Volume 8 1945~1948

Doc No.

No. 6 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/9

Dearg code telegram from Patrick J. O'Byrne to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
concerning a conversation with Owen O'Malley1
(No. 123)

Lisbon, 4 September 1945

Your telegram 88.2 Had a very long conversation during courtesy visit last week. He has not been well since arrival and had to postpone original date for presenting letter.

The conversation was mostly about Ireland, but he mentioned following:-

  1. He believes atom has completely revolutionised strategy and will involve profound changes in international relations, but most Governments have not yet realised its implications: he considers it impossible that it can remain exclusive property of Great Britain and USA for long.
  2. He is rather strong on a Western European bloc.
  3. He is of opinion France must disappear but did not indicate how he envisaged this happening.
  4. Political situation here is quite quiet but a civil aviation and a Treasury expert have been here lately - Anglo-Portuguese financial arrangement has lapsed.
  5. Bevin's House of Commons statement was evoked and warmly welcomed by Portuguese, and Bevin went further than Eden would similarly ever have gone as regards unsatisfactory state of affairs in Eastern Europe.

He said that he has now discovered answer to question that puzzled you last year about attitude of British cited by authorities: technical people were all for dealing with questions on business lines but Churchill said that they should be 'rude' to us. He said Churchill lost much credit amongst instructed people by his speech May 18th,3 and that the Taoiseach's reply was considered very dignified and reasonable in the circumstances.

He was extremely friendly but said, in view of his position, he must be careful not to appear too much so.

I have delayed this telegram as a precaution.

1 Sir Owen O'Malley (1887-1974), British Ambassador to Portugal (1945-7).

2 Not printed.

3 Churchill's radio broadcast of 18 May 1945 in which the British Prime Minister severely criticised Ireland's wartime neutrality.