396.1 MA/9–854: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Department of State1


Secto 20. Southeast Asian collective defense treaty and “Pacific Charter” proposed by Philippines approved at morning session.2 Both being cabled as soon as confirmed texts available.

In morning session Philippine delegation withdrew its proposed article on self-determination of peoples on condition satisfactory clauses included in preamble and in charter. Clauses ultimately adopted in preamble and charter proposed by UK were acceptable [Page 898] Philippine delegation.3 Philippine delegation, however, made a statement in which it accepted Article IV subject to inclusion of an explanation regarding Communist aggression over the signature of Philippines and of a separate protocol concerning Associated States. This reservation4 proposed at last minute led to immediate reaction from several other delegations who felt it necessary reserve their positions pending clarification or instructions from governments.5 Problem thus raised worked out during intermission and Philippine delegation withdrew objectionable part of their statement, leaving innocuous statement of acceptance of Article IV.

It agreed confirmed texts would be released to press at 4 o’clock this afternoon, when signing ceremony to take place.

  1. Repeated for information to Bangkok, Karachi, New Delhi, Saigon, Tokyo, Canberra, Wellington, London, and Paris; repeated by pouch to Colombo, Djakarta, Phnom Penh, Rangoon, and Vientiane. Also repeated to CINCPAC via military channels; the Department of State was requested to pass it to the Department of Defense.
  2. The Fifth Plenary Session.
  3. Reference is to the fourth paragraph of the Preamble, and the fifth and sixth paragraphs of the Charter, both cited in the editorial note infra.
  4. No text of the proposed Philippine reservation has been found in Department of State files. Its purpose was described by Senator Delgado during the Fifth Session as follows:

    “The Secretary [General] will furnish copies of our reservation, but I will say to the Minister of Australia that the only purpose is to express our understanding of the reservation about any other attack than communism, which is along the line of the reservation made by the United States of America. That is the only purpose. … The way we feel is that if there should be any other armed conflict not provoked by Communism or it is [sic] entirely distinct from any communist aggression, that it is the understanding that we will take our consultation about it and decide whether we should participate or not, that is, if we are not bound automatically to participate in case of any other attack than that of a communist attack.” (Verbatim transcript of Fifth Plenary Session)

  5. The verbatim transcript of the Fifth Session indicates that the Delegates of Australia and the United Kingdom reacted as described. Casey stated: “It might affect the attitude of Australia if there is to be a reservation other than that by the United States of America, who will not be in a particular position to help”.