No. 209 NAI DFA 207/10

Letter from Seán Murphy (for Joseph P. Walshe) to Charles Bewley (Berlin)
(107/220) (Copy)

Dublin, 11 August 1938

I have been directed by the Minister to state that consideration has been given to the position of Irish trade to Austria consequent upon the incorporation of the latter country in the German Reich, particularly as to whether goods described as of Austrian origin are in future to be regarded as of German origin for the purposes of the German-Irish Trade Agreement and whether the regulations relating to the production of Certificates of Origin for German goods are to be applied in the case of Austrian goods.

As regards the commercial relations between this country and Austria, the position was that Ireland had no commercial relations with Austria. Irish goods upon importation into Austria were, however, accorded most favoured nation treatment by reason of Clause 24 of the United Kingdom-Austrian Treaty of the 22nd May 1924, which provided that goods produced or manufactured in India or in any of the self-governing Dominions, Colonies, Possessions or Protectorates shall enjoy complete and unconditional most-favoured-nation treatment so long as goods produced or manufactured in Austria, are accorded in India or in any of the self-governing Dominions, Colonies, Possession or Protectorate treatment as favourable as that accorded to goods produced or manufactured in any foreign country.

The German Legation in Dublin formally notified the Minister in a note dated the 15th March last of the absorption of Austria in the Reich. The note was formally acknowledged.

The Minister has since addressed notes to the German Legation regarding the reimposition of the visa requirement for holders of German and Austrian passports, and it is thought that the Notes referred to could be interpreted by the German Government as constituting an act of recognition by the Irish Government of the incorporation of Austria into the German Reich.

In the circumstances represented, the Minister is of opinion that the existing Commercial Agreement between this country and Germany may now be held to cover Austria, and that the statistics of imports into Ireland to be submitted in future to the German authorities for the purposes of calculating the amount to be made available for the payment of imports into Germany from this country should include the figures of Irish imports from Austria.

The minister would be glad if you would make representations on these lines to the German Government and report the result thereof in due course. It is desirable that the Revenue Commissioners should be in a position at an early date to impose the requirement of duplicate Certificates of Origin for Austrian goods imported into this country. No doubt the German authorities will notify Austrian exporters of the requirement also

[stamped] (Signed) SEÁN MURPHY

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