192

18th April, 1929

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

(Due to arrive Canberra 17.5.29)

My dear P.M.,

Referring to your recent letter in which you repeated a request of the Minister for Defence regarding increased numbers of copies of C.I.D. papers being sent to you for the information of the Defence Department. You will remember that I replied, after consultation with Hankey [1], that this would cause difficulties at this end and that a better solution would probably be for you to have C.I.D. papers copied at your discretion. [2]

Hankey has been turning the matter over in his mind and, from the information that comes to him from various quarters, he fears that there may be some dissatisfaction on the part of the Defence Department, arising out of the fact that these papers reach them through your office. He is a little disturbed that dissatisfaction should have arisen, based on the fact that they get an increased amount of information over and above what they got before and over and above what other Dominions get. In seeking a solution, he has to bear constantly in mind the fact that any change from the arrangements that at present exist might (and probably would) have to be applied to all other Dominions.

I have no doubt that the Defence Department would like to have all C.I.D. papers of importance sent direct to them through the respective Chiefs of Staff of the three Fighting Services here- i.e. through completely service channels, and avoiding the political channel altogether. I imagine that this would not appeal to you.

I would be glad to have your views, and to know if it is your impression that a 'situation' exists in the matter between the staff of the Defence Department and the political element. [3] I have suggested to Hankey that he makes no change in the scheme until we hear from you.

I am, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Sir Maurice Hankey, Secretary to the Cabinet.

2 See Letter 173.

3 In a letter of 22 May 1929 (on file AA:A1420) Bruce assured Casey that there was no 'situation' between the staff of the Defence Department and the political element. The wishes of the Defence Department should be met by Hankey only if no embarrassment were involved for him. In any event, Casey should continue to send information as he had in the past.