Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/520
File NumberCM 3/1/187
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.520 - March 1975


DescriptionMinutes of the 520th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Sir John Bunting CBE
Welcome to Sir John Bunting CBE, representing the High Commissioner for Australia.

Mr J R Francis
Welcome to Mr J R Francis, who was representing the High Commissioner for Canada for the first time.

Mr T H McCombs
Refers to resignation of Mr McCombs as High Commissioner for New Zealand and Member of the Commission. His replacement was Mr Hugh Watt.

New Year Honours List
Mention that in the New Year Honours List, Mr J Pringle, Area Superintendent, North Africa Area had been appointed MBE, and Mr D V Quinn, Local Supervisor, Israel, had been awarded the BEM.
Mr T W Norman
Refers to death of the late Mr Norman on 2 January, aged 60. He was a Clerical Officer at Head Office and a much-respected member of the staff. He had joined the Commission in 1948 serving in France until transferred to Head Office in 1969.

Minutes of the 519th Meeting and Matters Arising from the Minutes
Circulation and signing of the minutes by members.
Update on Pakistan’s membership of the Commission.
Update on the Liverpool Memorial, namely the redesign of the base.
Update on the reorganisation of Pacific Region.
Update on the Commonwealth-Tunisian War Graves Agreement (awaiting signature)
Update on remedial repairs to Head Office air conditioning system.
Approval of Estimates for 1975-1976.
Mention that the International Relations Department of the BBC had offered to make available to the Radio authorities of interested countries copies of the tape recording of “In A Strange and Muddy Land”.
Visit by Sir John Barraclough to Mazargues Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Report of the 561st Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 1 was Authorisation of Expenditure.
Item 2 was the restoration project of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial which was nearing completion.
Item 3 dealt with the cleaning of the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
Item 5 dealt with the installation of a modern reticulation system at Jerusalem Mount Scopus War Cemetery.
Items 8 and 9 dealt with pay revisions following changes in linked rates.
Also mentions that the Finance Committee had taken note of a report on Philosophe British Cemetery and Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension. This had concerned a claim for damages caused by pollution from industry at Philosophe.

Appointment of Proper Officers
Refers to the appointment of Mr A K Pallot, Mr A S Laing, and Mr J Saynor each as a Proper Officer of the Commission.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Superannuation Scheme (1952) – New Trustee
Refers to the appointment of Mr A K Pallot as a Trustee to replace Mr W J Chalmers.

Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees – Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
Capitaine-Commandant F J de Groote (General Staff, Ministry of National Defence) (with effect from 1 April 1975)
Mr A K Pallot CMG (Director-General, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
M Pierre Bolotte (Directeur General des Collectivites Locales, Ministere de l'Interieur)
Mr A K Pallot CMG (Director-General, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr L H Border (Australian Ambassador, Bonn)
Mr A K Pallot CMG (Director-General, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
Mr A K Pallot CMG (Director-General, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Commonwealth-Japanese Joint Committee:
Mr Sadakazu Tanaguchi (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Mr T Okutaro Sato (Ministry of Finance)
Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr O F de V Booysen (South African Ambassador, The Hague)
Mr A K Pallot CMG (Director-General, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Execution of Documents
Refers to action for the execution of documents presented before the Commission.

Reports From Areas and Agencies – Quarter Ended 31 December 1974
Mentions that horticultural and structural maintenance in Europe had been particularly affected by the unusually mild and wet weather. In Eastern Mediterranean Area the damage at Gallipoli was reported and the Director of Works, who had recently been there, reported on the progress in clearing the damage by the Turkish authorities.
News of the Canal Zone sites, including concerns about the restoration of water supplies and photographs of the damage to the Port Tewfik Memorial which were available for Members to see.

General Notes
The Chairman reported he visited Arras for the opening of the Commission's exhibition in the Salle de l'Harmonie by M. Denizot, Prefect of the Pas de Calais, which, during its successful eight day run had been seen by over 7,000 people.
Report from the Secretary on his farewell visits to the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium.
Report from Mr Pallot, including trip to Tehran for helpful discussions with the British Embassy over arrangements for the importation of stone for the Tehran Memorial and the tiles for the dome of the shelter building. Also mentions he visited Karachi and Rawalpindi War Cemeteries in Pakistan, noting that, despite an interruption in the water supply, the horticulture had recovered due to the efforts of the Head Gardener.
Mention that the Queen Mother would be visiting Tehran in May.
Report by Director of Works Mr Dukes to Eastern Mediterranean Area to examine general working conditions, to deal with outstanding technical points, and to discuss with the Iraqi Government the future of the Basra Memorial. Also mentions rehabilitation work at Gallipoli and conditions of cemeteries in Lebanon which was generally good, but difficulties finding craftsmen in Iraq to deal with masonry repairs at Basra. Comments on effectiveness of toxic wash on headstones in Macedonia.

Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom
Comments from members about the report presented at the meeting.

End of meeting with verbatim record of the tribute at the meeting to retiring Secretary and Director-General Mr W J Chalmers, with a reading of a message of gratitude from His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent and tributes conveyed by attending Members.

General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC , in the Chair
Sir John Wilson KCB (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr J R Francis (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
His Excellency Sir John Bunting CBE (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr D B G McLean (Acting High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J M Sterban (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier J M Vohra SM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr R D Hutchings (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Mr E Gardner QC MP
Lord Wallace
Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC

Mr W J Chalmers CB CBE, Director-General

Sir George Taylor DSc LLD FRS FRSE FLS VMH (Honorary Artistic Advisor)

There were also present:
Miss Honor Currie, Canadian High Commission
Mr K McDonald, Australian High Commission
Mr A K Pallot CMG, Assistant Secretary, Director of Administration
Mr P R Matthew BA, Legal Adviser and Solicitor
Mr W H Dukes, Director of Works
Mr P H M Swan, Director of External Relations
Mr W F W Harding OBE BSc (Hort) FLS, Director of Horticulture
Mr J Saynor, Chief Finance Officer
Mr H Westland, Establishment Officer
Mr D H Lloyd ARICS, Director, United Kingdom
Mr W J Symons, Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration
Mr D L Ayers, Private Secretary to Director-General
Extent1 file
CategoryMeeting Notes
ArchNotePlease note that the downloadable document is the final version of the Committee Meeting minutes. Additional information, including the verbatim minutes and subsidiary reports, may be available in the physical file.
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