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Apologies for absence were reported from Sir Nigel Mobbs, Professor O'Neill and Professor Prance
Welcome to Mr Roger Dalley, who suceeded Mr Neil Osborn, and also Mrs Carole Kirby
The Chairman congradulates Miss Elspeth Kennedy on her promotion to Higher Executive Officer, Secretariat.
Honours and Awards
Her Magesty the Queen has appointed The Viscount Ridley a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Minutes of the 588th Meeting of the Commission and Matters Arising From The Minutes
Circulation of minutes
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) Amendment of Trust Deed
The Secretary reports that the Trust Deed has been modified.
Woodgrange Park Cemetery
Mr Reddie states that the House of Lords Select Committee had approved the Bill authroising the housing development but without the crematorium.
The 75th Anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Mr Concannon wishes to record the members' appreciation to those members of staff who had organised the events to commemorate the Commission's 75th anniversary.
Review by the British Ministry of Defence
The Secretary discusses the Ministry of Defence review, and how it relates to the Commission. He states that in the past, members of the Commission were not involved until the report was made available. There would be ample oppertunity for members to consider the report and decide how to respond to it.
If members, collectively or individually, wanted more or different information, they need only ask and if they wished to look into particular aspects, either at Head Office or overseas, they would be given every facility to do so.
Mr Rooks states that it was of considerable help to the Ministry of Defence to know there was no objection to the review team interviewing members of the Commission.
Dame Janet Fookes states that the Ministry of Defence wished to have the right to contact the member governments, on the basis that each had the right to conduct its own individual review. Mr Rooks assures members that there was no question of reviewing the existanc of the Commission.
Brigadier Malik explains that it was necessary for all governments to ensure that the policies of the Commission were in line with those of the respective governments.
Forcast of Outturn
Mr Penfold discusses the forcast of outturn for 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Maintenance in Nigeria
The Secretary discusses the situation in Nigeria. He states that he believes the best way forward would be for the Commission to take control of the cemeteries in NIgeria, giving the Commission control and allow it to employ its own staff there.
South African Rebellion Graves - Reclassification as War Graves
The Secretary states that the responsibility for deciding who was entitled to war grave status rested with the respective government of the casualties concerned. Although notoriginally classified as war graves, the 132 graves who died on the government side were to be reclassified by the South African government.
Proposed Monument at Ben M'sik European Cemetery, Casablanca, Morroco
The Secretary states that is an example of the type of unexpected problem which faced the Commission. The Commissioners discuss which memorial would be best for the cemetery.
The Meeting of the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee in May 1992
The Chairman states that the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee had met in England over three days. The events in England centred around a meeting in Maidenhead, where members apoke appreciatively of the Commission's work in Italy.
Execution of Documents
The Commission took note of the execution of documents on its behalf
Burials and Commemorations
The Commission approved the alternative commemoration of 10 war burials.
Annual Report of Exhumations and Reinterments, 1991
The Commission took note
Tours by Commissioners and Head Office Senior Officials
Sir Peter Shepeard peaks of his visit to Normandy, and of the excellent standards of maintenance there.
The Chairman references the visits of a number of the Royal Family to a number of cemeteries. He also speaks of the presentation of the Remembrance rose at the Chelsea Flower Show, and of the vandalism at Manor Park Cemetery.
Jewish Graves in Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel
The Secretary discusses how best to deal with this request. The Secretary states that such a request may lead to similar requests being made, and would weaken the Commission's stand against any proliferation of non-Commission makers in cemeteries. Mr Concannon urges caution in what could be a sensitive issue. The Secretary will write a draft reply.
Privately Owned Cemeteries in Edinburgh
Mr Reddie discusses the recent acquisition of six cemeteries by a private company and the possible disturbance of some 1,00 war graves by development. The legal system regulating burial grounds in Scotland is entirely different than that in England. The Commission will pledge support to the Edinburgh City Council, who will oppose this plan.
The Secretary explains that any unauthorised expenditure will be financed from the Commission's existing financial provision.
Mr Godfry Williams
The Chairman announces that this will be the last meeting to be attended by Mr Williams.
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
His Excellency Mr Richard J Smith (High Commissiner for Australia)
The RT Hon J D Concannon
Dame Janet Fookes DBE MP
Sir Derek Day KCMG
Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt GCB LVO
Air Chief Marshal Sir Joseph Gilbert KCB CBE
The Viscount Ridley AO
Mr R G S Rooks (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)
Brigadier B S Malik AVSM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Commodore J G Leonard RNZN (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J G Williams (Representing the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Professor Sir Peter Shepeard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA, Honorary Artistic Advisor
Mr J. Saynor JP, Director-General
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:
Mr T F Penfold, Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General (Administration)
Mr R J Dalley, Assitant Secretary, Deputy Director-General (Operations)
Mr G.C. Reddie, Legal Adviser and Solicitor
Mr D R Parker, Director of Personnel
Mr A Coombe, Director of Works
Mr J.P.D. Gee, Director of Information and Secretariat
Mr D C Parker, Director of Horticulture
Mr T V Reeves, Director of Finance
Miss E Kennedy, Higher Executive Officer, Secretariat
Mrs C Kirby, Secretatiat