May 1943
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Month May 1943

Sunday, May 30, 1943

Memorial Day—Ever since I can remember, this has been a memorable holiday, the kind that children remember because of their impressions. Strangely enough it has always been associated with warm, clear weather and the smell of lilacs in the air, in contrast to Independence Day, which has always been rainy, or at least spoiled by a shower at some crucial point. The food is improving gradually and we are beginning to get more to eat. Porky now insists that we remove hats and bow to all commissioned officers and give sentries on beat a clear path. Nothing else. Calhoun scheduled to go to Manila tomorrow and I hope the bus brings back a note from you.

My back has been lame from the shoveling yesterday but I went to sleep readily last night, so I guess the exercise was beneficial. I’m pretty thin but feel fine. Some of the conditions here are not so hot, although the J plans are complete for what should be an ideal camp. For instance, there are 4 toilet seats in the Gym for 543 men. The overflow from the septic tanks on the hill behind us are draining onto the athletic field: there are odors, particularly behind the gym, where another sewer drains openly into the creek. All the cooking is done in the open on wood fires. There are almost no medical supplies in camp. Things are OK but really, there’s not much margin and this place could be plenty tough very suddenly.

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Saturday, May 29, 1943

Porky allowed George to go shopping with the bus today wouldn’t (let) Dayton go out however. Reason: Dayton is a member of this camp, George is Los Baños Internee no. 801 and spends part at Santo Tomás so he can go out. It will probably be announced that we are to uncover and remove cigarette from mouth when we meet, pass or what have you, a guard. Yesterday it was said that if anyone in guards beat path, he would shout when 5 feet away and if path not clear when he reached the spot, we could expect to be pushed out of the way—this last from Calhoun and Orel the interpreter. Jim Neal was standing by the road looking at new construction, he was in charge of the 150 internees who do grading there every morning: and failed to uncover when guard passed. Guard stopped and removed Jim’s hat, then Jim had to accompany him to Guard House. Cal and Orel went over on hearing of it, but Jim had already been released. Porky explained that the guard (sgt.) had not recognized Jim as an internee and brought him as a “suspicious character.” Hadn’t noticed him before and thought that he might have been a guerrilla who had slipped into camp. Jim has red handlebar mustache. What a ridiculous excuse.

Friday, May 28, 1943*

Porky continues to be troublesome, wouldn’t (let) the camp vegetable buyer go out even on commandant’s pass. Wouldn’t let the pineapples in or the canteen.

We’ve had beans every day for lunch and today it was very light soup with a few dozen beans. Looks as though I’ll be a monitor. Safety and Order office for X camps building (all of them) and again I am to give an introductory History Course. We mustn’t let this camp life become complicated this time. It won’t be anyway, with no shacks and no meal to prepare at noon. What will it be like to get back to normal living?

 

*probably erroneously published as May 29, 1943 entry. Succeeding entry is dated Saturday, May 29, 1943.

May 27, 1943

Lunch with Mrs. Luther Bewley, the wife of my old director of education in the Philippines, who is now a prisoner of the Japanese at Santo Tomas. She and her sweet daughter were the last to escape from Corregidor by plane.

She admires MacArthur and particularly so Wainwright and says the latter became very bitter against the Administration for breach of promise as to the relief of Bataan and Corregidor. She added that the Commander of the Philippine Department several years before the war went home and pleaded to have Corregidor supplied with sufficient food and ammunition to withstand a six years’ siege–actually they had only three months’ supply! Says Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos was present in the deliberations of the Cabinet with Quezon before they went to Corregidor: they framed four questions and cabled them to Roosevelt and got categoric and favourable replies as to help to be sent immediately, and how much and when! Then nothing was done. Santos became bitter and refused to leave the Philippines with Quezon, was caught by the Japanese and shot.

Mrs. Bewley said she saw Manuel Roxas at Dansalan in Mindanao. The Japanese were then only 20 miles away; Roxas refused to come with them, largely on Wainwright’s advice. Filipinos are exceedingly bitter against Quezon for leaving. Mrs. Bewley added that before Pearl Harbor, all Army and Navy officers in the Philippines thought war with Japan could be won in three weeks. Roosevelt knew perfectly of the ill-feeling between the Army and Navy commanders at Pearl Harbor, and did nothing about it.

