By Sir Robert Menzies
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Additional info for Afternoon Light: some memories of men and events
What the private citizen pays for war m u s t beno longer what he thinks he can afford after spending what he chooses on the amenities oflife. . For the winning of this war, your Government will completely disregard all sectional interests. I then announced, in concrete terms, that there would be a special Minister for Aircraft Production, a Minister for Transport, a Minister for the War Organization of Industry, a Minister for Home Security, and aMinister for External Territories. Each of these departments was created on 26June 1 9 4 I , under].
Where should we draw the line? 1 con‑ ceded, of course, that it would bedifficult for Great Britain or the rest of usto know whether we could nail o u r colours to the mast without knowing the United States’ attitude. But there was nothing more dangerous than drift. My main point was that diplomacy and military provision or action could n o t exist in water-tight compartments; and therefore the rein‑ forcement of Singapore was the most important diplomatic move that could be made. I made special mention of the need for munitions and aircraft.
Within an hour or t w o , I was in conference with him. I was of course familiar with the story of]. H. Thomas’s negotiations with him some years before; for jimmy’ recounted it to me with some satisfaction. , Jimmy? asked his colleagues. ‘Well,’ came the reply, ‘1 ’ad t w o days with ’im, and at the end of that time, ’e ’ad only got up to Brian Boru 1’ So I was n o t entirely unprepared for a personal experience of the retrospectivity of the Irish mind. At the end of my first t w o hours with De Valera, hehad brought his historical review upto the Norman Conquest!