Guide to the Papers of Lord Novar


MS 696

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Munro-Ferguson, Ronald Craufurd, Sir
Papers of Ronald Craufurd Munro Ferguson (Lord Novar)
Date Range
1912 - 1935
Collection Number
MS 696
4.17 metres (16 ms boxes + 1 archive box + 2 small tubes + 1 packet + 2 map folios)
Language of Materials
Special Collections (Manuscripts)


Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection falls within the period 1914-1920 when Lord Novar of Raith (Sir Ronald Craufurd Munro-Ferguson) was Governor-General. It includes official despatches from Novar to the King, private letters from Novar to the King's Private Secretaries and their replies, both personal and official despatches to the Secretaries of State for the Colonies and their replies and correspondence relating to Novar's official duties as Governor-General. Voluminous personal correspondence includes letters with W.M. Hughes, G.F. Pearce and leading military and political figures in Australia and England. The subject matter of both personal and official files includes the war, including recruiting and conscription, Australian political events at State and Commonwealth levels, the Australian economy, and Australian, Japanese, and British interests in the Pacific region. Correspondents include L.S. Amery, Sir James W. Barrett, Sir Edmund Barton, General W.R. Birdwood, Sir William Bridges, Sir James Burns, Bede Clifford, Sir Joseph Cook, Andrew Fisher, Lord Forrest, Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, L.V. Harcourt, A. Bonar Law, Walter Long, Sir Alfred Milner, Lord Stamfordham, Sir George Steward, Sir Gerald Strickland, Sir Henry MacMahon, Sir John Maxwell, J.G. Legge, Sir George Houston Reid, W. Watt, and E.D. Millen.


The papers were received in 1961 from Mr A.B.L. Munro Ferguson and the Trustees of the late Viscount Novar. Thirty photographs copied from the Novar albums in the possession of Mr Munro Ferguson were added to the collection in 1985. Subsequent additions include five illuminated manuscripts purchased from a dealer in 1990 and transcripts of extracts from Novar's diaries donated by Professor John Poynter in 1997.

Six volumes of diaries, on long-term loan from Mr Ronald Munro Ferguson (great nephew of Lord Novar), were added to the collection on 12 January 2004. The diaries were kept by Lord Novar while he was Governor General of Australia between 1915 and 1920.

Correspondence Index

All correspondence in the collection has been indexed by name of correspondent, and by year. Refer to the attached PDFs (see 'Related Documentation' links).

Biographical Note

The papers cover the years 1912-1935, but are concerned almost entirely with the years 1914-1920, when Novar was Governor-General. They include official despatches from Novar to the King, private letters from Novar to the King's Private Secretaries and their replies, both personal and official despatches to the Secretaries of State for the Colonies and their replies, and correspondence relating to Novar's official duties as Governor-General. Voluminous personal correspondence includes correspondence with W.M. Hughes, G.F. Pearce, and leading military and political figures in Australia and England. The subject-matter of both personal and official files includes the War, including recruiting and conscription, Australian political events at State and Commonwealth levels, the Australian economy, and Australian, Japanese, and British interests in the Pacific region. The official despatches from Novar to the King, his personal letters to the King's Private Secretaries, and their replies, have been filed together, as have the three types of official despatches to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, these being in ascending order of importance, despatches giving details of the general political and economic position of Australia, despatches giving an inside picture of Federal and State politics, and Novar's personal despatches to the Secretary of State alone giving confidential information about Australian politics and politicians. The replies from the Secretaries of State have also been filed together.

Official papers relating to Novar's general duties as Governor-General have been collected into bundles in no particular order, probably by a later hand. Of his personal correspondence, that with W.M. Hughes and G.F. Pearce has been filed separately, but the remainder has mostly been filed indiscriminately, although a portion is in alphabetical order, and some military and political correspondence has been grouped together. Most of the official correspondence and despatches are in typescript, or include typescript copies and duplicates and typescript copies have been made of some of the more important personal letters, notably from W.M. Hughes. The final bundle, received from Lady Scott in 1955 and formerly part of the papers of Sir Ernest Scott, duplicates material in earlier files.

