238

6th June, 1929

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

My dear Prime Minister,

There is just one more subject which I want to mention to you by this mail. It seems to me quite possible that, within two or three months of the formation of the Labour Government, the new Government will have made quite clear its intention to support such bodies as the Imperial Economic Committee and the Empire Marketing Board, and thus, in effect, to have declared its adherence to two general ideas. First the policy of Empire Development, and, secondly, the policy of Empire Buying. Should this forecast prove correct, it seems to me that this would be of very considerable political advantage to the Commonwealth Government. It would then be possible for you to claim that the policy which you had initiated in 1923 and strongly supported in 1926 had not only been adopted by the Conservative Administration under Mr. Baldwin [1] but now having been adopted by the Labour Government could be regarded as the settled National Policy of the United Kingdom in regard to the Empire.

It is impossible for me to gauge how far your success along these lines is helpful to the political position in Australia but I must assume that there are a sufficient number of people in Australia who appreciate what the Empire means to Australia to render this of quite first class political importance.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

1 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister 1923-24, 1924-29 and 1935-37.