8th March, 1928


My dear P.M.,

Reading lately 'The Economic Problem' by R.G. Hawtrey [1] of the Treasury, I came on the following- The preference arising from a common sovereignty is illustrated by the Colonial Stock Acts, which make the national debts of the Dominions and other British Possessions trustee investments in the United Kingdom on certain conditions. It is not merely that an additional demand for the stocks on the part of trustees is created by these Acts, but the security for all British investors in them is improved, owing to the provisions expressly recognising the sovereign right of disallowance (on the advice of British Ministers) of any legislation impairing the security.

Knowing that the question of the King's right of disallowance of Dominion legislation was an active one at present, and as Hawtrey is one of the real Treasury pundits, I thought this interesting enough to bring to the notice of E. J. Harding [2] of the Dominions Office. He recognises the seriousness of it and is getting me the best opinions he can as to the effect of the surrender of the King's right of disallowance on Dominion Loans.

He has been brooding over it for a week and tells me today that he won't have the answer for several days yet. So I send you this much now and the rest later. It is a new point to me, although possibly not to you. [3]

The question of the importation of foreign meat into Germany seems to be under something of a disability. Rupert Ryan (my brother-in- law and Deputy High Commissioner of the Rhineland) suggested to me lately that we might exploit the market to a greater extent than we do. Australia House says there are difficulties, which I am investigating with the Foreign Office, but as this means writing to H.M. Embassy in Berlin, I will not be able to tell you the facts for a fortnight. It looks to me, at first sight, like a disability that it is unnecessary to sit down under.

I send, in another letter by this bag, copies of Gerry Villiers' [4] lecture to the Imperial Staff College on Tangier. It is most entertaining and would amuse and instruct you at the same time, which is no small achievement in the treatment of a dull subject like Tangier.

You know the grievance about the extreme average antiquity of the judges on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Well, it has been engaging the attention of Cabinet lately and it has been arranged to appoint a young buck of a judge whose comparative youth brings their average age down, I believe, to 78.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 R.G. Hawtrey, The Economic Problem, Longmans, Green, London, 1926. Hawtrey was Director of Financial Enquiries at the Treasury.

2 Sir Edward Harding, Assistant Under-Secretary at the Dominions Office.

3 The point had not occurred to Bruce, who advised Casey in a letter of 14 April 1928 (on file AA:A1420) that he was 'very interested to hear what Harding and the Dominions Office have to say...' 4 Gerald Villiers, Counsellor at the Foreign Office, had been a member of the British delegation at a conference in Paris in 1923 which resulted in Tangier being removed to a significant degree from the control of the French-dominated Sultan of Morocco and subjected to international administration.