January 1936
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Month January 1936

January 29, 1936

Call from Blunt to return mine –complimented him on his address yesterday especially his rejection of unnecessary adjectives. He enquired what use we were making of Irish Land Laws. Call from Pedro Tan, who said Quezon’s supporters were grumbling at his favouring his opponents instead of his own party –i.e., Roxas for Secretary of Finance. He agreed, however, that Roxas was by all odds the best man for the post –he added “perhaps Quezon is training him to fight against Osmeña in the next election”!!

Advertisements

January 28, 1936

Ex-Federal Judge Milton Purdy from Shanghai arrives. Funeral service in the afternoon in the Episcopal Cathedral for the late King George V. A very representative turnout. Murphy and Quezon both there –tho I think Quezon was rather unwilling to appear before his own people to take second place. Service was all about God and very little about the late King! Too many hymns and too much choir. Speech by Consul Blunt well phrased, and not so sloppy as if given by an American. Mrs. Quezon’s absence with Mrs. Phil Buencamino en route for Java is odd. What does it mean? Is it her dislike of Malacañan and of public office? Or has it political significance?

January 27, 1936

Back again at the office after first illness I have ever had in the Philippines. Garfinkel told of Quezon’s visit to Tarlac and Pangasinan; what intelligent interest he showed in military maneuvers and in the equipment of General Smith. Garfinkel expressed his pleasure in the present great change of heart of the American military towards Quezon –how they were beginning to understand his intelligence and powerful grasp of affairs “and” he added “you know Quezon doesn’t like the army”!! Also said the American “Old Timers” were letting up on their incessant grumbling against Quezon –“as they had always grumbled against every Governor General.” He said the army (and “Old Timers”?) had not believed up to the very day of inauguration that the Commonwealth Government would ever come into being. This, of course, was wishful thinking. Said Quezon had accomplished more in one month than Governor General had ever done in one year.

January 25, 1936

Quezon off to Pangasinan with his a.d.c. Colonel Garfinkel –to meet General Smith’s army on its practice march to Dagupan. He is also probably picking up first hand information concerning Friar Land estates on his week-end trips.

Excellent article by Vicente Albano Pacis in the Herald, calling on Filipinos to show more faith in themselves, and greater resolution in meeting the coming independence.

January 22, 1936

Only a short time at office. Played bridge in p.m. with Pedro Guevara, Tuason, Nicasio and Reyes. I have laryngitis, and can hardly speak. Home and to bed, where I stayed until January 26 with a severe attack of “tonsilitis” or perhaps “dengue” –had no doctor.

The papers are attacking Quezon freely for receiving the bandit Asedillo and allowing him to be taken back to his province by the Governor of Tayabas in Nº 1 car –thus making a hero of him. However, Quezon is extremely wise in showing such energetic determination to put own banditry in the provinces and graft in the government. Both have increased in recent times out of all measure, and much more so than is publicly understood. Whether this is due to (a) the prospective change to a Commonwealth Government or (b) the dreamy mentality of Murphy plus his absorption in his own career as a promoter of Christian ethics, or (c) to the “get rich quick” mood of the times in the Philippines ( hard times following a great sugar boom) is hard to say –possibly all three. But Quezon is placing emphasis upon public order, and he knows how to secure it –his method of “getting” the bandit leaders out here is, in the end, always the successful one in the Philippines.

January 21, 1936

Nothing doing at the office –finished my study of Colonel Francisco Oñate’s position to reopen his Court Martial of 1925. I read all the records, taking several days, and advised him there was no possible use of reopening the case.

In p.m. golf with Jim Rockwell at Wack-Wack. Am feeling pretty seedy.

January 20, 1936

Asedillo, the old Tayabas bandit, has surrendered and been brought here in the presidential car, to see Quezon personally; was taken back and released in the hills on promising to return in three days with his sons and chief followers. All of this is quite picturesque — no promise of pardon has been given; he will have to stand trial. Entirely in line with the costumbre del pais. I submitted a memorandum on the Manila Railroad plans for the next few years; also Colin Hoskins’ proposed bill on the agrarian situation. Saw Justice of the Peace Abra from Pila, Laguna, and asked him a lot of questions about the Sakdalistas who are said to be disappointed that Ramos, their leader in Japan had not brought this country immediate independence by December 31. They were still sending him money, however, and continued to believe that Japan would get freedom for them. I asked him how large a percentage of his province were in favour of independence. He replied: nearly all of them, tho in 1931 he had told Governor General Davis that only 30% were in favor. He added: “if you bluff these people (i.e., advocate independence), they will believe you, but if you tell them the truth (i.e., the difficulties) they refuse to believe; they think they will get everything out of independence.”

