15. Editorial Note

At the meeting of the North Atlantic Council on April 3, 1964, NATO Secretary General Dirk Stikker announced his intention to resign. He had previously informed Secretary of State Rusk of this decision, and on March 23 Rusk sent a message to Norwegian Foreign Minister Halvard Lange, British Foreign Secretary Butler, and Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson expressing his hope that the European members of the Alliance could agree on a successor, thus avoiding the difficult situation that occurred in selecting Stikker in 1961. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 4 NATO)

On April 4, Italian Ambassador Fenoaltea informed Assistant Secretary of State Tyler that Italy felt justified in laying claim to the position. (Memorandum for the Secretary, April 4; ibid., NATO 8–3) On April 21, the Italian Government officially proposed Manlio Brosio, who had also been a candidate when Stikker was selected, and 2 days later the United Kingdom proposed Sir Harold Caccia. Following further discussion between Italy and the United Kingdom, the British withdrew their candidacy and Brosio was elected Secretary General.