No. 285 NAI DFA Washington Embassy Confidential Reports 1940

Confidential report from Robert Brennan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(108/84/40) (Copy)

Washington, 3 September 1940

Apart from the Conscription Bill and the huge votes for armaments now totalling eighteen billion dollars, there is ample evidence that the United States is working up a war spirit. A mediocre song entitled 'God Bless America' written two years ago by Irving Berlin,1 has been adopted as the campaign song by both the Republican and Democratic parties. One hears it everywhere, in theatres, cafes, on the radio and in the street. Miniature American flags appear on all sides, in shop windows, on bicycles, automobiles, etc. The stores are full of toys and ornaments worked in the national colors, red, white and blue, and they seem to be very popular. One gets the impression that very little would be needed to send the people in thousands parading in the streets in war processions.

Judging by the press and radio the feeling in favour of England and against Germany is growing by leaps and bounds.

[stamped] (Signed) Robt. Brennan

1 Irving Berlin (1888-1989), Russian-born naturalised American composer and lyricist. 'God Bless America' was written originally by Berlin in 1918 and was revised by him in 1938. The song is at times considered the unofficial anthem of the United States of America.

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