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Mr J B Shearar
The Chairman welcomed Mr J B Shearar, Counsellor and Consul-General, South African Embassy, who was attending a meeting of the Commission for the first time, as a representative of his Ambassador.
Mr P A Grobbelaar
Announcement that Mr P A Grobbelaar had been appointed Minister in the South African Embassy at the Hague.
Lieutenant Colonel V Badhwar
The Chairman welcomed Colonel V Badhwar, Deputy Military Adviser in the Indian High Commission, representing his High Commissioner for the first time.
Mr Aubrey Buxton MC
Announcement of the appointment of Mr Aubrey Buxton as a member of the Commission.
The Right Honourable Lord Spens KBE QC
Announcement of the death of the Right Honourable Lord Spens KBE QC who had served as a member of the Commission for 28 years, and the Secretary had represented the Commission at the Memorial Service.
Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region
Announcement that the Honourable D R Willesee had been succeeded as Special Minister of State and the Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region of the Commission by the Honourable Lionel F Bowen MP.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 514th Meeting
Note that the Chairman and Secretary had called on Mr Nehru to welcome him as a Member of the Commission.
Report that the President had appointed Mr Pallot as Secretary and Director-General.
Update on Pakistan's membership of the Commission.
Update on the proposed Turkish National Park and War Memorials on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Update on the effects of changes in rates of Exchange on the Commission.
Update on progress on the Liverpool Memorial.
Update on reorganisation in the Pacific Region, with emphasis on the revised percentages of contributions.
Update on the regrouping of graves in Tanzania, where proposals made had been agreed upon.
Update on printing problems with the 54th Annual Report.
Update on the rebuilding work proposed for the Tehran Memorial, with a proposal to the Finance Committee that there should be a permanent memorial in stone. Report on neglect of the seven war graves in Venice Communal Cemetery and a note of a proposal that the burials be removed to a war cemetery, probably at Ravenna.
Update on threat to the security of Tripoli War Cemetery
Report on Estimates of expenditure for 1974-75 presented by Mr Pallot, with approval for the Revised Estimate of Expenditure for the financial year 1973-74, and approval for the Estimate of Expenditure for the financial year 1974-75, together with a proposal that the participating Governments be requested to provide an additional sum of £200,000 in the financial year 1974-75, to be retained by the Commission as a working balance.
Report of the 556th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 1 concerned the estimates for 1974-1975
Items 2, 10 and 11 all recommended authorisation of expenditure on approved services and on supply and replacement of motor transport and approval of the establishment of staff, all as provided for in the Estimates.
Item 3 concerned accommodation for drivers and vehicles at Head Office.
Item 5 referred to the 19th Report on the Thiepval Memorial which was attached to the report.
Item 9 referred to the refund to the German Government of a sum of 11,045 Canadian dollars which they paid for perpetual maintenance of German graves in Canada, for the maintenance of which the Commission was responsible.
Items 12 and 17 authorised the application to the Commission's staff in comparable grades of increased rates of pay which had been introduced in the Australian Public Service and United Kingdom Civil Service.
Item 13 authorised pension inscreases for Commission pensioners as prescribed for public service pensioners in the Pension Increase (Annual Review) Order 1973.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees - Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr K B Lall (Indian Ambassador, Brussels)
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Mr J B Shearar (South African Embassy, London)
Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee:
Vortragender Legationsrat I Kl Dr Egon Raster (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr Klaus Goldschlag (Canadian Ambassador, Rome)
Graves Not Within The Commission's Control - United Kingdom
Approval of the classification of not within the Commission's control of the 85 war graves enumerated in Supplementary List no. 6 of war graves in the United Kingdom recommended for classification as ''not within the Commission's control''.
Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom: West Bridgford (St. Giles) Churchyard, Notts
Approval of the proposal to commemorate the one Commonwealth war burial in West Bridgford (St.Giles) Churchyard, Notts. on a special memorial headstone to be erected in the same churchyard.
Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom: Gillingham (Grange Road) Cemetery, Kent
Approval of the proposal to commemorate 12 Commonwealth war burials of the 1914-1918 War and one of the 1939-1945 War in Gillingham (Grange Road) Cemetery, Kent on special memorial headstones in the Admiralty Plot in Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery.
Unmaintainable Graves – Mauritius
Approval of the proposal for the alternative commemoration on the Phoenix Memorial, Mauritius of the 10 casualties buried in Flat Island Quarantine Station Cemetery (1), Mahebourg (Notre Dame) Cemetery (1), Port Louis Western Cemetery (1), Quatre Bornes (St. Jean) Cemetery (6), and St. Julien Cemetery, Flacq (1).
Execution of Documents
Approval and Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part 1 479, 485 and 486, and Part II 97 to 99 referred to in the schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Advisor and Solicitor.
Reports from Regions, Areas and Agencies: Quarter ended 30 September 1973.
Update from the Secretary on the situation in Egypt and Libya, with an emphasis on the staffing situation and damage sustained at War Cemeteries there, and mention of the situation at Damascus War Cemetery in Syria.
Report from Sir Robert Black about his visits to cemeteries and memorials in the United Kingdom, especially Cannock Chase, the Portsmouth Memorial and the Lee-on-the Solent Memorial.
Report from General Thomas on his visit to Germany, where he had visited War Cemeteries in Hanover and Berlin.
Comment from Mr McCombs that he had visited the small cemetery at Brockenhurst and found the graves in excellent order.
A report from the Secretary on La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial on maintenance improvements to be made there.
Report on maintenance carried out at Berlin South Western Cemetery, Stahnsdorf.
Report on arrangements for adjustments to working hours during the present emergency to allow electricity to be used on only three of the five working days each week.
Thanks extended to the Catering staff.
Note that the next meeting of the Commission would be held on Thursday 21st March 1974 at 11am at Head Office.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Walter Cheshire GBE KCB (Vice Chairman of the Commission, in the Chair)
Mr P.S. Cooper CVO OBE (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Colonel A.D. Watt OBE (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
His Excellency Mr T. H. McCombs (High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J.B. Shearar (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Lieutenant Colonel V Badhwar VSH (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Mr George Wallace MP
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC
Mr W.J. Chalmers CB CBE (Director-General)
Mr P.A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
There were also present:
Mr A.K. Pallot CMG (Assistant Secretary, Director of Finance and Establishments)
Mr P.H. Swan (Assistant Secretary, Director of External Relations)
Mr P.R. Matthew BA (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr W.H. Dukes (Director of Works)
Mr W.F.W. Harding OBE BSc (Hort) FLS, (Director Horticulture)
Mr A.S. Laing HVO (Director of Information Services)
Mr W.J. Symons (Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration Department)
Mr D.H. Lloyd (Director, United Kingdom)
Mr M.J.W. Taylor FCA (Chief Accountant)
Mr J.B. Paton (Deputy Establishment Officer)
Mr I.C. Haydon (Private Secretary to Director-General)