January 18 & 19, 1936

Quezon away on a tour of inspection of Forts Camp Stotsenburg, Olongapo and Corregidor.

Florence Edwards arrived to visit Doria who is now up and about and will soon be out. Colin Hoskins and I working on additional memorandum on the agrarian laws.

January 16, 1936

Finished abstract of Irish Land Laws and gave it to Quezon with advice to secure at same time as the passage of these laws an act enabling him at his discretion to impose progressive rates of taxation on all estates over 1,024 hectares. I said I would like to help him in the drafting of the law, and he replied he wouldn’t dare to draft it himself –that he would send it to the Secretary of Justice for preparation. He absolutely assured me however that the powers needed in the act now existed in the constitution, in provisions expressly included by him at the time it was adopted.

Luncheon alone with Quezon. I told him how surprised I was at the lateness of some of his guests at the banquet on Tuesday—he said it was the a.d.c.’s fault—the system had been running down—I replied that there was a general lowering of American social manners in the last twenty years. He said he was going to raise the standard of manners and clothes at Malacañan—“you know” he remarked “how familiar I am with my own friends in private, but in official matters I am going to insist on form.” He was annoyed because Murphy had not brought a full dress coat down from Baguio, so he (Quezon) also had to wear white. Said that recently when guests were late at dinner he had threated to close the doors and not admit them. That in the future he would accept no excuses except illness and absence from Manila; that he had recently sent Nieto to “Mike” Elizalde who had pleaded a “previous engagement,” and Mr. and Mrs. Elizalde came to his dinner. He said Stimson and I were the two American Governors General who observed proper form at Malacañan. Said he was having prepared Malacañan enlarged photographs fo the three Governors General who had been identified with significant progress in Philippine history: Taft, myself and Murphy. We went over the old paintings which had just been brought back from the Museum to Malacañan—I advised him to get the Arellanos to hang and light them. His favourite is the picture of Dasmariñas (the Governor General in 1592) when being persuaded by the head of the Dominican Order to lead Filipoino troops to assist the King of Cambodia (an expedition in which Dasmariñas lost his life). This was painted by the Filipino artist Hidalgo (in Paris?) I advised him to change the position of the Pacto de Sangre which is wasted where it hangs. This led us to talk of Dr. Pardo de Tavera who had posed for Luna in Paris for the portrait of Legaspi singing the Pacto. We both wished he were still with us with his nice wit and culture. Quezon said Tavera was an inveterate enemy of Osmeña and always referred to him as “That Chinese.” Quezon added that Osmeña never forgave anyone and never forgot! I said how sorry I was to have angered Tavera by pardoning the Pajaro Verde.

At luncheon he was waited on by my Ah King and a new Chinese number two boy—I commented upon how wise it was to have foreign servants who did not understand his conversation any too well, and who would probably neither understand nor repeat what was said at his table—he said that was the point. I understand he just added five American policemen to the Malacañan staff—one of them recommended to him previously as the man who had arrested an armed murderer—“that’s just the kind of man I want” he replied.

I asked him whether he wanted me to talk public business at luncheon, and he replied that he enjoyed it with people he liked. Told him I had just been with Paez and had written for him (Quezon) an opinion on the Manila RR. I advised him to instruct the public utilities commission to stop for the present issuing any more “certificates” or licenses for the bus lines. Said he would do so. Told him it was fortunate he could put the railroad and the busses under one control –other countries could not now do so but he was catching the situation nearly as it began.

I also expressed the hope that he would be able to get the Legislature to agree to permit the Manila Railroad to abandon those branches which were (dead) unprofitable. He replied that if the Assembly would not grant such permission, he would just abandon those branches!

Then I raised the question of the five years plan for road building in Mindanao, of which he had sent me the papers this morning. I remarked how wise he was to push development of this great and almost uninhabited Empire –many schemes having been advanced in the past to separate that part of the Philippines from the rest on the pretext that it should be done because that territory was “Mohammedan.” He then said we would go down there together in the Spring; that he was determined to open up those regions; that he considered nationalism only a “means to an end” and that the rights of the human race to land and to existence were superior to the rights of nationalism. I cited the case of the Australians and said the equities were against them –that if he did not develop Mindanao, some other nation would take it and occupy it. Advised him to persuade some of the more turbulent of the dissatisfied people in the Tagalog Provinces to move down there. He said he was already planning that –they were exactly the sort of men needed in pioneering. I suggested that in the end he would probably emerge as the leader of the masses (in the provinces) after being double-crossed and betrayed by his “friends” in Manila. He said he already was the leader of the masses, and that his votes came from them. I observed that he was the only Chief Executive I had known except Woodrow Wilson who was a political philosopher –that most executives were interested only in force and guile –that is what Mussolini believed (Machiavelli)– who had no principles of any sort except opportunism.

