Paris. Sunday, September 27th 1970
Present: Mrs OLSCHKI-WITT, MM. ST. CROWE, GL,. DAWSON, DENY, DE NOBELE, ELTE, HERTZBERGER, NEBEHAY, WORMSER.
After having welcomed the Committee members and before passing to the agenda (Treasurer's proposal to increase the subscriptions), the President recalled that the League had to pay the amount of Swiss Francs 2.263,85 for taxes on excess income for the financial year 1969. It resulted from the enquiry that, when Maitre Hotz had asked for a Profit and Loss Account and a Balance Sheet at December 31st, 1970, to be submitted to him, the Treasurer sent him a simple financial statement drawn up by an accountant, in which future expenses were not considered, and in which reserves were not provided for future expenses, in particular for the Bibliographical prize, the cost of which is now known to us. These costs should be spread over three years, since this prize is awarded every three years. Maitre Hotz clearly indicated to the League tax liability of the order of Swiss Francs 200 to 300 and the amount to be paid was an unpleasant surprise for everybody.
The President stated that in his opinion the deficit for 1970 would amount to $ 2,500. at least, since all income anticipated had been received and since advertisements in Newsletter No. 21 remained the only source of income for the present year. He therefore thought that it was a bad moment for proposing an increase in subscriptions if this only involved further tax liability. He reminded his colleagues that he had supported the change of rule in Copenhagen permitting the unlimited re-election of the Treasurer, if this should be in the interest of the League; in fact the Treasurer should come from the most stable and liberal country in the economic and fiscal spheres and should only deal with the investment of funds and the settlement of expenses. On the other hand, the person responsible for book-keeping should be a Swiss national or at least someone very well informed of the fiscal legislation of this country where the League paid its taxes.
M. Dawson submitted a new proposal on the increase of the subscriptions, but since this differed from that on the agenda for the Presidents' Meeting, he was advised that only the one mentioned on the agenda could be discussed.
Substitute for Mr. Howard Nixon. - Mr. Nixon having retired after nine years work on the jury for the triennial bibliographical prize, suggested as his substitute. his colleague, Mr. JULIAN ROBERTS, also of the British Museum. In order to show our gratitude to Mr. Nixon, it was decided firstly to send him a cordial letter of thanks; secondly to invite him to attend the farewell dinner at the London Congress, 1971; and finally, if M. Gronholt-Pedersen is able to find the die of the medal cast for the League some twenty years ago, a gold medal would be struck and handed over to him during the London Congress.
A letter of thanks would be sent to Mr. Geoffrey Steele for his long and beneficial service on the Committee. At the same time, it was decided, so as not to offend the susceptibilities of past, pre- sent or future members of the committee, and not to create a precedent, not to make gifts to retiring members.
The case of Mr. Heitz, bookseller in Strasbourg for two generations, member of the S.L.A.M. and 80 years of age, who recently settled in Basel, was mentioned by Madame Reymond, for, contrary to Article 7 of the Rules, Mr. Heitz had failed to ask for admission to the S.L.A.C.E.S. (Switzerland). This question would be discussed by the National Presidents. The President mentioned another similar case; a bookseller, 83 years old, of German nationality, trading in France, was a member of the German association but not of the S.L.A.M. He thought that the age of these people should be taken into consideration. Mr. Dawson suggested that the League might pay the subscriptions so as to ensure that the Rules were observed.
Mr. Crowe had asked for details of the origin of Article 7. It was explained to him with details about circumstances and causes that this Article had been incorporated into the Rules of the League at an early stage.
Mr. Hertzberger proposed that item 6 of the agenda for the Presidents' Meeting should be discussed (Training courses for young booksellers). The President informed him that he wished to discuss this in the Assembly. (A summary of this appears in the Minutes of the Assembly).
The meeting closed at 17-45.
(1) N. B. In the discussion concerning the gold medal of the League, having been given the assurance that no Rule had been established governing the award of this medal, the committee adopted the following Resolution:
That the gold medal of the League may be awarded to any person who has rendered outstanding services to the League, on the decision of the Committee.
Cerc!e de la Librairie, Paris, September 28th & 29th, 1970.
