|Content Note||Topics covered:|
Australian High Commissioner
Mention that Mr Alfred Parsons, Australian High Commissioner, would visit Head Office.
Indian High Commissioner
Appointment of Mr Prakash Mehrotra as High Commissioner for the Republic of India in London. Dr Seyid Mohammed departing.
Honours and Awards
Appointment of Mr P J Cook, Director of North-West Europe Area as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Mr A Tedomas, Head Gardener at Phaleron War Cemetery, awarded the British Empire Medal.
Mr W F Cole MBE, retired staff, awarded the Associateship of Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society.
The Commission nominated to receive the Lion Cub of Judea award, by the Israeli War Veteran's League.
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough
Appointment of the Chairman Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough as Honorary Inspector of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
Sri Lanka Agency
Mention that Mr D B Sumithraarachchi succeeded Mr D T Ekanayake as Honorary Secretary of the Sri Lanka Agency.
Mention that Major T S Wilson succeeded Major J R May as Honorary Secretary of the Gibraltar Agency.
Organisation Sub Committee
Invitation for Sir Donald Maitland to succeed Sir John Winnifrith on the Organisation Sub Committee.
Death of Mr M W J Evenden after nearly 50 years' service as a gardener.
Agreement and signing of the Minutes of the 555th Meeting; Matters arising
It had been planned to start rehabilitation of cemeteries in Lebanon, Beirut cemeteries and the British Embassy.
Report of the 596th Meeting of the Finance Meeting
Item 3 allowed for increases in pension still payable, under the 1926 Superannuation Scheme.
Item 4 recommended that the contract for Botticino headstones should be extended.
Item 5 concerned the use of computers for wages, pensions and financial control, not for war dead records.
Item 7 concerned the provision of a new 1914-18 memorial, and extension of the 1939-45 memorial in Nunhead (All Saints) Cemetery, Southwark.
Mr Saynor then outlined revised arrangements for staff serving overseas. This included administration, union pressure, Civil Service, Inner London Weighting, income tax liability, overseas allowance, Foreign Service Allowance, details of pensionable pay, existing remuneration, manual and non-manual unions, additional costs, staff savings, scheme costs, benefits.
Mr Robertson asked about administrative cost savings.
Reduced workload and staff.
Answers to Mr Ludbrook's questions included comments about capital city rates and negotiations.
Mr Lever asked about superannuation benefits, treatment for UK and overseas retirements.
Admiral Sir David Williams informed of continuing consultation with non-manual staff; long service awards would be produced in an impressive format.
Request for Repatriation of Italian War Graves from Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel
Mention that the Italian War Graves Commission would not pursue the request to repatriate Italian War Graves from Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.
Annual Report of Exhumations and Reinterments: 1983
Note was taken of the 1983 Annual Report of Exhumations and Interments.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Monsieur Jean-Paul van Bellinghen (Belgian Ambassador, London)
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Monsieur Eric Giuily (Director-General, Local Government Department, Ministry of the Interior)
Monsieur Jean-Francois Court (Deputy Director, International Relations Section, Tax Legislation Department, Ministry of Finance)
Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Baron Rudiger von Wechmar (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, London)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
Dottor Amelio Malatesta (Deputy Adviser for Economic and Union Affairs, Ministry of Employment)
Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee:
Mr Christopher Lamb (Minister, Australian Embassy, Bangkok)
Unmaintainable Graves - United Kingdom: Bristol (Brunswick Square) Unitarian Burial Ground
Approval of alternative commemorations for unmaintainable graves in Bristol (Brunswick Square) Unitarian Burial Ground.
Unmaintainable Graves – Yugoslavia: Kuzala Civil Cemetery (Rijeka)
Approval of alternative commemorations for unmaintainable graves in Kuzala Civil Cemetery (Rijeka), Yugoslavia, where a special memorial headstone would be erected in Belgrade War Cemetery.
Organisation of business for Commission Meetings
Mention that the Secretary reported changes to be made to the organisation of business for Commission meetings.
Execution of Documents
Confirmation that documents Part 1 587-589 and Part 2 222-227 were executed and signed.
HRH The Prince of Wales laid a wreath at Dar-es-Salaam War Cemetery, and General Shreyer visited Vimy Memorial.
The Secretary for Defence, the Rt Hon Michael Heseltine visited San Carlos Cemetery and had written to next of kin.
Mr Symons and the Vice-Chairman visited Southern Asia and the Far East. In New Delhi, proposed flood lighting of Kohima War Cemetery and permits for staff visiting Northeast India were discussed.
The Chairman had visited Outer Area sites. Comments included efficient group supervisors, Hong Kong negotiations, the importance of remembrance services, the Japanese surrender on Labuan Island, Australian considerations.
Tours by Head Office officials
The Secretary highlighted the differences between the Commission and the VDK. He had visited Germany and the Netherlands and observed staff at work in winter.
Mr Paton visited the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, and seen drought resistant planting.
Mr Saynor toured East and Central Africa, where no staff were employed directly, maintenance comments, and helpful local officials.
This was the last meeting attended by Mr Steyn.
Mr Lever reported on Canadians expected to visit France and England, to attend the 40th anniversary of Operation 'Overlord'.
The programme of events was due.
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC FRSA (Vice-Chairman of the Commission) in the Chair
Mr E Broadbent CB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr R A Gomme (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Mr A N Lever (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr R H Robertson (Representinq the Hiqh Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Australia)
MR L J W Ludbrook (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
His Excellency The Honourable S J Marais Steyn DMS (Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Brigadier S Nambiar Vr C (Representing the High Commissioner for the Republic of India)
Sir Edward Gardner QC MP
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE
Sir David Muirhead KCMG CVO
Sir Donald Maitland GCMG OBE
Mr Peter Scott BSc FICE, Honorary Consultant Engineer
Professor E A Bell PhD FLS CChem FRSC, Honorary Botanical Adviser
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG, Director-General
Also in attendance:
Mr P R Matthew, Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General
Mr J Saynor JP, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration)
Mr W J Symons OBE, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations)
Mr P H M Swan, Director of External Relations
Mr J B Paton NDH, Director of Horticulture
Mr N B Osborn ARICS, Director of Works
Mr G C Reddie, Legal Adviser and Solicitor
Mr S G Campbell MC, Director of Information and Secretariat
Mr D Kennedy, Director Outer Area
Mr T F Penfold, Chief Finance Officer
Mr S A Walker, Secretariat