Ivan Haslam grew up in Jabalpur in India. After he finished university in 1943, he joined the Persian Gulf Service and served in Muscat for two years. He worked for the Political Resident whose responsibilities included the oversight of foreign relations of the Sheikdoms of the Gulf and jurisdiction over foreigners in the Arab State. Part of Haslam's role was as Censor officer for all outgoing mail.
In his biographical notes he says that Muscat was isolated during the war, receiving ships only if a convoy could be found. "We were also visited by the occasional tramp ship. The SS Daphu was one such and escaped from the war in the Far East. It was torpedoed whilst in Muscat Harbour and was not cleared until well after the war ended". He refers to the fact that during the war he handled "confidential matters...including the movement of ships, and telegram correspondence relating to the oil negotiations with the Gulf Sheikhs".
In 1948 Haslam was transferred to Bahrain when responsibility was moved from the India Office on its closure to the Colonial Office. The Gulf States objected that non-UK nationals (Haslam is Indian) were handling confidential matters. Haslam and five other Indians were later transferred to the Foreign Service of the newly independent Government of India in New Delhi.
Haslam was posted to the office of the Indian Commissioner in East Africa in the early 1950s, based in Nairobi. This role meant extensive travel to many countries south of the Sahara, and during this time he visited several game reserves and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He was in Nairobi when Princess Elizabeth made the State Visit during which her father died and she became Queen.
In 1956 Haslam was posted to the Indian High Commission in London where he met his future wife Mary Russell. He later worked for the London County Council and its successor bodies, retiring in 1989. Ivan Haslam died in April 2016.