Telegram from President Roosevelt to President Quezon regarding his letter to Field Marshal MacArthur, January 30, 1942

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Washington, January 30, 1942

Subject: Radiogram from General MacArthur quoting President Quezon

I have read with complete understanding your letter to General MacArthur. I realize the depth and sincerity of your sentimentswith respect to your inescapable duties to your own people and I assure you that I would be the last to demand of  you and them any sacrifice which I considered hopeless in the furtherance of the cause for which we are all striving. I want, however, to state with all possible emphasis that the magnificent resistance of the defenders of Bataan is contributing definitely toward assuring the completeness of our final victory in the Far East. The gaps existing in our offensive armaments are those that are to be expected when peace-loving countries such as the United States and the Philippines suddenly find themselves attacked by autocratic power which spent years in preparation for armed conflict. Initial defeats, privations and suiffering are the inevitable consequences to democracy in such circumstances. But I have pledged to the attainment of ultimate victory the full manpower, finances and material resources of this country; and this pledge of victory includes as an essential objective the restoration of peace and tranquility in the Philippines and its return to the control of a Government 0f its own choosing.

While I cannot now indicate the time at which succor and assistance can reach the Philippines, I do know that every ship at our disposal is bringing to the South West Pacific the forces that will ultimately smash the invader and free your country. Ships in that region have been loaded and dispatched to Manila with various supplies for the garrison. Already our forces, with those of our Allies, have inflicted severe losses upon enemy convoys and naval shipping and are definitely slowing his Southward advance.Our four engine bombers are daily reporting to General Wavell from the trans-African route and more recently via the Pacific. Ten squadrons of pursuit and fighter planes have already been made available in that theater and a steady flow of such planes is crossing the Pacific. Our Navy is heavily engaged in escorting to the same region large troop convoys. Every day gained for building up our forces is of incalculable value and it is in the gaining of time that the defenders of Bataan are assisting us so effectively.

I have no words in which to express to you my admiration and gratitude for the complete, demonstration of loyalty, courage and readiness to sacrifice that your people, under your inspired leadership, have displayed. They are upholding the most magnificent traditions of free democracy.

Those portions of your letter to General MacArthur on which you asked publicity are being broadcast to the world from Washington. Your words and your example will rally to renewed effort not only the people of your own country but all those that in every section of the globe are enlisted in the fight for democratic principles and freedom in government.