He was Study Group Secretary at the Royal Institute of Internal Affairs, 1934–1936. He joined the Dominions Office in 1936, and became Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary in 1939. Snelling was Deputy High Commissioner for the UK in New Zealand, 1947–1950, and South Africa, May 1953–January 1956. He was Assistant Under-Secretary of State at the Commonwealth Relations Office, 1956–1959, and British High Commissioner in Ghana, 1959–1961. Snelling was Deputy Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1961–1969, and Ambassador to South Africa, 1970–1973. He was Vice-President of the UK-South Africa Trade Association, 1974–1980.
Amongst friends and family he preferred the name Peter, using his birth name for public affairs and correspondence. He had suffered from, and been treated for, lung cancer but died of emphysema on 25 June 1996 at his home in Kingston upon Thames. He was survived by his wife Frieda (née Barnes) (11 November 1914 - 22 September 2016).
- Cambridge University Janus Repository
- National Portrait Gallery Pictures of Sir Arthur Wendell Snelling
- Bechuanaland Colonial Administrators c.1884-c.1965
- Cape Fables Bookshop South Africa Africana Catalogue Q168 - Fables has references to Sir Arthur Snelling highlighting his role as UK Ambassador.
Sir Ian Maclennan
|High Commissioner to Ghana
Sir Geoffrey de Freitas
John Walter Nicholls
|British Ambassador to South Africa
Sir James Bottomley