No. 184 UCDA P150/1932

Minute of Conversation between Tom Jones Assistant Secretary to Cabinet and Erskine Childers (Copy)

2 Whitehall Gardens, London, 10.30 a.m. 28 October 1921

It was the day following the despatch to us of the British Government Memo. of Oct 27th.1

Jones said the P.M. was nervous about its effect upon us, as a very extreme document. It was drafted to please his adversaries in the Cabinet.

Unionists were threatening to resign from the Cabinet, their tactics being [to] force a break on the Crown, Navy etc. and so safeguard Ulster. P.M. anxious to get assurances on former points and defy them on Ulster. On the Crown Jones very vaguely suggested something about an Elected President or Governor.

He said neither side should be doctrinaire.

A.G.'s statements on Defence and Common citizenship were thought to be satisfactory in that he accepted the 'responsibility' of the Empire for Defence. I said 'Surely not "Security"'? I pointed out that there was a new condition in their Memo. — we to have no Air-force — this was not even in their July 20th proposals.2 He admitted this was bad but said only Air Forces in connection with Navy were meant.

He suggested a term of years to be named for the Naval occupation and urged us to press for the Simonstown agreement.

I raised the clause of their Memo. about common citizenship and said that the Dominions could be neutral in war. He said he thought Grigg, who drafted the clause, had pressed technicalities too far.

I said that G.B. must have no authority in Ireland. He said in practice she would have none.

1 Not printed.

2 No. 141 above.

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