The President welcomed everyone and requested that a moment silence be observed in memory of those of our colleagues who had passed away, remembering particularly our late President of Honour, Andre Poursin, whose constant and dedicated support of the work of the Committee bore witness to the faith he had in the League from its inception in Amsterdam until the moment when all strength ebbed from him.
Mrs F. Olschki-Witt, Mrs E. Reymond. MM. Auvermann, Crowe, Glen Dawson, Deny, De Nobele, Elte Massey, Gronholt-Pedersen, Porter, Pregliasco, Salloch, Schroers, Tulkens, Van Gendt, Worrnser.
Austria & Finland were represented.
1. Appointment of scrutineers. (There will not be occasion to vote).
2. Minutes of the General Assembly, Copenhagen, September, 1969, published in Newsletter N° 20, were approved unanimously without comment.
3. Before submitting the Committee's Report, the President gave notice that he had received apologies for absence from MM. Bagger (Denmark), Michael Krieg (Austria), Lunge Larsen (Norway), Ivor Teikko (Finland), Anson Cartwright (Canada), together with those of the Japanese & Swedish Associations who were unable to attend this Meeting or send a delegate.
Committee's report, given by the President.
Thirteen months ago we were gathered in greater numbers in Copenhagen, and with this in mind, it is with regret that I am obliged to present to you apologies from President Bagger, who is unable to be with us on this occasion; fortunately we have with us, the President of Honour, our friend Einar Gronholt-Pedersen.
At that time, I informed you that we had all - I was speaking of the members of the Committee - been concerned in various activities on behalf of the League without anything spectacular to report. What was true in Copenhagen for the first thirteen months' work of the Committee elected in 1968, is also true for the twelve months which have followed.
However, every day brings its task. After the Congress, we had to prepare and have printed Newsletter N° 20, and to publish the RULES and the USAGES AND CUSTOMS as adopted in the General Assembly.
Our League is at last registered in Geneva and its registration has been published in the Feuille Officielle Suisse du Commerce dated January 30th, 1970. Emerging from our informal existence has proved an expensive procedure and your Treasurer and myself will report on this later.
A Committee Meeting had been envisaged for February in Brussels but at that time, there were no matters of importance requiring a Meeting. The Jury for the Bibliographical Prize was convened as usual; the training courses for the young, as you will hear later, were and still are somewhat lost in a thick fog; the proposed Fair in Paris proved impossible, and at that time we lacked details of the Exhibition to be held in Lausanne. Therefore, to avoid useless expense and loss of time, your President did not consider it desirable to convene the Committee.
The President of the S.L.A.M. has, I believe, written to explain to you why the Antiquarian Book Fair, to which you had been invited by his predecessor, could not be organised in Paris. Following the riots of May, 1968, severe measures were taken by the Minister of Finance, measures which were absolutely paralysing in their effect and behind which civil servants took refuge and entrenched themselves none wishing or able to take the least initiative in respect of the organisation of such an event, of which, on the one hand they did not understand the interest, and on the other its lack of great importance would not allow the constant attendance of a Customs Officer and a Tax Officer for the control of possible sales, the T.V.A. (Added Value Tax) creating an unforeseen case, that is the sale of goods in France by a foreign trader without taxable profits. I will add that a more powerful organisation than the S.L.A.M., the municipality of Nice, has not been able to solve this problem and only books for exhibition and not for immediate sale, were able to be shown in the « JOURNEES DU LIVRE », at Nice. Moreover the President of the S.L.A.M. sent a forcible letter to the authorities.
Since the Fair in Paris could not take place, I believed it a good idea to participate in the art S.I.L.A.B. (International Exhibition of Art Books and Books for Bibliophiles) which will take place in Lausanne at the end of next January. You will remember that Mrs. Raymond spoke to us of this project in Copenhagen and eventually, through the intermediary of the Swiss Association I received from the organisers of this Exhibition, somewhat tardily, a letter inviting me to be a member of their Sponsoring Committee. In this respect I replied “yes” but on the express condition that the League would be able to participate effectively, which was accepted, and those responsible considered that, a part from the publicity, the participation of members of the League would highlight their Exhibition.
The first S.I.L.A.B. was held in Paris several years ago and old books were not then represented. Modern books for Bibliophiles were those only presented by publishers, and we, as booksellers. did not participate in any way.
