377. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Philippine Reaction to American Policy


  • Ambassador Amelito Mutuc of the Philippine Embassy
  • The President
  • Mr. Duke, Chief of Protocol
  • Mr. Bell, Director, Office of Southwest Pacific Affairs
[Page 812]

The President, recalling that irritations between the United States and the Philippines of some months ago had abated, told Ambassador Mutuc he hoped President Macapagal would feel free to raise with him (President Kennedy) any question of United States policy, particularly in Southeast Asia, which troubled him. The President expressed the belief that an exchange of views on any aspect of United States policy which troubled President Macapagal would be beneficial to both our countries. Ambassador Mutuc said that he was a good personal friend of Ambassador Stevenson and that in the past when Ambassador Stevenson had expressed a desire to develop a close personal contact with President Macapagal, he, Mutuc, had discouraged it because of Philippine domestic political considerations. Mutuc said that Macapagal had taken such a pro-American attitude during the political campaign of 1961 that there was a danger that he would be characterized as an American puppet if he developed too close a personal relationship with the American Ambassador. The President, smiling, observed that it was highly unlikely that President Macapagal would be so characterized now.

When Ambassador Mutuc left the President’s office, the President said the Ambassador should feel free to call on him when he had a matter which he felt needed to be discussed. (From remarks made later by Ambassador Mutuc, he apparently took this invitation literally.)

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Philippines, General, 8/62–12/62. Confidential. Drafted by Bell and cleared by Forrestal for the White House on November 2. The meeting was held at the White House. The President’s Appointment Book indicates it was held from 12:15 to 12:25 p.m. Separate memoranda of this conversation cover a possible State visit by Macapagal and Laos. (Both ibid.)