No. 74  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P70

Memorandum by Joseph P. Walshe concerning British plans to introduce conscription in Northern Ireland

DUBLIN, 24 May 1941

The High Commissioner spoke to Lord Beaverbrook on the phone this morning. Beaverbrook and indeed most of the British Ministers seem to be away for the weekend. Dulanty reminded Beaverbrook that he had been helpful in the last conscription crisis.1 Beaverbrook replied that that was so, but he could not do anything this time. He did not want to queer Churchill's pitch. He thought it better that he and Dulanty should not meet. He knew the case; Churchill had told them all about it. Dulanty would be well advised not to try to see him.

The High Commissioner concluded from this conversation that there was no hope of Beaverbrook opposing Churchill, but he thought that Beaverbrook would be ready to come over to see the Taoiseach if Churchill suggested such a step to him.

2. The High Commissioner tried to see Bevan, but he was out of town.

3. He spoke to the Cardinal2 on the 'phone. The Cardinal was not responsive. He did not want to come into this business. If he did, it would be a Battle of the Cardinals. In any case, it was better for him not to do anything.

4. The London newspapers tell of the meeting between the Government and the Opposition parties, but they do not give any account of the Nationalist meeting in Belfast.

I have given the Northern Nationalist and Labour Parties' statements to the High Commissioner.

1 See DIFP V, No. 307.

2 Cardinal Arthur Hinsley (1865-1943), Catholic Archbishop of Westminster (1937-43).

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