299. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson 1

Talking Points for Macapagal. He clearly expects that Vietnam will be uppermost on your mind, and will probably make his offer to help. We want to embrace enthusiastically the idea of more Fil aid, but steer him on to Rusk and McNamara on the more dubious specifics.

Since these people are [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], I’d urge you have at least Bill Bundy or Blair in the room, both to protect your flank and to give us a quick readout for the talks to follow.

Vietnam. We’re determined to see this through (a firm line will reassure Macapagal). Depth of our commitment is such that we couldn’t appear to be pulling out. This would be misread in VN as well as by Chicoms.
But we enthusiastically agree that there should be more Asians helping Asians. We’re impressed with performance of Fils already there, and would warmly welcome more. The two governments should get together and prepare detailed plans.
Indonesia-Malaysia. Flatter Macapagal by frankly asking his advice on how to keep this dispute from blowing up.
We appreciate Fil mediation on Malaysia dispute and agree with idea of “Asian” solution. But we can see why Tunku insists Sukarno stop attacks and pull out guerillas first. We hope Fils will restore diplomatic relations with the Tunku. No comment if he brings up Fil claim to N. Borneo.
If he switches to Indo threat to Philippines, we think that our bilateral defense agreement and Seventh Fleet will insulate Fils from overt attack. As to subversive threat, we agree Fils should strengthen their defensive posture in South. Let’s consult on this, but Fils too must help by more budgetary support for their own forces. We hope to avoid the big new MAP commitment Fils want.
Rice. Our supply is limited, but we can provide 100,000 tons on same basis as 1964 except for minor changes required by new PL 480 law (e.g. freight charges).
We want to complain about threat to US investment from new Fil Retail Trade Nationalization Law. He’s on our side, but should be told that this law jeopardizes long-established US businesses in Philippines. We couldn’t get any legislation favorable to Fils through Congress if this is not settled.
If he raises our base rights, we’ll consider any proposition he has.
If he raises new air route, we’re prepared to negotiate and think Fils could have a Manila-Tokyo-Seattle route if agreement can be reached on rates, capacities, no unilateral restrictions, etc.
On veterans claims, we’ll buy a joint committee but want to discourage him on Omnibus Claims.
If he wants the special education fund set up under the new War Damage law to be used in his land reform program, we’ll look at this carefully. We need suitable auditing procedure to satisfy both Congresses however.
If he raises Laurel-Langley trade agreement (parity clause protecting US business operations is now under fire), we’re prepared to study any proposals Fils may have.

After the meeting, we have the boat ceremony in Fish Room with press and guests.

R. W. Komer

N.B. Special warmth to this highly sensitive man is as important as what we can give him. With some discreet hints from us, he’s going to laud our VN role in speeches here.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Philippines, Vol. I, Memos, 11/63–11/64. Secret.