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5th July, 1928

My dear P.M.,

I went to the big yearly set-piece Air Force Display last
Saturday. It is without doubt the finest show that any country in
the world could stage. I have seen similar shows in the United
States and they are very small beer, and the French efforts are, I
am told, lacking in anything approaching the degree of air-
discipline and combined training that makes the R.A.F. Display so
outstanding. It is Guards' drill in the air on the grand scale.
But it contains very considerable elements of danger, and
Trenchard [1] and his people are always exceedingly glad when it
is safely over.

Princess Ingrid [2] has gone back to Sweden and it looks as if all
hopes were dashed to the ground.

The Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister seems to be
an unhappy position. Vansittart's [3] son was killed in a lift
accident in his house a few months ago. His wife died in her sleep
two days ago. And now Sir Ronald Waterhouse [4] (late Private
Secretary) is named as co-respondent in a cause celebre. This last
episode threw its shadow before and is the reason he had to leave
the appointment.

I have only recently come to realise that practically all the
waiters in London hotels are now Italians, whereas they were
preponderantly German before the War. I think I like the Italian
waiter type less than the German.

I enclose press cuttings with regard to the Mond Industrial
Conference [5], Commonwealth financial position, and Sir Hugo
Hirst. [6]

The story is told that at a recent big dinner the Prince of Wales
was very bored by the long-windedness of a certain speaker. He
told Birkenhead [7], who was next to him, that he would have to go
soon if the man didn't stop. Birkenhead said, 'I'll stop him', and
the Prince asked him, in his efforts to stop him, not to be too
abrupt with him. Birkenhead merely wrote six words on the back of
a menu and had it passed to the speaker, who blushed deeply, wound
up at once and sat down. The Prince asked Birkenhead what he had
said. Birkenhead said: 'Oh, I merely wrote "All your fly buttons
are undone".' [8]

Loewenstein [9] committed suicide in a dramatic way last night by
walking out of his aeroplane in mid-air over the Channel. A friend
in the City telephoned this morning to say that the market in his
two big international counters-Hydro-Electric and International
Holdings-have halved in value in consequence, one dropping from
225 to 125 and the other from 55 to 25. His career has been not
unlike that of Whitaker Wright [10] or James White. [11] I believe
he banked with Schroeder's who, I suppose, will take over his
activities in an attempt to clean something up out of the mess.
Sooner or later the world will have to be protected from this sort
of thing.

There was an interesting Group Meeting at the Royal Institute of
International Affairs last night on 'The Economic Impact of
America', my notes on which I have not been able to get ready for
this mail, but will send next week.

I am, Yours sincerely,

1 Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Hugh Trenchard, Chief of the
Air Staff.
2 Seen by some as a prospective wife for the Prince of Wales.
3 Robert Vansittart, presently occupying the position, also
carried the rank of Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
4 Sir Ronald Waterhouse had served as Principal Private Secretary
to successive Prime Ministers 1922-28.
5 See note 10 to Letter 92 and Letter 101.
6 Chairman and Managing Director of the General Electric Co. Ltd.
7 Lord Birkenhead, Secretary for India.
8 The last six words in this paragraph were handwritten.
9 Captain Alfred Loewenstein, Belgian financier and turf patron,
noted for spectacular stock exchange operations; his companies
were about to fail.
10 British financier, extradited from the United States, who was
sentenced to seven years' jail but took poison.
11 British financier and theatre and boxing promoter, noted for
bold speculations, who had committed suicide the previous year.

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