He cited the case of the Chinese in the northern provinces of China and Manchuria –they did not develop their own lands and, of necessity, another nation stepped in.

Said he too had heard that W.H. Anderson had given an option for the purchase of his big ranch at the border of Sabani ranch! Asked him if he knew that an iron mine had been discovered and was being developed in Samar –he did not know about that and I was unable to give him the names of the promoters except the engineer –Milton Sutherland. They are believed to have made a contract for the ore with the Japanese.

Quezon stated he had this morning cancelled some of the oil leases including that of the Asiatic Petroleum. I asked him who had been the lawyer who had secured illegal leases for Asiatic Petroleum –he replied “our friend Jimmie Ross.”

Showed me the magnificent cabinet of maroon and gold presented to him on Monday by the Tabacalera Company in which to keep the Constitution –he is to have it in his office in the Palace.

The President then said that after his banquet on Tuesday he wanted to ask me to join him and Murphy at a dance (which lasted until 3 a.m.) on the Arayat, but that he thought it would be embarrassing for me without Doria.

Doria says an army woman told her Quezon is a very “fast worker” with women, and that he does not confine himself to those of his own race –this rather surprises me– it was one thing when he was in the United States but is a quite different proposition in the Philippines!

January 15, 1936

Doria’s birthday, which she celebrated by beginning to walk again. At work all day on abstracting Irish Land Laws. In the evening we had Mr. & Mrs. Hubert Fox, Mr. & Mrs. Peters, Sinclair & Rockwell to dinner and bridge –our first party in our new “home.” Doria managed to get to the table.

Doria says many people believe that Quezon still has tuberculosis, bu she maintains that he has been cured.

January 14, 1936

Made a short memorandum on proposed silver purchase and annexed Colin Hoskins’ opinion. Could not see Quezon as he was too busy.

State banquet in the old ball room of Malacañan so used for the first time. Very magnificent—over 100 guests in honor of the High Commissioner, two Admirals, three Generals, Cabinet, Supreme Court, Consular Corps etc. nearly half an hour’s delay in going to the table. The High Commissioner and President Quezon came in twenty minutes late, but that was not their fault—they were waiting for guests to assemble, as is done in British Government Houses—a custom introduced here by T. Roosevelt, Jr. That particular ceremony only works effectively when the guests are sufficiently self-disciplined to get there first—many of the Filipinos stroll in at any old time—some accept an invitation and never even show up.

Quezon was looking very dignified and as proper head of a State –made an excellent address –which he read– (caution of an executive rather than of a legislator)! He touched on the coming trade conference and hoped that when President Roosevelt calls it together some of the inequalities of the situation may be smoothed out; he stressed the importance of having a High Commissioner like Murphy who will cooperate. The High Commissioner spoke well and without notes. He is dignified and has admirable use of English; he is, perhaps, a little too sentimental, but that is genuine and kindly. I sat next to the Japanese Consul General who pumped me for all he was worth on trade questions. He especially wanted to know when the Trade Conference would be called, but I, of course, had no idea, and only told him I hardly saw it coming this year.

January 13, 1936

Left with Quezon, Colonel Santos and Mayor Posadas for the new site of Bilibid Prison at Muntinlupa, near Alabang, Laguna. We travelled in a motor which never went over 30 miles an hour, with motorcycle cops in front and behind. When we got there, we shifted to Quezon’s Ford armored car which has bullet-proof (apparently glass) windows. He says that when goes incog. to the provinces he always travels in this Ford alone with Colonel Nieto who has a machine gun with him –Quezon carries a revolver on those trips. He says Encallado, the dead bandit, reported that he saw this car pass in the mountains and could have shot Quezon. Quezon comments he wished he had tried.

I asked him about the Ayuntamiento –he stated that the Marble Hall was to be given to the Supreme Court.

