359. Telegram From the Embassy in the Philippines to the Department of State 1

546. Eyes only Robertson. Following Dept’s suggestion (Deptel 6102) I saw President Magsaysay this morning and endeavored encourage [Page 603] him react decision re trip without awaiting word as to availability funds for his rural program. I emphasized considerations advanced Deptel 6263 re impossibility associating grants or loans with visits by Chiefs of State to U.S.

In response President stated and reiterated that he will not travel to US merely for purpose signing agreement if he is unable bring back financial aid. He emphasized that he has fought and is fighting Recto on issue of President’s support of US, pointing out that in contrast foreign policy Recto has supported him on every domestic issue. While he, Magsaysay, has been supporting the US, Recto has made clear his dislike things American by fighting JUSMAG, American bases, and everything else American.

President stated his people will find it impossible to understand if he cannot now, following his defeat of Recto in yesterday’s convention,4 go to US and get help. Recto would laugh at him and he would “lose face in Philippines”. Further, President would not have leg to stand on in negotiations re bases or anything else in which the US is involved if he is unable to get the extra money and help he needs for rural improvements.

President stated he was elected on basis his friendship toward US and US friendship toward him; in conviction Magsaysay could get more aid than any others from US he was selected candidate for Presidency and Laurel 5 dropped out of Presidential race. Magsaysay would not have tried fight Recto if he had not considered this to be our desire and if he had not felt so friendly to US. What has been accomplished up until now (and at convention) will be useless and of no help unless President can get extra aid to help his cause in the coming campaign. President is convinced even Quirino6 received more from US than he has been able to obtain.

To further emphasize his decision this matter Magsaysay said he will not go to US nor will he run in 1957 unless he can get for his country this aid which he considers so completely justified.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 411.9641/8–2255. Secret; Priority.
  2. See footnote 2, Supra .
  3. Supra .
  4. At the Nationalist Party convention on August 21, Senator Recto was denied inclusion on the party’s official state of senatorial candidates. Since Recto was the leading opponent of Magsaysay’s policies, this represented a significant political victory for the President.
  5. Senator José P. Laurel, Sr. His son, José P. Laurel, Jr., was Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives.
  6. Elpidio Quirino, President of the Philippines, 1948–1953.