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Brussels 1951 | | Brussels 1951

Brussels 1951

Published on 22 Feb. 2011


Held at the Hotel Metropole, September 3-7, 1951




1. Appointment of Scrutineers of voting

2. Annual Report of the Committee

3. Treasurer's Report and Report of the honorary auditor on the Accounts

4. Subscription 1952

4b. Question of the admission of other Associations

5. Directory

a) Report by the Editors and presentation of the first complete copies

b) Method of distributing; Price

c) Full assumption of responsibility by the League.

6. Dictionary. Report by the Editor

7. Code of Practice

8. Children's Holidays

9. Emblem

10. Black List. Full assumption of responsibility by the League.

11. Debtors

12. Film

13. Proposal of MM. Gronholt Pedersen and Hertzberger for an international bibliographical award.

14. Proposal of Finland to make the Conference a biennial instead of an annual function.

15. Proposal of France to require aid from Associations abroad with credit enquiries concerning non-members.

16. Proposal of Gt. Britain for an international trade passport.

17. Proposal of Gt. Britain that the annual accounts should be supplied six weeks before the Conference (This entails alteration of the Rules).

18. Proposal of Gt. Britain that each association be supplied with only once copy of the minutes of each annual Conference.

19. Election of President. Retirement of one member of the Committee.

20. Date and venue of next Conference.

21. Other business: Bank Payments. Committee of Honour, etc.


Monday, 3rd September 1951, afternoon.


The session was opened at 15.15 hrs. under the Presidency of Mr. P. H. Muir.

The President of the Belgian Association made a speech of welcome, to which the President of the League responded.


N° 1 - Nomination of Scrutineers. Two scrutineers for verification of the voting were appointed: MM. Besson (France) and Otto (USA)


N° 2 - Annual Report of the Committee. The Annual Report, distributed beforehand, being taken as read was received and adopted. A special vote of thanks to the Executive Committee for the work it had undertaken during the year was carried with acclamation.


N° 3 - Treasurer's Report and Report of the Honorary Auditors on the Accounts. Mr. Cappelen was appointed a Scrutineer for the accounts in the absence of Mr. Ronnel and he had acted with Mr. Jorma. They had examined the Treasurer's Statement. Mr. Cappelen was of the opinion that in future a Balance Sheet should be presented. Discussion followed, and the opinion of the Conference was that although the Treasurer's Report was altogether excellent it was thought that in future years a Balance Sheet would be advantageous. The accounts were passed and a special vote of thanks was passed to the Treasurer.


N° 18 - Proposition of Great Britain that each Association should receive only one copy of the minutes of each annual Conference. After an exchange of views, Mr. Poursin expressed the point of view of the Committee, which was also the point of view of the French Association - verbatim report of the discussions. But it is in agreement with the abandonment of this publication, in view of the lack of interest manifested by some, the high cost (about 100,000 French francs for printing alone) and the considerable labour that must be assumed by MM. Muir and Poursin (about 200 hours of work each).

It was decided to appoint a commission charged with the preparation of Minutes after each session, Minutes which should be read and adopted at the following meeting; the original minutes of the discussions to remain in the Archives, at the disposal of the National Associations.

Project adopted. - Miss Myers, MM. Massey, Gomme, de Nobele, Blancheteau were nominated for the editing of the Minutes.


N° 4 - Subscriptions for 1952. The rate of subscription for 1952 is maintained as before, despite a request for a reduction by Sweden.


N° 4 b - Question of the admission of other Associations. The President read an application for membership for the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association. The German Observer retired whilst a secret ballot was taken. This resulted in the German Association being elected by fourteen votes to one. The German Observer was informed and welcomed by the President amid applause. Mr. Domizlaff expressed appreciation.

On the suggestion of Mr. Poursin was agreed that other countries be approached with a view to joining the League. Argentine, Brazil and other countries named in this connection.


N° 5 - Diretory (Report by the Editors and presentation of advance copies in complete form). Method of distribution. Price. Assumption of responsibility by the League. Unanimous congratulations addressed to MM. Muir and Poursin, for the excellent realization of their considerable task.

After the report of the Editors, the session was suspended so that each country might give a definite and firm order for the number of copies for which it would subscribe.

