David McNicol (diplomat)

Gough Whitlam University of Adelaide Diplomat

David McNicol CBE
David Williamson McNicol

(1913-06-20)20 June 1913
Adelaide, South Australia
Died18 September 2001(2001-09-18) (aged 88)
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide (BA)
OccupationPublic servant, diplomat

David Williamson McNicol CBE (20 June 1913 – 18 September 2001) was an Australian public servant and diplomat.

Early life and career

McNicol was born on 20 June 1913 in Adelaide.[1] He was educated at Carey Baptist Grammar School and King's College.[1] He graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the 1930s.[1]

During World War II, McNicol served in the RAAF as a pilot.[2]

Diplomatic career

McNicol joined the Commonwealth Public Service in the Department of External Affairs in 1946.[2]

McNicol was a member of an Australian delegation responsible for negotiating the Manila treaty in September 1954.[3] In December 1954, McNicol's appointment as Minister to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia was announced.[4] In January 1955 the Australian Government announced McNicol's residence for the post would be at the new Australian Legation in Cambodia, to be opened in February that year.[5][6]

From 1957 to 1960 McNicol was High Commissioner to Singapore, at the time Lee Kuan Yew was moving the country towards independence.[1]

He was High Commissioner to Pakistan from 1962 to 1965[7] His Pakistan appointment was announced by then Minister for External Affairs Garfield Barwick in July 1962.[8]

In June 1968 then Minister for External Affairs Paul Hasluck announced McNicol's appointment as Ambassador to Thailand.[9] At the same time, he was also appointed Australia's council representative to SEATO, the South-East Asian Treaty Organisation.[10]

In December 1972, then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam appointed McNicol Deputy High Commissioner in London.[11]


In the 1966 New Year Honours, McNicol was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire whilst High Commissioner in Wellington, New Zealand.[12][13]

Retirement and later life

McNicol retired on 20 June 1978.[1]

He died on 18 September 2001 in Canberra.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Holdich, Roger; Nathan, Elizabeth (24 November 2001). "Diplomat party to momentous events". The Advertiser. Adelaide, SA.
  2. ^ a b "Diplomatic Post for Australian". The Newcastle Sun. NSW. 2 December 1954. p. 6.
  3. ^ "New post for diplomat". The Sydney Morning Herald. NSW. 2 December 1954. p. 3.
  4. ^ "Diplomat for Vietnam post". The Argus. Melbourne, Victoria. 2 December 1954. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Legation in Cambodia". The Central Queensland Herald. 27 January 1955. p. 11.
  6. ^ "New Minister appointed to Cambodia". The Canberra Times. ACT. 21 January 1955. p. 1.
  7. ^ "New Commissioner". The Canberra Times. ACT. 6 September 1962. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Move to Asia for diplomats". The Canberra Times. ACT. 17 July 1962. p. 2.
  9. ^ Hasluck, Paul (3 June 1968). "New Australian Ambassador to Thailand" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ "New envoy to Thailand". The Canberra Times. ACT. 4 June 1968. p. 3.
  11. ^ Whitlam, Gough (14 December 1972). "Appointment of Deputy High Commissioner, London" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Search Australian Honours: McNICOL, David Williamson, The Order of the British Empire - Commander (Civil)", itsanhonour.gov.au, Australian Government, archived from the original on 1 February 2016
  13. ^ "No. 43855". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1965. p. 38.