21

28th May, 1925

PERSONAL & SECRET

Dear Mr. Bruce,

On Monday Sir Halford Mackinder [1] asked me to call at his office. He read to me the speech he proposed to make to the Imperial Economic Committee on Tuesday. I have commented on this in another letter. [2] He then referred to the fact that, as Chairman of the Imperial Shipping Committee, he had received a letter from you suggesting a survey of Empire maritime law. He stated that Mr. Larkin [3] had suggested that a visit from Sir Halford to Australia might be very useful.

He then told me that his doctor advised a sea voyage, that he was contemplating visiting some portion of the Empire during the Autumn recess. Did I think a useful purpose would be served by his visiting Australia as Chairman of the Shipping and Economic Committees? I mentioned the coming election but as Sir Halford obviously desired it, I said that I would write privately to you.

I understand that Sir Halford would appreciate an invitation officially to visit Australia as the guest of the Commonwealth Government. His idea would be to travel out direct during August to spend September in Australia and to return during October.

Sir Halford stated that he could well understand that a visit at the present time might not be propitious but he certainly desired me to communicate this to you. If you desire to invite him, a cable upon the receipt of this letter would be necessary. [4]

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

1 Chairman of the Imperial Economic Committee.

2 Not found.

3 H. B. G. Larkin, Chairman of the Commonwealth Shipping Board 1923-28.

4 Bruce did not cable, but wrote on 31 August: 'I gave this matter very serious consideration, but on the whole came to the conclusion that the time was not appropriate for him to come'. The letter is on file AA : M111, 1925.