He began to talk about Rodriguez, Secretary of Agriculture. He said he had talked too much in the press –had quoted Quezon concerning the Japanese hemp leases in Davao, which caused the Japanese Ambassador in Washington to enquire of the Secretary of State if it was true that Quezon had consulted him about it. Hull truthfully replied “no.” But the worst was, Quezon had rebuked Rodriguez for talking to the press and had announced his own policy concerning the leases of hemp lands in Davao, Rodriguez had published in the press his own defense as Secretary of Agriculture, instead of giving the paper to the President. Quezon said he would have to remove him, unless he crawled –that he was particularly sorry to do so because Rodriguez was an energetic worthy man, and had done more for his (Quezon’s) election than any other individual. He is moreover a man who has made good in his own business life. He thought Rodriguez would be better as Secretary of Labor.

Quezon said he had talked so much while he was in the Senate –he was now going in for action.

He also said he had already adopted my suggestion and was abolishing all “law” divisions in the bureaus and obliging the Bureau Chiefs to consult the Attorney General or the Secretary of Justice.

The President stated further that the Japanese question resolved itself into a dilemma –either to avoid showing them that the Filipinos were antagonistic to the Japanese, or else to let them occupy the islands industrially; that one of the leading Japanese had passed en route from a ceremonious visit to Australia (a pretext) and that he (Q) had been ill (also a pretext) and postponed seeing him until the last minute. That this Japanese had dismissed the Japanese Consul General from the room during the interview. That Quezon had told him very frankly how the Filipinos felt about their lands, but had put off trade discussions. We talked of the purchase by the Government in my time of the Sabani ranch on the remote east coast of Luzon. [Quezon remarked that this was “blackmail” by an American who had acquired it when he was a Judge of the Philippine Land Court.] That the United States Senators who had raised a fuss about the possible purchase of it by Japanese had been inspired by that man.

Said also that the Filipinos had blocked the use of this man’s ranch to the north of Sabani (now W.H. Anderson’s), by closing the land access to this property.

Quezon said Harding had been very fond of him and liked his opposition to Governor General Wood –that if Harding had lived longer, Quezon would have gotten rid of Wood sooner.

I asked him about the vast iron fields in Surigao which I had reserved by Executive Order for the Government. He said he had already had nibbles from the Japanese and one of them was coming here soon about that, but ostensibly on another errand.

P.M. Becker from Aparri appeared with his two sons asking to have them put in the Philippine Army. Saw General Reyes and think it is fixed.

At my request, former Speaker Manuel Roxas came to see me. Said he was going to his province tomorrow to consult his people as to whether he should accept the post of Secretary of Finance. I told him I had been requested by Quezon to ask his opinion of the plan to use part of the Government currency reserve and exchange standard funds (which are 4 times larger, together, than required by law) to purchase silver at the present low rate, and by issuing silver certificates at a “pegged” rate to make a vast sum for the Treasury –he objected first because the price of silver might go lower on account of the very artificial market for silver in United States, and secondly because they might lose (part of) the 2 million pesos of interest at 2% now obtained in the United States.

He next asked me what I was doing in relation to the Friars haciendas –I told him and he seemed satisfied except as to the constitutionality of my proposed Land Commissioner’s decisions fixing tenure and rents. He observed that the English constitution was not written as was that in the Philippines. I replied that the Philippine constitution gave to the Government the right to expropriate Friar Lands –“yes” he said “and the right to adjudicate relations between landlord and tenant.” Well, he said, “we might do it by establishing a Landlord & Tenant Court.”

Roxas then speculated on the result of the next presidential elections in the United States. Said that if a conservative Republican were elected, he might listen to Stimson,  Davis & Hurley on Philippine policies, but not if a man like Borah were elected. I said, yes, the West is for getting rid of the Philippines, but I thought F.D. Roosevelt was going to buy his reelection by the expenditure of public money and that my grand-children were going to be burdened 50 years hence in repaying the debts incurred by F.D. Roosevelt’s joy ride.

Talk with Reyes, new Chief of Staff of the Philippine army –tired and old, and unaggressive, hardly able to cope with new problems.

I asked Quezon whether there was any plan afoot to recreate the Government of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu –he said that he was not sure, but feared it would be considered as a “step backward” –he intends to accomplish the same object by designating some one member of the Government to act for him– that nobody realized how great under the constitution was the power in the hands of the President of the Philippines.

I wonder why Osmeña is laying so low nowadays?

January 12, 1936

(Sunday) bridge at 10 a.m. in Mariquina in Lord’s house (as partner of Babbitt). Players: Rogers, Andy Anderson, Babbitt, Quezon & myself. At lunch, Quezon was in good form, though he had to get up and wander around as he can never stand sitting through a long banquet. Spoke about his campaign against Encallado and the other bandits, and of his method of handling a bandit campaign when he was Governor of Tayabas 30 years ago, which was to suspend the Presidente and Consejales of Casiguran (his kinfolk) and threaten to put them in prison for 20 years, if they did not turn over the bandit –who had been living quietly in Casiguran all the time. He told them to get him dead or alive, and shortly his body was delivered in two pieces with the head cut off.

