Comprises comprises papers documenting most aspects of Thomas White's distinguished career, including material relating to the Australian Flying Corps, 1919-1940; 6th Battalion (Royal Melbourne Regiment), 1912-1931; Member for Balaclava, 1924-1953; Minister for Trade and Customs, 1933-1938; RAAF and RAF service, 1919-1956; Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, 1949-1951; Australian High Commissioner in London, 1951-1956; writings, 1928-1956; Australian Aero Club and civil aviation, 1920-1988; Melbourne Legacy Club, 1924-1957; Royal Flying Doctor Service, 1927-1983; British Empire Service League, 1953-1957; and, Royal Empire Society, 1938-1958. The collection includes diaries, photographs, reports, broadcasts, speeches, cutting books, official correspondence, letters from family and friends, together with ephemeral items such as brochures, invitations and programs.
Contained in 36 boxes, 1 carton, 2 fol. boxes.
Series 1. Diaries and address books, 1919-57
For most periods of his working life White kept a sequence of pocket diaries in which he recorded appointments, phone numbers and addresses of contacts, and notes of a miscellaneous nature. From time to time he maintained more detailed diaries, usually associated with a significant event or trip. Examples found in this series include records made of some episodes of 1945 (including an official visit to Western Australia and Vera White's illness) and White's visit to Malta as Australian High Commissioner to Britain in 1954.
A diary kept by White during his official visit to New Zealand in 1937 is filed in Series 7; extracts from his 1942 war diary are located in Series 8.
File 1. Diaries: 1919 (2 diaries), 1925, 1926-27, 1928 (2 diaries), 1929 - Box 1
File 2. Diaries: 1930 (2 diaries), 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939 - Box 1
File 3. Diaries: 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946 (2 diaries), 1948 (2 diaries), 1949 - Box 1
File 4. Diaries: 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954 (Malta), 1957; Address books: 1919, c. 1940s-1950s (United Kingdom) - Box 1
File 5. Engagements: 1936; Diaries: 1945, undated diary extract written in England: c. 1940 - Box 1
Series 2. Personal correspondence and papers, 1920-66
White was devoted to his wife Vera, to whom he wrote regular and often lengthy letters whilst away in Canberra attending Parliament, undertaking ministerial duties or on official overseas visits. His letters cover a range of personal, family and work-related matters, and often contain detailed impressions of his experiences as a parliamentarian and government minister.
In addition to these family letters, a long sequence of condolence letters received by Lady White after Sir Thomas' death in 1957 is filed at the end of this series. Correspondents include Sir John Latham and Harold Holt.
Other letters from Sir Thomas to Lady White can be found in Series 3; cables and correspondence from White to his family whilst overseas during World War II are are located in Series 8.
File 1. Letters of Thomas White to Vera White, 1920-39, together with photographic negatives of scenes from World Wars I and II, including some of Thomas White - Box 2
File 2. Letters of Thomas White to Vera White, 1924-46 - Box 2
File 3-4. Correspondence exchanged between Thomas, Lilian and Vera White, 1926-66 - Box 2
File 5. Letters of Thomas White to Vera White, 1938, 1943, 1945-50 - Box 2
File 6-7. Letters of bereavement received on the death of Sir Thomas White, 1957 - Box 2
File 8-9. Letters of bereavement received on the death of Sir Thomas White, 1957, including order of funeral service - Box 3
File 10-12. Letters of bereavement received on the death of Sir Thomas White, 1957, including letters from Sir John Latham and Harold Holt - Box 3
Series 3. General correspondence and papers, 1914-92
White did not maintain a separate filing system for his various correspondents; instead letters sent and received were often dispersed singly or in groups amongst an assortment of other papers. Consequently, files in this series are largely general in nature, with correspondence interfiled amongst other miscellaneous items such as reports, cuttings, speech notes, broadcasts and invitations and pamphlets.
Among the politicians, airforce colleagues, and British associates whose letters can be found here are Prime Ministers Joseph Lyons and Sir Robert Menzies, fellow parliamentarians H.V. Evatt, Frank Brennan, William Hutchinson and George McLeay, the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Leslie Boyce, and balletomane Arnold Haskell. A fragment of an undated letter from Pattie Deakin (White's mother-in-law) is filed in Folder 7.
Amongst the varied subjects represented are papers relating to the Expeditionary Air Force, immigration, trade, civil aviation, Empire Air Training Scheme, White's resignation from the Lyons Ministry, electoral papers, Caulfield RSL and the Bread and Cheese Club.
The series also includes a few papers added since Sir Thomas' death, such as a 1965 letter to Lady White and a 1992 letter to their daughter, Judith Harley.
