No. 339
President Eisenhower to President Quirino1


Dear Mr. President: I acknowledge receipt of your letter of September 162 in which you welcome my proposal to send a mission to the Philippines to discuss with a similar body appointed by Your Excellency the expansion and development of certain bases and other outstanding property and related questions. I have instructed [Page 553] the Secretary of State to communicate further with your Government, through the normal diplomatic channels, regarding the matters related to the defense of the Philippines that might properly be considered by our respective missions.

It is my hope that the conversations between our respective missions will lead to an agreement which will enable both our Governments to proceed with the fulfillment of the obligations assumed under the Mutual Defense Treaty. As you are aware, developments in the Far East in recent years make it imperative that we proceed without delaying to an agreement which will permit expansion and development of certain bases. I am confident that Your Excellency would not wish any matter extraneous to the urgent need for implementing our mutual defense to be allowed to jeopardize or delay agreement on the bases question. For these reasons, I am sure you will agree with me that enlargement of the scope of the proposed discussions to include claims arising from the last war is not desirable.

With reference to the claims arising out of organizational and other arrangements effected during the last world war concerning military personnel, I desire to point out that, during the eight years that have elapsed since the termination of hostilities, the United States Government has given careful and thorough consideration to all Philippine claims presented within the generous time limits allowed. The guerrilla recognition program was terminated on June 30, 1948. In a letter to the Department of State on April 21, 1949, the Secretary of the Army stated: “The Department of the Army considers that the recognition program has been properly terminated and that recognition claims have been accorded due and careful consideration in all cases.” This position was communicated to the Philippine Embassy in Washington on May 11, 1949, together with a copy of the April 21 letter from the Secretary of the Army.3

The Philippine Embassy, in a note dated October 30, 1950,3 submitted nine categories of claims which your Government considered chargeable against the fund consisting of the unexpended balance of the appropriation “Expenses: Army of the Philippines.” In a note from the Department of State to the Philippine Embassy at Washington, dated April 30, 1951,3 the United States Government held that sufficient time was allowed for presentation of claims, that these claims were thoroughly investigated and payment made on those considered worthy, and that the entire program was completed [Page 554] on December 31, 1949. Notes of November 24 and December 27, 1950,4 from the Philippine Embassy at Washington requested consideration by the United States of claims for arrears in pay, pensions and other benefits for certain widows and orphans of servicemen of the Philippine Army and for arrears in pay and allowances of certain members of the Philippine Scouts and of the Philippine Army who were formally inducted into the United States Army Forces in the Far East during the last war. In a note dated June 28, 1951,4 the Department of State notified the Philippine Embassy at Washington that an extensive period of time had been provided for presentation of such claims, that these claims had been given due consideration and that the subject was considered closed.

In view of the general thorough consideration given to claims presented by your Government in the period of eight years which has elapsed since the end of the war, I can see no prospect that the United States Government can now or in the foreseeable future give favorable consideration to a reexamination of these claims and I must express my firm conviction that further discussion, arousing as it will vain hopes among so many, would not be in the true interests of our two Governments.

With continued assurances of my highest regards,


Dwight D. Eisenhower
  1. The source text is a typed copy of the letter from the files of the Ad Hoc Interdepartmental Committee on Military Bases Agreement, Philippines. The letter was sent to the Embassy in Manila for delivery to President Quirino.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Not printed.