811B.01/317: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Atherton) to the Secretary of State

83. Through a confidential agent Quezon1 has informed the British Government he desires to attend the coronation2 in a “semi-private” capacity. Quezon further conveys that he desires at that time to talk with the British Government as to the future of the Philippine Islands and to ask what their general attitude will be, especially since so far he has been unable to obtain from the United States Government information as to its attitude toward the future of the Philippines with especial reference to United States protection of these islands vis-à-vis Japan. Quezon specifically therefore wants to know what England is prepared to do and continues that “if neither the United States nor Great Britain are prepared to do anything, much as Quezon may dislike it, he would have to attempt to come to terms with Japan”.

Foreign Office state they are “rather embarrassed but do not want to push Quezon into Japanese hands by snubbing him”. Foreign Office understands Quezon is to visit the United States before the coronation and may not come to London at all but if he does come care will be taken not to snub him and what he has to say will be received attentively and he will only be given the vaguest of answers.

Foreign Office points out in this connection it would be very useful to the British Government and that indeed if the United States plans to “turn out of the Philippines bag and baggage” it opens a great problem for the British which they must begin to face now, especially since they understand Japan is already laying plans and the infiltration of Japanese subjects into the islands is increasingly heavy. The Foreign Office concluded by saying that they were most anxious there [Page 979] should be no misunderstanding between the two Governments on this general problem since their interests were “identical”.

  1. Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
  2. The coronation of George VI, May 12, 1937.