Newsletter 25 - February 1975
MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE MEETING
Torino: September 24, 1974
Present: The complete Committee: Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing (President), Stanley Crowe (Vice-President), Glen Dawson (Treasurer), Fiammetta Olschki-Witt, Hans Bagger, Mitsuo Nitta, Bob de Graaf (Committee members), as well as Fernand De Nobele and Einar Gronholt Pedersen (Presidents of Honour).
Apologies ware received from Messrs. Georges A. Deny and Dudley Massey.
The meeting was opened by the President at 9.45 a.m. He welcomed those present, and proposed to take up the Agenda prepared for the forthcoming Presidents' meeting and to discuss it point by point.
1. Nomination of scrutineers: This point was of course left to the Presidents' meeting.
2. Approval of the official Report of the General Assembly held in Tokyo, published in Newsletter no. 24: This Report had already been approved by the Committee during its meeting in Stuttgart on January 30, 1974.
3. The Committee's Report on the League's activities since September 1973: This Report was delivered by the President. Mr. de Graaf asked and received permission to read his Report on secretarial matters and on the Newsletter at the Presidents' meeting.
4. Treasurer's Report: The Treasurer, Mr. Dawson and the acting Secretary, Mr. de Graaf, have prepared interim Reports. The Treasurer suggested slightly altered dues and subscriptions for 1975, in which the main feature is a similar subscription of $ 700.- for the four countries represented with two votes (France, Germany, Great Britain and the U.S.A.). A brief discussion followed. All national Presidents will be asked whether they agree with the Treasurer's proposals.
5. Sales management of Dictionary, Glass membership sign, and Directory: The acting Secretary reported on sales. Mr. De Nobele was able to supply definite figures on remaining copies of the Directory: 7 copies on normal paper and 38 copies on Bible-paper. It is suggested to gather the eventual remaining articles in Amsterdam during the Congress of 1975 and put them up for sale.
A discussion on the new Directory followed. Mr. Franco, present as interpreter, offered to establish a list of specialities in English and in French, which offer was gratefully accepted.
6. Travelling expenses and translation costs: The President proposed to discuss this point during the forthcoming Presidents' meeting.
7. Bibliographical Prize: Mr. Deny has reported that only a few applications have been received so far, whereas the deadline (December 31, 1974) is quickly approaching. There followed a short discussion about possible ways to better this state of affairs.
8. Round Table at Brussels: The President has already reported on this point during the Committee meeting in Stuttgart.
9. Congress 1975 in Amsterdam: The Dutch President will be asked to report on the progress of the preparations.
10. Later Meetings and Congresses: There is no invitation for the Presidents' meeting of 1976 as yet. The 1977 Congress will be held in Germany; the 1979 Congress in Switzerland.
11. Preparation of a new Directory: This item had already been discussed when dealing with point 5 of the agenda. A definite decision, notably on the publication date, to be taken next year.
12. Book thefts: A preliminary Report by the Vice-President, Mr. Crowe, was included with the agenda. Mr. Crowe suggested that the British President be requested to comment on this.
13. Confidential list: The President has already reported on this point in Stuttgart and he will do so again at the forthcoming Presidents' meeting.
14. Printing of the revised rules: This has become necessary as article 24 of the rules had been modified. Also, when reprinting the rules previously, part of a sentence had been omitted. Mr. De Nobele suggested that the function of a secretary is established in this point of the rules as well.
15. Election of a new Committee member: The S.L.A.M. has nominated Mr. Pierre Petitot; there are no other candidates.
There being no sundry matters to discuss, the President closed the meeting at 11.45 a.m,
MINUTES OF THE PRESIDENTS' MEETING
Torino: September 24, 1974
Present: The complete Committee: Or. Frieder Kocher-Benzing (President), Stanley Crowe (Vice-President), Glen Dawson (Treasurer), Fiammetta Olschki-Witt, Hans Bagger, Mitsuo Nitta, Bob de Graaf (Committee Members).
Furthermore: Mr. Menno Hertzberger (Father of the League) and Messrs. Fernand De Nobele, Einar Gronholt Pedersen, Florimond Tulkens and Richard S. Wormser (Presidents of Honour).
