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

1564. Eyes only for the Ambassador. Deliver letter below from the President to President Marcos. Please brief Bill Bundy but handle this matter in great confidence until actual announcement of visit can be made.

“Dear President Marcos: I have just had a full report from Vice President Humphrey about his recent visit with you. I was very glad that he had a chance to give you a full account of the meeting in Honolulu and additional measures which are being taken to assure success of the effort in South Viet-Nam.

I was especially interested in his report of your views of your own situation in the Philippines and on the problems we all face in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific. I was impressed by what you said about the [Page 723]need for Asian leaders themselves to take a greater degree of leadership in such matters and I want you to know that you would have our fullest support in the suggestions you have made in that direction. With a strong mandate from your own people and with an assured period of leadership ahead of you, you are in an excellent position to play an active role in building greater solidarity among the free nations of Asia and the Pacific.

Your stirring recent address on Viet-Nam and your private remarks to the Vice President have been a source of great encouragement and inspiration to us here. Your decision to place some of your own fine units alongside your allies in South Viet-Nam is a courageous one and will guarantee the solidarity between our two countries which is so important to the peace and prosperity of the Philippines as well as to the stability of the entire area.

I know that your schedule is heavily burdened as you assume your great responsibilities but I want you to know that I would personally warmly welcome you if you could find a time to visit Washington. I would try to adjust my schedule to meet yours and I would understand if you wished to get certain matters behind you before you come. Perhaps you and Ambassador Blair could be in touch with each other on a most private basis about possible dates, if the idea appeals to you. I do think it important that the matter remain private until we can make a joint announcement about your visit.

May I, in closing, express my respect for the way in which you have taken hold of the reins of government and for the policies which you have so responsibly and clearly set forth to guide your great country.”

Rusk
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL PHIL–US. Confidential; Nodis. Drafted by Rusk and cleared by McGeorge Bundy.