Anderson asked the President if he could pay a bonus to the “boys” of the Manila Hotel who had so cheerfully accepted a reduction in their wages –Quezon said no! that a similar request had been referred to him by Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, for his employees, on the allegation that it would keep them honest (!!). Quezon remarked to Corpus that he would like to put some of them in prison, as he needed prisoner workmen for building the new prisons at Alabang. A lot of chaff about Anderson & Rogers, each of whom had put 6,000 pesos in the stock of the new oil companies. Quezon said he had discovered that the Standard Oil Company’s lease was illegal.

I spoke of Vamenta’s article on the Japanese leases in Davao. He said that the illegality had been committed by Filipinos who had sub-let to the Japanese; that these Filipinos were getting 15% of the profits and that he was going to seize that 15% for the government –even if he did not disturb the Japanese until their leases expired. That it really dated back to Governor Carpenter who had encouraged every development of Mindanao, “a thing which any one of us in his position would have had at heart.” (Vamenta was one of Carpenter’s young men). Mention was made of some American for years in the service of the Japanese (supposed, erroneously I believe, to have been Geo. Bronson Rea) who had announced that he was going to retire and live in Zamboanga. Quezon commented that he would hang him if he could.

Babbitt told me later that it always made him furious to have Americans denounce Quezon for his “hair-trigger” opinions, and that Quezon had told him recently how different it was being an Executive –that causes he had championed in the Senate now appeared impracticable to him (Such as Sec’y. Torres’ opinions on labour). Babbitt also said that he usually knew to a centavo how much money the President had –and that Quezon had said not long ago, that he had not saved up anything for his wife and children –he spends every cent he gets, in keeping up his position and the fight.

Quezon said Murphy was so very “good” it made him uncomfortable.

Doria said Mrs. Gaches had stated that all the Filipinos (Mestizos??) she had met, had expressed a great fear of the new army –that they expected to be unbearably taxed to support it. Babbitt told me the new army was the only thing which could keep down future civil disorders.

At lunch, during the discussion about the outlaws, I said that in former times there were some very good people among the remontados, hoping that Quezon would tell the story of his own youth in Baler, where he struck a guardia civil with a club and knocked him out (in a quarrel over some girl)and fled to the mountains with the wild men –but he did not rise to the bait.

January 11, 1936

Having failed yesterday through lack of organization of his staff to get an interview with Quezon, he asked me to lunch today. Advised him to have a written list of visitors who have been granted interviews, and if possible, limit them to 10 minutes each, when an a.d.c. should be hovering in the door.

He was talking with Colonel Santos about the removal of Bilibid –he had just seen the municipal board and in a few minutes persuaded them to sell to the government a 1200 acre tract near Alabang, and Santos was instructed to begin to move the prisoners immediately. This is a speed record! Quezon told me that it was a remark of mine a few days ago which started this quick action, for I had commented “Oh! moving Bilibid –we have been talking about that for 25 years!” Quezon also said he preferred Executive to Legislative work because you could “get things done.” He and Santos and Vargas were then talking of the appointment of Generals in the new Philippine Army, and several additional names were mentioned –Quezon said impatiently “Oh! no –we will have more Generals than soldiers!” He and I then had lunch alone on the veranda, where I struggled with the ankle mosquitoes. Quezon said he was inviting the Supreme Court Justices in relays to luncheon to investigate their views on human as against property rights, without their knowledge of his purpose; that if they were already fixed on the bench he would not feel authorized to enquire into their views, but that it was his duty to appoint (or reappoint) within a year the whole lot of them, and he did not intend to do so unless they satisfied his views on “liberalism.” He said that, so far, he had no cause for dissatisfaction.

We then opened up the discussion of the Friar Lands etc., which was the main purpose of the meeting. I said Colin Hoskins would want 1000 pesos a month for half-time work and he replied that was all right. I told him we were ready to start our secret investigation of the estates at once, and that the recent Herald article stating that I was studying the road system (the exact opposite of what I had told the reporter) was a good “smoke screen.” I asked him if he really intended to buy all the estates, and he said he did not know. I suggested that he get the “three F’s” act passed first and authorize a Board of Land Commissioners to handle the whole subject –to buy or not, as seemed best, to but to fix rentals and tenure wherever they could– not to try to abolish all tenancy. Some of these tenants were not fit to be freeholders, and that was probably why in the disposal of the former Friar Lands in Cavite the real occupiers of the farms had in many cases been ousted or suspended by outsiders. He agreed that we should not try to upset too violently the whole system. So he said if I would prepare the subject, he would call the Assembly in special session in February for 3 days to pass the law –adding with a smile that the Assemblymen would enjoy the Carnival.

