No. 136  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P22

Memorandum by the Department of External Affairs concerning
the steps to be taken in the event of Irish involvement in hostilities

DUBLIN, 27 October 1941

1. The most urgent steps we would have to take in the case of war are:-
to provide for the closing and withdrawal of our Legation or Office in the enemy country;
to provide for the closing of the Legation of the enemy State here;
to ensure that our Legations and Offices abroad have instructions and funds to enable them to carry on, even if communications are totally disrupted.

2. Our Legations and Offices abroad have had in their hands for over 18 months complete instructions as to what to do if they have to close their Offices and withdraw, covering such matters as the destruction of records and codes, the handing over of premises and property to the neutral power chosen to take charge of Irish interests, the destruction of passport booklets, seals, stamps, etc. The various Legations and Offices abroad have sufficient funds in hands to cover the cost of their withdrawal and, as an additional precaution, a Central Fund has been placed at the disposal of the Chargé d'Affaires in Berne.

3. Measures with a view to the closing of the Legation of an enemy State here, and the removal of the representative to a suitable location pending repatriation, have been discussed and agreed with the Departments of Defence and Justice.

4. The various Legations and Offices abroad have instructions as to what to do if this country is invaded and communications are disrupted. They will regard their principal role as one of propaganda. There is a radio telegraphic link between this country and the United States, and the representatives abroad have been instructed to act on any directions they receive from or through the Legation at Washington. The Legation at Berne has at its disposal in Swiss francs sufficient funds to maintain all the other Legations on the Continent for a period of six1 months.

1 Marginal annotation by Joseph Walshe: '? Three'.

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