This article is about the quasi-diplomatic post. For the clerical representatives in the Kingdom of France, see Agent-General of the French Clergy.

An agent-general is the representative in the United Kingdom of the government of a Canadian province or an Australian state and, historically, also of a British colony in Jamaica, Nigeria, Canada, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand and subsequently, of a Nigerian region. Australia and Canada's federal governments were represented by high commissions, as are all Commonwealth national governments today.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a growing number of British colonies appointed agents in Great Britain and Ireland (and occasionally elsewhere in Europe) to promote immigration to the colonies. Eventually, agents-general were appointed by some colonies to represent their commercial, legal, and diplomatic interests in Britain and to the British government and Whitehall.[1] They were appointed, and their expenses and salaries provided, by the governments of the colonies they represented.[2]

Starting in 1886, Quebec and the federal Canadian government also appointed agents-general to Paris. The first, Hector Fabre, was dispatched by the province of Quebec but was asked by the federal government to represent all of Canada. He and his successor, Philippe Roy, continued to represent both Quebec City and Ottawa in France until 1912 when the federal government asked Roy to resign his Quebec position to avoid conflicts of interest. Canadian provinces have also appointed agent-generals (called delegates-general in Quebec beginning in the 1970s) to other countries and major cities.

Following a military coup in Nigeria in 1966, the federal system was abolished, and the posts of the agents-general of Nigerian regions in London were subsumed in the Nigerian High Commission.

By the 1990s, some Australian state governments regarded the office of their agent-general in London as a costly anachronism, even for promoting tourism and investment, and have since been closed and subsumed into the Australian High Commission. The majority of Australian states continue to have agents-general in London, but operate from Australia House rather than maintain separate premises.

Many Canadian provinces similarly are no longer represented by an agent-general, although Quebec continues to have a Government Office (Délégation Générale du Québec à Londres) in London and several other cities around the world and Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have representatives who work out of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC.[3]


List of Agents-General for New South Wales

The New South Wales Office in London was one of several overseas offices established to represent various states' interests in London. The London Office was established after the appointment of the first Agent-General on 1 May 1787. After 1932, the Agent-General's Office was abolished and replaced by the New South Wales Government Offices, London. The Agent-General's Office was re-established in 1937.

In September 1992, the position of NSW Agent-General in London was abolished by the Fahey government.[4] It was replaced by the NSW Government Trade and Investment Office, London, which had no diplomatic function, but focussed on the promotion of investment and trade in the UK and Europe.[5]

Agents-General Years
???? 1787–1864
William Colburn Mayne 1864–1871
Charles Cowper 1871–1875
William Forster 1876–1879
Alexander Stuart 1879–1880
Sir Daniel Cooper, Bt. 1880
Sir Saul Samuel 1880–1897
???? 1897–1899
Sir Julian Salomons 1899–1900
Henry Copeland 1900–1903
The Earl of Jersey 1903–1905
Sir Timothy Coghlan 1905–1915
Bernhard Wise 1915–1916
Sir Timothy Coghlan 1916–1917
Sir Charles Wade 1917–1919
David Hall 1920
Sir Timothy Coghlan 1920–1925
Sir Arthur Cocks 1925
The Viscount Chelmsford 1926–1927
Sir George Fuller 1928–1931
Albert Charles Willis 1931–1932
Office abolished 1932–1937
Albert Edward Heath 1937–1938
Clifford Henderson Hay 1938–1939
No appointee[6] 1939–1946
Jack Tully 1946–1954
Francis Buckley 1954–1965
Abe Landa 1965–1970
Sir John Pagan 1970–1972
Sir Davis Hughes 1972–1975
Sir Ken McCaw 1975–1980
Jack Renshaw 1980–1983
Reginald F Watson 1983–1986
Kevin Stewart 1986–1988
Norman Brunsdon 1989–1991
Neil Pickard 1991–1992

List of Agents-General for Queensland

List of Agents-General for South Australia

List of Agents-General for Tasmania

List of Agents-General for Victoria

List of Agents-General for Western Australia

1910 Advertisement from WA Agent General


List of Agents-General for Canada

to the United Kingdom
to France

List of Agents-General for Alberta

List of Agents-General for British Columbia

List of Agents-General for Manitoba

As it was difficult to compete with larger provinces like Ontario and Quebec, the province of Manitoba decided to leave trade promotion to the federal government and accordingly recalled their agent-general in 1965 without appointing a replacement.[17]

List of Agents-General for New Brunswick

List of Agents-General for Nova Scotia

List of Agents-General for Ontario

to the United Kingdom
to Asia-Pacific
to France
to Japan
to New York City

List of Agents-General for Prince Edward Island

List of Agents-General for Quebec

Further information: Quebec Government Offices

Quebec uses the title Agent-General or Delegate-General. In 1936, legislation was passed by the government of Maurice Duplessis closing all Quebec government offices abroad. The government of Adélard Godbout repealed the legislation and opened an office in New York City in 1940. When Duplessis returned to power in 1944, his government retained the New York City office and its agent-general but opened no others. In the early 1960s, the government of Jean Lésage began to open additional offices abroad appointing in Paris (1961), London (1962), Rome and Milan (1965) and subsequent governments opened offices in Chicago (1969), Boston, Lafayette, Dallas and Los Angeles (1970), Munich and Berlin (1971), Brussels (1972), Atlanta (1977), Washington (1978), Mexico City and Tokyo (1980), Beijing and Santiago (1998), Shanghai and Barcelona (1999), Mumbai (2007), São Paulo (2008) and Moscow (2012).[24] In 1971, the title of agent-general was officially changed to delegate-general although previous title is still often used, particularly for the government's representative to London.

As of 2016, the government of Quebec has delegates-general (agents-general) in London, Brussels, Mexico City, New York, Paris, and Tokyo; delegates to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Rome, and offices headed by directors offering more limited services in Barcelona, Beijing, Dakar, Hong Kong, Mumbai, São Paulo, Shanghai, Stockholm, and Washington. In addition, there are the equivalent of Honorary consuls, titled antennes, in Atlanta, Berlin, Houston, Qingdao, Seoul, and California's Silicon Valley.[25]

to the United Kingdom
to France
to Belgium
to Germany (Munich)
to Japan
to Mexico
to the United States (New York City)

List of Agents-General for Saskatchewan

List of Agents for Jamaica

Source: Historic Jamaica.[40]

List of Agents-General for Natal

The Colony of Natal sent separate Agents-General until the Union of South Africa in 1910

List of Agents-General for New Zealand

After 1905 the position of Agent-General was replaced by that of High Commissioner, see List of High Commissioners of New Zealand to the United Kingdom.

List of Agents-General for Nigeria

The First Nigerian Agents-General to the United Kingdom were appointed in December 1959 and include:

The last Nigerian Agent-Generals in London were:


  1. MacLaren, Roy (1 January 2006). "Commissions High: Canada in London, 1870–1971". McGill-Queen's Press. Retrieved 26 September 2016 via Google Books.
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