112

8th March, 1928

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

My dear P.M.,

AIR DEFENCES OF AUSTRALIA

I enclose 'Times' announcement of Sir John Salmond's mission to Australia. [1]

A Senior Officer of the Staff of the Imperial Defence College, of whom Hankey [2] has a high opinion (but whom I am asked to keep anonymous), writes privately to Hankey enclosing a memorandum on the subject of Sir John Salmond's visit, of which, as you will see, he does not approve.

Even admitting that there exists no accepted body of doctrine as to the exact function and responsibility that the Air can take in coast defence, it seems to me that this officer assumes too low an order of intelligence and balance in Sir John Salmond. [3]

However, it is a point of view with regard to which you will no doubt wish the Minister for Defence [4] to be aware.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Bruce had asked the British Government for a senior R.A.F.

officer to report on Australian air defence. Air Marshal Sir John Salmond, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Air Defence of Great Britain, visited Australia and New Zealand for three months late in 1928. Subsequently, in early 1929, he became a member of the Air Council and, in 1930, he succeeded Sir Hugh Trenchard as Chief of the Air Staff. For his recommendations see note 7 to Letter 161.

2 Sir Maurice Hankey, Secretary to the Cabinet.

3 In the United Kingdom, as in Australia, senior Army and Navy officers were disinclined to admit a major role for the Air Force except as a wing of their own services. The anonymous officer referred to by Casey was Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond (see Letter 133).

4 Sir William Glasgow.