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Mr E Broadbent, The Honourable W L Young, MR L H Evans and Mr K J McCloskey
Welcome to Mr Young, who had recently succeeded Mr Gandar as New Zealand High Commissioner and who was attending a Commission Meeting for the first time, Mr Broadbent and Mr Evans representing for the first time the Secretary of State for Defence and the South African Ambassador respectively, and Mr McCloskey, who represented the Australian High Commissioner at Finance Committee Meetings but whose first Commission Meeting this was.
Appointment of Assistant Secretary
Announcement of the Appointment of Mr William James Symons as Assistant Secretary to the Commission with effect from 1 July 1983.
Organisation – Senior Posts
Approval of Senior Posts as set out in Appendix B to the paper under reference ORG 3.
Announcement that Mr Babe had been appointed Secretary for Internal Affairs in New Zealand.
South African Agency
Announcement of change of membership of the Commission's South African Agency.
Honours and Awards
Mr Mohamed Murad, the Commission's Head Gardener in Beirut, had been awarded the BEM, Mlle de Berenger Director of the Battle of Normandy Museum, at Arromanches, had been appointed an honorary OBE, and the New Zealand Ambassador to Paris had presented the Queen's Service Medal for Community Services to the Cure of Yevres and the Maire of Le Quesnoy for their services in connection with the commemoration of New Zealand war dead.
Announcement of the death of Sir Terence McCombs New Zealand High Commissioner in London and his country's representative on the Commission between 1973 and 1975, and the deaths of four members of staff in service: Mr Vanuxem, a gardener in Belgium; Mr Hamdan Ghanim Intab, a gardener in Iraq; Mr Eperon, a gardener in France; and Mr Kaeva, a contract gardener in Yugoslavia.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 550th Meeting of the Commission
Including discussion of the Review of Styles of Horticulture, with reference especially to trees, with updates from Sir John Winnifrith on his recent visits to France, and the West and North West of England.
Update of the condition of War Cemeteries in Lebanon at Beirut and Sidon following visits by the Area Director and Area Works Officer.
Annual Estimates of Expenditure
Approval of the Revised Estimate of Expenditure for the financial year 1982/83 at £11,279,485; Approval of the Estimate of Expenditure for the financial year 1983/84 at £12,020,120.
Adoption of the Report of the 592nd Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 5 was a request for approval for excess expenditure on certain sub-heads.
Item 6 was the request for approval of the establishment of staff for 1983/84 which, at 1,306, would be 29 fewer than in the current year.
Item 7 of the report dealt with the remuneration of the Vice-Chairman.
Item 12 concerned the next phase in the refacing of the Thiepval Memorial.
Item 13 the routine replacement of the stock of headstones for engraving for which a fresh testing of the market had confirmed that the contract with Marmi & Graniti Colosio was favourable.
Items 14 and 15 concerned the repairs to the gardeners' cottages in Italy, to which Sir Edward Goschen had referred earlier.
Item 16 referred to the theft from the Area office in Arras of a safe which had contained a certain amount of cash and petrol coupons.
Item 22 concerned a highway robbery suffered by the Area Works Officer in Sicily whilst on duty.
Appointment of Honorary Botanical Adviser to the Commission
Appointment of Professor Arthur Bell, PhD, FLS, CChem, FRSC as Honorary Botanical Adviser to the Commission and recording of the Commission's appreciation of the services rendered to them by Professor Brenan, Honorary Botanical Adviser since 1977.
British Burials and Memorial in the Falkland Islands
Report from Mr Campbell of his visit to the Falklands with the purpose of locating a site for a new Cemetery for British Burials and Memorial in the Falkland Islands.
Threat to Cemeteries in Libya
Report on the Threat to Cemeteries in Libya from building work planned in Benghazi which would affect the Commission’s sites there.
Proposed War Graves Agreement with the German Democratic Republic
Update on Proposed War Graves Agreement with the German Democratic Republic, with summary of background of agreement and discussions with German authorities.
South African Commemorative Museum at Delville Wood, France
Update on the South African Commemorative Museum at Delville Wood, France. The suggestion was that the museum, to be built in the shape of Cape Town Castle around the Voortrekker Cross, should be behind the existing Memorial. It was further proposed to construct a small car park and amenity building near the existing caretaker's house.
The Commission would not be responsible for construction or for running the museum but would be asked to maintain the structure.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr W C Dempsey (South African Ambassador, Brussels)
Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr Robin Ashwin (Australian Ambassador, Bonn)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
General Giuseppe Maria Vaccaro
Signor Gabriele Sardo (Counsellor, Western European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Commonwealth-Japanese Joint Committee:
Mr Masunori Kobayashi (Director, National Property Inspection Division, Ministry of Finance) Colonel Subhash Kapila (Defence Attache, Indian Embassy, Tokyo)
Graves Not Within the Commission’s Control – United Kingdom
Approval of the update on graves not within the Commission's control in the United Kingdom, including those at Alsager (Christ Church) Churchyard, Cheshire; Felton (St. Michael) Churchyard, Northumberland; Pendlebury (St. John) Churchyard, Swinton and Pendlebury, Greater Manchester; Springfield (Holy Trinity) Churchyard, Chelmsford, Essex.
Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents Serial Nos Part I 577 to 580 and Part 11 199 to 201, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting.
Update on Tours by Head Office Officials, including a report from the Secretary on his visit to France, North West Europe, and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean Areas.
Full discussion prohibited by time. The Chairman said he wished to express gratitude for the touring which had been undertaken and in particular to those like Miss Woodgate and Mr Gomme who had found time whilst on holiday or other business to visit sites of Commission interest.
End of meeting with the Chairman expressing appreciation to all those present and all those who looked after the Commission’s interests.
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC FRSA (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), in the Chair
Mr E. Broadbent CB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr R. A. Gomme (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Mr J.W. Graham (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr K.J. McCloskey (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
His Excellency the Honourable W.L. Young (High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr L.H. Evans (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier V. Madan VSM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE
Sir David Muirhead KCMG CVO
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Director-General)
Mr Peter Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consultant Engineer)
Professor Sir Peter Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Mr A.S. Laing CBE MVO (Deputy Director-General)
Mr P.R. Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations))
Mr J. Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr N.B. Osborn ARICS (Director of Works)
Mr J.B. Paton NDH (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P.H.M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr G.C. Reddie (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr S.G. Campbell MC (Director of Information Services)
Mr W.J. Symons (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr D. Kennedy (Director Outer Area)
Mr J.P. Gee (Secretariat)