Inauguration of Manuel L. Quezon as President of the Philippine Commonwealth. His inaugural address was his best speech. The Secretary of War also made an admirable address. The ceremonies were perfectly carried out. The crowd was immense, but there was not much shouting. the old walls of Spanish Manila made a picturesque historical background for the memorable transfer of executive authority from the United States to the Philippine government. Military parade was blocked by mobs. Osmeña looked very serious, and very much the gentleman. Altogether, it was a moment of wonderful sentiment for me.
Governor General Murphy now becomes the first American High Commissioner –he left the ceremonies when his own part was finished, and went to his rooms in the Manila Hotel to receive the official call of the Admiral and of the Commanding General there. He told me a few weeks ago it looked as if there might be no inauguration: Aguinaldo was proposing to raise 60,000 men to march on Manila in demonstration of his opposition. He remarked that bloodshed would have been inevitable. I congratulated him on having put his hand to the plough, and then having finished the furrow. The Governor General seemed very tired.
One of the interesting features of the inauguration was the presence there of Quezon’s little son, in uniform with a.d.c. aiguilletes on his right shoulder –an honor paid only to a President or to a Field Marshal. General MacArthur sat next to Doria during the ceremonies.
Dinner for the Secretary of War at President Quezon’s house in Pasay; very well done indeed. Quezon was tired but happy –General MacIntyre, General Cox and Admiral Murfin– Doria sat next to General MacArthur at the table– there was an air of satisfaction among the guests. After dinner, we went to the Inaugural Ball which was opened by President and Mrs. Quezon. The auditorium was not overcrowded –people, especially among the Congressional party were pretty well tired out. Colin Hoskins told me that since this was the most weighty Congressional party ever gathered officially out of Washington, its visit has not only given great weight to the new government among Filipinos but had deeply impressed the “Old Guard” Americans here. The auditorium was beautifully lit and the whole affair in very good taste. Colin hopes that the new High Commissioner will assert American prestige here, and not be merely an “Ambassador.” General MacArthur told Doria that the position of High Commissioner at present was very “nebulous”; that he himself might take it if offered him –combining the duties of that and military adviser. The Secretary of War told Doria how he and the Governor General had visited Aguinaldo in Cavite giving only one hour’s notice of their coming, so that a crowd (of demonstrators) could be avoided –“nevertheless when they arrived at Kawit, there were two thousand people there”!