No. 330  NAI DFA Paris Embassy 18/5

Confidential report from Seán Murphy to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(Confidential) (18/5)

VICHY, 8 October 1943

With reference to our exchange of telegrams on the question of the French Minister's attitude there is very little I can add to my telegrams. I feel however I should point out how impossible the suggested approach in your first telegram1 appeared from this end. I was given little or no information on which to base my approach save an expression of opinion from your side that it was in the best interests of Vichy. I cannot imagine how it could have been thought that such a proposal would be accepted. Vichy regards the Algiers Committee as their arch-enemy. How it was conceived that they could agree to allow their representative also to represent Algiers I cannot imagine. It was surely a matter of principle for Vichy and whether it happened in Ireland or elsewhere made no difference. What I was unable to understand also was why the person of Laforcade should have been mixed up with the recognition or nonrecognition of the North African Committee. That is a question of Government policy. You can appreciate that however informal my conversation might be it could not fail to leave the impression that our interest in Laforcade must be motived by a North African preference. It might also have been taken as a patronising and interfering interest in their affairs.

It must further be remembered that whilst we have some interests and a fair number of nationals to protect in France the French have practically no interests in Ireland. Their Legation is a costly luxury and they might be very glad of any opportunity to give it up.

All these reasons were present in my mind when I sent my telegram 2622 and I thought it was well that you should reconsider the question before I undertook a démarche which in my opinion could not meet with success.

1 See No. 324.

2 See No. 323.

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