No. 82  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P70

Personal code telegram from John J. Hearne to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 54) (Personal) (Most Secret)

OTTAWA, 28 May 1941

Following is summary of MacKenzie King's telegram to Churchill May 25th:-

(1) Telegram begins by references to discussions that day by British Cabinet of Northern Ireland conscription issue.

(2) Expressing the hope that motive in intervening in discussions will not be misunderstood.

(3) Requesting Churchill to consider repercussions which introduction of conscription in Northern Ireland would have in Canada: and states, if conscription issue became acute controversy in Canada, task of maintaining Canadian unity would be most difficult.

(4) Asking Churchill to consult Halifax as to effect, at most critical moment, upon Irish-American opinion and attitude in the United States of the decision to enforce conscription in any part of Ireland.

Telegram contains no reference to your representations here. Prime Minister felt impression of spontaneous action on his part would be more effective.

Prime Minister strongly emphasised to me his wish above summary is regarded as being for most secret information of Taoiseach only.

Any message of thanks direct to Prime Minister by cable would in the circumstances be inadvisable.

Expect further communication from me today.1

1 Not printed. See Nos 89and 90.

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