Paris is too big a city and the mistakes made there will not be repeated - or at least I hope not. Your members are therefore all invited to take part in the S.I.L.A.B. This is the first time that we have been offered an opportunity to exhibit in Switzerland and to show our wares to the Bibliophiles of this country and that is why after my visit to Lausanne and a meeting with the Director of the Palais Beaulieu and his Deputy, I accepted their invitation.
I have been told that $ 300 for a showcase is expensive. I note, however, that the fee for the London Fair is the same. We will consider relevant details under Item 9 on the Agenda.
Little news has been received from the various Associations. It has been said that those who are content say but little. So much the better for them. I have been anxious to publish a list of the members of the young Canadian Association whose admission was accepted in September last. I received this list but without any indication of specialities for which I wrote immediately, and which have only just reached me from their Secretary, who deplores that his own President omitted to answer his query!
It was and still is our intention to publish in a Newsletter, the Import and Export Regulations, and the Tax and Customs procedures, to which old and modern books are subject in the countries affiliated to the League. This is a work of consequence which has once already been accomplished under the presidency of M. Blaizot. This Tract, “printed less for the use of the members than for that of the responsible authorities to whom it will be distributed free of charge”, which contained a bitterly ironic preface, did not alas succeed in penetrating the thick protective shell of the Administration, is practically speaking no longer of any value since the regulations are constantly changing. On the other hand, the co-ordination of fiscal systems and of the agreements concluded under the auspices of U.N.E.S.C.O. being just a faint hope, we hesitate to start a survey when some Associations, in particular those affiliated to the Common Market, are subject to laws and decrees in the course of modification or adaptation, and duties subject to variation.
For example, and to take only one example that I know very well, it would be as well for everyone to know that imports into France cannot be paid for in advance; that the value declared to the customs must be exactly the same as that on the invoice, failing which the importer - if the amount indicated is less than the actual value - cannot pay the total of the amount he owes. Doubtless, similar problems exist in other countries; in order to get over them, we first need to have knowledge of them and we will keep you informed.
A few words now on the Congress of the International Association of Bibliophiles. All those of us who took part remember it with satisfaction. It was held in Vienna, in the autumn of 1969. May I remind you that our League is represented by its President who, ipso facto, is a member of the Board of Directors of this Association. First-class lectures, illustrated with slides, were delivered by erudite bibliophiles or librarians and we might take note of this and remember that some of our colleagues have wished that similar talks on subjects of interest to our profession could be given on the occasions of our Meetings.
I leave it to the organisers of future Congresses to consider this proposition which is not a new one. Lectures could be organised and delivered in any language, provided that they are accompanied by abundant visual documentation and that a short typed translation in the two official languages be distributed to the audience.
One more word to ask your indulgence for errors committed either in the contents or in the translation of the texts. Perfection is difficult to attain in this respect especially when the mother tongue of the “bilingual secretary” is a third language. I am as much responsible as anyone for these errors by the fact that I should supervise everything. However, since I have not always the time or opportunity to check all letters or texts to be published errors may slip in without being rectified.
Before passing to the Financial Statement, I wish to draw to your attention that the terms of office of the President, the Vice- President and two Committee Members will expire next year, and that not all of them can be re-elected. Mr. Elte who is at the end of his second term as Vice-President, cannot be re-elected to this office. The others are still eligible for the same office. I remind you, also, that the candidates you are invited to propose for election have to fulfil the following requirements
1° Be a national of a country which is not already represented on the new committee. (Art. 22).
2° To be proposed or approved by the Association to which they belong.
Finally, retiring candidates may stand for re-election to their office or such other office as may be available, under Art. 23 of the Rules.
Various points which have been touched on in this Report will re-occur under other items on the Agenda.
4. Treasurer's Report. - Summary : We have been obliged to meet unexpected taxes, (see the Minutes of the Committee Meeting of September 27th, 1970). There had been evident errors, by Maitre Hotz who had submitted to the Swiss authorities a financial statement whereas he had asked for a Balance Sheet and a Profit and Loss Account; by the Treasurer of the League who had followed the directions of his predecessor, who never paid taxes since the League was not registered officially; and by the accountant who did not produce the Accounts requested. In short, since the Revenue never pays back money, the following Resolutions were taken to mollify the consequence of these errors.
