331. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • Philippine-US Relations

PARTICIPANTS

  • The President
  • William McC. Blair, Jr., Ambassador to the Philippines
  • William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs
  • Walt W. Rostow, Special Assistant to the President
  • William J. Jorden, National Security Council Staff

Participants in this meeting with the President have indicated that the following major topics were discussed, and the following decisions reached:

1. Review of Situation

Ambassador Blair reviewed the situation in the Philippines, some of President Marcos’ problems and his progress, and requests [Page 731]made for our help. The assessment was cautiously optimistic. The President indicated his sympathy for the Philippines and for President Marcos.

2. US Panel, Joint Philippine-US Commission on Philippine Veterans Benefits

The President approved an immediate press announcement on the formation and composition of the US panel and said he had been in touch with Senator Long who had agreed to serve.

3. Marcos State Visit

The President expressed his hope that Marcos could come over soonest. He was ready to receive him “today, tomorrow, or next day.” The President stated he was impressed with what he had heard of Marcos. The President expressed a deep personal interest in the Philippines and noted the special interest most Americans have in that country based on history and our special role there in the past. Ambassador Blair and Mr. Bundy pointed out and explained some of the problems involved in a state visit, particularly an early one, and described Marcos’ need for “areas of agreement” in terms of what the US could help him achieve on a visit here.

The President expressed understanding and authorized Ambassador Blair to work out dates which would allow both for the finding of reasonable “areas of agreement” and as prompt a state visit as possible.2

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL PHIL–US. Secret. Drafted by Kattenburg (who did not attend) on May 23 and cleared by the White House on May 19.
  2. Blair and Kattenburg met with Benjamin Romualdez on May 13; a record of that meeting is in telegram 2122 to Manila, May 14. (Ibid., POL 7 PHIL) Blair also met with Assistant Secretary of Defense McNaughton and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Adam Yarmolinsky on May 12. A record of those two separate meetings is in a combined memorandum of conversation, May 12, I–23466/66; Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 6648, Philippines 000.1—333.