132

17th May, 1928

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

My dear P.M.,

We went to see the new Madame Tussaud's lately and were horrified to see your effigy. You are wearing a very generous-looking morning coat, very shiny cloth-topped boots and what I think is called a gent.'s sporting four-in-hand tie-the whole effect is very democratic. Those who economise in their pleasures and try to get along without a catalogue are liable to mistake you for a wide range of popular celebrities varying from Mussolini and President Wilson to the late President of the Mexican Republic.

You stand next to Mackenzie King. The catalogue descriptions of you both are interesting:-

KING, William Lyon Mackenzie, politician (1874- ). Born in Ontario, he succeeded Sir Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Canadian Liberal Party. Prime Minister of Canada, 1921.

BRUCE, Rt. Hon. Stanley Melbourne, statesman (1884- ). Prime Minister of Australia 1923, he has done much to strengthen the affection that exists between Great Britain and her colonies.

I told Mr. Baldwin [1] of the above and he said that he hoped it would not hearten you too much as Lloyd George [2] ranks a politician higher than a statesman! He told me the story of Lloyd George (in the Coalition Cabinet) having said to Worthington-Evans [3], 'Now, you're a politician, what do you think of so-and-so?', and when W.E. looked down his nose a little, Winston [4] broke in and said, 'You needn't look abashed, Worthy, L.G. has paid you a great compliment. He holds that a politician is a being of a much higher order than a statesman.'

I enclose press photographs of Princess Ingrid of Sweden. [5] We are going to a small dance at the Swedish Legation on 31st May when we will see her even if we don't meet her. I believe she is going to a luncheon party at the Duchess of Atholl's next week to which we have been asked.

I had a talk to Geoffrey Dawson (Editor) and Williams [6] (Assistant Editor) of the 'Times' this week, mainly on the subject of the muddle that Dominion consultation was getting itself into by reason of the mushroom growth of Dominion Legations abroad. [7] The crisscross of representation will soon mean that foreign countries will not know how to set about approaching the Empire as a whole. I found out enough to know that you will get a good leader from the 'Times' if you decide to put a man into the British Embassy at Washington.

In the course of the talk, Dawson said that what irritated the Irish Free State Government was their knowledge of the fact that they differed from the other Dominions in that His Majesty's Government could never allow them to secede, which was the comfortable right of the others.

Sir Douglas Mawson [8] came in to see me on his arrival in London this week. He disclosed to me two objects of his visit to London, of which I gather the primary one is to get in touch with Mond [9] and Imperial Chemical Industries with regard to the financing of a company to exploit some waterpower possibilities on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, with the idea of making nitrates from atmospheric nitrogen on a large scale.

The second object that he mentioned was his pet subject of the employment of the 'Discovery' for Antarctic scientific and exploratory work. [10]

I enclose copy, as a matter of mild interest, of the 'Whitehall Gazette', which I think is probably the most right-wing Conservative die-hard paper in the world. It is rather a mysterious publication and is edited by a man called Maundy Gregory [11] whom I know. It is expensively produced, has only a limited circulation and must cost much more than it brings in, as most of the copies (including mine) are circulated free. I feel sure that the Conservative Party funds are behind it, although I don't see what good it can do. The King gets a dozen copies and it is to be seen in the older and more crusted Clubs. It specialises in good, hearty, old-style Tory tub-thumping, refers to the 'working classes' in inverted commas, rails at Bolshevism and at intervals tries to curdle the blood of its 'subscribers' by stories of the iniquities of the lower orders and by implication of all non-Tories. I have no doubt that I could get you cartooned and written up in it at the next Imperial Conference if you did not think that it would wreck your political career.

You may possibly hear something of a mild fracas between Mr.

Justice Rich [12] and Captain Feakes [13], in which the former held himself as having been insulted by the latter by being asked rather brusquely to get out of a pew at the Anzac Day Memorial Service. Rich wrote a letter to the High Commissioner [14] on the dignity of a High Court Judge. On what I have heard I tend to take the part of Rich. You seem to be appealed to on the most petty domestic questions, so this may come your way, but there is really not very much more in it than I have said.

I am lunching with Sir John Salmond [15] tomorrow and will tell you something about him and his views by next mail.

I propose, with your permission, to go to Paris for a few days in July. I want to talk generally to the Embassy people, and meet Andre Siegfiried [16] and a few others. My wife tells me that I am getting completely out of touch with what people are thinking and talking about in Paris. It is conceivable that her attitude is coloured a little by the fact that she wants some clothes. As someone has said, the greatest invention in the world was the carrot held in front of the donkey.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister.

2 David Lloyd George, Prime Minister 1916-22.

3 Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Secretary for War.

4 Winston Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

5 Regarded as a possible wife for the Prince of Wales. See Letter 100.

6 Probably Dr Harold Williams, Foreign Editor of The Times, who died later in 1928.

7 By the date of this Letter, all the Dominions had High Commissioners in the United Kingdom. Canada had opened Legations in Paris, Tokyo and Washington and the Irish Free State had a Legation in Washington.

8 Professor of Geology and Mineralogy in the University of Adelaide; Antarctic explorer.

9 Sir Alfred Mond, Chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd.

10 The Discovery was to be used in an Antarctic expedition led by Mawson 1929-31.

11 On Maundy Gregory, see note 3 to Letter 52. The monthly Whitehall Gazette was placed free in clubs and Whitehall offices, with revenue apparently coming from men prepared to pay for publication of articles about themselves and thereby showing potential as targets for Maundy Gregory's honours touting enterprises.

12 Judge of the Australian High Court, 13 Captain (later Rear Admiral) H. J. Feakes, Australian Naval Liaison Officer in London 1927-29.

14 Sir Granville Ryrie.

15 See Letter 133 16 See Letter 92.