236

5th June, 1929

PRIVATE

My dear Prime Minister,

Today I telephoned to Ormsby-Gore [1] who was clearing up at the Colonial Office. He told me that J. H. Thomas [2] had visited the Office this morning and had intimated the probability of his taking charge again. J. H. T. according to O. G. said that the party had wanted him to take the F.O. but said J. H. T.-'The F.O.

will be all Russia and Afghanistan and that's no damned good to Jimmy'. O.G. indicated that J. H. T. looked forward to preparing for an Imperial Conference.

Incidentally O.G. asked me to make clear to the Labour people his own willingness to serve in a non-party spirit on Empire matters.

He mentioned the Imperial Economic Committee.

The Labour Cabinet will probably be announced on Friday but I think you will be amused by this sidelight on the situation.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL P.S. This morning the papers confidently assert that J. H. T. is to be Lord Privy Seal with Employment as his job.

F. L. MCD.

1 William Ormsby-Gore, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Colonies 1924-29.

2 Colonial Secretary 1924. Thomas was appointed Lord Privy Seal and Minister of Employment in the 1929 Labour Government.