740.0011 European War 1939/11291

The Department of State to the Irish Legation


The Secretary of State has read the memorandum which the Irish Minister left at the Department on May 15, 1941 and notes the interpretations placed upon the memorandum which the American Minister at Dublin left with Prime Minister de Valera on April 28 and the divergence of views which the Irish Minister apparently believes exists between the Irish and American Governments.

The offer of the American Government made through the American Minister in Dublin on April 28 to enter into negotiations with the Irish Government for the acquisition by the latter of two freight vessels was made unconditionally and based only upon the close and traditional friendship between the American and the Irish peoples. It was made, despite an acute shipping shortage, through a sincere [Page 237] desire on the part of the United States to aid in the transportation of essential food supplies to Ireland and to alleviate the situation of the Irish people in their present difficult circumstances.

It is needless to repeat here that the United States has no desire to attempt to influence the Irish Government in the direction of its national policies, including measures looking to the safety of the Irish nation and people. In a like manner the American Government feels certain that, with regard to the question of arms, munitions, and war supplies, the Irish Government does not question the policy of the American Government in retaining these articles for its own defense or sharing them with those nations now defending themselves against aggression and whose defense is deemed vital to the defense of the United States.

The American Government reaffirms its desire at all times to give every consideration to the needs of the Irish people and to the requests of the Irish Government.