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Vienna 1954 | | Vienna 1954

Vienna 1954

Published on 02 March 2011

(Please note that the original report and minutes of this resume were drafted in French. The English version is rather badly translated. N.M.)




August 30-31, September 1-2, 1954




On the threshold of our eighth International reunion, the sixth under the aegis of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, let us first of all express our gratitude to the Austrian Association whose guests this year we have the pleasure and the honor to be.

This report covers, as usual, the work of the Committee during the sixth year of the existence of the League.

Here then, as briefly as possible, is an account of the matters which the Committee have  been dealing with since the Milan Congress.

It will be followed by the proposals sent by the different member associations of the League, which will be put to the vote.




The Treasurer's balance sheet attached to this report, will give all members of the League precise information as to its financial position. It is fitting, nevertheless to make a few remarks on certain items in the balance sheet.

The balance sheet, clearly set out, shows by its every entry the arithmetical result of the administration of an enterprise or an association. Considered separately, these figures have but a limited interest, rather dangerously limited too. The fact is that the real information in a balance sheet, lies in its comparison with the previous year. Let us then examine and compare.


a) administrative expenses and receipts

This part of the Balance sheet shows notable differences from that of 1953.

First in regard to point 2 in Section A, the traveling expenses, which in 1953 amounted to 59.117 Belgian francs, were only 21.301 Belgian francs in 1954. The explanation is simple. At the Geneva Conference the Committee were instructed not only to meet as often as possible, but also to call general meetings with the Association of the country where the meeting was held.

In Milan, the Committee were left free to meet as often as possible but without the Committee  would be called before a general assembly of the inviting Association. In consequence, the Committee met three times at the end of January, at the end of May, in London and in July in Paris. This explains the difference of 38.000 Belgian francs less expenses. We must point out that most of the Committee members did not claim their expenses for the meeting at the end of May in London, where they were kindly invited to the annual dinner of the ABA. Moreover, thanks to spontaneous agreement to an increase in subscription, the total in 1954 rose to 112,162 Belgian francs, that is 14.000 Belgian francs more than 1953. Thus the figure in section A of the balance sheet, which in 1953 appeared as a deficit of 22,041 francs, this year appears as a surplus of 1.360 francs. The Committee must draw the attention of members to the fact that the administrative and secretarial costs of the League are extremely small and that this is because the President and Vice-President both personally bear a large part of these expenses.


b) Expenses and receipts of other activities

The profit of 8.109 francs in this part of the balance sheet is far less than shown in 1953 since this figure rose last year to 55.027 Belgian francs, this fall is easily explained by the fact that for 1952-53 there were a large number of orders for the directory (74.160 Belgian francs), while this year the directory has only realized 4.007 Belgian francs. But there is  reason to believe that sales will increase again when the addendum is issued. This is expected to appear in 1954-55.

In Item 15 the total of the 5% commission for cost of recovering debts is 9.356 Belgian francs. Let us note that this does not take into account a fairly large sum due to us for commissions by certain booksellers who have benefitted by the League's efforts, but who have not always remembered to settle immediately this ridiculously small commission payable for the recovery of debts.


c) Cash account

This practical part of the balance sheet shows clearly the extreme delicacy of our financial position since, in spite of the large reduction in traveling expenses; in spite of the increase of about 11% in subscription, in spite of the sums brought in by other activities, in hand is only 144,388 Belgian Francs, whereas in 1953 it was 143,836 Belgian francs (It must be precised that the net credit balance to July 1st, 1954, should already be cut off the expenses, engaged for the present congress. Also the printing of the Addenda to the Repertory, the Dictionary, the report on import and export conditions represents an "estimate of expenditures" the amount of which is already far in excess of the credit of 144.338 Belgian francs.)


d) Assets

The Figure here is noticeably smaller than in 1953 (153,705 as against 161,796 Belgian Francs). Simply because it provides for the writing down of the Directories in stock, which in 1953 had been shown at cost price 11,169 Belgian francs and which this year were entirely written off and simply noted for accounting, whereas if that had been shown as the last year the figure would have been 10,478 Belgian francs.

To sum up, the situation though at the present stable, is still precarious.




 Our two Presidents of Honour, Percy Muir and Andre Poursin, have given the Committee the benefit of the valuable experience they gained as editors of the Directory 1951-52.

They have taken the trouble to send to the various presidents detailed questionnaires and circulars for the presidents to address to their association.

