Thursday, 6th January 1927

6th January, 1927


My dear Prime Minister,

I think you will be interested to see a cutting from the ‘Economist’ which refers to your visit here and to your speeches in America in the nicest way. [1] From such a source, the tribute (although of course qualified) is somewhat remarkable and you must have created a deep impression upon the editor (W. T. Layton) at Cadbury’s [2] lunch to the Liberal journalists.

I am also enclosing a cutting from the Manchester Guardian on the first poster displayed by the Empire Marketing Board [3] As you know I am one of the two members who run the poster Sub-Committee of the Board and it is very pleasant to receive this tribute from such a paper as the Guardian. I have had copies of this huge poster sent to the Department of Markets and I hope it will be displayed in the Australian capital cities.

I am enclosing four copies of a pull of a recent Empire Marketing Board press advertisement. It is I think original both in design and in copy. Perhaps you may care to have a copy sent to some of your Ministerial colleagues. I have sent one to Mr. Paterson. [4]

I enclose a verbatim copy of your Agricultural speech. It reads very well. I’ve sent another copy to Mr. Paterson.

I have been very busy with Gepp [5] on a number of matters connected with development.

I am forwarding a copy of the first number of Haden Guest’s [6] paper. I have left the Board of this journal but I think it deserves help. Could you possibly suggest to some influential person that it should be taken by Australian Clubs and get him actively to help it towards a circulation in Australia.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

_1 An editorial note on 1 January praised Bruce’s contribution to the Imperial Conference and contrasted his ‘growing consciousness of world problems and a sense of balance and proportion’ with the ‘narrow and fallacious fiscal obsessions’ he demonstrated at the 1923 Conference.

2 H. T. Cadbury, Managing Director of The Daily News Ltd; Chairman of The News and Westminster Ltd.

3 On 1 January the paper described Highways of Empire, the map painted by a leading poster artist, Macdonald Gill, as ‘a jolly thing, packed with entertaining detail … Imperialism without tears’. It showed ‘England blushing a patriotic scarlet and ridiculously small as the heart of the world, which is exactly what is wanted’ and ‘Across the bright blue seas-the highways of Empire-the British ships swarm and cluster round the great ports like bees on the threshold of the hive’. The map measured 20 feet by 10 feet and was one of the largest colour posters to have been issued. A hoarding large enough to take it was not available in Manchester.

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

5 H. W. Gepp, Chairman of the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission; member of the Australian delegation to the 1926 Imperial Conference.

6 L. Haden Guest, Labour M.P. and writer; Secretary of the Labour Party Commonwealth Group; Editor of the London Weekly.