No. 83 NAI DFA 417/1A

Confidential report from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 4) (Secret)

London, 22 February 1946

Whilst listening yesterday in the House of Commons to the British Foreign Secretary's speech on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Peter Fraser told me in the Gallery that he had intended to pay me a farewell visit and more importantly to ask me to tell Mr. de Valera that if our Government thought fit to apply for membership of the United Nations Organisation, it would have the strong support of himself and his Cabinet. As it was obviously difficult to continue the conversation in the Gallery, I saw him to-day and explained that whilst I was not sure what the attitude of my Government was, I surmised that they would doubtless be wanting to see whether the United Nations Organisation would grow into an effective force in questions of world peace, and would also obviously need to know definitely to what we would be committing ourselves if we did join.

Mr. Fraser supposed that by this time we had studied the Charter and would know that if we joined, we would have to make our contribution to the Organisation's World Force. It was conceivable that if we contributed, for example, a squadron of air force, it might be used in a case about which we had serious misgivings or doubts. He, in common with many others, did not like the veto and there were further limitations about the Organisation at present. He was, nevertheless, of opinion that on balance it was better for a small nation to be in rather than be out.

When I enquired about the present attitude of the Security Council to those countries which had maintained neutrality during the war, the New Zealand Premier thought it was friendlier than it had been some months ago. He had spent some time the day before with Lord Addison and felt sure that the British would stoutly back an application for membership if we thought fit to make one.

I mentioned that some months ago I had heard unofficially that Sweden had been making preliminary soundings as to what was likely to be the attitude of the United Nations Organisation towards an application for membership from that country. He had not heard of this but said that when he was at the San Francisco Conference, he had suggested that both Iceland because of difficulties with USA and Sweden might be semi-officially informed that applications for membership from them would be favourably received. When he talked privately to Mr. Gromyko,1 the Russian Delegate at San Francisco, he found that gentleman to be opposed to the suggestion.

I told Mr. Fraser that I had heard that after informal 'off-the-record' conversations with Mr. Bevin, certain British journalists - Mr. Kingsley Martin, Editor of the 'New Statesman', for example - were uneasy at what they felt to be his deepening hostility to the Russians. He said that he had had a long farewell conversation the night before with Mr. Bevin and found that he was not really anti-Russian. The British Foreign Secretary felt that the difficulties presently experienced with the Russians arose in large measure from their inexperience - that they sometimes let you down without realising that they were letting you down. This opinion, Mr. Fraser said, was also that of Mr. Boswell who for some years past had been the New Zealand Minister in Russia.2 The latter's reports on the conditions of the mass of the people in Russia for some years now had been of the most appalling character. In nearly all the towns, the bulk of the people were not merely looking for a house, they were looking for a room, or a portion of a room.

Although Mr. Manuilsky3 and he had had some very sharp exchanges and head-on conflicts, he had got on well with Mr. Vyshinsky4 - a man of outstanding intellectual force and at the same time an extremely baffling mixture. It bewildered him and others at the Conference that a man of such impressive ability could also show such a disarmingly naïve attitude. In the course of a discussion he had said to Mr. Vyshinsky that the latter's proposals hardly conformed to the normal conceptions of democracy. 'Democracy', said Mr. Vyshinsky with a smile, 'Democracy, ah, that is a most potent drink and a little of it goes a long way'.

This being Mr. Fraser's last day here, he asked to be cordially remembered to An Taoiseach and yourself. He lamented your change of function on the ground that what was Rome's gain was unmistakably Dublin's loss.5

1 Andrei Gromyko (1909-89), Soviet Ambassador to the USA (1943-6), Permanent Representative of the USSR to the UN (1946-8), Soviet Ambassador to Britain (1952-3), Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs (1957-85), Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1985-8).

2 Charles Boswell (1886-1956), New Zealand Minister to the USSR (1944-50).

3 Dmitri Manuilsky (1883-1959), Leader of the Communist Party in Ukraine (1921-3), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine (1946-52).

4 Andrey Vyshinsky (1883-1954), Soviet state prosecutor of Stalin's Moscow trials and in the Nuremberg trials, Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (1940-9), Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs (1949-53).

5 Handwritten insertion.

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