GENERAL MACARTHUR with Maj. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright on 10 October 1941.

 

The appointment of General MacArthur as commander of all Army forces in the Far East was part of the larger problem of mobilization and training of the Philippine Army. By July 1941 it was clear that some decision on the use of the Philippine Army would soon have to be made. On 7 July MacArthur presented his views on the mobilization and training of the Philippine Army in a personal letter to the Chief of Staff, adding that the creation of a high command for the Far East "would result in favorable psychological and morale reactions."9 A week later General Gerow summarized for the Chief of Staff the steps being taken for improving the defenses of the Philippine Islands, and on 17 July made the following specific recommendations:

1. That the President, by executive order, call into the service of the U.S. for the period of the emergency all organized military forces of the Commonwealth.

2. That General MacArthur be called to active duty in the grade of Major General and assigned as commander of Army Forces in the Far East.

3. That $10,000,000 of the President's Emergency Fund be allotted to cover the costs of mobilization and training of the Philippine Army for a period of three months.

4. That the training program of the Philippine Army for an additional six to nine months be financed from the sugar excise fund, or from other funds appropriated for this purpose.

5. That 425 Reserve officers be sent to the Philippines to assist in the mobilization and training of the Philippine Army.10

Within a week these recommendations had been approved by the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War. The Secretary immediately requested President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue the necessary executive order, already drafted and approved, for calling the military forces of the Commonwealth into active service of the United States. "Due to the situation in the Far East," Stimson wrote, "all practical steps should be taken to increase the defensive strength of the Philippines Islands." One of the most effective measures to accomplish this would be to call the Philippine Army into active service for a year's training. Such a program, Stimson estimated, would involve about 75,000 men and would cost about $32,000,000, which would be met by the sugar excise fund. Pending appropriation by Congress, the funds to initiate the program could be met from the President's emergency fund.

 

 

 Cat - 66

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