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

Chief Macapagal business this afternoon is attached communiqué,2 now approved by Macapagal. At Fil request, it’s long and meaty, with many details befitting our “special relationship”: (1) reaffirmation of SEATO commitments and defense in SEA; (2) study of mutual security needs; (3) joint commission on veterans’ claims; (4) our support of land reform; [Page 666](5) we’ll plan together on using joint fund for education; (6) our interest in rural electrification; (7) new PL 480 rice; (8) our stand on new Fil retail trade law, etc. We’re happy with it.

Macapagal told McNamara that he thought it worthwhile to gamble on keeping Sukarno from going East—but Sukarno needed some kind of “golden bridge” (i.e. aid) to justify his climbing down on Malaysia issue.3 For Vietnam he mentioned a battalion of troops (1200), but a lot of staff work is needed yet. We don’t see much meaningful short term input. Bob said we’d find some way to help the Fils re-orient their defenses to the south, and beef up their military budget. Any increases in our MAP would depend on their increasing too.

Most of Macapagal-Rusk talk4 was on Malaysia and Sukarno. This time our friend stressed his disillusionment with the Bung, so Rusk suggested that restoring Fil-Malay relations would be a good signal.

Macapagal’s noon Press Club talk (attached)5 was helpful on Vietnam.

Talking points. You might hit the following for emphasis:6

Visit most helpful from your viewpoint. We rely on our Fil friends to advise us on Southeast Asia.
We’re delighted that Fils want to help out more in Vietnam. We’ll be in touch on staff level as soon as possible.
Since Malaysia-Indonesia wasn’t highlighted in your talk yesterday7 (it was with Rusk and McNamara), you might ask for any final words of advice.
We’ll keep trying to forestall an Indo-Malaysia blow-up, but hope Fils will patch things up with Malays, as a warning to Sukarno.
Wish him pleasant US trip (his path crosses yours 11 October in Frisco).

R. W. Komer
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. VII, Oct.–Dec., 1964. Secret. There is an indication on the memorandum that the President saw it.
  2. Not attached; for text of the communiqué, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1964, pp. 946–949.
  3. See Document 301.
  4. see footnote 3, Document 301.
  5. Not attached.
  6. Johnson met Macapagal on the White House grounds at 5:30 p.m. and walked with him to the Cabinet Room where they stayed until 5:42 p.m. They attempted to go to the President’s office, but could not because television crews were still there clearing away their equipment. The two Presidents then went to the Fish Room and into the lobby of the White House. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary) No record of their discussion has been found.
  7. See Document 300.