343. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

Mr. President:


  • Your second meeting with President Marcos, 5 p.m. Thursday

It is clear that you got through a tremendous amount of essential business with President Marcos at your first meeting today, Wednesday.2 I do not know, of course, how much time you had for general discussion of your perspective and his on Asia and the world.

I suspect that the most important single thing you can do on this visit is to ask his advice about Asia and to request him to present to you candidly his vision of the future of Asia. I say this not merely because of what we know of the man from reports, but from the rather remarkable statement he made in response to your welcome and his toast at the State Department lunch.3 On the latter occasion he spoke wonderfully well of his desire, while maintaining his ties to the U.S. of reaching back into the Asian foundations of Philippine life and developing on this basis a role in a new Asia.

Therefore I suggest that you tell him:

of the excitement and encouragement you have derived from the spirit of the new Asia which has developed remarkably in the past year;
the U.S. does not intend to leave Asia but, as you said at Lancaster, Ohio,4 you look for the regions of the world to take a larger hand in their own destiny in the future, as they can develop together and solve their own problems in their own way. You assume President Marcos shares this vision.
Above all, you have looked forward to his visit to hear directly from him his own vision of the future of Asia; the role of the Philippines in Asia; and his advice to you about what we should do and not do with respect to Asia.

W. W. Rostow 5
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 12, 9/1/66–9/14/66. Secret.
  2. September 14. Johnson met Marcos alone in the “Little Lounge” off the Oval Office from 5:26 to 7:46 p.m. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary) No written record of this conversation has been found, but see Document 345 for a discussion between Rusk and Johnson concerning what Rusk should inform the press about the meeting.
  3. The exchange of greetings by Johnson and Marcos, September 14, is printed in Department of State Bulletin, October 10, 1966, pp. 526–528. No record has been found of the exchange of toasts at the Department of State lunch on September 14.
  4. For Johnson’s remarks on foreign policy at Fairfield County Fairground, Lancaster, Ohio, September 5, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966, Book II, pp. 973–975.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.