RESUMÉ OF THE CONGRESS HELD IN NEW YORK
October 9th – 14th, 1955
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO THE NEW YORK CONGRESS
October 10th, 1th, 12th, 13th and 14th, 1955
The first task of this report will be to offer our thanks to the USA association, of whom we have the pleasure and honour to be the guests.
ILAB. The ABAA had already on several occasions manifested its desire to receive the members of the Congress. The remoteness, the expenses of the long journey for the Congress members, and the unaccustomed and obligatory date of the Congress at New York, all these had rather frightened the Committee. For this reason, the Committee had thought it best to leave the decision at Vienna to the Congress participants themselves; and the latter, by an enthusiastic act of faith, decided that the 1955 Congress would be held at New York.
At the time of drawing this report, we felt well justified in believing that the faith which moves mountains also removes distance, for we were already assured of the presence of a large number of members; let us add that we were the first to rejoice at this course of events.
As both custom and logic dictate, the report of the Committee will be first concerned with the work effected since the Vienna Congress, then with the questions posed for study by the New York Congress, and finally with future plans for the work of the League and its Committee.
The balance sheet speaks for itself. We might, however, be permitted to draw attention to the initiative of the Committee to which our esteemed treasurer has so kindly subscribed in regard to the balance sheet annexed to the present report.
The balance sheet has been drawn up for this year in an altogether more normal and more logical fashion, that is to say, that it runs to the 31st December, 1954. We feel that this step will have the approval of the Congress. It is of course usual for Treasurer’s balance sheet to describe the situation in a Calendar year, that is, from the 1st of January to the 31st December. The inconvenience of preceding balance sheets is plain to see, for as they cover a period which ends abruptly at the beginning of July, they present by this arbitrary choice an incomplete picture, and a distortion of reality.
There was an overlap of one balance sheet on another, both as concerned the receipts, for certain subscriptions were not yet entered, and as concerned the expenses, for those of the Congress at which the balance sheet was to be presented were not yet available and had to be reported in the following year’s balance sheet.
Beginning this year, the balance sheet will thus be drawn up to cover the accounts during one calendar year, that is from the 1st January to 31st December; and, nby way of indispensable supplementary information there will also be first, a statement of accounts between 31st December and the date of the Congress, and secondly, an estimate of the provision of expenses for operations and associated activities in progress.
In the way, the Committee feels that the associations and members of the Congress will be better informed by the new presentation.
The present Treasurer’s report takes into account an estimate of future expenses concerning notably the Dictionary and Directory, and shows that, judging by the amount of the subscriptions placed at its disposal, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, in spite of the modesty of its style of life, is in a rather precarious financial position.
This is a point which should be discussed and indeed remembered, for we are to consider in the course of this meeting the proposition by the Austrian association for the creation of a permanent office. Without wishing to anticipate this discussion, it appears that such an innovation would only be possible at the expense of an increased subscription.
It will be for the Congress itself to consider such an increase, first in the light of the Treasurer’s report, and secondly in relation to the decision which is made on the subject of the Austrian proposition.
In accordance with custom, the balance sheet has been approved by the auditor, Mr. Sinechal, of the Brussels Chamber of Commerce.
Thanks to the work and devotion of Mr. Percy Muir and M. André Poursin, our two honorary presidents, the Committee hope in this month of July, that a copy of the Addendum to the Directory will be presented in October to the members of the Congress.
The presidents of each association, and those members of the Dictionary Committees of each association, know, by their participation in the correction of the proofs, what an immense labour this undertaking has been for the honorary life member of our committee, that is, for the Father of the League, Mr. Menno Hertzberger.
We have reason to believe that a copy of the Dictionary will be ready for presentation to the members of the Congress by Mr. Hertzberger.
IMPORT AND EXPORT CONDITIONS
In May and June, the Committee distributed the brochure concerning import and export conditions.
This brochure has, perhaps, received the approbation of several presidents. At least, the Committee responsible would like to think so. Be that as it may, it is with pleasure that the members of the Congress are informed that the work has received a warm welcome on the part of Unesco and the Directors of the Book department of that international organisation.
