No. 170  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/5

Handwritten letter from John J. Hearne to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

OTTAWA, 19 January 1942

My dear Joe,
I am reporting in this bag on a dinner party which we gave last week in honour of the new Argentine Minister.1

In the course of conversation with Jack Conway during the evening Grattan O'Leary2 said that both Kearney3 and Garland had told him that while 'the old man' (i.e. the Taoiseach) 'could be handled' (i.e. persuaded to go into the war), you are 'violently anti-British'. O'Leary added that he was informed to the same effect in the Department of External Affairs here.

Mr. Aiken, by the way, is Mrs. Hall Kelly's4 bogey man. She said to us while here that 'something could be done but for that Mr. Aiken'. Mr. de Valera 'would be so much freer to act if Mr. Aiken was not in the Cabinet.'

Although I feel you may not wish me to report this sort of thing at all, I imagine you would like to know, in some such way as this, what people like O'Leary are saying. O'Leary is still basking in the glory of his speeches on his visits to Great Britain and Ireland. He feels he has a mission to bring Ireland into the war. He has got the impression that if somebody could only put the case to the Taoiseach himself, behind the backs as it were of his colleagues or advisers, he would 'see the thing for himself' and be persuaded to 'come in'.
Well, Mr. O'Leary had his chance!

We are all well. Hoping you all are well also.

As ever,

1 Dr. Pablo Santos Munoz.

2 Michael Grattan O'Leary (1888-1976), Canadian publisher and political journalist.

3 John Doherty Kearney, Canadian High Commissioner in Ireland (1941-5).

4 Eleanor Hall Kelly, wife of the former Canadian High Commissioner in Ireland, John Hall Kelly (1879-1941).

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