Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 7. 11th April 1973
Labour Recalls Tory Hack
Labour Recalls Tory Hack
High Commissioner to Australia (Mr A T Yendell) will quit Australia four months before his term expires in August — and he says it's because he can't stand the Canberra climate. Mr Yendell said in Brisbane today his early departure had nothing to do with New Zealand's change of Government.—NZPA.
Arthur Yendall, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia, has been a thorn in the side of both the National and Labour Parties but the cold Canberra weather finally drove him from this vital diplomatic post.
Before the 1969 election Yendall, a Hamilton furniture seller and well-known National Party hack, felt he deserved Sir Leslie Munro's Hamilton West seat in return for his mediocre services to the cause. Sir Leslie was to be offered the High Commissioner's post in London so his old enemy Keith Holyoake could finally get rid of him.
But Munro refused to co-operate. He decided that if he couldn't get into the Cabinet he would stay in Parliament to remind Holyoake of his knowledge of foreign affairs. Poor old Art Yendall was left out in the cold and decided to apply some pressure. If the Government didn't give him a job, he fumed, he would resign from the various party posts he held, including Chairman of the Waikato Division and Dominion Vice-President.
So Yendall was with the Canberra post. The Labour Party protested loudly because Yendall had attacked it in very extravagant terms shortly before his appointment. As "Hansard" faithfully records:
"Hon. H. Watt (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) — I move, That having regard to the increasing need for balanced and impartial representation in the post of High Commissioner to Australia and further in view of the partisan, intemperate, inaccurate, and undiplomatic opinions expressed by the person appointed to the post, in his annual report to the Waikato Division of the National Party, this House calls upon the Prime Minister to replace the appointee with someone with necessary training and personality to serve all New Zealanders".
When the Labour Government was elected last November many people thought Yendall would be one of the first Tory political appointees to go. But having pressured his sinecure out of the National Party so painstakingly Yendall didn't go easily. He tried to liase between the two Labour Governments, typically hanging on to his job despite the principles involved.-
Last month the inevitable happened. There appeared a short announcement in both the local papers on March 28th that Yendall was coming home because of the rigours of Canberra's weather. Considering the importance both Labour Government's have attached to Australian — New Zealand relations it is surprising that Mr Kirk left Yendall in Canberra to represent his government for its first four months in office.
With Yendall's departure there are
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With the appointments of ex-Labour Ministers, Terry McCombs to London and Phil Holloway to Rome, Big Norm has indicated that he will continue the old policy of making political appointments to diplomatic missions. But why hasn't he sacked Halstead and Eyre?