The following National Presidents: Michael Krieg (Austria), Louis Moorthamers (Belgium), Hans Bagger (Denmark; also member of the Committee), Jean-Jacques Magis (France), Valentin Koerner (Germany), A.K. Russell (Great Britain), Arturo Pregliasco (Italy), U. Sakai (Japan), John Benjamins (Netherlands), Bjorn Ringstrom (Norway) and Per Ronnell (Sweden).
As observers are present: Francois Chamonal and Mr. van der Heijden.
Interpreter: Mr. Edgar Franco.
Apologies were received from Messrs. Georges A. Deny and Dudley Massey (Presidents of Honour), from Mrs. Susan Bach (Brazil), Mr. August Laube Jr. (Switzerland), and Mr. Robert Barry Jr. (U.S.A.).
Proxies were held for Brazil (by the President), for Switzerland (by Mr. Pregliasco) and for the United States (by Mr. Dawson).
No news from Canada and Finland.
The President opened the meeting at 12.00 o'clock. He welcomed all delegates and thanked the Italian Association for its great hospitality.
The Assembly observed a minute's silence in memory of those colleagues who had lately passed away.
1. Nomination of scrutineers: Mr. Chamonal and Mr. van der Heijden are appointed.
2. Approval of the official Report of the General Assembly held in Tokyo, published in Newsletter no. 24: This Report was approved unanimously.
3. The Committee's Report on the League's activities since September 1973: The first part of this Report was read by the President, and there were no comments.
The acting Secretary read the second part of this Report, dealing with secretarial matters and with Newsletters 24 and 25. He commented on costs, contents, and style of the Newsletter. Newsletter 24 had been self supporting. Newsletter 25 will probably be published towards the end of this year.
In the brief discussion which followed Messrs. Crowe, Magis and Tulkens took part. Mr. Crowe would favour sending personal copies instead of distribution via the national associations. Mr. Wormser drew the attention to poor distribution within the U.S.A. and concluded that advertisers are thus being short-changed. The President offered to write to the President of the A.B.A.A. concerning this complaint.
4. Treasurer's Report: The Treasurer gave an interim survey of the Americana ccounts and the acting Secretary of the Dutch accounts. (See separate Reports printed hereafter).
Mr. Hertzberzer is of the opinion that it is possible to get a higher interest than 1 1/2 pet on the Dutch savings-account. The acting Secretary pointed out that it has been the Committee's decision to invest funds in such a way that they can be withdrawn at any moment, which of course influences the rate of interest. There was no further comment on both Reports.
The President then asked the national Presidents to name their subscription for 1975 (See Treasurer's Report on Dues and subscriptions printed hereafter) .
In view of the association's difficult financial position, France would rather stay with its 1974-subscription of $ 523,88 (instead of the proposed $ 700.--). Great Britain is willing to raise its subscription to S 650. - (instead of the proposed $ 700.-). The United States will contribute at last $ 523,88 (instead of the proposed $ 700.-; however during the following session Mr. Dawson, who holds the proxy for the USA, was glad to announce that the U.S.A. is willing to pay the proposed $ 700.--).
All other countries agreed with the Treasurer's proposals. The Treasurer, seconded by the acting Secretary, recommended that when the former will leave office in 1975, all League funds will again be put under one management and in one currency.
5. Sales management of Directory, glass membership sign, and Directory:
The acting Secretary briefly reported on sales of same.
6. Travelling expenses and translation costs: This point was taken up by the President who is of the opinion that all travelling expenses of Committee members be fully refunded, the main argument being that this way of proceeding is more democratic.
In the discussion which followed both Mr. De Nobele and Mr. Magis stressed that the absence of funds cannot be a valid argument as the League still has a considerable capital. The League is neither supposed to act as a kind of banker (Mr De Nobele) not to make a profit on funds put out at interest (Mr. Magis).
There is general agreement that article 29 of the Rules sufficiently answers the various questions on this matter. (The article reads: "The League refunds Committee members practising their profession in Europe for their travelling expenses for Committee Meetings, General Assemblies, or extraordinary missions in Europe. Committee members operating outside Europe are refunded for travelling expenses in proportion to the average cost of the travelling expenses of the Committee members operating in Europe").
