Manila: 1937 - 1940. 52 leaves, most with typescript to recto only. ~ 10-1/2" x 8-1/8". Letters housed in a file folder, attached at top with two prong paper fastener. Age-toning & staining. Fastener rusted. Folder front cover chipped & detached. A VG cache. Item #44229
A cache of 40+ typed letters and TLs exchanged between the Office of the President of the Philippines and various officers of the U.S. High Commissioner of the Philippines, many on official letterhead and some marked "confidential." The letters, ordered chronologically, chart the negotiations, defense concerns, and sometimes uneasy power sharing between the two administrations in regards to the rules and regulations governing aerial photography of the islands. Issues discussed include the advisability of allowing aerial photography by outside entities, the feasiblity of specifying no-fly zones for aerial photography without interferring with commercial flights, enforcement efforts, and the powers afforded the two administrations.
The majority of the letters expressing the Commonwealth's position are from and signed by Jorge B. Vargas, then serving as Executive Secretary to President Manuel Quezon. Later, Vargas administered Manila as an open city during the Japanese occupation in 1942 and served in the puppet government of the Second Philippine Republic; following the war, he chaired the National Planning Committee, served on the board of regents of the University of the Philippines, and became the first Filipino on the International Olympic Committee. In 1960, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the Republic of the Philippines. Signed letters from the U.S. High Commission include several from Major General R. L. Holbrook as well as Colonel/Acting Chief of Staff E. H. DeArmond.
From the first letter, dated May 25, 1937: "under the present prohibitive measures regarding aerial photography embodied in Proclamation No. 485 of the Governor-General dated August 12, 1932, and in the Bureau of Aeronautics rules and regulations, it is believed that the granting of permission to aviation companies, particularly to an aerial photographic company, to take pictures, will be exceedingly difficult and complicated. This office is studying the advisability of altering the present rules and regulations..." Jorge B. Vargas, Secretary to the President.
From November 12, 1938: "So long as the Philippine Islands remain United States territory the United States is responsible for their defense, and that responsibility, at least so far as land operations are concerned, devolves upon the Commanding General . . . . To say that the Department Commander is supreme in time of war or grave emergency, but that, in time of peace, his responsibilities are limited to administrative control over United States military personnel and United States military reservations, and that in peace time he should not interest himself in control or prevention of activities which may have the gravest consequences in time of war or public emergency, is manifestly contradictory..." Edward H. DeArmond, Colonel, (FS), G.S.C., Acting Chief of Staff.
From October 26, 1939: "I have the honor to inform you that in an investigation conducted by proper authorities of this Government, Mr. B. A. Glover, airplane pilot in the emply of Elizalde & Co., was found guilty of violation of the provisions of Proclamation No. 364 of the President of the Philippines, in view of which he was suspended as transport pilot for a period of one month from October 18 to November 17, 1939, inclusive, and warned that repetition of a similar offense in the future will be subject of a more drastic action." Jorge B. Vargas, Secretary to the President.
An interesting cache of material documenting activities of the transitional government of the Philippines, just prior to the outbreak of WWII.