841D.01/203: Telegram

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

103. Personal for the Minister. Your 117, September 13, 8 p.m. We are today telegraphing Ambassador Winant the text of a proposed message from the President to Mr. de Valera22 with instructions to obtain the views of the British Government as soon as possible. Mr. Winant has also been instructed to send you a copy of this message for your information. This new draft has been prepared in accordance with the suggestions of the War and Navy Departments and has been approved by the President. Upon receipt of word from London that the British Government has approved this message we will telegraph you instructions in regard to its delivery.

For your own background information at this stage, however, it may be added that the War and Navy Departments say that it is impossible to foresee at this time just what military value bases in Ireland may have or whether, as the war develops, we would actually wish to use such bases. They believe however that it would be of real assistance now in planning our war strategy to be able to count on the use of these bases if at any time they should be needed. They have accordingly recommended that an approach be made in confidence to the Irish Government for permission to use Irish bases in the event such bases should be needed but that this Government should not make any commitments to establish such bases. They believe that an approach on this basis is preferable to that contained in the draft message which you prepared while in Washington.23 The foregoing is for your own information only.

  1. See supra.
  2. Not found in Department files.