Finally, Mrs. Bewley expressed the opinion that Quezon could win back his people upon his return to the Philippines.

This is the last entry in my diary for almost thirteen weeks. President Quezon nearly demonstrated the old saying that “a funeral breeds funerals.” He fell seriously ill a few days after going to the cemetery to attend the funeral of the late Mrs. Taft.

Thursday, May 27, 1943

Well, the notes we sent Monday came back undelivered and we gather that things have been other than quiet at Santo Tomas. I received ₱90 from you today, I suppose it was from G and that you kept half, holding out ₱10 for my shoes… Sugar 1.60 per K, I may get some tomorrow and put it away… The new barracks look good, concrete floors, veranda all around, six men in each space 12′ x 24′ with two tables and 2 lamps. Kitchen for each 960 and bath facilities for each 192. Porky [a Japanese guard or officer] still gets in our hair.

More respect for the guards, maybe some “pushing around” and no sports until 5 PM except Sundays when sports are allowed after noon. Still mush for breakfast, mongo or black beans lunch but a lot of good meat in the stew with rice tonight. 55 cents for a pair of shoelaces.

May 26, 1943

Doria and I sat in a taxi today with Mrs. Paul McNutt who had not seen our small daughter Ursula since she was a baby of three weeks at Baguio, six years ago. Mrs. McNutt was looking lovely and very smartly dressed. She commented on the regal style in which the Quezons lived at the Shoreham; and said that sometimes shen she entered the hotel with her arms full of bundles, as one was obliged to do nowadays, she met Mrs. Quezon flanked by two a.d.c.’s! Said that she herself had once been a refugee (from Mexico), but that was not the way people expected refugees to look! It was good-natured but ironic.

The Japanese radio (Domei) states that Vargas announced that all Filipinos should celebrate Japanese Navy Day (May 17) since the freedom of East Asia had been assured by the shattering by the Japanese of the Anglo-American and Dutch navies!

Arnaldo in charge of the library in the Commonwealth Building (1617 Mass. Ave.) says that it is not believed that the Japanese have destroyed any libraries in the Philippines, except possibly a part of the University Library. That the Philippine National Library was untouched, except that probably they took the old documents for their own great collection of Filipiniana in Tokyo–as, also possibly all the priceless collections of Professor Otley Beyer.

Sitting in the lobby of the Shoreham that evening with Dr. Trepp, we saw Quezon and his daughter Baby going toward the front door for a drive. Quezon went up the three or four steps nimbly almost waving his rubber-tipped cane. Trepp observed that if he had seen us, he would have been leaning feebly on Baby’s arm. Trepp told me that the President was a “used-up” man, physically; that there was nothing organical serious about his condition, and that he should live for from 5 to 10 years more–but was gradually wearing down. Says he (Trepp) saved Quezon’s life in 1932 and at first Quezon was grateful to him and put him in charge of the Sanitorium later replacing him there by Dr. Cañizares and making Trepp the latter’s “adviser.” As soon as Trepp had taught the Filipino doctors his methods, they shoved him aside. Quezon has not been generous to him in later years, but Trepp had built up a fine private practice in Manila, and had put his savings into successful gold mines.

Trepp said he “simply adored” Quezon until they went to Corregidor–but thought his leaving Manila a terrible mistake (of course, Trepp did not know of the pressure and specious promises of help from Roosevelt).

Wednesday, May 26, 1943

Dearest Charmian… It will probably be some time before you and the rest of Santo Tomas get here, there’s still a lot of building to do. I’m sure it will be a pretty good camp when it’s finished, I hope it never is. Workmen whistle “God Bless America” while walking to their work on the barracks and tonight while in chow line a lumber truck with some natives went by and all were whistling “The Star Spangled Banner”…

