356. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Philippines1

510. Your 264.2 Department and Defense have noted following points affecting Milba formal negotiations. 1. Inevitable preoccupation Magsaysay with election campaign as result his break with Recto. 2. Desirability of continuing informal negotiations with Magsaysay to reach full informal agreement on form and substance formal phase before it starts. 3. Probability bitter political fight developing and producing tense atmosphere not conducive objective negotiations. 4. Time needed for satisfactory progress our public relations efforts. 5. Opportunity offered Recto by electoral campaign to develop emotional pressures against negotiations if they then in progress and force Philippine negotiators into extreme position. 6. Opportunity election campaign for Magsaysay use whole issue US-Philippine defense arrangements and Recto’s opposition to them as effective campaign material.

View foregoing believe it might be helpful suggest informally Magsaysay that formal phase negotiations be deferred until November. Request your opinion and comments.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56396/7–2655. Secret. Drafted by Cuthell of PSA and Captain B.A. Robbins of ISA/FE; approved by Robertson and in substance by Robbins for OSD. Repeated to CINCPAC
  2. Supra.