No. 26 NAI DFA 419/4 Part 2

Extracts from the minutes of the inter-departmental conference on European relief aid1

Dublin, 24 October 1945

Minute of Inter-Departmental Conference
held on the 24th October 1945
in the Department of External Affairs, Iveagh House


Messrs. MacCarthy2 & Murray3
Mr. Foley4
Mr. Hanna
Messrs. Walshe (Chairman) & Boland

:Department of Industry & Commerce
:Department of Agriculture
:Department of Finance
:Department of External Affairs


Aid for Central Europe:
Mr. Walshe informed the Conference that the Taoiseach is very anxious to have further efforts made to relieve European distress. He wishes in particular to help to relieve the appalling conditions coming to light in Central Europe, through the International Red Cross. It is, accordingly, proposed to make a vigorous nation-wide appeal for voluntary contributions through the Irish Red Cross with the full co-operation of the Government. The object of the present Conference is to ascertain what relief supplies could be made available
[matter omitted]

C. Government Assistance:
The Conference agreed that any portion of the three million pounds already voted by the Dáil for European relief which had not been taken up by Italy, Belgium, France and Holland by the 1st January next might be re-allocated for Central European relief. Mr. Walshe indicated that the Taoiseach is anxious, when this sum is exhausted, that further demands for relief should be met by the Red Cross from voluntary subscriptions until the close of the present financial year. Should any part of the original Vote be surrendered, it could be re-voted next year together with a further Vote which will be placed before the Dáil.

Mr. Foley stated, in this connection, that only a small proportion of the supplies already dispatched to Europe have been a charge against the three million pounds already voted. The Belgian and French Governments are paying 'spot cash' for what they have received and only part of the relief supplies offered to these countries has been accepted. As conditions are improving in Western Europe it is expected that a large proportion of the Vote will be available for Central European relief. Mr. Hanna indicated that his Department would not be concerned with the cost of individual items, provided the total cost does not exceed the sum voted.

At the same time, the Conference felt that any supplies sent to Europe should be charged against the total of the offer made, whether they are paid for or not. Otherwise this country would not get credit for the considerable quantities of cattle, for example, which have been made available for European countries. The method of payment for our supplies should be carefully considered in order that due credit would be obtained for all that is being done.
[matter omitted]

1 This document was not circulated; the formal minutes of the meeting were prepared by the Department of Industry and Commerce.

2 J.C.B. MacCarthy (1908-90), Assistant Secretary, Department of Industry and Commerce (1945-54), Deputy Secretary (1954-6), Secretary (1956-72).

3 Thomas Murray, Principal Officer, Supplies Branch, Department of Industry and Commerce.

4 Maurice Foley, Assistant Secretary, Department of Agriculture.

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