No. 143 NAI DT S11846A

Memorandum of a Cabinet discussion by Maurice Moynihan (Dublin)

Dublin, 28 March 1940

At the meeting of the Government held on the 28th March, 1940, further consideration was given to the question of steps being taken with a view to trade conversations by Ministers with the British Government, and a draft despatch (attached)1 prepared by the Department of External Affairs was read. The following decisions were taken:-

  1. A report to be obtained from Mr. Dulanty, High Commissioner in London on any recent conversations he may have had with Messrs. Morrison2 and Burgin.3
  2. A report to be obtained on any discussions on trade matters which may recently have taken place between officials of the Departments concerned and Sir John Maffey, the British representative.
  3. A memorandum or memoranda to be prepared at the instance of the Ministers for Supplies and Agriculture dealing with the trade problems which would come up for discussion and indicating solutions which would be satisfactory from the Irish point of view.
  4. In the event of its being decided that Ministers should go to London for trade discussions, the Ministers to be selected for the purpose to be the Ministers for Supplies and Agriculture. These two Ministers will in the first instance conduct discussions of a general exploratory character and if necessary the question of the Taoiseach subsequently proceeding to London will be considered in due course.
  5. The draft despatch to be further examined from the point of view of considering whether it should be expanded so as to cover, for example, the question of supplies of essential raw materials.4

1 See No. 145.

2 William 'Shakes' Morrison (1893-1961), Minister of Food (1939-40).

3 Edward Leslie Burgin (1887-1945), Minster for Supplies (1939-40).

4 Marginal notes on this document state that items 1, 2 and 5 were to be conveyed to the Department of External Affairs, item 3 was to be conveyed to External Affairs, Agriculture, Supplies and Industry and Commerce and that item 4 was not to be communicated beyond the Department of the Taoiseach.


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