The President said he was going to throw open his “bridge or poker club” underneath Malacañan three afternoons a week to the Assemblymen so that they could drink and play there, and keep out of the gambling houses. That this would also give them a feeling of part ownership of the Palace. He asked me how to raise the money for the proposed Board of Land Commissioners to operate and I suggested that he buy silver at present low price and issue silver certificates, which he could buy the law do on a much higher capital figure. This would be a moderate inflation, but I was in favour of a little inflation if we could get the money in circulation and not let it accumulate in the banks. I told him of Dorfman’s remark that there had been no real prosperity whatever among the bulk of the country people in the Philippines, and he thoroughly agreed. I said if really hard times come here it would be principally among the present small class of rich people –that the country people were able to live as they do, almost from hand to mouth. He asked me to see Roxas.

He mentioned Secretary of Labor Torres, and said he bored him –was too theoretical– always reading what they were doing in Germany and wishing to apply it here without knowing whether it is applicable or not. Wanted to get rid of him: “he reads too much.”

I told him his (Quezon’s) personality was stimulating –that he had his staff scared but that was a good thing– nevertheless his agents carried out his wishes. He said he knew that was how he got things done. Told him his strongest characteristic was the “will to create,” which explains his love of buildings –that when a building was finished he lost interest in it.

Quezon then asked me why I had requested him to see Jaronilla which he had agreed to do. I replied “to save his face; he is a candidate for the Court of Appeals, but I know you will not appoint him.” He then said he would explain the situation to me, that he did not wish to be unjust, and I would agree with him. Jaronilla was Attorney General under Governor General Wood, and when the Board of Control case came up, Wood cabled Washington for the opinion of the Judge Advocate General of the Army, which when secured [he handed to Jaronilla to use as his opinion; Jaronilla, instead of balking because his opinion had not been asked as the law requires, accepted that handed him.] This was in the middle of the fight which as Quezon says “landed General Wood in the cemetery and me in a sanitorium.” I had to agree that Quezon’s decision was right. “Besides,” he added, “he is a rotten Judge –he can’t write a good opinion either in English or Spanish– his wife has to help him. If I had a post to offer as snipe-shooter for the Government I would give it to him.” (N.B. Jim Ross also told me that Jaronilla was not a good judge). Quezon then said the Wood-Forbes Report was full of lies, and insulted the Filipinos, who were at least equally responsible with me for my government. He also said there had been Filipinos who had given up everything to oppose Wood, and cited Laurel and Santos. He said that when Jaronilla’s name had been sent to the United States Senate for the Philippine Supreme Court, he (Quezon) had blocked it. He said he did not hate a single Filipino who had opposed him in all innumerable fights, but did hate three Americans: Gibbs, Cotterman and W.H. Anderson.

January 9, 1936

Quezon in Malacañan in very good humor and is exercising his strong creative spirit in reorganizing and improving the Palace. Brief chat on landlord and tenant. Mrs. Quezon was there leading a squad of laborers carrying furniture. Jose Laurel there, who was formerly in the Executive Bureau, and later Secretary of the Interior; Quezon told me in his presence that Laurel was to be one of the new Justices. Spoke very highly of his qualifications; and added that Laurel was the greatest jurist among the Filipinos.

Wrote a memorandum on the reorganization of the Government and handed it to the a.d.c. in the afternoon.

Tea at Conrado Benitez’s house near the deposito in San Juan del Monte. Large party given for the United States Trade Commissioners. Arranged there with Miguel Cuaderno to visit his home town of Dinalupian in Bataan as  tourist but really to see the church landholding there of nearly 4,000 hectares, and composing an entire municipality. The agent of the Archbishop is a Spaniard; he raises rents every six months and dispossesses non-payers.

Talk with Bewley, director of Education; he says Osmeña is the best Secretary of Public Instruction they ever had.

Saw Osmeña and told him that the reason I saw so little of him nowadays is because it is the closed season on dancing!