Some presidents replied methodically, precisely and some even quickly. One association, notwithstanding that it was a good deal concerned with this Addendum, replied rather late and in such a way that a second questionnaire had to be sent. In conclusion and assuming that the last reply will soon be received, we can say that the long preparation work of Messrs. Muir and Poursin is finished and that the addendum will appear in the near future.




In Milan, Menno Hertzberger presented a rough draft of the dictionary of which he hoped to be able to present to you in Vienna, a bound copy. But the important work of correcting the proofs is not yet complete. Mr. Hertzberger will report to the Congress on this matter. The different collaborators in each association have received a complete set (from A - Z) of the proofs of the Dictionary. The Committee must heartily thank our Councillor of Honour, Mr. Hertzberger, for the work he has so valiantly undertaken.




In their report for last year the Committee decided that this matter would be the main object of their work during the year 1953-54.

What follows justifies this promise. During their three meetings the Committee considered the matter at great length, but it was the President's task to find out from the various Presidents the necessary information and the various ways and means recommended by the different associations. A circular was therefore addressed to the Presidents, pointing out that the conditions operating in each country being already known by means of a preliminary circular, sent out in 1953, what it was now essential to know was: -

1. The aspects of these conditions which caused most trouble to members

2. The means which the League was recommended to adopt in approaching the competent authority, in each country, with a view to obtaining some relaxation.

The two questions were distinct:  it appears that the reply was difficult since only four presidents replied. moreover, without replying precisely to the two questions asked. The Italian association showed initiative in asking two well known persons in the USA, for a letter of protest against export conditions in Italy. Now that is a good idea; a dossier is thus being compiled which when it is complete can, with the consent of the President of the Italian Association, be used by the President of the League in an appeal to the competent authority in Italy.

According to the general plan and in view of the absence of replies to the President's questions, the Committee decided to accept that the President's suggestion to send a report on the matter to each association. In the course of our debates during this Congress those presidents who have digested this report must give Committee the names and addresses of the persons concerned in their respective countries, persons to whom this report will be sent by the Committee with a covering letter. Thus the way will be prepared for the question to be brought strongly before the public and the governments. It will be thus possible for conversations to be held, on the one hand, between competent authority and the President of the Associations concerned and the Committee of the League on the other.




a) The right to return and the length of time allowed

The talks begun by the Vice-President, Mr. Sawyer, with Messrs. Sotheby and Co. in London, are going on very satisfactorily. Moreover we recollect the strict application of the principal in auctions, in Belgium. The President of the French Association is discussing with the President of the Chamber of Auctioneers in Paris, the extension of eight days, at present limited to 24 hours. Finally the President of the American Association has informed the Committee that as a result of correspondence exchanged between the President and Mr. Swann, it was permissible to think the Parke Bernett Galleries would print at the beginning of their catalogues, in the conditions of sale, the principle of the right to return. Meanwhile the president has received from Mr. Swann a letter in which he states, that from this moment the Parke-Bernett Galleries accepted in fact the return of volumes not agreeing with their catalogue description. On the strength of this letter the Committee invites the booksellers to let them know of the difficulties which might arise with the right to return, with the Parke-Bernett Galleries.


b) Inquiry made by the president upon the request of ABAA

One association replied that it refused to take part in the question raised. Three did not reply, let us say that this is a total of four abstentions. Six replied with diverse reservations and shades of opinion taking their stand against. three replies were to the contrary.

In accordance with the Association which asked for this enquiry to be made, the Committee think it is not desirable to debate this question.




After the debates concerning this article at the Milan Congress (paragraph 12 agenda Milan), Mr. Olschki asked that a member resigning from his own Association be struck off the list of members of the other associations in the League to which he might belong.

Numerous observations had been made on this subject. The President proposed that the question be studied with a view to coming to a decision in the course of the 1954 Congress.

The Committee had to consider two things: first the law enforced in each country. this point was obviously vital.

The second point to be considered was the respecting of the liberty of opinion and the organization in each association. The two points of view led the Committee to conclude that it was not for the League to impose in its rules and especially in article 7, an obligation which might be contrary to the two above principles. But it seemed that the Committee could suggest or at least recommend to the associations the inclusion in their own rules of an article which placing each Association under the same obligation as the others, would thus give to them all an equality of rights and duties, freely accepted. The text of such an article could be for example: "Every bookseller of foreign nationality, who is a member of our association, must belong to his national association, if such there be. In the event of his resigning or being dismissed form his own Association he is ipso facto expelled from our own Association."