The collection also includes six diaries, kept by Lord Novar while he was Governor General of Australia between 1915 and 1920.

Item Descriptions

Series. 1: Despatches to the King, 1914-1920 - Box 1

Copies of 29 secret despatches and official communications with King from Novar, 1914-1920. Sent at irregular intervals, sometimes monthly, but usually at longer intervals. The despatches appear to be complete; their subject matter duplicates, in less detail, the information given to Novar in items 524-1294 and 1573-2332. The despatches cover Australian political events and conditions in general, the conduct of the War, Australia's economic conditions and policies and the visit of the Prince of Wales to Australia in 1920. Novar's cables to and the cables from the King are concerned with the War in general. the Gallipoli campaign and the Prince of Wales' visit.

Comprises Items 1-161.

Series. 2: Letters to the King's Private Secretary, 1914-1920 - Box 1

Copies of Novar's 'Personal' letters to Major Clive Wigram, 1914-1915, and Lord Stamfordham, 1915-1920, Private Secretaries to the King. The letters appear to be a complete series and the bundle incorporates some duplicate copies and drafts of final letters. There are only two letters to Wigram, the other 36 being sent regularly, most often monthly, to Stamfordham. Occasionally, enclosures relevant to the correspondence are included. Subjects covered: general survey of Australian politics; the policies of W.A.Holman and the New South Wales Government and their resultant friction with the Federal Government; the general conduct of the War; recruiting; miscellaneous official matters dealt with by Novar; the conscription referendum of 1916; the granting of honours; Novar's relations with State Governors; the visit of Lord Jellicoe to Australia in 1919; and the Prince of Wales' visit in 1920.

Comprises Items 162-372.

Series. 3: Letters from Lord Stamfordham, 1914-1920 - Box 1

"Private" letters dated September 1914 - January 1920 from Lord Stamfordham, Private Secretary to the King, replying to Novar's letters in Items 1-372 to himself and the King. The series appears to be complete and includes relevant enclosures. The subjects covered include the political scene in Great Britain; the conduct of the War; the king's view of Australian events and personalities; Australia's efforts in the War; ,personal and family matters; the Easter Uprising in Ireland in 1916; the Russian Revolution of 1917; and Prince of Wales personality and visit to Australia.

Comprises Item 373-523

Series. 4: Personal Despatches to Secretaries of State for Colonies, 1914-1917 - Box 1, Box 2

Copies of 'Personal and Secret' or 'Personal and Confidential' despatches to Secretaries of State for the Colonies, May 1914 - December 1917. The Secretaries of State were LV Harcourt (1914-May 1915), A. Bonar Law (May 1915- December 1916) and Walter Long (December 1916-December 1918. These despatches were sent weekly, but some despatches have been filed in other bundles in this Series under subject headings. Some sections of the letters dealing with Australian politicians have been erased and pages have occasionally been removed from the letters; some letters are incomplete and files also include some drafts, duplicates and extracts duplicating portions of the despatches. The despatches being 'Personal' and compiled by Novar himself for the Secretary of State alone give comments and details of politics supplementary to the official despatches seen by other departmental officers (in Items 1573-2332) and are only given in these despatches and the personal letters (Items 999-1572). Enclosures are included. The subjects include: Australian Federal politics generally and WM Hughes, in particular; details of Novar's personal life and his relations with leading politicians; defence and the War; the 1914 double dissolution; the Pacific and Australia's relation with Japan; control of former German colonies post-war; wartime finance; New South Wales politics and WM Holman ; Federal-State relations; recruiting and conscription; the character of State Governors; Novar's reflections on his role as GG; wartime security and the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.); Archbishop Mannix; and government shipping.

Comprises Items 524-998.

