No. 44 NAI DFA 416/1 Part 1

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to James J. McElligott (Dublin)

Dublin, 4 December 1945

We are not losing sight of the North Strand bombing claim about which you wrote to me on the 13th November.1 We have it very much in mind and you may be sure that we will take advantage of the first useful opportunity to register it in the proper quarters. So far as I can see, however, there is nothing to be done at the moment. The Reparations Conference in Paris has been set up to deal with the claims of the United Nations themselves. It has barely begun its work and, judging by the reaction of British and American opinion to the extravagant claims already lodged by people like the Russians and the French, its proceedings are not going to be plain sailing. In fact it looks as if they will resolve themselves into a determined struggle between those who are starting to feel that it would be lunacy to create an economic chaos in Central Europe and those who are inclined to insist on the satisfaction of their own particular claims regardless of the general consequences. So far, there has been no mention anywhere of neutral rights and there is nothing in what has been issued about the Conference which would suggest that it is even competent to deal with neutral claims. In the circumstances, I feel that, if we were to try do anything now, we should be not only putting forward our claim under the least favourable circumstances but, in addition, leaving ourselves open to an actual rebuff.

We had the impression that the £12,000 which the Germans paid in respect of Campile, while not as much as we claimed, constituted on the whole a not unsatisfactory settlement. Is this not so? In any case, I am afraid that from the legal point of view, we would not have a leg to stand on in trying to re-open the claim.

The position as regards our claim against the British in respect of damage by balloons and falling aircraft was dealt with in our official minute 206/119 of the 12th November.2 You probably had not seen this minute before you wrote your letter of the 13th November. There have been discussions with regard to it between our two Departments in the meantime. We are still awaiting replies from the British and the French about our claims for damage caused by sea mines.

1 See No. 33 above.

2 Not printed.

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