The Secretary of the Navy ( Forrestal ) to the Secretary of State 40

Dear Mr. Secretary: In the view of the Navy Department, it is desirable that negotiations be initiated immediately with the Philippine Government to obtain rights to establish bases in certain areas in the Philippines. Such rights should include the right to use harbors, to construct shore facilities, including airfields and seaplane ramps and to take such other measures with respect to these areas as their strategic use may require. The areas in question are those surrounding the following points:

  • Tutu Bay (Jolo)
  • Tawi Tawi
  • Balabac Island
  • Leyte-Samar (Leyte Gulf area)
  • Guimaras Strait—Iloilo Strait area
  • Mactan Island (off Cebu)
  • Coron Bay
  • Subic Bay (Luzon)
  • Sarangani Island (Mindanao)
  • Sorsogon (Luzon)
  • San Miguel Bay (Luzon)
  • Polillo (Luzon)
  • Aparri (Luzon)
  • Puerto Princesa (Palawan)

Engineering studies will be made at the places named in the foregoing paragraph as soon as practicable with a view of selecting for early development only those found suitable for use in conditions likely to exist in the early post-war period. It is desirable, however, to retain perpetual rights in all of the areas listed in the foregoing paragraph because of the certainty that changing conditions subsequent to the conclusion of the war will require changes in dispositions for the defense of the Philippine Islands.

The Navy Department further recommends that any agreements entered into with the Philippine Government concerning these areas should leave the way open for future negotiations for other sites.

Sincerely yours,

James Forrestal
  1. Copy transmitted to President Truman by the Acting Secretary of State on May 3, 1945.