File 1-2. Correspondence, 1930-51, chiefly with British parliamentary and airforce contacts including letters from the Earl of Winterton regarding Expeditionary Air Force, Lady Madeline Lees, White's niece Marjorie, Mary Somerville, B. Dutton Briant, Arnold Haskell, refugees V. Rosik and F. Secky, Lord Llewellin, Will Strickland, Sidney Parker, Lord Lyle, Horace Chinery, Alex Gordon, Celia Macdonald of the Isles, Leslie Boyce, Steve Bartlett, L.S. Amery and others. The folders also contain papers pertaining to the Empire Industries Association, contents of food parcels for England, free trade and Armenian relief appeal leaflets - Box 3
File 3. Papers, 1914-88, including clippings and correspondence, notes on rights of prisoners of war, letter concerning White's resignation from the Lyons ministry, The Times review of Australia (published March 1952 but not distributed due to death of King George VI), printed map of Australian Army operations (1940-45), election card for Constance Duncan, Independent candidate for Balaclava - Box 4
File 4. Papers, 1919-67, including reply to remarks by Frank Brennan on AIF recruitment, returned soldiers preference question, broadcast for Develop Australia League on protection and patriotism, joint Opposition policy (1949), list of proposed titles for Guests of the unspeakable, clipping concerning White's resignation from Cabinet, material relating to Royal Empire Society appeal, Evatt's leadership, Senate functions, British immigration, Empire Air Training Scheme, British-Australian trade, the British Empire League and Australian Industries Protection League - Box 4
File 5. Papers, 1920-56, including photographs of Anzac Day ceremonies (c. 1921-24), letter to Vera White (1932), war poems, copy of letter to Prime Minister Lyons on Cabinet restructure (1938), notes on Maribyrnong preselection, brochures about aspects of the Commonwealth, clippings on the retirement of White as High Commissioner, article on history of Australia House - Box 4
File 6. Papers, 1924-52, including speech notes following declaration of election poll (1929), draft letter to Senator Pearce on policy matters (1929), draft speech to Develop Australia League on protection and patriotism, circular outlining races of Southern Rhodesia, bomber aircraft, Boomerang Club, extract of letter to William Hutchinson concerning Empire Air Training Scheme, together with other correspondence from British airforce contacts - Box 4
File 7. Papers, 1925-56, 1965, 1992 including correspondence with Alex Bagot, speech notes at opening of Australian Artists' Association exhibition, letter to Judith Harley (1992), fragment of undated letter from Pattie Deakin, letter to Vera White (1965), photographs, notes on British Empire, newspaper reports of 6th Battalion (Royal Melbourne Regiment) - Box 4
File 8. Papers, 1929-57, including correspondence and papers regarding Bread and Cheese Club, Hansard extracts on returned soldiers, supervision of compulsory training, book censorship and 1930-31 estimates, Report of Informal Conference of Empire Parliamentary Association (1934), newspaper report on Lyons Cabinet restructure - Box 4
File 9. Papers, 1929-52, including miscellaneous correspondence, notebook containing draft writings, history of Australian Aero Club, clippings on book censorship, speech notes for address to war rally (1941), account of Rabaul volcanic eruption (1937), election material for seat of Balaclava, letters and clippings relating to RAAF training in Britain, photographs of visits to pineapple and cotton plantations at Kingaroy and Biloela, Queensland, statement on reasons for retirement from public life (1941), Dutch aviation brochures - Box 4
File 10. Papers, 1931-56, including speech notes, letter to Evatt concerning Empire Air Scheme, short note from R.G. Menzies, miscellaneous invitations, visit to Royal Air Force Station, Dishforth, correspondence as High Commissioner, letter to Senator George McLeay regarding motor vehicle manufacture, air race papers, Australian Flying Corps Association circular, information regarding establishment of Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and Australian aircraft manufacture, Caulfield RSL constitution, de Havilland and Sabre aircraft brochures, Protect Australia League, returned soldiers preference question - Box 5
File 11. Papers, 1937-78, including speech on Empire Parliamentary Association, Caulfield RSL, The story of the Air Beef Project in North West Australia, address by Sir Archdale Parkhill on Australian aircraft manufacture, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Victorian Section bulletin (July 1978), article about TAA and Flying Doctor Service, various issues of Empire Industries Association and British Empire League monthly bulletin, correspondence concerning visit to No. 30 Squadron, Yorkshire, United Empire (July-August 1943), The British Australian New Zealander (1942) - Box 5
File 12. Papers concerning establishment of Caulfield RSL and other airforce matters, 1943-50 - Box 5
File 13. Papers, 1927-49, including speech notes, brochures, establishment of Caulfield RSL, copy of White's maiden speech in House of Representatives, Australian motor vehicle manufacture, clipping documenting White's appointment to England as RAAF Commander - Box 5
File 14. Speeches and research notes on Australian literature, 1951-52; transcript of 3UZ biographical interview, 1956; broadcast transcripts, 1942-48 - Box 5
File 15. Papers, 1954-58, including correspondence and cuttings concerning church matters, Balaclava election leaflet and other papers - Box 5
File 16. Papers, c. 1941-57, including conclusions of Australian Defence Research Policy Committee, immigration, notebook kept whilst stationed at RAF Station, Reading, Berkshire, Cowra Air Pageant program, RAAF training by aero clubs, personal correspondence - Box 5
File 17. Cuttings and papers, 1919-64, including aviation, Nationalist Council of Victoria pamphlet, RAAF, Australian Naval Surveying Service, policy by H.S.W. Lawson (1927), international trade, Sidelights on the Soviet (no. 16, 1946), Hansard speeches by White - Box 6
Series 4. Australian Flying Corps, 1919-40
During World War I White served with the Australian Flying Corps where he quickly earned a reputation for his skilled piloting. In 1914, he was one of four officers chosen to undertake initial training at Point Cook, and was appointed to Half Flight (the first Australian Flying Corps unit) on overseas duty. In 1915 while employed on a bombing raid of Turkish communication posts with British Army observer Captain Francis Yeats-Brown, they were captured by the Turks outside Baghdad. After a three years as a prisoner of war White escaped in 1918 as a stowaway on a Russian-bound ship to Odessa, rejoining British forces at Salonika. In later life he recorded details of his escape in the often reprinted Guests of the unspeakable and gave many lectures to interested groups on his wartime experiences.
Other papers relating to White's service with the Australian Flying Corps are filed in Series 3; draft manuscripts and reviews of Guests of the unspeakable can be found in Series 11. Correspondence with Yeats-Brown, who survived the war to write the best-selling autobiography Bengal lancer, is located in Series 7.
File 1. Speech notes and cutting detailing experiences in Turkey and Iraq, 1919-40 - Box 6
Series 5. Commander, 6th Battalion (Royal Melbourne Regiment), 1912-31
White took up his commission as Commander of the 6th Battalion (Royal Melbourne Regiment) in 1926. Filed in this series are correspondence, reports and other papers recording aspects of his command, before his transfer to the Unattached List in 1932.
Additional papers relating to the Royal Melbourne Regiment are filed in Series 3.
File 1. Correspondence, reports and other papers, 1912-31, together with 6th Battalion enamel lapel badge - Box 6
Series 6. Member for Balaclava and other political papers, 1924-53
White's entry into Federal politics began with an unsuccessful candidature for the safe Labor seat of Maribyrnong in November 1925. In August 1929 he won a by-election for the bayside seat of Balaclava which he held, first as a Nationalist then as a Liberal, until 1951. He returned to Australia whilst on active service during World War II to recontest the 1943 election.
The folders contain a range of material documenting White's political activities and interests, and include copies of letters exchanged between Robert Menzies and Earle Page in 1939, White's 1946 suspension from Parliament, 'This Week in Canberra' radio transcripts, a letter from William Hutchinson concerning the 1943 leadership ballot, and a comprehensive run of White's parliamentary speeches from 1932 to 1951.
