396.1 MA/8–2254: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Philippines (Spruance) to the Department of State1


534. Reference Embtel 535.2 Following is “Philippine declaration of principles” which Philippine Government wishes Department circulate among Washington representatives SEAP countries.

“The Foreign Ministers (or Prime Ministers and heads of state) of blank.

Desiring to establish a firm basis for common action to insure and maintain peace and security in Southeast Asia, in accordance with the purposes and principles announced in the Charter of the United Nations,

Convinced that common action to this end, in order to be worthy and effective, must be inspired by the loftiest principles of justice and liberty;

Do hereby proclaim the adherence of their respective governments and peoples to the following principles:

  • First, they uphold the principle of self-determination and the right of peoples to self-rule and independence;
  • Second, they are committed to continue taking effective practical measures to ensure the progress of peoples towards self-rule and independence;
  • Third, they desire to collaborate fully with each other and with other countries of this region in the economic, social and cultural fields in order to bring about higher living standards, economic progress and social security;
  • Fourth, they are determined to act jointly and severally to repel by every means within their power any attempt to subvert the freedom or to destroy the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the free and independent states of Southeast Asia and the South West Pacific.”3

  1. The Embassy requested the Department to pass this telegram on to the Department of Defense.
  2. In this telegram of the same date, the Embassy informed the Department that the “declaration of principles” had the support of both government and opposition parties in the Philippines. The greatest part of the telegram is a report on the insistence of the Philippine Government that the armed forces of the Philippines should receive a substantial increment of military assistance from the United States. It continues: “Finally, Neri was instructed by President to say [in a conversation held on Aug. 21 with Lacy] that, as measure President’s great concern that Philippines proposals buildup AFP receive sympathetic consideration US, President considers that Philippine participation SEAP would be pointless in absence reasonable US assurances on this point.” (396.1 MA/8–2254)
  3. Chargé Leuterio, in a conversation with Department officials on Aug. 24, is reported to have said that the Philippine Government wished the declaration to be the first point on the agenda of the conference.

    “He further stated that it had not and would not be given to representatives of other powers who plan to attend the conference, but that it would be taken up by the Philippine representatives with members of the U.S. Working Group. Mr. Bonsal stated that he could not prejudge the Secretary’s views as to the ‘declaration’. Ambassador Sebald stated that he had some reservation as to the timing of the proposed ‘declaration’ and ventured the opinion that if it were to become the first point on the agenda, it might well consume a large part of the time of the Conference.” (Memorandum of conversation by Bell, drafted Aug. 25; 396.1 MA/8–2454)