295. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Philippine Contribution to Defense of Viet-Nam Discussed at Ambassador Ledesma’s Presentation of Credentials


  • The President
  • His Excellency Oscar Ledesma, Ambassador of the Philippines
  • Angier Biddle Duke, Chief of Protocol
  • Robert W. Barnett, Deputy Assistant Secretary, FE

At 5:40, July 9, Mr. Duke escorted Ambassador Ledesma into President Johnson’s office for presentation of credentials. The President greeted Ambassador Ledesma warmly and the Ambassador said he was under instructions to make two points. He brought, he said, from President Macapagal an expression of satisfaction at the warm relations which existed between the Philippines and the United States. He said that President Macapagal was most grateful for President Johnson’s invitation to visit the United States and hoped to accept this invitation as soon as possible.2 Ambassador Ledesma then stated that the Philippine Government had just decided to enlarge its assistance program for South Viet-Nam and to appropriate over 900,000 pesos for that purpose. President Johnson asked what projects were to be financed. Ambassador Ledesma mentioned psychological warfare specialists, medical teams, and community development teams. The President said that he was glad that the Philippines would be “showing its flag” and inquired how many persons would be involved in the programs. Ambassador Ledesma said that he would inform the President as soon as he could determine the numbers.

Pictures were taken and the meeting terminated.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 17–1 PHIL–US. Confidential. Drafted by Barnett and approved by the White House on July 15. The meeting was held at the White House.
  2. On July 28 Thomson informed McGeorge Bundy that “a Macapagal visit involves certain problems: his 1962 visit was canceled at the time of the war damage ruckus; his opponents are critical of his recent foreign wanderings; and he has publicly announced that he doesn’t plan to come to the U.S. before the elections. The Philippine desk is very hesitant to propose a pre-election visit.” Komer wrote the following note on the memorandum: “I’ve told Marshall Green to generate for OK here a cordial invite to Macapagal for October, unless strong reasons why not. But he, like yours truly, can’t see what this does for LBJ.” (Memorandum from Thomson to Bundy, July 28; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Philippines, Vol. I, 11/63–11/64)