701.6241D/5–1045: Telegram

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

112. ReLegtel 106, May 5, 3 p.m.28 It being evident by Saturday May 5 that the Irish Government did not intend to dismiss the German mission while there might be a chance of finding the archives intact, I drafted the following letter to J. P. Walshe, Secretary of External Affairs, after consultation with Maffey:29

“Dublin, May 5, 1945.

Dear Joe: As you know I was appreciative of your kind offer made during our conversation last Wednesday30 to call me on the telephone [Page 1143] immediately, even in the night, to apprise me of your decision to declare the German Government no longer existent for purposes of diplomatic representation and to hand me, as representing the United Nations, the keys to the German Legation. However, since you still recognize the German Government as diplomatically extant, I feel that there no longer exists a possibility of finding the archives in a condition that would be of use to the United Nations, and I suggest that both of us enjoy our sleep without having immediate nocturnal action on our minds.

I hope to get to the country for a few days next week for a bit of rest, and if you will notify my secretary, Mr. Montgomery Colladay, when you are ready to act in this matter, he will notify the various representatives of the United Nations on my behalf. This Legation can always reach me by telephone, and in a very short time I can be in Dublin.

Yours Sincerely, David Gray”

The purpose of this letter which I sent by hand at opening of business Monday May 7 was to minimize the importance of obtaining possession of the German premises after the refusal of the Irish Government to cooperate with us and also to register on the record my claim as to the promise of Mr. Walshe on behalf of his Government to turn over German property to me as soon as VE-day was announced. I had only his word as against mine.

This morning I made an appointment to see him at 11:30 o’clock. In view of the official announcement of the Irish Bureau of Information telegraphed to you en clair yesterday as No. 111,311 was uncertain whether Irish Government was prepared to evade Walshe’s promise to me and insist on acting as protecting power for German interests as German Minister requested. However, Walshe made no objection and promised to deliver keys and inventory to me at 4 p.m. today. He asked me to give him a receipt of some sort and suggested a formula which after consultation with Maffey I adopted as follows:

“Dublin, May 10, 1945.

I am authorized by my Government to inform the Irish Government that the United Nations have assumed the powers and property of the Government of Germany. I am, therefore, now prepared, on behalf of the United Nations, to take over the premises of the German Legation located at 58 Northumberland Road, Dublin, and the contents thereof.

American Minister to Ireland”

I also notified French Minister and obtained his approval to formula. Am sending Colladay and McEnelly32 who, with Brigadier Woodhouse of British representation and a Vice Consul from French mission together with a representative from External Affairs with [Page 1144] the keys, will take over premises. Irish Government will provide police protection till further notice. Colladay’s report will follow. Walshe informed me that he understood from Germans that there was nothing left in safe but a small sum in cash and the Legation accounts, that is no codes or confidential data. This is as was expected.

I further claimed and was accorded possession of the JU 88 airplane which landed at Germanston on May 5 with 3 German noncommissioned officers (ReLegtel 107, May 7, 4 p.m.33)

  1. Not printed.
  2. John Maffey, United Kingdom Representative in Ireland.
  3. May 2.
  4. Not printed; it reported that Dublin newspapers had carried an article stating that the German Minister was vacating the Legation premises (740.00119 Control (Germany)/5–945).
  5. Thomas McEnelly, Consul General at Dublin.
  6. Not printed.