20

7th May, 1925

CONFIDENTIAL

(Due to arrive Melbourne-6.6.25)

My dear P.M.,

A note to give you one or two items which require to be apart from the other letters.

At yesterday's Cabinet, Singapore was discussed, and it was decided to go ahead at a normal reasonable rate of construction.

The defensive armament is still undecided, whether 9.2" or 15"

guns or something between.

The question of financing the construction in future years was discussed generally. One Minister said it seemed politically difficult to ask the Dominions for cash contributions when they had no control over the expenditure. The idea was then thrown out of a Board of Control to run Singapore, on which there would be Dominion representatives. It is interesting to note that this was not thought completely impossible, although the idea was not pursued. One Minister went so far as to suggest that Australia and New Zealand should take over the whole Singapore Base and run it.

The whole of this part of the discussion was very general and was not meant to be more than this.

Loring Christie, a Canadian who was legal adviser to the Canadian Department of External Affairs and who is now in business in London, dined with me recently, and told me that the firm he is with (Dunn, Fisher & Co.) are investigating the proposal to purchase as a whole the ex-German plantations in the Territory of New Guinea. I understand that the head of the firm is a Sir James Dunn, a Canadian. They are a house which finances and manages industrial undertakings in all parts of the world.

I am, Yours sincerely, R. G. CASEY