SECTION A - INTRODUCTORY PAPERS - THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE

H.D. Tindall
The first International Congress which can be identified as a Horticultural Congress was held in Belgium in 1864. This was followed by about six more, held at irregular intervals until 1923. In 1910, and again in 1913, proposals for the establishment of an International Horticultural Commission or Bureau were placed before the Congress Committee, but it was not until 1923 that an International Committee for Horticultural Congresses was finally formed.

This was an important and progressive step, but the lack of a properly staffed permanent bureau or secretariat limited the function of the Committee on the actual organization of the Congresses. The formation of a bureau was proposed in 1927, but it was not until 1955 that discussions at the Congress held in The Netherlands resulted in a proposal to form an International Society for Horticultural Science. The implementation of this Congress resolution was made possible by the generous offer of the Netherlands Government to provide a Headquarters for the Society. This offer was largely the result of representations made by Dr. G. de Bakker, then Secretary of the International Committee, and Dr. S.L. Mansholt, Minister of Agriculture of The Netherlands at this time; the Society owes a considerable debt to these two men.

At the 1958 Congress, which was held in France, Dr. de Bakker formally proposed the establishment of an International Society and it was resolved to implement this proposal in April 1959, (Wellensiek, 1969).

During the four years which elapsed between the Congress meeting in Brussels in 1962 and the XVIIth International Horticultural Congress held in Maryland in 1966, there was a considerable increase in the activity of the Society. The membership rose appreciably, contacts with horticultural workers were extended, and many countries which had not previously subscribed to the Society became members. On the 1st January 1962, 26 member countries, 107 affiliated organizations and 299 individual members had joined the Society. By 1966, these numbers had risen to 33 member countries, 130 affiliated organizations and 1,360 individual members, and in 1969 the number of country members had risen to almost 40, with 138 affiliated organizations and 1,499 individual members.

The objectives of the Society were extended during this period owing to the influence of this increased interest and activity. The organization of periodic Horticultural Congresses had previously been the main concern of the Society, but much of the responsibility for planning these Congresses rested with members resident in the host country, strongly supported by their Governments. It was now possible to extend the

Tindall, H.D. (1971). SECTION A - INTRODUCTORY PAPERS - THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE. Acta Hortic. 21, 11-14
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.1
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.1

Acta Horticulturae