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Letter to the Members of the Philippine War Damage Commission in Response to Their Final Report.

March 29, 1951


As the Philippine War Damage Commission terminates its work, I wish to commend you and the other members of the Commission on the outstanding manner in which you have discharged your responsibilities. It is particularly noteworthy, and something all too rare in government annals, that the Commission, in advance of the time prescribed by Congress, has been able to complete the tremendous task of considering 1,248,901 claims and paying out more than $388 million at an administrative cost well below that provided by law.

The program which your Commission undertook following the passage of the act of Congress of April 30, 1946 represented something new in the history of the United States because this Government had never before assumed the responsibility of restoration of private property destroyed in time of war. The program was one, however, that the American people, who were themselves still mourning the loss of some 300,000 of their own sons and daughters and who then, as now, were confronted with staggering postwar problems, never questioned. In recognition of the loyalty and friendship of the people of the Philippines, all were agreed that we should assist them in getting a firm start on the road back toward the reestablishment of a normal economy. Your Commission has played a vital role in helping the people of the Philippines in this task. Your program has ,strengthened the Philippine economy, it has helped restore many important buildings and facilities throughout the Islands, and it has enabled thousands of people to reestablish themselves in business, in agriculture, and in other pursuits.

The Philippine and American people have been closely associated for more than fifty years and it is my earnest hope that the two nations will continue that dose association and cooperation in meeting the great problems which confront all freedom-loving people today. I believe that the work of the Commission has contributed materially to the realization of that hope.

In accepting your resignation on completion of a task well done, I wish to express my personal appreciation for your outstanding services as a member of the Philippine War Damage Commission, and to commend the Philippine and American members of your staff for their splendid contribution.

Very sincerely yours,


Note: This is the text of identical letters sent to each of the three members of the Commission: Frank A. Waring, Chairman; Francisco A. Delgado, and John A. O'Donnell.

The Commissioners' letter to the President, dated March 26, and transmitting the report, was released with the President's reply. The report, "Rehabilitation of the Philippines: Final and Ninth Semiannual Report of the United States Philippine War Damage Commission, Manila, Philippines, March 31, 1951," was printed by the Government Printing Office (1951, 96 pp.).

Harry S. Truman, Letter to the Members of the Philippine War Damage Commission in Response to Their Final Report. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230346

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