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Sir Laurence McIntyre CBE

1912 – 1981

Sir Laurence McIntyre CBE (1912-1981) diplomat and public servant, was Australian ambassador to the UN during the 1970s. Upon graduation from the University of Tasmania he gained a Rhodes scholarship; after leaving Oxford, in 1940 he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs. Seven years later he became the head of its Pacific Division. After serving as High Commissioner in Malaya, from 1954 to 1957 he was Senior External Affairs Representative in London. He was Australian ambassador to Indonesia from 1957 to 1960 and to Japan from 1960 to 1965 (he was knighted in 1963). From 1965 to 1970 he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of External Affairs. In 1970 he was appointed Australian Ambassador to the UN. In October 1973 he took on the most crucial role for an Australian diplomat since HV Evatt was involved with the formation of the UN in 1945, when he became President of the UN Security Council during the Arab-Israeli war. Although it was simply his turn to serve as president (the presidents of the Security Council rotate monthly in alphabetical order) he was commended for the manner in which he conducted the explosive negotiations. He later described this period as 'a pretty strenuous month.' In retirement he served as Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs from 1976 to 1979. The McIntyre Bluffs in the Antarctic were named in his honour in 2000.

Updated 2018