No. 359 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P2

Code telegram from Joseph P. Walshe to Robert Brennan (Washington)
(No. 193) (Personal) (Copy)

Dublin, 4 December 1940

Your 285.1 When the American Minister was giving the Taoiseach the alleged account of what Under Secretary said to you, he said he had received instructions to do so. He prefaced his statement by saying that Americans could be cruel if their interests were affected and Ireland should expect little or no sympathy if the British took their ports. He added that, in any case, America herself was coming into the war in a short time, and then Ireland would have to give the ports to America. Gray is very imprudent. He repeats these views publicly in the diplomatic corps and amongst his ascendancy friends and has told them that he had been instructed to give the message in question to the Taoiseach. Since this attitude may give the impression here that America wants the British to seize our ports, it might be well to visit Under Secretary once more, tell him that Taoiseach naturally disturbed at tone of message, and unable to understand discrepancy between what Under Secretary said to you and account given in instruction (if it was an instruction). Gray left text of report as sent to him. Text given in immediately following telegram.2

1 See No. 329.

2 Not printed.

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