740.00119 Control (Japan)/3–1548

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Philippine Affairs (Ely)


General McCoy sent me word that he would like to see me in regard to the situation which had arisen in the Commission as a result of a decision by SCAP to send a member of his staff to the Provisional Frequency Board at Geneva. The United States representative on FEC had informed the Commission of this decision and also that the Supreme Commander said that his Director of the International Radio Division would be seriously handicapped in the Geneva meeting unless he had available the technical advice of a qualified Japanese national who was familiar with the specific requirements of Japan. The United States representative informed the Commission that in the opinion of this Government SCAP’s decision pending a policy decision of FEC lay within the area of SCAP’s discretion as sole executive of the Allied Powers. The Russian delegation took exception to this position and proposed a policy decision to the effect that sending a Japanese expert was inadvisable.

General McCoy stated that in the discussion which resulted the only delegate to support the Russians was Mr. Jovellanos who has been sitting as alternate for General Romulo. General McCoy stated that when he discussed this question with Mr. Jovellanos he was informed that he was acting under instructions from his government, [Page 683] whereupon General McCoy discussed the matter with General Romulo. General Romulo confirmed the statement that they were acting under instructions and added an explanation of the reasons. He stated that the Philippine Government was deeply concerned at what they thought was the tendency of the United States Government to adopt what he described as a “soft”policy toward Japan. He said the Filipinos felt that the result of this policy would be to build up Japan again to a point where she dominated the Far East and that the Filipinos were still bitterly hostile toward the Japanese and wanted nothing done that would restore them to even a semblance of their former power. They recognized that the Japanese were an intelligent and industrious people and unless stern control was maintained they would again emerge as a powerful force in the Orient.

I told General McCoy that it was probable that the opposition to sending a Japanese expert to Geneva was undoubtedly the result of a somewhat similar case where SCAP proposed to send Japanese technical men to the FAO conference in Baguio against which the Secretary of Foreign Affairs had taken a very strong position. This matter had received a great deal of attention in the Philippine press and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs was widely acclaimed for his stand. While sending a man to Geneva would be quite a different matter, in the eyes of the general public in Manila, the situation would be virtually the same. General McCoy stated that there were enough votes in FEC to sustain SCAP’s position but that the final voting had been postponed in order to permit Jovellanos to request final instructions from his Government. I remarked that I thought there was undoubtedly a growing feeling in the Philippines that we were adopting a too lenient attitude toward the Japanese which President Roxas probably shared, but that I thought if the exact phraseology which was being considered in FEC were brought to President Roxas’ attention he might hesitate to instruct his delegates to support what was after all a direct rebuke to General MacArthur. We discussed the advisability of having our Ambassador at Manila1 bring this matter to President Roxas’ attention but agreed that the situation did not warrant such action primarily because the Russian proposal was sure to lose even with Philippine support. However, General McCoy felt that the Embassy should be informed of these instructions and these attitudes of the Philippine delegation in order that they might be supplied with background information which would enable our representatives to point out as opportunity offered, or perhaps under later direction of the Department, the reasons which impelled this government to seek relief from the heavy burden of supporting the Japanese economy. [Page 684] General McCoy thought that both the Department and the Embassy should be made aware of the Philippine Government attitude, which to a considerable extent is shared by China, although China had not supported the Russian proposal.

  1. Emmet O’Neal.