Henceforth Committee members can freely declare their travelling expenses if they wish to do so.
At this point the meeting is adjourned.
Torino: September 25,1974
7. Bibliography Prize: The President read a letter from Mr. Deny who reported a rather weak response to his request to send books for consideration by the Jury. In view of the approaching deadline of December 31, 1974, the President urged all national Presidents to try and get the maximum publicity within their respective countries.
Mr. Dawson reported that within the American association there is a strong feeling that an American member should form part of the Jury, at least in an advisory capacity.
Mr. De Nobele is of the opinion that a good working knowledge of French, English and German is much more important than the nationality of a given member of the Jury.
The President feared that the costs of same would be prohibitive in view of the fact that all expenses of Jury members are refunded by the League.
8. Round Table at Brussels: The President has visited this conference in January 1974 and reported on same. For our profession the most important part of the discussions was the matter of Value Added Tax. The E.E.C. aims at a complete harmonisation by 1978. In the present stage it tries to establish a harmonisation of systems. Mr. Louis Moorthamers has gracefully agreed to attend all future meetings on behalf of the League, for which the President thanked him on behalf of all delegates.
Mr. Moorthamers, being given the chair, reported that the CINOA meeting of June 21-22,1974 in Brussels was more or less a repetition of the former Round Table meeting in January. In his view it is very important that the League be represented in order to get its voice heard independently among the vast majority of the art dealers.
Mr. Magis pointed out that it is essential that all associations belonging to the E.E.C. be represented in Brussels. It is equally essential that representatives of associations whose countries belong to the E.E.C. meet occasionally to discuss problems of which their civil servants need not be made aware. Let us not forget that the ultimate political decisions are being made by these very civil servants, in other words by professionals. So far we are still in the stage of consultations, but Soon we shall get to the stage of decisions.
Mr. Crowe and Mr. Russell stated that for V.A.T. books in Great Britain are zero rated, and the British are urging that this should be retained in Britain. and extended to all E.E.C. countries.
9. Congress 1975 in Amsterdam: Mr. John Benjamins, President of the Dutch Association, reported on the progress of preparations for the 1975 Congress in Amsterdam. The Congress will be held from September 14-18, 1975 in Amsterdam, and will be followed by an international Book Fair from September 20-22. A prospectus will be sent to all members of the League by November 1974; deadline for applications for either event is April 1, 1975. Congress contribution will be approximately 285 guilders per person. A booth at the Book Fair can be rented for 1.000,- guilders. Mr. De Nobele exhorted the Dutch Organizing Committee to refuse the application of any person not belonging to our profession, an exception of course being made for close members of their families.
10. Later meetings and congresses: Mr. Valentin Koerner, President of the German Association, confirmed the invitation of the Verband Deutscher Antiquare to hold the 1977 Congress in Germany, viz. in Frankfurt. The President reported that Switzerland had offered to organize a congress in 1979. There are as yet no invitations for the Presidents' meetings of 1976 and 1978.
11. Preparation of a new Directory: Only 95 copies in all of the current Directory are left. The President stressed that the preparation for a new Directory should begin now. Active help from all national associations is absolutely essential. No editor will be held responsible for eventual mistakes, but the sole responsibility will stay with the national organisations which are to supply all data. Mr. Franco has kindly offered to compose a bilingual (English - French) list of booksellers' specialities.
12. Book thefts: Mr. Russell introduced this point on behalf of the A.B.A. After a request of Mr. Crowe it appeared that eight national associations have already taken security measures and appointed a security representative to maintain contact with other national associations. It is suggested that this point, and notably the problem of international contact and coordination, be discussed in Amsterdam in 1975, but the majority of the delegates is of the opinion that the matter is too urgent to wait that long.
At the suggestion of Mr. Magis it is agreed that a meeting of security officers from the different associations be combined with a Committee meeting being held in Paris in February 1975.
Mr. Benjamins informed those present that the Dutch Association has worked out a plan in which the injured party (or his insurance broker) pays for the expenses of circulating information.
