No. 342 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P2

Code telegram from Robert Brennan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 273) (Personal) (Copy)

Washington, 19 November 1940

For your information, description of present conflict in your telegram 1701 'Struggle of world power' I cannot use here. It would be fiercely resented because they hold it is a fight for decency, democracy, civilisation, Christianity, etc., against power of evil.

Your despatch 1772 'choice is between neutrality and independence'. This is dangerous argument, because there is a come-back, already voiced in some letters, that America would guarantee ultimate restoration of independence.

Best line, I find, is to point out that England's friends are doing her ill-service in encouraging her in course which, if pursued, will only increase her difficulties. Please remember cry is getting louder each day that American interests are vitally concerned and that defeat of England means disintegration of America and disaster for United States.

Following message has been received from Dr. Sheehy3 today – 'Tell de Valera his friends will not let him down, but as Americans we shall oppose Hitlerism to _______ death'.4

1 See No. 324.

2 See No. 340.

3 Dr Maurice S. Sheehy, head of the Department of Religious Education, Catholic University of America, known for his anti-Nazi views. In November 1940 Sheehy had written to the British Ambassador in Washington urging that Ireland should not be forced to give up her neutrality and suggesting that Churchill's 5 November statement on the ports was ill-advised.

4 Text missing in original.

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