23rd August, 1928


My dear P.M.,

I send a most confidential hand written letter to you by this mail.

I enclose copies of Dean Inge's [1] article in the 'Evening Standard' and of the ensuing correspondence.

I enclose copy of a leading article 'Australian Finance' from today's 'Times'. I was in some degree responsible for this in that when Senator McLachlan [2] showed me a telegram from you about the success of the �21 million Conversion Loan in Australia, I suggested to him that I should see the Editor of the 'Times' and try to get a good leader. He agreed and I arranged a meeting between Collins [3] and the financial leader writer of the 'Times', with the attached result. It is little like the Curate's egg.

His Majesty's Government agreed to the �30,000 for the Queensland survey business in connection with the �34 million agreement, but with rather a bad grace, as they considered that they should not have been pressed about it. [4]

The memorandum of the Associated British Chambers of Commerce seems to be satisfactorily out of the way. [5] The Secretary [6] said to me regretfully in the course of the several conversations about it, 'You know, it took us three months to put this memorandum together and get it agreed to all round'! Tom Alston [7] and his wife and daughter lunched with us this week. All very fit and well.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY


I have since heard from the City that the Times leader has been very well received. Nivisons [8] like it very much and think it will do us a lot of good. It is probably the better thru' not being fulsome or without criticism. On the whole, very welcome and will go some way to answer our many critics.

1 Very Rev. W.R. Inge, Dean of St Paul's, London.

2 Senator Alexander McLachlan, an Honorary Minister, leader of the Australian delegation to the 1928 session of the League of Nations Assembly.

3 J.R. Collins, Financial Adviser to the Australian High Commissioner.

4 In 1925 the British and Commonwealth Governments agreed to lend up to �34 million to the Australian States for approved development plans. In return the States agreed to settle one assisted immigrant for every �75 received. Few useful schemes were put up by the States, and the Development and Migration Commission, set up in 1926 to consider such schemes, authorised the spending of only �8 million under the 1925 agreement. The States borrowed immense sums from other sources for schemes that did not have to be justified, but Queensland had faced a virtual loans lockout because the City of London disapproved of its statist domestic policies and Bruce had warned Casey in a cable of 15 August 1928 that, if Queensland were denied funds now under the migration agreement (and all her submitted schemes had been rejected), she might well abandon adherence to the agreement, and perhaps take other States with her. Casey went to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill, and obtained his agreement.

Admittedly the Dominions Secretary, Leopold Amery, was in Switzerland at the time, but this was by British standards rather crude dealing.

5 Addressed to the Australian Associated Chambers of Commerce, the memorandum was in fact meant for the Commonwealth Government. It protested vigorously about the effect in the United Kingdom of increased Australian duties on cheaper woollen goods, which had caused dislocation to the woollen industry, especially in Leicester and in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

6 R.B. Dunwoody, Secretary of the Associated British Chambers of Commerce 1912-46.

7 T.C. Alston, Melbourne solicitor and company director, Chairman of Paterson, Laing and Bruce Ltd, was Bruce's solicitor. He and Bruce had married sisters and he was also a friend of Casey's wife's family.

8 R. Nivison and Co., the major underwriter of Australian government securities.