Series. 5: Person Despatches to Secretaries of State for Colonies, 1918-1920 - Box 2

Copies of personal despatches to the Secretaries of State for the Colonies, January 1918-9 July 1920. The Secretaries of State were Walter Long until December 1918 and Lord Milner from January 1919 to August 1920 with Colonel LS Amery acting as Secretary from January to March 1920. This material continues on from Items 524-998 with weekly despatches, some drafts or incomplete letters and some duplicates of despatches. Sections of a few despatches have been erased. Some files have been placed elsewhere in the collection. Enclosures are incorporated into the file. The subjects include; general Federal political events with much detail about WM Hughes; the government shipping line; recruiting; purchase of 1918 wheat crop; Japan and the Pacific; the Peace Conference; former German colonies in the Pacific; Novar's general work as GG; the honours system; and the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1920.

Comprises Items 999-1294.

Series. 6: Replies from Secretaries of State to Novar, 1914-1920 - Box 2

These are 'Private' and Personal' replies to Novar's personal despatches (Items 524-1294) and his official despatches (Items 1573-2332). Usually only brief, the letters note and approve Novar's actions and reply to points raised. The series appears complete. Subjects covered include conduct and progress of the War; personal matters; Australia's relations with Japan; the Pacific region and German colonies; Australian and British politics generally; the status of Governor-General and State Governors; WM Hughes' visits to England; the Peace Conference; and the visit of Prince of Wales to Australia.

Comprises Items 1295-1572

Series. 7. Official Despatches to Secretaries of State, 1914-1916 - Box 2

Marked 'Secret Personal confidential', these weekly despatches to the Secretary of State for the Colonies are official despatched for the Department covering the period July 1914 to November 1916. These despatches were drafted by Novar's staff duplicating much of the information given in Items 542-1294. Enclosures are included. The file is incomplete, some despatches being filed elsewhere in the collection. Subjects include; Novar's relation with Sir Gerald Strickland (Governor of New South Wales) ; Commonwealth/State relations; wartime preparations by the Commonwealth Government and its conduct of the War; Australian economy; Federal politics in general; British Possessions in the Pacific; honours system; 1916 Conscription referendum; and I.W.W.

Comprises Items 1573-1761.

Series. 8. Official Despatches to Secretaries of State, 1917-1920 - Box 3

Marked 'Secret', 'Personal and Secret', 'Personal and Confidential' or after May 1919 'Secret P', these official despatches cover January 1917 - August 1920. The despatches are drafted by Novar's staff. Some despatches are filed elsewhere in the collection while others included in this series has portions erased of pages missing. Details about politics duplicate much of the information given in Items 524-1294. Enclosures are included. Subjects include: Federal and State finances; Australian economy in general; Federal politics; WM Hughes and WM Holman; recruiting and 1917 Conscription referendum; conduct go the War; shipping; role of GG in relation to Executive Council and other Constitutional matters; industrial matters and arbitration; communications channels between Stage and Federal Governments and British Government; security; German colonies in Pacific; Japanese-Australia relations; trade; and honours system.

Comprises Items 1762-2332.

Series. 9. Correspondence between Novar and WM Hughes, 1914-1920 - Box 4

Besides the copies of letters between Novar and Hughes vice versa, some correspondence and despatches with the Secretary of State relating to Hughes' correspondence are included. Enclosures are included and copies of letters and memoranda relating to this correspondence. Typed copies have been made of some of Hughes' letters and from other correspondents. Subject include: formation of Hughes' 'National Labour' Government in November 1916; Federal politics 1914-1920; dissolution of March 1917; Hughes' resignation in January 1917 and re-appointment; personal relations between Novar and Hughes; recruiting and conscription; Australia-Japan relations; wartime policy; Federal/ New South Wales relations; Hughes and WM Holman; Hughes' visits to Britain; Australian economy and financial policy; 1917 election; government shipping line; allocation of honours; Hughes' views on Peace Process; Sir Edmund Barton's desire to be Chief Justice; Pacific mandates; visit of Prince of Wales; German influence in Australian metal manufacture in early part of the War; and channels of communication with Britain for State Governors.

