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306 Churchill to Curtin

Cablegram D1478 [1] LONDON, 1 October 1944, 4.30 a.m.


From the Prime Minister to the Prime Minister.

1. The War Cabinet reconsidered yesterday the question of inviting
Southern Ireland (Eire) to the Conference at Ottawa about civil
aviation, in view of their having been invited without our being
consulted by the United States to the later conference in the
United States of America. We have also considered carefully the
various expressions of opinion from the Dominion Governments. [2]
We felt, however, after much heart searching that it would be
impossible for us to advocate an Empire conference at which a
member state of the British Empire was present who actually at the
moment would be maintaining in Dublin German and Japanese
diplomatic representatives and Irish representatives at Berlin and
Tokyo. The magnitude of the question of the future relations of
Ireland with the British Empire and Commonwealth and with the
United Kingdom is by no means to be overlooked, but it should not
be settled on a side issue of this character, where our hand has
been forced by the action of a foreign power. Although Anglo-Irish
relations are a matter of concern to the whole Empire, it will I
am sure be admitted that the interest of the United Kingdom on
account of our very close proximity, is one which must be
considered paramount. We, therefore, hope that you will be willing
to acquiesce in the line we take. [3]

2. We do not consider that the geographical position of Ireland
will be of very great importance in post-war aviation. The new
field we are building at Slough for the reception of the enormous
aircraft of the future will deprive Foynes of much, if not all, of
its present significance.

1 Sent through the U.K. Dominions Secretary.

2See Document 300. The Canadian and South African Govts expressed
similar views to those of the Commonwealth Govt. See Canadian
Govt's cablegram 181, dispatched 25 September, and memorandum
H417, dated 28 September, from Stirling (on file AA:A989,

3In cablegram 258, dispatched 4 October (on the file cited in note
2), the Commonwealth Govt replied: 'Without discussing general
questions of status and relationship mentioned in D1478 we are
prepared to acquiesce in the reconsidered view of War Cabinet that
Eire should not be invited to present Empire aviation conference'.

[AA:A989, 44/735/832/12/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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