No. 190 NAI DFA 215/211

Draft letter from Joseph P. Walshe to John Leydon and R.C. Ferguson (Dublin)
(215/211) (Secret)

Dublin, 12 June 1940

Dear Ferguson, Leydon,

I am sending you herewith copy of a minute which we have received from the High Commissioner's Office1 regarding an enquiry from the British Ministry of Supply as to the engineering capacity available in this country for the manufacture of shell cases and fuses.

As you know, we have from the beginning set our face against the manufacture of armaments here, and I think a number of tentative proposals by Irish firms who were thinking of engaging in this type of work have already been turned down. I am by no means sure that this preliminary feeler from the British Ministry of Supply is not an indication that they themselves anticipate that we might see objection to the manufacture of shell cases and fuses here on grounds of policy.

We propose to ask the High Commissioner therefore to tell the British Ministry of Supply that he has ascertained that it is unlikely that engineering capacity would be available in this country for the manufacture of empty shell cases and fuses. I should be glad if you would let me know as soon as possible whether your Minister agrees.

Yours sincerely,
[stamped] (SIGNED) J.P. Walshe

1 Not printed.

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