Long talk with Dr. Dorfman, United States Trade Commission (expert). He sails for home on Saturday. We had a confidential discussion on the Philippine situation. He said the Commonwealth Government’s chief danger was their new army; that military men usually got their way in increased appropriations. That an unpaid army was a menace. Concerning trade relations with the United States, he agreed with me that it might be unwise for Filipinos to raise the question of amending the Tydings-McDuffie Act just now; that they might get more if they waited. He said political independence was possible without economic independence, and the latter could not be obtained unless the present laws were amended. That the Filipinos were unwilling to “cut the umbilical cord”; that they would probably ask Congress to postpone independence . He added that the present “prosperity” was confined to a small class (the upper crust), and that he had looked into dinner pails and entered houses, and the bulk of the population here had not shared in the “prosperity”; that when, for example, gold went from twenty to thirty-five dollars, the miners wages were actually reduced from one peso to 90 centavos; that when (five years hence) the export taxes were imposed, they would wipe out the sugar industry which cannot compete with Cuba, and also would destroy the cigar export trade to the United States. He said, further, that they must begin to limit imports here. Suggested a very heavy excise tax on cigarettes of “blended tobacco” –i.e., Americans; emphasized that they must begin to limit imports from the United States and increase those from other countries (Japan). He further said that the Filipinos were trying to think out schemes for additional advantages to United States business –and were even considered applying the United States Coastwise Trade Laws, which he thought a bad thing for the Philippines. I replied that we in the Philippines had, in my time, always strenuously opposed that. He stated that the United States sold 47 million dollars worth of goods annually to the Philippines, but gave up 18 million dollars for a premium on Philippine sugar, so the trade was probably not really worth anything to United States. I said that economic laws could not be violated without paying for it –he replied that they were paying now and would pay much more heavily later. About textiles he entirely agreed with me that we could not stop Japan; the the only factory here had no machinery newer than 1900; that only a Japanese textile mill could succeed here. I told him that on trade relations I had not been consulted at all –that my views on independence were too well known– that perhaps I was too old-fashioned in economics. He said that Cordell Hull’s new reciprocity treaties were really reciprocal, while the Filipinos wanted only one-sided advantages for themselves.

January 8, 1936

Poor Doria suffering a great deal from her various sprains and bruises, but very plucky.

January 7, 1936

Played golf in a.m. at Fort McKinley with Doria; afterwards, we swam in the bay in front of our house. Colin Hoskins to lunch and we talked over landlord & tenant situation, and land taxes; and planned trips to see the big haciendas.

Left at 3 p.m. with Babbitt & Anderson for Cabuyao. Babbitt said his sugar companies were going to make all they could in the next five years, hoping to repay the capital in that time, and thereafter what assets were left were in the nature of a dividend. Said sugar machinery was of no use for anything else. After independence, a differential even as good as that given Cuba would not save the Philippine mills because the cost of production and haulage are so much lower in Cuba. Andy Anderson (manager of the Manila Hotel) said that tourist traffic here could never be much because the Filipinos had suppressed everything which might really interest American visitors –such as the Igorrotes and their naked women– hence these Americans made a bee line for Bali where there were plenty of naked women; otherwise Bali was nothing but the Philippines all over again.

Anderson predicted more trouble in the future for the Philippines from internal disturbances, especially when they had their own army with ambitious generals. Said he was not particularly apprehensive about Japan. Trouble here was that there is only “one Quezon” –Roxas, he thinks, is the next coming man.

When we arrived in Cabuyao, Phil Buencamino and his wife greeted us. Quezon was there with Nieto –they had been inspecting his farm just the other side of the river where Quezon is going to build a nipa house and to go there every Friday. He complained of being very tired. We were just sitting down to the bridge table when I had a long distance call from Geo. Vargas to say that Doria had been thrown from a horse in Manila and was in St. Paul’s Hospital. I left at once. Poor Doria was suffering great pain. Fool polo pony of Angel Elizalde bolted with her and ran her into the stable where she was smashed off. Very brave and already feeling better. Narrow escape from death!!

Anderson said Quezon’s troubles will come from his own followers, because he will not give them all they want and they will “double-cross” him later. He also commented on the fact that many wealthy white men here kept Filipina women; that it was more expensive than a white woman because the whole family has to be kept!

January 6, 1936

At the office in the morning Hoskins was discussing the landlord and tenant situation. He said that with rice (palay) selling at 3 pesos a ganta the peasant, who gets one-half share from his landlord can just manage to make both ends meet –but with palay at its present price of 1.50 pesos they cannot make a living; that often a man borrows at the rate of 80 centavos a ganta in the planting season and has to deliver the palay six months later to his creditor (Chino or Cacique) when it is worth 3 pesos. He explained the slow growth of the country banks and the country branches of the Philippine National Bank of which he is a director. Also discussed the currency situation and advocated the purchase of silver at the present price of 45 cents and the issue of silver certificates against the same.