Thus thank to the free acceptance of this article by each association, the League would not have to intervene in the internal affairs of associations as to the problem posed by article 7 of the rules of the League.




It is with great satisfaction that the Committee is able to announce today that all the associations have now designated one or two persons from their countries as members of the Committee of Honour.





Better than anyone else. the President of the League must know the difficulties of recovering payment between booksellers and even between booksellers and collectors in different countries The figure given in the balance sheet singled out as being of special interest, giving as it does the total of the 5 % commissions retained by the League for the recovery of difficult debts - gives sufficient proof of the frequency and importance of these proceedings. The Committee believes that the attention of Presidents should be drawn to this fact. Prevention is better than a cure. To prevent in this case, is to inform. With a view to this, the Committee sent a circular to the Presidents asking them to notify, at certain dates the names of booksellers or clients. who they consider should be placed on the confidential list. To our knowledge, only one association, and why not name it? the French Association, seems to have grasped the importance and advantage of this. This is the only Association to have sent this information to all the Presidents by the date fixed. The Committee are well aware that such an exchange of information is most valuable to booksellers and that is why they particularly insist now that the Associations should benefit their own members and those belonging to the League bv regularlv spreading information about bad payers.




At the time of the Milan Congress the Committee expressed the wish that the various Associations should organize exhibitions with a view to manifesting "BOOKS" first to the public, which is already too often solicited by Ideal Home Exhibitions and such like; and secondly, for the benefit of Governments which are also too inclined to give their attention and support to industrial products, which, however advantageous they may be, are never evidence of true civilisation, which is genuinely based on intellect and culture -thus we have "BOOKS".

It is with satisfaction that the Committee have recorded during 1953-54 some remarkable exhibitions of antiquarian and modern books in Paris, Hamburg and Amsterdam.

To-day the Committee propose that, with the consent and co-operation of the different Associations an International exhibition of antiquarian and modern books be organized. An invitation has been received from the French Association for this exhibition to be held in Paris. It would be desirable, in order to avoid much repetition, for each Association to contribute essentially those examples of the art of the book in its own country throughout the centuries.




Items 11, 12 and 13, on the agenda have been submitted by Switzerland, Austria and France.




By virtue of article 18 of the rules, two members whose term of office has expired, are eligible for re-election. These are the Vice-President, Mr. J.E.S. Sawyer and Mr. Gronholt Pedersen. Both have been good enough to stand for re-election at the unanimous request of their colleagues on the Committee.




Whatever may be decided the Committee must remind members of the decision made at Geneva that those attending the Congress should bear part of the expenses of the festivities.




That is the end of the Committee's report and the beginning of the President's acknowledgments to the Committee.

This is not merely the banal accomplishment of a former custom. It sometimes happens and it is precisely the case here when such customs fully satisfy the one who is conforming to them, because they give him the opportunity to express quite simply and sincerely what he thinks and feels. It is  then for the President of the League a pleasant duty to take this opportunity of thanking the Committee as a whole and considered as a moral entity or rather as a team of which he has the honour to be the head. Each member of the Committee has always responded loyally and with alacrity to the President's call. Your Presidents of honour, Messrs. Percy Muir and André Poursin, at the head of this team, are invariably at my side faithful and assiduously attentive. You know from the report the special task they have undertaken and it is certainly more complicated than one can imagine. They are the wise ones of the Committee, sages with youthful and zealous minds. Our honorary councillor, to whom I like to give the deferential title "Father of the League", Mr. Menno Hertzberger holds out valiantly against the flood of proofs under which a less courageous or less able man might be submerged but that does not prevent him from invigorating our meetings by his enterprising energy. Vice-President, Mr. J.E.S. Sawyer, forceful and courageous has always been the President's right hand. Our Treasurer, Mr. Tulkens, has always fulfilled his thankless but invaluable task with the speed and cheerfulness with which we are all familiar. Finally our Committee members, Messrs. Gronholt Pedersen, Gomme and Aeschlimann, have brought to our debates and undertakings their diligent assistance, their valuable spirit of intelligent co-operation. In according to the members of the Committee an expression of thanks friendly, warm and deeply felt, the President is only anticipating the thanks of all the members of the League.




1. Nomination of Scrutineers.

2. Treasurers Report and Balance Sheet.

3. Auditors Report.

4. Subscriptions for 1955.

5. Directory.

6. Dictionary.

6a. Confidential List.

