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Australian Representative and Secretary of State for Defence’s Representative
Welcome extended to Mr Vincent who was representing the Australian High Commissioner for the first time, and Mr Facer who, in the absence of Mr Blelloch, was representing the Secretary of State for Defence.
Death in Service
Announcement of the Death in Service of Mr M Lippens, a serving member of the Works Staff in Leper for more than ten years.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 558th Meeting
Report that the gardening staff in Lebanon were safe and had resumed working, with headstones in store to replace those damaged in the fighting.
Report that in Libya, visits could not take place, but a British representative had visited all the sites and reported that they were being maintained, although there was evidence of vandalism at Tripoli.
Mention the subject of the threat to Rangoon War Cemetery had been addressed to the Burmese Government.
Update on Annual Estimates of Expenditure 1984/85 and 1985/86
Update and approval of a revised estimate for expenditure during 1984/85, agreement that no further funds should be requested from member governments during 1984/85, and approval of an estimate for expenditure during 1985/86, and that to fund this expenditure and provide for a working balance, member governments should be asked to furnish £13,621,983 in the financial year 1985/86.
Adoption of the Report of the 599th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Update on accommodation in Rome, where the new headquarters for the Commission's Western Mediterranean Area would be in part of the British Embassy's Old Chancery Building at Villa Wolkonsky and the existing Area offices would be sold.
Accommodation in Leper to provide better facilities for mobile horticultural groups.
Proposed War Graves Agreement made with the German Democratic Republic
Discussion of the Proposed War Graves Agreement made with the German Democratic Republic where a final draft war graves agreement with the GDR should be submitted to all member governments for approval before being signed by the British Government.
Membership of Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees by the Indian Government, and the Commission.
Commonwealth - Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Foreign Members
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Monsieur Jacques Viot (French Ambassador, London)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
Generale di Corpo d'Armata MO Ferruccio Brandi (Commissioner-General, Commissariato Generale Onoranze Caduti in Guerra)
Burials and Commemorations
Reference to decision taken at its 558th meeting in September 1984 to continue commemorating locally those war dead in the United Kingdom whose graves were accepted to be unmaintainable, with resolution concerning six instances where alternative local commemoration was now deemed appropriate and one for which, in accordance with earlier decisions relating to the Republic of Ireland, alternative commemoration would be on the Grangegorman Memorial in Dublin.
Update on the erection of historical notices, with comments from Sir Peter Shepheard of his surprise of the failure of some of the stainless-steel notices and feedback from Mr Gomme on his recent visit to Greece where he had seen the notices at Suda Bay and Phaleron.
Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action taken for the execution of the documents contained in the Schedule of Documents executed by or on behalf of the Commission between 1 September and 30 November 1984.
Appointment of Trustee to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme;
Approval of the appointment of Mr Philip John Noakes as a Trustee of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) for a period of three years from 23 January 1985 in succession to Mr Ronald Richard Clothier MBE and expressed its appreciation of the services that Mr Clothier had rendered in that capacity since his appointment in 1982.
Summary of Tours by Commissioners and Head Office Officials
Including a report of the Chairman's visit to Oosterbeek War Cemetery where he attended the ceremony commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem, Sir Donald Maitland's visit to Moshi Cemetery in Tanzania and Lord Wallace's visit to the North Front Cemetery in Gibraltar.
With note of the report of Remembrance ceremonies around the world and the exhibition of the Commission's work at the House of Commons.
Including proposal for a Polish Memorial at Brookwood to be designed by the Commission's architect, and a request for thanks to be conveyed to Hon William Young for the interest he had taken in the Commission's work before he returned to New Zealand.
Message that the Commission recorded its appreciation of the work of its staff in the maintenance of cemeteries and memorials all over the world during 1984 and wished them a happy Christmas season and a successful year in 1985.
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC FRSA (Vice-Chairman of the Commission) in the Chair
Mr R. L. L. Facer (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 A. L. Vincent (Representing the High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Australia)
Air Commodore P Neville OBE AFC RNZAF (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr L. H. Evans (Representing the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Brigadier S Nambiar VrC (Representing the High Commissioner for the Republic of India)
Sir Edward Gardner QC MP
Lord Wallace of Coslany
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
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 Sir Peter Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
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. Reddle (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr S. G. Campbell MC (Director of Information and Secretariat)
Mr G. A. Cheater (Director Outer Area)
Mr M. S. Johnson ACMA (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr B. P. McGee (Secretariat)