Guide to the Papers of Hugh Mahon
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- Mahon, Hugh, 1857-1931
- Papers of Hugh Mahon
- Date Range
- Collection Number
- MS 937
- 0.64 metres (4 boxes + folio items)
- Language of Materials
- National Library of Australia
Scope and Contents
The collection includes correspondence, newspaper cuttings and printed material. Both the correspondence and press cuttings reflects Mahon's political and ministerial career and his very active interest in the Catholic Church and Irish affairs.
The correspondence consists of some 700 letters, 146 by Mahon and the reminder almost entirely to him from 238 correspondents including Archbishop Thomas Carr (15), Alfred Deakin (4), James S. Dowling (6), Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson (12), Andrew Fisher (10), J.H. Fitzpatrick (8), Sir John Forrest (10), J.H. Garvan (27), W.A. Holman (6), W.M. Hughes (13), Atlee Hunt (7), Alex McCallum (4), Dr W. Maloney (8), Archbishop Daniel Mannix (4), J.H.P. Murray (5), Sir George Pearce (23) and James Smith (11). (See the attached Name Index to Correspondence.)
In general the correspondence was generated by Mahon's activities in regard to specific political or governmental matters, including censorship of correspondence with the Holy See (1915-1916); interned priests at Trial Bay (1914-1917); the Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco (1915-1916); and affairs of the Northern Territory, Papua and Norfolk Island. A group of general letters, mainly with political figures, also covers Mahon's early years and imprisonment in Ireland.
The press cuttings in the early years contain contributions by Mahon, indicative of his early career as a journalist.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is available for reference.
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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Hugh Mahon, National Library of Australia, MS 937, [series and item number]'.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the Library by Dr A.L. Mahon in 1963.
The collection had been kept in labelled files or packages, possibly by Hugh Mahon. The Library has maintained the arrangement of the papers and the titles of the files. Both the correspondence and press cuttings have been arranged in chronological order.
|January 1857||Born in King's Country, Ireland. Mahon was educated in Irish National schools and trained as a reporter on Irish provincial newspapers|
|1867-1880||Lived in United States|
|1881||Was imprisoned with C.S. Parnell, whose private secretary he had became, in Kilmainham Gaol|
|1882||Came to Australia on medical advice and worked in Sydney as a journalist|
|1895||Went to Western Australia, acquired interests in goldfield newspapers, edited the Miner in Coolgardie. Was prominent in Federation activities|
|1901||Elected as M.H.R. for Coolgardie in first Federal Parliament|
|April-August 1904||Postmaster-General in the Watson Ministry|
|1908-1909||Minister for Home Affairs in first Fisher Ministry|
|31 May 1913||Defeated at general election|
|22 December 1913||Returned for Kalgoorlie in a by-election|
|1914-1915||Minister for External Affairs in the Fisher Ministry|
|1915-1916||Minister for External Affairs in the first Hughes Ministry|
|5 May 1917||Defeated at general election|
|13 December 1919||Returned for Kaloorlie in general election|
|12 November 1920||Expelled from the House over bitter speech at a public meeting criticising British policy on Ireland. He contested his Kalgoorlie seat at the by-election on 18 December 1920 but was defeated and retired from politics.|
|28 August 1931||Died in Melbourne at "Benburb", Ringwood|
Australian Encyclopaedia, volume 5, p. 462.
Australian Dictionary of Biography, volume 10, pp. 379-80
Letters from some 150 correspondents, many of them political figures, and 27 letters by Mahon. There is also a group of letters relating to Mahon's early years in Ireland. Most of the letters are in alphabetical order.
Comprises Items 1-315.
Letters of William Maloney, written in lighter vein, concerning the payment, by departmental oversight, of the travelling expenses of a junior employee (O'Dowd). There is a draft by Mahon on a question of privilege. The series also includes press clippings relating to the visit of the rationalist lecturer Joseph M'Cabe and opposition to his entertainment by Dr Maloney and Commonwealth ministers, including Mahon.
Comprises Items 316-328.
Correspondence with offers of the Company especially from the Managing Director (J.J. Garvan) on various matters: legislation affecting insurance business; invitation to Mahon to be a Director (1905); economic and financial affairs including taxation and subscriptions by the Company to war loans; exemption from military service of personal in the Company's London office; representations by Mahon on behalf of the widow of J.A. Arthur (predecessor of Mahon as Minister for External Affairs).
Comprises Items 329-370.
A group of priests of the Oblate Fathers at Hünfeld, interned in Ceylon, were transferred to Australia. Mahon acted on their behalf, corresponding with George Pearce, Minister of Defence, and eventually secured their repatriation. The series also contains material on Rev. Charles Jerger.
Comprises Items 435-613.
Series 6. Correspondence and press cuttings relating to the Northern Territory, Papua and Norfolk Island, 1914-1917
Cuttings critical of the Government's Northern Territory policy and some correspondence. There is also personal correspondence relating to Papua and Norfolk Island from Hubert Murray, the Administrator of Papua.
