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Minutes of the last Meeting approved. The minutes of the 220th Meeting were approved and signed.
Announcement of the death of Lord Stanley, with a resolution noting the Commission’s loss and sympathy to Lady Stanley and her family and to Lord and Lady Derby.
Mentions the Vice-Chairman had been in touch with the British Red Cross to consider Lord Stanley’s replacement.
Mentions a number of photographs of the Commission's work had been placed in the Tea Room of the House of Commons.
Mentions recent reports received from Sir Herbert Hart stating no further trouble had occurred in regard to the Commission’s personnel or cemeteries in Palestine, and that the Vice-Chairman hoped to go on to Palestine after his visit to Egypt.
Update on the number of signatures in the Visitors' Books at the Cemeteries and Memorials in France and Belgium in the month of September which was 20,845. The corresponding figure for September 1937 was 16,860.
Mentions that recent reports from the Horticultural Officers in France and Belgium indicated an increase in visitors to many cemeteries during the past summer.
Mentions letter from General Vincensini with regards to an association “Le Bleuet de France” which proposed to lay flowers on certain British graves in Paris during the Armistice period. Also refers to the Women’s Section of the British Legion who laid flowers on allied War Graves in the United Kingdom during Armistice.
Announcement that all arrangements were complete for the small ceremony to be held on 10th November when the flags would be dedicated by the Dean of Westminster in the Warrior’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey. Lord Baldwin would say a few words whilst attending.
Anglo-French And Anglo-Belgian Mixed Committees
Resolution that Brigadier J.M. Prower, D.S.O., be appointed Secretary-General of the Anglo-Belgian Mixed Committee and Deputy Secretary-General of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee in succession to Lieutenant-Colonel F. Higginson until the Commission shall by resolution determine otherwise.
Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee
Resolution that Commendatore Umberto Grazzi, Primo Segretario di Legazione in the Ministero degli Affari Esteri, be appointed an Official Member of the Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee in succession to Baron di Giura, who relinquished his membership on appointment as Italian Minister to Lithuania.
Discovery And Reburial Of Bodies In France And Belgium
Update on the recovery of bodies in France and Belgium, noting particularly in Belgium that a considerable number of bodies had been found due to those engaged in metal searching digging much deeper in the course of their searches.
The Vice-Chairman mentioned the great help to Brigadier Prower and to the staff in France and Belgium if members of the Commission were to pay short visits from time to time. In response, Mr Spens said he had intended to spend a week in France in the latter part of September but owing to the crisis he had had to alter his plans.
The Vice-Chairman then stated he would be leaving London at the end of the week to attend meetings of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee in Paris and the Anglo-Greek Mixed Committee in Athens. From Athens he was going to Cairo for a meeting of the Anglo-Egyptian Committee.
The Vice-Chairman referred to recent discussions with the Treasury regarding the deficiency of income on the United Kingdom share of the Endowment Fund resulting from the reduction in the rate of interest earned during the period they required for accumulation. He also referred to the economies considered by the Commission at their April meeting and the recommendations of the Report of the Special Committee on Expenditure appointed by the Commission.
Following a discussion, a draft Resolution was proposed and agreed for the following:
1. That the reduction of the annual expenditure on administration of the Commission by £10,000 to be effected over a period of years be approved in principle.
2. That it be recognised that to give effect to this reduction, some reorganisation will be necessary and that the Vice-Chairman be and hereby is authorised to take such steps to that end as he may consider necessary on the general lines recommended by the Special Committee with such variations as he may think fit.
3. That where the reorganisation required involves the discharge of officials as redundant, they be granted compensation for loss of office at least equal to that which would be granted to permanent officials in the United Kingdom Civil Service, or alternatively that they be offered employment in the United Kingdom Civil Service.
4. That in due course the names of the officials to be discharged with the provision made for them be reported to the Commission.
5a. That the permanent maintenance establishment of British gardening personnel in France and Belgium be accordingly fixed at 400 in place of the present establishment of 500, that the reduction to this figure be achieved only as natural wastage and retirement occurs, it being understood that during the period of reduction if desirable a percentage of such vacancies shall be filled by appointment of younger men to the permanent staff.
5b. That in the employment of local casual labour as required to supplement the work of the permanent staff, it should be a condition that so far as possible such casual employment be offered first to British subjects resident in France and Belgium
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
E. Macleod, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
W.J. Jordan, Esq. (High Commissioner for New Zealand)
E.K. Scallan, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Lieutenant-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
W.P. Spens, Esq., O.B.E., K.C., M.P.
Lieutenant-General C.G. Liddell, C.B., C.M.G., C.B.E., D.S.O.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel C.P. Oswald, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Controller and Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Major H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
Lieut.-Colonel E.H. Jarvis (Deputy Director of Works)
F.C. Sillar, Esq.
B.S. Conyngham Greene, Esq.
O. Holt, Esq.