Dinner at Malacañan for Cabinet–Doria wore her new black dress which was a great success, and Quezon asked her chaffingly if she was in mourning for King George? Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, sat on one side of me, and spoke con amore of how I supported him as Director of the Bureau of Lands against American attacks. He said Secretary Denison only supported him when, as Governor General, I ordered it. I urged Corpus to write his memoirs–he said he had been a newspaper reporter for five years before I appointed him as Director of Lands, but that his own style was only anecdotal.
Talked with Under-Secretary Albert, who remembers not only the Philippine Revolution against Spain, but later on an interview he had with President Wilson; he came back here sharing a cabin with Quezon when I arrived in the Manchuria in Oct. 1913. He said that Quezon was much excited when he secured my appointment as Governor General through Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan in 1913–he then said: “now we are sure to get independence.” Albert gave Doria some complimentary accounts of me as a public speaker.
After dinner, I talked for a half hour with the President. He told me of his difficulties in appointing Judges, and said that Osmena had urged on him the nomination of Rafael Palma to the Supreme Court. That he (Quezon) had wanted to appoint him, and had consulted Chief Justice Avanceña and other Justices–that they had been rather non-committal, but when Quezon returned from Baguio, and asked them again about Palma, the Supreme Court Justices had meanwhile heard Don Rafael Palma argue a case before them and were now certain that he was not qualified to be a Justice. Quezon said that Osmeña had asked for an appointment with him every day for a week, and that he had given every excuse, especially that he was tired, until it was too late for Osmeña to interfere again. Osmeña then told Quezon that they were better able to select the judges than was the bench. I called his attention to how Osmeña had nearly wrecked by administration by his insistent recommendation of Venancio Concepcion as President of the Philippine National Bank. We agreed that Osmeña was a bad judge of men. I called his attention to the efforts I made for five years to induce him (Quezon) to break with Osmeña. He replied: “It took me twenty years.”
Osmeña had also persistently tried to get an appointment with Quezon to argue in favour of Aldanese. Quezon and I agreed that the Collector of Customs was personally straight, but Quezon said he had been put in an awkward position by Governor Wood. I complained that the Philippine Government was full of graft, and asked whether it was not because Governor Murphy has had his head in the clouds. Quezon said, “no, you must not think that of Murphy”–that the original fault was with Governor General Wood–that corruption was rife under him. That his successor, [sic] Governor General Davis had announced in a speech in Honolulu that he was going out to the Philippines to clean up graft in this country. That while Davis was here, he never knew anything at all about the country.
The announcement of the Government’s decision to cancel the lease of the arrastre to Simme & Gilke had subjected Quezon to a perfect bombardment of letters of protest from Americans. They state that the lease of the arrastre to the Manila Terminal Co. under Governor Wood had greatly improved the freight service at the Manila docks. Quezon said that perhaps it had not been done any too well before but that he was going to turn it over to the Manila Railroad Co. and have Paez manage it; that the Manila Terminal Co. had been making 500,000 pesos a year out of it. That they had offered Aldanese a large salary for extra service with the Manila Terminal Co.; that Governor Wood had permitted him to accept; [that it was “unethical” for the Collector of Customs to have another salary from a business firm.] This practice had been stopped November 15 under the new constitution.
Quezon next talked about the (Baguio) Constabulary Academy case, where he had just dismissed eight of the cadets, including his own nephew, for hazing and had transferred Colonel Johnson, the Commandant. The cadets whom he had examined personally concerning this case, had replied that they thought the regulation against hazing was a dead letter. I told him how President Thomas Jefferson in the last year of his life had ridden down from Monticello to the new University of Virginia and had dismissed his own two nephews (my great uncle Cary and his cousin Carr) for a student prank. He said he wished he had known of this, for he would have cited it as a precedent in this Constabulary case.