France 300

Gt. Britain 200

USA 150

Holland   61

Belgium 60

Italy 60

Switzerland 60

Denmark 35

Germany 20

Finland 15

Norway 15

Sweden 14

Austria 10

Grand Total, 1000 copies subscribed of a total of 1500 copies.

The sale price was subsequently fixed, also the price of advertisements. Full price, 2,500 French francs, discount 50% for personal copies for members of affiliated associations.

The Assembly voted the acceptance of responsibility by the League for any errors or omissions that may be contained in the Directory.


N° 7 - Code of Practice. Mr. Kundig expressed his ideas for a Code of Practice. Duplicated copies of his suggestions were in the hands of Delegates. It was decided that these should be considered by each National Association and their views transmitted to the special Commission that had been appointed for the purpose of reporting to the Executive Committee.

The opening session of the Conference then terminated.


Tuesday, 4th September 1951


N° 4b - New Member. The President referred to the election of the German Association and the amount of its subscription. Mr. Domizlaff agreed that the rate for his Association should be Swiss Francs 600 per annum for their present membership.


N° 6 - Dictionary. Mr. Hertzberger, the originator, reported progress. 1,500 words had been sent to each Association for translation, etc. He hoped to be in a position to send copy to printer early in 1952 with a view to submitting the finished work at the next Conference. A special vote of thanks was passed to Mr. Hertzberger.


N° 8 - Children's Holidays. The future of the League would benefit by these international exchanges. The President urged upon delegates the vital need to grasp the spirit and utility of these contacts.


N° 9 - Emblem. The President hoped that all those entitled to its use would employ the emblem as widely as possible in correspondence and by display on their premises.


N° 10 - List of Commercial Information. Assumption of Responsibility by the League. Widespread exchange of views on the publication and diffusion of this list.

Long and excellent resumé of the situation in America by Mr. Gomme. Mr. Kundig recommends distribution of copies to all Presidents of National Associations. 

Each National Association, in the person of its President, shall be entrusted with the distribution of this to its members, in the most appropriate form possible.

The proposition of Mr. Poursin concerning the assumption of responsibility by the League was approved as follows:

"The League shall cover any individual risk that may eventually be incurred by members of its executive organization in the establishment and despatch of the lists of commercial information.

The League shall also participate, in its own name, in any legal action which might be undertaken against any National Association in the transmission of such a list, provided that the transmission shall have been effected in conformity with the indication of the League."


N° 11 - Debtors. The President said how successful the League had been in collecting overdue accounts, and he gave several examples. The following method of procedure was approved.

a) Member to supply his association with full details of his complaint.

b) National Association to transmit details to League

c) National Association to give undertaking that a commission of 5% will be paid to the League on any accounts it collects.


N° 15 - Proposal of France to require aid from Associations abroad with credit enquires concerning non-members. The proposal of the French Association was unanimously approved. The procedure will be:

1) The complainant shall furnish details of his complaint to the President of his National Association, who shall transmit them to the President of the League.

2) The President of the League shall request information from President of the National Association to which the complaint is directed.

3) The reply shall be communicated to the President of the Association whence the complaint originates by the President of the National Association making the enquiries by way of the President of the League.

The President reported that a resumé of the previous Session was not ready. The difficulties were explained and accepted.


Thursday, 6th September 1951


The report of the Sub-Committee entrusted with the editing of the Minutes, explaining the need to postpone the editing until after the close of the Conference was adopted. Their resumé should be prepared in the month following the receipt of the verbatim stenographic report.


N° 7 - Code of Practice. It was decided to confide the work of preparation (based on the text presented by the President of Honour) to a Commission composed, with Mr. Kundig, of MM. Blaizot, Massey, Simonson and a member of the Committee, Mr. Poursin.


N° 14 - Proposal of Finland to make the Conference biennial instead of an annual Conference and N° 20 - Date and venue of next Conference. The Meeting of Presidents had discussed the subjects, and they were divided in their opinions. The President referred to the efforts of some delegations in attending, especially the Americans who had travelled so far to be present. If the Assembly decided to defer the question and hold a Conference next year, the question of a biennial Conference would be placed high on the Agenda next year.

