July 1, 1942

Quezon’s description of his visit to the island of Mactan (off Cebu) with Secretary of Public Works Cuenco and the Governor of the Province: they took him over the magnificent new road to the barrio where they had erected a statue to Lapu-Lapu the local datu who had killed Magellan. Quezon turned to them and remarked that Lapu-Lapu was not the first independista, but was really no better than a local “head-hunter,” that the inscription on the statue was not based on historical truth; the fight in which Magellan lost his life was merely a struggle between two local chieftains. As for this fine road, it was just part of Osmeña’s program of spending the Commonwealth’s money down here to get all the votes in the barrio.

He then turned to a description of his relations with Osmeña in the latter years of my (F.B.H.’s) administration. In 1916 Quezon came back to the Philippines with the Jones Law in his pocket and was at once elected President of the Senate; not only did I (F.B.H.) try to push him forward towards the leadership, but his Senators from the very beginning bucked against the old protocol by which the Speaker of the House (Assembly) had been established as N° 1 Filipino and N° 2 in the Islands after the Governor General. Quezon says that he had originally had himself elected as Osmeña’s lieutenant against the latter’s wishes. When he came back in 1916 with the Jones Law, he knew he could beat Osmeña but he really felt that Osmena was the better man to head the nation; Quezon felt himself inferior to Osmeña especially in the realm of government finance.

Council of State. This was a maneuver of Osmeña to perpetuate himself in power. When he first showed the original draft of the proposed Executive Order creating Council of State, it was so drawn that the Council was to sit under Osmeña’s presidency without the Governor General being present. Quezon told Osmeña at once I would never agree to this. They came with the proposed order to Malacañan together. Osmeña made the suggestion that the Council sit without the Governor General. Quezon says: my face grew fiery red, and I stated “Not over my dead body.” Then there was a pause which to Quezon seemed to last an hour, so finally he remarked: “It’s a fine day, Governor.” Quezon had often told this story to “old timers” when they maintained that I had been “run” by Osmena and Quezon. He always said that I was the most independent of all the American Governors General with the possible exception of Stimson.

Quezon then went on to talk of the entertainment fund which I had asked the legislature to set up for my successors just before I left the Philippines. Quezon remarked that I had paid for all my entertainments; Taft’s brother paid for his; Smith gave one fiesta and then got himself appointed a Federal Judge. Quezon said Wood profited from the fund–I remarked “poor man, he surely needed it,” but Quezon replied “It was terrible because it made Wood stay on so long in the Philippines.” His Vice Governor Gilmore charged the government 3 pesos for every private guest whom he entertained.

Governor General Smith was described by Quezon as a “simple, openhearted man,” who was closest to the Filipinos of any of them before I came. He had been selected as Governor General by Cardinal Gibbons, and was so devout a Catholic that he used to confess to the Jesuits in Manila, who thought they could run him. But a year and a half after Smith’s appointment. Cardinal Gibbons said he would never ask for a Catholic again. Smith stood up so straight against pressure that he leaned over backwards.

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