199

23rd May, 1929

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

(Due to arrive Canberra 22.6.29)

My dear P.M.,

Again there is very little to tell you this week.

I saw Sir Hugo Hirst [1] this morning and he asked me to transmit the enclosed letters to you, which he let me read first. He was anxious to know whether I thought you would care to get this type of letter from him from time to time, and I said that I was quite sure you would and I knew how much you would appreciate his activities on Australia's behalf He has become one of our most ardent and conscientious protagonists in London.

I am organising a dinner shortly to let the Big Four [2] meet a dozen men who are prominent in connection with Australian pastoral interests in London.

I am glad to say that it has been arranged that the Dominions Office mail will go by air from Perth to Adelaide in the future.

This refers to the signed letters only and not to copies or bulky enclosures.

I am in course of learning to fly in such spare time as I have.

Unless some legal difficulty arises with the freehold of the land, I am just about to buy a block of land in Westminster and build a house on it. My architect and solicitor have been for four months negotiating with the L.C.C. and the myriads of local authorities who have to be consulted singly and collectively before one can embark on an enterprise of this sort.

The Election takes place a week today and there is really singularly little public interest. It is always unwise to prophesy but I should be inclined to think that the Conservatives will get back with rather more seats than the popular estimate.

The Antarctic Expedition arrangements are taking me into a new field-press people, solicitors, aeroplane manufacturers, scientific instrument makers, and the like. [3] I am not letting my comparative ignorance on a number of these subjects deter me from expressing what I have to say with conviction.

Amery [4] (and most other Ministers) is almost constantly in his constituency just now. He hates electioneering and is quietly depressed. I hear privately that he has had bad news of his eldest son, a boy of about 16 or 17, who has gone off the rails from an early age and who lives abroad with a tutor. He is never spoken about and very few people know he exists.

I am glad to get Julian Simpson's letters each week now, and hope they will continue. [5]

The baby grows and thrives. [6]

All good wishes, Yours sincerely, R.G. CASEY

1 Chairman and Managing Director of the General Electric Co. Ltd and a member of the Economic Mission which visited Australia in 1928.

2 Members of the 1928 Economic Mission, Sir Arthur Duckham, Sir Hugo Hirst, Sir Ernest Clark and Dougal Malcolm.

3 The British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition of 1929-31. See note 13 to Letter 146.

4 Leopold Amery, Secretary for the Colonies and for Dominion Affairs.

5 Bruce had arranged for his Private Secretary, Julian Simpson, to keep Casey informed of developments in Australia.

6 Jane Alice Camilla Casey, born on 7 October 1928.