31st May, 1928


My dear P.M.,

I am holding up a letter that I had written you by this mail on the general subject of liaison as I want to try and cover the subject more fully. I tried all the dictionaries and encyclopaedias to see what they had to say on the subject, but they are without reference, except what I thought rather low hints and leers about 'gallant episodes' and 'illicit connections'! In a letter from Edward Harding (a New York lawyer whom you met and who interests himself in Australian matters) he says:-

Australia has again come to New York for money. I suppose that this is with the approval of the 'powers that be' in London. I am wondering whether there is going to be any opportunity for competitive bidding. Mr. Armitage [1] of the Commonwealth Bank, who was here about six months ago, said that the plan was to get Australia's credit established and then to have some competition amongst a number of the leading houses.

Lord Buckland (who was Henry Seymour Berry) [2] was killed rather tragically last week by knocking his head against a post when out riding. I had met him several times and I think mentioned him to you. He was rather a romantic and interesting figure-a man of 50 who had made many millions out of coal to his own unaided hand from a cottage beginning. He had five daughters to his great disappointment and expressed to me-a chance acquaintance-his determination to have an heir. He was of the type of Ford and Morris, but mentally more active and with his eyes less on the ground.

I heard lately what I think must be the last word in Americanisms- and from the mouth of a Belgian who is on leave in London from the Belgian Embassy in Washington. He was describing a certain bit of English countryside in spring which, he said, he found 'lousy with charm'.

The Foreign Policy Association (New York) have just issued a pamphlet (copy enclosed) recording a debate on the subject of 'The Power of International Finance', which contains a few points of interest which I have marked in pencil. It is a contribution to the file on this subject that I started a few months ago. I should not read it all as the bulk of the talk was uninstructive.

I have met Sir Charles Nathan [3] and had a brief talk to him about his various missions. I will do what I can to put him in touch with the people he wants to meet.

The brief references to the European 'goings on' that I give in the confidential letters are not set down because I think you take any particular interest in the individual events themselves, but to try and build up, with as few strokes as possible, a picture in your mind of the state of Europe, so that, as far as possible, you will never be surprised by events.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Hugh Armitage, Commonwealth Bank Accountant since 1913 and later (1941) to become Governor.

2 Lord Buckland (until 1926 Henry Seymour Berry), brother of William Berry (later Lord Camrose) and Gomer Berry (later Lord Kemsley), owned extensive Welsh coal interests; Chairman of, inter alia, John Lysaght Ltd and Guest, Keen and Nettlefold Ltd. See Letter 17.

3 Perch businessman, Vice-Chairman of the Australian Development and Migration Commission 1926-27.