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

8227. Subject: Meeting of Presidents with Advisers, Manila, July 26. Ref: Manila 8218.2

Following is telegraphic summary of memcon covering meeting of Presidents Nixon and Marcos with presidential advisers (reftel) in Manila July 26. Memcon itself approved by Green and pouched Dept from Sun Moon Lake.
President Nixon said he and President Marcos had again had a good talk, covering general exchange of views as well as certain bilateral problems. In latter category were military assistance and Philippine financial problems. He and President Marcos has agreed that such problems should be worked out by the people that handle them on a day-to-day basis. The President noted that the United States had a few financial problems itself, and he would refer specific questions to [Page 409]Secretaries of State and Treasury and New York bankers for further consideration.

Of greater interest, the President continued, was their discussion of US future role in Asia. Manner in which war in Vietnam was settled would have considerable bearing on this question. He had described progress of Paris Talks, and said there were some “glimmers of change” leading to hope, but no real change. Lull in fighting, how-ever, deserved careful watching. For its part, US has been as forthcoming as it could be and President Thieu could not go further without being brought down.

The President said that US had withdrawn forces and would withdraw more. If Hanoi increased military activity in face of this, further appraisal would be necessary. At same time did not want to appear too pessimistic since there was some possibility we might be on verge of break over.

Way in which war concluded, the President added, must not prejudice future US role in Asia. American experience in Korea and Vietnam tended to disillusion average American. But US is Pacific power and must continue to play major role in area of vital future significance. Therefore satisfactory long-term solution to Vietnam problem must be found which will not damage American spirit. New approaches thus were needed. The US will continue to help, he said, but cannot continue as we have sometimes done in the past, to try to do it all ourselves.
President Marcos said he had been greatly heartened at what President Nixon had said to him. He had been deply concerned about the prospect of an American withdrawal. He now understood US dilemma and had received new perspective on US difficulties. Other Asian countries as well would be happy to know US had no intention of precipitate withdrawal.
Under these circumstances, President Marcos continued, he felt the Philippines could plan to face the dangers of internal subversion rather than external aggression. On former Philippines needed to develop capabilities farther. He noted that Red China is still trying to export subversive war, and that he needed US material help but not US forces. He and President Nixon had agreed, he said, that economic stability was an essential element in resisting internal subversion.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 US/NIXON/MOONGLOW. Secret; Priority; Nodis; Moonglow.
  2. Telegram 8218 from Manila, August 4, summarized the details of the Presidential Advisers meeting in Manila on July 26. The U.S. side included Kissinger, Rogers, and Green. The conversation centered on various aspects of U.S. financial assistance to and dealings with the Philippines. (Ibid., POL 7 US/NIXON)