No. 327 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A8

Memorandum by Colonel Liam Archer
of a discussion with Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Dublin, 9 November 1940

1. I have reason to believe that a diplomatic offensive is being launched by England in America on the following lines:

(a) Bases in S. Ireland are essential to England to combat the submarine menace.

(b) Mr. de Valera won't give these without a lot of fuss and trouble.

(c) The U.S. could get them easily.

(d) By amendment of the Neutrality Act S. Ireland can be declared outside the combat zone and traffic in 'non-contraband' carried on between the U.S. and Ireland in U.S. bottoms as well as British.

(e) Owing to German attacks such traffic must be given protection and should be convoyed by U.S. Navy outside the combat zone, i.e. to and from Ireland. U.S. Navy to get the necessary terminal facilities in S.W. Ireland for this convoy protection.

2. It is expected in well informed circles that Pres. Roosevelt's policy will be one of gradual but persistent increase in the amount and nature of support to England leading to the participation of the U.S. Navy (and Naval Air Service) in the protection to Trade Routes in the Western Approaches; that his policy does not contemplate the employment of the U.S. Army in Europe or even a declaration of war by U.S. The onus to be on Germany of attacking U.S. convoys or declaring war on account of U.S. activities. The U.S. battle fleet is expected to remain in the Pacific and the naval activities in the Atlantic to be undertaken by the light forces and the U.S. naval air service. The question of European bases for this service thus arises as does the A.A. and ground protection of them.

3. Parallel with the U.S. Canadian Defence talks Washington and London are exchanging information on Atlantic and Pacific defence questions.

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