811B. 01/4–1845

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Philip fine Affairs (Lockhart) to the Secretary of State


Military and Naval Bases.

Section 2(12) of the Tydings-McDuffie Act approved March 24, 193436 recognizes the right of the United States “to maintain military and other reservations and armed forces in the Philippines”. The [Page 1204] Joint Resolution of Congress approved June 29, 194437 amends the Tydings-McDuffie Act as follows:

“Sec. 2. After negotiation with the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, or the President of the Filipino Republic, the President of the United States is hereby authorized by such means as he finds appropriate to withhold or to acquire and to retain such bases, necessary appurtenances to such bases, and the rights incident thereto, in addition to any provided for by the Act of March 24, 1934, as he may deem necessary for the mutual protection of the Philippine Islands and of the United States.”

The Department of State has no information regarding the extent or location of the bases which might be desired by the Army and the Navy. So far as PI38 knows, no negotiations have been conducted on this subject between Army and Navy authorities and the Commonwealth Government nor between any other officials of the United States Government and the Commonwealth. The provision in the Joint Resolution authorizing the acquiring and retention of these bases was approved in advance by Mr. Quezon and Mr. Osmeña.39 It will be observed that the bases are to be provided “for the mutual protection of the Philippine Islands and of the United States”. On this basis the Department of State looks with favor on the legislation, which can be accepted as a policy of both the Government of the United States and of the Commonwealth. It is not anticipated, therefore, that the Commonwealth Government will interpose any objections to a reasonable program looking to the selection and retention of military and naval installations in the Philippines. If this assumption is correct, it would probably not be advisable to suggest a quid pro quo in connection with negotiations on this subject. Such a course could be left to be utilized later if any serious opposition should arise on the part of Philippine officials.

The question of procedure might offer some difficulty for the reason that an agreement arrived at now between the Government of the United States and the Commonwealth Government might not be found to be binding on the Commonwealth’s successor under the new independent republic. The question of procedure to be determined now would be whether it would be better to start preliminary and exploratory negotiations at this time or wait until the Philippines become independent. [Page 1205] Before a commitment on this point is made it would seem to be advisable to consult the law officers of the Department.

Frank P. Lockhart
  1. 48 Stat. 456, 457.
  2. S. J. Res. 93, approved as Public Law 380; 58 Stat. 625.
  3. Division of Philippine Affairs.
  4. Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippine Commonwealth until his death on August 1, 1944, and his successor, Sergio Osmeña. In a memorandum of April 22, 1945, the Secretary of State advised President Truman that President Osmeña, the day before, had “definitely and specifically stated to me that whatever suggestions we wished to make relative to United States post-war bases would be agreeable to him”. (811.24511B/4–2245) See memorandum of conversation of April 21, p. 1197.