169. Telegram From the Embassy in Ireland to the Department of State1

1122. For Secretary from Chargé. Ref: State 189035.2

1. Message contained reftel delivered to PM Lynch this morning, Oct 15, at 10:30 a.m.

2. In setting up appointment with the PM, I had already indicated to his aides the subject I wished to discuss (they had asked if it were landing rights). Upon receiving me the PM said he would have expected this was a matter that would normally be taken up with the Dept of FonAff. I agreed that this would normally be the case, but explained that I was under instructions personally to express the personal views of the President.

3. After reading text and making oral statement contained para 2 reftel, I said we understood there would be a Cabinet meeting this morning at which this matter would be discussed and that this was the reason for my urgent representations on such short notice. (I had already learned that a govt meeting had been scheduled for 11:00 a.m.—30 minutes from the time of my meeting with the PM.)

4. The PM confirmed that there was to be a meeting of the govt. He said however that FonMin Hillery was in Brussels, and that it was therefore very unlikely the Chirep issue would come up for discussion. He said there would be no fixed agenda, that they had not planned to discuss Chirep, although, in view of my representations, the question might be briefly reviewed. He said, however, that no substantive discussion and certainly no decisions would be made on this question in the absence of Dr. Hillery.

5. The PM made no commitment or substantive comment on my representations.

6. The PM said that when he learned this morning that I wished to see him on an urgent basis, he had first assumed that it was with regard to the question of Dublin landing rights. He said there was one aspect of USG’s attitude on the question of Chinese representation that was also applicable to the question of landing rights, and that this was expressed in our statement about our concern “to preserve the interests of the weak against the demands of the strong.” (Para 2 of aide-mémoire).

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7. I replied that matter of Chinese representation and the question of Dublin landing rights were two separate issues, although I could fully understand the PM’s concern with the latter question.

8. The PM returned to the question, noting that the matter of Dublin landing rights was going to be discussed in Nov. He said he hoped that during these talks we would continue to show concern for the interests of the weak against the demands of the strong, repeating himself on this point.

9. I expressed appreciation to the PM for seeing me on such short notice and the interview concluded.

10. Comment: I learned later this morning from FonSec Hugh McCann that Dr. Hillery will be in Brussels until early next week, which means it is almost certain that no decision on Chirep will be made at least until he returns. With regard to the PM’s statement about preserving the interests of the weak against the demands of the strong, I reacted as if this were merely to score on an issue between our two countries that is of great sensitivity to the GOI. I believe, however, that by twice pointedly linking the landing rights question to our representations on Chirep, the PM may have been laying the basis for suggestion later that quid pro quo would be in order should the GOI now make concessions to the USG position.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 694, Country Files—Europe, Ireland. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.
  2. Dated October 15. It instructed Sorenson to seek an immediate meeting with the Prime Minister in order to present an oral message seeking Irish support on the question of Chinese representation at the United Nations. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 193846 to Dublin, October 22, the Department of State commented: “We believe that we could activate the latent incentive to vote with us by a sympathetic response to the PM’s comments about the consultations on landing rights.” (Ibid.) In an October 28 memorandum to Flanigan, Haig wrote: “Ireland voted against us on the Important Question Resolution and the Albanian Resolution. They have, therefore, deliberately chosen to forego in the air route consultations any advantage that might have been gained from supporting us on the Chirep issue.” (Ibid.)