It would seem then, that the Committee has no cause to add further comment to an act already accomplished. Perhaps the Presidents might think it worth while to volunteer to the Congress information on the usage to which they have been able to put this tool, placed in their hands by the Committee at, it might be added, their own request at the Vienna Congress.
CONDITIONS OF PUBLIC SALE
The negotiations opened by Vice-President Sawyer with Sotheby’s have so far not resulted in any improvement in the conditions of sale of these auctioneers particularly as concerns the right of return and the period thereof.
It is for the members of the Congress to consider the consequences of this, and to decide what steps to take in the matter.
In France, the time for the right of return has been changed to ten days for foreign buyers, and forty-eight hours for French buyers.
One great difficulty has had to be overcome with regard to this, and that is the quest for large enough premises which would at the same time to be considered worthy to receive the contributions which could be expected from the different foreign dealers to the exhibition in Paris.
Today, the question of premised is solved. It is now for the members of the Congress to consider the precise lines which the exhibition should take.
The chosen premises have been put at the disposal of the League by the Comité des Arts Décoratifs, an official committee, and we have been pleased to take into consideration the suggestions made by the Director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs concerning the organisation, the presentation, the theme, or in a word the real character of our exhibition. The Congress will be asked to give its opinion on this important and delicate question.
The date decided for this exhibition is November, 1956.
PROPOSALS BY THE COMMITTEE
(a) Concerning the opportunity to reconsider the principle of an annual Congress.
A proposal made by the Committee on this point has been the occasion of a certain amount of comment by presidents on the objectivity of the League Committee. If one or two presidents have been surprised that perhaps one of their proposals has been rejected by the Committee, the latter welcome an opportunity to show that their attitude towards certain questions has never been decided except with the primary consideration of the interest and the opportuneness of these questions for the good and the life itself of the League.
It is true that, on several occasions, one at least of our associations has requested that the ILAB Congress be held not annually but every two or three years. The Committee has always received such proposals with reserve and it was happy to see the same attitude taken by the full assembly of the Congress themselves.
Today, it is not an association, but the Committee itself which takes up the question again. By this change of opinion concerning the spacing of the League’s Congresses, the Committee has no wish to give proof of Machiavellism or changeability.
At the time when the proposal was made several years ago, the League was still young, and the Committee considered that it would have been dangerous for the growth and hence the strength, of the League, to so deprive it of the tonic effect and the fillip to the League’s vitality which the Congresses represented.
Today, at the time of our 7th Congress and 9th international meeting, it seems that the League has passed this adolescent period and has acquired full self-consciousness. It has acquired a proper awareness of its vitality and its strength. It is adult. And then again, the questions which go to make up the Agenda do not arise in the course of a year in sufficient number to justify the immense effort of organisation which a congress calls for on the part of the Committee and the country acting as host, nor the effort required on the part of the members of the Congress if they wish to take part at a meeting which may be at a distance which is long and more or less arduous.
For these reasons, the Committee consider that to maintain the institution of an annual Congress might have had the very effect now that its abandonment would have had several years ago. The efficiency itself of the League might be endangered; in all conscience would the participants at a Congress be able to insist on the usefulness and effectiveness of the Congress they had just finished?
The Committee therefore feel justified in recommending an extension of the period between successive Congresses of the League, and it leaves to the members of the Congress the task of deciding the precise rhythm.
It is well to point out that this decision on the part of the full assembly will effect “ipso facto” a modification of Article II of the Articles of the League. This modification may be limited, moreover, in that the year where the Congress is not held, a meeting of the Presidents could be called by the Committee.
Let us mention here that the French association sent the Committee a proposal requesting the reconsideration of the principle of an annual Congress; the Committee had already, several months previously, adopted the same view in the matter.
b) Recommendation to the Presidents to exchange their association reports, and to inform the President of the League of their so doing.
The proposals enumerated as items 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 on the Agenda have been made by the Association indicated. They have of course, the sympathetic consideration of your Committee, which at the same time reserves its attitude thereto for the appropriate moment in debate.
RE-ELECTION OF A THIRD OF THE COMMITTEE
In accordance with Article 18 of the League, two members of the Committee are retiring and re-eligible. They are Mr. E. Aeschlimann, counsellor, and Mr. G. Blaizot, President.
Mr. Aeschlimann has kindly consented to conform with a unanimous wish of his co-members on the Committee and present himself for re-election.