Additional papers documenting White's activities as Member for Balaclava are filed in Series 3 and 7.
File 1. Papers, 1924-36, including correspondence and cuttings documenting White's early political career and candidature for the seat of Maribyrnong, notes on annual meeting of Melbourne Branch of the ? Reform League, together with items relating to aviation, communism, international finance, banking, the Commonwealth Arbitration Court, industrial relations and Labor Party policies - Box 6
File 2-4. Papers, 1924-51, including tariffs, military enlistment, speech notes, defence, expeditionary forces, parliamentary suspension, copies of letters exchanged between Robert Menzies and Earle Page (1939), miscellaneous cables and correspondence, transcript of first broadcast by White (1924), letters concerning White's resignation from the Lyons Ministry, coal strikes, returned soldiers preference question, extract from typescript 'Labour [sic] in government' and other non-parliamentary matters - Box 6, 7
File 5. Papers, 1929-51, including cuttings, correspondence and printed material principally pertaining to elections for seats of Balaclava and Maribyrnong - Box 7
File 6. Papers, 1939-49, including Hansard speeches, correspondence with Arthur C. Morgan, articles on trade and Ottawa Agreement, clippings, Brighton Air Force Association, letter to Sir Leslie Boyce, items relating to White's 1946 suspension from Parliament - Box 7
File 7-8. Broadcast transcripts (including 'The Week in Canberra' 3XY series), speech notes and other papers, 1943-49, including 1949 election material, letter from William Hutchinson concerning 1943 leadership ballot, abolition of Air Board, World War II campaign medals - Box 7
File 9. Broadcast speeches (recorded mainly during election campaigns) and notes regarding Labor's socialisation objective, 1943-53 - Box 7
File 10. Hansard speeches, 1932-46 - Box 7
File 11. Hansard speeches, 1947-51 - Box 8
Series 7. Minister for Trade and Customs, 1924-51
White served as Minister for Trade and Customs in the Lyons Government between 1933 and 1938. During this period he dealt with a number of dominant politicial issues such as tariff reduction (which was subject to long and embittered debates in Parliament), and vigorously defended the book censorship regulations of the Customs Act.
Also included in this series are papers documenting the many official visits which White undertook as Minister, including a 1934 study tour of Queensland primary industries, 1936 trip to New Guinea to advise on civil aviation and secure bounties for tropical industries, and 1937 trade mission to New Zealand. Other papers record White's visit to London as one of three Ministerial Delegates to participate in the 1938 Imperial Conference (to discuss trade matters arising out of the Ottawa Agreement), and subsequent attendance at the International Refugee Conference in Evian, France (convened for the purpose of facilitating the departure of oppressed minorities, especially Jews, from Germany and Austria).
On 8 November 1938 White resigned from the Ministry over disagreements on defence policy and the structure of the reconstituted Lyons Cabinet. A copy of his letter of resignation and Lyon's reply are located in Folder 27, whilst a number of other files contain correspondence and cuttings in response to the episode. Copies of the constitution, objectives and other papers of the Protect Australia League, which White founded after his resignation, can be found in Folders 33 and 54, together with a small amount of material located in Series 3.
A photograph of members of the Australian and New Zealand trade delegations to the Imperial Conference is filed in Series 8; other papers relating to White's resignation can be found in Series 3, 6 and 8.
File 1. Australian film industry, 1935-38, papers and correspondence - Box 8
File 2. Speeches and other papers, 1936; list of speeches delivered, 1924-38, annotated on inside cover of folder - Box 8
File 3. Book censorship, 1934-37, including clippings, papers, petition from booksellers, together with papers relating to the Empire Air Mail Scheme, England-Australia Flying Boat proposal - Box 8
File 4. Deputation to Minister for Trade and Customs on censorship of books, 1935, together with Cabinet papers and letter to Sydney Morning Herald on censorship question, 1936 - Box 8
File 5-6. Book censorship, 1929-40 - Box 8
File 7-8. Book censorship, 1933-38 - Box 9
File 9. Papers by Ian Grabowsky, 1936: 'Transport in New Guinea and Papua', 'Possibilities of developing inland Australia' - Box 9
File 10. Bound copy of Customs tariff, 1933-36 and Excise tariff, 1921-36 - Box 9
File 11. Index to White's speeches, House of Representatives, 1933; speech made at Wesley Church on international economics, 1933 - Box 9
File 12. Miscellaneous papers, 1930-36, including letter from George Pearce about migration, notes on national service, tariff policy - Box 9
File 13. Miscellaneous papers, 1932-46, including correspondence with Francis Yeats-Brown (author of the Bengal lancer), tariffs, speech on Australian economic conditions (1933) - Box 9
File 14. Miscellaneous papers, 1932-33, including tariffs, Anzac Day, Ottawa Agreement, parliamentary allowances, repatriation - Box 10
File 15. Parliamentary and other published speeches, 1930-36 - Box 10
File 16. Reports of the Royal Commission on Mineral Oils and Petrol and Other Products of Mineral Oils, 1935; Australia-NZ Trade Agreement, 1932-33; Report and recommendation on adjustment of protective duties to compensate for the effects of exchange and primage, 1933 - Box 10
File 17. Speech on Australia-NZ Trade Agreement, 1933; index to parliamentary speeches by White, 1933; bound presentation copy of parliamentary speeches congratulating White on completion of stages of the Customs Tariff, 1933 (signed by Lyons, Latham, Casey and others) - Box 10
File 18. Empire Parliamentary Association Conference on the Ottawa Agreement, 1934; speeches and invitations, 1934 - Box 10
File 19. Papers and correspondence, 1934, including letters from Joseph Lyons, summary listing of names and length of appointment of previous trade ministers, telegram appointing White Minister for Trade and Customs - Box 10
File 20. Cuttings and associated papers, 1932-34, including items from The Age, Smith's weekly, and articles relating to the 'grapefruit saga' - Box 10
File 21. Visit to Queensland to study primary industries, 1934 - Box 11
File 22. Press cuttings, 1934 - Box 11
File 23. Anzac Day 1937 speech notes; The Australian statesman, 1 February 1932; clippings concerning proposed expeditionary force, 1939 - Box 11
