St Patrick's Day broadcast to Britain (1931)

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St Patrick's Day broadcast to Britain by William T. Cosgrave

Dublin, 17 March 1931

On this, the national holiday of Ireland, the message I have to send across the Irish Sea is one of friendship and goodwill. The economic stress of recent years has not diminished either our political bonds of mutual respect or our commercial ties of mutual trading interest. Great Britain remains our best customer and the Irish Free State one of the best of Britain's.

Those who buy our cattle, our bacon, butter and eggs, our stout, whiskey, biscuits, or tweeds may rest assured of finding those and all the other products for which we have established a name constantly improving in quality, while they multiply their demand without risk of any shortage in quantity.

On the other hand British producers for the Irish market may take comfort from the fact that we have suffered less from recent economic depression than many of their other customers. The adverse balance in our visible trade continues to shrink, unemployment amongst us happily has not increased, almost alone among European countries we have been able this year to reduce our contributions to the Unemployment Fund. A cheap - and abundant supply of electricity is now available throughout the State and is raising our standards both in comfort of living and productive capacity. Our credit stands exceptionally high. We are genuinely solvent customers for whatever we still need to buy.

To those oppressed with the material problems of today who look for rest from the turmoil of city life, for sport or recreation, for beauty for the eye or a stimulus to the imagination I can, with special gladness, undertake that Ireland, if they visit her, will be found to have lost none of her ancient charm nor an Irish welcome any of its old sincerity.


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