1° Mr. Nebehay to confer by telephone with Maitre Hotz,
2° To submit a revised statement taking into account amounts in reserve due at the 31st 12. 1970 and not yet paid as well as the reserves for anticipated expenses in respect of the Bibliographical prize which amount is spread over three years.
3° To endeavour to obtain either a refund, or at least, a credit against future taxes.
4° Inform Maitre Hotz that, in future, he should not pay any amount without the consent of the Treasurer.
5° To prepare at the beginning of a year, a budget of income and expenses.
The President pointed out that we are a non-profit-making concern and that the money of which we dispose is there to be spent and not to be hoarded; nevertheless, he would not like to be accused, when relinquishing the Presidency, of having wasted the League's Funds. On the other hand, he was anxious that if it should prove necessary to draw upon the League's reserves, that new funds should be supplied as soon as possible in order to maintain the reserves at a constant level.
5. The Treasurer submitted his proposal for the increase of subscriptions, which was modified to conform to that on the Agenda, the President pointing out that any variation would be out of order, i. e. “No subscription to be less than $ 50. and a minimum of $ 500. for the countries having two votes.”
- Austria increased its subscription from $ 85. to $ 100. subject to confirmation.
- Great Britain from $ 400. to $ 500.
- The United States from $ 500. to$ 600. subject to confirmation.
The other Associations did not make an immediate decision (Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland) but maintained their subscriptions at the same level (Belgium and France); Denmark's decision would be taken later; Brazil, Canada, Finland, Japan, Norway, and Sweden were not represented; and although proxies were given by Austria (to Mrs. Reymond), and by Finland (to Mr. De Nobele), no decision was made on their behalf. A letter will be sent to their Presidents at the end of the year asking for their position.
6. Training courses for young booksellers.
The President pointed out that this item appeared regularly on the Agenda for all our Meetings; that it had made no progress, which did not help those it was concerned to assist and declared that, even if he was clear on what it was necessary to teach, he felt incapable of putting such instruction into practice in the form envisaged.
He recalled that a Committee had been set up of which he himself was a member, and that it had not done anything but put forward impractical suggestions. He admitted with some cowardice that he had suggested to the Committee that this was a Hertzberger proposition, an enormously generous proposition but too difficult to achieve without a local Committee, and since the instigator of this project was Dutch, and since the first attempt had been made on the occasion of the Amsterdam Fair, the best thing to do would be to charge the Dutch Association to continue an investigation into the creation of these Courses in relationship to the possibilities and resources of that Country, in CO-OPERATION with Mr. Hertzberger. The President continued:
“Your Committee and the Dutch Association were agreed, but for reasons which we do not want to go into here, the above co-operation proved to be impossible and we remain at the same stage. Personally I abandon all hope of seeing the day when these Courses will be initiated. For how do you propose to bring together once a year, for only eight or ten days, young people from various countries and therefore of various languages with teachers speaking different languages who, in any case, we have not found in sufficient quantity. I have read somewhere that one of the reasons for our failure was that we did not include the German language. I would agree, but why not Danish, Dutch or even Japanese? It is already difficult to have somebody speak in a language other than his mother- tongue, and a bad speaker could neither make himself understood nor hold the attention of his audience.
You will agree in recognising that our profession is more difficult and more complex than that of the New Bookseller. I read in a document that in Germany the courses organised at the professional School of Bookselling last for three years, with eight hours per week for a period of 39 weeks, i. e. an annual total of 312 hours.
Training courses for Booksellers assistants in France :
1. For booksellers assistants first year about 150 hours; second year 170 hours. Total: 320 hours.
2. In order to obtain a professional Booksellers Diploma; about 300 hours during two years.
This total of hours includes subjects which do not seem to be of particular interest to us but which should nevertheless not be disregarded, such as the study of printing processes, engraving, sales psychology, advertising, book-keeping, business administration, economics of book selling. etc.
In short I do not see how it would be possible to give instruction in the various subjects necessary to our young people other than by correspondence.
Even if a teacher volunteered to teach for one month there would still be the problem of holidays, absence, accommodation, other teachers and the costs involved for such a long period.
I do not forget that the suggestion was made of publishing a manual calculated to produce the perfect booksellers' assistant. Let us keep it in mind.
