interesting fashion contrast here: all the men posing with bare heads, some with hats in hand, indoor wear. On the terrace in the background, most of the men are wearing their hats, outdoor ootdoor wear.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2023 11:36:01

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] I think R.B. Bennett (11th Prime Minister of Canada) may be to the left of Baldwin? Link from Wikipedia.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 13/Jul/2023 11:38:17

    Found this in a digest of the Illustrated London News for 1932. No photo, just the caption... The Ottawa Conference in Canada: front row Sir Henry Starkosch of India; Mr L. E. Emerson of Newfoundland; Mr P. G. W. Grobler of South Africa; Mr H. S. Gullett of Australia; Sir George Perley of Canada; Sir Atul C. Chatterjee of India; Mr Sean T. O'Kelly of Irish Free State; Mr J. G. Coates of New Zealand; Mr Stanley Baldwin; Mr Bennett; Mr Bruce; Mr N. C. Havenga of South Africa; Mr Alderdice of Newfoundland; Mr H. U. Moffat of Southern Rhodesia; Mr Neville Chamberlain; Mr W. Downie-stewart of New Zealand; Mr Sean Lemass of Irish Free State; Mr P. D. L. Flynn of S. Rhodesia; Mr J. H. Thomas; back row Mr W. A. Gordon of Canada; Mr A. Duranleau of Canada; Mr C. H. Cahan of Canada; Mr E. B. Ryckman of Canada; Sahibzada Abdul Samad Khan of India; Mr R J. Manion of Canada; Mr Walter Runciman of GB; Sir Padamjee Ginwala of India; Dr J. Ryan, Irish Free State; Mr A. P. J. P. Fourie of South Africa; Sir George Schuster of India; Mr Hugh Guthrie of Canada; Viscount Hailsham of GB; Sir George Rainy of India; Mr Edgar N. Rhodes of Canada; Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister of GB; Mr. H. Stevens of Canada; Mr Shanmukham Chetty of India; Sir John Gilmour GB; Haji Abdoola Haroon of India; Mr Arthur Sauve of Canada; Mr Robert Weir of Canada; group photograph outside the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 13/Jul/2023 12:01:22

    Hello, Canada!

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2023 13:06:47

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 Well done - I suppose you will be looking for a Virtual Sticky Bun too.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2023 13:33:13

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66151649@N02 Hello, Brian.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 13/Jul/2023 13:36:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66151649@N02 You'll like this, Brian! :) There was kerfuffle right up to the wire as to whether the Free State reps would attend. Éamon de Valera sent a telegram to Seán T. in Ottawa on 18 July:

    In view of British penal tariffs Delegation should not attend opening or any meeting of Conference pending further communication. Inform Canadian Government stating reasons. Chairman should hold himself in readiness to proceed New York. All others stand by ready to return on instructions. Most necessary to keep in close communication with us. Delegation should now concentrate on assisting us in examination of alternative markets and sources of supply.
    Following telephone calls and further telegrams between Ottawa and the Department of External Affairs in Dublin, Seán T. sent this telegram to Éamon de Valera in Dublin on 20 July:
    Thank you for your cable conveying approval requested for views expressed to you by telephone Monday night. Have succeeded in securing an innocuous message at opening meeting. Expressions of goodwill in press increasing. General attitude of delegations towards us apparently friendly. Canadians particularly friendly.
    (from Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Vol. IV, 1932-1936)

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    Carol Maddock

    • 13/Jul/2023 13:39:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Yes, please. With salted caramel topping, if you have it.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2023 15:38:51

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 Samuel Bewley will be turning in his grave just now.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2023 15:53:23

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 The British Penal Tariffs mentioned were a response by the UK to Devs government suspending payments due from the late 19th century Land acts, which had been agreed in the Treaty. Ireland would respond to those, leading to the Economic War of 1932-38, very damaging to the Irish economy.

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jul/2023 16:48:18

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/30369211@N00/ So, all Ireland got out of the British Empire Economic Congress was the start of the Economic War against Ireland? The King remained in charge of our external affairs through and after the war, witness the lack of a German embassy, only a legation.

