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55 Cranborne to Curtin

Cablegram D277 LONDON, 23 February 1944, 3.20 p.m.


Following for the Prime Minister.

The United States Ambassador in London recently consulted us
regarding a proposal that the United States Government should
approach the Government of Eire with a request for the removal of
Axis diplomatic representatives in Dublin. He said that the United
States Government contemplated addressing a formal note to the
Fire Government referring to the declared policy of that
Government to be 'a friendly neutral' to the United States, and
pointing out that owing to the geographical position of Eire, the
presence there of German and Japanese diplomatic and consular
representatives afforded facilities for Axis espionage against
Allied military operations of vital importance. The United States
Ambassador also raised with us the question whether if we agreed
with this proposal, the United Kingdom Government would associate
themselves with the proposed United States approach.

We carefully considered the matter and came to the conclusion that
while we could not feel confident that the request would be
acceded to, it would be desirable to support the United States
initiative. obviously if the request were met the result would be
very advantageous, while even if it were refused, no damage to our
interests should, in our view, result from such an approach. We
feel that the best course would be that the United States
Government should make their approach first, and that we should
follow it a day or two later with a communication from ourselves
to the Eire Government indicating that we welcome this United
States initiative and supported their request.

Accordingly, the United States Minister in Dublin [1] on Monday
last presented to the Eire Government a note in the above sense.

Mr. de Valera [2], we understand, indicated to him orally that the
reply of the Eire Government would be in the negative.

The United Kingdom representative in Dublin [3] presented our
supporting note yesterday. He reports that Mr. de Valera, in
conversation, took strong exception to the presentation of a note
and suggested that it was part of the Allied policy of putting a
squeeze on neutrals.

It is understood that the Eire Government are now considering the
terms of a formal reply to the United States note (and presumably
to our note) and when this is received, the position (including
the question whether there should be any publication) will be
further considered.

1 David Gray.

2 Irish Prime Minister.

3 Sir John Maffey.

[AA:A989, 44/450/5/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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