June 6, 1942

a.m. Having himself dictated a letter to President Roosevelt requesting that he be given a seat on the Pacific War Council, which was sitting in Washington, Quezon gave me his proposed draft to read and advise him as to its form. I read it with dismay. He had been watching my face and asked me: “What’s wrong with it?” I told him that his strong reference to the contrast of the gallant resistance of the Filipinos to the aggression of Japan with the “supine surrender” of the English at Singapore, and the “inefficient battle” put up by the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies somewhat jolted me. I asked him to consider that he was asking for the honour of a seat on the United Nations Pacific War Council, although his own country was already represented there by President Roosevelt. I suggested to him to omit all such criticisms of allied nations the representatives of which already sat on this Council; that those phrases might actually block his own admission, especially since Harry Hopkins was “one thousand per cent pro-English.” I urged him to send no letter to President Roosevelt on this subject, but merely to call up Harry Hopkins on the telephone and make his request, and I believed it would be accepted. His was a perfectly reasonable request and was similar to proposals understood to have been already made by Australia and India to the British Government–both of which propositions were backed by American public opinion. I also said that if his request was granted, this would be considered by the outside world as another step towards independence of the Philippines.

In a few days, he was invited to become a member of the Council and subsequently played an active and useful part in discussions there over the whole Pacific scene.


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