No. 302 NAI DFA 221/147

Code telegram from the Department of External Affairs to
William Warnock (Berlin)
(No. 164) (Personal) (Copy)

Dublin, 26 September 1940

At their request made on 23rd instant we have shown German Legation material evidence of German responsibility including pieces of bomb bearing impressed German crests and other markings, contents of unexploded bomb clearly of German origin and statements of witnesses who saw German markings and identified the two planes from blank outlines as Heinkel III K. Hempel commented on fact that one of cartridges of unexploded bomb was of French manufacture but appeared otherwise satisfied.1

Legation's request may be occasioned by story in a pamphlet circulated by I.R.A. that Campile bombing was a deliberate British plot, or Hempel may have heard some opinion expressed by individuals with no knowledge of circumstances. There is no evidence whatever for this theory. Both the inquest and the subsequent military investigation establish beyond reasonable doubt explanation in communiqué that bombs were dropped by German machines in mistake. Vast majority of people held this view and German denial would be severe shock to confidence in German good faith. For obvious reasons, French cartridge is against British plot theory rather than otherwise.

We sincerely hope, therefore, that Germans won't depart from original decision on strength of a completely uninformed and unsubstantiated theory. The rumour is also in circulation that Germans bombed Wexford deliberately to intimidate creamery exporters. A German denial would dispose of this malicious rumour and confound those such as Stephen King-Hall2 who have quoted this and other recent incidents as evidence of growing difficulties between Ireland and Germany. The Government, with all its means of judging what is most in interest of mutual relations, is convinced that agreed communiqué is best solution and is most anxious that it should be published as soon as possible.

Please see W.[oermann] at once, ask how matter stands, if he refers to new difficulties, speak on these lines and urge early issue of communiqué. If W. refers to British plot theory, remind him that wholly uninformed and irresponsible rumours nearly caused difficulty in our relations before. An I.R.A. broadcast from Belfast was source of misunderstanding referred to in your 25/39 of 30th December.3

1 This was later identified as Irish Defence Forces ordnance of French origin. See No. 305.

2 Sir William Stephen King-Hall (1893-1966), British journalist, politician and playwright; served in the Ministry of Aircraft Production during the Second World War; National Labour/Independent MP for Ormskirk (1939-45).

3 Not printed.

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