No. 249 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A3

Department of External Affairs memorandum of a meeting between
Eamon de Valera, Sir John Maffey and General Harrison

Dublin, 2 August 1940

The Taoiseach received Sir John Maffey and General Harrison (late Governor of the Channel Islands) at 4 o'c. today.

After a long general chat General Harrison explained his role. If ever their help was required and asked for it would be necessary to have somebody who knew our country and the people with whom their Army might have to work. He had been appointed as Chief Liaison Officer. There were many matters which would in any emergency call for action by him. We might want artillery support, or tank support, at this point or that. The British might want transport or certain supplies. Or it might be a question of commandeering for billeting etc. In any event a liaison staff of a dozen or so (a few officers, a few clerks and a few signallers) would be of the greatest help in smoothing out difficulties and preventing confusion. General Harrison would also be responsible for suggesting that in this case the Irish officer, in another the British officer, should take command.

The Taoiseach said that he would see the General again with the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures and the Minister for Defence.1

The general line taken by General Harrison might apply to the easy going wars of the Indian frontier.

In reply to a question whether an attack by Germany was more likely in the North General Harrison emphatically agreed, though he thought Donegal was a good point from which to attack the Six Counties. He thought furthermore that an effective attack on Ireland could not be made unless and until the British fleet had been put out of action.

1 See No. 252.

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