Thursday, 1st July 1926

1st July, 1926


Dear Mr. Bruce,

During the past week I have been suffering from a slight accident to an eye and I am, therefore, deferring several points for the next mail.


I enclose a memorandum giving a few points in regard to those members of the British Delegation with whom I am personally acquainted or about whom I have reliable information.


The Committee have made considerable further progress with the Dairy Produce Enquiry. It is now clear, provided the Chairman [1] can be induced to work on the Drafting Committee, the Main Report and the Report on Margarine will be available by the first week of August. I will try to arrange for a copy of the report to reach you at Colombo.

It has been decided to allow a larger measure of time to the Honey and Eggs Sub-Committee and the full Committee will consider this subject later and issue a small separate report.

I can now confirm the remarks in my letter of June 24th [2] as to the way in which the Committee will view Export Control.


As reported in my last letter, the series of consultations and preliminary meetings consequent upon the setting up of this Board are still demanding a very great deal of attention.

This week the six Overseas Representatives dined together and discussed our general attitude to certain questions. My Oversea colleagues asked me to act as their spokesman at the Board on these points.


The full Publicity Committee has not yet met but Captain OrmsbyGore [3] had a preliminary meeting of those members of the Board who are to serve upon the Committee in order to allow of certain preliminary decisions being taken. I find Ministers have a very natural dread of commercial advertising and are more interested in educational propaganda.

For the initial publicity campaign it is probable that the scheme (of which I sent you particulars together with my letter of October 22nd [4]) will be the ground work.


The report of the Provisional Committee on Research was presented to the Board at yesterday’s meeting and was unanimously adopted.

I enclose a copy of this secret report for your own personal information. It is a very interesting document.

The Board agreed that it would be wiser at any rate at the outset to have a Research Committee of laymen and to confine it to members of the Board. All the Oversea Representatives warmly supported this point of view.


It has become obvious that certain British Departments especially the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Departments of Agriculture for England and Wales and the Department for Scotland will try to obtain grants from the Empire Marketing Board to compensate them for the hard hearted attitude of the Treasury presided over by rather a harassed Chancellor.

This tendency is dangerous owing to the presence of the Parliamentary Secretaries for two of these Departments upon the Board.

Yesterday, therefore, I raised the issue as to a definition of the type of scheme which could properly be assisted from the Annual Grant. I urged that on the research side the Grant should be used to cause new work of value to the Empire to be undertaken and that the Board should be upon its guard against using the grant to subsidize work which should properly fall within the province of the normal expenditure of a department.

In general terms the Board agreed with me but I feel sure that we shall have to be continuously on our guard on this subject.

It is certainly necessary for at least one overseas representative to be prepared to express the view that under no circumstances should the original purpose of the Grant (i.e. a grant in lieu of Tariff Preference) be lost sight of.

While welcoming the inclusion of British Agriculture in the recipients of advantage from the Grant, this fact has greatly complicated the situation. I am very glad that as (a) I know all the British members of the Board;

(b) I am known to be sympathetic to British agriculture;

I can speak pretty firmly on such subjects as the proper use of the Grant without risk of being misunderstood.


I would particularly draw your attention to Dr. Haden Guest’s [5] questions and Mr. Amery’s [6] answer regarding the personnel of the Empire Marketing Board.


I enclose an interesting report on this subject presented to the House of Representatives by the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL


P.S. I also enclose 14th article from ‘Times Trade Supplement’ on the Economic Problems of the Empire. [7]

_1 Sir Halford Mackinder.

2 Letter 78.

3 William Ormsby-Gore, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Colonies.

4 Letter 36.

5 Labour M.P. and writer.

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

7 Economic Problems of the Empire. XIV.-The Road to a Solution’, Times Imperial and Foreign Trade and Engineering Supplement, 26 June.