Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

Ambassador McNutt telephoned me this morning from Manila and told me that the situation there would be extremely awkward if he were not permitted to sign the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation with the Philippines until after July 4. Mr. McNutt said that the situation required that the signature take place prior to that date, the public expected it to be done and President Roxas was urging it very strongly. He spoke at some length about the embarrassing situation which would be created for President Roxas with the Philippine Congress if this were not done. I told the Ambassador that we did not wish to coerce Roxas in any way—that he could go ahead if he wished to—but that the treaty could not be signed in behalf of the United States until after July 4. I said that the President’s instruction to me had been to that effect. I would, however, talk with the President about it again today just as soon as I could arrange to see him, and telephone Mr. McNutt.

I called Mr. McNutt after talking with the President and Mr. Keech,52 who accompanied me to the White House. I said that the President was very firm that he did not want the agreement signed on our behalf until after July 4. The President had no objection whatever to President Roxas going ahead with getting Philippine Congressional authorization in any way that he wished but he was very emphatic that he did not think the agreement should be signed by the United States until the Philippines are independent and both countries are on an equal status. Mr. McNutt said that he did not know what effect this would have on the situation there but that he would convey President Truman’s decision to President Roxas. I stated that I thought it would come out all right. I said that Roxas would have the exact words of the agreement—that we had sent suggested changes to Manila by cable.53 Mr. McNutt told me that he had [Page 894] not received these changes and asked whether I would have someone telephone him today and give them to him. I arranged to have Mr. Thorp54 telephone Mr. McNutt and give him this information.

Dean Acheson
  1. Richmond B. Keech, Administrative Assistant to President Truman.
  2. Telegram 1180, June 28, not printed.
  3. Willard L. Thorp, Deputy to Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Clayton.