|Description||Minutes and papers of Joint Committees with foreign governments. Under war graves agreements between the member governments of the Commission and the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, Joint Committees were established. These committees met, in rotation, every fiver years, while smaller Joint Committees, such as those concerning Denmark, Japan and Thailand, met on an ad hoc basis. |
The original purpose of the Committees, at the time of construction of the Commonwealth war cemeteries after the two world wars, was to represent the Commission in its relations with the authorities and to exercise in the name of the Commission all or part of the rights reserved to it under the individual war graves agreements. After completion of the various cemetery constuction programmes, the role of the Joint Committees became that of a liason rather than an executive committee - their purpose being to sustain and express a joint interest in the maintenance of the Commonwealth war cemeteries and memorials and in the commemoration of the war dead of both the Commonwealth and the various countries concerned. From a practical point of view, they provided a means by which the Commission could have the advice of, and where necessary the opportunity for direct dealings with, the authorities in the countries, who would otherwise have to be approached through less direct channels.