7. Conditions of Import and Export.

8. Auctions.

9. Article 7 of the Rules.

10. Proposal of Executive Committee:- An International Exhibition.

1 1. Proposal from Switzerland:- That it would be of interest to hold a Conference of a cultural nature during the course of each Congress.

12. Proposals from Austria:-

a) Creation of a bibliographical centre for Antiquarian Booksellers.

b) Establishment of a centre for information on the Antiquarian Book Trade.

13. Proposal from France:- Proposed addendum to article 8 of the Code of Practice.

"Any bookseller who after a purchase contravenes the stipulation contained in article 3, concerning the rule as to payment immediately after receipt, forfeits the discount allowed by the seller at the time of delivery or dispatch."

14. Two members of the Committee, whose term of office has expired offer themselves for re-election.

15. Date and place of next Congress.

16. Other business.




The President of the League gave the opening speech. He asked those taking part in the Congress to pay particular attention to the items on the agenda; should some questions seem somewhat unprofitable, they should not be uninteresting to discuss because they are useful, and in any case they were put on the agenda at the request of the different associations or the initiative of the Committee. The President then endeavoured to expound the more profound aspects of the League's activities, although each Association must settle its own problems, the same problems taken up by the League Committee and studied in the midst of a Congress may assume a new and broader aspect by passing from a National to an International level. In this way they emerge in all their intricacy and amplitude and their solution becomes more urgent. Moreover, the spirit of the League brings to each Association an impetus, a tonic, which finds an echo in the Associations and thus produces in the course of our Congress a kind of International consciousness which raises our discussions to a wider, stronger and higher level. The President then gave an account of the activities of the Associations and the League during the year 1954. The Committee should be pleased that according to the wish which was expressed at Milan, exhibitions, which were highly successful, were organized by the Dutch, German and French Associations, in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Paris. The friendship which exists between the Associations was clear at the receptions given on the occasion of these exhibitions and also at the ABA Annual Dinner, to which our English friends invited the President and the Committee Members. Encouraged by these facts, the Committee thought that an International Book Exhibition might be organized with the co-operation of all the Associations. This exhibition would be designed to show the prestige of books, and also the deep and friendly unity of all the League Members. In conclusion, the President criticised the pessimism of some people concerning the future of our profession. It is true that there is a general tendency to neglect books, that is no reason for accepting this tendency consoling oneself with the false saying "One must move with the times". No bookseller should thus weakly resign himself to the position. League Members must defend, serve and demonstrate on behalf of books. Let us "Move with the Times" by all means, for we know better than anyone, that books have their place at all times.


Item 1. Nomination of Tellers. - Two tellers, Messrs. Maggs and De Nobe!e were appointed. 


Item 2. Treasurer's Report. - Mr. Tulkens the Treasurer, was asked to present his Financial Report, which was unanimously approved.


Item 3. Accountants Report. - Appended to the Financial Report.


Item 4. Subscriptions for 1955. - The President stressed that although the League's Financial situation is good, the margin of security is very small. It is certain, he said, that should we need to undertake an important publication or to take the initiative in a matter of importance, we should be delayed by monetary considerations, in any case the Committee proposed to keep the contributions for 1955 at the same rate as those of 1954. This was unanimously adopted.


Item 5. Directory. - The President called upon Messrs. Muir and Poursin who have taken on the heavy and delicate task of bringing the Directory up to date. President Muir said that although a method had been carefully prepared to bring about the rapid issuing of the Directory, some disappointments and unforeseen difficulties have held back the expected results. At the last minute, some long awaited replies had arrived, and after a last revision it will be possible to send the text to the printer.

The President thanked Messrs. Muir and Poursin for their work on the Directory.


Item 6. The Dictionary. - The President called upon Mr. Hertzberger. Mr. Hertzberger gave the reasons which had prevented him from finishing the work for the Vienna Congress. He was forced to be away for some months, and not being in Amsterdam no work was accomplished during that time. The distribution of proofs to the Presidents began on May 29th, a number of Associations did not return the corrections quickly, and at the beginning of August, there were still some proofs outstanding. Mr. Hertzberger hoped it would soon be possible to receive the second proof from the printers, this proof would contain all the necessary revisions and corrections. The Dictionary will comprise some 1238 words. It is hoped that the Dictionary will be finished towards the end of 1954. The President thanked Mr. Hertzberger on the part of everyone, for the considerable work accomplished and the yet considerable work which remained.