Comprises Item 2333-2967.

Series. 10. Correspondence between Novar and GF Pearce, 1916-1919 - Box 4

Enclosures relating to correspondence between Novar and George Pearce are included, notably letters from General Sir William Birdwood. Subjects include: recruiting and training; Novar's visits to Army camps; shipping; war policy and administration of troops; general political matters; censorship; Novar-Pearce relationship; medical services for troops; Federal-New South Wales relations; wartime economic planning; and Pearce's work in London in1919 demobilisation of Australian troops.

Comprises Items 2968-3327.

Series. 11. Correspondence concerning the War, 1914-1916 - Box 4, Box 5

Personal and Private' correspondence for 1914-1916. Much is not in chronological order or is reverse order. Some enclosures are included. Novar's correspondence with George Pearce (October 1914- December 1915) covers administration of the Army and defence planning; medical services for troops; recruiting; Novar's visits to Army camps; and Novar-Pearce relationship. Correspondence with General Sir William Bridges (October 1914- May 1915) covers Australian forces in Egypt and at Gallipoli. Letter to Sir Henry McMahon, September 1915, concerns reinforcements. Correspondence with General Sir John Maxwell (September 1915- March 1916) deals with Australian soldiers at war. Correspondence with Major-General JG Legge (March 1915- October 1915) concerns soldiers at war; Gallipoli; and General Bridges. Correspondence with Colonel FD Bird (July 1915- May 1916) is on soldiers in Egypt and Gallipoli. Letters from Sir Ian Hamilton (October 1914- October 1915) refer to the command of Australian troops and top-level British and Australian conduct of the War.

Comprises Items 3328-3675.

Series. 12.Correspondence with leading Australian politicians and judges, 1914-1920 - Box 5

These letters covering the period 1914-1920 are often not in chronological order or are in reverse order. Typed copies have been made of some of the letters Novar received. Novar's correspondence with Sir Samuel Griffith, Chief Justice of the High Court, covers the period August 1914- August 1920 and deals with their personal relations and family matters, arbitration and strikes, the position of the judiciary in Australia compared with England, relationship between Australian and British law, Griffith's opinion of the legal position of Caucus, Griffith's advice about the double dissolution request of August 1914 and on the Government's power temporarily to reconstitute Parliament. Correspondence with WA Watt, June 1917- March 1920 covers their personal relations, general political events, the honours system and Novar's official duties. Correspondence with Andrew Fisher, September 1914- May 1918, incorporates letters from WM Hughes written in 1915 deals with federal politics generally, recruiting, the conduct of the War, relations with New Zealand, Japanese territorial gains in the pacific and wartime finance. Correspondence with George Reid, October 1914 -February 1916, includes Reid's advice in 1914 on the position of Governor-General in Australian politics, advice about the double dissolution request of 1914, personal matters and comfort of the troops. With Sir Joseph Cook, July 1914- December 1917, coverage is the war, recruiting and conscription and federal politics. Correspondence with Sir Edmund Barton, High Court, May 1914- January 1920, covers personal matters, Barton's visit to Britain in 1915, the war, British-Australian relations, the honours system, the seating of Dominion judges on the Privy Council, and Barton's aspiration to be Chief Justice. With Senator ED Millen, October 1917- August 1919, the subjects are political matters and Novar's tours of Australia.

Comprises Items 3676-4130.

Series. 13. Correspondence about 1920 visit of Prince of Wales, 1919-1920 - Box 6

Correspondence from 1919-1920 with those planning the tour and details of the tour itself. Not in chronological order. Subjects are all arrangements for the tour; its conduct and success; strain on the Prince's health due to tour; problems of procedure; Sydney's request that Prince land in Sydney first rather than Melbourne; two letter from the Prince to Novar about the tour.

Comprises Items 4131-4427.

