No. 51 NAI DFA 219/4

Letter from Frederick H. Boland to William Warnock (Berlin)

Dublin, 10 October 1939

You referred, in a recent report I think, to the fact that, not only the general attitude in Germany, but Press and wireless allusions also were friendly to Ireland.

You should make a particular point of reporting systematically to the Department on all references to Ireland and the policy of the Irish Government, particularly in the matter of neutrality, made in the German papers or on the German wireless. You should draw the attention of the Department to every such allusion, furnishing the text if possible. You should also continue to report to the Department as frequently as possible on the general public attitude to Ireland as evidenced by the conversations which you and Miss Walsh1 may have with individuals, or by expressions of opinion which may reach your ears.

You will have seen from the text of the Dáil Debates which I sent you some days ago that there was some discussion in the Dáil about an allusion to Ireland stated to have been made in the 12.15 a.m. English broadcast from Hamburg station on 12th, 13th or 14th September. The allusion which was referred to in particular by Deputy McGilligan2 was to the effect that the 'blacking out' arrangements in Dublin indicated a disposition on the part of the Irish Government to 'shelter under Mr. Chamberlain's umbrella'. The German Minister here was rather upset about this allusion, and telegraphed to Berlin about it. He was apparently informed in reply that no trace of such an allusion could be found in the scripts of the English talks given from Hamburg on any of the dates mentioned. If you have any information about this particular allusion, we would be glad to receive it, but, of course, it is not necessary for you to do anything about the matter officially.

[stamped] F.H. Boland

1 Ms Eileen J. Walsh, Secretary to the Irish Legation in Berlin.

2 Patrick McGilligan (1889-1979), Fine Gael TD, Minister for External Affairs (1927-32), Professor of International Law at University College Dublin. See biographical details in DIFP III, p. xxiv.

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