Memorandum by the United Nations Adviser, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs (Bacon), to the Acting Officer in Charge, Philippine Affairs (Wanamaker)

  • Subject:
  • Philippine Criticism of Extent of U.S. Support for Romulo as Secretary General

Following our conversation this morning, I talked with David Key in New York about references to U.S. “snubbing” and “double crossing” in press reports from Manila about U.S. support for General Romulo’s candidacy as Secretary General of the United Nations.

Mr. Key said that he thought the choice of words was inexact but the adverse criticism probably arose from a belief on the part of General Romulo that the U.S. was not solidly backing him in his candidacy. The General’s criticism apparently was directed not so much to tactics and activities in New York as to the failure of the U.S. to exert pressure on other governments at the highest levels. It was evident, for example, that support for Pearson had been urged by the UK upon other Foreign Offices and Delegations were accordingly able to come to the Security Council with full instructions to vote for Pearson. It was likewise apparent that the U.S. was making no such all-out campaign on behalf of General Romulo. This situation, in Mr. Key’s opinion, was the basis of General Romulo’s dissatisfaction. The press comment from Manila reflecting his dissatisfaction might well be intended as a means of inducing the U.S. to greater activity.

Ambassador Key said there was now full consultation on the part of the top members of the U.S. Delegation with General Romulo. Although some question had been raised about the order of presentation of names to the Security Council which resulted in Romulo’s name being voted upon first and thus being at a disadvantage, Mr. Key did not feel that this tactic or any other developments in New York were the basis of Philippine objections.

Mr. Key said that a memorandum of conversation between himself and General Romulo would be quite illuminating to the Department on this point and he would send a copy by pouch.

In response to your suggestion I shall see that a telegram to Manila is prepared explaining the UN procedures for election of a Secretary General and outlining developments so far.