841E.00/12: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

4030. From the Under Secretary. Department’s 3874, August 15, 4 p.m., and your 4582, August 16, 7 p.m. The Irish Minister, by instruction of his Government, has just informed me that the Criminal Court of Appeals has rejected the appeal filed and that the date of the executions has now been set for September 2.

It is desirable that you should know in discussing this matter further with Mr. Eden that very considerable interest has been shown in these cases in this country. Such influential congressmen as Majority Leader McCormack and many others in both houses have already approached the Department expressing the urgent hope that the death penalty be commuted to imprisonment and that this Government intercede for that purpose. There is no question that Irish circles in this country are very active and that very wide and unquestionably undesirable publicity would be given to the executions if carried out.

Please telegraph what the decision of the British authorities may be. I shall speak to Halifax18 this afternoon about this question. [Welles.]

  1. Viscount Halifax, British Ambassador.