Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/543
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.543 - December 1980


DescriptionMinutes of the 543rd Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Brigadier V Madan VSM
Chairman's welcome to Brigadier V Madan VSM who was attending a Commission Meeting as the representative of the Indian High Commissioner for the first time.

General D'Armee Aerienne Martial Valin GCB
Announcement of the death of General D'Armee Aerienne Martial Valin GCB, an honorary Member of the Commonwealth-French Committee since 1971.

Minister of Veterans Affairs, Canada
Announcement of the death of the Hon Daniel J MacDonald, the Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Colonel Sir Richard Glyn, Bt OBE TD DL
Announcement of the death of Colonel Sir Richard Glyn who served as a Commissioner between 1965 and 1970.

Lt General G J Boshoff SSAS SD SM
Announcement that Lt General Boshoff, one of the Members of the South African Agency, had been awarded the Star of South Africa in Silver (Military Division).

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Australia
Announcement that Senator the Hon John Messner would be taking over responsibility as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs Australia.

Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 542nd Meeting
a) Update on the progress of work on France Area Accommodation.
b) Discussion on the Statement on 'Quangos' in the House of Commons.
c) Update on the Threat to Cemeteries in Libya
d) Update on changes to the Horticultural Layout at the Thiepval Memorial.
e) Update on the Indian Army Memorial, Neuve-Chapelle, where at a ceremony in the Town Hall, the picture of the interpreters who had served with the Lahore Division in 1915, presented by Mrs Leith-Ross in memory of her husband, had been handed to the Mayor by the Area Director.
f) Update on Maintenance by the DOE (PSA) and Portland RN Cemetery.
g) Update on Inspection visits to Northern Ireland, including photographs taken of graves on Rathlin Island with the help of an Army helicopter.

Estimates 1981-1982
Approval of the Revised Estimate of Expenditure for the financial year 1980-81 at £9,803,755, proposal that the Commission's Working Balance be increased in the financial year 1980-81 to the sum of £500,000 and that such Working Balance be provided by Participating Governments in accordance with the agreed contribution percentages, and that, allowing for estimated inflation of 10% over October 1980 prices, the Estimate of Expenditure for the financial year 1981-82 is approved at £10,825,905.

Adoption of the Report of the 584th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 1 of the Report had just been covered.
Item 2 concerned a further stage in the repair work on the Thiepval Memorial in accordance with the approved programme.
Items, 3, 4 and 5 followed from the Estimates already considered and were all normal Resolutions. Item 5 specified the number of staff that would be needed in 1981-82, which allowed for a reduction of 13 against the 1980-81 establishment.
Item 6 was about the 1926 Superannuation Scheme and always appeared at the December Meetings.
Item 7 was a straightforward pay increase for staff of the Canadian Agency.

Report of the Vice-Chairman's visit to Egypt
Includes notes on the condition of War Cemeteries there including Kantara War Cemetery, El Alamein War Cemetery and new Indian Army memorial at Heliopolis War Cemetery. Also refers to ceremonies held, including German El Alamein commemorative ceremony, wreath laying service at the Provost of All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, as well as the inauguration of the new Indian Army Memorial and a Polish ceremony at Heliopolis War Cemetery.

Situation in Iraq
Update on the situation in Iraq with comment from Mr Matthew that there was no information add since the Paper had been prepared.

Situation in Turkey
Report from the Secretary on his visit to Turkey, including comments about discussions with Turkish authorities about the Commission’s status in Turkey and reference to photo showing new bungalow built near Lala Baba Cemetery as an example of building development which should never have been permitted.

Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
General de Corps d'Armee Jeannou Lacaze (Gouverneur Militaire de Paris)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
Mr J C Ajmani (Indian Ambassador, Rome)
Mr J E G Hardy (Canadian Ambassador, Rome)
Commonwealth-Japanese Joint Committee:
Colonel D O Caton (Defence and Military Attache, British Embassy, Tokyo)

Graves Not Within The Commission’s Control – United Kingdom
Approval that the classification as not within the Commission's control of the 61 war graves enumerated in Supplementary List No 20 of war graves in the United Kingdom recommended for classification as 'not within the Commission's control', submitted by the Secretary.

Unmaintainable Graves - Horden (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Durham
Approval of the proposal to commemorate the fourteen burials of the 1914-1918 War and the seventeen burials of the 1939-1945 War in Horden (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Durham by the erection of a Screen Wall memorial in Horden (Thorpe Road) Cemetery, Durham;

Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part I 568 and Part 11 170 to 176, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor;

Diary update
Notes on five Royal Visits, including comment that when the Queen had been in Brussels, she had talked to the North West Europe Area Director and his wife at a reception.
Report from Mr Gomme on the tour by Mr Stanley and his party to Normandy, where four cemeteries in the Normandy area had been visited.
Report from Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough of his visit to France to the area around Arras.
Report from Sir John Winnifrith of his recent visit to the United Kingdom area.
Report from Miss Woodgate of her recent visit to India and Nepal, and especially the Delhi War Cemetery.

Other Business
Update following the Italian Earthquake confirming that staff and cemeteries in Salerno and Naples were not affected.
Playing of recording of the talk given on Radio 4 on Remembrance Sunday, made on the Commission's behalf by Mr Wilson Stephens, lately Editor of 'The Field'; A note of the date of the March Meeting on Wednesday 18 March when the Secretary of State hoped to take the Chair.

General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), in the Chair
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr P.H. Towgood (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr F.C. Murray (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr B.J. Lynch (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr A.E. van Niekerk (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier V. Madnan VSM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr R.A. Gomme (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
Lord Wallace of Coslany
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Admiral Sir David Williams GCB

Mr A.K. Pallot CMG (Director-General)

Mr Peter A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)

There were also present:
Mr A.S. Laing CBE MVO (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General)
Mr P.R. Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General) (Operations))
Mr J. Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr I.E. Morgan (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr J.B. Paton NDH (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P.H.M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr W.J. Symons (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr G.A. Cheater (Director of Information Services)
Mr D. Kennedy (Director, Outer Area)
Mr S.G. Campbell MC ARICS (Assistant Director of Works)
Mr J.P. Gee (Secretariat)
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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