Mr. Blaizot will not be standing, either for the Presidency, or for membership of the Committee. It will be necessary, therefore, to nominate and elect his successor.
At the time of the last vacancy for the post of President (Congress and Geneva) the Committee decided not to make any proposal for this post, but at Geneva, the vice-president too was retiring and did not wish to stand for re-election. Today the situation is rather different for the vie-president is not of the outgoing third, and it is for this reason that the Committee thought it desirable and proper that the vice-president, Mr. Stanley Sawyer, be called upon to succeed to the Presidency.
It will remain to fill the post of vice-president. The Committee submits for the approval of the Congress their nomination of Mr. Tulkens for the vice-presidency and of Mr. Aeschlimann as Treasurer. The Committee also recommends the election of Mr. Hauswedell, president of the German association as counsellor to replace the vacancy which would be left by Mr. Aeschlimann.
The Committee feels that the total effect of these proposals will be in faithful keeping with the essential, and to some extent organic, conception which has from the start been the basis of the organisation of the Committee itself. We cannot do better than to cite here the words spoken by our late president William Kundig, at the Paris Congress in the course of a discussion of the Articles of the League:
“It is in fact correct that the members of the Committee do not represent any particular country, but that they are elected to look after the interests of the League in general, it is no less correct that the Copenhagen Assembly by an inborn wisdom, so chose them that they were in fact able to represent or express the point of view, the state of mind, and the mentality of the different linguistic and economic regions which go to make up the League. So we find that Mr Pederson is in a position to inform the Committee on the point of view of the northern countries, Mr. Hertzberger on that of the Benelux countries, Mr. Muir on that of Great Britain, M. Poursin on that of France, and your President on that of the other countries: Austria, Italy and Switzerland. It is to be hoped that this regional distribution between the members of the Committee will be maintained, always provided that those elected are (if one permits the expression) men of calibre and international spirit.”
Since 1950, the year of the Paris Congress, a new association has been admitted to our League, that of Germany. In proposing President Hauswedell, who has accepted the nomination, for a place on the Committee, we are ensuring, in so doing, the representation of our German-speaking colleagues in the heart of the League Committee. And it might well be added that at the same time we would indeed be electing “a man of calibre and international spirit.”
DATE AND PLACE OF NEXT CONGRESS
The Committee is happy to inform the Congress that it has received from the British Association an invitation for 1956. And it can state too that the ABA will be happy to receive the members of the Congress in that year, 1956 being for them the fiftieth anniversary of their foundation. It would be to err by omission if we did not also inform you that for the same year of 195§, the Committee received a year ago two invitations for our meeting, that of the Dutch association and that of the ABA. Both of these invitations are for anniversaries, that of the Dutch association recalling that it would be the tenth anniversary of the first international meeting, at Amsterdam, for the formation of the ILAB. The president, Menno Hertzberger, Father of the League, being inclined to accept the wish of the ABA, we might well offer our thanks for his paternal gesture of courtesy.
The Committee feels it appropriate to recall the recommendation made in its report at the Geneva Congress. “We think that September is the preferable time for our conferences. The choice of July weighs too heavily on the organisers for the festivities and for the technical work of the League meeting. The time required for the preparation is considerable, and if the Congress is held in July, the work of organisation falls at one of the most heavily loaded periods of the year.”
The report of the Committee being ended, the President would appreciate being allowed to add a few remarks here:
The Committee meets twice in the course of the year, the first time in Paris, January 22nd, in restricted number, and the second in Brussels on June 10th and 11th, in full session. It appears that the funds of the League have been managed without the necessary and useful work having suffered. In fact, the wishes expressed by the Vienna Congress have all been carried out.
It is a last and most pleasant duty for the President to thank here each of the members of the Committee for the devotion, the attention, and the work which each has so generously given. Moreover, the necessary, the indispensable, good relations between the President and vice-president of the Committee have been evident during these last three years in the most true and fertile degree.
The President is therefore happy, once more and finally, to underline the harmony of feeling and the spirit of loyal co-operation which has animated the members of the Committee. It need hardly be said, that among those in the forefront must be counted our two honorary presidents, Percy Muir and Andre Poursin. May each of them find here the expression of gratitude of the outgoing President.
