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Memento : Issue 20
Research for our new website on Australia's Prime Ministers has uncovered hundreds of similarly intriguing items. Just as fascinating are the stories behind the items, revealing not only forgotten political events but also something about the personalities of the owners. Stanley Melbourne Bruce became Australia's Prime Minister in 1923. His career did not end when he lost office in 1929. As Australia's High Commissioner in London, he was closely involved in external affairs, including the League of Nations. When Bruce died in 1967, among the personal collection that he willed to the people of Australia were two of his most prized possessions --- a gold cigarette case received from Inscribed gold cigarette case, given by Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk to Bruce in 1936. Convention signed at Montreux, 20 July 1936. Photo from the commemorative photograph album of the 1936 conference held at Montreux Palace, Switzerland. d iplomacy d iplomacy Tu r kish leader Kemal Ataturk in 1936 and an album of photographs with the name 'Montreux Palace 1936' on the leather cover. These were mementos of his work in chairing the conference that achieved the 'Montreux Convention', the agreement restoring Turkey's right (removed in 1918) to navigate the Dardanelles. With the threat of a second world war, and vivid memories of the first, this agreement was a major diplomatic achievement for Bruce, who had been severely injured at Gallipoli in 1915. The third item is a hefty file containing the draft, final and printed versions of the Convention itself. Bruce carried the cigarette case with him every day until his death 30 years later, reflecting justifiable pride in the work he did for the Convention. His states- manship in reconciling differences between Turkey and Australia has continued to have an effect. It is reflected in the recent Australia--Turkey agreement to name Anzac Cove near Gallipoli and the reciprocal establish- ment of the Kemal Ataturk memorial on Canberra's Anzac Parade. As we continue to build our website on Australia's Prime Ministers, we will reveal more fascinating details of their personal and professional lives. A battered gold cigarette case, a photograph album, and a file dated 1936 --- what do they have in common? All three items have links to former Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce and can be found in our collection. NAA: M4254, 41 NAA: M112, 1 T z|yà yÉÜ T z|yà yÉÜ may 2002 memento 15 NAA: A10345, 17