It was then proposed that the proposition of Finland be deferred until the next Conference. This was carried by 13 to 2 votes against, with one abstention. The President informed the Conference that the Swiss Association offered to organize the 1952 Conference at Geneva. It was agreed that the Conference very cordially accepts the invitation of the Swiss Association.

the Swiss Association favored the middle of July as a suitable date for the Conference. Decision as to date was deferred. National Associations were to write to the Swiss Association giving the dates they favored for the Geneva Conference.


N° 12 - Film. The President gave details of the report he had received from Mr. Ganz, whose son is engaged in the film industry. The position had been referred to in the Committee's Report, and Mr. Ganz was making further enquiries. All agreed that the anticipated expenditure would be too high, but a decision on the question was deferred.


N° 13 - Proposal of MM. Gronholt Pedersen and Hertzberger for an international bibliographical award. Mr. Hertzberger explained the proposal in detail. Various questions were raised during the discussion that followed, and it was agreed that the proposal should be returned to the Executive Committee for further investigation and report.


N° 16 - Proposal of Great Britain for an International Trade Passport. A member of the British delegation explained the proposal that Members of National Associations be provided with identity cards in English and French. The proposal was unanimously approved and the Executive Committee was to proceed with the idea.


N° 17 - Proposal of Great Britain that the annual accounts should be supplied six weeks before the Conference. It had been pointed out that if the proposal was adopted an alteration to the Rules would be necessary. Great Britain had not envisaged this when making the proposal, which was withdrawn.


Friday, 7th September 1951


N° 21 - Other business. Bank payments. Mr. Muir explained the request of the French Delegation that bank payments should be made comprehensive. Mr. Blaizot recalled the abuses indulged in by banks and requested general action towards assuming the reduction of bank charges to a minimum and that these should be borne by the person effecting payment. It was adopted that every payor should specify to his bank that all costs relating to payment should be chargeable to himself. A specimen formula could be circulated by the League.


Committee of Honor. Agreed that a Committee of Honour should be elected. The following procedure was adopted. Each Association should forward the proposed names to the French Association who would forward a collective proposal to the League.


Laws against the Export and Import of Books. Some countries have a tax of 30% on the export of books. Other countries have a tax of 15% on the import of books, even when plainly bound.

It is desirable that general action should be undertaken for the removal of these difficulties and of regulations contrary to the free circulation of book. UNESCO is favorable to such action in the execution of the Los Angeles Convention of 1946, by which the signatory countries have pledged themselves to impose no restrictions on the free circulation of books. All countries affiliated to the League are invited to send details relative to this question within the coming fortnight.


International Fund for Children. Miss Myers referred to the Save the Children Fund 1952. Delegates were invited to send books for the sale to take place in London in June 1952. An average of 10 books from each Association would be a great help. £8,000 had been raised for the Fund in 1951 though the sale of works of art given for this purpose.


Mr. Massey suggested that at future Conferences time should be allowed before each session to enable the Presidents to discuss with their delegation the results of the Presidents' meetings. This was agreed.


Miss Myers suggested that the names of newly elected Presidents should be advised by each Association. This was agreed, also that full details of annual Meetings should be forwarded to the President of the League.


N° 19 - Election of President. It was the unanimous wish of the Executive Committee that Mr. P. H. Muir should continue as President for a further year. Many expressions of appreciation and thanks were forthcoming, and a vote of thanks to Mr. Muir proposed by Mr. Kundig was received with acclamation. Mr. Muir returned thanks and referred to Mr. Kundig's work for the League. The President thanked the delegates for the confidence they had placed in him. Mr. Muir was unanimously re-elected President amid applause. In his speech of thanks, he referred to the able support he had received from embers of the Executive Committee, and his recognition thereof.

One member of the Committee was due to retire. Mr. Hertzberger wished to do so, but he was persuaded to continue to serve, with the unanimous approval of all present. Mr. Hertzberger expressed appreciation.

Scrutineers for the accounts were re-appointed.


This concluded the Brussels Conference of 1951, with a special vote of thanks to the Belgian Association for its wonderful organization and hospitality.

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