Frederic Eggleston: The Empire and the Pacific

  • James Cotton
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought book series (PMHIT)


Frederic Eggleston (1875–1954) is the most important figure considered in this book. In the area of IR alone his role, writings and influence were of primary importance. In the AIIA (and its predecessor organizations), and especially as the key figure in the IPR, Eggleston worked consistently to encourage Australian scholarship on and public engagement in international affairs. As Australia’s first minister to China, then minister in Washington, and subsequently adviser to the Department of External Affairs, Eggleston bridged the worlds of commentary and policy. His membership of the Australian delegations at Paris in 1919 and in San Francisco in 1945 points to his unique role. However, Eggleston’s career spanned many fields. Quite apart from his personal role in the government of Victoria (as attorney-general and minister for Railways, 1924–27) and subsequently in the federal administration (as chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, 1933–41), Eggleston’s original and inquiring intellect also produced one of the most insightful works on the practice of government in Australia, George Swinburne (Sugden and Eggleston 1931), the most searching critique of the state’s role in the Australian economy, State Socialism in Victoria (1932), as well as numerous essays on a wide variety of social and political subjects.


Foreign Policy International Relation Security Council International Affair Round Table 
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© James Cotton 2013

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  • James Cotton

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