32

24th September, 1925

PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL

Dear Mr. Bruce,

Recent cables, as regards the political situation in Australia, indicate that when this letter arrives you will be in the middle of a stern fight and will have little time for the consideration of economic matters. [1]

I asked Ritchie [2] to send you copy of an article which appeared in last Sunday's 'Pictorial' by the Rt. Hon. Philip Snowden [3], which is illuminating and which I thought might be of some real value at the present time. I also suggested to Ritchie that he should get out some interesting extracts of labour opinion on Russia and Communism.

I am enclosing copy of a letter which I contributed to the Times on 'Controlled marketing in the Dominions' which I hope will meet with your approval. [4]

IMPERIAL ECONOMIC COMMITTEE

A Departmental Committee has been set up during the last two or three days to consider the report of the Imperial Economic Committee and to prepare a memorandum to the British Cabinet on the subject. If so, I anticipate that the Cabinet will be considering the reports in the course of the next fortnight or three weeks.

I am meeting a number of the Members of the Committee in order to arrange that, when the full Committee meets again to consider further work on fruit, we shall have a definite programme which will, I hope, enable us to make the Fruit Report a much more comprehensive document than the Meat Report.

I am enclosing, for your information, copy of an advertisement that has been appearing, inserted by Harrods, in leading newspapers. [5] It will give you an idea of the way in which the Empire idea is spreading in commercial circles.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

1 See note 1 to Letter 29. Bruce had announced on 18 September that Parliament was to be dissolved before an election which, he hoped, would give the Government a mandate to 'maintain the supremacy of Parliamentary Government' over 'irresponsible extremists ... working insidiously through the industrial organisation...': Argus, 19 September.

2 Alan Ritchie, Victorian grazier.

3 Labour M.P.; free trader; Chancellor of the Exchequer 1924.

4 The letter, signed 'an Australian Farmer', was published on 21 September. It defended Export Control Boards against any suggestion that they might lead to nationalisation and argued that organisation had been sought by the majority of producers as a protection of their interests.

5 The advertisement featured various products from all parts of the Empire, including dried fruits from Australia. Empire origin was stressed by accompanying maps. An 'Empire cake' baked with Empire products Cost 2/6d.