Series. 14. Correspondence and Memoranda about Constitutional Matters, 1914-1920 - Box 6

Subjects include double dissolution of 1914 with advice from Sir Samuel Griffith and Government; referendum proposals of 1914; A Berriedale Keith's memorandum on double dissolution and other Constitutional matters; Sir Edmund Barton's advice about the need for a King's speech at the opening of Parliament after 1917 election; memorandum on power to dismiss individual Ministers; Sir Samuel Griffith's memorandum on the prerogative and discretionary powers of the Crown; memoranda (1915-1918) on the conduct of the Executive Council; the Constitutional relations between the Executive Government and the Judiciary as affected by WM Hughes' proposed judicial enquiry (1918) into the internment of enemy agents; representation of Dominion judges on Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; invoking the Dormant Commission in 1920.

Comprises Items 4428-4825.

Series. 15. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1914-1920 - Box 6, Box 7

Not in chronological order, correspondence includes 1920 visit of Prince of Wales; Novar to Lord Denman, August 1920; Speaker of House of Commons (1915) about signing of Bills in his absence; Theodore Roosevelt (1914-1917); League of Nations and American signing Peact Treaty; status of Dominions in the League of Nations; official relations between WM Hughes and Novar (1917-1918); extension of Novar's term (1919-1920); replacement by Lord Forster; dismissal of JA Jenson as Minister of Trade and Customs (1918); A Berriedale Keith (1914-1916) about personal matters, the war and the double dissolution; salaries of State Governors; French attempts to secure Australian wool clip (1918-1919); cables with Secretary of State about Hughes' attacks (November 1918) on British Government over Australia's interests.

Comprises Items 4826-5134.

Series. 16. Correspondence about Channels of Communication, 1915-1920 - Box 7

Documents about the proper channels of communication between State Governors and the British Government and between the Prime Minister and the British Government. Material includes correspondence with Sir Arthur Stanley, Governor of Victoria (1915); State Governors contact with British Government; letter from WM Hughes on the subject (July 1915); Novar to Governors-General of Canada, South Africa and New Zealand and with Secretary of State (1918-1920); Hughes' successful attempt to by-pass Governor-General to contact British Government; to Secretary of State about Reuters special news service for Empire countries; possible Opposition representation at the Imperial Conference; and Novar's attempt in 1920 to obtain correspondence between Australian Government and League of Nations.

Comprises Items 5135-5344.

Series. 17. Wartime Speeches, 1914-1919 - Box 7

Notes for Novar's speeches: to Australian troops ; for recruiting drives; Anzac Days; French National Day; American National Day; America's entry into war in June 1917; at RMC Duntroon; presentations of colours and medals; public welcomes to soldiers; at military hospitals (Christmas 1918); Annual Congress of Returned Servicemen's League (1918); Armistice mesages; and peace celebrations in 1919.

Comprises Items 5345-5652.

Series. 18. General Speeches, 1914-1920 - Box 8

Notes for speeches: Agricultural Shows; town planning; social and Parliamentary luncheons for Sydney Chamber of Commerce (1920); presentation of medals and colours; naval functions; visit of Admiral Viscount Jellicoe (1919).

Comprises Items 5653-6231.

Series. 19. Miscellaneous Internal and External Matters., 1914-1920 - Box 8, Box 9

