Volume 5 1936~1939

Doc No.

No. 103 NAI CAB 1/8

Extract from the minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet
(Cab. 8/28) (Item 6) (S10389A)

Dublin, 23 November 1937

RELATIONS WITH GT. BRITAIN: Suggested Governmental conference

The President submitted for consideration a draft of a despatch1 which he proposed, in his capacity as Minister for External Affairs, to send to the British Government in reference to discussions between officials of the two Governments in regard to economic and other measures to be adopted in time of war.

He proposed to point out that such measures would depend fundamentally upon the relations existing between the two countries on the outbreak of war, and that the steps to be taken in preparation should be guided by a just appreciation of what those relations were likely to be.

If the Irish Government had to envisage a continuance of the existing strained relations between the two countries their plans should obviously be very different from those appropriate to a situation in which there would exist between the two peoples a feeling of mutual trust and a disposition to co-operate in matters regarded by both as of common concern.

This being the case the Government were satisfied that piecemeal discussions between Civil Servants on the economic and other aspects of the situation which would arise in the case of a major war could achieve no useful purposes until some prior understanding in principle had been reached between the two Governments.

The Irish Government considered it essential, therefore, that members of the two Governments should meet as soon as possible to consider all the important matters involved, and they would be glad to have an early intimation of the views of the British Government on this proposal. The issue of a despatch by the President to the British Government on the lines suggested was approved.