In the afternoon at Malacañan from 4-7. Quezon was rather tired and appeared absorbed in refitting the Palace; he is making a new entrance on the street side and all quarters on that side, including the dining room are to be for the use of his wife and children; the old ball room is to be made into a banquet sala; the bedroom where Kiko (my son F.B.H. Jr.) was born in 1921 is now Quezon’s library and office; the downstairs floor-space by the river is to be made into a “club” with bridge tables, dance floor and bar; land on opposite side of the Pasig River is to be bought and made into a park; a new building is to be erected on the opposite bank of the river with guest rooms on the top floor, and the President’s office and that of the Council of State on the ground floor. Thus he hopes to make the (old) Palace “habitable for his family”! He received Ed. Harrison and Baroness Von Hagen who are to be married soon; she had just arrived in Manila preceded by a newspaper blast announcing her as a “criminologist.”

The President said he was quizzing Supreme Court Justices daily to find out whether they placed “human” rights on an equality with “property” rights; that he was going to have on that bench only justices who would interpret the Constitution in the spirit of the age in which it was written; that Recto thought as he (Quezon) did; that he might have to get ride of one or two of those old Justices.

Quezon also said he was about to “explode a bomb” tomorrow or the day after, because he was going to suspend the leases obtained over 1,300,000 acres of land in the Philippine oil fields by a syndicate composed (incidentally!) of four or five of his best friends (Buencamino, Luz, &c) that the son of Osmeña was one of them and had been selling some worthless stock in his company; that he would force them to go to the courts over their leases –that he would fight the monopoly. I told him that the heads of both the Asiatic Petroleum and Socony had told me in recent months that they did not believe there was any paying oil in the district.

He also told me he had changed his plans for the reorganization of the government –that he was going to make Manuel Roxas Secretary of Finance and turn the reorganization over to him. (This lets me out of this complicated task.)

The President asked me to make a thorough study of the Landlord & Tenant situation. To go about the provinces and examine. That he wanted me to do it because any Filipino whom he might delegate would belong to one class or the other (i.e., landlord or tenant) or be influenced by it. That I could have what assistance I needed, and could choose either to be associated openly with Secretary of Labor Torres (the nominal head) or go at it without being known to be employed on that research. When I asked him whether he would be willing to tax the large estates (Friar &c) out of existence, he said he positively intended to –I advised him that he must get a law first fixing rents and the tenure of holdings for the tenants.

He asked me to go up to Cabuyao tomorrow with him to see the farm there which he owns, and on which he intends to build a nipa house, and to farm.

Also said that if his health lasted, he would in three years have a “model government” here.

Quezon was interested in Whittall’s suggestion (via me) to have a visitors book in Malacañan similar to those in English “Government Houses.”

He talked of moving Bilibid prison immediately; stating that the law authorized him to sell it but that to buy the new site he would have to use the funds of the National Development Co. and then face the Legislature on this. Is going to make a park out of Bilibid grounds, for he felt it was a crime not to have more parks in a tropical city like Manila; and if the municipal board would not agree to this, he would “get rid” of them. He not only wants several more parks in Manila but said also he was going to transform Harrison Park.

Afterwards played bridge with Quezon, Guevara, Zamora and Karadag.

Quezon left for twenty minutes treatment by his doctor; he is always worried by a draft or by any cool air, and wears more clothes than anyone else in the tropics.

January 4, 1936

Watched pelota in p.m. at Casino Español, a really good fast game. Dined later with Captain & Mrs. Lussier; all there were “army” except Doria and myself. Later I joined Quezon, Ross, Whittall, Roces and Karadag on Arayat and sailed at 11 p.m. for Lubang where we arrived early in the morning.

January 3, 1936

Nothing doing at office; Quezon sick in Malacañan –should return to Baguio. Garfinkel said Quezon had a “heavy night” at the Casino Español –but Quezon does not drink. Food causes his upsets. Saw Vamenta formerly Attorney of Department of Mindanao and Sulu; he told me Osmeña was anxious to do something for Governor Frank Carpenter who is now in a soldiers home in Massachusetts. Said when the Sultan of Sulu signed the treaty with us renouncing his rights of sovereignty (in my time) Carpenter had told him (Vamenta) that if they were Englishmen their future would be assured, but that “republics were ungrateful” &c.

P.M. Golf at Caloocan with Doria. Talked with Consul General Blunt who commented on Quezon’s quickness of thought and decision –said Quezon was so reasonable –he could even take another’s opinion.