No. 332
The Counselor of Embassy in the Philippines (Lacy) to the Director of the Office of Philippine and Southeast Asian Affairs (Bonsal)

top secret
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Dear Phil: I am very grateful to you for your letter of April 13th,1 not only because it supplies me with a very welcome illumination of your views on the Philippine political situation and our relationship to it, but also because I realize that you have been at pains therein to pass to me certain views, which you perhaps believe I will find it difficult to accept, in the most palatable way possible.

After reading and re-reading your letter several times and giving it the benefit of what I light-heartedly call cerebration, I have arrived at the conclusion that, as a practical matter, such differences as may separate your views and mine on the political situation here and the role we should play in it, minor in any case, are of no particular importance (and this is the important thing for me to convince you of, which I can do only by giving you categorical assurances) because this Embassy is maintaining scrupulous neutrality in the present political struggle in the Philippines. You will remember that the Ambassador’s letter to the American community,2 warning them of the necessity of avoiding involvement in the campaign, as well as the statement made on March 30th, reaffirming the Embassy’s neutrality,3 were made on the Embassy’s initiative and not on instructions from the Department. I mention this only to emphasize this Embassy’s desire to establish and maintain our neutrality in this unpleasant business.

. . . . . . .

Faithfully yours,

  1. Not printed. (796.00/5–453)
  2. See footnote 3, Document 330.
  3. The text of Ambassador Spruance’s statement is contained in telegram 2962 from Manila, Mar. 30. (796.00/3–3053)