Richard Mayne (administrator)

For other people, see Richard Mayne (disambiguation).

Richard John Mayne (2 April 1926 29 November 2009) was a British journalist, broadcaster, writer and an advocate for European integration.

Mayne was born in North London and educated at St Paul's School in London. Towards the end of the war, because of his linguistic abilities, he was chosen for the Special Operations Executive (SOE),[1] but spent most of his time in the forces with a signals unit. In 1947 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge[2] where he read History, gaining a starred first-class degree. Work for his PhD in 1953, having gained a Leverhulme grant, necessitated a period working in the Vatican Library. From Rome, he began to write for the New Statesman and The Spectator.

He joined the 'High Authority' of the European Coal and Steel Community in Luxembourg in 1956 and became an advisor to Jean Monnet,[2] then Walter Hallstein, first President of the European Commission (1958–63).[3] He succeeded François Duchêne as director of the Action Committee for the United States of Europe in 1963, and became Monnet's personal assistant. He later translated Monnet's memoirs into English, for which he won the Scott Moncrieff Prize [3] in 1979.

Mayne became the European Commission's chief representative in 1969,[1] (Head of the London office 1973-76[4]) and was involved in the campaign favouring continued membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) during the UK's 1975 referendum. He stepped down from working for the EEC when his outlook clashed with attitudes held by Margaret Thatcher[2] following her government's election in 1979.

From 1966 he was the Paris correspondent for Encounter, later writing a personal column for the magazine. Mayne also contributed to The Sunday Times and The Observer.[1] A prolific author and regular broadcaster for the BBC, he became a book reviewer and film critic for The Sunday Telegraph in the 1980s.


  1. 1 2 3 Obituary, The Guardian, 21 December 2009
  2. 1 2 3 Obituary, Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2009
  3. 1 2 Obituary, The Times, 10 December 2009
  4. "Tributes for Richard Mayne", European Commission, The EU in the United Kingdom

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