It is my pleasant duty, too, to thank the Presidents of the individual associations, without whom all effective and fruitful work would have been quite illusory. I have noticed that, from year to year, the co-ordination between the President of the League and the different Presidents requires, on the part of these latter, the greatest spirit of co-operation. We know the burdens which the function of President of an association bring to a bookseller. To these must be added the business of his relations with the League Committee. In practice this means the writing of many letters, the reading of reports, verbal proceedings, recommendations of circulars, etc., etc. It is clearly a considerable increase in work, the more so as the President of an association cannot always feel the support, the understanding, let us say the agreement, of all the members of his association, as regards the works of the League.
On this point perhaps, I may be permitted to offer, if not advice, at least good comment: the most effective aid the League can bring to the Presidents so far as their own associations are concerned, is, in fact, the League itself. By that I mean its reports, its publications, its recommendations, in a word all those proofs both material and numerous of its activities and its work, which have as the ultimate aim the furtherance of the interests of the members of the League.
It is, therefore, (and this is the essential point of my comment), by the publication and the distribution of reports, verbal processes, and other communications, sent by the President of the League to the different Presidents that the latter will prove, every day more and more, the beneficial existence and activity of the League. If such a comment by made, it is simply that I have noticed that it is fitting to make it. It is by no means a criticism, but rather an expression of a positive thought.
A final work on the objects of our Congress.
At the threshold of our Articles, Article 2 proclaims that the aim of the League is to co-ordinate all the efforts and ideas for the development of the business of selling old books and the creation of friendly relations between antiquarian booksellers the world over.
It seems, therefore that the proposals put forward by each association for discussion by the full assembly at our Congresses must evoke this preoccupation concerning the development of our business of selling old books. Is it possible that in each of the member countries this business is at the present time so prosperous and under such blue skies that no hint of a problem is revealed in questions concerning it? Is it possible that the expansion of this business is so easy a matter the the different associations find no occasion to hint at possible worries, possible practical questions, which they might have on their minds? It seems clear that, at a period when all the professions are bent on reorganisation, anxious more than ever to please and serve their clientele and most conscious of a sense of growth in productivity, numerous questions, problems and difficulties must be occurring in the minds of booksellers. Is it not a primary concern of the League to resolve these on the international scale?
To end on a rather more cheerful note, it is most agreeable to see that the second half of the aims set out in Article 2, that of “the creation of friendly relations between antiquarian booksellers the world over”, has been perfectly carried out since the first days of the League. What is more, it is an aim which has been pursued to a greater and greater extent as each Congress is held. In fact, to tell the truth, this aim has been so thoroughly and so warmly taken into the hearts of all the members participating in the successive Congresses, that many of the members think, and shall I say, proclaim, that it is the essential end of the Congresses and their justification.
How can I say that I do not agree? The manner, always charming and always varied in which the members of a Congress are received by the different member countries – this I look on with joy; the pleasure of meeting and discovering other, kindred, beings – this I remember long after; the desire, each year renewed, to make new friends, enlarges our confraternity – this I feel as much as each of us. And yet, it seems to me that if of the members of our Congresses brought to each Congress the conviction that vital questions figures on the Agenda, placed there for serious consideration with a view to finding their solution, then these members without losing any of the enthusiasm evoked by the friendly enchantment of our Congress, would be able to proclaim with equal enthusiasm that the League Congresses created “friendly relations between antiquarian booksellers the world over”, and also, from the heart of their friendly atmosphere, contributed effectively to the development, the prosperity, and the prestige of our beloved and worthy profession.
1. Appointment of tellers
2. Report of the Treasurer and statement of accounts
3. Auditor’s report
4. Candidature of Brazil
5. Subscriptions for 1956
6. Directory (Supplement)
8. Import and Export conditions
9. Public Auctions
10. International Exhibition
11. Proposed by the Committee
a) that the congress be held every two years.
b) that Presidents be recommended to exchange their association reports, and to inform the President of the League of their so doing.
12. Proposed by Austria
a) that a Permanent Office be created
b) the perfecting of the system of election of Committee members and Chairman
13. Proposed by France
a) that a question having already been the subject of a vote during a congress should not again be presented until the elapse of four years, unless new facts modifying the question arise, in which case it can be reconsidered by the Committee with a view to a second study at a new Congress.
b) that the French association consider that certain rules of inter-professional courtesy be recalled.
