Volume 8 1945~1948

Doc No.

No. 148 NAI DFA 417/33

Minute by Frederick H. Boland of a phone call from Norman Archer

Dublin, 9 July 1946

Mr. Archer telephoned me on the evening of the 4th July, and told me that he had an instruction from his authorities to see the Taoiseach as soon as possible to convey to him a message from the British Government. Mr. Archer gave me to understand that the communication related to UNO and that it was of a friendly character.

I made arrangements with Mr. Archer to see the Taoiseach at 12.45 the following day. Mr. Archer told me later that he had informed the Taoiseach that, if the Irish Government decided to apply before the 15th July for membership of UNO, the British Government would be pleased to support the application. Mr. Archer told me that his information was that applications were likely to be made before the 15th July by Mongolia, Siam, Transjordania, Afghanistan and Albania. It was hoped that applications would also be made by Sweden, Portugal, ourselves and Iceland. He understood that his Government were also approaching Portugal and Iceland, but he emphasised that we were not being invited to apply. We were merely being informed that, if we did apply, the British Government would support our application.

When Mr. Thorsing, the new Swedish Chargé d'Affaires, paid his first visit on Monday morning, I told him we would be glad to know as soon as possible whether there had been any recent change in the Swedish attitude about applying for membership of UNO. I gave him to understand that there was a move on to get in as many applications as possible in time for the Assembly in September, and that we had been approached in that connection.

Mr. Thorsing told me that he would address a telegraphic enquiry at once to Stockholm and let us know the reply as soon as possible.

The Portuguese Chargé d'Affaires came to see me this morning at his own request, and handed me the text of an enquiry which he had received from his Government.

I told Senor de Freitas that we had received such an approach from the British Government. I told him that I had not yet discussed the matter with the Taoiseach, and that, officially, our attitude still was as stated by the Taoiseach in the Dáil the week before last. That statement had, of course, been made in the light of the circumstances then prevailing. If there were any material change in those circumstances, it might be altered. It might well be altered, for example, if Russia intended to put up candidatures for which she had no hope of receiving the necessary support from the Western European great Powers unless she herself were prepared to vote for the States of Western Europe which were not yet members of UNO. We had some indication that something of the kind was afoot. I would be glad if he could find out from his Government whether they had any indication that that was the position. I thought that the Irish Government would be likely to apply if it thought the other Western European States intended to apply now and if a situation of the kind I had suggested afforded a reasonable prospect of Russia refraining from offering opposition.

Senor de Freitas said he would wire to his Government and try to let me know as soon as possible what they intended to do.

The Spanish Minister called on me later in the morning and said that his Government had heard rumours that there were moves on foot to get some of the former neutrals into the United Nations Organisation. Naturally, those moves did not extend to Spain, but Spain hoped that, if any such development were under way, all the former neutrals would consult together and discuss what was the best course to follow.

I refrained from giving the Spanish Minister any indication that an approach had been made to us, but I was careful not to give him any positive indication to the contrary in case he should get some wind of the fact from later conversation with the Portuguese Chargé d'Affaires.

I discussed the whole matter with the Taoiseach after Questions in the Dáil this afternoon. I suggested to the Taoiseach that, if it were a fact - as Mr. Archer had stated - that a large number of States, including Mongolia, Albania, Afghanistan, Siam, Transjordania, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and ourselves were being approached, it was essential for us to know what the other Western European States were likely to do, and, if they decided to apply, to apply ourselves. It seemed likely to me that, following the recent discussion on the Rules of Procedure for the admission of new members, there had been some discussion either between the Foreign Ministers or their deputies as to what States were to be admitted under the Rules, and the fact that Mr. Archer had mentioned specific countries to me looked very much as if a combination had already been decided upon. The danger from our point of view was that, if we did not take advantage of the opportunity offering now, we might find it impossible ever to become members of the United Nations Organisation later without paying a quid pro quo for her vote to Russia ourselves.

The Taoiseach said he had already mentioned the matter to the Government that morning, and he instructed that a memorandum should be prepared with a view to the consideration of the question of application by the Government at its meeting next Friday morning.