230. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Minutes of the Meeting of the 40 Committee, 6 October 1970


  • Mr. Kissinger, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Packard, Mr. Johnson, Lt. Gen. Richard T. Knowles, and Mr. Helms
  • Mr. Charles A. Meyer, Mr. Viron P. Vaky, and Mr. William Broe were present for Item 1.
  • Mr. John Holdridge and Mr. William Nelson were present for Items 2 and 3.
  • Colonel Richard T. Kennedy and Mr. Thomas Karamessines were present for all items.

[Omitted here is discussion of Chile.]

2. Philippines

The Chairman reviewed the recent visit of First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos and the web she tried to weave around Washington while here. She had expressed herself to higher authority2 and Mr. Helms as well as others, throwing curve balls around a leftist threat to the Constitutional Convention, the need for a huge balance of payments loan, high impact projects, i.e. rural electrification and support for her husband’s political campaign. As a result, four questions had been passed to Ambassador Byroade in Manila. He had replied with a 10-page cable on 30 September 1970.3
The Ambassador’s assessment did not support the First Lady’s scare talk. The Byroade analysis was that Marcos was in full control at this time.
It was also noted that Marcos was allegedly angered by his wife’s freewheeling; none of this had come directly from him and she might be launching personal political ambitions.
Mr. Johnson, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Helms, and Mr. Packard generally agreed with the Byroade assessment. Mr. Kissinger pointed out that higher authority was sensitive on matters like this and did not want to be told everything was all right only to awaken months later to find the bottom dropping out. Mr. Helms said the basic question was: Do we want at this time to earmark funds for covert support of Marcos candidates at a time when President Marcos—no neophyte at feeding at our trough—had not yet asked for a peso.
Mr. Nelson pointed out that there were 2400 candidates for about 130 seats and that current information was that the party in power had more than a 50% leverage, the opposition no more than 25%.
[less than 1 line of source text not declassified]Manila was directed to make an independent assessment (considering the worst that could occur) in as much detail as possible and have it ready for next week’s meetings. [1 line of source text not declassified]

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Philippines.]

Peter Jessup
  1. Source: National Security Council Files, Nixon Intelligence Files, 40 Committee Minutes, October 6, 1970. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. Imelda Marcos had met with President Nixon on September 22 from 12:42 p.m. to 1:14 p.m. No record of this meeting has been found.
  3. Byroade’s backchannel message to Green, September 30, was forwarded to the 40 Committee and the NSC under an October 1 covering memorandum [text not declassified]. (National Security Council Files, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject File, Philippines)