Clifton Webb (politician)

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Sir Thomas Clifton Webb KCMG QC (8 March 1889 – 6 February 1962), known as Clifton Webb, was a New Zealand politician and diplomat.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Te Kopuru in the Kaipara District, studied at Auckland University College, and practised law in Dargaville. He was in the army from 1917–1919, then returned to his practice in Dargaville and was a borough councillor there from 1921–1923. He moved to Auckland in 1927 and established a new law firm there.[1]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1943–1946 27th Kaipara Ind. National
1946 Changed allegiance to: National
1946–1949 28th Rodney National
1949–1951 29th Rodney National
1951–1954 30th Rodney National

He sat in Parliament from 1943 until 1954: first as an Independent National MP for Kaipara (1943–1946) and then as the National Party MP for Rodney (1946–1954).[2] A key aide to party leader Sidney Holland, he was appointed to Attorney-General upon National gaining power in 1949. As Minister of Justice, he was responsible for drafting the legislation that resulted in the abolition of the Legislative Council.[1]

In 1951, he took his first step into diplomacy by adding Minister for External Affairs and Minister of Island Territories to his other duties; portfolios which he held from 1951 to 1954.[3] He served as the country's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom between 1955 and 1958. Webb was also appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1956 New Year Honours.[4]


  1. ^ a b Templeton, Hugh. "Webb, Thomas Clifton". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 147. 
  3. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vols. 296-304 (1951-1954).
  4. ^ "(Supplement) no. 40671". The London Gazette. 2 January 1956. p. 43. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Rex Mason
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Jack Marshall
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Frederick Doidge
High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Dick Campbell (acting)
George Laking (acting)

Tom Macdonald