No. 270 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A2

Memorandum from Joseph P. Walshe to Eamon de Valera (Dublin)

Dublin, 21 August 1940

The High Commissioner 'phoned me about 10.15 last night to say that he had been requested by Lord Beaverbrook1 to go to his house at 10.30. He asked Beaverbrook if he would be good enough to tell him the object of his request. Beaverbrook replied that he was going to ask him whether it would be possible for the Irish Government to give facilities in Ireland for the training of civilian pilots.

The High Commissioner then 'phoned Lord Caldecote and asked him whether there was any connection between Beaverbrook's request and the delay which had taken place in a final decision regarding the price of our cattle. Caldecote said there was not, but he gave the High Commissioner the impression that the British were going to ask us for facilities for trans-shipment.

When I told the High Commissioner that he should oppose both suggestions at once and make it clear that, in his view, the Government could not accept them, he replied that, when the Ministers were in London in early May, they gave him and the British the impression that something could be done about the facilities for trans-shipment. I warned him that, whatever the Ministers might have said in early May, the situation with regard to our neutrality had become very much more serious since then and he would have to show in his attitude that it would be exceedingly difficult for his Government to accept these proposals.

[initialled] J.P.W.

The invite to Lord B. was later postponed until 4.30 p.m. today. J.P.W.2

1 Sir Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964), Minister for Aircraft Production (1940-1).

2 Handwritten insertion.

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