Comprises Items 614-632.
Press cuttings and correspondence relating to the dispute over Australian representation at the Exposition. Includes correspondence (some printed as Parliamentary Papers) between Mahon, Alfred Deakin, W.A. Holman and F. Hagelthorne.
Comprises Items 633-648.
The papers refer to criticisms of Mahon by John Kirwan; Hubert Muarry; the imprisonment of Catholic priests in Australia (Oblate Fathers); Mahon's expulsion from Parliament; Home Rule and resolutions of the United Irish League; the Commonwealth News Cable Service and Mahon's proposed visit to London.
Comprises Items 649-698.
Two letters from Hughes requesting Mahon attend the House of Representatives, as he intended to move Mahon's expulsion on account of 'seditious and disloyal utterances' at a public meeting. There is also the Hansard containing the debate on the expulsion motion.
Comprises Items 699-701.
Personal correspondence from T.J. Ryan, J.S. Cleary, M. O'Reilly and E.F. Curtin, relating to the World Conference of the Irish Race held in Paris in January 1922, and to Irish affairs at the time
Comprises Items 702-712.
Cuttings, in a bound volume, referring to Mahon's imprisonment in Ireland but chiefly dealing with his political and other activities in Western Australia. Includes editorials from the Menzies Miner and the Sun, two newspapers with which Mahon was closely connected.
Comprises Items 713-749.
As well as being editor of the Menzies Miner, Mahon was a member of the Menzies Municipal Council. The cuttings refer mainly to the election in 1897 for the North Coolgardie seat in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, at which Mahon was narrowly defeated. The series also includes several cartoons of Mahon, 1909.
Comprises Items 750-802.
Bound volume of press cuttings relating to various events in Mahon's political career: his election to Federal Parliament in 1901, appointment as Post-Master General in 1904, his visit to Papua in 1911, as well as his writings on Irish figures such as John Mitchel and Eva O'Doherty. Some obituary notices following his death are included and letters from Cardinal Moran, Archbishop Thomas Carr and J.M. Wall.
Comprises Items 803-971.
The series mainly contains articles and reports about Australian politics, including contributions by Mahon to Austral Light and the Catholic Press, 1907. There are articles by Mahon entitled 'The West Australian Black' (1905), 'The latest essay in Irish land legislation' (1905) and 'The Australian Aborigines' (1913). There is also a typescript of an address to the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
Comprises Items 972-997.
Reports of speeches by Mahon, the subjects including the 1906 general elections, the Federal Capital, and the 1909 Premiers' Conference. There is also a typescript speech to the Australian Natives' Association conference (1916).
Comprises Items 998-1023.
Cuttings from Australian newspapers dealing with Irish affairs; Irish Home Rule motion in Federal Parliament (1905); and addresses by Mahon to various Catholic groups such as the United Irish League and the Australian Catholic Truth Society. There is also a letter from R.S. Cleary (1922).
Comprises Items 1024-1065.
Cutting relating to Irish affairs and miscellaneous subjects, including 'Socialism defended' by W.M. Hughes and a lengthy article on William Webster (1910).
Comprises Items 1066-1083.
Contributions by Mahon to various newspapers especially the West Australian Worker and the Catholic Press. They include the series 'Concerning the Commonwealth' and 'Points for the people' (1914). There are also clippings relating to the Dampier election of 1913.
Comprises Items 1084-1155.
Cuttings relating to Mahon, particularly as Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for External Affairs, and dealing with the Federal Capital site, New Guinea, the Northern Territory and conscription. There is also a letter from Atlee Hunt (1915).
Comprises Items 1156-1182.
Cuttings on political affairs includings: conscription; the Kalgoorlie election in 1917; and an article by Mahon on current party politics in the West Australian Worker (1918).
Comprises Items 1183-1256.
Cuttings relating to Mahon's visit to Fremantle, April-May 1909 and the Coronation Oath debate, 1910
Comprises Items 1257-1270.
Press cuttings headed 'Affair of 29 April' dealing with Mahon's omission from the Fisher Ministry and his replacement as Minister for Home Affairs by King O'Malley.
Comprises Items 1271-1289.
Cuttings relating to the Dampier election of 31 May 1913. There are also some cuttings mounted on back of correspondence dating from 1915-1917.
Comprises Items 1290-1300.
Copies of various Catholic papers reporting the death of Mahon on 28 August 1931.
Comprises Items 1301-1307.
Typescript draft (30pp.), probably by Mahon, relating to the Young Irelanders of the 1840s and their dispute with Daniel O'Connell.
Comprises Items 1308.
Three pamphlets: Development of Papua (nd), J.J. Waldron, Central Australia (1916), and Atlee Hunt, Memoranda on the Northern Territory (1916).
Comprises Items 1309-1312.