May 25, 1943

This day stands out in my memory because it was the last time when the President looked like the robust Quezon of a much earlier day. He was exceedingly well dressed and once more entirely gracious as of yore. He welcomed me with one-time cordiality and opened by saying: “Guess where I have been,” then went on to state that he had just returned from the funeral of Mrs. William Howard Taft, the widow of the former President. He said there had been only about fifty persons in the church, few government officials–none of the Cabinet; only six motors went to the cemetery. Quezon said he had to be “almost carried” up the hill by Lt. Madrigal, his a.d.c. Senator Taft whom he had never before thanked him most earnestly for his presence. Quezon replied to the Senator that Mrs. Taft had been so much liked by the Filipinos–she visited the Filipina ladies in their homes and danced the rigodon with Filipinos. In reporting this incident to me Quezon added: “Not so Mrs. Wright. Governor General Wright was a much abler man than Taft, but his wife did him no good.” Taft as Secretary of War removed Wright. Quezon remarked that “after all the two most significant names in the history of American Government of the Filipinos were Taft and your own. It took just as much courage for Taft to stand up to the Army officers as it did for you to fight the bureau chiefs and imperialists a decade later.” That afternoon my wife and I enjoyed an excellent game of bridge with Quezon.

Tuesday, May 25, 1943

Rain all morning and no sun in the afternoon—chow was good though and we cut a pineapple that was the sweetest I’ve ever tasted, we sent half of it to Mr. and Mrs. Curran. The construction is continuing and there seems to be a nipa roof going on the first barracks. A Philippine nurse is alleged to have told Mrs. C. that there are many barracks under construction across the river.

I wonder if this whole program portends segregation of sexes. I’ve wondered about that for some time. They send men here first and give us no information on the construction within a mile of the camp.

May 24, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Osmeña was operated upon hurriedly on Saturday last for appendicitis. Quezon goes down to Doctors’ Hospital every day to call on him.

The President told me of a recent meeting of the Pacific War Council. Mr. Roosevelt had opened with a talk of Attu, of which he had a large map. Evidently, he intended this to be the end of the meeting, but Mr. Churchill took the floor. Quezon remarked that if he had not heard his statement, he would have had quite an erroneous idea of the situation in the Pacific merely from hearing Churchill’s previous recent address to the American Congress.

The Prime Minister now explained to the Council quite frankly that England could not undertake the prosecution of a campaign in Burma–they could, he said, use only a certain sized force there, and added: “The Japanese are better than we at jungle fighting.” Now, he could not supply the men to put the Burma road into proper condition and to maintain it. “This,” remarked Quezon to me “left me in some doubt as to whether the British Government really wanted to help China.” Thereupon, H. H. Kung made a “silly speech” and begged Churchill to open up the Burma road for them, adding that it was probably a choice of generals! Churchill interrupted to say, tartly: “I hope the time will never come when England cannot select its own generals.”

Churchill continued and stated that he heartily backed the present Australian demand, presented by Dr. Evatt, for more planes than the 400 he had requested. Roosevelt replied that both Australia and General Chennault were to get more planes than those for which they had originally asked.

In some unexplained way, Quezon seemed to think that the big attack on Japan was to come from Siberia! He also felt that the Philippines would be reclaimed from the enemy by direct attack which would be ruinous to his country.

Quezon added that from listening to these debates on the War Council he is inclined to believe that Churchill will not enter upon any more military or naval enterprises unless he is seventy per cent sure of success. For his own part, Quezon added while attending the meeting of the Pacific War Council, he was confining his part strictly to the interests of the Philippines. These seemed to fit in with the English plans. He recalled such Englishmen as he had liked personally in the Philippines, such as Horace Whittall and Pat Jollye–then he added reflectively: “Who could ever have expected the time to come when I should appear to be backing English imperialism?” He does indeed, at the present juncture, seem to be inclined towards English strategy. For years I have been cautioning Quezon not to neglect the importance for his country of the sympathetic backing of Great Britain.

Quezon next turned to political history as he had seen it unfold. He believed that Woodrow Wilson was the greatest American of this half century. Of Roosevelt, he commented: “He stands the criticism against him throughout the United States admirably,” adding: “I should be bursting out all the time.” He thinks Churchill is a greater man than Roosevelt.

