Guide to the Papers of John Mason


MS 9007

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

John Mason
Papers of John Mason
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 9007
0.34 metres (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record 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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 John Mason, National Library of Australia, MS 9007, [box number and series and/or file number]'.

Biographical Note

Soldier, diplomat and businessman. Sir John Charles Moir Mason was born in Manchester, England in 1927. He joined the British Army in 1945, at the age of seventeen, when he began his letters home to his family. The letters cover his active service in India (1946-48) and in Korea (1950-51). In 1952 Mason joined the British Foreign Office and spent the next thirty-two years in the Diplomatic Service. Apart from four periods in the Foreign Office (not represented in the correspondence) Mason's overseas appointments included Second Secretary, British Embassy Rome, 1954-56; Second Secretary, British Embassy Warsaw, 1956-59; First Secretary, Commercial, Damascus, 1961-65; Director of Trade Development and Deputy Consul-General, New York, 1968-71; Ambassador to Israel, 1976-80; and British High Commissioner to Australia, 1980-84. Since 1985 Sir John and Lady Mason (m.1954) have lived in Australia.

Item Descriptions

Letters while serving in the British Army, United Kingdom, as a tank driver and officer cadet, May 1945 - Nov. 1946 (File 1) - Box 1

Letters while serving in the British Army in India and back in the United Kingdom, Dec. 1946 - Feb. 1948 (File 2) - Box 1

Letters from Cambridge and courier work, May 1948 - July 1950 (File 3) - Box 1

Letters while serving in a British Infantry Battalion (1st Royal Ulster Rifles) in the United Kingdom and, from October 1950, in Korea (File 4) - Box 1

File includes three newspaper cuttings about the war in Korea (1952) by Mason and a 1951 pamphlet A reporter in Korea: no one but the Glosters by E.J. Kahn Jr Aug. 1950 - Aug. 1951

Letters from the British Embassy in Rome, March 1954 - June 1955 (File 5) - Box 1

Letters from the British Embassy in Rome, June 1955 - July 1956 (File 6) - Box 1

Letters from the British Embassy, Warsaw, Aug. 1956 - Nov. 1957 (File 7) - Box 2

Letters from the British Embassy, Warsaw, Nov. 1957 - April 1959 (File 8-9) - Box 2

Letters from the British Embassy, Damascus, Jan. 1962 - Jan. 1965 (File 10-11) - Box 2

Letters while having treatment for cancer, 1965 - 1966 (File 12) - Box 2

Letters from the British Consulate, New York, July 1968 - Aug. 1971 (File 13) - Box 3

Letters from the British Embassy, Tel Aviv, Nov. 1976 - March 1980 (File 14) - Box 3

Letters from the British High Commission in Canberra, April 1980 - Sept. 1984 (File 15) - Box 3