Thursday, 28th June 1928

28th June, 1928


My dear Prime Minister,


Through some of the activities of the Empire Marketing Board in connection with stock, a report from a Mr. T. A. Fisher, of Australia, to the Syndicat d’Etudes pour I’Elevage en Aftique Occidentale Franqaise about sheep rearing in the French Sudan has been prepared. A summary of this report has been circulated to the Research Grants Committee. In case this report has not reached Australia, I have obtained a number of copies and am enclosing herewith four. I am sending several copies to Rivett [1] and also to Gepp. [2]

I had a talk with Walter Elliot [3] about this matter and we came to the conclusion that it would be very useful to send a really bright Australian to try to meet Fisher in America and obtain the whole strength of the position. We also felt that, if the right man could be found, a good deal of really useful information about the grasses of the semi-arid area of the French Sahara could be obtained which would be useful to Australia and indeed to other parts of the Empire.

It so happens that an extremely suitable man is at present in England, namely young Trumble [4] the son of Hugh Trumble, the Cricketer. Young Trumble is on the staff of the Waite Institute at Adelaide but is over here for a year on an interchange arranged through the Empire Marketing Board. I have had a preliminary talk with Trumble, and, subject to the approval of Richardson [5] of Waite Institute, and of Rivett, I shall try to arrange that Trumble be sent for a few weeks to look thoroughly into the matter and to give us a report.


Under separate cover six copies of A. N, Duckham’s memorandum [6] have been forwarded to you. I sent these because, although your Pastoral Committee [7] might have ceased to function, I think you would probably like to send a copy to each of the members in a personal way.

The question of how the Empire Marketing Board can best follow up Duckham’s preliminary investigations will be discussed at the next Research Grants Committee to be held on July 4th.


As you know, Dr. Tillyard [8] is now in this country and he and I are engaged in discussing the entomological proposal [9] with the Empire Marketing Board and with the Imperial Bureau of Entomology.

Very unfortunately, Tillyard had put forward a scheme in which he had entirely ignored the existence of the Imperial Bureau or of the Parasite Zoo which had been founded in connection with the Imperial Bureau by a grant from the E.M.B. It was necessary for me to insist that Tillyard should reconsider that part of his memorandum and, although he is full of enthusiasm and has many other delightful qualities, he is rather cantankerous towards his fellow entomologists. I anticipated a very difficult time with Dr.

Marshall [10], the head of the Imperial Bureau. Fortunately Dr.

Marshall has a considerable quantity of that ‘most excellent gift of charity’ and I now think that everything is going smoothly and that the E.M.B. will be prepared to make the very substantial grant which the Commonwealth Council has proposed.


I am enclosing three ‘pulls’ of a new line of advertising which the Empire Marketing Board intends to commence in the Autumn. The idea is to demonstrate chiefly to persons engaged in some of the most important industries of the United Kingdom the great advantage that will accrue to those industries if Empire development is supported by Empire purchasing. The particular ‘pulls’ that I am forwarding are the only ones yet available and refer to the Iron and Steel industry. I think that you will probably agree that they represent a new and quite interesting method of presenting the case and I should be very glad to have any comment that you may care to make on the subject.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

_1 David Rivett, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Excerpts from the report are on file CSIRO:G19/3/3.

2 H. W. Gepp, Chairman of the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission.

3 Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Scotland; Chairman of the Research Grants Committee of the Empire Marketing Board.

4 H. C. Trumble.

5 A. E. V. Richardson, Professor of Agriculture and Director of the Waite Agricultural Research Institute, University of Adelaide;

member of the Executive of the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

6 A. N.Duckham, Grass and Fodder Crop Conservation in Transportable Form, E.M.B. 8, 1928. See note 10 to Letter 157.

7 See note 15 to Letter 122 and note 8 to Letter 134 8 R. J. Tillyard, Chief of the Division of Economic Entomology, Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

9 See note 9 to Letter 135. An outline of the scheme is given in journal of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, vol. 1, no 4, pp. 193-201.

10 G. A. K. Marshall.