796.00/3–653: Telegram

No. 330
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Philippines

top secret

2840. For Ambassador from Allison.1 Embtel 2711.2 I am confident Embassy will maintain in fact as well as in appearance absolutely impartial and correct position vis-à-vis Philippine elections and personalities and that Embassy’s prime mission of developing cordial and effective relations with present Philippine Government will continue to be carried out. Nevertheless this does not prevent Embassy continuing to make clear US Govt position on necessity for free elections and serious attention to Bell recommendations and does not preclude assistance to nonpartisan organizations furthering those ends. See Deptel 1720 of Dec 13.3

  1. On Mar. 12, Bonsal sent Allison a memorandum containing the following paragraphs:

    “Mr. Wanamaker and I oppose any Embassy participation (even in the background as suggested by Embtel 2711) in the Philippine elections and believe that … USIS should also limit … activities to support of those nonpartisan organizations working for free elections. For that reason we recommend an immediate reply to Embtel 2711 setting forth the Department’s position.

    “The unclassified instruction [see footnote 3, below] is for the purpose of permitting the Ambassador to make widely and definitively known the United States Government position and to afford a measure of protection to those American citizens and firms that may be asked for campaign contributions.

    “I consider that a forthright declaration of the United States position would be welcomed by Filipinos of both parties.” (PSA files, lot 57 D 416, box 209)

  2. Document 328.
  3. Document 323. On Mar. 14, the Department of State sent the following message to Manila:

    “Department most pleased at press reports [see the New York Times, Mar. 14, 1953] that Ambassador warned Americans living in Philippines to refrain scrupulously from taking part in coming Presidential campaign. Department completely agrees that Philippine politics are exclusive concern of Philippine people and that Americans residing in Philippines should maintain same attitude of strict non-involvement observed by their Government.

    “US Government is confident that observance of fundamental principle upon which both Philippine and U.S. governments based, that of right of people freely to choose leaders, will characterize forthcoming elections and US Government looks forward to continuing full cooperation with any administration elected on basis that fundamental principle.” (Telegram 2854; 796.00/3–1453)