No. 243 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P5

Confidential report from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 49) (Secret)

London, 27 July 1940

As I have already informed you, in the conversations I have had with him during the past few weeks Lord Caldecote has emphatically repudiated any suggestion of an intention on the part of the British Government to invade our territory unless and until they had received a formal request for help from the Irish Government.1

In one of these conversations on the 21st June I told Lord Caldecote that I thought his statement was of such high importance that, in the interests of both Governments, it should be made publicly. He replied as I informed you already at the time that it was the fact and as far as he was concerned there was no reason why it should not be said, though he doubted whether it could, as yet, be said publicly.

On the 23rd July I told Lord Caldecote that on the occasion of a recent visit to Dublin I had informed my Government of his statement that no British entry into our territory was contemplated and I suggested that I should forward to Dublin a note of what he had said to me, but in order to ensure complete accuracy of statement I would like to show him beforehand what I proposed to report. Lord Caldecote, after some discussion, said he would not mind looking at any draft I cared to show him.

Last evening I left with him the enclosed draft2 but as he was overdue at another meeting I arranged to see him again this morning.

Today Lord Caldecote said that he fully accepted my account of our conversations: he had nothing to withdraw but he could not give his imprimatur to the draft without consulting his colleagues. What he had said represented his opinion but he could not say it was an authoritative statement of his Government. He believed we would fight the Germans if they attacked us and he believed that we would ask the British for assistance if we needed it but he did not think it advisable to go to the Cabinet to get their consent to his approving the enclosed draft. He thought the wisest course was to let matters rest as they were at the moment. Our affairs, he thought, were going fairly satisfactorily – which remark had reference I think to his efforts to secure a trade agreement and to obtain further supplies of munitions. My impression is that Lord Caldecote is convinced that the British Government have no idea of going into Éire without invitation. He feels that it would at present be better not to go to the British Cabinet on the question. Reading between the lines I suspect that he is apprehensive that a request to the Cabinet at this point of time might evoke difficulties with some of the die-hard school which he wishes to avoid.

[signed] J.W. Dulanty

1 See No. 239.

2 See No. 239.

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