84D.24/32: Telegram

The Minister in Ireland (Gray) to the Secretary of State

26. Your 11, February 28, 6 p.m. Aiken on his way to Washington. On March 3 I called on Prime Minister and transmitted your views as to existing priority situation for obtaining American arms and munitions and your suggestion that the envoy be instructed to cooperate with British Purchasing Commission to ensure quick deliveries. I subscribe wholeheartedly to the implications of this suggestion. [Page 222] Last summer I endeavored to enlist your good offices to procure arms for Irish Government direct from America.14 I wish formally to recede from this position in view of changed conditions and fuller knowledge. This is not to be taken as an alarmist warning but as common prudence in view of unfortunate possibilities. If, as I suspect, you believe the decision to arm Ireland to be primarily a British responsibility I agree entirely …