Harold Marshall AM, Foreign Affairs officer, talks about his family background; childhood memories; upbringing by aunt and uncle and schooling, in particular, at Woodville High School. He then describes the accident in 1933 when he fell 50 feet down a cliff face at Port Noarlunga. Marshall then talks about his decision to leave Adelaide and live with mother in Broken Hill; jobs held; return to school, Broken Hill High, in 1937 and graduation in 1938 and scholarship to Sydney University in 1939. He then talks about university life and some of his fellow students, including Donald Horne. Marshall then discusses his experiences in the army from 1941 to the end of WWII; death of parents in 1944; unofficial visit to Japan; successful application for a diplomatic cadetship in 1946 and posting to South East Asia branch and then the UN section.
He then talks about his position as secretary to R. G. Casey, then Minister for External Affairs and CSIRO (1953-55); going to Korea in 1955 as Australian Representative on the UN Commission on Reunification; 1st Secretary of London High Commision in 1959 and then being sent to Pakistan as acting High Commissioner. Marshall then gives background on the establishment of SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organisation) and his position as head of the branch in Bangkok including being sent to Vietnam in 1965 to look into the question of SEATO civil military aid to Vietnam. He then talks about returning to Canberra to become head of the Economic Relations Branch; involvement with the Atomic Energy Commission; association with Papua New Guinea through ECAFE (Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) and in 1971 looking at the future accommodation needs of Australia in PNG; High Commissioner to Sri Lanka in 1972 and closing the office of consul general in Los Angeles in 1976.
Marshall then discusses his last position as assistant secretary in Australian Development Assistance Bureau; retirement; opening of Casey House and his views on suicide.