841D.01/210: Telegram

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

128. For the Secretary. Personal. Appreciated reply your clarifying exposition of the Irish note question in your number 110, October 5, 9 p.m. I realize the force of the objection of the military to accepting a commitment to protect Irish cities when they may not need Irish facilities. I am convinced that there is no chance of de Valera saying yes but, of course, you and the service chiefs would be responsible, not I in the case I were wrong. I am sure you and the President are right not to assume that responsibility.

Your suggestion that an evasive reply by de Valera would be regarded as a refusal for the record and that the note in question might be considered as an opening move in the development of a line of action designed to inform the American people of the unfriendly attitude of the Irish Government with a view to forestalling anti-British agitation on the partition question answers our criticism of the military [Page 158] approach note. I am now entirely in agreement with you that it is the best line to take.

Sir John Maffey says he has not been consulted with regard to the military approach version. The Canadian High Commissioner strongly approves of this latter version and prefers it to the former. He will see Cranborne29 in London shortly.

I am sending Winant a copy of this telegram.

  1. Lord Cranborne, British Secretary of State for the Dominions.