740.0011 European War 1939/11202: Telegram

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

52. For the Secretary and the Under Secretary. There is still no editorial or Government comment on the President’s offer of two ships and wheat.

[Page 235]

Informed authoritatively that Duff Cooper’s23 statement regarding respect of Irish neutrality was made without the knowledge of the Cabinet.

I am also informed confidentially from Irish sources conscription is likely to be applied to Northern Ireland this week and that Irish Government anticipate serious trouble both in the North and South when Irish Catholic Nationalists are drafted. Have checked this information with British sources and hear conscription is likely to be imminent.

This is likely to have reactions here that might create political embarrassment to us in the present phase of the situation. It is possible that this Government would exploit them to the full. Can discover no reason why Ulster conscription should not wait for several months. It will also seriously hamper the opposition on which we must rely.

  1. Alfred Duff Cooper, British Minister of Information.