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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
May 11, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]
I recommend that the attached letter concerning Philippine Bases be presented to the President.1
I understand that Mr. Forrestal has already submitted the Navy proposal to the President. However, I suggest that you send a copy of the attached letter to Mr. Forrestal with the proposal that he have his people amend it to include the Navy requirement so that a joint letter from the two of you can be submitted. This of course would simplify matters for the President.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The enclosures (drafted by the Operations Division) included a single-spaced, one-and-one-half-page letter, for the secretary of war’s signature, with attached statement of general principles and list of bases under U.S. Army consideration. “For the and mutual protection’ of the Philippines area after independence is granted, close cooperation by the Filipinos with United States military forces will be required,” stated the letter to the president. U.S. military responsibilities should be “limited to those which are beyond the capabilities of the Filipinos,” and it was contemplated that “the Filipinos will take over a large proportion of the ground responsibilities as the military effectiveness of their forces increases.” (Stimson to Truman, May 11, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. “I received the completed proposal on behalf of the Army in regard to Philippine bases this morning,” Stimson recorded, “and sent the original to the President and copies to the Navy and to Joe Grew. It is a good paper.” (May 11, 1945, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 55: 119].) On May 14 Stimson, Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal, Under Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew, and Senator Millard E. Tydings met with President Truman at the White House. “The Navy had accepted our statement of principles as perfectly satisfactory to them for themselves,” wrote Stimson, “so the two reports of the two Services were consolidated into a single statement of principles for both as well as the list of the localities where the bases would be placed for both.” Philippine President Osme