Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Travel info/historical/HistDocs.nsf

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2nd May, 1928

My dear P.M.

I was delighted to receive by the last mail your monumental
letters of 19th and 20th March, and I am rather appalled at the
amount of time that I was the direct cause of your giving up at
one blow to my letters. [1] I ventured to let Hankey [2] see
extracts, and he was as interested as I was at the expression of
your views in so many directions.

I am reliably informed that both the King and the Prime Minister
[3] have had what were described as 'earnest conversations' with
the Prince of Wales with regard to his obligations to the nation
in the matter of his marriage. In consequence, Princess Ingrid of
Sweden is coming to London shortly in order to give the Prince an
opportunity of meeting her 'with view to above' as the matrimonial
advertisements say. The Prince is said not to be favourably
inclined towards the Greek princess. So that you may possibly be
spared your part in the proceedings! [4]

Sir Charles Davis [5] tells me that he sat next to Lord Kylsant
[6] two days ago at lunch and that the latter told him the story
of my visit to him at his place in Wales in December 1924, with
regard to the initial stage of the sale of the Commonwealth Line.
[7] Davis says that Kylsant seemed quite pleased with himself
about his purchase but that he was a little on tenterhooks as to
what the immediate future held for him by reason of the threatened
blacklisting of the ships. [8]

The cartoons by Low [9] that I have sent you from time to time are
selected ones. He now grinds out two or three a week for the
'Evening Standard' and most of them are thin and poor in ideas in
consequence. He badly wants someone to produce brainwaves for him.
He can do the technical draughtsmanship better than anyone I know.
In the superficial age of 'eye and ear food' in which we live,
inspired cartoons have a great pulling power. I have always
thought that the big political parties in Australia should
reinforce their armoury by retaining the services of a first-rate
cartoonist. You could have 'blocks' made of his cartoons and
distribute them to the small organs of the provincial press ready
for reproduction. The cost in this way would be small.

The amateur cinematograph camera has become a practical machine
for the ordinary person. I have one and find it most entertaining.
I propose to make a film, which I will call 'Whitehall', on the
lines of the recent successful German film called 'Berlin', which
set out to convey an impression of the activities of the city of
Berlin between daylight and dark. I would try to give a lifelike
picture of Hankey, Chamberlain [10], Amery [11], etc., arriving at
their offices and at work in their respective Departments; then
the life history of a despatch arriving in the Foreign Office,
being registered, going to the man concerned in the proper
Department, being minuted and going up the scale to Chamberlain,
and so on.

If you have any means of projecting such a film, I would send you
out a copy if it turns out at all well.

The cinema industry is in an interesting stage in this country and
its development, from the superficial look at it that I have made,
promises well for the future. It has been enabled to expand
tremendously by virtue of the 'quota' and some really intelligent
people arc becoming associated with it.

I have seen letters from Nichols [12] (F.O. representative to New
Zealand) who apparently very much appreciated the opportunities
that you gave him to meet and talk to you. In writing to a friend
here he tells a story illustrating the free and easy bonhomie of
our particular Dominion. He hurriedly jumped into a taxi in
Melbourne and said: 'Drive me to Myoora.' The man grinned amiably
and said: 'Delighted, where does she live?'

Mr. im Thurn [13], who acknowledged to having been the instrument
through whom the Zinovief letter reached the Press of this country
just before the last General Election [14], is a brother-in-law of
Koppel [15] of the Foreign Office. Maxse [16], who was mixed up in
the 'Francs' case [17] with which the Zinovief affair has been
linked, was Koppel's assistant. It will be surprising if these
simple (and, in reality, completely unrelated) facts are not given
some sinister significance by the Labour Party at or before the
next Election. It is a wonder they have lain hidden so long.

It is obvious that in the last six months or so there has been a
great increase in public gambling on the London Stock Exchange.
Any broker or jobber will tell you that the business, in
industrials in particular, has been phenomenal and that there is a
distinctly new element in the market, in the shape of people who
have never gone in for Stock Exchange operations before. The
result has been what you might almost call a riot of speculation
that has forced the prices of many securities up to heights that
have no justification on balance sheet figures.

Tom Jones [18] met Henry Ford twice during his visit. He says he
thinks he is an imbecile on any subject other than making cars.
His political and international views, he says, are childlike.
This squares exactly with my impression of him when I dined with
him in Detroit five years ago.

It appears that Amanulla [19] is quite an amateur conjurer.
Chamberlain recently told the Cabinet the story of a banquet by
the City Fathers at Liverpool when they sought to entertain
Amanulla after dinner by some very expert conjurers they had got
together for his entertainment. The first two tricks that were
done before him, Amanulla got up and did them rather better than
the conjurer himself-rather to the conjurer's discomfiture. He was
eventually defeated, however, by the activities of the inner ring
of conjurers who call themselves 'The Magic Circle'. They did very
advanced conjuring that apparently completely defeated Amanulla.
I am giving a dinner shortly to let Sir Hugo Hirst [20] meet half-
a-dozen representative men connected with Australian interests,
such as Nivison [21], John Sanderson [22], Andrew Williamson [23],

I am, Yours sincerely,

1 Bruce's letter of 19 March 1928 dealt mainly with the value and
treatment accorded Casey's letters; that of 20 March was a very
long acknowledgment of Casey's letters of 14 December 1927 to 16
February 1928. Both letters are on file AA:A1420.
2 Sir Maurice Hankey, Secretary to the Cabinet.8
3 Stanley Baldwin.
4 See Letter 100.
5 Permanent Under-Secretary at the Dominions Office.
6 Chairman and Managing Director of several shipping companies.
7 See Letter 7.
8 The Commonwealth Shipping Line was sold in 1927 to the Royal
Mail Steam Packet Co., one of several shipping firms of which Lord
Kylsant was Chairman and Managing Director, despite the protests
of some Australian trade unions and of the Federal Labor
9 David Low, a New Zealander who had worked for the Sydney
10 Sir Austen Chamberlain, Foreign Secretary.
11 Leopold Amery, Secretary for the Colonies and for Dominion
12 P.B.B. Nichols.
13 Donald im Thurn, a London businessman with secret service
14 See Letters 93 and 123.
15 Percy Koppel, Counsellor at the Foreign Office. Another brother
of his wife (Dorothy, nee im Thurn) was Captain John im Thurn,
Chief of Staff of the Mediterranean Fleet.
16 H.F.B. Maxse.
17 See Letters 92 and 93.
18 Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet.
19 King of Afghanistan. He had recently visited the United
20 Chairman and Managing Director of the General Electric Co. Ltd
and a member of the British Economic Mission to Australia in 1928.
21 John Nivison, only son of Lord Glendyne, senior partner in R.
Nivison and Co.
22 Director of Australian Agricultural Co. Ltd, the Bank of
Australasia, and the Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Co.
23 Chairman of the English, Scottish and Australian Bank, the
Australian Estates and Mortgage Co. Ltd and of the London board of
Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Co. Ltd.

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