41

26th November, 1925

CONFIDENTIAL

(Due to arrive Melbourne-26.12.25)

My dear P.M.,

There is no doubt that you will have the floor practically to yourself at the next Imperial Conference. Your election has created great interest here, and if I had to generalise as to the effect of it all on the mind of the 'average man', I should say that he read it as a straight-out sporting fight between you- Bruce-and a certain rather undefined, but possibly dangerous Red menace, which he has seen a lot of fuss about both in these islands and elsewhere. You have had a first rate press, except in certain unimportant and peevish organs with a low circulation.

In the course of the next few months, I am going to get together material for a few speeches on Anglo-American relations, and kindred subjects, which I will submit to you, for your possible use if you do elect to come to the next Imperial Conference by way of America.

If there are any other subjects you would like worked up beforehand, so that they will be ready and out of the way when the rush comes, I will set about them if you will let me know.

If you wanted a Private Secretary for the American trip and while you were in London, I think my brother [1], who is with Elder [2], would do you well. He knows America reasonably well and I am sure you would find him replete with all the necessary secretarial virtues. I think he would give his ears to do it as I gather from reading between the lines that he gets little chance to spread his wings with Elder.

The farce of French politics continues. [3] It is a wearisome business trying to keep up with it. One begins even to think that a 'Mussolini' would be a good thing for them. And all the time my French Rentes (bought years ago and never had the sense to cut my loss) become more and more worth the paper they're printed on.

The 'Daily Telegraph' story that Trenchard [4] is to resign and be succeeded by Steel [5] is quite inaccurate in both particulars.

Quite a novelette romance in Siam. The King put away his wife because, notwithstanding her every effort, the poor creature was unable to produce a successor to the throne. The King in his old age took another wife and in due season (which was a few days ago) an heir was about to be born. The King meanwhile fell grievously sick and it became a matter of dual skill on the part of the royal physicians to retard the one event and to hasten the other. If a son and heir were to be born before the King died, the succession was secure; if after his death, then his brother (not too well beloved) succeeded. The skill of the physicians prevailed and the child was born a day before the King died but was a girl!

I am, Yours sincerely, R. G. CASEY

1 Dermot Casey.

2 Sir James Elder, Australian Commissioner in the United States.

Dermot Casey was his private secretary.

3 Paul Painleve's Government had fallen the previous day after seven months in office; over the next eight months Aristide Briand led several ministerial combinations until in July 1926 Raymond Poincare established a stable administration.

4 Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, Chief of the Air Staff.

5 Air Vice Marshal John Steel, a Captain in the Royal Navy until his transfer to the R.A.F. in 1918, was Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.