Tom Macdonald (politician)

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Thomas Macdonald in 1954

Sir Thomas Lachlan (Tom) Macdonald KCMG (14 December 1898 – 11 April 1980) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He served in both World Wars. He was a High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Early life and war service[edit]

He was born in Invercargill in 1898.[1] His parents were Thomas Forsaith Macdonald, a farmer, and Margaret Ann Matheson. One of his great-grandfathers, Thomas Forsaith, was a member of the 1st New Zealand Parliament. Macdonald was educated at South School and Southland Boys' High School. He was in the NZEF in Palestine in World War I, and in World War II he served in Egypt, rising to the rank of captain until he was invalided home in 1943.[2]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1938–1943 26th Mataura National
1943–1946 27th Mataura National
1946–1949 28th Wallace National
1949–1951 29th Wallace National
1951–1954 30th Wallace National
1954–1957 31st Wallace National

He was the Member of Parliament for Mataura 1938 to 1946, then Wallace 1946 to 1957, when he retired.[3] He was Minister of Defence (1949–1957), Minister of External Affairs (1954–1957), and Minister of Island Territories (1955–1957) in the First National Government.[4][5] From 1961 to 1967 he was the New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.[1]

Later life and death[edit]

He was made a KCMG in 1963. He died in 1980.[1]

Mount Macdonald in Antarctica was named for him by the New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (1961–62).[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Gustafson 1986, p. 329.
  2. ^ Templeton, Malcolm (1 September 2010). "Macdonald, Thomas Lachlan – Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 214.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 87.
  5. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vols. 307–314 (1955–1956).


New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
David McDougall
Member of Parliament for Mataura
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Adam Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Wallace
Succeeded by
Brian Talboys
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Clifton Webb
Dick Campbell (acting)
George Laking (acting)
High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Denis Blundell