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To General Douglas MacArthur
November 1, 1943 Radio No. 9896 Washington, D.C.
Most confidentially for MacArthur’s EYES ONLY from Marshall.
It probably will be the desire of the administration in connection with action in President Quezon’s case at the time of his retirement November 15, to secure in some form prior to November 15 a statement of Naval and Air Bases which the Philippine Government would cede to the United States.
There will possibly be Congressional action, inspired by Senator Tydings, on the general question of Philippine independence, but whatever the method of keeping Quezon in a dominant position it is desired to secure a commitment during the next 10 days regarding the bases mentioned.1 Please let me have your recommendations as to locations of Air Bases in the Philippine Archipelago.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-220, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Philippine President Manuel Quezon’s term of office expired on November 15, 1943, but he had been pressing the Roosevelt administration to continue his term for the duration of the war and to grant the Commonwealth immediate independence. MacArthur had supported Quezon’s positions. (D. Clayton James, The Years of MacArthur, 3 vols. [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1970-85], 2: 513-15.)
Senator Millard E. Tydings, Democrat from Maryland and chairman of the Territories and Insular Affairs Committee, had already held hearings on Senate Joint Resolution 81, which he had introduced on September 24, that would grant immediate independence to the Philippines. Secretary of War Stimson was opposed to this “disastrous” proposal because “it would be very difficult to arrange for the getting of the necessary bases to protect the Philippines with and to get the necessary economic arrangements which would protect the Filipinos’ course of life.” (September 27, 1943, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 44: 148-49].) On November 3, Tydings introduced a new resolution—Senate Joint Resolution 93—that called for independence as soon as possible. President Roosevelt signed this resolution, which included an agreement on U.S. bases, on June 30, 1944. On November 5, 1943, Tydings introduced Senate Joint Resolution 95 to continue the present officers of the Philippine government in office; this was signed by the president on November 12, 1943.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 176.