Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Truman

Subject: Proposed Treaties between the United States and the new Republic of the Philippines

The Department has been giving consideration to the question of the treaties and agreements to be concluded by this Government with the Government of the new Republic of the Philippines which is to be established on July 4, 1946, the date fixed by the Tydings–McDuffie Act for granting independence to the Philippines. In consultation with other interested Departments and agencies of this Government, the Department is preparing drafts of the following instruments for conclusion by the two Governments: a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, an executive agreement relating to trade, a general relations treaty, a consular convention, an extradition treaty, an arbitration treaty, a conciliation treaty, an income tax treaty or convention, an estate tax treaty or convention and a military base agreement.

The Department intends to hand to the United States High Commissioner to the Philippines while he is in Washington for communication to President-elect Roxas the texts of the draft instruments. Preliminary discussions could commence as soon after their receipt by the Commonwealth authorities as could be mutually agreed upon. It would remain only for the formal negotiations, to be commenced immediately after independence, to be concluded.

As the proposed treaties would be subject after signature to ratification by the Senate in accordance with established constitutional procedures, [Page 877] a gap in treaty relations between the two countries will result unless an interim agreement is concluded on July 4, 1946. The Department, therefore, proposes that the two Governments conclude on July 4, 1946 a brief provisional agreement providing in general terms for recognition of Philippine independence, for diplomatic and consular relations and for the conclusion as soon as possible of definitive treaties and agreements, the provisional agreement to become effective upon signature and to remain in force until a definitive treaty providing for diplomatic and consular relations enters into force. A draft of the proposed provisional agreement is attached.26 Provisional agreements have previously been concluded by this Government with certain other Governments upon establishment of diplomatic relations. The Department intends to hand the text of the draft provisional agreement to the United States High Commissioner to the Philippines for communication to President-elect Roxas. The proposed agreement would be of such a nature as clearly not to require extended negotiations. It may be found desirable also to conclude on July 4, 1946 the agreement relating to military bases which would not require ratification by this Government as Congressional authorization has already been given by Joint Resolution approved July 29, 1944. The question of the conclusions of an agreement relating to military assistance is still being studied by the Department concerned.

The Department will arrange for appropriate consideration and clearance in Washington of any changes that may be suggested by the authorities of the Commonwealth or of the new Republic in any of the draft instruments.

I should appreciate it if you would indicate whether you approve of the procedure outlined above.27

Dean Acheson
  1. Not printed. Marginal notation by Mr. Lockhart: “Important. Draft treaty subsequently amended. FPL”.
  2. Notation by President Truman: “Approved 5/13/46 Harry S Truman”.