Here is the latest suggestion that my modest intellectual capacity and my limited imagination allow me to put forward :
- Correspondence courses, roneo produced. - Translated into all the languages in which they are required (Translations should be charged to requiring associations.)
Subjects of the courses : following a scheme already established which has general approval and which can be extended.
The young people could meet annually or at regular intervals, or possibly on the occasion of an Exhibition, Fair, etc., when they could discuss among themselves and raise questions with teachers on the courses that they had been following during the year.
The expense of postal tuition should be less than that involving travelling expenses, food and lodging for teachers and pupils during ten days each year at one place or other which would have to be changed from time to time and which might entail other difficulties.
If the resources of the League should prove too limited to bear the cost of providing a worthwhile training for your children or for your young employees, then this would be the occasion to justify an appeal for supplementary subscriptions. But we have not yet arrived at this point.”
This proposal was welcomed both by Mr. Hertzberger and the President of the Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren and will be given consideration. A proposal was also made of presenting a copy of the Dictionary to each pupil, including the Japanese, if copies are still available with the translation in Japanese. Mr. Hertzberger is to be consulted.
7. Triennial Bibliographical Prize
The announcement of the second Bibliographical Prize at San Francisco having been the subject of some criticism and also the presentation of the prize at Brussels which, in the view of some people, lacked suitable publicity, the Committee decided to hold on this occasion a cocktail party in the large hall of the Cercle de la Librairie in Paris, and sent out about one hundred invitations beginning with the prize winners Mr. and Mrs. Hellinga, joint authors of the work “The Fifteenth Century Printing Types of the Low Countries”, and to Professor Koeman for his bibliography : “Atlantes neerlandici”, to the members of the jury (Mr. Nixon was unable to attend and M. de La Fontaine-Vervey was prevented from coming at the last moment), and to a variety of personalities, librarians, members of the Cercle de la Librairie, Officers and Presidents of Honour of the S.L.A.M., specialist booksellers and friends, and, of course, to all Presidents and Committee members who had come to Paris, not forgetting the Publishers of the prize-winning works.
Mr. De Garter, Director of the Dutch Institute in Paris, graced with his presence this ceremony held in honour of his fellow countrymen and gave a short and amiable speech after Mr. De Nobele had given an historical account of the Bibliographical Prize founded by the League following a proposition of Dutch origin, and had presented this third prize to the prize winners who were warmly applauded by more than seventy people. The prize-winning works were on display and copies of these books are to be shown at the Lausanne Exhibition to be held under the auspices of the League.
8. London Congress, I97I :
Mr. G. Porter, President of the A.B.A. outlined the programme for the Congress which would begin on Sunday, September 19th, and end on Friday, September 24th, with a Farewell Banquet at the Savoy. A visit to Chatsworth has been arranged and other entertainment.
This Congress will be followed by an International Antiquarian Book Fair in which members of the Associations affiliated to the League are invited to take part. (Cost of a Stand: £ 125.) It will be held from September 27th to 29th, at the Europa Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London, W1, where also the working Sessions of the Congress will take place. Exhibitors will be able to prepare their Stands on Sunday September 19th. A complete and final programme will later be sent to all Presidents, together with a list of hotels, with prices. The participation fee for the Congress will be £ 21. or ($ 50.) each person.
The organising committee is composed of :
Mr. Thomas Crowe (Chairman), Miss Winifred Myers, Messrs. E. Dring (Quaritch), Clifford Maggs (Maggs Bros.), K. Russell (Francis Edwards), Stanley Crowe (League Observer).
Ex officio ; George Porter (President of the A.B.A.), Anthony Rota (Vice-President), Dudley Massey (Treasurer), and Martin Hamlyn (Peter Murray Hill Ltd), who is also Chairman of the Fair Committee.
9. Exhibition at Lausanne
The President stated that since it had been impossible to organise a Fair in Paris. he had been induced to accept an invitation from the organisers of the “Second International Exhibition of Art Books and Books for Bibliophiles” (by the intermediary of the Swiss Association - S.L.A.C.E.S.).
40 showcases are available in the finest hall in the building reserved for this event; the organisers are anxious to make our participation the highlight of the Exhibition.
Place : Palais de Beaulieu, Lausanne. Date: January 30th to February 7th, 1971.
Swiss Booksellers and a multi-lingual hostess in constant attendance.
