896.51/11–1747: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Philippines

us urgent

1259. Amb Elizalde called on Asst Sec Armour Nov 17 and showed Asst Sec copy confidential tel from Pres Roxas instructing him approach Pres Truman and Sec Marshall with view to obtaining additional US financial assistance to extent of 200 million dollars outright grant or 500 million credit. Amb discussed at considerable length economic situation of Phils and stated that US assistance previously given was altogether insufficient particularly with regard to war damage payments. According to Amb economic situation Phils causing great unrest especially among unemployed. Amb repeatedly referred to US assistance to European Govts and China and stressed Phils had every right seek comparable aid. When mention was made of Joint Phil-Amer Financial Report, which indicates no further immediate financial assistance to Phils is warranted, Amb stated report deals primarily with long-range problems.

Please seek suitable occasion to discuss matter with Pres Roxas mentioning fact that Amb has raised matter confidentially with Dept. Note that Amb failed specify purposes for which assistance requested [Page 1121] and point out US Govt cannot seriously consider request not accompanied by detailed statement purposes and requirements.

You should explain to Pres Roxas that Dept’s policy is guided by recommendations Joint Finance Commission report which signed by both American and Filipino members including Finance Secy and Budget Commissioner Philgov. Report specifically states (p. 8) that it “deals primarily with the immediate future” and not merely with long-range problems.

For your guidance Dept cannot consider request for financial assistance for unspecified requirements in absence of demonstrated need. Dept not favorably impressed by Amb’s justification of request consisting of vague assertions regarding employment economic conditions and communist propaganda and references large amounts aid going other countries.

Also for your confidential info Amb stated he had taken up possibility of congressional action on such loan or grant with Senator Tydings36 who, he stated, had assured him he would do what he could to assist Phils in this regard. Amb stated he had also queried Tydings on possibility of his (Amb’s) taking matter up with Pres Truman and that Tydings had told him it would be best not to do this and that he (Tydings) would speak to Pres Truman regarding Phil request.

Amb now scheduled leave Wash Dec 15 for Manila and has also been asked confer with you on matter.

  1. Millard B. Tydings (Democrat) of Maryland, co-author of Philippine Independence Act and Chairman of Philippine Celebration Commission.