14. Proposed by Germany
a) the exchange of young employees between the different countries
b) that Committee members be only one eligible for re-election (which would limit their term of office to 6 years maximum).
15. Proposed by Italy
Discussion of the communicating between presidents of changes concerning the members of their respective associations.
16. Retirement of two members from the Committee at the end of their term of office
17. Election to fill vacancy on Committee
18. Election of President
19. Election of Vice-President
20. Election of Treasurer
21. Date and place of the next congress.
The Congress was formally opened on Sunday, October 9th by Miss Frances Hamil, President of the ABAA, who warmly welcomed all visitors to America. The principal address was given by Dr. Luther H. Evans, Director-General of UNESCO.
In the absence of the President, Georges Blaizot, the Vice-President, J. E. S. S. Sawyer, presided, and on behalf of all present expressed sadness at the illness of our President that prevented him from attending. A cable expressing sympathy and good wishes for his recovery was sent.
The Vice-President, addressing the first business meeting of the Congress, asked their attention to the Agenda, and reminded those present that all items would be dealt with, even if meetings had to continue for an extra day or longer.
The Committee’s Report gave a full account of the activities of the Committee during the year, and it was most essential that all delegates should give this report their full attention.
The year had seen the completion of the supplement to the Directory, the Dictionary and the issue of the “Regulations of Imports and Exports” concerning all countries affiliated to the League.
It is hoped that during the coming year great efforts will be made to sell and publicise the Directory and Dictionary, so bringing to our League well deserved publicity and profit.
As I conclude this preface to our ninth Congress, which finished a few weeks ago, it must be recorded that the cordiality and friendship prevailing throughout this week among all nations was something to be remembered and cherished.
Amor Librorum nos unit.
Item 1. Nomination of Tellers.
Two tellers – Miss Mary Benjamin and Mr. Kenneth Maggs were appointed.
Item 2. Tresurer’s Report.
Mr. Sawyer called upon the Treasurer, Mr. Tulkens, to present his financial report, which was unanimously adopted.
Item 3. Accountant’s Report.
Appended to the Financial Report.
Item 4. Candidature of Brazil.
Mr. Walter Geyerhahn, representing the Brazilian association, retired from the Assembly while this question was discussed.
The application for membership from the Brazilian association was read, and all Presidents were asked to state their views. By an unanimous vote the Brazilian association was elected a Member of the League.
Mr. Sawyer on behalf of the League formally welcomed Mr. Geyerhahn, who expressed his appreciation.
Item 5. Subscriptions for 1956.
This item was discussed in relation to the proposal of Austria, concerning a Permanent Office, but as it was not possible to take any definite action at the present time it was unanimously agreed to keep the subscriptions for 1956 the same as for 1955.
Item 6. Directory-Supplement.
Our two Presidents of Honour Messrs. Muir and Poursin, sent a report concerning this Supplement which was now ready for distribution. Messrs. Muir and Poursin had been working upon this for more than a year and had met with many difficulties, mostly brought about by international complications. They had persisted in their efforts and the Directory was now ready – early copies being available for inspection. Included with the supplement is a list of firms no longer members, also a list of the Members of the ABLA.
Appreciation and grateful thanks were freely given to these two gentlemen – also to Mr. Tulkens who had undertaken the assembly of the advertisements which amounted to twenty-nine pages – to quote from the compiler’s report “never undertake another Supplement, prepare a new edition, that is easier and more profitable.”
It was resolved that the price of the Supplement would be £1 Sterling, less a discount of 30 per cent to the affiliated associations.
Item 7. Dictionary
Mr. Sawyer, speaking for all the Members of the League, paid warm tribute to the editor Mr. Menno Hertzberger for the completion of this great work – never did so few persons do so much for so many as the compilers of this Dictionary, at their own expense and in their own time. All members are directed to read and note the names of those gentlemen who assisted Mr. Hertzberger, which are detailed in the Preface.
