No. 173 NAI DE 2/304/1

Erskine Childers to Eamon de Valera (Dublin)

22 Hans Place, London, 21 October 1921

The following is a Memorandum of conclusions of the Irish Delegates at their meeting to-day:-

The Delegates discussed what had taken place at the 6th Session of the Conference held at Downing Street to-day, a report of which is attached, together with an agreed aide-memoire of the proceedings.1

In view of the occurrences reported to-day and made a matter of grave protest by the British Representatives, the Delegates consider that either (a) the importation of munitions into Ireland should cease during the progress of the negotiations and a pledge be given to that effect, or (b) that the negotiations should be broken off; and they request instructions as to which course to pursue.2

Their view is that importation of Munitions in the future under such circumstances as have been reported cannot be defended by them at the Conference.

The Delegates considered the action to be taken by them at the highly critical stage of the negotiations which has now been reached.

The question of the Crown has now been directly raised by the British Representatives and will come up at the Conference on Monday.

Two courses are open to the Delegates:-

(a) to refuse allegiance to the Crown,
(b) neither to refuse it nor accept it at the present stage but to say that if they are satisfied on other points _ Ulster, Defence, Trade etc _ they would be prepared to consider the question of the Crown: in other words to obtain a field of manoeuvre and delay the crucial question.

They request instructions as to which course to adopt.

It must be added that the British Representatives showed a strong desire to press matters to an immediate issue.


1 Not printed.

2 German police had intercepted a cargo of arms bound for Ireland.

3 Handwritten note by Childers: No answer received E.C.

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