By Sir Robert Menzies
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Additional resources for Afternoon Light: some memories of men and events
And then, early in May, I was delighted to receive amessage from my colleages in Australia, congratulating meon what I had done in England, saying that they felt that I had made a valuable contribution to the combined war effort, and that they were very happy about the results. This was a cheering message. I had Visited the battlefields of Cyrenaica and the bombed cities of England. I had discussed with political and military and production leaders, every day, great problems which concerned Australia.
The Greeks had, with very limited equipment, been fighting and beating the Italians in Albania. Yugoslavia had n o t yet succumbed to Hitler and, encouraged by a demonstration of strength, might come our way. Turkey could become an active resister. In short, the whole position in the Balkans was at stake at a time when Western Europe ‘was in Hitler’s hands. Behind all this, there was the fact that in April 1939, only t w o years before, Great Britain had given a guarantee to Greece. To dishonour this guarantee, without any eifort to perform it, would have had disastrous moral repercussions around the world, and n o t least in the United States, where Roosevelt was engaged in moving American opinion into astate of rather m o r e than benevolent neutrality.
First, that there should be an avenue of personal contact between De Valera and Churchill (I later made a n o t unrelated proposal, with the result I shall recite alittle later). Second, that there should be some encouraging words spoken in high quarters to Irish Catholics who thought as]. M. Dillon thought.  T W O CRUCIAL YEARS: 1939‐ 41 Third, that some attempt should be made to get rid of any pin‑ pricks against Catholics in the North. He thought, in the broad, that the Irish farmer was beginning to discover that neutrality was n o t profitable, and that he (Donovan) thought the position n o t hopeless.
Afternoon Light: some memories of men and events by Sir Robert Menzies