No. 118 NAI DFA 19/10A

Extracts from a confidential report from Leo T. McCauley to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Berlin, 6 September 1932

I played golf recently with Baron Hans von Plessen, the official of the Foreign Office who deals with this Legation and with all matters relating to the Saorstát and Great Britain; and during the round we talked about some official matters. From his conversation I deduced that he had been trying to make up his mind as to the probable duration of the strained economic relations at present existing between Great Britain and ourselves, and that he had come to the conclusion that the present state of affairs would not last very long because it was in the interests of both parties to reach an agreement. It is more than likely that his view in this matter is also the official view of the Foreign Office and that it is based upon reports to that effect received from the German Legation in Dublin and the German Embassy in London.

The importance of the fact that the Germans hold this view officially lies in the effect it may have on any proposals we may make for closer trade relations with Germany. The Germans would probably feel that we were asking them to help us out of a temporary difficulty and were offering them as an inducement trade advantages which would also be only temporary. If, therefore, the Government sets any store on increasing the Saorstát export trade to Germany it would be well to have this consideration in mind during any negotiations with the German Minister in Dublin.

The task of increasing our export trade to Germany is likely to be made difficult enough in any case by the general policy of the German Government. This Government represents the class which would in Ireland at one time have been described as the 'landed gentry': its members have a traditional and personal interest in the promotion of agriculture, and their policy is to favour and protect agricultural interests. It is currently reported that the Government is about to develop the quota system for the protection of agriculture, and it is believed that a quota may be applied to imported livestock, including cattle.

[matter omitted]

During the course of my conversation with Baron von Plessen, he stated that they had heard from their Minister in Dublin that this Legation would shortly be authorised to approach the Foreign Office in connection with the general question of promoting extended trade relations with Germany.

[signed] Leo T. McCauley

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