Then Quezon turned to recollections of his service in the American Congress as Resident Commissioner from the Philippines, and dwelt on the failure to get the Clarke Amendment to the Jones Bill in 1916 through the House of Representatives. Senator Clarke introduced his bill for independence of the Philippines effective within two years. He was a solitary man who did his own thinking, and never went to the White House. So President Wilson went to Clarke’s apartment and asked him to change the period before full independence from two to four years because the first World War was then in full swing. Clarke was flattered and accepted the suggestion. The Philippine bill including this “Clarke Amendment” passed the Senate by the deciding vote of Vice President Marshall. In the House, however, Fitzgerald and his large bloc of Roman Catholic Democrats bolted the Democratic leadership and killed the Clarke Amendment. The only Catholics in the House to vote for the amendment were Ansberry of Ohio and Broussard of Louisiana. It appears that Osmeña had cabled Quezon from Manila not exactly expressing his own opposition to the Clarke Amendment but quoting adverse opinions of his followers–Rafael Palma, etc.

Independence for the Philippines in 1918 or 1920 would among other favourable results, have prevented the growth there of the “sugar barons” and might even, later on, have staved off the Japanese invasion. Their economy would have stood up to the test at that time better than in the subsequent period when sugar dominated the market.

May 24, 1943

Osmeña was operated upon hurriedly on Saturday last for appendicitis. Quezon goes down to Doctors’ Hospital every day to call on him.

The President told me of a recent meeting of the Pacific War Council. Mr. Roosevelt had opened with a talk of Attu, of which he had a large map. Evidently, he intended this to be the end of the meeting, but Mr. Churchill took the floor. Quezon remarked that if he had not heard his statement, he would have had quite an erroneous idea of the situation in the Pacific merely from hearing Churchill’s previous recent address to the American Congress.

The Prime Minister now explained to the Council quite frankly that England could not undertake the prosecution of a campaign in Burma —they could, he said, use only a certain sized fore there, and dded: “The Japanese are better than we at jungle fighting.” Now, he could not supply the men to put the Burma road into proper condition and to maintain it. “This,” remarked Quezon to me “left me in some doubt as to whether the British Government really wanted to help China.” Thereupon, H.H. Kung made a “silly speech” and begged Churchill to open up the Burma road for them, adding that it was probably a choice of generals! Churchill interrupted to say, tartly: “I hope the time will never come when England cannot select its own generals.”

Churchill continued and stated that he heartily backed the present Australian demand, presented by Dr. Evatt, for more planes than the 400 he had requested. Roosevelt replied that both Australia and General Chennault were to get more planes than those for which they had originally asked.

In some unexplained way, Quezon seemed to think that the big attack on Japan was to come from Siberia! He also felt that the Philippines would be reclaimed from the enemy by direct attack which would be ruinous to his country.

Quezon added that from listening to these debates on the War Council he is inclined to believe that Churchill will not enter upon any more military or naval enterprises unless he is seventy per cent sure of success. For his own part, Quezon added while attending the meeting of the Pacific War Council, he was confining his part strictly to the interests of the Philippines. These seemed to fit in with the English plans. He recalled such Englishmen as he had liked personally in the Philippines, such as Horace Whittall Pat Jollye —then he added reflectively: “Who would ever have expected the time to come when I should appear to be backing English imperialism?” He does indeed, at the present juncture, seem to be inclined towards English strategy. For years I have been cautioning Quezon not to neglect the importance for his country of the sympathetic backing of Great Britain.

Quezon next turned to political history as he had seen it unfold. He believed that Woodrow Wilson was the greatest American of this half century. Of Roosevelt, he commented: “He stands the criticism against him throughout the United States admirably,” adding: “I should be bursting out all the time.” He thinks Churchill is a greater man than Roosevelt.

Then Quezon turned to recollections of his service in the American Congress as Resident Commissioner from the Philippines, and dwelt on the failure to get the Clarke Amendment to the Jones Bill in 1916 through the House of Representatives. Senator Clarke introduced his bill for independence of the Philippines effective within two years. He was a solitary man who did his own thinking, and never went to the White House. So President Wilson went to Clarke’s apartment and asked him to change the period before full independence from two to four years because the first World War was then in full swing. Clarke was flattered and accepted the suggestion. The Philippine bill including this “Clarke Amendment” passed the Senate by the deciding vote of Vice President Marshall. In the House, however, Fitzgerald and his large bloc Roman Catholic Democrats bolted the Democratic leadership and killed the Clarke Amendment. The only Catholics in the House to vote for the amendment were Ansberry of Ohio and Broussard of Louisiana. It appears that Osmeña had cabled Quezon from Manila not exactly expressing his own opposition to the Clarke Amendment but quoting adverse opinions of his followers —Rafael Palma, etc.

