Security of the Prime Minister’s family

Page one of the senior constable's report on the 'kidnapping' of Sonia McMahon.
Page one of the senior constable's report on the 'kidnapping' of Sonia McMahon. (NAA: A1209, 1971/9346, p. 23)

All Mrs McMahon wanted to do was get her hair done.

This document details the attempted kidnapping for ransom in 1971 of Sonia McMahon, wife of then Prime Minister William ‘Billy' McMahon, from a hair salon on Sydney's north shore by several charity-minded university students.

Note the attention to detail of the senior constable who wrote the report … everything is included in his report except the price of a trim! And what a deft diplomatic hand Mrs McMahon displayed in not disappointing the pranksters, the Camperdown Children's Hospital or the highest office in the land (see points 8 and 11).

But one question still remains: Who was Deep Throat? Who made the anonymous telephone call to the university switchboard at 12:30pm on Thursday 29 July 1971 advising of Mrs McMahon's whereabouts?

This hair-raising incident is contained in one of several reports on matters concerning the security of Prime Minister McMahon's family between 1971 and 1973.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017