28th June, 1928


My dear P.M.,

I spoke to Tom Jones [1] recently about the value of broadcasting in an election. He agreed with Amery [2], but went on to say that it has much greater value for a man like Baldwin [3] than for a good controversial speaker. Baldwin cannot inflame a crowd from a platform as he is more or less tied to his notes, but he is at his best in a quiet Wireless Studio with his deep hearts-of-oak voice and his (or Tom Jones'!) notes beside him. A lot of this sort of thing will be done by the Prime Minister in the course of the next General Election here-the controversial answering-back of Lloyd George [4] will be left to Winston [5] and others who can do it better.

In the course of a long conversation with a man prominently connected with Egyptian affairs in the Foreign Office, he expounded to me his ideas about Lord Lloyd. [6] He thinks Lloyd is a round peg in a square hole. He admits his many qualities but thinks that they would be best directed towards the rigid governing of a backward race over which we had complete sovereignty and control. He has the fortiter in re but lacks the suaviter in modo. He let it be known when in London, before going to Cairo, that he considered the 1922 resolutions were a mistake and he has never since failed to impress on the Egyptians that he is not on their side. [7] My friend said that, in his opinion, the type of man who was wanted for Egypt was a man with high diplomatic qualifications, who would guide and persuade instead of forcing and bullying-a man who would be willing to stand in the shadow and forego the kudos-a kindly man who would not insist on making every post a winning post. Lloyd wants to govern and administer, which is not our function in Egypt. The Egyptians are unstable, highly emotional, cunning people, not unlike the Irish.

If they are impressed daily by the fact that the British High Commissioner is out to counter them at every turn, they will obstruct and intrigue to an unlimited extent. Added to this, Nahas [8], the Prime Minister (ex-Prime Minister since I wrote the above), is a fool and probably a knave, and Fuad, the King, is vain, weak and greedy.

My friend asked me what interest had Australia really got in Egypt. I said that we were not interested in the details, although we had to understand some of the background in order to get the situation in the proper perspective. Our only interest was in the preservation of the Canal as an Imperial route and we realised that Great Britain was fully seized with the importance of this, and we were quite content to leave it to them and not to meddle with the means taken to achieve it, as they knew the business much better than we did.

The Prime Minister recently publicly disavowed any governmental sponsoring of Rothermere's [9] spectacular backing of the Hungarian cause, which has pleased the French press. [10] Baldwin will have none of Rothermere. Winston, on the other hand, sees him a good deal and is putting in some work on him to get the support of his (the Rothermere) press for the General Election. It appears (I hear confidentially) that Rothermere is as yet undecided as to whether to support Lloyd George's Liberals or the present Government.

Birkenhead [11] still has feelings of loyalty and regard for Lloyd George which he will not allow current party politics to embitter.

Birkenhead was asked recently to go to Wales to speak in Lloyd George's constituency in favour of the prospective Conservative candidate, but refused in a well-worded letter in which he stated his intention never to speak in his constituency against Lloyd George in view of his services to the country during the war.

Sir Hilton Young is back from East Africa where he has been Chairman of an East African Commission on Closer Union. He is a man of many parts, with a brain that is far above the ordinary. He has brilliance combined with a well-developed intolerance which finds expression in an icily cutting manner. He turned over to Conservatism from being a Liberal in the last few years and was given a G.B.E. and a minor Government post almost at once. He was Financial Secretary to the Treasury in the Coalition Government after the war, but I am told that it is unlikely that he will be able to claim much more than this grade of post in the next Government, as he is too lately an ex-Liberal and the Conservative Party would not stand for too many favours to those so lately converted to the faith. [12]

Amery had him in mind for the Big Four [13] but he had been on so many missions abroad that it was thought unfair to ask him to go away again.

You will be glad to hear that I have had one English car for the six months that I have been back here, and have just sold it and bought another, a 'Sunbeam' this time.

The story goes that an American on being introduced to the Aga Khan tried to ingratiate himself by saying that whereas he had never had the pleasure before of meeting the Aga Khan, he had known Otto Kahn [14] for many years.

The new Ford in my opinion is an Event. As an American friend of mine said to me lately: 'You folks just can't laugh it off.' In appearance and performance it is wonderful value for money. It remains to be seen whether Ford can go on producing it for the price.

My wife is in danger of embracing communism. She had set her heart on a certain china figure at a Chelsea Exhibition and had ordered it, to be delivered after the exhibition ended. Meanwhile the Queen went there, wanted the same figure and, not unnaturally, got it, in spite of its being earmarked for us. As Maie says-this is what comes of living under a Monarchy: this sort of thing couldn't happen in Moscow!

One of the notorious Joels [15] has a peculiarly twisted neck.

Seeing him in a restaurant lately someone remarked it, to which someone else replied: 'Why, good heavens, that's nothing; it's the straightest thing about him.'

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet.

2 Leopold Amery, Secretary for the Colonies and for Dominion Affairs.

3 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister.

4 David Lloyd George, Prime Minister 1916-22.

5 Winston Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

6 High Commissioner for Egypt and the Sudan since 1925. See also Letters 207-9.

7 In 1922 after nationalist rebellions, the United Kingdom declared Egypt an independent constitutional monarchy but retained control over security, defence and the protection of foreign nationals.

8 Nahas Pasha, a nationalist, became Prime Minister early in 1928 but King Fuad saw him as a rival and forced his resignation with public allegations of corruption.

9 Lord Rothermere, chief proprietor of the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror and the London Evening News.

10 For no very obvious reason, Lord Rothermere supported Hungarian dissatisfaction with the borders established by the Treaty of Trianon signed in 1920 which left Hungarian minorities in neighbouring states.

11 Lord Birkenhead, Secretary for India.

12 Raised to the peerage in 1935 as Lord Kenner, Sir Hilton Young in fact was Minister of Health 1931-35.

13 The delegation of British industrialists visiting Australia in 1928 (Sir Arthur Duckham, Sir Hugo Hirst, Sir Ernest Clark and Dougal Malcolm).

14 Otto Kahn was a leading New York banker (Kuhn, Loeb and Co.) of German birth.

15 Jack Barnato Joel and Solomon Barnato Joel, financiers associated with South African mining firms.