740.0011 European War 1939/16775

The President of the Philippine Commonwealth (Quezon) to President Roosevelt 38

My Dear Mr. President: Today’s press reports seem to point strongly to the possibility of actual involvement of the United States in the war on account of the torpedoing of the destroyer Kearny. On the other hand, the course of recent events in Japan is far from encouraging to those who would hope that there may not be armed conflict between the United States and Japan. Should this unfortunate situation arise, it is but natural to expect that the Philippines will be the scene of such a conflict. I am, therefore, hastening to reiterate to you what on former occasions I have asserted, namely, that our government and people are absolutely and wholeheartedly for you and your policies, and that we are casting our lot with America no matter what sacrifices such determination may entail.

Mr. President, since at a time such as this it is of the utmost importance that the Government of the Philippines should have complete understanding and cooperation with the military and naval authorities of the United States, I believe you will be pleased to know that General MacArthur39 and I are in perfect accord, and that the government and people of the Philippines are placing at his disposal everything that he needs to accomplish the great task of defending the Philippines. I could almost say as much regarding my relations with Admiral Hart, although, owing to the nature of the Navy’s work, our connections are not so close and our contacts so frequent as those I have with General MacArthur.

Mr. President, it is, of course, a dreadful thing to contemplate the horrors of war, but there is this consideration in which I almost find cause for rejoicing that such an awful situation should arise before the severance of the political ties now existing between the United States and the Philippines; and that is, because the Filipino people are thereby afforded the opportunity to prove in supreme efforts and sacrifices not only our deep appreciation of the great things which America has contributed in the upbuilding of this new nation of ours, but also the fact that the democratic ideals of the United States have become our sacred heritage, and that to preserve such a precious gift we are willing to pay the price in blood and treasure.

With assurances [etc.]

Manuel L. Quezon
  1. Copy transmitted to the Secretary of State by President Roosevelt on November 6.
  2. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Commander of U. S. Army Forces in the Far East since July 26.