No duties payable either at the Swiss frontier or on sales made.
It is unfortunate that this Exhibition begins at the time when the Stuttgart Fair closes. However, it has been pointed out that :
I. This coincidence allows visitors to Stuttgart to continue subsequently to Lausanne.
2. The Stuttgart Fair is not open to all booksellers.
3· Exhibitors can prepare their showcases, which, if necessary, can be looked after in their absence, and they can return to Lausanne for the closing of the Exhibition. (Should occasion arise, it would be possible to give them a ring in the mountains, the telephone works much better in Switzerland than in France.)
The President regretted that not more booksellers seemed to be interested, although this is the first opportunity we have had to appear among the Swiss Bibliophiles and Collectors. The success or failure of this venture must inevitably influence League sponsorship of similar events in the future. Contact should be maintained with the Management of the Palais de Beaulieu through Mrs. Reymond.
10. New York Fair, I971 :
The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America has invited booksellers affiliated to the League to take part in the Second Antiquarian Book Fair which will be held in New York from April 1st to April 4th, 1971. At the date of August, 15th, 1970, only ten Stands were still available. Visitors welcome.
For further information contact the President of your Association or the secretariat of the A.B.A.A. Shop 2 Concourse, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. 100.20.
11. Congress of the I.L.A.B. I973 :
It is anticipated that this Congress will be held in Tokyo; our Japanese colleagues who were unable to attend the Paris meeting will confirm their invitation during the London Congress in September next.
Japanese hotels and the Japanese Air Lines have already offered their services; a member of the Committee will be appointed in due course to obtain special rates for groups according to the numbers taking part.
12. Presidents Meeting, 1972 :
While unable to commit himself, Mr. Nebehay thought that his Association would like to welcome the Presidents' Meeting in Vienna, in 1972.
While thanking Mr. Nebehay, M. De Nobele pointed out that it is desirable, even for a Presidents' Meeting, that a contribution towards the costs may be requested by the Association extending the invitation so that the latter should not be called upon to bear the expense.
13. Newsletter N° 2I :
This will be issued as soon as possible; the President indicated that the cost of printing these Newsletters could in part be met by the sale of advertising space and invited all Presidents to ask their members and others interested in our trade (Insurance Companies, Packers, Air Transport, ete.) to advertise in our Newsletter. He pointed out. that this publicity is the only source of income which the League could hope to receive this year. (Rate: $100 per page and $ 50 per half page with a 25 % reduction for booksellers affiliated to the League.
14. Reprints and Copyright
After having outlined the situation in which he and his colleague, M. Bellanger of Nantes, found themselves (M. BelIanger, a bookseller at Nantes, and M. De Nobele are summoned to appear before the Criminal Court, for each having imported three copies of a book reprinted by offset in the United States without the author's permission, and which had been ordered from the Publisher's catalogue) M. F. De Nobele proposed that, while waiting for a change to be made in Legislation and International Agreements with a view towards unifying the laws and agreements in force at the present time (D. S. Copyright and the Berne Convention), a letter be addressed by each Association to Publishers specialising in Reprints in their own country warning them of the risks they run themselves and the dangers they cause third parties by reprinting works not yet out of copyright. It is of first importance that booksellers ordering books of this kind should have the formal assurance that it is not a case of what in French law is termed piracy. What shall be done?
Mr. DAWSON (U. S. A.) suggested that a notice should be included in the forthcoming Newsletter.
Mr. NEBEHAY (Austria) suggested that, pending a better solution, in order to protect ourselves it should be made clear that an order for a reprint is placed on the understanding that this reprint has the approval of the author or those persons who have such right.
Mrs. REYMOND (Switzerland) was of the opinion that the main trouble lay with the Publishers themselves who did not take steps to protect their publications, either by ignorance or by failing to register works to be protected.
Here followed a discussion which passed beyond the limits of the Antiquarian Book Trade.
Mr. KIEFFER (France) quoted three similar recent cases (from the same publisher!) and stated that the Syndicat des Editeurs had on the Agenda for their next meeting a review of the International Convention concerning literary and artistic property.
