215 'Pine Hill'

November 18th, 1929




My dear Casey,

I have now finished my present political career. Latham [1] has been appointed as my successor and I have replied to the overwhelming mass of correspondence I received with regard to the defeat of the Government, and my own reverse. As one of my final acts before forgetting I ever was a Prime Minister I want to thank you for the extraordinarily valuable help and assistance you have given me ever since you went to London. Your work there has been admirable, and it must be a great gratification to you to realise that by your own ability and more particularly personality you have made for yourself a position which enables you to render a great service to Australia and at the same time have won for yourself the confidence and esteem of practically every one who counts in London. It is a great performance, and whether you are or not, you should be very pleased with yourself for what you have accomplished. I spent the best part of an hour endeavouring to convince my successor that in his own interests it was imperative he should retain your services if you were willing to continue.

How successful I was I do not know. [2]

I am afraid at times you must have felt that I was not appreciative of all you were doing, owing to your hearing so seldom from me. It was not a lack of appreciation but of time that prevented me writing to you more often. Running a Government for a long period without the assistance of a first class side-to you now I can admit the side was anything but first-class, although towards the end of our period it was greatly improved-leaves little opportunity for dealing as one would wish with individual matters. Your official letters, however, kept me with a good working general knowledge of External Affairs, which at times, both in and out of the House, proved invaluable, and your personal letters were of the greatest interest, and kept me in touch with everything that was happening in London. Incidentally, they constitute a very interesting record of the inner history of British politics for the last five years.

I cabled you yesterday telling you I was coming to England, and expressing the hope you would not altogether drop me now that I am out of office. As I will be seeing you so soon I will then have an opportunity of thanking you personally for all the help and assistance you have given me; in the meantime, however, I wanted to send you a line to say how grateful I am.

With kind regards, and my respects to my God-daughter [3], whom I am looking forward to seeing-

Yours sincerely S.M. BRUCE

1 J.G. Latham took over as leader of the Nationalists.

2 The new Prime Minister, James Scullin, retained Casey's services in London, though Casey's letters to Scullin have been lost. In Canberra, Henderson was not so fortunate (see Introduction to this book).

3 Casey's daughter, Jane.