No. 3 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/14(2)

Confidential report from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 13) (Secret)

London, 18 August 1945

A leading figure in the Conservative Party in London1 told me that the moment it became clear that the Labour Party had an independent majority, the shock to Winston Churchill was so great that for the following twenty-four hours he was, to use my friend's words 'entirely flattened out' and a cause of concern to his immediate circle.


Between the final declaration of the result of the General Election and the announcement of the new Cabinet, I hear considerable efforts, led by Miss Ellen Wilkinson,2 were made in an attempt, unsuccessful of course, to induce the Parliamentary Executive of the Labour Party to elect Mr. Herbert Morrison3 as Prime Minister in place of Mr. Attlee.

The opinion appears to be growing that already Mr. Attlee has increased his stature and strengthened his standing in the country. His continuance as Prime Minister seems to be all the more likely because of the undoubted strength and force of character of Ernest Bevin and Herbert Morrison - the two Labour Cabinet Ministers who are said to have the ambition to succeed him - so strong a rivalry may cause the Party to retain their present leader.4

I made a courtesy call on the new British Dominions Secretary, Lord Addison. Practically the whole of the conversation was taken up by his talk of other Ministries in the past in which I had known him. He said that when he had settled down, he would like to see me again for a talk about Irish affairs. I had the impression that this was said mainly out of politeness.

It is, of course, too early yet to form, even an approximate estimate of the attitude the new Government is likely to take about our question. No doubt they will have little sympathy with the Six County Government but I doubt whether, unless some special situation arises, they will take a strong initiative where we are concerned.

Already I hear that, apart from the immense and pressing post-war problems, the thirty Jews who are included in the present Labour strength in the House of Commons are pressing for an immediate handling of the Palestine question. This, it is said, is causing the Prime Minister serious concern.

1 Unidentified.

2 Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947), British Labour Party MP, Minister of Education (1945-7).

3 Herbert Morrison (1888-1965), British Labour Party MP, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1945-51).

4 Handwritten insertion by Dulanty.

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