No. 368 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/7

Telegram from Francis T. Cremins to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 112) (Personal)

Berne, 13 December 1940

Contact with all colleagues. Visited already Nuncio, new French Ambassador, Italian, Spanish, British, American, German, Argentine, Hungarian, Chinese, Japanese Ministers.

Nuncio expressed highest understanding and appreciation of Taoiseach's ports statement.1 Thinks, as outside observer, attack on the ports improbable owing to reaction of United States, Dominions.

The Italian Minister expressed most cordial friendship of Italy for Ireland.

Spanish Minister stated Spain's need of speedy peace, economic position very bad owing to cost of civil war and blockade. Expressed the view that, on the whole, Ireland safe from attack.

The French Ambassador considers war may go on almost indefinitely if Britain holds out till Spring; thinks Italy blundered by attacking Greece, and attacked without German consent; thinks ebullition at present between Italian Army and party of Germans; diversion Gibraltar possible, but he thinks not, as Spain morally and economically too weak to be pushed too far; thinks Irish neutrality safe, at any rate for the present.

U.S. Minister is of opinion Germany will make strong bid to finish war quickly.

The Hungarian says Germany adverse to conflict with Balkans and Italian setback will prolong general war.

German Minister remarked, re Irish neutrality, matter of life or death for Ireland, not to depart from it.

All gave me very friendly welcome and displayed interest in policy and conditions in Ireland.

A Central European view is that the war will not end without a clash between Germany and Russia, easy victory over France not suiting latter's policy of promoting general exhaustion. Moreover Ukraine question not settled finally.

I find that people generally consider danger to Ireland comes from one side or the other according to their own predilections.

I have met no one who expects war to end quickly. Position of Great Britain regarded as serious but her power of resistance remains great.

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