740.0011 European War 1939/8921: Telegram

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

27. Colonel Donovan15 spent 4 hours in Dublin Saturday.16 His mission very helpful though apparently obtaining no intimations [as] to change of Irish policy. I have written the Prime Minister thanking him on the part of Colonel Donovan for his courtesy and recording gist of Colonel Donovan’s talk with me as follows:

In my short talk with Colonel Donovan on the way to the airport he explained to me that beyond reading to you the special message with which he had been entrusted he had endeavored to make it clear that he was not expounding the policy of the American Government, but seeking information and suggesting the trends of American majority opinion. The purport of this appears to be that the United States assumes in no wise to criticize the policy of the Irish Government, but sorrowfully regrets that we do not see eye to eye and stand shoulder to shoulder in this struggle for the survival of Christian civilization and the rights of small nations. They regret that the Irish Government does not agree with them in the conviction that the safety of Ireland as also the importation of all sea-borne supplies including arms depends upon British sea power. And they regret that the Irish Government is unable to find any formula that would contribute to the security of the ocean lanes.

  1. Col. William J. Donovan, Personal Representative of the Secretary of the Navy on special mission in Europe.
  2. March 8.