355. Telegram From the Embassy in the Philippines to the Department of State1

264. Deptel 283.2Milba. My intention is to continue informal conversations with Magsaysay (see despatch 12423), rather than institute “formal negotiations” in sense Dept has in mind, until point and/or time reached when other procedure appears desirable and holds promise some success.

I am convinced we must have Magsaysay’s full support as condition precedent, if we are to achieve objectives set forth in terms of reference.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56396/7–2655. Secret. Repeated to COMNAVPHIL and the Commanding General, 13th Air Force; passed to CINCPAC for information.
  2. In telegram 283, July 22, Ferguson suggested that formal negotiations on the military base issue be deferred until the Philippine Congress adjourned. A delay in negotiations would also permit preliminary informal discussions between him and Magsaysay to begin and would allow time for the United States to initiate a public relations campaign aimed at altering the present “unsatisfactory Philippine public attitude toward bases.” (Ibid., 711.56396/7–2255)
  3. Despatch 1242, June 3, transmitted the text of a note from the Philippine Government. In the note, the Philippines concurred with the U.S. view that negotiations should commence soon in order to solve “once and for all” problems relating to the American military bases in the Philippines. For that purpose, Magsaysay had appointed a Philippine panel of negotiators for the forthcoming conference; the eight-member negotiating team was headed by Carlos P. Garcia, who was concurrently Vice-President and Foreign Secretary of the Philippines. Noting this development, Ferguson commented: “I do not plan to take any cognizance of the panel named in the note. Instead, on present suggestions of Magsaysay, I plan to negotiate directly with him.” (Ibid., 711.56396/6–355)