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To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
May 1, 1945 Radio No. WAR-75548. Washington, D.C.
General Marshall to General MacArthur EYES ONLY.
The President has just talked to me regarding Civil Affairs in the Philippines.1 He is to see Osmena on Friday [May 4] and will probably see Mr. Stimson Wednesday or Thursday.2
Mr. Truman is being pressed by Mr. Ickes to appoint a High Commissioner but is opposed to such action.3 Osmena proposes that Mr. Truman designate some civilian to be his special representative in the Philippines but without the title of High Commissioner. He doubts whether this should be done.
He proposed to me the following procedure: The immediate appointment of a special commission headed by Senator Tydings and to be composed of one representative each of the War Production Board, the Shipping Board, the Veterans Bureau, and the Foreign Economic Administration, to proceed to the Philippines and prepare a report for his guidance. He felt that Senator Tydings and this board would make unnecessary the appointment of any special representative as suggested by Osmena, though their stay in the islands would only be temporary.4 Radio me EYES ONLY your reaction to this procedure.5
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 093, Philippines, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. On May 1 General Marshall met with President Truman at the White House at 3:00 P.M. They discussed issues regarding the Philippines such as providing relief supplies, whether there should be an American resident representative there, postwar bases, and reconstruction. (Marshall took to the White House meeting a map and three double-spaced pages of notes drafted by O.P.D. titled “Philippine Islands,” May 1, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. President of the Philippines Sergio Osmeña had first met with President Truman on April 19, and they were scheduled to meet again at the White House on May 4. (Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, vol. 1, Year of Decisions [Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company, 1955], pp. 65–66, 275–76.) Secretary of War Stimson met with President Truman on May 2, and among the topics discussed was the Philippines. (May 2, 1945, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 51: 91–92].)
3. Harold L. Ickes had served as secretary of the interior since 1933. When the Japanese forces occupied the Philippines, President Roosevelt transferred to Secretary Ickes the duties of the U.S. high commissioner there. (T. H. Watkins, Righteous Pilgrim: The Life and Times of Harold L. Ickes, 1874–1952 [New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1990], pp. 781–83.)
4. Senator Millard E. Tydings (Democrat from Maryland) served as chairman of the Filipino Rehabilitation Commission and had supported Philippine independence.
5. See the following document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-111 [5: 164].
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945–January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 163–164.