8 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 3

Eire's Neutrality

EIRE'S declaration of neutrality, regrettable though it is both for political and stratepi.: reasons, will havc surprised no one at all in touch with Irish politics. It may be doubted, however, whether Eire, though now in theory a neutral country, will be able in fact to adhere to the forms of neutrality rigidly enough to satisfy the German Government. There is no love of Germany in the country, and sentiment appears to be solidly behind the Poles; moreover, now that Germany has made a pact with Russia, it is not improbable that the Church may intervene to give sentiment a lead. Citizens of Eire already serve in His Majesty's forces, and it is reported that many more are preparing to volunteer. These arc the most obvious difficulties which Mr. de Valera will have to overcome in the pursuit of his neutrality policy, and there are many others—such as the treatment to be accorded to Eire's numerous aliens, among whom British may or may not be counted—which will complicate his task. It remains to he seen whether the task which he has set himself will in practice prove to be one capable of execution at all.