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Journal of
Calendar Reform


















































































































Reports of Affiliates and Committees of The World Calendar Association, International, presented at the Ninth Annual Meeting 16 January 1956, reflect the world-wide interest in and need for calendar reform. Published highlights (JCR Vol. 25, Dec. 1955 - Jan. 1956) for the UNITED KINGDOM:

The British Section, which held five full meetings of its committee during the last twelve months, and a similar number of meeting among its Honorary Officers, has maintained the work of the Buckingham Street office, dealing with a large number of enquiries and routine matters, such as the dispatch of literature to individuals,organizations and the press. As the European Office since the summer of last year, there has also been a continuous flow of correspondence with individual Affiliates and other contacts abroad. The Honorary Secretary has conducted his own work for the Association form his chambers in the Temple, but either he or the Assistant Secretary made a point of visiting the office daily to deal with the current work. The Honorary Secretary paid three extensive visits abroad on World Calendar matters during the course of the year, as mentioned below.

Extensive circularization of press releases and the publication of new pamphlets--as had been the practice in former years--was not proceeded with during 1955; but an English edition (500 copies) of Miss Achelis' book, Of Time and Calendar, reproduced with a British jacket, was distributed for review purposes, the sales of the book being in the hands of Messrs. Neville Spearman. No public meetings were held during the course of the year, nor in former years, and approaches to H. M. government on specific points; but, at the end of the year, our Press Officer, Mr. Harold Watkins, was invited to appear on BCC Television, which he did with conspicuous success on the 2nd of January 1956, thus bringing The World Calendar cause before at least 6,000,000 viewers.

Following the visit of Colin Jackson to the International Conference of the Junior Chambers of Commerce in Edinburgh in November, our distinguished sponsor, Sir Harold Spencer Jones, received an invitation--which he has accepted--to address the Annual Conference of the British Jaycees organization in London this coming February. THus, the New Year pens auspiciously for the British Section, as it is expected that that the New Year;s broadcast will produce a considerable number of inquiries and press comments.

Possibly the most useful contribution to The World Calendar cause which the British Section has made during the course of the year lay in the three visits abroad of the Honorary Secretary, Mr. Joyce. During January, he spent ten days visit Brussels, the Hague, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, and had many interesting discussions with government officials in the respective Foreign Offices on their national attitudes towards the Indian proposal.

In view of the importance of maintaining contact with ECOSOC, and the U.N. delegates who were responsible for the progress of The World Calendar Reform item on the agenda, Mr. Joyce spent over two months in Geneva during the summer looking after The World Calendar interests, attending the appropriate sessions of ECOSOC, and speaking on our behalf at several NGO Conferences, as well as undertaking a large number of interviews with individual delegates

Coming to New York for the Tenth Annual United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Joyce renewed his contacts with the delegates and U.N. officials. Together with Mr. Hills and the Association’s lawyer, he took part in an important interview with the Chiefs of the NGO Section of the secretariat on the 18th of November. at which the future plans of the Association were discussed in a most constructive way and mutual assurances exchanged on the important question of retaining the Association’s Consultative Status.

The British Section places on record its appreciation of the leadership of the retiring President over the years, its confidence in the incoming President, and its belief, following adjustments which are inevitable from time to time in the structure and organization of all worthwhile movements,in the successful termination of the Association's worldwide campaign to bring about the universal adoption of The World Calendar.


SIGNIFICANT progress towards international agreement on calendar reform was reported at the Eighth Annual Meeting 14 January 1955 of The World Calendar Association, International, held in the International Building, New York City, . Published highlights (JCR Vol. 24, March 1955) for the UNITED KINGDOM:

The year has been one of considerable activity. It was obvious that this would be so after the October, 1953, announcement of the action of the Government of India.

An important meeting of the Committee of the British Section was held at the House of Lords on 1 December 1953 (this, as usual, by courtesy of the Chairman, Lord Merthyr, in having arranged for the use of a committee room).

At this meeting, Mr. James Avery Joyce, the Honorary Secretary, having then just returned from New York, wa able to report on the proceedings in regard to the Indian proposal, and to urge that every effort should be made by the British Committee to support this promising development. Mr. Peter Freeman, M.P., always an extremely active member of the Committee, discussed his own contacts wit India on the subject, and expressed, on behalf of the Committee, the sense of the importance of the Indian action.

Early in the year there was published by Neville Spearman, Ltd., in London (and by arrangement, in New York), a book written by the Honorary Press Officer, Harold Watkins, entitled Time Counts. This book, descriptive of calendar history with particular reference to the development of The World Calendar, was produced in attractive form at a popular price of 15s.

The first meeting in the New Year was held again at the House of Lords on 24 February, when the Honorary Secretary reported that he had recently made a visit to India, Egypt and Israel, in which countries he had been able to do valuable work, not only on behalf of the British Section, but of the movement in general.

At various meetings of the Committee, the question was discussed as to the likely best approach to the British Government for presenting officially the case for The World Calendar, and particularly for expressing the hope of the Committee that when the question arose at Geneva the British government would not raise any opposition to its further discussion on the basis, hitherto officially expressed by the Government, "that there was not sufficient demand in this country for Calendar Reform."

Following a request to the Foreign Office, a deputation waited on Mr. Dodds-Parker in May. The case for the withholding of any opposition on the Government's part was ably put forward by Lord Merthyr, and equally strongly supported by Mr. Isaac Pitman and the Honorary Secretary. Mr. Dodds-Parker listened most courteously to the deputation's statements and the feeling was that he was favorably inclined to the deputation's case. The result of this action on the Committee's part was, no doubt, reflected in the fact that at Geneva the oppositoin which, is has to be admitted, was rather feared, and which would undoubtedly have affected the outcome, did not materialize.

