By Sir Robert Menzies
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Additional resources for Afternoon Light: some memories of men and events
I waxed eloquent on the vital battle of the Western Approaches, and on the immense importance of air bases for fighter aircraft if the hellish combination of the Focke‐Wulfand the German U‐boat were to be defeated. But I spoke in vain; these con‑ siderations were alien to his mind. Hehad t w o greatjustifications for Irishneutrality. One was that, ashe put it to me, there was, in the Irish heart, a, ‘passion for neutrality’. I thought this a strange and unusual passion; I had never observed it in my o w n country or among my own Irish‑ Australian friends; but I accepted it.
Asaresult of o u r talks, I formed afew impressions,I hope accurately, about De Valera’s point of View. I now record them, because they do have some relationship to a problem asyet unsolved, but which ought to be solved if prejudice is n o t , in the long run, to overthrow reason and good sense. Here are my impressions; they were mine, and bind nobody else. (I) I thought that ”Dev was of opinion that Britain5 cause in the war was ajust one, and that the war was forced upon her. (2) I felt that he would like Britain to win.
I knew, of course, that there had been bombing of factories everywhere, every night for months; but I saw no signs of damage in that particular shop.  AFTERNOON LIGHT ‘Well,’ said the Manager, ‘you can’t just give it away when you’re bombed. Ifthey bomb the roof off, we just put it on again. If they blow ahole in the wall, we plug up the hole. N o t long ago, they came along and put down some of their largest bombs slap into the middle of this shop and almost blew every machine in it into little pieces.
Afternoon Light: some memories of men and events by Sir Robert Menzies