File 24-25. Trade delegation, 1938 - Box 11
File 26. Research notes and papers for article on New Guinea, 1935-36 - Box 11
File 27. Miscellaneous papers and correspondence, 1935-42, including list of ministerial engagements (1938), letter of resignation from Lyons Ministry and reply - Box 11
File 28. Papers, 1935-37, including speech notes, correspondence and papers relating to rival candidature of J.G. Atkinson for seat of Balaclava - Box 11
File 29. Papers, 1937, including draft trade diversion policy, photograph of White family published in Table talk, 14 October 1937 - Box 12
File 30. Photographs and diary recording trade visit to New Zealand, 1937-38; personal press cuttings, speech notes, 1937 - Box 12
File 31. Papers and correspondence, 1937, including Empire Airmail Scheme, resolutions of meeting of Commonwealth and State Ministers regarding youth employment and training, Australia-New Zealand trade, statement by Prime Minister Lyons on Imperial Conference and associated papers, speech to the Australian Women's National League on domestic and international trade, circular on the economic record of the Lyons' Government - Box 12
File 32. Papers, 1935-38, including transcripts of speeches, broadcast on tariffs, reports on New Guinea, including Australian involvement; The Sun broadsheet (1 November 1938) announcing White's resignation from Lyon's Ministry - Box 12
File 33. Correspondence and papers, 1937-44, 1951, including application by Enterprise of New Guinea for petroleum exploration permit, correspondence between Protector of Aborigines and Torres Strait Pearlshellers Association concerning use of Papuan labour in the pearlshelling industry, correspondence with Michael Terry of the Royal Geographical Society and H.B. Borwick, clippings, speech notes, constitution and objectives of the Protect Australia League, letters received on resignation from Lyons Ministry, publication Islands apart-united with references to White - Box 12
File 34-35. Correspondence and papers relating to New Guinea and Thursday Island, 1935-36 - Box 12
File 36. Papers concerning allegations made by Alfred Frood, 1932-49, including letter from Richard Casey - Box 13
File 37. Clippings and papers, 1934-35, including itineraries for Cabinet visit to Western Australia - Box 13
File 38. Papers and correspondence, 1937, including speeches and other items regarding Federal election, Ottawa Agreement, comical sketch of Prime Minister Lyons at Imperial Conference, establishment of Palestine, notes on US-Australia trade, Australian foreign policy, foreword for The Australasian manufacturer, prohibition on export of scrap steel - Box 13
File 39. Papers and correspondence, 1937, including motor vehicle manufacture, clippings, air travel for parliamentarians, tariffs, Australia First Movement, photographs taken during visit to Queensland, embargo on scrap metals, Australian trade with United States and Japan - Box 13
File 40. Album documenting official visit to New Zealand, 1937, including itineraries, clippings and photographs - Box 37
File 41. Diary of official visit to Europe and Germany, 1938 - Box 13
File 42-43. Letters received and replies sent on White's resignation from Cabinet, 1938 - Box 13
File 44-45. Cuttings, statements and correspondence relating to Cabinet resignation, 1938 - Box 14
File 46. Invitations and programs, 1938; press clippings on new Lyons Ministry, 1938 - Box 14
File 47-48. Miscellaneous papers, 1935-50, including correspondence, speech notes, RAAF matters, Meet Your Writers' Organisation, opium seizure, tariff policy, letter from White's secretary, D. Guthrie, Silver Jubilee of King George V, account of visit of Federal Cabinet to Western Australia, press releases, Australia-New Zealand trade, sugar industry, wine and grape industry - Box 14
File 49. Overseas trade delegation, 1938 - Box 14
File 50-51. Clippings and correspondence, 1938-1941, including Yampi iron ore, defence policy, White's resignation from Lyons' Ministry, notes on trade negotiations with New Zealand, Japan, United States, wine industry, motor vehicle manufacture - Box 14, 15
File 52-53. Clippings and papers, 1930-38, principally relating to trade and customs matters, speech notes for address given at rally for friends and supporters after White's resignation from Lyons' Ministry, motor vehicle manufacture, wine industry, koala exports, newsprint bounty, trade negotiations with Great Britain and New Zealand, returned soldiers' preference scheme - Box 15
File 54-56. Clippings and papers, 1938-40, including speech notes, correspondence, defence policy, Protect Australia League, trade negotiations with Japan, United States, trade delegation to Imperial Conference, Fairbridge Farm Schools - Box 15
Series 8. RAAF and RAF service, 1919-56
During World War II White served in both the RAAF and RAF, commanding RAF stations at Bournemouth and Brighton, England and rising to the rank of Group Captain. Papers in this series begin by recording his command from April 1940 of the No. 1 Initial Training School at Somers, Victoria (established as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme). A 1942 war diary provides some account of his flights on overseas RAAF missions between September 1941 and August 1943, after which time he was appointed head of Allied, Australian and New Zealand airforces at the RAF Station, Brighton, England. There he supervised the training of overseas air crews, attended RAF Intelligence Schools, ran reconnaissance flights and (over age and against orders) flew as second pilot in command with the Lancaster Bomber Squadron in missions over the Ruhr. Draft recollections of the German bombing operations are located in Folders 13 and 27. He retired from service on medical grounds in December 1944.
Whilst overseas White retained his Federal seat and an active interest in political affairs, returning to Australia to recontest elections. This series also contains some of the cables and correspondence through which he maintained contact with political colleagues in Australia, including comments made from his posting on the Militia Bill. Also of interest is a sequence of White's correspondence with his secretary, Anne Howell, and a folder of papers documenting his membership of the RAF Escaping Society (formed in 1945 of Royal and Allied Air Force crew who successfully escaped from or evaded enemy capture).
A further group of files contain research notes and other historical papers which appear to have been brought together for a proposed autobiography that White had begun researching before his death.
