125

12th April, 1928

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

My dear P.M.,

Easter has whittled down this past working week almost to nothing, so this mail is a light one.

Following on my summary of Bowles' 'Strength of England', I wrote him a letter full of queries that his book had caused, and I send you herewith his very interesting reply. [1]

His book leaves on one's mind something like the impression of Hardy's 'Dynasts' in rough prose. The worst that can be said of Bowles is that he strongly states a case for the rule of force at sea. This rule has ever worked in our favour, to the apparent detriment of Europe and of the world. One can imagine an indignant German after reading the book-

Never was there such a flagrant and intolerable case made for the rule of force. The ability to starve the children of one's opponents must rest with he who has command of the seas, which happens up to now to have been Great Britain. But now comes America as a sea rival of England. Is England to be as insistent on this 'peaceful picketing' when the command passes to another?

Will America challenge the rule of 'Law' or will she quietly become heir to its 'benefits'? [2]

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 See Letter 124.

2 In a letter to Casey of 14 May 1928 (on file AA:A1420) Bruce speculated on how British attitudes might change if the United Kingdom were neutral in a future war and how United States attitudes might change if the United States became the predominant naval power.