No. 13 NAI 2003/17/181
London, 27 January 1937
(1) The conversation with Mr. Malcolm MacDonald which formed the subject of my Secret minute No. 10 of the 25th January2 was of less than five minutes duration. The discussion at the meeting of the United Kingdom Cabinet that day was so protracted that he had to hurry to the House of Commons where he was in fact late with his answers to questions.
(2) In these few minutes Mr. MacDonald told me, necessarily briefly, the decision of the Cabinet that morning. That decision appeared to me to be of such importance that I saw him again today in order to ensure that I had correctly reported his conversation. For this purpose I read to him my Secret minute No. 10. He agreed with it but said that there were one or two explanations which he would like to make.
(3) In the first place he said that he had described the United Kingdom Cabinet's view as tentative because he wanted to make clear that in their view the question of the effect of this legislation was of common concern. He did not wish the word 'tentative' to be regarded as though they wished to reexamine the question. They had no such wish unless one of the other Governments raised some new point.
With regard to the closing sentence of the first paragraph on page 2 of the secret minute he said that whilst he had used the word 'vital' when speaking to me, he thought than on reflection instead of that sentence he would prefer the following: 'the United Kingdom Cabinet attached very great importance to this and hoped that Mr. de Valera could see his way to meet them.' Further, Mr. MacDonald said that the suggestions which the United Kingdom Cabinet put forward as described in the Secret Minute under reference were put forward informally. By that he meant, he said, that the Cabinet appreciated that the President would wish to be free to say that any alterations which he felt able to make were not made as a result of representations from the United Kingdom or any other Government.
[signed] J.W. Dulanty
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