No. 128 NAI DFA 219/49

Telegram from Joseph P. Walshe to John J. Hearne (Ottawa)
(No. 13) (Personal) (Copy)

Dublin, 26 February 1940

Your letter 14/28 of 24th January.1 An official statement out of the question. Privately you could explain neutrality is the natural and only attitude for Ireland with her history of persecution and economic impoverishment, loss of half her population through laisser faire policy etc. To go into the war would mean civil war. That is the universal view here. No need to apologise for our neutrality. The countries at war are fighting for their own immediate material interests. Spiritual evils cannot be cured by the supreme evil of war. All this will be admitted when the war is over as it was after the last war and Canada as well as other countries will admit that the Irish Government was right. For the present we have to be patient under adverse criticism. Even attempts to explain our neutrality publicly would cast some doubt on our conviction of its inherent necessity.

1 See No. 111.

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