796.5 MSP/9–252: Telegram

No. 311
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Philippines


617. Reur 640, 647 and 6511 Romulo had conversation with Acheson Aug 12 in which he expressed, according to him on instr of Quirino, latter’s complete understanding of purpose ANZUS Conference in Honolulu2 and reassurance that Phil Govt aware that ANZUS Treaty3 merely brought Austral and NZ up to status already obtained by Phil in relations with US. Romulo did not discuss any implementation of US-Phil Mutual Defense Treaty. He did however suggest urgent consideration shld be given to formation some form of non-mil Pacific Council to have only advisory powers and to discuss primarily econ, social and cultural coop. In first instance Romulo believes this Council shld be composed only of US and those Pacific states which now have security treaty relationships with it namely Japan, Austral, NZ and Phil. He contends this wld be a logical group to compose initial body and it might in due course attract other nations of Pacific particularly if it were made clear membership in this Council implied no mil commitments of any sort. While Dept sees certain obvious drawbacks and disadvantages to Romulo’s proposal nevertheless Sec agreed proposition was worth studying. Romulo maintains early formulation of some such assoc or council will go far to obviate criticism directed at Amer as result misunderstandings of purposes and scope of [Page 497] ANZUS mtg which was in many places interpreted as a “white man’s group” which was presuming to dispose of fate of Asiatic nations.

Romulo states his proposal was result inspiration he recd, from editorial in New York Times Aug 10 which spoke of vacuum created by dispersal of FEC. This probably source Elizalde’s statement ur 647.4

Dept agrees with Emb’s attitude outlined ur 651 re inclusion of Phil in ANZUS arrangements5 and there is no likelihood that US cld at this stage agree to such an inclusion nor if it did agree obtain agreement of Austral and NZ. Whole question of Brit and Fr participation wld be raised if Phil shld persist in this endeavor with obvious adverse consequences.

Emb’s comments on Romulo’s suggestion as outlined above wld be appreciated.

  1. These telegrams all deal with reports from Manila concerning interest of Philippine officials, particularly Foreign Secretary Elizalde, in Philippine inclusion in the ANZUS arrangements for implementation, along the lines of the ANZUS apparatus, of the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, which had recently entered into force. (796.5/8–2952; 796.5 MSP/8–2952; 796.5 MSP/9–252)
  2. The meeting took place Aug. 4–7; for related documentation, see Part 1, pp. 172 ff.
  3. For text of the Security Treaty between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, signed Sept. 1, 1951, and entered into force Apr. 29, 1952, see TIAS No. 2493, printed in 3 UST 3420.
  4. Telegram 647 reported that Elizalde characterized as “foolishness” a proposal which he understood Romulo had made for reactivation of the Far Eastern Commission. (796.5 MSP/8–2952) The Commission ceased to function following the signature of the Japanese Peace Treaty in September 1951; see The Far Eastern Commission, 1945–1952 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1953), p. 231.
  5. The Embassy indicated it was undesirable for practical reasons to include the Philippines in the ANZUS arrangements. (796.5 MSP/9–252)