Thursday, 13th January 1927

13th January, 1927


My dear Prime Minister,

Gepp [1] left this morning after a few last hectic days completing as many things as were possible to complete and so far as development and scientific research was concerned, making arrangements with me for the continuation of the investigations which have been commenced.

I have been very glad to have had the opportunity of getting to know him as well as I have and I should rather like to stress one point to you-a point which, needless to say, I have fully stressed to Gepp himself. I feel that he has so active a mind and so much enthusiasm that there is a quite real danger of his overdoing things to the detriment not only to his health but perhaps even to the work of the Commission.

I think it would really be a most useful thing if you were to ask Gepp to make a point of avoiding Saturday work whenever he is in Melbourne. I presume he will find it necessary to travel about a good deal. When he is away from Melbourne, he will doubtless find it essential to work any and every day but while in Melbourne if he freed himself from all questions affecting the Commission on both Saturday and Sunday, I think it would be to the general advantage not only to Gepp personally but also to the whole work on which he is engaged.

I had Sir James Cooper [2] to lunch with me to meet Gepp and they made a very favorable impression of one another, with the result that Gepp invited Cooper to act on the Advisory Committee [3] which, with I understand your approval, he has decided to set up at Australia House.

Yours sincerely, F. L. MCDOUGALL

_1 H. W. Gepp, Chairman of the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission; member of the Australian delegation to the 1926 Imperial Conference.

2 Company director; Chairman of the London Agencies of the Commonwealth Dried Fruits and Dairy Produce Control Boards.

3 The Consultative and Advisory Committee established in London to assist the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Its chairman was the High Commissioner, Sir Joseph Cook; members included the States’ Agents-General and prominent Australian businessmen.

McDougall attended as Liaison Officer for both organisations; his assistant, A. W. Stuart Smith, acted as secretary to the Committee.