Mr. Dawson wished to donate $ 100.- out of the League's funds to the A.B.A. to contribute towards their costs of circulating information. Mr. Russell politely refused such a grant on the grounds that all associations have similar expenses.
13. Confidential list: The President took up this point, and emphasized that the existing lists are much too old to be of any use, and that they did contain a confusing variety of information. He proposed to distinguish between two categories only: a) Criminal people who will never pay at all and: b) Slow payers (to whom a pro-forma invoice should be sent). The President further suggested that each year, on a fixed date, national associations send their lists, which will be put in one alphabetical order in order to be distributed in stencilled form to all national associations. The new annual list would cancel the previous one.
Mr. De Nobele is of the opinion that the matter needs closer study. He would rather distinguish between three or even four categories.
There appeared to be agreement that a system of periodical stencilled lists is the most suitable one.
14. Printing of the revised rules: There is no discussion on this point.
I5. Election of a new Committee member, replacing Mrs. Olschki-Witt: The President thanked Mrs. Olschki-Witt for everything she has done for the League (Applause). Mrs. Olschki thanked the President and the other Committee members in her turn.
After consultation with the delegates, the President proposed to pass on to a secret vote, to be controlled by the two scrutineers.
After the votes have been counted it appears that Mr. Pierre Petitot is elected a Committee member with 16 votes and 2 abstentions.
16. Sundry Matters: Mr. Sakai invited all member of the League to attend the 10th Anniversary Commemoration Antiquarian Book Fair of the A.B.A.J., which will be held in Tokyo from February 6 through February 11,1975.
After a vote of thanks to the Italian association and to Mr. Edgar Franco, the meeting is closed at 12.30 p.m.
SECURITY AND BOOK THEFTS
At the Congress in Tokyo the President of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Great Britain proposed that the League should consider how greater security could be devised to protect booksellers from book-thieves, and also purchasing inadvertently stolen books, particularly as in modern times, stolen books are removed quickly from one country to another. This was considered by the League Committee at its meeting in February in Stuttgart.
The President of the League took advantage of his visit to the London Antiquarian Book Fair in June, to have an informal discussion with the President of the A.B.A. and the Chairman of the Security Committee. Arising from the discussions so far, the Presidents at their meeting in Turin, in September, will be asked to consider the following:
1. That each National Association be urged to set up, where one does not exist already, its own Security Organisation.
2. Each Association to nominate a representative who will deal with security matters so that urgent information may be quickly passed from one country to another.
3. To consider ways and means how this may best be effected (the use of telephone, telex, etc.).
4. To take into account the possible costs and the level of value stolen property should have to warrant urgent circulation.
5. That each Association should circulate periodically cumulative lists and information regarding stolen books.
6. To consider the setting up of a Central Register for the keeping and dissemination of information.
OUTLINE OF CONGRESS
AND BOOK FAIR 1975
In January 1975 national secretaries will be in a position to distribute within their associations the Prospectus covering the 23rd Congress of the ILAB, which Congress will be held from Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 September. The prospectus also gives details of the 6th International Book Fair, Saturday 27 to Monday 29 September.
Both events will be held in the Marriott Hotel (opening shortly), situated at the corner of Leidsbosje and Vondelstraat, Amsterdam.
The Congress will open on Sunday with a reception and close on Thursday with a dinner-dance. There will be receptions by the Municipality of Amsterdam, by that of Haarlern, and at the Museum of the Book in The Hague. The programme includes a trip by river boat (covered) through inland waters.
The Book Fair is planned for a maximum of 90 stands; early application is advisable. Relevant forms will be found in the prospectus.
Costs of taking part in the Congress: f 285,- . A whole stand at the Book Fair will be f 1000, . The organizers can arrange hotel accommodation; a list of hotels, with prices, is given in the prospectus. Arrangements have been made with the firm of Varekamp, Amsterdam to receive (and despatch) goods for the Book Fair. Securicor are in charge of security at
The organizers hope to be able to welcome numerous participants to both Congress and Book Fair.
(chairman, organizing trust)
A.L. van Gendt
(secretary, organizing trust)