41

19th November, 1925

PERSONAL

Dear Mr. Bruce,

It has been with feelings of intense satisfaction that one has read the cables announcing your great electoral victory. [1] It is perfectly clear that the result is a great personal triumph. I hope you will accept my most sincere congratulations.

The attitude of people here may be of interest to you. The general feeling among such Ministers, Members and other people as I have seen since you went to the country has been that you had taken a line that was at once wise, bold and gallant. The last word I have heard frequently used about your action. I think most people here thought your chances of winning were not better than 50-50 and the delight with the results is, therefore, the greater because unexpected. I am quite sure that I am right in saying that when you come over for the next Imperial Conference, you will have a very great reception. I cannot but feel that Ministers here are far from being big men; with Mr. Massey [2] and General Smuts [3] gone and with Mr. Mackenzie King under a cloud [4], it appears certain that you will find yourself the dominant force at the Conferences. I hope that affairs will adjust themselves in such a way as to enable me to do a good deal of useful preparatory work towards making the next Imperial Economic Conference fruitful of big results.

With the very best wishes to yourself both in a personal and also in a political sense.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

1 On 14 November the Bruce-Page Government had been returned.

Bruce's Nationalist Party gained six seats in the House of Representatives and all twenty-two vacant Senate seats were won by the coalition parties.

2 W. F. Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand, had died on 10 May 1925.

3 In June 1924 the South African Party Government, led by Lieutenant General J. C. Smuts, was defeated by a coalition of Nationalists and Labour, led by General J. B. M. Hertzog, whose external policy placed the interests of South Africa before those of the Empire.

4 W. L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, had been leader of a minority government since elections in October 1925.