711.962/5–549: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Philippines


A–196. On April 26 and 27 officers of the Dept reviewed with Amb Cowen, Mr. Hester and Dr. Wilson1 the status of the draft treaty of [Page 594] FCN between the US and Philippines which has been under negotiation for nearly three years.2

For the confidential information of the Embassy the Dept made the following observations on the procedure which should be followed in the next few months in breaking the present impasse in treaty negotiations:

The Dept recognizes that the present Philippine Administration may feel that it is not prepared to act on the treaty before the elections in 1949 and that therefore unless a favorable opportunity arises the Philippine Government need not be pressed for a decision on the outstanding issues at the present time.
It would be appropriate, however, for the Embassy to remind the Philippine Government on all appropriate occasions before the election of the desirability of concluding a mutually satisfactory and comprehensive treaty at an early date and of the advantages of such a treaty to the Philippines.
Following the election, the Philippine Government should be pressed for a decision on all of the outstanding treaty issues.
The Embassy should be mindful of the importance which the Dept attaches to the principles set forth in the draft treaty of FCN which has been proposed to the Philippines. These principles are the basis of this Government’s foreign economic policy. They are directed toward the objective of placing world trade on a multilateral nondiscriminatory basis and of providing the maximum protection for the rights and interests of American nationals and companies abroad consistent with the treatment which the US can accord aliens on a reciprocal basis. They are found in commitments which the US has made with many countries and are involved in commitments likely to be proposed to many other countries. Any major deviation from these principles is therefore undesirable, and rather than to accept any fundamental change, the Dept probably would prefer to forgo a treaty of FCN with the Philippines.

  1. Ambassador Myron M. Cowen assumed charge of the Embassy at Manila on May 23; Evett D. Hester, Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs at Manila; Dr. Robert R. Wilson, Professor of Political Science at Duke University, had been assisting with treaty negotiations.
  2. See instruction 263, December 13, 1948, to Manila, Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. vi, p. 640.