796.5 MSP/9–952: Telegram

No. 313
The Ambassador in the Philippines (Spruance) to the Department of State


720. September 8: In response Elizalde’s request further information Acheson–Romulo conversations (Embtels 640, 647),1 Lacy called on Elizalde a.m. September 8 and supplied him personal secret memorandum embodying substance purely repertorial portions Deptel 617, September 4. This follows air pouch.2 All views of Dept in para 1, final sentence para 2, all of para 3 and 4 omitted. Elizalde having finished perusal memorandum launched into excoriation Romulo and his tactics which he labeled dishonest and dangerous. He said that Quirino was “infuriated” by Romulo’s efforts in this matter to inflate his own importance, having acted in important particulars without Presidential instruction.

Elizalde then produced what he described as full docket on US-Phil Treaty-ANZUS business, allowing Lacy to read many pages and himself reading even more aloud. Following conclusions seem justified on basis exposure to dossier:

Romulo acted without Quirino’s permission in suggesting “advisory council” of Pacific nations,
Regardless of (1) above, Quirino and Elizalde will favor proposition or some modification thereof if they believe that Department and White House will receive it sympathetically,
Acceptance by US of Romulo proposal advisory council will not obviate for indefinite period request from Phils for fuller participation military planning in the nature of that arrangement which they believe to be embodied in ANZUS arrangements,
If and when Quirino and Elizalde learn that Department is sympathetically disposed toward Romulo’s proposal, Quirino now plans to address letter to Truman asking Truman’s concurrence [Page 503] “in the principle” of advisory council Pacific nations; Quirino will probably add that he does not expect such a proposal to be activated until after Phil ratification Jap Treaty and probably Phil recognition Associated States of Indochina,
Questioning Elizalde revealed fairly definite statement that Quirino realized no Pacific arrangement possible until Jap Treaty ratified; that Quirino intends to recognize Associated States Indochina shortly after Jap ratification,
Romulo prepared draft of letter to Secretary outlining to Secy “what we discussed in our conference in order that there may be a record thereof”. This letter was to be delivered to Secy upon his return to Washington August 26 if Quirino approved draft which Quirino received about August 15. Quirino described by Elizalde as entirely dissatisfied with draft of letter because (a) it cash shadow on US motives in ANZUS arrangements and (b) acknowledged prevalence in Phil of criticism Phil exclusion ANZUS which Quirino and Elizalde have officially and publicly denied,
Romulo said Allison had asked him to keep nature of proposal as well as substance his conversations with Acheson “from US Emb Manila as Department wished to handle this matter Washington”. Quirino’s complaint is that he does not believe Allison so desired and that Romulo at once “leaked” to INS and UP in order to enhance his position as architect of this plan.

Without urging, Elizalde gave Lacy on personal and secret basis, copy of Romulo’s letter to Quirino dated August 12 in which conversations with Secretary and Allison are described. This follows air pouch.3 Elizalde emphasized conversation on privileged basis and that substance and secrecy conversation must not be revealed to Romulo.

Lacy gave no indication of Department or Embassy view of Romulo proposal. Embassy believes that bargaining position vis-à-vis Phils on this as well as other matters may be enhanced by a reasonable exhibition of reluctance on part US.

Elizalde emphasized several times that Phil Govt did not wish to be fobbed off with a plaything instead of reality in this matter of implementation US-Phil Treaty and that it was for that reason he was eager to know soonest Department reaction to Romulo proposal or some modification thereof.

Embassy views proposal itself (ultimate para Deptel 617, Sept 4) follows soonest.

  1. See footnotes 1 and 4, Document 311.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.