5. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Walmsley) to the Under Secretary of State (Herter)1


  • Italian Security Council Candidacy


The Italian Minister called on me January 29 to ascertain whether the Department could not now make a commitment to support the Italian candidacy for election to the Security Council at the 13th General Assembly next autumn (Tab A).2 Ortona said he was making the approach, a very earnest one, in advance of, one, the Italian Ambassador (who raised this matter with you on November 1, 1957—Tab B), is under instructions by his Foreign Minister to make at the highest [Page 8] appropriate level. According to the Minister, the Italian Government now has commitments of support from nine of the Western European UN Members and considers a U.S. commitment before the elections in Italy this spring of great importance as a mark of solidarity with a staunch ally. (This is at least the sixth approach by the Italians for U.S. support. The Italians gracefully withdrew their name a year ago last fall to avoid a race with Sweden, which was elected.)

I could say only that we would warmly welcome Italy on the Security Council; that we are encouraging no other candidacy for the “European” seat; but that an early commitment, as he knew, would be a radical departure from our usual practice and would make it almost impossible for us to avoid similar commitments to other friendly candidates at an early date (for example, to the Lebanese on behalf of Dr. Malik’s candidacy for GA President) and would greatly increase the difficulty of adhering to our normal practice in future years. With the European support Italy has gained and in the absence of any rival candidate, the Italian candidacy seems to be progressing well (and in the opinion of UNP, the Italians may be a “shoo-in”). In any case, it is clear that the Italians want their request to be put up to you again, or to the Secretary.


That you authorize me to inform the Italian Minister that I have consulted with you and that while we are very pleased to learn that Italy appears close to being the European choice, and that we would warmly welcome Italy’s election to the Security Council, it is quite impracticable for the Department to depart at this time from the position you set forth to Signor Brosio on November 1, i.e., that we cannot make known our support so far in advance, but that we are not encouraging any other candidate. (You may nevertheless anticipate a request by the Ambassador to see you or the Secretary.)

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 330/2–658. Confidential. Drafted by Hartley on February 3 and sent through S/S. Approved by Murphy and concurred in by EUR. A note from Herter to Calhoun is written on the source text: “Let’s find out how far in advance we could announce our support? CAH” Murphy’s copy of the memorandum was initialed by Walmsley, Murphy, and Elbrick, and approved by Murphy on February 7. (Ibid.)
  2. Neither of the Tabs is attached. Tab A is ibid., 330/1–2958; Tab B is ibid., 330/11–157.