3

4th December, 1924

Dear Mr. Bruce,

CYPHER

Both the Foreign Office and the Colonial Office have raised the point that they do not wish secret information to go by cable to you in any other cypher than one approved by themselves. They do not approve the cypher 'B', the one in use by Australia and of which I have a copy, as they say that the mere length of time that it has been in use renders it of little value.

I then said that I was in their hands with regard to a cypher and they have come to the conclusion that I should be supplied with a copy of one of the secret cyphers used by the Governor-General.

[1] They will be cabling you in a few days' time asking you to receive from the Governor-General copy of a certain cypher for use in cable communication with me.

The above will be for use only for information of the most confidential character. For everything else I can use either cypher 'B' or the ordinary Government Code.

With regard to the secret cypher that your Office will receive from the Governor-General I am asked to say that they wish it to be kept in the hands of Dr. Henderson [2] or someone of similar rank.

I am, Yours sincerely, R. G. CASEY

1 Lord Forster, Governor-General of Australia 1920-25.

2 Dr Walter Henderson, Head of the External Affairs Branch in the

Prime Minister's Department, Melbourne. Established at federation, the Department of External Affairs was abolished in 1916. It was reconstituted in 1921 but with the Prime Minister holding the portfolio and the permanent head of the Prime Minister's Department serving as permanent head of the External Affairs Department. Throughout the 1920s, the External Affairs Department was scarcely more than an administrative fiction and as a rule was referred to as a branch of the Prime Minister's Department.