|Content Note||Topics covered: |
Apologies for absence were reported from Sir Nigel Mobbs, Professor Sir Peter Shepeard, Dame Janet Fookes and Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt
Welcome to His Excellency Mr Richard Smith and Air Chief Marshal Sir Joseph Gilbert
The Chairman reports the death of Mr Gerard Majchrzak
Vice-Chairman of the Commission
The Commission extends General Sir Robert Ford's appointment as Vice-Chairman until 31 March 1993
Minutes of the 583rd Meeting of the Commission and Matters Arising From The Minutes
Circulation of minutes
Heating, cooling and ventilation system at Head Office
Update from Mr Kennedy on the progress of installition of the new air conditioning at Head Office. After an evaluation of the four tenderers, Lorne Stewart of Wokingham has been selected for the project. He has signed a contract for £791,036.32.
Woodgrange Park Cemetery
A Petition has been lodged in the House of Lords outlining the Commission's objections.These objections were based on the need for the Promoter to prove that the development was justified by overriding public necessity. If it goes ahead, provisions will have to be made concerning the war graves.
Venue of June and September Commission Meetings
The Secretary is pleased to report that the New Zealand High Commission has offered facilities for the June meeting, and the Ministry of Defence for the September meeting.
Protection of War Graves - The Test of Overriding Public Necessity Under the Geneva Convensions
Refers to the recent court case of St Martin's, West Drayton. An extension of important church facilities would require the movement of graves, which split the opinion of many. In the following court case, it was put forth that the Geneva Conventions applied equally to those graves in a home country vs abroad. This decision may be helpful in the forthcoming issues arising from the Woodgrange Park Cemetery Bill.
The Commission's Organisation in North Africa
The Secretary states that a review of arrangements for the mainenance of sites in the countries covered by North Africa, it was intended that site responsibilities should be absorbed by Outer Area.
Forecast of Outturn 1990-91
Mr Wilson reports that the forcast of outturn net expenditure to be within 1% of the initial estimate for the financial year 1990-91.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
The Commission approved four appointments and took note of four others
Execution of Documents
The Commission took note of the execution of documents on its behalf
Burials and Commemorations
Unmaintainable Graves in the United KIngdom, Canada and the United States- Alternative Commemoration
The Commission approves the alternative commemoration of eleven war burials
Tours by Commissioners and Head Office Senior Officials
Professor Prance had visited Limbe Botanical Gardens Burial Ground, Cameroon. Work had been carried out to improve the site. Mr Concannon speaks of his visit to Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia. All sites were in good condition. The Secretary speaks of his recent visit to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Sir Derek Day speaks of the high standard of the horticultural and headstone maintenance in St Valery-en-Caux Franco-British War Cemetery. Mr Noakes speaks of his visit to Sri Lanka, India, Singapore and Japan
The Chairman draws attention to a minor incident of vandalism at Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland. The Chairman speaks of the recent visit by the Canadian High Commissioner in London to the Mierlo War Cemetary, The Netherlands.
After the situation with the discovery of the remains of Sgt Ernest Scott, Mr Reddie discusses the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
Any Other Business
Maintenance in Nigeria
Since the 1960s, the Nigerian Government has maintained its own war graves. There has since been a marked deterioration in maintenance standards. The situation requires the intervention by the Commission, as it is responsible for approx. 5,000 commemorations there.
The Fallen - John Garfield
The Secretary shows a donated copy of 'The Fallen'
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Gingell
This will be the last meeting of the Commission that Sir John Gingell would be attending.
His Excellency Mr Rae Killen
The Chairman announces His Excellency Mr Rae Killen is due to retire as the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa.
His Excellency Mr Bryce Harland
The Chairman reports that His Excellency Mr Bryce Harlan'd term of appointment as High Commissioner for New Zealand in London was due to End in May.
Brigadier H M Khanna
The Chairman announces this will be the last meeting of the Commission to be attended by Brigadier Khanna.
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
His Excellency Mr Richard J Smith (High Commissioner for Australia)
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Gingell GBE KCB
Captain Sir Miles Wingate KCVO
Major General Desmond Smith CBE DSO CD
The RT Hon J D Concannon
Sir Derek Day KCMG
Sir Nigel Mobbs DL
Mr J M Stewart (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence in the United Kingdom)
Mr R. G. S. Johnson (Representing the Secretary of State for the Environment in the United Kingdom)
Colonel D B Ells (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Brigadier H. M. Khanna (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Commandor K G Black (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J G Williams (Representing the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Professor G T Prance MA DPhil FLS (Honary Botanical Advisor)
Mr J. Saynor JP, Director-General
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:
Air Chief Marshal Sir Joseph Gilbert KCB CBE
Mr D Kennedy, Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General (Administration)
Mr G.C. Reddie, Legal Adviser and Solicitor
Mr T.F. Penfold, Director of Personnel
Mr A. Coombe, Director of Works
Mr P.J. Noakes BSc MIHort, Director of Horticulture
Mr R D Wilson ACMA, Director of Finance
Mr J.P.D. Gee, Director of Information and Secretariat
Mr G. Campbell-Dykes, Higher Executive Officer (Secretariat)
Miss E Kennedy, Secretariat