The bulk of the collection consists of some 117 items relating to Cross's work as Minister of Economic Warfare (1939-40), Minister of Shipping (1940-41), and as High Commissioner for Australia (1941-45). These are mainly transcripts of speeches and addresses to various bodies in both countries, and radio broadcasts, including a number to North America, as well as extracts from newspapers and periodicals. There are also 37 items relating to operations in Burma, 1944, mostly comprising official Press Releases, reports on operations, and statistics; a file of 29 items of personal correspondence, including two reports to Churchill dated 1942 and 1944 on the subject of the American General MacArthur, and anti-Imperial tendencies in Australia; and some 24 items relating to the Australian Food Parcels for Britain scheme of 1947-50.
Ronald Hibbert Cross was born in 1896, and in September 1914 became an officer in the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry. During the First World War he also served with the RFC and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. Becoming a merchant banker, he was elected Unionist MP for Rossendale, Lancs, in 1931. By 1938 he had become Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade, and in May 1939 was appointed the Minister of Economic Warfare. This post he left in May 1940 to become Minister of Shipping, then in 1941 was appointed as High Commissioner in the Commonwealth of Australia for HM's Government in the United Kingdom, which post he held until 1945. He was defeated at Rossendale in the Election of June 1945.
He became the 1st Baronet Cross in 1941, was the Conservative MP for Ormakirk, Lancs, 1950-51, Governor of Tasmania 1951-58, and died in 1968.