|Content Note||Topics covered:|
The Chairman welcomed Professor Prance, Mr Mader, Mr Williams, Mr Blunden and Mr Hedges, and Mr Gee who were all representing their organisations for the first time.
Captain M. J. du Preez has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the Star of South Africa (Non-Military), for his past work with the Commission. The Rt Hon Tom King has been appointed as the Commission Chairman, The Rt Hon Christopher Patten has become an official Commissioner.
The death of Dr Hasso von Etzdorf, German ambassador in London from 1961-1965 and member of the Commission's Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee during that period, was reported; also the death of Mr H. Delbecque, a locally-engaged member of the Messines Mobile Group who joined the Commission's staff in 1978.
Matters arising for the minutes of the 577th Meeting; the Finance Committee is to examine the corporate plan and estimates of expenditure; there is agreement in principal of a French text for the War Graves Agreement with Tunisia, English and Arabic versions are to be agreed; Mr Kennedy's visit to Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia, included discussion of options to alleviate problems caused by the construction of a service road for a neighbouring industrial site.
Annual Report and Accounts of the Commission 1988-1989
The text of the Annual Report and Accounts 1988-89 has been passed to the printers; the 1988-89 accounts were discussed, including staff costs, vehicles, base site accommodation for garden groups, extension of computerisation, structural costs, Endowment Fund and investments; the audit procedure has improved; the 1989-89 accounts were signed and auditor's certificates completed.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952): Trustees’ Power of Investment – Modification of Trust Deed
Modernisation changes to the Superannuation Scheme were approved
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952): Appointment of Trustee
Sir Arthur Hockaday to resign as a Trustee and be replaced by Mr Philip Reynolds Matthew, to represent retired members;
Progress of Expenditure 1989-1990
The variation for the first four months of expenditure for 1988-89, including difficulties in filling staff establishment;
Air Conditioning – Head Office
The replacement of the whole air conditioning system was accepted, subject to more detailed estimates
The Gardeners’ Remembrance Service
A review of the proposal that the current Gardener's Remembrance Service held at Westminster Abbey should be the last, and that official Commission participation at other Remembrance Sunday ceremonies should be explored
Burials and Commemorations
Approval of alternative commemoration of seven unmaintainable graves in the UK;
Commonwealth Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Nine appointments to Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees were noted
Execution of documents
Reference to a case of racial discrimination brought by a former member of staff against the Commission, with note that the Industrial Tribunal had struck out the allegation
Tours by Commissioners and Head Office Senior Officials.
Comments on the high standards encountered on a tour of sites in South-East England by Sir Derek Day and Captain Sir Miles Wingate
Summary of official events – note that the President and Chairman would attend the upcoming ceremony at the Neuve -Chapelle Indian Memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle, Her Majesty the Queen will be visiting Commission sites in Malaysia and Singapore, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales would be visiting sites in Hong Kong and Indonesia, The Hon George Hees, former Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs visited Enfidaville War Cemetery in Tunisia; announcement that this year's Remembrance Broadcast will be given by Kenneth Kendall, a televised version is under consideration for future years; Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester had not attended Thiepval Memorial on 1 July, although she had been present at the Ulster Tower rededication; comment by Brigadier Khanna that the Indian memorial in Brighton was deteriorating, with note by the Secretary that the Commission had been approached with a request to take on its maintenance but had replied that it was unable to assume responsibility for local memorials.
Other Business, the name of the Local Supervisor in Iraq is to be confirmed by the Iraqi government; the Iraqi government will pay for items agreed due to construction of a road through part of Mosul Cemetery; Pakistan will rejoin the Commonwealth from 1 October, it is hoped they will rejoin the Commission after that; Brigadier Andrews is to retire from these meetings, he will be succeeded by Commodore J. G. Leonard RNZN; Sir Arthur Hockaday is to retire after seven years as Secretary, reference is made to his contributions to the Commission, and to his thanks.
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
His Excellency The Hon Douglas McClelland AC (High Commissioner for Australia)
Captain Sir Miles Wingate KCVO
Major General Desmond Smith CBE DSO CD
The Rt Hon J. D. Concannon
Sir Derek Day KCMG
Sir Nigel Mobbs DL
Mr R. L. L. Facer (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence in the United Kingdom)
Mr R. G. S. Johnston (Representing the Secretary of State for the Environment in the United Kingdom)
Mr L. Mader (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Brigadier H. M. Khanna (Representing the High Commissioner for the Republic of India)
Brigadier R. J. Andrews CBE (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J. G. Williams (Representing the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Professor G. T. Prance MA DPhil FLS (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Director-General)
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:
Mr P. S. Blunden FCA (Representing Messrs Deloitte, Haskins and Sells)
Mr M. Hedges ACA (Representing Messrs Deloitte, Haskins and Sells)
Mr J. Saynor JP (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General (Operations))
Mr D. Kennedy (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General (Administration))
Mr N. B. Osborn OBE FRICS, (Director of Works)
Mr G. C. Reddie (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr T. F. Penfold (Director of Personnel)
Mr P. J. Noakes BSc MIHort (Director of Horticulture)
Mr R. D. Wilson ACMA (Director of Finance)
Mr J. P. D. Gee (Director of Information and Secretariat)
Mr S. T. Bell (Secretariat)
Apologies for absence were reported from Air Chief Marshal Sir John Gingell, Dame Janet Fookes, Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt and Professor Sir Peter Shepheard.