Feain and Aroney (Ion Idriess: An Annotated and Illustrated Bibliography) p.24, state that this book comes in
"Grey cloth with gilt on spine, issued in dust wrapper. There are two variants. The Australian version has $4.50 on the dust wrapper while the United Kingdom version has 42s. on the dust wrapper, red cloth and also states that it is the London edition on the publishing page."
I have the 42s. with red cloth version, but there is nothing about this being a London edition on the publishing page (which I presume is the verso of the title page, that is, p.iv). In fact it states "Printed in Australia by Halstead Press, Sydney," and has Sydney as the first place listed under publication date (then London). Similarly, a book advertised on eBay which originates from a UK library, has 42s. and a red cover, but no reference to its being a London edition. As decimal currency came into being in Australia in 1966 (and UK 1971) a UK provenance for the 42s. price seems likely.
This site (Idriess.info) says that there was a 1st edition published 1969 (actually typo says 1959!), "with a possible 1st/2nd printing" and then goes on to say that this book has "light-green/grey cloth" and that "Covers also exist with burgundy boards, which are scarcer, and it has been suggested that this was a special 1st edition printed for the UK," and then asks the question "Any priority established?"
My question is: Is there a version, as Feain and Aroney intimate, stating London edition? So in fact three versions: grey, $4.50, Australia; red, 42s, possibly UK (like mine and others); and red, 42s., stating London edition (Feain and Aroney)? Or even more complicated: are there red cloth with $4.50 or grey cloth with 42s.? And, indeed, which had priority? Which was first?
Right, thanks Clive - and yes, you're right - it is more a burgundy colour! So we are left with two versions, perhaps one aimed at the UK market. Might have to ask Ellie Aroney or Paul Feain about the "London edition"!
I've never seen a version that states "London edition" and I don't think it exists.
My copy has burgundy covers (definitely not red) and has the same wording as you mentioned in your copy. Unfortunately, it is price-clipped so I can't confirm the 42s.
1959 Typo will be corrected shortly ;) - thanks