Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The Irish Minister called to see me this morning at my request.

I read to the Minister the aide-mémoire attached herewith but I did not give him a copy thereof. The Minister asked if it would not be possible for his Government to have made available to it the information in the files of the War Department since it was the sole desire of the Irish Government to prevent activities of the type complained of in the War Department’s publication and to eliminate any sources of danger to the forces of the United States. I told the Minister that I would be very glad to talk this over with the War Department to see if they desired to designate a military officer to discuss the question with the Irish Minister.

S[umner] W[elles]


On October 29 the Minister of Ireland handed to the Under Secretary of State a memorandum relative to a Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland published by the War and Navy Departments for distribution to the American forces. The Minister referred orally to certain passages in the Pocket Guide to which the Irish Government takes exception. Reference was made in particular to the statement that, “Eire’s neutrality is a real danger to the Allied cause. There, just across the Irish Channel from embattled England, and not too far from your own billets in Ulster, the Axis nations maintain large legations and staffs. These Axis agents send out weather reports, find out by espionage what is going on in Ulster.”

In view of the representations made by the Minister of Ireland a copy of his memorandum was referred to the War Department for [Page 772] comment. The War Department has now replied that information in its files fully substantiates the statement made in the Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland to which objection was made by the Irish Minister.