The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Marshall)1


My Dear Mr. Secretary: The President’s directive of January 10, 19512 to Mr. John Foster Dulles authorized a mutual assistance arrangement among the Pacific Island nations (Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Japan, the United States and perhaps Indonesia). It was subsequently agreed to break this arrangement into three parts, one dealing with Australia and New Zealand, another dealing with Japan, and a third dealing with the Philippines.

In the case of Australia and New Zealand there will be the agreed upon Trilateral Security Treaty, and in the case of Japan the agreed upon Bilateral Security Treaty. It was our hope, however, primarily [Page 233] in deference to the views as we understood of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the security arrangement with the Philippines could be kept on a unilateral rather than a bilateral basis.

There has now arisen strong agitation in the Philippines centering around the two points of reparations and security. There are extravagant demands for reparations which cannot be fulfilled and recently the Philippines have also raised the point that the proposed Trilateral Treaty with Australia and New Zealand, and the proposed Bilateral Treaty with Japan represent discriminations against the Philippines, rather than a strengthening of American relations with these countries so as to bring that relationship to a level comparable to that which already exists with the Philippines.

Ambassador Cowen has strongly recommended that Philippine fears and disappointments could be assauged if the public assurances which have been given could be formalized in a simple treaty of alliance and mutual security.

American policy in general approves of Pacific alliances designed to strengthen security in the area and to deter aggression. The Trilateral with Australia and New Zealand and the Bilateral with Japan fit into this pattern and it, therefore, seems to me that a security treaty with the Philippines, in which the Philippine Government expressed a definite interest in an aide-mémoire to our Embassy on July 20,3 would also be appropriate, provided the Philippines accept the basis on which the United States is prepared to conclude peace with Japan.

The Department of State considers that such a treaty with the Philippines should not include any provision for consultation between the United States military establishment and the Philippine military establishment. Moreover, the Department of State is particularly concerned that such a treaty leave undisturbed our present military arrangements in the Philippines which are particularly advantageous to the United States.

In view of the impending signature of the Treaty of Peace with Japan it is imporant, in order to secure the desired objective, that we be in a position promptly to advise the Philippine Government of our readiness to consider making a security treaty with it.

A suggested draft of treaty is enclosed which conforms to these views. I would be grateful to you for the earliest possible expression of views of the Department of Defense, in the first instance upon the principle of putting our security commitment to the Philippines on a treaty basis, and in the second instance, as to the acceptability from a military standpoint of the enclosed draft.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
[Page 234]

Draft United States–Philippine Security Treaty Prepared in the Department of State


The Parties to this Treaty,

Reaffirming their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all Governments, and desiring to strengthen the fabric of peace in the Pacific Area,

Desiring to declare publicly and formally their sense of unity, so that no potential aggressor could be under the illusion that either of them stands alone in the Pacific Area,

Desiring further to strengthen their present efforts for collective defense for the preservation of peace and security pending the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific Area,4

Agreeing that nothing in this present instrument shall be considered or interpreted as in any way or sense altering or diminishing any existing agreements or understandings between the United States and the Philippines,

Therefore declare and agree as follows:

Article I

The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

[Page 235]

Article II

In order more effectively to achieve the objective of this Treaty the Parties separately and jointly by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.

Article III

The Parties will consult together whenever in the opinion of either of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security either of the Parties is threatened in the Pacific.

Article IV

Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

Article V

For the purpose of Article IV, an armed attack on either of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific.

Article VI

This Treaty does not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations of the parties under the Charter of the United Nations or the responsibility of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Article VII

This Treaty shall be ratified by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible with the Government of the Philippines. The Treaty shall enter into force as soon as the ratifications of the signatories have been deposited.

Article VIII

This Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely. Either Party may terminate it one year after notice has been given to the other Party.

[Page 236]

Article IX

This Treaty in the English language shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Philippines. Duly certified copies thereof will be transmitted by that Government to the Government of the United States.

In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty.

Done at ————— this ————— day of—————1951.5

  1. Letter drafted by Mr. Lacy and Mr. Dulles.
  2. See enclosure 2 (as annotated) to the letter of January 9 from Mr. Acheson to Secretary Marshall, p. 788.
  3. Not printed.
  4. This draft of August 1 is identical in substance to a draft by Mr. Melby dated July 30, excepting the omission of the following paragraph from the Preamble: “Taking into account the desire of the Philippines that the public assurances by the United States that any act of aggression against the Philippines would be a direct and immediate threat to the security of the United States and their traditional relations, should receive formal affirmation in a written instrument, and”.

    In a memorandum of July 31 to Mr. Melby, Mr. Merchant had commented:

    “It seems to me unnecessary and graceless to pin the responsibility for incorporating our assurances in a treaty on the Filipinos, particularly in light of my assumption that it would be a clearly understood quid for the quo of signature to the Japanese peace treaty. Moreover, I wonder if we might not expose the Administration to criticism from hostile Senators who might argue that since this is merely formalization of security assurances given by the President and the Secretary of State, the Administration had in fact already assumed what amounted to a treaty obligation to the Filipinos without securing the advice and counsel of the Senate.” (Draft and memorandum both in Lot 54D423)

  5. In a memorandum of August 2 Mr. Battle stated:

    “The Secretary told me on his return from the White House that he had left with the President a copy of the letter to General Marshall and a copy of the draft treaty. The Secretary told the President that he thought the President had decided the issue and there probably would be none if the Department of Defense went along with our proposal. The President said that he was for a treaty and saw no arguments against it, but if any issue arose and was brought to him, he would decide it.” (Lot54D444)