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jul/2023 17:02:06

    A rather long explanation of the background to the conference. No mention of Ireland “21 July 1932 The New York stock market crash in October 1929 marked the start of the Great Depression. Over the next three years, the global economy contracted at an alarming rate. Matters were exacerbated by misguided economic policies in major countries, aimed in part at maintaining the gold standard. In an effort to prop up demand for U.S.-made goods, the United States introduced the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariffs in 1930. Tariffs on tens of thousands of U.S. imports were raised to levels not seen in over one hundred years. In retaliation, Canada and other countries introduced tariffs against American goods to protect their industries. The combination of high tariffs and slumping domestic demand sent international trade into a tail spin. In the three years to mid-1932, Canadian exports fell by roughly 50 per cent, while imports declined by more than 60 per cent. Canadian gross domestic production shrank by 24 per cent in the 1929-32 period. The global economy fared better, but still contracted by more than 10 per cent; unemployment soared everywhere. Against this backdrop, the leaders of the United Kingdom, the Dominions, and India met in Ottawa during the summer of 1932 to discuss the disastrous economic situation, and to try to mitigate its effects through closer imperial economic association. The conference had been requested by Canadian Premier R.B. Bennett at the end of the previous Imperial Conference held in London two years earlier. At that conference, Britain had rejected a Canadian proposal for members of the Empire to institute a reciprocal imperial trade preference aimed at boosting intra-Empire trade. Through much of the previous century, Britain had pursued a free-trade policy, confident that its manufactured exports could compete at home and abroad, while importing food and other raw materials from countries like Canada, Russia, and Argentina. But by 1932, the situation had radically changed—the key U.S. market was largely closed to British goods, Britain had been forced off the gold standard, and a protectionist-minded government was now in power. The new National government, which consisted of members of all three major political parties but dominated by the Conservative party, broke with tradition and introduced a general tariff of 10 per cent against non-Empire countries, and threatened to extend them to the Dominions that had already raised their own tariffs against goods from the Mother Country. Now, all members of the Empire had something to gain from successful trade negotiations. For Canada, the conference was of vital importance. With Canadian exports to the United States in sharp decline, redirecting trade toward imperial markets was critical for the economy, especially its farmers. To ensure the conference’s success, the Canadian government made meticulous preparations, including the compilation by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics of six volumes of trade and other statistics to provide a common reference base for conference delegates. Leaders, their delegations, and wives began to arrive in Ottawa in mid-July. In preparation for the social battles about to be joined, it was reported that some ladies had brought maids as well as 20-30 pieces of luggage filled with gowns, shoes, and hats to wear at the many gala events and garden parties. The Globe reported that “Ottawa will be a gay and delightful centre of social activity for the next six weeks.” The Indian delegation provided an exotic touch when the wife and daughter of Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon, member of the Indian legislature for Karachi and a senior member of the Indian delegation, arrived wearing Indian saris of bright coloured silk, embroidered in gold thread. But it wasn’t to be all fun and games. Underscoring the importance of the conference, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin arrived with more than half of his cabinet and their wives. Delegations were met at Union Station by Prime Minister Bennett and his sister, Mrs Mildred Harridge, who acted as the Canadian hostess. The conference officially got underway on the morning of 21 July 1932 with the arrival of the Governor General, the Earl of Bessborough, in an open landau on Parliament Hill amidst full vice-regal pageantry, including a guard of honour and a marching band. Delegates subsequently convened in the chamber of the House of Commons, Parliament having adjourned for the summer. The Canadian delegates sat on the government benches to the right of the speaker’s throne, next to the Australian and New Zealand delegations. The British team sat to the left of the speaker’s chair. The Governor General started the proceedings with a message of goodwill from the King, followed by his own personal greetings. Bennett was unanimously elected conference’s chairman. There were nine keynote speeches from each of the heads of delegation. Bennett, going first, re-submitted his proposal for a reciprocal imperial trade preference. The British Prime Minister cautiously supported the idea but noted that a trade preference can be achieved by lowering tariffs on intra-Empire trade, or by raising tariffs on non-Empire trade; the British government favoured the former. The conference broke up into committees that afternoon, followed by a gala dinner for 900 guests hosted by the Canadian government at the Château Laurier Hotel. Delegates agreed to work every day and evening except for Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays which were devoted to social events. That first weekend, the Governor General hosted the heads of delegations and their wives at a formal dinner at Rideau Hall. Other members of delegations were invited to less formal functions at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club and the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. On Sunday, churches across Canada and the Empire prayed for the success of the conference. In Ottawa, Dr. Clare Worrell, the Anglican archbishop of Halifax and Primate of Canada led prayers for leaders at St. Mathew’s Church, while His Excellency, Mgr. Andrea Cassulo, the Papal Legate, did likewise at Notre Dame Catholic Basilica. Despite resolves to work for the common good and avoid bargaining for parochial gains, delegates haggled like fishwives over the next six weeks. Initial cheers for Canada changed to jeers when news leaked that Canada was the sole hold-out preventing an agreement. However, when negotiations wrapped up on 18 August, all countries had cobbled together a series of bilateral arrangements between each other based on Bennett’s idea of imperial preference. In essence, Britain agreed to keep in place the exemption for Empire products from its general 10 per cent tariff. It also gave in to Dominion demands to impose new tariffs and quotas on the imports of agricultural products from outside the Empire. Canada didn’t give Britain much, agreeing not to raise tariffs further on British goods, and to lower them on 200 items, many of which weren’t even made in Canada. The Imperial Conference was a boon for Ottawa businesses which enjoyed a marked pick-up in sales as the hundreds of visitors bought summer clothes, souvenirs, and novelties. Department stores, like Murphy-Gamble and Freiman’s, noted that even the locals were buying. In the long run, however, the trade preferences negotiated at the conference did relatively little for the Canadian economy. Canadian trade continued to be oriented in a north-south pattern with the United States; geography trumped imperial ties. Canadian exports did rise somewhat in the years that followed the conference, but the upturn was more likely due to the recovery in the global economy that anything else. Moreover, later in the 1930s, Canada negotiated lower tariffs with the United States, its most natural trading and investment partner. Britain was the big loser. Going into the conference, it had hoped to lower intra-Empire tariffs while keeping tariffs on foreign countries unchanged—a modest step toward freeing global trade, while at the same time strengthening intra-Empire political and economic ties. Instead, by raising tariffs and instituting quotas on non-Empire agricultural goods, it exacerbated the global retreat from free trade, raised domestic costs, and undermined Britain’s leadership role in the world.” todayinottawashistory.wordpress.com/tag/imperial-preference/

