25th June, 1925


(Due to arrive Melbourne-26.7.25)

My dear P.M.,


My queries on some points connected with the weekly report on Communist activities in this country and abroad led me to visit Sir William Horwood's [1] office in New Scotland Yard, on Hankey's [2] introduction. There I met Major-General Sir Borlase Childs [3], and the other men who run the Secret Service.

I told them my position and they expressed a keen desire to get into direct touch with Australia in respect to revolutionary activities, and the definite proposal was made that resulted in my telegram to you of 23rd June, suggesting for your approval that their weekly and six-monthly reports on the subject should be made available to Major Jones [4], through my office as a post office, via your office. I have your prompt reply and the scheme is being put into operation forthwith.

There are three branches of the Secret Service, one run by the F.O., this one run by Scotland Yard (mainly Communist [5]), and the counter-espionage people under the War Office. I will not worry you with the details, which anyhow are better not put down on paper.

The above seems to me to be worth while. It may seem branching out in another direction, but it is a logical offshoot of what I am doing.


The greater part of the information, such as it is, contained in a paragraph of another letter this week, was got at a dinner I gave in Paris, to which came Sauerwein (Matin), Jullien (Petit Parisien), Hubert Walter (Times), and Sir Charles Mendl (Press representative at British Embassy). I met 'Pertinax' [6] at lunch with Mendl. I lunched with Phipps (Minister at our Embassy and a particularly good man) and talked a good deal to Embassy people and others.

I think these visits to Paris are useful although they are very hurried, as I don't like being away long.


I know the gist of your long personal letter to Amery [7] on this subject, which I realised might well be your point of view. [8]

It is hard to get Chamberlain [9] to see that he will get none of the Dominions (except perhaps New Zealand) to sign a commitment to arms at some future date, however fair and necessary the arrangement may be for this country to enter into. If he has a 'contracting-in' clause, he will get some Dominions (N.Z. and possibly Australia) to sign, but Canada, South Africa and the I.F.S. will almost certainly not sign. What good has the contracting-in clause done but show the world that the Empire, at any rate when not faced by an actual emergency, is not all of a mind?

If one assumes that this Pact is gilt-edged as far as this country is concerned and that she is intent on entering into it, then is not the only course that of Great Britain entering into it, as Great Britain, and not asking the Dominions to sign at all-at the same time explaining to the Dominions exactly what she is doing and why, and trusting to their loyalty to come to her aid if an emergency arises.

It seems to me that the Dominions to a certain extent fall between two stools on these matters of Foreign policy. Chamberlain always says that his job is that of dealing with Foreign nations and not with the Dominions. He leaves the difficult matter of putting the case to the Dominions to Amery, and I am not quite convinced that Amery quite realises and accepts this. I do not know if he writes you many personal letters on these matters of high policy. If he does not, then I think that H.M.G. are not spending as much time and thought on the Dominion point of view as they should.

A great deal is said and written about the solicitude of H.M.G.

for the viewpoint of the Dominions, and of the care taken to keep them informed. But really the selection of print on Foreign Affairs and the compiling of telegrams on Foreign Affairs take a small part of the time of one man in the F.O. and one man in the C.O.

I personally do not think nearly enough thought or imagination is shown in getting the ideas of H.M.G. on foreign relations across to the Dominions, or in considering their point of view on these matters. It is all still rather haphazard. It should at least be the whole time job of one senior man in the F.O. and one man in the C.O.

I am, Yours sincerely, R. G. CASEY

1 Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

2 Sir Maurice Hankey, Secretary to the Cabinet.

3 Described officially as Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

4 Major H.E. Jones, Director of the Investigation Branch in the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.

5 Casey of course means 'Anti-Communist'.

6 Pen-name of Andre Geraud, influential French journalist.

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

8 In a letter to Amery of 6 May 1925 (on file AA:AA1970/555) Bruce repeated his aversion to compulsory arbitration and to the use of force by the League of Nations as expressed in the Geneva Protocol. He recognised the need for an alternative, but feared that British involvement in a pact guaranteeing the eastern borders of Belgium and France would divide the Empire. He suggested that Britain should seek Germany's early entry into the League and thus could then encourage Germany and the other continental states to negotiate a regional version of the Protocol.

9 Austen Chamberlain, Foreign Secretary.