2,000 copies of the Dictionary were ordered to be printed, the price to be as follows: - All Members can purchase the first copy for £1 . 16. 0d. All other copies will be £4 . 6 . 0d. less a discount of 30 per cent. Sold only to the affiliated Associations. The above was unanimously agreed.
Item 8. Import and Export Conditions
The Presidents from Italy, Switzerland, USA and France reported that they had done all they could to assure the widest possible distribution of this important pamphlet (to Ministers of State and Government Offices, State and Public Libraries, etc.). In other countries, where Import and Export restrictions were more or less non-existent, distribution has been confined to the members of the Association. It is sincerely hoped and believed that this pamphlet will bear fruit and that many tiresome restrictions will be removed to the benefit of all those countries concerned.
Item 9. Public Auctions
Mr. Sawyer reported to the Committee that our efforts in this project had had some success in several countries concerning the return of imperfect books, and the stipulated time for the return of such books after the Sale. In Great Britain, Messrs. Sotheby’s had revised their Conditions of Sale, which now included the return of Atlases if found to be imperfect. The position generally, however, was by no means satisfactory as far as the great Auction Houses were concerned, and further efforts would be made to improve the present situation.
Item 10. International Exhibition, 1956
At the Vienna Congress 1954, the French Association offered to organise an Exhibition of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Fine Bindings to be held during 1956. Our President Mr. Blaizot has been in charge of this project, has done an enormous amount of work, and has met with many difficulties. His absence at this conference is greatly felt and it is not possible to give the Presidents concrete proposals, except that the place chosen for the Exhibition is the “Museum of Decorative Arts” at the Louvre, the curator has stipulated that the Exhibits must be of the “Finest” and of “Museum” quality.
A Committee has been formed consisting of Delegates of Beligum, France, Germany, Great-Britain (representing also the USA), Italy and Switzerland. In view of Mr. Blaizot’s retirement it was agreed that a new Chairman of this Sub-Committee be appointed, and that an early meeting be called to discuss all details, including costs, and report to the Committee.
Item 11(a). Proposed by the Committee
That the Congress be held every two years was defeated by 10 votes to 3. The Congress will, therefore, be held every year.
It is most unusual for a proposal by the Executive Committee to be rejected.
Item 11(b). Exchange of Association Reports among the Affiliated Nations.
Agreed unanimously excepting always confidential reports of a purely domestic nature.
Item 12(a). Proposal from Austria. Formation of a Permanent Office for the League.
This proposal was well received and accepted in principle by all, Committee, Presidents and the whole Assembly. At the same time it was realised, that in view of our Financial resources it was not possible to put this most excellent proposal into action. Until such time as resources of the League increased, by the sale of our publications or by gifts (as received recently from the ABA), this proposal which will remain upon the Agenda, will never be fulfilled, the burden as in the past, resting upon the appointed Officers of the League.
Item 12(b). Election of Committee Members.
It was agreed that this proposal should be taken together with the German proposal item 14(b).
Item 13(a). Proposal from France.
That a question having already been the subject of a vote during a Congress should not again be presented until the elapse of four years, unless new facts modifying the questions arise, in which case it can be reconsidered by the Committee with a view to a second study at a new Congress.
The Committee and Presidents having discussed this proposal it was withdrawn by the French President and submitted as a recommendation for the Committee and to all the Associations.
Item 13(b). Rules considering Inter-professional Courtesy.
The Vice-President asked all Presidents to remind their Members constantly of the pamphlet “Compendium of Usages and Customs” published in 1953 and urge them to follow the recommendations contained in it.
Item 14(a). Proposal by Germany concerning the exchange of young employees between different countries.
After general discussion concerning this interesting proposal, a proposal favoured by all delegates but lacking in actual facts or concrete examples, it was decided that each member of the Committee should submit a working plan at the next meeting in January, 1956. This meeting would be a “restricted” one but Members not attending should submit their proposal by post. It was realised that at the present time, although the League could not handle or bear the responsibility of transferring employees from one country to another, its advice and recommendations to the Associations would be greatly appreciated.
Item 14(b). The Election of Committee Members.