Independence for the Philippines in 1918 or 1920 would among other favorable results, have prevented the growth there of the “sugar barons” and might even, later on, have staved off the Japanese invasion. Their economy would have stood up to the test at that time better than in the subsequent period when sugar dominated the market.

Monday, May 24, 1943

Barracks nearing completion across the creek—no one has seen them yet! Well-driving machinery to be here this week from Manila. I know the postholes were finished today and will be enclosed with barbed wire in a few days—9 P.M. three Tribunes arrived this afternoon, May 20, 21 and 22. I’d say they were encouraging. Nothing new today. No one seems to know much about the plans for the camp, although the native workmen are building all the time. Things are taking shape—’tis said—but that is all anyone knows…

Saturday, May 22, 1943

…Rain last night, more washing today, held the surveyor’s tape, conferred with Pinkerton on supplies, etc. Read Liberty Mutual Manual with Dan this P.M. Lee looks funny with his baldy! Ball game tonight, I’m on some team but don’t know which. Rumor has it we’ve taken the Aleutians, 4 navies operating in the Pacific, Santo Tomás has coffee 5 days a week and only one spoonful of sugar per day. Floors of our new home to be concrete, sewage system and flush toilets, etc. They’re still calling for volunteers on the post holes, maybe I’ll go out on it tomorrow. Next group to be wives of men or single women –families will live together? Kodaki and Asst. Konda coming up for inspection next week. Camps now under control of Bur. of Ext. Affairs, Military must have had score to settle.

Friday, May 21, 1943

One week today and we’re all quite comfortable. The early morning was beautiful again and later the cloud banks over the top of Makiling –Washed this morning and weather clear until 6 or so, steady rain since then. It makes a lot of difference not being able to see you and talk with you… Went surveying with Dan and crew this morning, it’s rather fun and takes time. Read and siesta after mongo bean lunch, coco laced with coconut milk –very good. Had a meeting of G.O. and S. Department tonight. I am to have charge of the safety and protection of all camp supplies. That will put me close to the kitchen and I want to get a job there anyway for chow. I feel my appetite increasing with the lack of cigarettes. I certainly had a helluva time tonight at meeting. I suppose I’ll say to hell with it and start smoking again any day now. On the other hand, maybe I’ll wait until I can fondle a Camel and better still an Old Gold with a sip of S and S…

Heard today that 4,000 internees to be barracked across the river behind the Hoop and 3,000 on this side. 25 buildings are allegedly partially completed on the other side, we can’t see them from here. I opened the sewing kit you fixed… The morale is high here, should have moved the camp here in the first place, now I hope they don’t have time. Barnes says you moved to first floor, that means you have Fran and a couple of children on your hands. Please tell me in your next note.

Thursday, May 20, 1943

…Calhoun spoke over loudspeaker tonight, said news from Manila exceptionally good, etc. The news brought into Santo Tomás by some 70 reinternees is good, if we can believe what we hear. We have to remove hat and bow to sentries on point duty, there is one, sometimes 2 of them. But thing is to keep away from them. Fruit etc. is coming in great quantities…

Wednesday, May 19, 1943

…Not much exciting, rain late this afternoon –the mornings early have been beautiful. I weighed 71 kg. today so that’s almost a 9 lbs. gain since Saturday. I certainly was shot when I reached this place. Bill made coconut milk for breakfast and for him cocoa at noon. With coconuts 5 cents each, we figured it to be a good investment. Hope you receive some money before you come up, if so hang on to it. We’ll open no cans but live off the line and supplement with fruit, etc. Chow was good today, maybe it will be easier tomorrow…

Tuesday, May 18, 1943

About 2 PM, I’m sitting in front of cottage No. 2. M. Naismith just passed on his way to the Administration Office. I asked him if we were to go get the water by truck from Los Baños artesian wells today as promised (or almost) for drinking. He said it was all off, the captain of the guard will permit no one out to get it. We have the truck I guess, but what good is that? The boiled stuff we’re drinking is lousy. That Guard Captain will be increasingly popular as time goes on… Wonder if you’re still getting the Tribune, there was supposed to be a Sunday article on the new camp and interviews with Calhoun.Wish I had those cakes Dorothy Crabb baked –red ants, damn them, why didn’t you pack them in a tin can? The 12 nurses are now in the hospital, they’ve had a lot of trouble getting the use of that place. Dr. Leitch is finally there and in charge, although they’re removed some of the equipment, including the sterilizer. We certainly don’t rate very high in the scheme of things.