In order, subjects include: preservation of wild life on Macquarie Island with memoranda from Douglas Mawson (1916-1920); conservation and release of shipping tonnage (1915-1919); acquisition of extra shipping for 1915 wheat crop and meat in 1919; general problems with Australian shipping (1917-1919); declaration of peace and celebrations (1919); external problems (1917) with Woodrow Wilson, the war, shipping, Japan and Solomon Islands, Argentine wheat; Dr GE 'Chinese' Morrison's report on Sino-Japanese relations with relevant letters and memos (1915 and 1918); congratulations to Queen of Tonga on her accession (1918); to Secretary of State on problem raising loan monies in Britain and repayment (1914-1919); refusal by New South Wales to allow Federal Government to raise all State loans; problem with Supply when parliament dissolved in 1914; role of Australian Trade Commissioners (1919); WA Watt's protests about Hughes' defiance of Cabinet opinion (1919); appointment of W Lennon (1920) as Lieutenant-Governor, Queensland and correspondence with Sir Pope Cooper, Chief Justice of Queensland, about fears that Lennon might swamp the Queensland Upper House; Re Cross presentation to Lady Helen Munro Ferguson (1919-1920); Isaac Isaacs' information on Russian Revolution (1917); precedence of Rear-Admiral Sir Percy Grant and Chief Justice of Australia during visit of Prince of Wales (1920); failure to hold a joint levee in Melbourne (1919); visit of Lord Jellicoe (1920) including his reports on wireless communication stations in Pacific and the German Observatory in Samoa plus his report on Australian Navy and Defence Forces; Sir Arthur Stanley (1915) on transfer of State powers to Commonwealth and constitutional practice; Sir William Irvine on personal matters, political events and wartime recruitment (1914-1919); Sir Pope Cooper on allegations about Sir William McGregor. Comprises 6232-6615.

Series. 20. Correspondence and Memoranda on Pacific, 1914-1920 - Box 9

Subjects given here in order in which they appear in the file include the British purchase of Nauru (1919-1920); Australian-Japanese relations in the Pacific 1914-1919, including acquisition of former German colonies north of the equator, Japanese trade in the pacific, spheres of influence, economic development of the Pacific Islands and information from Sir James Burns, Burns Philip and Co. about Japanese expansion; 1916 enquiry into British and Australian trade in South Pacific; Australian and British policy in Pacific and New Guinea, 1916-1919, including Marshall Islands, German New Guinea, recruitment of natives to develop German New Guinea, Japanese and Australian interests in Pacific, administration of former German colonies in Pacific post-war, indentures native or Chinese labour in Pacific, Japan and the Netherlands East Indies, Pacific trade and shipping and 1916 Interstate Commission into South Pacific trade of Britain and Australia.

Comprises Items 6616-6822

Series. 21. Correspondence and Memoranda on Pacific, 1914-1920 - Box 9

Additional to Items 6616-6822, subjects include a Pacific Commission (1916), administration of Samoa and other Pacific Islands part of British Empire; correspondence with Judge JHP Murray, Lieut-Governor of Papua (1915-1919) about conditions in Papua and Dutch New Guinea; correspondence with Sir Bickham Sweet Escot, Governor of Fiji (1916-1917) about reorganisation and administration of British Pacific dependencies; correspondence (1914-1919) with Governor of New Caledonia; Sir William McGregor's views on unified administration of Pacific (1917); with Sir James Burns (1916-1920) on Pacific shipping trade, Australian-Japanese relations, apportionment and economic of former German colonies and Japan presence in Marshall Islands as reported by Burns (1915-1916).

Comprises Items 6823-7301.

Series. 22. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1914-1920 - Box 9, Box 10

Personal correspondence covering 1914-1920.Correspondence covers Sir John (later Lord) Forrest (1915-1918) on personal and family matters, Federal politics, Forrest's illness, and his resignation as Treasurer and elevation to peerage; letters on personal matters and the war in general; Lord Denman's letter to Novar (May 1914) explaining the Australian constitutional situation and advising on double dissolutions; Novar's recommendations (1916) about examinations for higher divisions of the Civil Service; Earl Grey to Novar (1914-1915) on political events in England and the conduct and progress of the war; and condolences on death of Novar's mother.

Comprises Items 7302-7761.

Series. 23. Correspondence with Sir Gerald Strickland, 1914-1917 - Box 10

Covers channels of communication for State Governors with British Government and interference of NSW Government in Federal politics; Strickland's attempt (1915) to arrange a conference of Governors; cyphers, personal and official matters and arrangements for tours and special functions.

Comprises Items 7762-7955.

Series. 24. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1914-1920 - Box 10, Box 11

General personal correspondence includes the war, Sir Robert Garran's explanation (May 1915) of WM Hughes' opinions of British action against German trade and A Nicholson's letter (March 1916) about Hughes' visit to England.

