10th June, 1926


(Due to arrive Melbourne-10.7.26)

My dear P.M.,

I have just had half-an-hour with Sir Frank Heath. [1] I had read his report previously. He is very delighted with the results of his trip to Australia and asked me to express to you again, in the most cordial language, his very great appreciation of the way in which he was treated in Australia, both by you personally (which he lays great stress on) and by everyone else of importance with whom he came in contact. [2]

He seems genuinely gratified with the facilities that were put at his disposal and by the open-minded way in which his recommendations were received. I know Julius [3] personally and I think you have got a very first-class man. I look forward to seeing him here next month.

2. I had half-an-hour's talk this morning with Sir Samuel Hoare [4] and Sassoon. [5] Hoare is to deliver a speech on the Imperial Aspect of the Air to, I think, the British Empire Association tomorrow and he wanted merely to run over the ground quickly in conversation with regard to what he was going to say. He asked my opinion about it and I gave him my views for what they are worth.

He is going to make a tactful reference to the fact that, in the course of two years, he hopes that the Government Airship will have made a trip to Australia, and he will refer to the necessity before that time of an airship mooring mast being erected at some terminal point like Sydney in Australia.

With regard to the possibility of air communication with Australia: this was dependent on the development of the airship rather than of the aeroplane for the greater part of the route. He laid great stress on the amount they had learnt in the last two or three years regarding airship construction. This had had practically no publicity but he made repeated mention of the fact that the advances were very real. He looks forward to this country being well ahead of all other nations in airship construction and running in the next decade. He says that even now we have well outstripped both the Germans and the Americans.

At his invitation I am going up to see a modern aerodrome at Duxford (near Cambridge) and the airship construction depot and mast at Cardington (near Bedford) in a week's time.

Sassoon did not have very much to say. He smelt of scent.

3. I do not know whether you yet know that Lord Salisbury [6] is going to Canada shortly and thence on to Australia, where he will join up with the Empire Parliamentary Association Delegation. He knows and gets on well with Mackenzie King [7], and the Prime Minister [8] wants him to talk to Mackenzie King and try and get at what he is driving at before the Imperial Conference.

4. You will see amongst this week's press cuttings an article by Sisley Huddlestone [9] from the 'New Statesman' of 4.6.26, in extension of the idea of having the League Council differently composed to deal with different questions, which I mentioned on P.

4 of my LON. 368 of last week. [10]

5. You are getting a good man to command the 'Sydney' in Commander Boyd. [11] He was in the 'Hood' on the Special Service Squadron and seems a first rate fellow.

I am, Yours very truly, R. G. CASEY

On 10 June, Casey cabled Bruce with news of his plans to marry Ethel Marian (Maie), daughter of Sir Charles Ryan, on 24 June, and asked for three weeks' leave. Casey's cable, with Bruce's handwritten draft of congratulations and leave approval underneath, is on file AA:A1420.

1 Secretary to the British Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and to the Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

2 In 1920 the Australian Government under Prime Minister W. M.

Hughes established the Institute of Science and Industry, concerned mainly with industrial technology. Bruce sought a more ambitious institution and, following a report by Heath, brought in legislation in May 1926 to establish a Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, with an executive and State committees. Other legislation provided a fund to allow the Council to provide scholarships overseas for research workers.

3 George Julius, a Sydney consulting engineer and inventor of the automatic racecourse totalisator, was persuaded by Bruce to accept the chairmanship of the Council. Julius, in turn, persuaded David Rivett, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Melbourne, and Arnold Richardson, Director of the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in Adelaide, to join the Council Executive.

4 Secretary for Air.

5 Sir Philip Sassoon, Under-Secretary for Air.

6 Leader of the House of Lords.

7 William Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister.

8 Stanley Baldwin.

9 See note 10 to Letter 65.

10 Letter 72.

11 Commander Denis Boyd served with the Royal Australian Navy 1926-28.