Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Associate Chief, Division of Commercial Policy (Willoughby)

Pursuant to instructions from Mr. Thorp, I read to Mr. McNutt a telegram concerning changes to be made in the draft executive agreement on trade relations. The telegram had been filed for despatch several hours before, but Mr. McNutt said that he needed it Saturday55 and that a jammed communication system made it unlikely that he would get it in time.

After I had finished reading the telegram Mr. McNutt said that following his last telephone conversation with the Acting Secretary he had talked to President Roxas, and that the latter wanted to sign the executive agreement on trade relations after the independence ceremonies on July 4. He went on to say that it seemed to him that if the signature is after independence, it will not make any difference how long after. I agreed.

Mr. McNutt said that his authority to sign covered only the provisional agreement and would have to be broadened. I told him that I would take care of that.56 (I phoned the information to Mr. Lock-hart (PI) at his home.)

With respect to the recommendation in the Department’s telegram that the number of Americans to be permitted to enter the Philippines under Article VI of the proposed agreement should be increased from 1200 to 2000, Mr. McNutt said that we could “forget” the 2,000 figure as “1200 is in the agreement” and cannot be changed.

In response to a previous request by Mr. Lockhart, I told Mr. McNutt that the President’s proclamation of independence of the Philippines was being revised and would be telegraphed in the next day or so.

  1. June 29.
  2. See footnote 50, p. 892. In telegram 1195, July 1, to Manila, the Department confirmed that full power had been given to sign all agreements on or about July 4 (811B.01/7–146).