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General Douglas MacArthur Addresses The Manila Legislature – July 8(9) – 1945 – Past Daily Reference Room

General MacArthur
General MacArthur – returns as promised.

General MacArthur Addresses the Philippine Legislature – July 8 or 9, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Making good on his promise to return to Manila, General Douglas MacArthur addresses the Legislature in Manila for the first time since the beginning of the War.

General Douglas MacArthur:”It is cause for profound satisfaction to see this legislative body, instrument of democratic expression, restored to the people.

You convene at a time when we are still locked in mortal combat with an enemy who vigorously seeks to exploit racial prejudice and to suppress human freedom as the ideology of mankind. Since the beginning of time men have crusaded for freedom and for equality. It was this passion for liberty which inspired the architects of my own government to proclaim so immutably and so beautifully that “all men are created equal” and “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights—that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” On such rights rests our basic concept of human freedom, in defense of which we have fought and still continue to fight on the battle fields of the world. These rights are the very antithesis to the totalitarian doctrine which seeks to regiment the people and control the human will as the price for presumed efficiency in government. The recent collapse of one people after another dedicated to this totalitarian theory of government, offers complete and eloquent proof that the enduring strength of a body politic arises from the degree of freedom accorded its individual members, and not from any seeming efficiency gained at the sacrifice of that freedom. It behooves you therefore to safeguard these sacred rights no less zealously in peace than you have defended them in war.

You convene at a time when you are soon to realize your long-sought political independence. Prior to the start of hostilities in the present war those who opposed your independence did so on the ground that you yet lacked the stature as a race essential to self government; that you lacked the economic stability to sustain self-government; and that you lacked the resources essential to defend self government. All these conditions are untenable.

Yours is a culture which for four hundred years has progressively become a blend between the culture of the East and the culture of the West—with resulting racial character influenced by the best of each. Your combat record on Bataan and the magnificent spiritual and physical resistance of the great masses of your people to the enemy efforts at pacification has given to the world the true strength of your character and established your undisputed spiritual capacity for self-government under any standards.

That strength of character has been manifested time and again when your people were brought under the extreme test of enemy brutality and otherwise subjected to the horrors of war. During the battle for Manila I have seen mothers anguished of soul for their dead children—I have seen fathers bereft of all whom they held dear and with all material possessions gone—I have seen a continuous line of refugees from south Manila slowly trudging north over the pontoon bridge on the Pasig—without food, water, or shelter, and knowing not whither to go in search of sanctuary—but through the stark terror and tragedy of it all there is one thing I have never heard, one thing I have never seen. I have never heard a whimper; I have never seen a tear. It is just that courage and fortitude and resiliency of your people that has permitted this city of Manila to rise above the destruction of February last, without starvation, without food riots or other disorder, and without epidemic. There, was exemplified the strength of the Filipino character—the height of your stature as a race—adequate answer to those who would question your spiritual capacity for self-government”.

According to the original discs, this speech is listed as being delivered on July 8, however history books record it as July 9th. The reason for the discrepancy is most likely due to the fact there was an International Dateline standing in the way between Manila and New York.

Here is the entire address by General Douglas MacArthur, as it was broadcast live via shortwave.

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