Other papers relating to White's RAAF and RAF service are filed in Series 3, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
File 1. RAAF Brighton, 1941-43, notebook, correspondence and papers - Box 15
File 2. RAAF personal file for Thomas White, 1942-43 - Box 15
File 3. Cables from White on service during World War II to family, politicians and friends, 1942-43; correspondence with Anne Howell, 1941-43 - Box 16
File 4. War report of the Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Australian Air Force, 3rd September 1939 to 31st December 1945, to the Minister for Air - Box 16
File 5. RAF and RAAF general file, 1939-53, including World War II photographs (and picture of members of the Australian and New Zealand trade delegations, 1938), personal correspondence, liaison with Australian contacts, clippings, annotated typescript manuscript of Sky saga, officer roll, RAAF Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth, comments on the Militia Bill - Box 16
File 6. RAAF, 1919-56, miscellaneous letters and papers, including transcript of defence policy broadcast by Prime Minister Lyons (1938), personal correspondence, letter regarding resignation of White from Lyons Ministry - Box 16
File 7. RAAF, 1939-53, 'current and secret' file, including correspondence, notes, embarkation orders, promotion of officers, clippings - Box 16
File 8. RAAF Brighton letters and other airforce correspondence, 1941-43, including correspondence with K. and E. Barnardiston, Ross-on-Wye - Box 16
File 9. RAAF Bournemouth and Brighton correspondence, 1941-42, together with notes on Japanese air force - Box 16
File 10. Correspondence and notes, 1941-47, chiefly relating to RAAF and other airforce matters, together with some personal correspondence - Box 17
File 11. RAF Escaping Society, 1950-57, correspondence, notes and member list - Box 17
File 12. RAAF reports and correspondence, 1941-44, together with letter to Vera White dated 1930 - Box 17
File 13. Clippings and papers relating to RAAF and RAF activities in Britain, 1942-54, including draft manuscripts and typed account of air raid over the Ruhr - Box 17
File 14. RAAF papers, c. 1940s, including extracts from 1942 war diary, draft manuscripts on history of RAAF and Empire Air Training Scheme - Box 17
File 15. Bound typescript unit history of Australian Section, No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, RAF Station, Bournemouth; The Battle of Britain, August-October 1940 : an Air Ministry account of the great days from 8th August- 31st October 1940 - Box 17
File 16. Air force press cuttings, 1940-50 - Box 17
File 17-18. RAAF and other airforce papers, 1940-47, including items relating to No. 1 Squadron Training School, personnel matters, certificate of introduction signed by Prime Minister Arthur Fadden, personal correspondence including letters from political colleagues in Australia, cable to family from RAF Station, Brighton, clippings - Box 17, 18
File 19-20. RAAF and airforce papers, 1938-47, including clippings, correspondence, personnel matters, letters from parliamentary colleagues, speech notes, Royal Empire Society, handwritten flight report of anti-submarine crossover patrol (1942) - Box 18
File 21. Papers and notes, 1941-57, including photograph of RAAF Staff School, Mount Martha senior staff, personal correspondence, training, speech notes on RAAF in Britain, miscellaneous correspondence, quotes by Alfred Deakin on Labor caucus - Box 18
File 22-23. RAAF news items and papers, 1931-46, including other letters from air crews, typescript manuscript of RAAF history, photograph of air force funeral, German war leaflet, cuttings, statement by Frank Forde (Minister for the Army) on Australian prisoners of war, letter from W. Hutchinson concerning the Militia Bill - Box 18
File 24-25. Draft typescript of White's history 'The Royal Australian Air Force' - Box 18, 19
File 26. Notes and papers, 1920-44, including material used for 'World War II chapter', clippings, No. 1 Initial Training School, Somers, RAAF Staff School, Mt Martha, personnel matters, demotion of pilots on return to Australia, recommendations for Distinguished Service Order and promotions - Box 19
File 27. Papers, 1940-47, including research notes, clippings, drafts for 'With an RAAF Squadron on a bomber raid to the Ruhr' and other articles, official and personal correspondence - Box 19
File 28. Research notes and papers for article 'The Australian Airforce' for the Australian junior encyclopaedia, 1951, including White's RAF identity card, notes for prime ministerial policy speech on RAAF, broadcast transcripts, 1939-47 - Box 19
File 29. Air photos from World War I and II to accompany article on aviation - Box 19
Series 9. Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, c. 1941-57
In December 1949, as a member of the Menzies Liberal Government, White became Minister for Air and Civil Aviation. He served in the position until May 1951, resigning from Parliament in June to take up appointment as Australian High Commissioner in London.
Included in papers in this series are items relating to White's participation in the 1950 International Civil Aviation Organisation Conference in Montreal, the national service debate, civil aviation training and Australian air links with New Zealand, Japan and Korea.
Further papers documenting White's period as Air Minister and his lifelong interest in civil aviation matters are located in Series 12.
File 1. Rotation policy to Higher Command Posts file, 1950-51, together with clipping on National Service Bill, 1950 - Box 19
File 2. Minister's confidential file, 1950-54, including Canadian defence organisation, national service, government assistance to civil aviation training, procurement of Sabre aircraft - Box 19
File 3. Transcripts of radio talks, 1949 - Box 20
File 4. Press cuttings, November-December 1950, 1951, together with broadcast on empire relations, photograph of drawing room at the White family home 'Kurua', timetable of tour of NSW, list of engagements, June-October 1951? - Box 20
File 5. Press cuttings, August-September 1950, together with extracts from circulars and articles, letter from William McMahon concerning Air Efficiency Award - Box 20
File 6. Press cuttings, 1950-51, air and civil aviation - Box 20
File 7. Cuttings, photographs, list of engagements and other papers, 1950-52, including New Zealand aviation links with Australia, charter service to Japan, notes and correspondence on Korea, 1950, 1955 - Box 20
File 8. Papers, c. 1941-57, chiefly relating to civil and international aviation, together with copy of Daily telegraph obituary for White, RAAF Station, Williamstown, Torquay background : the Havana Charter, GATT and the ITO (1950), correspondence with J.J. Brophy concerning the 'Miller' industrial relations case, International Civil Aviation Organisation Conference, Montreal (1950), clippings, appointment of Chairman of Australian National Airlines Commission - Box 20
File 9-10. Photographs, 1949-51 - Box 21
Series 10. Australian High Commissioner in London, 1931-58
White served as Australian High Commissioner to London from 1951 to 1956. Included in this series is a comprehensive sequence of correspondence exchanged with Prime Minister Robert Menzies during the term of the appointment, together with letters from a range of contacts such as Douglas Bader, Hubert Opperman and Sir Dallas Brooks. Also included are folders documenting White's official visits to Egypt, Greece and Turkey to attend war dedication ceremonies, and a 1952 visit to Berlin.