Comprises Items 7956-8558.

Series. 25. Correspondence on taking office as Governor-General, 1914 - Box 11

Letters from Secretary of State about accepting the post, advice from John Quick about double dissolution and arrangements for taking office, selection of staff and furnishing Government House, Melbourne.

Comprises Items 8559-8583.

Series. 26. Miscellaneous Correspondence, mainly official, 1914-1920 - Box 11, Box 12

This file covers 1914-1920 in random order. Subjects covered; Dispute between Novar and Sir Gerald Strickland (1914) about precedence at Joint Levees and arrangements for the 1914 Joint Levee; Novar's visit to Sydney (1916); letters to Lord Richard Neville (1914-1916) on personal matters, the war and Hughes's visit to Canada (1916); with Lord Milner (1919-1920); about military decorations; dispute with Sir Francis Newdegate, Governor of Western Australia about precedence and official duties at military functions, and visit of Prince of Wales (1920); with Charles Douglas (1915-1919 on personal matters and the war; care of Novar's art collection; letters to Governor-General, Canada, Duke of Connaught (1916) and the Duke of Devonshire (1917); with British Ambassador to Japan, Sir W Conyngham Greene (1916-1917) about Japanese naval visit to Australia (1916), encouragement of Australian-Japanese trade, need to teach Japanese to officials connected with Japan and appointment of an Australian commercial attache to some British Consulates; Novar's complaints to Secretary of State about Strickland (1916); Secretary of State's decision about recommendations for honours from the States (1920); personal letter from General Sir William Birdwood; report from Colonel FWM Grigg, Secretary to Prince of Wales, on disputes between Governors and Governor-General over States' rights (1920); to Lord Milner about appointment and status of State Governors (1919); Novar's personal staff (1916-1920); to British Ambassador, Peking, Sir John Jordan and Mr Alston, British Legation, Peking (1916-1917); to Governor of Malta, Lord Metheun, about Maltese immigrants being refused entry to Australia (1917); discipline within and government interference in the Australian Navy (1918-1920); granting of honours; confidential memorandum to Lord Forster (1920) explaining work of Governor-General and problems encountered between 1914- 1920, including with State Governors, channels of communication, honours, the Executive Council, double dissolutions, Dormant Commission, administration of Governor-General's office, ceremonial and defence, postponement of Naval Pageant (1920) and visit of Prince of Wales to Sydney (1920).

Comprises Items 8584-9050.

Series. 27. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1920 - Box 12

Personal matters; visit of Prince of Wales and diary of progress by JD Duncan-Hughes, Novar's Private Scretary; Australian Naval policy; and departure for England at end of term in office.

Comprises Items 9051-9185.

Series. 28. Personal Correspondence, 1914-1920 - Box 12

Novar's departure for England; Novar's letter welcoming and advising his successor, Lord Forster; the award of the Vermillion Medal to Lady Helen Munro Ferguson by French Government (1918); Lady Helen's personal correspondence (1914-1918) regarding the Red Cross; death of her brothers; Lord Basil Blackwood; Lord Dufferin; farewell letters and addresses to Novar and Lady Helen with their replies; Novar's trip to Cairns; from Major Clive Wigram; from Birdwood to Lady Helen on censoring of Novar's letters before giving them to War Memorial (1935) and his own letters to Novar; Australian, Queensland and New South Wales politics.

Comprises Items 9186-9498.

Series. 29. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1916-1920 - Box 12

Novar's disputes with Sir Gerald Strickland (1916); Novar's departure from Australia (1920); Ernest Scott to Lady Helen about Novar's letters still in Australia (19350; personal and family matters; distribution of war medals (1920); Australia's relations with Japan. Comprises Item 9499-9552.

