Salter, Noël01 January 1929 (Taunton, Somerset [United Kingdom]) - 10 May 1975 (Brussels [Belgium])
Noël Salter (1929-1975) was educated at Taunton school and then at New College, Oxford, where he achieved a 1st class honours degree in Modern History. While a student he became founder President of the Oxford University United Europe Movement and acted as Secretary for European questions to R.W.G. Mackay M.P, then Chairman of the All-Party Group for European Unity in the House of Commons. He attended both the first Congress of the Union of European Federalists at Montreux and the first Congress of Europe at The Hague, where he voted in favour of the creation of the Council of Europe. In 1948 Salter became a member of the Council European Movement United Kingdom and 1949 - 1950 he was Secretary to the European Movement’s Federalist Group.
Straight from taking his degree in 1950 he joined the Council of Europe. Initially appointed Clerk to the Committee on Legal and Administrative Questions of the Council of Europe Consultative Assembly (which had drafted the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) he went on to be in charge of the political secretariat of the Consultative Assembly as senior Clerk to the Committee on General Affairs. Among his tasks was drafting a revision of the Statute of the Council of Europe (the “Mackay Protocol”) and he worked closely with Uwe Kitzinger particularly in drafting a European Statute on the Saar.
In 1955 he left Strasbourg for Paris to become Head of the Office of the Clerk of the Western European Union Assembly, Acting Clerk, and from 1956 Clerk Assistant (Assistant Secretary-General).
In 1963 he returned to Britain to work for the British Council of Churches, where he virtually created his job of International Affairs Secretary, and then in 1968 for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. In 1973 he joined the European Commission in Brussels in European Commission Directorate General for Development (DG VIII) dealing with Developing Countries, where he once again worked with Uwe Kitzinger who was dealing with External Affairs. His time at the Commission was unfortunately short-lived as he died in May 1975, shortly before the national UK Referendum that confirmed Britain’s membership of the Community.
Salter was a man of deep Christian convictions, for whom the ecumenical Taizé community became a spiritual home. He met his wife Elizabeth when she was working at the World Council of Churches in 1955. Their joint commitment was to a united Europe and its service to the developing world. It was left to Elizabeth to carry the baton following her husband’s untimely death.