811.24596/11–1046: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Philippines ( McNutt ) to the Secretary of State


749. I find it extremely difficult to reconcile Department’s telegram 636, November 8,98 with the preamble to Department’s original draft of proposed military base agreement and am at a loss how to explain apparent inconsistency to Philippine Government. Resolutions of Congress both countries referred to in preamble specifically and whole history of military cooperation generally, presence armed forces on Philippine soil and widely known fact that base agreement is being negotiated would seem clearest possible proof of “solemn compact for mutual defense”. If this is not the settled policy of the US, what can I tell Philippine Government?

Roxas has frequently referred publicly to existence mutul defense pact and this is basis on which he expects to obtain approval Philippine Senate and people. If our view otherwise, he should be advised immediately.99

  1. See footnote 97, p. 925.
  2. In telegram 663, November 13, 6 p.m., to Manila, the Department replied that the U.S. Government did not wish to refer publicly to “solemn compact” unless and until the base agreement were concluded. It added: “Interim arrangement (Osmeña agreement) has all elements contemplated in final agreement but felt here reference to ‘solemn compact’ would bring demands for details and pressure to make public Osmeña agreement.” (811.24596/11–1046) At a meeting of the three Secretaries on November 13. Secretary of War Patterson expressed impatience with the Philippine attitude and said the need for bases and forces in the Philippines was being re-examined. (811.0011 Three Secretaries/1–2446)