The feeling was expressed that the nomination of Members for election to the Committee was not exclusively in the hands of the Committee itself. Without reference to the nominations for this Congress it was suggested that in principle there should be a wider opportunity to submit nominations hen a vacancy occurred on the Committee. Mr. Sawyer pointed out that this would entail a revision of rule 14. A sub-Committee consisting of Messrs. Tulkens, Gomme and Hauswedell was formed with instructions to submit improved drafting of our Rules and they were asked to report to the next Committee in January 1956.
Item 15. Proposal by Italy
Exchange of information among associations. All Presidents agree to exchange among
themselves changes of their Membership and information that would be beneficial to all.
Item 16. Retirement of two Members from the Committee at the end of their term of Office.
Mr. Sawyer announced with deep regret the retirement of our President M. Georges Blaizot from the Committee of the League. Mr. Aeschlimann had agreed to stand for another term of office and was unanimously elected.
Item 17. Election to Fill Vacancy upon Committee.
Dr. Ernst Hauswedell of the German Association was proposed by the Committee and unanimously elected.
Item 18. Election of President
The Vice-President Mr. J. E. S. Sawyer was unanimously elected President.
President of Honour
The President Mr. Sawyer reminded all the Members of the League of the activity of Mr. G. Blaizot during his Presidency, and he proposes to appoint him President of Honour. Mr. P. Chretien, President of the French Association, speaking for Mr. Blaizot, declines this mark of esteem with regret, giving as his refusal some reasons and circumstances to which the assembly can only reluctantly agree.
Item 19. Election of Vice-President
Mr. Sawyer proposed Mr. Fl. Tulkens who was unanimously elected.
Item 20. Election of Treasurer
Mr. Tulkens proposed Mr. Aeschlimann who was unanimously elected. It was agreed that the funds of the League remain in Belgium.
Item 21. Date and place of next Congress
The President called upon Mr. H.R.T.Williams, President of the British Association who replied – “I would like above all, to express our thanks to Mr. Hertzberger who, in a manner of speaking , has yielded his place to us, since the Dutch Association had also issued an invitation to hold the 1956 Congress in Amsterdam. This will make it possible to hold the next Congress in Great Britain, at the same time as we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the ABA. We would like to propose the dates of September 10th-14th, and would be very happy if you accepted our invitations to be present.”
The invitation was accepted with enthusiastic applause, with the President thanking Mr. Williams for his invitation.
Mr. L. Gomme and Dr. A. Frauendorfer expressed thanks to Mr. Sawyer upon his success in conducting the Committee and General Assembly meetings with tact, skill and wisdom.
The agenda being concluded, the President expressed, on behalf of all the nations, his sincere thanks to Miss Hamill, President of the American Association, for hospitality and co-operation in making this Congress one of the most cordial ever held; he thanked the Members of the Committee and Presidents of the National Associations for their understanding and loyalty, without which he would not have been able to succeed, nor deserve the avalanche of congratulations showered upon him.
The President declared the Congress closed.
STATE OF FINANCE TO DATE
As you heard by the Chairman’s report, we complied with a wish expressed at the Vienna Congress, and closed the balance sheet at December 31st, 1954.
At that date we had in cash £843.
I consider it to be my duty to give you some information on the evolution of our treasury from January 1st, 1955.
Beginning from that date I sent to every Chairman an account for his contributions. I have great pleasure to thank them here for the promptness with which they asked their respective Treasurers to pay the amount of such account.
On the whole we received £801.
The secretarial expenses from the first of January to the first of October 1955 amount to £521.
The printing costs of the report on the Vienna Congress amount to £135.
The expenses of Messrs. Poursin, Muir and Tulkens for the preparation of the Supplement to the Directory amount to £221. Travelling expenses amount to £65 this year.
Besides there are other various expenses. To summarize the situation, however, I can state that our assets are now £777.
However, I must draw your serious attention to the fact that very soon we shall have some heavy expenses:
a) the costs of the Supplement to the Directory which according to Mr. Poursin’s estimate will reach about £714.
b) the costs of the Dictionary which, according to Mr. Hertzberger’s valuation will reach about £1071.
Moreover we have to meet the secretarial expenses of the New York Congress.
This means that, notwithstanding the amount of our assets, the expense provisions are very heavy as you can see.
A financial statement is always a dry matter. I apologise for same, but I nevertheless want to express to the Presidents of our Association my sincere thanks for the spirit of collaboration I always found with them.