Papers of Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh (1909-1994), diplomat, Head of the South American then the Western Department of the Foreign Office, Principal Private Secretary to Anthony Eden from 1951-1954 and Under-Secretary in charge of Middle East affairs at the Foreign Office from 1954-1956.
Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh kept detailed diaries from very early in his career, beginning in 1951, when he was Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, and ending in 1969, when he was Ambassador to Italy. The diaries give a vivid impression of the inner workings of the Foreign Office, and later, of NATO, including descriptions of international conferences, working with politicians, and of the life of a diplomat abroad, as a junior member of staff, and as Ambassador.
Sir Evelyn worked closely with Anthony Eden for several years; the diaries offer valuable comment on Eden's character and achievements, offering an eyewitness account of events leading up to the Suez crisis in 1956 and of British Middle Eastern policy in the decades after the Second World War. Extracts from the 1951-1956 diaries relating to the Suez crisis were published in 1986 as 'Descent to Suez'. The correspondence Sir Evelyn received following the publication of this book adds further important recollections and opinions to his contemporary account. There is also interesting material on British policy in the Middle East and on Britain's relations with Europe.
The collection contains many letters from important political figures including Anthony Eden, Ernest Bevin, Alec Douglas-Home, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Harold Macmillan, Jack Profumo, and Chaim Weizmann among many others.
There are typescripts and press cuttings of Sir Evelyn's essays, articles, and speeches; valedictory dispatches; certificates; and photograph albums. Papers from his early diplomatic career include letters written during the Second World War, when he was posted to Argentina and Prague and Canada.
There are various papers concerning his retirement: letters, press cuttings, and notes relating to the Red Cross (he became its President in 1970); papers about the publication of his book, 'The Memoirs of Madame Roland, a Heroine of the French Revolution'; a manuscript and notes for an unpublished memoir entitled 'Ascent to Diplomacy'; and notes about clavichords and furniture making. There are also letters of condolence sent to Lady Shuckburgh after Sir Evelyn's death.