Other items of interest include a record of interviews with departmental heads John Crawford and Alan Watt, and External Affairs Minister Richard Casey on policy matters, together with a large amount of material concerning British migration. Additional papers document the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and London Post-Coronation Ministers Conference, and the 1954 Royal Tour of Australia. The series also includes a number of miscellaneous issues of the newsletters of the Australian-British Cobbers' Club and the Australian Musical Association (White was founder and president of the latter).
Series 1, 3, 18 and 19 also contain material documenting White's role as High Commissioner.
File 1. General papers, 1951-57, including brochure and postcards of Isle of Wight, correspondence with Duchess of Devonshire concerning conferral of Honorary Doctor of Laws, Exeter University, menu card for Lord Mayor of London's Easter Banquet - Box 21
File 2. Australia House papers, 1951-57, including correspondence, speech notes, letter to White's successor as High Commissioner, Sir Eric Harrison, upon relinquishing his post, press releases, invitations, administrative matters such as duties of the High Commissioner - Box 21
File 3. Personal correspondence, 1952-56 - Box 21
File 4. Australia House papers, 1942-57, including correspondence, RCAF conference notes, menu card for farewell dinner for White on his appointment as High Commissioner, immigration report and speeches - Box 21
File 5-6. Correspondence with Prime Minister Menzies and associated papers, 1943-57 - Box 21, 22
File 7. Meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers, London, June 1953, minutes and associated papers - Box 22
File 8. Souvenir programs for world premieres of 'The dam busters'(1955) and 'The magic box' (1951) - Box 22
File 9-10. Miscellaneous papers, 1951-56, including migration pamphlet, speech on Colombo Plan, correspondence, speeches, invitations, notes of interviews with John Crawford (Commerce Department Secretary), Alan Watt (External Affairs Secretary) and Richard Casey (Minister for External Affairs), war reminiscences, Australian-British relations, White Australia Policy, petroleum industry - Box 22
File 11. Miscellaneous papers, 1951-57, including correspondence on departure from England, war article for Sunday mail, letter to Menzies on Australian film showing, immigration policy, speech notes, Post-Coronation Ministers' Conference - Box 22
File 12. Correspondence and papers, 1951-57, including notes on Australian, United States and European defences, The rule of reciprocity (1954), speech notes, Australian record of war service in Korea, invitations, clippings, letters from Lord Baillieu, Douglas Bader, Charles Beere, Hubert Opperman, Sir Dallas Brooks and others - Box 22
File 13-14. Invitations, programs, correspondence and speech notes, 1951-56, including presentation made by Lord Mayor of London to the Australian Government of a chair used by Sir Henry Parkes - Box 23
File 15. Oxford University, 1951-55, speeches and correspondence - Box 23
File 16. Correspondence and papers, 1951-56, including letter from Jo Gullett, liaison with Australian diplomats and Anne Howell (White's former secretary) - Box 23
File 17. Correspondence and papers, 1952-58, together with speech notes and press releases concerning British immigration - Box 23
File 18-20. Programs, 1951-56 - Box 23, 24
File 21. Programs and invitations, 1951-55, together with Australia's million visitors : the story of the Australian stand at the London 'Ideal Home' Exhibition (1955) - Box 24
File 22. Invitations, menu cards, photographs, speech notes, 1951-55, together with blank copy of card sent by Vera White and family after Sir Thomas' death, 1957 - Box 24
File 23. Papers, 1951-56, including photographs, programs, speech notes, press releases, cuttings, correspondence, reminiscences of trip to Spain, speech given at farewell dinner given by friends on appointment as Australian High Commissioner in London - Box 24
File 24. Orders for the processions to and from Westminster Abbey for Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953 - Box 24
File 25. Bound presentation copy of Australian Musical Association prospectus and concert bulletins, 1953-56 - Box 24
File 26-27. Official visit to Greece, 1952, including photographs - Box 24, 25
File 28. Malta League, 1944-54, including speech notes and photographs; visit to Greece and Turkey, 1952 - Box 25
File 29. Unveiling of El Alamein Memorial, Egypt; Royal Tour of Commonwealth, 1952-56 - Box 25
File 30-31. 'Confidential file', 1951-56, including list of engagements (1951-54), GATT review, correspondence with Frank Menzies and others - Box 25
File 32. Programs, 1951-55, including Coronation Issue of Australia, v. 8, no. 6, 1953 - Box 25
File 33. Speeches, 1951-54 - Box 25
File 34. Visit to Greece and Turkey, 1952, including typescript record of visit - Box 26
File 35. German-Australian relations, 1952, including visit by White to Berlin - Box 26
File 36-38. Immigration, 1930-58, cuttings and papers - Box 26
File 39. Papers, 1952-57, including brochures on Australia and the Commonwealth, newsletters of Australian-British Cobbers' Club, schedule of visit to South Africa and Rhodesia (1953), photographs taken on return of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh from Australian tour (1954) and inspection of RAF Station, Horsham, special Australian supplement to Foreign Office newspaper Englischerundschau (1953), programs and articles - Box 26
File 40. Fairbridge Farm Schools and British immigration, 1933-57 - Box 26
File 41. Papers, 1951-57, including newsletter of the Australian-British Cobbers' Club, cables and letters concerning White's appointment as High Commissioner from Prime Minister Menzies - Box 27
File 42. Clippings, correspondence and speech notes, 1956-57, many incorporating messages of appreciation of White's achievements as High Commissioner - Box 27
File 43-45. Programs and invitations, 1931-57 - Box 27
Series 11. Writings, 1928-56
In addition to his various official appointments, White was also known as a writer, and published a number of literary pieces, including wartime reminiscences, verse plays, newspaper articles and other commissioned works.
Details of his capture by the Turks in Mesopotamia, subsequent experiences as a prisoner of war and eventual escape via Russia were recorded in the best selling Guests of the unspeakable : the odyssey of an Australian airman, first published in 1928 and reprinted on a number of occasions. A partial handwritten draft of this account is filed here, together with a number of press reviews of the work.
