107

1st March, 1928

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

My dear P.M.,

I saw Mr. J. H. Thomas [1] this morning, primarily with regard to the Mond Industrial Conference. [2] He gave me, confidentially, the enclosed two papers, which will be of interest to such people connected with your Industrial Conference [3] as you can shew them to in similar confidence and without having to disclose their source.

The pamphlet is a statement of where the Trades Union Congress stands with regard to the Conference. The single sheet contains a list of additions to the Agenda that the T.U.C. are putting forward.

Mr. Thomas stressed the same points as Sir Hugo Hirst. [4] He said that an Agenda was necessary as a facade but that, once the Conference had got started, there was no reason to stick to it. He advised avoiding questions with regard to the settlement of which machinery already existed, but to keep the conversations on the high plane of searching for means whereby Capital and Labour could jointly contribute to what should be common aims of increased efficiency and production and the maintenance of a high standard of living.

This is a cliche which is not very helpful and I said so, using the form of words that our industrial conditions are such that the gap between the two sides of industry is wider than in this country, and that the measure of goodwill and helpfulness towards the aims of the Conference that the T.U.C. has shown might not perhaps be present in Australia. I asked him, as a suggestion from myself, if it was possible for him to write to any of the men in the Labour movement in Australia who were representing Labour on your Industrial Conference, and try and instil into them some conception of what he thought should and might develop from such a Conference. He agreed at once and will write to some of them confidentially, and without mention of the source of inspiration.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 General Secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen, Colonial Secretary in the Labour Government of 1924.

2 See note 10 to Letter 92 and Letter 101.

3 See note 3 to Letter 101.

4 Chairman and Managing Director of the General Electric Co. Ltd, and a Mond Conference participant.