During the year there have been two notable broadcasts. The more important of these was an occasion when Sir Harold Spencer Jones, having returned from a visit to New York, appeared on the BBC Television in a discussion of The World Calendar. In March, the Honorary Press Officer was invited to broadcast in the BBC Overseas program which goes out weekly under the general heading of "London Calling Asia." This broadcast was not only repeated later in another section of the BBC Service, but was summarized in the popular BBC Journal, London Calling, which is widely distributed overseas.

It has been a notable year from the press publicity point of view. In addition to a number of special articles in leading newspapers and trade journals and a large number of shorter reports and news paragraphs, a particularly significant event was the publication in The Times of a lead-article dealing with the principle of calendar reform and the advantages of The World Calendar. This led to a controversy in the correspondence columns of The Times which kept the subject before the readers of this distinguished newspaper for many days.

An important development during the year was the publication by the British Section of a first number of "World Calendar News,' a 4-page newspaper which it is intended to issued from time to time to report current World Calendar activities. Some 2,000 copies of this newspaper were circulated among members of Parliament and other influential persons. A second number is planned for New York.

A number of new pamphlets have been produced and widely distributed covering various angles of the impact of calendar reform on industrial, commercial, religious and social affairs. The demand for these pamphlets is steady, and they appear to be doing excellent work in spreading the calendar reform gospel.

During the proceedings at Geneva, the British Section had the privilege of receiving a personal visit from the President of The World Calendar Association, International. An outstanding occasion in connection with this visit was the reception and dinner held in the House of commons, through the courtesy of Mr. Peter Freeman, a member of the British Committee, when leading members of the Working Committee had the rare privilege of discussing World Calendar affairs at first hand with The world Calendar's founder and principal advocate.


SUSTAINED progress toward the international enactment of calendar reform was reported at the Seventh Annual Meeting 15 January 1954 of The World Calendar Association, International, held in the International Building, New York City. Published highlights (JCR Vol. 24, April 1954) for the UNITED KINGDOM:

The British Section of The World Calendar Association celebrated its first anniversary on 5 May 1953, at a meeting in committee Room No. 12 of the House of Commons. The presiding officer was Lord Merthyr and the principal addresses were by Peter Freeman, M.P., and James Avery Joyce. Mr. freeman discussed the entry of India into the international crusade for an improved calendar. He is one of the leading parliamentary experts on India, for many years head of the India League and author of a standard book, Our Duty to India. He said in part: "Calendar complications are an old story in India, which currently has more than thirty different calendrical systems in active use--a situation which is chaotic andintolerable. This is one of the numerous national problems which Prime Minister Nehru has undertaken to solve, and he proposes to do it on an international basis, by moving at the United Nations for world adoption of The World Calendar."

Mr. Joyce's address was an historical sketch of the development of calendar reform on the international level during the past forty years. One of the pioneer bodies seeking international action was the International Chamber of Commerce, which began hammering at this subject during its London session in 1910. It continued its campaign at the Boston Congress in 1912 and at Liège in 1914 it passed emphatic resolutions urging a revised calendar. After World War I it continued its crusade at the London conferences in 1921, in 1923 in Rome, in 1925 at Brussels and in 1929 at Amsterdam, the International Chamber called on the League of Nations to set up the necessary machinery for dealing with calendar revision. Its twenty-year campaign, reinforced by similarly urgent demands from bodies like the International Astronomical Union, resulted in the 1931 conference called by the League of Nations after a great deal of preliminary research by the League's Committee of Enquiry. Subsequent activities included the initiative taken by the International Labor Organization in 1936 and 1937, when a draft convention in support of The World Calendar actually received the favorable votes of 14 governments. All this groundwork led to the present status of calendar reform at the U.N. As Trygve Lie said in his 1947 report: "The 14 years of work by the League of Nations on calendar reform achieved considerable results. Although originally there were several hundred proposals for revision, two main types were eventually isolated, and finally one single calendar was submitted to the Council for approval."

Mr. Joyce summed up the results of his visit to the U.N. in New York with these words: "I think I am justified in predicting action shortly. At the General Assembly meetings I found a surprisingly solid backing among a large number of delegations favoring the inclusion of this item on the official agenda. In my considered opinion it will not be long before the moment arrives when this important step will be taken."

Five other meetings were held during the year, all of them taking place in the House of Lords committee rooms. They were called for January, March, May, July and December. The latter meeting occurred after Mr. Joyce's return from another visit to the United Nations, and at this time, the action of India justified fully the predictions which Mr. Joyce had made in May.

In the meantime, Mr. Joyce had attended as an official observer several important international meetings in Geneva, Paris, Copenhagen and Stockholm. These included the sessions of the U.N. Economic Council, the Congress of U.N. Non-Governmental Organizations, the Copenhagen Congress to consider U.N. Charter Revision and the annual Council of the International Standardization Organization.

Meanwhile the London office had taken up calendar matters with delegates to the International Chamber of Commerce convention in Vienna in May. It had also sent a representative to Dublin, to assist in the organization of an Irish committee for calendar reform. It had corresponded with Australia and South Africa regarding similar new groups in those countries.

The London office supplied speakers for meetings in various parts of the British Isles. It conferred with many interested groups, representing business, education, religion and science. IT sent the Astronomer Royal to New York at its representatives, to speak before a scientific audience at the Hayden Planetarium and to confer informally with an important group of U.N. delegates.

Two new members of the working committee of the British Section are Sydney Walton, a well-known writer, and S. J. Noel-Brown, industrial consultant. One of the active committee members, J. Arthur Rodwell, was summoned to Buckingham Palace during the coronation ceremonies to receive from Her Majesty the decoration of the Order of the British Empire.

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Last updated 7 March 2010