Between 1929 and 1938 White acted as Australian correspondent for the Morning Post (London), for which he was engaged to provide general news stories from all parts of Australia and any political items of interest to British readers. His journalistic output is documented in a series of files containing letters and cables, together with a number of despatches tracing the history of the Scullin Ministry and financial troubles of 1931.
In 1943 Sky saga : a story of Empire airmen, White's popular tribute in verse to Allied pilots, was first published and broadcast on ABC and BBC radio. The poem was reprinted in two further editions, and prompted many favourable reviews and letters, some of which are located in this series.
Also filed here are folders containing draft papers for a brief history of the Australian Air Force in both wars (commissioned by the Australian junior encyclopaedia in 1945), typescript reminiscences of his 1936 trip to New Guinea, and notes and papers collated for his proposed autobiography.
Further papers relating to Guests of the unspeakable, Sky saga and Australian junior encyclopaedia article can be found in Series 3, 8 and 11 respectively.
File 1. Original handwritten manuscript of Guests of the unspeakable, Chapters 1-5, c. 1928 - Box 27
File 2. Press reviews of Guests of the unspeakable, 1928 - Box 27
File 3. White's cables and articles as Australian correspondent for the Morning Post (London), 1931, including coverage of financial difficulties of Scullin Government - Box 28
File 4. Letters and cables to the Morning Post (London),1929-31, including liaison with Foreign Editor Alistair Shannon - Box 28
File 5. Letters, cables and articles from White as correspondent for the Morning Post (London),1932 - Box 28
File 6. Articles and cables for the Morning Post(London), 1933-34 - Box 28
File 7. Cables and articles for the Morning Post(London), 1935-36 - Box 28
File 8. Articles for the Morning Post(London), 1937; list of speeches to branches of the Australian Womens' National League, 1933-37, inscribed on inside cover of file - Box 28
File 9. Morning Post(London), cuttings and papers, 1931-37 - Box 28
File 10. Typescript account of flying and voyaging in New Guinea, 1937 - Box 28
File 11. Typescript manuscripts of 'Flying and voyaging in New Guinea', 'Notes on a trip to North Queensland and New Guinea', 1936; Guinea gold!, c. 1935
File 12. Speech and typescript reminiscences of New Guinea, c. 1936
File 13. Handwritten draft manuscript of Sky saga, c. 1943; War pictures by British artists, No. 3 RAF
File 14-15. Typescript manuscripts of Sky saga, c. 1943
File 16. Reviews and letters concerning Sky saga and other poetry matters, 1935-57
File 17. Draft manuscript of article for the Australian junior encyclopaedia, c. 1945
File 18. Notes and research papers, c. 1931-56, for proposed autobiography
Series 12. Australian Aero Club and civil aviation, 1920-88
White maintained a lifelong interest in aviation, founding the Australian Aero Club in 1914, and serving as its Victorian Section President and Federal Chairman between 1925 and 1927. In addition to materials documenting Club activities, this series includes a sequence of papers concerning the establishment of an air service from the mainland to Tasmania in 1926, but subsequently abandoned due to want of a government subsidy. Also of interest is a copy of a proposal by Charles Ulm for the Trans-Pacific flight which ended in his death in 1934, materials relating to the 1931 loss of the 'Southern Cloud', a souvenir dinner program in honour of Bert Hinkler's solo 1928 England-Australia flight, as well as items relating to early air races and gliding history.
Further papers relating to Australian Aero Club activities are contained in Series 3.
File 1-2. Civil aviation, 1924-58, including clippings, invitations, reports, Australia Aero Club and 1st Annual Air Convention papers, proposal for Trans-Pacific Flight by Charles Ulm, typescript manuscript on advances in civil aviation in the interwar period - Box 30
File 3. Civil aviation, 1920-52, including some papers as Minister for Trade and Customs and Minister for Aviation, together with two letters addressed to Judith Harley (White's daughter) concerning his papers, 1980-81 - Box 30
File 4. Air services to Tasmania, 1926, correspondence, cuttings and notes, including draft letter to Premier Joseph Lyons and 'Socialist psalm' - Box 30
File 5. Air services to Tasmania, 1926-30, correspondence, clippings, reports and other papers - Box 30
File 6. Air services to Tasmania and other aviation matters, 1926-38, including souvenir program of Australian Aero Club dinner in honour of England-Australia solo flight by Bert Hinkler - Box 31
File 7. Civil aviation, 1926-51, reports, parliamentary bills, correspondence and clippings book on New Zealand and Pacific flight and air races - Box 31
File 8. Civil and international aviation, 1926-56, including correspondence, clippings, notes on activities of Australian Aero Club, together with photographs of flying boat and English Electric Building Scheme estates - Box 31
File 9. Correspondence, clippings and report concerning loss of the 'Southern Cloud', 1931-32 - Box 31
File 10. Gliding, 1932-49, including Gliding and Soaring Club of Victoria, photograph of biplane; Aircraft (March 1941) containing history of RAAF with clippings inserted (1947, 1971), Contact (July 1953) - Box 31
File 11. Civil aviation, 1944-47, correspondence and notes, including nationalisation of airways, letter from Reginald Ansett to Prime Minister John Curtin - Box 31
File 12. Aviation publications, 1951-57, including Financial Times survey of British air transport, Farnborough Air Show programs, Empire outlook (February 1957) - Box 31
Series 13. Melbourne Legacy Club, 1924-57
The Melbourne Legacy Club was established in 1923, the first of many Legacy groups to be formed in the Commonwealth. White was active in foundation of the Club, serving as its third President from 1925-26, and returning periodically as a guest speaker at its meetings.
File 1-2. Correspondence, bulletins, minutes and other papers, 1924-57 - Box 32
Series 14. Royal Flying Doctor Service, 1927-83
An early champion of the potential use of aviation, White was a member of the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service Committee which first convened in August 1927. He was present at the Committee's inaugural meeting (minutes of which are filed in Folder 1), and was also active in the foundation of the Victorian Section in 1934, serving as its President until 1951. Papers of interest here include two letters from the Reverend John Flynn, minutes of meetings, grant applications, and photographs documenting different aspects of the early days of the Flying Doctor Service.
