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Mr W Geraghty, Mr P C Aggleton, Mr D P Connors and Mr R H Noyes Roberts
Welcome to Mr Geraghty, representing the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Aggleton, representing the Minister for Housing and Construction and Mr Connors, representing the High Commissioner for Australia, who were all attending a Commission Meeting for the first time. Also welcome to Mr Noyes Roberts and announcement of deaths of Mr Luttig who had been the South African Ambassador in London, and a Commissioner, from February 1967 to July 1972 and of General Sir James Steele who, as Adjutant-General, had been a Commissioner in 1949 and 1950.
Minutes of the 521st Meeting of the Commission
Minutes of the 521st meeting were circulated, agreed, and signed.
Matters Arising From The Minutes
a) Update on status of Pakistan’s membership of the Commission.
b) Update on demolition of existing Liverpool Memorial and construction of the new memorial.
c) Update on Head Office air conditioning system.
d) Negotiations with unions in Belgium.
e) Pieta Cemetery
f) Rangoon War Cemetery
g) Canadian Agency
56th Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the Commission
Approval of the 56th Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the Commission for the year ended 31 March 1975.
Report of the 563rd Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 2 was the report of the meeting of the Finance Committee.
Item 3 dealt with economy measures.
Item 4 concerned the Commission’s film.
Regards a report circulated by the UK Treasury and the economic measures proposed as a result of the report’s findings.
Situation in Iraq – Jewish war graves
Reading of letter from received from Mr Shelley the National Chairman of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, with discussion about vandalism and the symbolism of the Star of David emblem.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
General de Corps d'Armee Albert Louis Favreau (Military Governor of Paris)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Signor Roberto Ducci (Italian Ambassador, London)
Dott. Giovanni Di Mauro Director, Department of Domains Ministry of Finance
Alternative Commemoration of Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom
That the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Bintree (St Swithin) Churchyard, by the erection in the same churchyard of a special memorial headstone, suitably superscribed, is approved.
That the proposal to commemorate 2 burials of the 1914-1918 War and 4 of the 1939-1945 War in Chalfont St Peter (St Peter) Church Cemetery, by the erection in the same cemetery of 3 existing headstones, 3 new headstones and a small explanatory plaque, is approved.
That the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Kenwyn (St Kenwyn) Churchyard, by the erection in the same churchyard of a special memorial headstone, suitably superscribed, is approved.
That the proposal to commemorate 8 burials of the 1914-1918 War and 11 of the 1939-45 War in Winlaton (St Patrick) Churchyard, by a single screen wall memorial to be erected in Hookergate Cemetery, is approved.
Format of the Annual Report
Discussion among members about the layout of the Annual Report. Copies of a mock-up were on the table showing the style and layout suggested for the next report as well as the copy of the Royal Horticultural Society's journal which illustrated the kind of publication they had in mind and contained an article by the Director of Horticulture.
Execution of Documents
Refers to two special items:
Number 512 was a Deed of Conveyance by the Secretary of State for Defence by way of a gift to the Commission of Cannock Chase War Cemetery.
Number 513 was an Agreement with the Brookwood Cemetery Company in connection with their Bill which would give the Company powers to sell the cemetery and to dispose of surplus land. In co-operation with the local authority a close watch would be kept on the Company.
Refers to visit by the Commission's President to Tehran, where he had seen the recently re-constructed memorial and shelter.
Lord Wallace reported on his recent visit to North West Europe Area, accompanied by his wife and the Area Superintendent, where he had covered 1,150 miles, including the German cemetery at Ysselsteyn a special social evening at Nijmegen at the Royal British Legion Club which had enabled him to meet about 30 British, Dutch and German staff and their wives. Includes comments about the nurseries at Arnhem and Reichswald Forest.
Sir Frank Twiss reported on his visit to Sicily and Italy.
Report on the recent visits made by staff to the Canal Zone, with update on the situation of the Port Tewfik Memorial. Also refers to damage caused in Beirut, and more fighting in Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli.
Report by Chairman on an exhibition in Edinburgh. The Commission's Exhibition continued to improve and there had been enormous help from the Army in Scotland.
Mention that the Tanzanian concentration operations were virtually complete and the staff, with much sympathetic help from local authorities, had completed a very satisfactory job.
Mention the Gardeners' Service was to be held in Westminster Abbey on 7 November.
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), in the Chair
Mr W Geraghty CB (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr P S Cooper CVO OBE (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr D P Connors (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr D B G McLean (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J Msterban (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier J M Vohra SM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr P C Aggleton (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Admiral Sir Frank Twiss KCB DSC
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
The Lord Wallace of Coslany
Mr A K Pallot CMG (Director-General)
There were also present:
Mr R H Noyes Roberts (Canadian High Commission)
Mr A S Laing MVO (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Secretariat))
Mr J Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr P R Matthew BA (Assistant Secretary, Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr W H Dukes (Director of Works)
Mr W F W Harding OBE BSc(Hort) FLS (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P H M Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr S G Campbell MC ARICS (Director of Information Services)
Mr W J Symons (Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration)
Mr D H Lloyd (Director, United Kingdom)
Mr D L Ayers (Secretariat)