The President stressed that it was clear that reprints were a matter of some importance to our trade. Indeed it is the antiquarian bookseller who is most concerned with the reprints with which 255 specialist Publishers swamp the international market. Actually it is not the small bookseller nor the large bookseller of new books and paperbacks who has these books on his shelves, which for the greater part are erudite works now rare and almost unobtainable, and which today are being reprinted. It is we who know best all the titles much in demand and we are most interested to have them in stock and available for our customers. Besides, these reprints will probably one day be second-hand books and thus become undoubtedly a part of our stock-in-trade. But a second-hand copy of a “pirated edition” still remains “pirated”.
Mr. SALLOCH (U. S. A., President of the A.B.A.A.), expressed his disapproval, as did his colleague, Mr. R. Wormser (U.S.A., President of Honour of the League), of the methods pursued by Mr. B. Franklin, a member of his Association, and will lay before his Committee details of the international difficulties produced in consequence. The members of his Committee being mostly more familiar with the second-hand book trade were not always very conscious of the magnitude of the irregularity. He added that Mr. B. Franklin is now on his guard, that in future he will pay special attention to the works he is proposing to reprint, and that he has made a proposal to M. Carre, (The payment of $ 1,000. which M. Carre has refused). Mr. B. Franklin, in order to prove his good intentions, submitted to Mr. Salloch a proof of his next catalogue in which he proposes to indicate the French works protected by French copyright law and which may not be imported into France.
The President replied that the import of pirated editions was forbidden not only in France, but in all countries adhering to the Berne Convention, and that the attitude of Mr. B. Franklin was inadmissible. Moreover if the owner of the copyright had fulfilled the conditions required for the protection of his works with the Library of Congress, Mr. B. Franklin would have been subject to American law (which differs from the Berne Convention in the length of time protection is afforded to copyright).
In conclusion the verdict of the Court will indicate the course of action necessary to be taken in order to protect booksellers ordering in good faith works published without the authority of authors or the owners of the copyright (Since the Meeting, M. F. De Nobele has appeared before the Central Criminal Court, in Paris. Although it was allowed that there were extenuating circumstances, he was nevertheless fined and ordered to pay, together with the American publisher, compensation in the sum of F. 20.000 to L. Carre. An appeal has been lodged by M. De Nobele,)
15. MR. PREGLlASCO (President of the Italian Association) had written to the Committee : “Speaking personally, I would be very much in favour of moral and financial support being given by the League to those responsible for the continuance of the Gesamt-Katalog der Wiegendrucke either by the Triennial Prize for Bibliography or in some other form.” The President pointed out that the jury for the Bibliographical Prize had decided that publications - even if they were of the highest interest - could complete only if they were the personal work of an author and not subject to remuneration. In consequence any bibliographical work commissioned by an Institution and subject to remuneration could not compete; thus a body such as the one responsible for the publication of the Gesamt-Katalog could not be candidate for the prize.
MR. DENY protested against Article 9 of the Usages and Customs which states “when books are being despatched risks of transport are the responsibility of the sender, who should cover himself by insurance if the thinks fit. The cost of insurance should be debited to the recipient of the book” arguing that some clients did not want registered parcels, that the insurance conditions are not always acceptable and that there are occasions when it is not possible to insure.
Mr. De Nobele replied giving him the address of an Insurance Company in Belgium; he then recalled this procedure of insuring on despatch is an Anglo-Saxon idea to which Continental countries were not accustomed but which he personally had found much more logical and provided infinitely greater protection for the bookseller than the formula “goods travel at the risk of the recipient”. In point of fact, he has never known a customer pay for goods that he has not received and he asked Mr. Deny if he was prepared to sue somebody, i. e. institute international proceedings if a customer refused to pay for books he had not received.
Mr. Deny proceeded to raise a question of law. He stated “as soon as there is a purchase order (in other words on the receipt of the order) the book becomes the property of the purchaser. It is then up to the new proprietor to take possession of his goods or ask that they may be despatched by any means that he desires. It is up to him to ask for shipment by air or by sea, registered or not, and to ask for insurance, if required. As soon as they leave the shop they are his goods which travel and he is responsible for them. In law ownership of something begins, with the advantages and the risks involved, on the signing of an agreement to purchase....”
The President replied that he did not look at the question from this angle. However, where we are concerned, the Antiquarian Book Trade, the customer does not know if the books he has ordered are available or not. Moreover if such a legal concept was held it would be necessary to seek the customer's wishes on each shipment. Once again would Mr. Deny be inclined to take proceedings in respect of a book of medium value that a customer had not or pretended not to have received, sent unregistered and without proof of despatch?
Mrs. Reymond pointed out that there are contradictions between the Usages and Customs of certain Associations and those of the League, for example the S.L.A.M. retains the old formula “shipment at the risk and peril of the addressee”, but publishes as an appendix to its rules the Usages and Customs of the League, which it states as having been adopted but which are as contradictory as the notices appearing in some French booksellers catalogues “Sale and despatch according to the rules established by the S.L.A.M. and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.”
The controversy tending to persist the President proposed that this question should be reconsidered and stated that it would be included in the Agenda for the next General Assembly in the hope the discussion would be less time-consuming in London than now. Item 15 being the last on the Agenda, the Second Session of the President's meeting closed at 11.30.a.m.
Tuesday, September 29, 1970
After the Presidents' Meeting, a short Committee Meeting was held in order to define various decisions arising from the discussions in the General Assembly.
Item 4 : Treasurer's Report. The necessity was confirmed that M. Nebehay and M. Glen Dawson should contact Maitre Hotz. Maitre Hotz would be asked to specify the exact period of the fiscal year in Switzerland.
Item 5 : Subscriptions for 1971. A letter would be sent to all the National Associations informing them that several Associations had agreed voluntarily to increase their subscriptions following the General Assembly in Paris, September, 1970, but that no decisions were made in respect of those Associations not present although represented by proxy. An appeal would be made to them at the time Newsletter 21, containing the Minutes of the Meeting, is distributed.
Item 6 : Training Courses For Young Booksellers. It is most important that M. Hertzberger and M. Van Ghent should join forces and examine this project anew. The President was of the opinion that taking into account the programme accepted in principle, Courses should be worked out in sufficient number to ensure their regular distribution during at least one year.
Item 7 : Bibliographical Prize. Nothing to be added other than that the preparation should now commence for the Fourth Bibliographical Prize.
Item 8 : Congress and Fair, London, 1971. The following requests were made to M. Stanley Crowe: I) That M. Howard Nixon should be invited to the Farewell Dinner. 11) To ensure that the entertainment did not encroach on the working-time of the Congress. 3) That non-exhibitors should not be admitted to the Fair before the Official Opening. Ideally, no business should be permitted prior to the Official Opening.
M. Crewe stated that it would be possible for 90-100 booksellers to exhibit at the Fair. There would probably be a small office available for the League.
Item 9 : Exhibition and Fail', Lausanne, end of January, 1971. About twenty showcases had been taken. It would be possible to reduce the number of showcases so that none should be empty.
Item 10 : New York Book Fair, April, 1971. An announcement would be published in Newsletter 21.
There were no comments on the other items discussed during the General Assembly.
M. Gronholt Pedersen stated that the year 1971 would be a special year for books with exhibitions of new books in most parts of the world. The organisers are Danish and the promoter is M. Kirkegaard. Antiquarian booksellers would be able to participate. Details of such participation would be agreed by M. De Nobele who would meet M. Kirkegaard as soon as possible.
The Meeting closed at 12. 15.
INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS AND FAIR
London, September, 1971.
The 21st International Congress of the I.L.A.B. will be held in London from September 19-24, 1971. It will be followed on September 27-29, 1971, by an International Antiquarian Book Fair - the fourth to be held under the auspices of the LL.A.B.
It is with great pleasure and modest pride that the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, as organisers, announce the holding of this important double event in the I.L.A.B. calendar in the British capital, and warmly invite participations in Congress and Fair, The venue for both functions is the Europa Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London, W.1. An interesting programme of events and entertainments is bring drawn up for the Congress, and arrangements for the Faire are likewise already well advanced.
The Presidents of all national member organisations of the LL.A.B. will have received supplies of combined booking forms for distribution to their members, covering Congress, Fair, and hotel accommodation, Any member wishing to attend the Congress or Fair or both should obtain a form from his national President and return it, as directed on the form, as soon as possible. A large block of hotel accommodation has been provisionally reserved by the Grand Metropolitan Hotel group. This covers the Europa and four other hotels of varying price ranges, all centrally situated. Intending participants are strongly recommended to book through the Grand Metropolitan organisation.