7th January, 1926
PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL
Dear Mr. Bruce,
Owing to the holidays, there has been little doing during the last fortnight.
So far as I can judge, the Government ended the session in a very much stronger position than when the Autumn meetings started.
Convinced as one is that Mr. Baldwin  is not very able nor very quick in the uptake, yet one must admire the way on which he rises to the occasion and from all accounts he handled the House of Commons extremely well over the Mosul Debate.  The good atmosphere for the Government was due to Locarno , the Irish adjustment  and finally to Mosul and they escaped from severe criticism on economic matters and on their failure to do much for Empire trade.
You may remember from my earlier letters that when I reached London last January (1925), one of my earliest experiences was a lecture from Cunliffe-Lister  on the great advantage of a 1,000,000 annual grant for the stimulation of Empire trade over the preferences which His Majesty's Government had felt bound to drop. He clearly desired to impress on me that the main use of the 1,000,000 would be ADVERTISING. I ventured to express considerable scepticism, but he eagerly gave me chapter and verse for the triumphs of advertisement. I think I also told you that a number of journalists informed me that Mr. Amery  had assured a private meeting of newspaper men that at least 500,000 out of the annual grant would be spent on newspaper advertising. In personal discussion I did not find Amery nearly as rapturous as Cunliffe- Lister over advertisement but he obviously thought this the best possible method of spending the bulk of the million.
When the work of the Imperial Economic Committee started, I had a number of bright ideas about insurance and finance in connection with the 1,000,000 but I found that the personnel of the Committee at that stage would not have been in the least sympathetic and I therefore came to feel that we had better do what we could along the lines of Identification, Publicity and Research. I have sent you full particulars of the ideas which I have formed as to the value of publicity aimed at educating the British people as to the importance of the Empire to themselves.
The awkward thing now is the changed attitude of the Government here. They appear to regard the proposal to spend 650,000 on publicity as being a most revolutionary proposal and they are fighting shy of the proposed Executive Commission.
So far as I can gather, their idea appears to be that, instead of an Executive Commission charged with carrying into effect the whole of such recommendation of the Imperial Economic Committee as may be approved in principle by the Government, a council of Ministers should consider any concrete and practical suggestions made by the Imperial Economic Commiteee, and should distribute the appropriate executive action among the various existing departments, the whole to be under the constant check and supervision of the Treasury.
The whole Committee will regard such action as being profoundly unsatisfactory. I very much hope that the Government will modify their supposed present attitude and will accept in principle our recommendations. If they had vision they would certainly give the proposals an enthusiastic welcome both on national and also upon political grounds.
SIR JAMES COOPER 
I learnt from Forsyth  of the New Zealand Meat Board that the New Zealand Government were approaching Sir James Cooper in connection with the London Agency of the New Zealand Butter Board.
I therefore asked Sir James for information. He told me that the New Zealand High Commissioner  was urging him to accept a watching brief for the New Zealand Government on the Butter Agency at a salary of 1,500 a year for a small proportion of his time.
He told me that he had refused but that Sir James Allen had also refused to take 'no' for an answer.
I enclose some figures of Australian Meat shipments given me by Forsyth, of the New Zealand Meat Board. He says that Australia by shipping huge quantities of lamb on the market in October and November has driven prices far lower than they need have fallen.
If the Australian export trade in lamb and mutton is going to revive, it would seem very necessary to have some arrangement analogous with that of the New Zealand Meat Board for the regulation of shipments.
I enclose a question asked on the last day of the session, which will interest you. I would particularly draw attention to the Prime Minister's reply to the supplementary question. 
Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL