Guide to the Papers of Sir Percy Spender

MS 4875

National Library of Australia

Collection Summary

Title
Papers of Sir Percy Spender
Date Range
1937-1978
Collection Number
MS 4875
Extent
22.5 metres (17 ms boxes + 42 phase boxes + 1 folio box)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
National Library of Australia

Introduction

Scope and Contents

Papers documenting Percy Spender's political, diplomatic and legal career including correspondence, speeches, press statements, cutting books, photographs of overseas trips and functions attended, itineraries, invitations, and printed material. The collection also includes papers of Lady Jean Spender, family photographs, papers relating to the Colombo Plan, and papers on French nuclear weapons explosions. Correspondents include Sir Robert Menzies, Sir Paul Hasluck, Sir Garfield Barwick, Sir Keith Officer, Sir Arthur Tange, Sir Alan Watt, Dr John Burton, John Foster Dulles, Dean Acheson, Thomas Mann, Felix Frankfurter, G.H. Hackworth, Ernest Bevin, Walter Crocker and Selwyn Lloyd.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2759673) for the access conditions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Sir Percy Spender, National Library of Australia, MS 4875, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Original consignment transferred in May 1975 (Boxes 1-9). Further papers added in various consignments from 1975-1985.

Biographical Note

Lawyer, politician and diplomat. Percy Claude Spender was born in Sydney in 1897 and educated at Fort Street High School and the University of Sydney. He entered federal politics in 1937 when he was elected to the House of Representatives as member for Warringah, New South Wales. During R.G. Menzies' post-war government, he served as the Minister for External Affairs and External Territories, 1949-1951. He figured in the development of the Colombo Plan and promoted close US-Australia relations. On leaving politics, Spender was appointed Australian ambassador to the United States, 1951-1958. From 1964 until 1967 he was president of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Later, in Sydney, he became head of a committee of trustees at the Australian Museum that oversaw the National Photographic Index of Australian Birds, 1969-1971. Spender died in Sydney in 1985.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Correspondence, 1940-1974 - Box 1

Letters, copies of cables and telegrams, arranged chronologically, and received by Spender throughout his political, diplomatic and legal career as well as during his retirement, together with copies of some of his replies. The correspondence includes letters relating to his involvement in a number of international conferences, and among the correspondents are Sir Robert Menzies, Sir Paul Hasluck, Sir Garfield Barwick, Sir Keith Officer, Sir Arthur Tange, Sir Alan Watt, Or John Burton, John Foster Dulles, Dean Acheson, Thomas Mann, Felix Frankfurter, G.H. Hackworth, Ernest Bevin and Selwyn Lloyd.

Series 2. Speeches, 1939-1968 - Box 2-4

Texts of speeches, addresses and press statements, arranged chronologically and relating to Spender's work between 1939 and 1958. In some cases speeches are accompanied by related memoranda drafts and notes. There are also texts of addresses given by Spender after 1967. They include his address to the 1969 Rotary International Conference, to the 13th Annual E.S. Meyers Memorial Lecture in 1970, and his 1970 H.V. Evatt Memorial Lecture.

Series 3. Cutting Books

38 albums and one box of loose newspaper cuttings giving detailed documentation of Australian and overseas press coverage of Spender's entire public career, beginning with his defeat of Sir Archdale Parkhill in the General Election of October 1937. Many of the albums are indexed. The loose cuttings include a collection of reviews of his books Politics and a man and Exercises in diplomacy.

File. Loose cuttings - Box 5

File 1. 23/8/33 - 15/3/34 - Folio 1

File 2. 11/2/39 - 28/10/39 - Folio 2

File 3. 24/10/39 - 1/2/40 - Folio 3

File 4. 3/10/39 - 4/7/40 - Folio 4

File 5. 1/2/40 - 23/4/40 - Folio 5

File 6. 24/4/40 - 28/5/40 - Folio 6

File 7. 29/5/40 - 23/6/40 - Folio 7

File 8. 14/7/40 - 9/9/40 - Folio 8

File 9. 10/9/40 - 7/11/40 - Folio 9

File 10. 29/10/40 - 14/6/41 - Folio 10

File 11. 7/11/40 - 12/1/41 - Folio 11

File 12. 12/1/41 - 18/2/41 - Folio 12

File 13. 19/1/41 - 16/6/41 - Folio 13

File 14. 17/6/41 - 26/8/41 - Folio 14

File 15. 26/8/41 - 8/7/42 - Folio 15

File 16. 20/6/41 - 7/10/41 - Folio 16

File 17. 14/7/42 - 11/12/42 - Folio 17

File 18. 26/11/42 - 28/2/44 - Folio 18

File 19. 1/3/44 - 11/12/45 - Folio 19

File 20. 13/1/46 - 24/12/48 - Folio 20

File 21. 2/1/49 - 31/1/50 - Folio 21

File 22. 1/2/50 - 31/5/50 - Folio 22

File 23. 11/4/50 - 29/8/50 - Folio 23

File 24. 31/8/50 - 13/12/50 - Folio 24

File 25. 1/1/51 - 16/4/51 - Folio 25

File 26. 19/2/51 - 31/8/51 - Folio 26

File 27. 5/9/51 - 13/9/51 - Folio 27

File 28. 14/9/51 - 29/5/52 - Folio 28

File 29. 12/2/52 - 3/8/53 - Folio 29

File 30. 30/5/52 - 29/11/52 - Folio 30

File 31. 6/8/53 - 14/5/54 - Folio 31

File 32. 17/5/54 - 30/12/54 - Folio 32

File 33. 4/1/55 - 23/12/55 - Folio 33

File 34. 3/1/56 - 31/12/56 - Folio 34

File 35. 3/1/57 - 30/4/57 - Folio 35

File 36. 3/10/57 - 13/1/58 - Folio 36

File 37. P. Spender - New York, 1950 - Folio 37

File 38. P. Spender - The Philippines, 1950 - Folio 38

File 39. P. Spender - San Francisco, 1951 - Folio 39

File 40. P. Spender - USA, 1956 - Folio 40

File 41. Photographs - Vol. 1 - Folio 41

File 42. Photographs - Vol. 2 - Folio 42

File 43. Photographs - Vol. 3 - Folio 43

File 44. Photographs - Vol. 4 - Folio 44

File 45. Photographs - Vol. 5 - Folio 45

File 46. Photographs Personal Family Photographs, 1953 - Folio 46

Series 4. Photographs - Box 6

5 albums and one box of loose photographs and also photographs of overseas trips, conferences, ceremonies, presentations, and other functions attended by Spender.

Series 5. Printed material - Box 7

A small collection of books, journals and pamphlets, including several that have articles by Spender. Titles include Australian Quarterly, Foreign Affairs and Tompkins, ed. Peaceful change in modern society.

Series 6. Miscellaneous papers - Box 8

Consists of roneoed items, itineraries, memoranda, notes, certificates, and invitations covering all periods of Spender's career. The material is arranged chronologically. Drafts of a review of Sir Alan Watt's book The Evolution of Australian foreign policy, 1938-1965 (1967), and a bound set of minutes of the first eleven meetings of the Commonwealth Meeting on Foreign Affairs, January 1950 are also included.

Series 7. Lady Spender - Box 9

Comprises a file box of letters received following Lady Spender's death in 1970, the manuscript of her book Ambassador's wife, several newspaper cuttings, and 2 letters to Lady Spender.

Series 8. Material added 1975-1985

File. Printed Material - Box 10

File. Letters written by Lady Jean Spender to her mother Mrs May Henderson while P.C.S. was Australian Ambassador to the U.S.A., 1952-1956 - Box 11

Mrs Henderson died in 1956 aged 86.

File. Correspondence P.C.S., 1959-1969 - Box 11

File. Carbon copies of letters, Lady Jean Spender to her mother, 1950-1956 - Box 12

File. Framed cablegram to Mr Spender from General Blarney, 1941 - Box 12

File. "Western Reserve Law Review" Vol. 18 No. 5 July 1967 with prologue by Sir Percy Spender - Box 12

File. Correspondence re Davis v. Smith case - Box 12

File. Extracts from the 'Sydney Morning Herald' 1946-1947 dealing with Pacific Security - Box 12

File. Photograph of "The President's Room" International Court of Justice - Box 12

File. Itinerary of tour to Papua New Guinea, April 1950 - Box 12

File. Newspaper Clippings from Washington and New York - Box 12

File. Papers on Cancer - Box 12

File. Speeches and cables, 1940-1950 - Box 12

File. Press clippings, March 1952 - Box 13

File. Miscellaneous correspondence, photographs, clippings and printed matter - Box 13

File. Clippings from Washington, 1950 - Box 12

Photograph of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother Printed booklet on The Future of the Great Barrier Reef.

File. Pages from the manuscript of Politics and a man Vatican Prisoners of War Information Service - Box 13

File. Collection of photographs of different occasions Vatican Prisoners of War Information Service - Box 13

File. Correspondence re the International Court of Justice - Box 13

File. Photographs - Box 13

File. 12 letters written from Walter Crocker to Spender, 1964-1974 - Box 14

(Added 21.5.75)

File. Five photographs of Spender and Lady Spender - Box 14

(Added 16.4.84)

File. Framed photograph of Ambassador Spender - Box 14

Ambassador Dulles and Ambassador Berendsen initiating Tri-Partite Security Treaty, July 12 1951, Washington D.C.

File. The Australian Yearbook of International Law, 1965 - Box 14

J.G. Starke Q.C. (Ed) Butterworths, Sydney.

File. The Tenth Annual Report of the consultative committee of the Colombo Plan, 1961 - Box 14

Kuala Lumpur

File. Printed material - Box 15

File. Press cuttings on the "South West Africa Case" 1966 in the International Court - Box 15

File. Miscellaneous letters - Box 15

File. Notes and comments made during the writing of Politics and a man - Box 15

File. Notes and comments made during the writing of Politics and a man - Box 15

File. Photographs - Box 15

File. Passports - Box 15

File. Personal memorandum by PCS on "South West Africa Case", 1966 - Box 15

File. Documents concerning a visit by the Spenders to Manila, Taiwan and Japan in 1966 - Box 16

File. Newspaper Clippings, 1958 - Box 16

File. Papers concerning the French Nuclear Weapons Explosions - Box 16

File. Letters and Clippings, 1956-1968 - Box 16

Includes correspondence on the National Photographic Index of Australian Birds.

File. Papers relating to the Colombo Plan and "20 documents and letters of interest" - Box 17

(Added 30.7.80)

File. Draft of a story by P.C.S., "A King and his Mistresses" - Box 17

(Added 30.7.80)

File. Letters, photographs, documents and notes, 1955-1978 - Box 17

(Added 30.7.80)

File. Book on the Colombo Plan - Box 17

(Added 30.7.80)

File. Holograph letter from Sir Percy Spender about his role as architect of the Colombo Plan and ANZUS Treaty written from the Hague - Box 17

(Added 4.12.85)

File. Blue case containing notes of sympathy - Folio No. ?

File. Photographs - Folio No. ?

File. Etched copper plate depicting Parliament House, Canberra, c.1940 - Folio No. ?