Editorial Note

In a statement issued to the press on June 29, President Truman announced that the United States Government, at the request of Philippine President Quirino, was sending an Economic Survey Mission to the Philippines to survey the entire Philippine economic situation, to make recommendations on measures of self-help which might be undertaken by the Philippine Government, and to make recommendations on ways in which the United States might be helpful. As Chief of the Mission, Daniel W. Bell, President of the American Security and Trust Company and former Under Secretary of the Treasury, would be President Truman’s personal representative, with the personal rank of Ambassador, and would report directly to the President. Maj. Gen. Richard J. Marshall (ret.), Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, would serve as Deputy Chief of the Mission, with the personal rank of Minister. For the full text of the statement, see Department of State Bulletin, July 17, 1950, page 117 or Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1950 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1965), page 506. On July 7 the Department of State announced the membership of the Economic Survey Mission which was scheduled to arrive in Manila on July 10; see Department of State Bulletin, July 17, 1950, page 118. Documentation on the organization and selection of members of the Mission is included in Department of State file 896.00.

Telegram 45, July 7, to Manila, not printed, informed Ambassador Cowen that the Economic Survey Mission would function under broad terms of reference and oral instructions from President Truman as an independent group reporting directly to the President. For “obvious political reasons” it had been decided that the Mission should operate separately from and independently of the Embassy. The Mission would have independent means of communication through Embassy facilities to the Department of State. It was left to Ambassador Cowen and Chief of Mission Bell to decide means for the proper coordination of work of the Embassy and the Mission (896.00/7–750).

A letter dated July 13, 1950, from President Truman to Chief of Mission Bell, discussed and approved by the National Advisory Council [Page 1468] in Action No. 408 of the meeting of July 5, and later slightly revised by the White House and the Bureau of the Budget, set forth the terms of reference for the Mission. The letter stated that the Mission (1) would survey generally the Philippine economy including internal and external finances, public administration, agriculture, mining, industry, domestic and foreign trade and related matters, and would make recommendations concerning both immediate measures necessary to prevent further deterioration and also a longer term plan designed to achieve permanent economic viability and steady progress in Philippine productivity and living standards; (2) would work closely with the Philippine Government and maintain close liaison with the Embassy in Manila, but would function as an independent group; and (3) would give consideration to an assessment of the effects of past and of any possible future assistance from abroad (896.00/7–1950).