Further items recording the history of the Service can be found in Series 3.
File 1. Papers, 1927-83, including minutes of first meeting of the Aerial Medical Service Committee, liaison with Australian Inland Mission, letter from John Flynn, reports, minutes, cuttings, brochures, address given at Flynn Memorial, Moliagul - Box 32
File 2. Papers, 1927-56, including photograph and account of unveiling ceremony for Tennant Creek cairn, Aerial Medical Service and Flying Doctor Service minutes, views of Defence Department on Aerial Medical Service, papers regarding federal subsidy to Flying Doctor Service, correspondence, cuttings, brochures - Box 32
File 3-4. Papers, 1927-57, including correspondence, minutes, grant application, reports, letter signed by Flynn, typescript poem 'Flynn of the Inland', cuttings, photographs, map of outpost radio communication stations - Box 32
File 5. Proceedings and decisions of Conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers on Constitutional Matters, 1934, including references to Flying Doctor Service - Box 33
Series 15. Royal Life Saving Society, 1932-58
White was elected Victorian Branch President of the Royal Life Saving Society in 1934, and concurrently served as Chairman of the Australian Federal Council to 1951.
Amongst other papers this series includes letters, speech notes, reports, programs and cuttings detailing aspects of the Society's calendar, as well as liaison with other branches of the Society in Australia and England. In 1942 White was honoured with a Vice-Presidency of the Central Organisation in London in recognition of his valuable service, recorded on a special certificate filed in Folder 1.
File 1. Correspondence, cuttings, programs, speech notes, conference minutes, annual reports and other papers, 1932-57 - Box 33
File 2. Correspondence, programs, photographs, reports and other papers, 1936-58 - Box 33
Series 16. British Empire Service League, 1953-57
The British Empire Service League was established in England in the interwar period as the peak body of all dominion and colonial returned service organisations. Whilst stationed in London as Australian High Commissioner, White was elected to the League's Council in 1951, and served as Chairman from April 1953 to May 1956.
This series contains a short run of correspondence and reports relating to White's administration, together with resolutions of the League's 12th and 13th Biennial Conferences, held in 1953 and 1955.
Other papers concerning League activities are filed in Series 3.
File 1. Minutes, conference programs, bulletins, reports and correspondence, 1953-57 - Box 33
Series 17. Royal Empire Society, 1938-58
Chiefly comprising papers relating to the Victorian Branch of the Society (of which White was appointed President in September 1956), this series also incorporates documentation relating to the New South Wales and London arms of the organisation.
Founded to promote preservation of permanent ties between Britain and other parts of the Empire, the papers gathered by White reflect the primary concern of Australian branches to encourage and assist British immigration.
Other items relating to the Society's endeavours can be found in Series 3, 8 and 20.
File 1. Papers, 1938-58, including various issues of Royal Empire Society (Victorian Branch) news, cuttings, speech notes, Empire and Commonwealth (December 1956, February 1957), Empire outlook (November 1956), 'Report of Convention of Australian Branches' (1956) - Box 33
Series 18. Press cuttings, 1919-57
In addition to the cuttings files and albums preserved in this series, a large number of loose clippings which White collected on an array of subject interests can be found filed throughout his papers.
File 1. Press cuttings from British papers, 1919; The Sun, 23 August 1926 - Box 33
File 2. Press cuttings, 1936-37 - Box 34
File 3. Press cuttings, 1938 - Box 34
File 4. Press cuttings, 1943-49 - Box 34
File 5. Press cuttings as High Commissioner, 1951-52 - Box 35
File 6. Press cuttings on death of Sir Thomas White, 1957 - Box 35
File 7. Scrapbook, c. 1919, containing clippings on the Bolsheviks and general political topics, as well as drafts of some of White's verse plays - Folio-Box 1
File 8. Clippings book, 1933-36, together with some inserted speech notes - Box 37
File 9. Clippings book, 1937-38, Minister for Trade and Customs - Box 37
File 10. Clippings book (Australian papers), August 1951-April 1952 - Folio-Box 2
File 11. Clippings book (Australian papers), 1952-56 - Folio-Box 2
File 12. Clippings book (British papers), 1955-56 - Folio-Box 1
Series 19. Photographs, 1916-56
The series mostly contains mounted photographs and albums, including some wartime aviation pictures, a few group photos taken at official dinners early in White's parliamentary career, and a larger number of images depicting aspects of White's period as High Commissioner in the 1950s.
In addition to the pictures filed here, numerous individual photographs are located amongst papers scattered throughout the various series.
File 1. World War I and II airforce and aviation photos, 1918-c. 1942, including picture of White - Box 35
File 2. Framed pencil drawing of White (1916) and passport photo; framed photograph of 'Henry' and koalas (1934) - Box 36
File 3. Four photographs, c. 1920s-1950s, including official dinners and function in honour of aviator Ross Smith in Queens Hall, Parliament House, Melbourne, hosted by Billy Hughes - Box 36
File 4. Political photographs, c. 1929-48 - Box 36
File 5. Presentation album of photographs of WWII scenes in Brighton, England (1943) - Box 36
File 6-8. Photographs, 1951-56, as Australian High Commissioner, London - Box 36
File 9. Photographs of meeting with Admiral Arthur W. Radford, US Navy, Commander in Chief, Pacific and US Pacific Fleet, Hawaii, 1950 - Box 36
File 10. Photograph album, 1952-56, as Australian High Commissioner, London - Folio-Box 2
Series 20. Publications
File 1. Publications, 1927-57, including The case for protection : Australian speakers' notes, Australian Aerial Medical Services (Victorian Section) memorandum and articles of association, souvenir program of Australia's 150th anniversary celebrations, various issues of Royal Empire Society (Victorian Branch) news, together with letter to Legatee, Lionel Harvey, 1942 - Box 36
File 2. Publications, 1920s-1940, including Knitting for the Army, single issues of The Bulletin and Table talk - Folio-Box 1
Comprises diaries, correspondence, photographs, cuttings, files on White's military career and writings, mementoes, souvenirs and early school records.
Contained in 8 boxes.
Comprises letters, cuttings, a cutting book, certificates, photographs and a manuscript of Guests of the unspeakable.
Contained in 5 boxes.