Joint Statement Following Discussions With the President of the Philippines.
THE PRESIDENT of the United States and the President of the Philippines today concluded the fruitful discussions they have held over the past days. These talks dealt with Philippine-American relations and matters of international significance to both countries. They were the latest in the long history of exchanges between Presidents of the two countries and reflected the spirit of special friendship and cooperation which has existed between the Philippines and the United States over the years. The two Presidents expressed their confidence that the American and Philippine peoples would continue to benefit from this close association in the future.
The two Presidents exchanged views on the situation in southeast Asia and pledged themselves to maintain the unity of commitment and purpose between their countries in defense of the right of the free nations of southeast Asia to determine their own future.
President Johnson noted with deep appreciation the response by the Philippines to the requests of the Government of Viet-Nam for aid in its defense against communist subversion and aggression. The two Presidents agreed that it is of the utmost importance to free men throughout the world that communist force not be permitted to dictate their future. Noting the struggle of the people of South Viet-Nam against communist aggression and its implication for all free people, the two Presidents reaffirmed their intention to stand by the people of South Viet-Nam and reiterated their commitment to the defense of southeast Asia under the SEATO Treaty.
President Macapagal noted that prompt and decisive action by the United States in the Gulf of Tonkin had once again confirmed American readiness and determination to resist aggression in southeast Asia to help assure its progress under freedom.
President Johnson expressed his appreciation to President Macapagal for the latter's efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia. Both Presidents agreed that it is vitally important that this dispute, which now threatens the peace and stability of the Southwest Pacific area, be resolved.
The two Presidents recognized that the aggressive intentions and activities of Communist China continue to present an imminent threat in the Far East and in southeast Asia. They reviewed, in this connection, the importance of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States in maintaining the security of both countries, and reaffirmed their commitment to meet any threat that might arise against their security. President Johnson made it clear that, in accordance with these existing alliances and the deployment and dispositions thereunder, any armed attack against the Philippines would be regarded as an attack against United States forces stationed there and against the United States and would instantly be repelled.
The United States and the Philippines agreed to study their mutual requirements for security, to review existing programs, and to consider changes needed to achieve increased capability and flexibility in the Philippine response to aggression and threats of aggression.
The two Presidents agreed that the relationship between their respective countries was a dynamic and flexible association with a history of past achievement and a heavy stake in a common future. In the spirit of this alliance, the two Presidents agreed that any matter of interest to either party related thereto should be the subject of friendly and frank discussion, and each President invited the views of the other in this regard.
The two Presidents likewise took cognizance of matters pertaining to Philippine veterans of World War II and agreed on the establishment of a joint commission to study this subject further.
President Macapagal reviewed the economic progress made by the Philippines in recent years. President Johnson commended the land reform program, initiated by President Macapagal this year, as holding out renewed hope to the Philippine people for the solution of the land tenure problems which, for decades, had beset a major sector of its economy. President Johnson noted past United States support for Philippine agrarian reform and expressed his hope that American assistance could continue in the future, particularly in the realization of the land reform objectives of the Philippines.
Both Presidents discussed the disposition of the Special Fund for education, provided for in the Philippine War Damage legislation. They agreed to consider plans including the possible formation of a joint committee which would ensure use of this fund to further educational programs to the mutual advantage of the Philippines and the United States, among which educational programs pertaining to land reform would be eligible.
President Macapagal explained the goals of his Socio-Economic Program and its objective of alleviating the plight of the common man in the Philippines. President Johnson reiterated his belief that it was the responsibility of this generation everywhere to join the campaign against poverty and the ills associated with it and pledged American support for worthy projects contributing to the economic development of the Philippines. The two Presidents noted that one area of particular interest which could bring great benefit to the Philippine people was rural electrification. President Macapagal said that Philippine Government plans envisage the establishment of generating and distribution electric systems in 607 towns and 400 selected barrios. President Johnson observed that a team of American experts has arrived in the Philippines and, working with private and public Philippine energy experts, would cooperate in developing plans for this nationwide system of expanding power generation and distribution with its special attention to rural areas.
The two Presidents looked to developments in the trade between their respective countries and in the world trading community that could assure expanding markets for the leading exports of the Philippines, including sugar, coconut products, abaca, lumber, minerals and others. The Philip, pines expressed their readiness and willingness to supply additional sugar to the American market.
In response to President Macapagal's report of the damage inflicted in the Philippines by recent typhoons, President Johnson indicated his Government's intention to donate 25,000 tons of grain available under the Food for Peace Program. In addition, he pledged United States readiness to make available for purchase 100,000 tons of rice deliverable in 1965 to the Philippine Government under Public Law 480, Title I.
President Johnson and President Macapagal agreed that representatives of the two governments would meet at a mutually agreeable date for negotiations leading to the solution of the current aviation problems.
The two Presidents noted the major contribution made by foreign private investment to the development and continued strength of their countries. President Johnson pointed out in this regard that United States economic relations with the Philippines would be seriously impaired if an enforcement of the Philippine Retail Trade Nationalization Law were to prejudice the position of long-established American firms. He observed that the Government of the Philip, pines had committed itself that the United States firms would not be affected by the Retail Trade Nationalization Law. He expressed confidence that the Government of the Philippines would uphold its long-standing commitments contained, inter alia, in a note of the Department of Foreign Affairs of August 4, 1954.
The visit of President Macapagal was also the occasion for the signing of a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion. The two Presidents agreed that the treaty reaffirmed the historic ties between their countries and strengthened the revenue administration of their respective governments.
The Presidents agreed that their Governments should continue their studies of matters relative to the United States-Philippine Trade Agreement.
President Johnson and President Macapagal concluded that the understandings reached, as well as the personal relationship established during this visit, will contribute greatly to the good will and friendship which traditionally support Philippine-American relations and to the mutual effort of the two countries to uphold, defend and preserve the common ideals of democracy, freedom and the rule of law which their peoples share.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Discussions With the President of the Philippines. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242529