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jul/2023 17:12:10

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47290943@N03/ Several sources date photo as 10th August, perhaps the closing photo of the conference?

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jul/2023 20:00:17

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia The Packard was also a firm favourite of another world leader by the name of Stalin. The Russians even made their own almost identical copy.

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jul/2023 20:43:39

    https://flic.kr/p/2oPikxH https://flic.kr/p/2oPkj1K

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    John Spooner

    • 13/Jul/2023 20:45:28

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 The photo and the caption appeared in the Illustrated London News of Saturday 20 August 1932. I was going to post the photo with the caption, but then realised it would be pretty pointless as we've already got both. The picture and caption were in the middle of the page, surrounded on all sides by an article by G. K. Chesterton, which, as far as I can tell, is about Romanticism. Certainly not aboot the Ottawa Conference.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 13/Jul/2023 21:33:42

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 Well, I can't lie, we are a friendly bunch. We're like the USA's cooler younger brother.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 14/Jul/2023 10:30:31

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66151649@N02 Very good!!

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    Carol Maddock

    • 14/Jul/2023 11:55:16

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner That's sort of typical of the ILN, mad mix of people, places, topics on any give page. Do you have access to the ILN online via your library service, John?

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    Carol Maddock

    • 14/Jul/2023 11:56:05

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66151649@N02 And more polite younger brother? Or is that just a stereotype?

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 14/Jul/2023 11:58:04

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 Joke here is that God Had to Bless the USA, we don't need divine intervention for help!. No we really are polite and friendly.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 14/Jul/2023 12:10:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66151649@N02 :)

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    John Spooner

    • 14/Jul/2023 17:16:47

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 My access to the ILN is via the British Newspaper Archives subscription service. Hampshire Libraries used to provide access to the Gale Collection, but cost-cutting put an end to that. See also OED. BTW Brace yourselves: I'll be in Ireland next week. A flying visit in the sense of a brief one, but no aeroplanes involved.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 15/Jul/2023 15:27:43

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Bring your rain gear, John! We're currently "enjoying" a soggy summer...

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    John Spooner

    • 15/Jul/2023 20:13:31

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47297387@N03 Much the same as the part of Scotland where I'm staying at the moment - far enough west for the Mourns to be visible on a very clear day.

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    dreamofjupiter

    • 17/Jul/2023 14:24:07

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/30369211@N00/ I like that repost!