Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Philippine Affairs ( Lockhart ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Grew )1

Mr. Grew:

Notes for Conversation with Secretary Sttmson 2 on February 27 Relative to Philippine Affairs

It is understood that the Interior Department will make a strong effort to have the President appoint a High Commissioner to the Philippines. In view of legislation which authorizes the President to advance the date of independence3 there is strong probability that the interim period between cessation of hostilities and restoration of normal constitutional government in the Philippines will be short for which reason it is doubtful whether it would be advisable to appoint a High Commissioner, especially since it is believed that such appointment would lead the Filipino people to feel that the old order had been restored whereas actually they are probably expecting the President to declare the Philippines free before the date July 4, 1946, fixed by the Tydings-McDuffie Act.4 Secretary Stimson’s views on this subject are not known, but he has always been extremely sympathetic with Filipino aspirations. If Secretary Stimson and/or the military authorities in the Philippines feel that conditions in the Islands will not warrant independence before July 4, 1946, the Department would give consideration to the question of whether it would be preferable to recommend that a Special Representative of the President [Page 1194] be appointed instead of the appointment of a High Commissioner who would function under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior.5 Mr. Francis B. Sayre6 has expressed the belief that a High Commissioner should not be appointed for the interim period whether it be a long or short one. In general the Department feels that the Government’s commitment, which has been made both by legislative act and by the President himself, to give the Philippines early independence should be fulfilled.
There is reason to believe that there is great need for closer working relations between General MacArthur7 and President Osmeña.8 It is felt that Osmeña should have active American support in administering Commonwealth affairs and that nothing should be done which would cause Osmeña to lose prestige among the Filipino people or cause him to fail to regain control of civil administration affairs.9
Frank P. Lockhart

[On March 5, the Department of State announced that the Commonwealth of the Philippines was one of the Governments invited to attend the United Nations Conference on International Organization.10 On October 11, 1945, Brigadier General Carlos P. Romulo, Resident Commissioner of the Philippines to the United States, deposited with the Department of State the Philippine instrument of ratification of the Charter of the United Nations.11]

  1. Initialed by the Chief of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Ballantine).
  2. Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War.
  3. S. J. Res. 93, approved as Public Law 380 on June 29, 1944, 58 Stat. 625. For Department’s attitude toward this measure, see memorandum sent on March 9 to Chairman C. Jasper Bell of the House Committee on Insular Affairs, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. v, p. 1301.
  4. Approved March 24, 1934; 48 Stat. 456.
  5. Harold L. Ickes.
  6. United States High Commissioner to the Philippine Islands, 1939–1942.
  7. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East.
  8. Sergio Osmeña, President of the Philippine Commonwealth.
  9. Notation “omit” appears in margin of this paragraph.
  10. Department of State Bulletin, March 1, 1945, p. 394. For documentation on the Conference, which met at San Francisco, April 25–June 26, 1945, see vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  11. Signed at San Francisco, June 26, 1945; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031.