Volume 6 1939~1941

Doc No.

No. 235 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P4

Code telegram from Joseph P. Walshe to John J. Hearne (Ottawa)
(No. 46) (Personal) (Most Secret) (Copy)

Dublin, 21 July 1940

Your despatch 14/56 of 27th June.1 Continue to emphasise strongly our determination to remain neutral, taking line that we regard our neutrality not as a bargaining factor, or as a cloak to be taken off if there is some advantage to be gained by so doing, but as an essential expression of our national independence.

For your information, we have sound evidence for regarding German invasion as very improbable. Report referred to in your 392 is part of campaign mentioned in my 413 which still continues and is doing considerable harm to relations between the two countries.

Many American syndicated Press reports with Dublin date lines are not sent from Dublin and are grossly misleading. Recent reinforcement of British troops in Six Counties probably due to British fear of German invasion of Ireland. British attack on us is considered unlikely here, but will be strenuously resisted if made.

You should see and be guided by Taoiseach's interview published in 'New York Times' of 6th July.4 Speeches of Opposition leaders not reliable guide.

Public opinion here accepts probability of British defeat.

1 Not printed.

2 Not printed.

3 Not printed.

4 On 5 July 1940 de Valera told Harold Denny of the New York Times that 'come what may, Éire is determined to preserve her neutrality and stay out of the war if humanly possible'. If invaded, Ireland would resist 'and it does not matter what nation invades her'. De Valera explained that letting in one country would provoke the other, and said that Ireland's only hope was to maintain its 'strict neutrality'.