The Secretary of State to the Minister in Ireland ( Gray )
Washington , February 28, 1941—6 p.m.
11. Your No. 23, February 24, 7 p.m.
- Your telegram contained the first intimation which we had received that the Irish Government was contemplating sending such a mission to this country.
- Although we have received no inquiry from the Irish Government as to whether the arrival of such a mission would be agreeable to this Government, we have received a telegram from the Embassy, London, requesting that we arrange clipper passage for Aiken and Nunan, and we are endeavoring to comply with this request.
- In discussing this matter with the Prime Minister, you should make it clear that the production of the American munitions industry for periods varying from several months to more than a year is already preempted under orders received from our own Army and Navy, and from the British, the Canadian, the Chinese, and other governments that are engaged in resisting aggression. Therefore, although the mission may be able to place some few orders for delivery within a reasonable length of time, it must not expect if it acts alone without the assistance of the British Purchasing Commission to be able to place substantial orders for munitions for immediate delivery. We shall, upon arrival of the mission, be glad to place Aiken in communication with the authorities of this Government who will be in a position to assist him so far as the situation will permit. The work of the mission would, of course, be greatly facilitated if it were instructed to cooperate with the British Purchasing Commission. The latter has placed extensive orders and it might be possible for it to arrange to turn over to the Irish a portion of the munitions which will be delivered in the near future in exchange for others to be delivered later under contracts entered into by the Irish Mission.
- This proposed mission was brought up during Brennan’s11 visit to the Department yesterday.
- Robert Brennan, Irish Minister.↩