No. 21 NAI DFA Secretary's Files A71

Note for Éamon de Valera on German internees

Dublin, 17 October 1945

Note for Minister
Reply to Deputy Flanagan1 on German Internees

  1. Once military operations commenced, we were bound under the Hague Convention (No. V), 1907, to intern troops belonging to the belligerent Armies which entered Irish territory (Article 11).
  2. When the actual hostilities ceased, it was logical for us to consider our duty to keep internees in custody at an end. As a humane people (which our neutral attitude bore out), we had to think of restoring quickly to their homes and families those men whom we had interned during the war-period.
  3. The Treatment of Prisoners of War Convention, 1929, merely recommends (Article 75) that 'the repatriation of prisoners shall be effected as soon as possible after the conclusion of peace'. That Convention was not meant for neutrals, from whom is expected rather more liberality.

1 Oliver J. Flanagan (1920-87), TD for Laois/Offaly Irish Monetary Reform Party (1943-8), Independent (1948-54), member of Fine Gael (1954-87).

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