Item 6a. Confidential List. - It has been decided, after a long debate, that from now on, arising from the decision taken at the Milan Congress, the League Committee will no longer issue a general confidential list. It will in future be the task of all Presidents to send their confidential lists twice a year to all the other Presidents, Members of the League, in November and May. A copy of each of these lists will be sent by the Presidents to the President of the League. The Committee asks that all the necessary rules of prudence and discretion should be used. Messrs. Poursin and Muir stressed the importance of this decision. The responsibility of these lists depends upon each President. It goes without saying that as the list compiled by the League no longer exists, the Committee cannot be held responsible for the lists issued by the Presidents. Nevertheless, according to the principle of responsibility laid down at Brussels, the Committee accepts, in a serious case, to give the League's moral support to any association which might be in difficulties through the issue of a confidential list. The President of the League once again stressed the prudence needed in such matters.


Item 7. Import and Export Conditions. The President presented to the Congress the special report which has been compiled on this important subject. The Committee promised the League Members during the last Congress at Milan that they would focus their efforts, or the greater part of them, on the conditions of Import and Export. With this report the Committee hopes to prove that it has not forgotten its promise. President Wormser spoke for all the delegations when he said how grateful the Members of the League were for this remarkable report.

 From the general discussion which followed it appeared that some changes would be necessary, as modifications are taking place from day to day in the Import and Export conditions of different countries. It was decided that each President should send the final text of the conditions concerning his own country to President Blaizot about October 15th. This being settled the President remarked that this report had not been prepared entirely for the League. In the opinion of the Committee this report is a tool which will be used to influence the Governments or Administrations of each country. To this end the Committee thought that it would be advisable to give this report a more fitting form than that of roneotype. It would be useful to print it, preceding it with an introduction in which the President would give all the necessary specifications on our profession and on the League. After a very open discussion, in which Presidents Aeschlimann, Hauswedell, Hertzberger and Poursin took the main part it was decided:

1. That the report will be printed in the two official languages of the League, English and French.

2. It was understood that the translation into the tongue of each Association would be, if necessary, made by its own effort.

3. This report with an accompanying letter, will be sent to the Ministers or Government Departments indicated by each President.

4. It is understood that all exceptions will be examined by the President in conjunction with the President of each Association.

5. The Presidents, when asked how many copies they would like to receive for their Associations, gave the following numbers.

Belgium - 50; U.5.A - 50; Switzerland - 50 complete reports and 30 partial; Germany - 100 (85 for their members and 15 for other uses); Italy - 70; England - 50 for public distribution, and 300 if it is decided to distribute the report to Association Members; Sweden - 10; Holland - 30; Denmark - 50; Finland - 5; Norway - 10; France - 350.


Item 8. Conditions of Public Sales. - The Committee report concerning the paragraph on the right of return and the time given was unanimously adopted without any remarks. Concerning paragraph B, the President according to the wish of Miss Hamill, President of the ABAA, stressed that the Association which asked for this enquiry, was the ABAA.


Item 9. No. 7 of the League Rules. - The President brought to mind the numerous and heated interventions in the preceding Congresses, and notably so at Milan, about No. 7 of the League Rules. It recalls lively discussions at the Paris Congress, about this same Rule. Therefore the Committee has tried, thus replying to this wish expressed at the Milan Congress, to find a mean of conciliation or synthesis, relating to the problems of Rule No. 7.

He recalled, that despite his efforts, all the plans submitted to the attention of the Presidents, were the object of criticism, founded on the laws, rules and customs of the various countries. Therefore the Committee thought it would not endeavour to modify No. 7 of the Rules, but would ask the Associations to insert in their own Rules an Item, which, freely accepted, would allow the League to be free of intervening in the interior affairs of the Associations, concerning the problem raised by the said Rule No. 7.

After a discussion in which Mr. Gomme (recalling the Home Rule of his Association), President Grant and the Presidents Muir, Poursin, Aeschlimann and Nebehay spoke, agreement was reached on the plan of action proposed by President Nebehay, a plan which met the essential idea expressed by the proposed Item in the Committee Report.

In conclusion the President stated that he would be pleased to receive confirmation from each President that they will have made the necessary modification in their Rules.


