Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/562
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.562 - September 1985


DescriptionMinutes of the 562nd Meeting of the Commission.
Content NoteTopics covered:

Announcement of the death of Mr Peter Scott on 13th August after almost fourteen years as the Commission's Honorary Consultant Engineer.

The Chairman welcomed Mr Rowsome and Squadron Leader Williamson, each of whom was representing his High Commission at a meeting of the Commission for the first time as the Canadian and New Zealand Representatives; the Chairman also welcomed Mr Roger Dalley who was attending his first Commission meeting as Director of Secretariat; report that the Secretary had written to His Excellency Dr P C Alexander to welcome him as a member of the Commission as Indian High Commissioner; and report that the Secretary had written to Mr Gow the Minister for Housing and Construction and thanked him for his interest and help during his membership of the Commission, with note that it was not yet clear who would succeed Mr Gow on the Commission.

Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 561st Meeting:
Minutes of the 561st Meeting of the Commission were agreed and signed and the following matters arising were noted: update on the Proposed UK-GDR (German Democratic Republic) War Graves agreement, with note that the Secretary had discussed the proposed agreement with the Head of the Consular Department of the GDR Foreign Ministry on his recent visit to Berlin, that the text of the agreement had been provisionally agreed, but that some issues remained regarding the maintenance charges proposed by the GDR;

Appointment of Vice Chairman:
appointment of Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL as Vice- Chairman for a period of three years with effect from 1 April 1986;

Annual Report 1984/85 and Statement of Accounts of the Commission:
approval of the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the Commission for the year ended 31 March 1985;

Report of the 601st Meeting of the Finance Committee:
adoption of the report of the 601st Meeting of the Finance Committee with following points noted: the installation of two microcomputers in the Finance Department; reorganisation of horticultural work in France and North West Europe; and report on the appointment of Mr Henry Mackay as Senior External Relations Officer;

Storm and Winter Damage in Northern Europe:
report on restoration work needed following storm and winter damage in northern France and Belgium, including damage to 150 headstones;

Burials and Commemorations:
approval of the alternative commemoration in the United Kingdom of four war dead and the alternative commemoration in South Africa of eighteen war dead, and update on the recommencement of inspection of 28,000 war dead buried in family plots in the United Kingdom which had previously been designated as not within the Commission’s control, and estimate that the work would be completed within six years;

Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members:
approval of various appointments to Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees, with note that for some of the particular foreign governments concerned it had been agreed that the foreign members, both honorary and official, would from now on be appointed on an ex officio basis, with the Commission only taking note of such appointments rather than approving them;

Tours by Commissioners:
Summary of tours by commissioners, including Lady McFarlane's visit to sites in Israel, including Ramleh, Gaza, Jerusalem War Cemetery and the Protestant Cemetery at Mount Zion, and comment on the plant nursery being developed at Gaza; and of her visit on a personal trip to the Inner Hebrides and sighting of a war grave on the island of Gigha;
Sir David Muirhead's report on his visit to the Western Mediterranean Area office at Rome and to cemeteries and memorials in Southern Italy, with note that the overall standard of maintenance was good, but that there was a need for better signposting in some places;
report on the visit by the Chairman and Sir Donald Maitland to 25 churchyards and cemeteries in the United Kingdom, noting the varying standards encountered and that it was felt that the area was still underprovided with resources;

Diary update, with report of various ceremonies including the visit of the British Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Margaret Thatcher MP, to Heliopolis War Cemetery;

Other Business:
including report on damage to cemeteries in Basra sustained by shelling from Iranians, with one gardener being injured; note of the 250th Anniversary of W.B. Gurney & Sons, the Commission's verbatim reporters, with Mrs Hussey, their reporter present at the meeting, being asked to convey the Commission’s congratulations; and a farewell to Mr John Paton, the Director of Horticulture on his retirement after twenty-eight years of service with the Commission.

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 J. Rowsome (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr A. L. Vincent (Representing the High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Australia)
Squadron Leader P. Williamson (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 Goschen Bt DSO
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE
Sir David Muirhead KCMG CVO
Sir Donald Maitland GCMG OBE
Professor the Baroness McFarlane of Llandaff

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 H. Westland MIPM (Establishment Officer)
Mr P. H. M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr J. B. Paton OBE NDH (Director of Horticulture)
Mr. N. B. Osborn FRICS (Director of Works)
Mr G. C. Reddie (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr M. S. Johnson ACMA (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr R. J. Dalley (Director of Secretariat)
Mr S. J. Benton (Secretariat)
Date19/9/1985 - 19/9/1985
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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