The Commanding General of United States Army Forces in the Far East (MacArthur) to the Chief of Staff (Marshall)41

3. The following communication is from President Quezon to President Roosevelt:

“The following is the letter I propose to address to you and to the Emperor of Japan if my recent proposal meets with your approval:

[Page 899]

Two great nations are now at war in the Western Pacific. The Commonwealth of the Philippines is still a possession of one of those nations, although through legislative processes it was about to attain complete independence which would have insured its neutrality in any conflict. The Philippines has therefore become a battleground between the warring powers and it is being visited with death, famine and destruction, despite the fact that occupation of the country will not influence in any way the final outcome of the war, nor have a bearing upon the conflicting principles over which the war is being waged.

Under the Tydings–McDuffie Law the United States has promised to recognize the independence of the Philippines in 1946 and the same law gave authority to the President of the United States to begin parleys for the neutralization of the Philippines. On the other hand, the Premier of the Imperial Government of Japan, addressing the Diet, stated that the Imperial Government of Japan was ready to offer the Filipino people independence with honor. On the strength of these commitments and impelled by a sincere desire to put an end to the sufferings and sacrifices of our people, and to safeguard their liberty and welfare, I propose the following program of action:

That the Government of the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan recognize the independence of the Philippines; that within a reasonable period of time both armies, American and Japanese, be withdrawn, previous arrangements having been negotiated with the Philippine Government; that neither nation maintain bases in the Philippines; that the Philippine Army be at once demobilized, the remaining force to be a Constabulary of moderate size; that at once upon the granting of freedom that trade agreement with other countries become solely a matter to be settled by the Philippines and the nation concerned; that American and Japanese noncombatants who so desire be evacuated with their own armies under reciprocal and appropriate stipulations.

It is my earnest hope that, moved by the highest considerations of justice and humanity, the two great powers which now exercise control over the Philippines will give their approval in general principle to my proposal. If this is done I further propose, in order to accomplish the details thereof, that an Armistice be declared in the Philippines and that I proceed to Manila at once for necessary consultations with the two governments concerned.

(signed) Manuel L. Quezon.”

  1. Copy of telegram obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N. Y.