Item 10. Proposal by the Committee: an International Exhibition. - This important question has been discussed during the course of two full meetings and also at a debate at the Presidents' meeting. All the Presidents, after explicit discussions, have given their approval to the Committee's Proposal. Following the wish of the English and Swiss Presidents, it is understood that engravings, letters, manuscripts and autographs could be included. The possible date was the Spring of 1956. An organizing Board will be formed, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy and Switzerland were prepared to join this Board. The main aim of the Board will be:

1. To prepare an estimated balance sheet of probable expenses for the Exhibition.

2. To find a reasonable method of distributing these expenses (the expenses incurred by the meeting of the Board will naturally form part of the expenses of the exhibition).

Miss Hamill and Mr. Gomme expressed the friendly regard of the ABAA, for the exhibition, they regretted that distance would not allow them to take part in the Board's work, but they would strive to co-operate in all possible ways. After each of their meetings the Board would have to deliver a report of all their work to the Committee, who would send a report to all the Presidents. It is anticipated that the exhibition will last six weeks and will be held in Paris, in one of the State Palaces. France, the inviting nation for this exhibition, was thanked by President Grant, thanks in which all the other Presidents joined.

The items exhibited are to be for Sale. It will be the task of the Board to study the important question of the Catalogue. It seems that the first task of the Board will be to determine the idea of the exhibition, that is to say, the theme, if there is to be one, the nature of the participation of each country. It was unanimously decided that the exhibition should reflect, or rather express, the national culture of each of the countries, members of the League. It was decided that a Committee of Honour would be formed for the exhibition. In conclusion the President expressed in the name of the Committee who proposed the exhibition the hope that each President would make sure that this first International Exhibition under the auspices of the League should be a manifestation worthy of the Book both old and new, and worthy of the League.


Item 11. Proposal from Switzerland. - Proposal from Switzerland of the advantage of a conference of a cultural nature during the course of each Congress.

Miss Nuriset, Member of the Swiss delegation, brilliantly presented the proposal in the name of her delegation. An interesting discussion issued from this proposal. The main objections were practical, a number of interventions having shown the difficulties of a conference of some three quarters of an hour, which must be translated into English and French, after having been delivered for example in Danish or German. Moreover the conference would surely lose by the very fact of translation, the essential charm of a speech  given in the maternal tongue of the speaker. One would be compelled to allot almost one whole day for such a conference. In these conditions, and despite the President's efforts to draw attention to the advantage of a written if not a spoken lecture, two successive votes having shown a lack of interest, the Swiss proposal was not accepted. But the President, whilst thanking the Swiss delegation, expressed the hope that the proposal might one day be taken up again on a different basis.


Item 12. Austrian Proposal.

(a) The founding of a bibliographical centre for rare books.

(b) The founding of a centre of documentation on rare books.

President Nebehay withdrew this proposal.


Item 13. Proposal from France. - Proposed addendum to Item 8 of the Compendium of Usages and Customs. "Any bookseller who, following a purchase, does not adhere to the stipulation of Item 3 concerning the rule of payment on receipt, loses the right to the discount given by the seller at the time of delivery or of sending."

After judicial discussion aroused by the French proposal, the President invited the French delegation (in face of the remarks made by some Presidents) to reconsider the matter in detail, concerning the time limit and still more the legal objections brought up during the debate.


Item 14. - Two committee Members, having completed their term of office, present themselves for re-election.

The re-election of our Vice-President Sawyer and our Councillor Mr. Gronholdt Pedersen, was put to the vote, and was unanimously adopted.


Item 15. Date and Place of the next Congress. - The next Congress being called upon to elect a new President of the League, it had seemed difficult for the Committee to accept the very friendly invitation of the ABAA for the next Congress. It is to be expected, and indeed to be feared, that taking into account the distance, the cost of the journey, and the date of the Congress at New York, the European delegations will be very limited indeed. It must be said, nevertheless, that the Committee found it very distressing to reply negatively to the very friendly invitation of Miss Hamill, President of the ABAA.

After a long debate in a Presidents Meeting (let us remember that so called Presidents Meetings bring together the Committee Members and the Association Presidents) the Presidents met together after having contacted their respective delegations. At the end of these conferences the general meeting being opened, the Presidents all agreed on the proposal of Mr. Chrétien, the President of the French SLAM., that they were ready to reply favourably enthusiastically to the ABAA's invitation. The League's President warmly thanked Miss Hamill, thanks which everyone greeted with applause. Mr. Hertzberger, speaking for the whole assembly thanked President Georges Blaizot for the work accomplished. The President thanked everyone for their attentive patience, for their collaboration and their applause and wished to transfer the latter to all the Committee Members. The agenda being finished and no one wishing to speak, the President declared the Vienna Congress closed.



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