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Political and External Affairs


page v


THIS book was planned and virtually completed under the editorship of the late Sir Howard Kippenberger. His personal support was unfailing and his humanity, integrity, and wide-ranging knowledge were a continual source of strength. To his successor, Brigadier Fairbrother, my warm thanks are also due, and to past and present members of the staff of the War History Branch. In particular, I am indebted to the research assistants who have from time to time worked with me, all of them formerly students at Victoria University College: Hubert Witheford, whose collaboration in parts of the book amounted to virtual co-authorship, John O'Shea, Patricia Lissington, Ian Wards, and Judith Hornabrook. Without their skilled help it would have been physically impossible to deal with the vast mass of official documents on which this volume is largely based. These documents are mainly in the custody of the Department of External Affairs. The Secretary of that Department, Mr A. D. McIntosh, and his staff have facilitated research with courtesy and efficiency. The conditions necessarily involved in giving access to such documents have been liberally administered. I am satisfied that nothing has been withheld, here or elsewhere; and there has at no time been any suggestion of censorship or pressure to add or omit, or to modify judgments.

I record with pleasure that the Council of Victoria University College has always, in my experience, done all that was permitted by its inadequate resources to encourage research; we are all indebted in this as in much else to the vision shown by Sir Thomas Hunter and his successor as Principal, James Williams. My major debt, however, lies within my own Department. From my academic colleagues I have had for many years sustaining friendship, and the stimulus of lively and critical scholarship; and from the secretarial staff, especially from Rona Arbuckle, my secretary during three critical years, skill and patience in the handling of a tormented manuscript.

F. L. W. Wood

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