88

13th January, 1927

PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL

My dear Prime Minister,

With the House not sitting and with a number of Ministers away on holidays, there is nothing of any special interest to report this week.

The preliminary final trade returns for Great Britain for 1926 have just been published and naturally make a very depressing statement. It is noteworthy that the month of December was worse than the month of November, so far as exports were concerned, in spite of a fairly marked revival in the coal export trade.

I was speaking to Mr. J. H. Thomas [1] today and he commented upon the extremely favorable impression which you had made in all quarters during your visit, contrasting the result of your 1926 visit with that of 1923. Mr. Thomas tells me that he is very interested in the whole question of Empire marketing and has asked me to meet him next Tuesday to discuss some problems in relation to marketing of apples.

In case you should desire to make any use of them, I am enclosing herewith 6 verbatim copies of your speech to the British Farmers.

I have sent a copy to Mr. Paterson [2] but I thought you might care to distribute some of the others to members of the Cabinet.

IMPERIAL ECONOMIC COMMITTEE

So far as the Imperial Economic Committee is concerned, I am not aware as to whether Chadwick [3] has finally decided to accept the offer which Amery [4] has made to him for the position of Secretary. I certainly hope that he will agree to act.

Mackinder [5] has gone to New York and will not be back until the first week in February, when it is proposed to have the first meeting of the Committee.

In the meantime a Sub-Committee on Eggs and Honey is sitting and getting to a stage when its report can be considered.

EMPIRE MARKETING BOARD

The first meeting of the Main Board in the New Year will, I think, be held on the 2nd February and I have arranged that the confirmation by the Board of the proposal to establish, on a 50-50 basis, a Tropical Agricultural Station in Northern Australia will be on the Agenda. I will cable to you as soon as the meeting has taken place.

THE LIBERAL PARTY

To any one with your experience of politics, the enclosure entitled 'A Liberal Document' will be a source of very considerable amusement. It is amazing that any one officially connected with the Liberal Party could have issued such a statement to the press.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

1 Labour M.P.; General Secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen; Colonial Secretary 1924.

2 Thomas Paterson, Minister for Markets and Migration in the Bruce-Page Government.

3 Sir David Chadwick, former Government of India Trade Commissioner in London; Secretary to the Government of India, Commerce Department.

4 Leopold Amery, Secretary for the Colonies and for Dominion Affairs.

5 Sir Halford Mackinder, Chairman of the Imperial Economic Committee.