10th May, 1928


My dear P.M.,

I have had it confirmed that the Prince of Wales 'agrees in principle' (!) to consider a union with the Swedish princess [1], and she will in consequence be over here very shortly. I see, however, that he is planning a trip to West Africa for the end of the year, so that even if he swallows the bait, he evidently intends to go away and digest it in private. There are those who think that the best interests of the Monarchy and the Empire would be served by his marrying an English woman of high degree, but he has apparently looked them all over and has decided against it.

We went to a Court at Buckingham Palace last night. I am afraid I am not tremendously impressed by the panoply of state. It has an atmosphere of unreality and fancy dress that is unconvincing. And anyhow I have always thought that to be completely and overwhelmingly loyal, the subject should never see his sovereign.

Incidentally, if you instal an Australian Counsellor in the Embassy at Washington, how do you propose to dress him for official functions? This occurred to me at last night's Court as I was watching the Cloak and Dagger brigade file by-the Diplomatic Corps. One swarthy diplomat was dressed up as a Knight of Malta which my wife thought very becoming! But I told her that in our ascetic democracy I thought we would not get far away from ordinary evening clothes with a tail coat.

In 'The Federal Reserve System and the Money Market' by Burgess [2], he makes the remark with which I feel you will be in some sympathy:-'The problem of the relationship between the State and the money market has been almost, if not quite, as troublesome as the relation between the State and Religion.'

Clive Baillieu [3] is considering contesting a seat in Parliament here. I hear also that Grondona [4] (who wrote 'The Kangaroo Keeps on Talking') is going to stand. The former is, I think, a good thing. I should be sorry, however, were Grondona to appear as a British legislator, if he parades himself, as I suppose he will, as a representative Australian.

I have met Lord Wimborne [5] once or twice since I have been in England, mainly by reason of my brother-in-law's brother-in-law having married one of his daughters. He is a stupid and not very likeable person, about whom the following rhyme was current when he was Ivor Guest, before he succeeded to the title:-

We must assume the Lord knew best When he created Ivor Guest.

How shall we little men and blind Presume to criticise God's mind.

We can but bend the knee and pray That Ivor Guest shall pass away.

I have adopted your suggestion about differentiating between 'Confidential' and 'Personal and Confidential' letters, and will, in future, group what I have to say on those lines, on the assumption that you will pass out to Henderson [6] the 'Confidential' letters but not the 'Personal and Confidential'.


I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Princess Ingrid. See Letter 100.

2 Warren Randolph Burgess, The Reserve Banks and the Money Market, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1927. Burgess was Deputy Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

3 The number and overlapping interests of members of the Baillieu family can make for confusion. Of the older generation, Casey was most familiar with William Lawrence Baillieu and Richard Percy Clive Baillieu, and more especially with the latter. Of the younger generation, he seems to have been closest to his contemporary, Clive Latham Baillieu, the future Lord Baillieu and eldest son of William Lawrence Baillieu. Unfortunately for the historian, Clive Latham Baillieu's uncle, Richard Percy Clive Baillieu, was also, widely known as Clive. The reference here probably is to 'young' Clive who, after his birth and education in Melbourne, made his career in Britain whereas his father and uncles, while in varying degrees Anglo-Australian in their business interests, remained principally Australian in terms of focus and residence.

4 Leo St Clare Grondona, formerly of Melbourne, wrote several books boosting the Australian economy or, like The Kangaroo Keeps On Talking (Victoria Publishing House, London, 1924), urging closer integration of British and Dominion economies. His exuberant style was that of the advertising world rather than of economic analysis or conventional political rhetoric.

5 Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1915-18.

6 Dr Walter Henderson, Head of the External Affairs Branch.

7 Perhaps because Bruce replied infrequently (although at length), and perhaps, too, because Casey wished to maintain candour in his letters and was aware of Bruce's reservations about some of his officials, Casey was inclined occasionally to ask for expressions of Bruce's continuing satisfaction with his letters. He also stressed the by now firmly established distinction between letters meant for Bruce and any others to whom he cared privately to show them and those intended primarily for appropriate departments.