There was a ball game last night, I’m not much interested, haven’t recovered from the trip up. I weighed 67 kilos or 147.8 lbs. Saturday evening, the lowest I’ve been since about age 15. There is a serious question of water shortage and we’re just waiting. Yesterday morning M.P. called for 250 men to dig post holes for our barbed wire fence. There was nearly a sit-down strike and Naismith had quite a conference with the Commandant, who said the order was improper and assured us that further requests would come through his office in form of request for volunteers and there was nothing compulsory about it. Anyway I went along this morning because of a possible shortage, but 140 volunteered today so everything worked out OK –I worked with a couple of old codgers pulling concrete fence posts. Had a crew hair cut today, wonder if you’d like it, I think maybe. A gang of P.I. Constabulary just went by, maybe they’re our new guards? The canteen opened yesterday and we had coco milk in the morning mush. I’ve spent 95 cents since I left you and opened one can of milk. I think I’ll keep the cans, we may need them. I’m sure you’ll be here soon.

9:30 P.M. Small portion of chow tonight. Saw Lee and he has  had head shaved. The future doesn’t look very bright –the guards won’t even permit the carts to bring the fruit. Canteen men have to go to the gate with a truck. Earl told me yesterday that “just between us friends it was a good thing to get away for a while.” I grunted.

May 16, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon busy writing a letter in his own hand to Osmeña in answer to a brief submitted to him by the latter. This is the opening gun in the contest between the two for the presidency of the Commonwealth after November 15, 1943. Quezon read me the salient points of Osmeña’s brief, all of which were citations as to the constitutionality of a government-in-exile. Quezon now points out that all of Osmeña’s authorities refer to formerly independent states now (or formerly) in enemy occupation; these examples are irrelevant, since the Philippine Commonwealth has never been an independent government and the issue now lies between the United States and Japan–so the whole subject is in the hands of President Roosevelt, and he alone can decide what part of the Commonwealth Government and of its constitution are in force today. This leaves little doubt that Quezon will remain as President of the Philippines even after his present term of two years, expiring December 31, 1943, has run out. This would bar Osmeña from enjoying the two years as President to which he was elected by the Philippine people, just before the invasion by the Japanese. Since Quezon is being privately advised by Justices Murphy and Frankfurter, there can be little doubt of the outcome. Opinion around headquarters is that Osmeña will not offer serious resistance.

The part of Osmeña’s offer to Quezon which aroused the latter’s indignation was the proposition that Quezon should continue to live in the magnificent suite in the Shoreham when Osmeña assumed the presidency, and that Quezon should become President of the Council of State, which as he points out was the same old suggestion made to me as Governor General in 1919, [sic] when Osmeña tried to persuade me to disassociate myself from the new Council of State under his own presidency–a proposal which I then rejected.

At all events, Quezon feels that Osmeña’s offer to him now is “insulting.” I have no idea of the contents of Quezon’s letter of reply and probably never shall know but I consider it now practically certain that Quezon will remain as President until at least the Philippines are reoccupied. I had previously told him I did not believe that Roosevelt would tolerate any other plan.

Whether this is politically wise for Quezon is another matter. As Trepp says he weakened his political future when he left Corregidor, and the present project that he shall hold the presidency of the Commonwealth for the two years for which Osmeña had been elected president by the Filipinos, while practically unavoidable, will weaken him still further with the people at home. Quien sabe?

Meanwhile the Japanese radio announcements of statements by leading Filipinos continue to unsettle Philippine headquarters in Washington–however, these are now considered either as downright Japanese lies, or else as statements made under duress. Collier ‘s, May 22, 1943, publishes a recent statement by George Vargas: “It becomes our pleasant duty to share the joy of liberated millions… victory for Japan is victory for the Philippines.” At the same time, the Japanese radio announced that Vargas’ son had been sent to Tokyo to the University–ostensibly for study, but we assume, as a hostage for his father’s “good behaviour.” Manuel Roxas is in his own home in Manila, under “protective custody.” Generals Lim and Capinpin have apparently issued statements that the Americans let them down in the Philippine war and they are in favour of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Both of these Generals are now at liberty.

