Asset Publisher

angle-left null 1964 - Fourth Secretary General takes office
Event's background
Secretaries General of the Council of Europe
15 March 1964

Fourth Secretary General takes office

United Kingdom United Kingdom

Peter Smithers, the Council of Europe’s fourth Secretary General, had already lived a colourful life before his election to the British parliament as a Conservative MP and his subsequent membership of the British delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly. A close friend of author Ian Fleming, he provided the inspiration for Fleming’s most famous character, James Bond, and once received a gift from his novelist friend of a pistol disguised as a pen. He was a keen botanist who kept over two thousand species of cactus which he brought with him to Strasbourg on his appointment to the Council of Europe. He also gave the chauffeurs a welcome break, piloting his own boat to the Council headquarters every day.