Series. 30. Despatches to Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1914-1919 - Box 12, Box 13

Copies of 'Secret' despatches to the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1914-1919); Most, if not all, despatches drafted by Novar's staff member, Major George Steward, deal with financial and economic matters to give a general analysis of Australian affairs to the Colonial Office. Reverse date order and incomplete. Includes acknowledgement of receipt. Other matters covered are finance and economics; Federal politics; Commonwealth-States relation;, conduct of the war, recruiting, repatriation, trade shipping, Papua, wartime profits; Novar's comments on Parties and leading politicians; political crisis of 1917; Industrial Workers of the World; conscription referenda; German version of Emden-Sydney fight; and irregular recruiting of New Guinea natives. Special despatches cover removal of German influence from Australian metal industry; Frank Anstey's successful attempt to force the Government to release soldiers gaoled for looting material in New Guinea (1915); High Court decision on the New South Wales Wheat Acquisition Act (1915).

Comprises Items 9553-10265.

Series. 31. Miscellaneous Correspondence and duplicates, 1914-1920 - Box 13

Most of the correspondence, memoranda and despatches are duplicates covering National Labor Government of 1916; Federal politics; Japan and Pacific Islands; WM Hughes' resignation and re-appointment (1918); and copies of items from Items 2333-2967, Series 9. Also complete set of Items 1-372, Series 1 & 2.

Comprises Items 10266-10650.

Series. 32. Illustrated Addresses, 1889 - Folio-Box 18

Item 10652 : Illuminated address to Ronald Munro Ferguson of Raith and Novar from his tenants on the occasion of his marriage, 1889, (folio). Item 10654: Illuminated address on ocassion of marriage from Leith Liberal Club, 1889, (folio).

Series. 33. Plans - Folio 20

Comprising plans of Customs House, Sydney (folio). Items 10656-10661.

Series. 34. Photographs, 1914-1920 - Folio-Box 18

Comprising 31 photographs (1914-1920) copies from Novar's albums in London through Australian Joint Copying Project (folio).

10662: Official group, Government House, Adelaide, May 1914; 10663: Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, May 1914; 10664: Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson and Sir Henry Galway; 10665: Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, May 1914; 10666: Official group, Government House, Adelaide, May 1914; 10667: Government House, Melbourne; 10668: Official group, Government House, Hobart; 10669: Government House, Hobart; 10670: Tent school near Canberra; 10671: Native settlemment, Lake Tyers; 10672: Bush nurse, Buchan, Victoria, 1915; 10673: Government House, Sydney; 106774: Lady Barron, Perth, August 1916; 10675: Government House, Perth; 10676: Gardens of Government House, Perth; 10677-10680: German Internment Camp, Berrima; 10681: Lady Helen Munro Ferguson visit to Cootamundra Military Camp, May 1916; 10682: Doris Blackwood in Kitchen No.1, Red Cross Rest Home; 10683: Camden Park; 10684: Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, Miss Macarthur Onslow, Lady Cullen; 10685: New Norcia Monastery, Western Australia; 10686: Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson inspecting naval cadets, Jervis Bay; 10687: View of Duntroon College from Mount Pleasant; 10688: Cadets on parade, Duntroon College, 1915; 10689: Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson at Rockhampton Grammar School, August 1920; 10690: Launceston; 10691: Army veternas with Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, Adelaide, 1916; 10692: Rockhampton Grammar School, August 1920

Series. 35. Transcripts of Diaries, 1915-1920 - Box 13

Transcripts (incomplete) of Munro Ferguson's diaries 1915-1920. The diaries were transcribed by Merran Samuel and others and edited by Professor John Poynter (see Series 36).

Comprises Items 10693-10695

Series. 36. Diaries, 1915-1920 - Box 14, Box 15, Box 16

The six original diaries kept by Munro Ferguson while he was Governor-General of Australia between 1914-1920 were added to the collection in January 2004. They are on long-term loan from Mr Munro Ferguson, great-nephew of Lord Novar. Transcript of diaries are in Series 35.

Series. 37. Correspondence - Box 17

Photocopies of Series 4, 5 and 6