740.0011 European War 1939/19462: Telegram
The Minister in Ireland (Gray) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 14—12:04 p.m.]
23. For the Secretary and Under Secretary. The effect of James Dillon’s11 speech favoring entry into the war in support of America has not been favorably received even by pro-American elements. There is a general impression that it was badly timed. Its immediate effect is to irritate the Irish Government much as Irish American opposition to our aid for Britain policy embarrassed our Government.
I had a short talk with the Prime Minister on the 11th in which I said that I had recommended arms for him but that even if my recommendations were to be favorably acted upon it was obvious that little could be soon available. From my necessarily limited viewpoint I think we should ignore his recent protest and take steps to conciliate the Irish public and Army with token concessions highly publicized.
Something on this line should be done soon to counteract German propaganda which is spreading the story that we intend to invade Eire. It is also of first importance that the secret military liaison of which I have spoken be continuously maintained and developed when and if certain changes take place and to this end some token matériel would be essential. It should also be remembered that Britain may make popular economic concessions and leave us bearing the brunt of Irish hostility together with prerequisite defense responsibilities.
- Member of Fine Gael Party in Eire from which he resigned February 20, 1942.↩