There is evidently still a great deal of ill-feeling among those who surround Quezon (but not in his own mind) because of the failure of the United States to make any effort to relieve Corregidor, after all the abundant promises made to that end in the early stages of the invasion. Mrs. Bewley, who brought her daughter out just before the fall of Corregidor in an American Navy plane to Freemantle, Australia, is still bitter about the lack of effort made by the United States in the theatre of the Philippines. Her husband is a prisoner in Manila–or at Los Baños. Her plane was the only one of the three that got through. One was shot down over Corregidor and all on board lost; one fell in Lake Lanao and all were drowned. This was the end of what had frankly been considered a “suicide mission.”

Quezon took me out for a long drive. I tried to get his mind fixed on pleasant thoughts–got him to tell me of the making of Tagaytay ridge into a resort now by the new road only 40 minutes from Manila–the resort is at 2,500 feet altitude–plenty of water (and wind!).

At Malacañan he has cleaned out the slaughter house and dog pound across the Pasig River and all other “smelly things” on the swampy land opposite the Palace and has turned it all into a park–where I used to shoot snipe! He fears the Japanese will destroy Malacañan if they have to evacuate the Islands. So far they have done no damage there and have not even occupied the Palace.

Secretary Knox told him the Japanese could have taken Dutch Harbor if they had tried; now their occupation of Kiska and Attu really made no difference–we could get them out whenever we cared to try.

Quezon thinks Roosevelt tried to get us into the war immediately after the fall of France but that the American “isolationists” prevented this at that time; it was Pearl Harbor that was the immediate cause of our fighting.

May 15, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Dr. Trepp tells me that Quezon is in very much better condition; that his blood pressure is down to 160–about right for his age; that the past week has been largely given up to interviews with Supreme Court Justices Murphy and Frankfurter, and when I saw Quezon he told me the “legal” position as to the Philippine Government-in-Exile (probably worked out by the two justices) viz.: that only authority since the Japanese occupied the Islands is President Roosevelt, and he will decide about any change in the person to head the Philippine Government-in-Exile. This assures Quezon of continuance in office until the Islands are re-occupied by the United States and a new election is held. This, however, is not the sole cause of Quezon’s good spirits and improved health; the allied victory in Tunisia has sent the barometer up again.

Quezon says he has decided to give up his pressure of work as much as possible; no more evening work, and no more bridge. He is alone with his family in the evenings now; during the day he sees only those visitors absolutely necessary. Stays in bed as late as he can in the morning; has indefinitely postponed work on his book.

Called Bernstein and me into conference about the future of the “Office of Special Services” at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue. Will not ask for deferment of draft of the Americans now in that office, since he says he does not feel that he has the right to do so. Bernstein, himself, is not asking for deferment (tells me of the example of what happened to several of the new-style “planners” in the Federal Government); he has evidently been made nervous by the strength of feeling in Congress. Bernstein will be drafted July 1st, and his assistant, Dr. Cherin, will probably get a commission this Summer.

Bernstein had submitted to Quezon a memorandum on the future of the “Office of Special Services”–proposing that the head of it hereafter be given cabinet rank, proposing Dr. Rotor, the President’s Secretary, as head of this office. Quezon refused to consider this, said he could not give up any of Rotor’s time and duties as fixed at present. Quezon complimented Bernstein on his work and said that since he was leaving, he (Q.) had considered abolishing the rest of the office. But now he wished to put me in there to supervise this office–I spending half my time in Washington.

It looks to me if Elizalde had been right in the very beginning (when Q. first made this suggestion to me early in December last) that I was to be a banana peel for Bernstein! Since then Bernstein has made very good, and it looks as if the transfer of Bernstein and of his second in command to the army would leave me as the banana peel for the rest of the office!

Some talk in the antechamber of my going on Monday to the Hot Springs Conference with the Philippine delegation, but shortly afterwards they managed to get in touch with General Basilio Valdes, so he came East at once by plane to join the delegation–thus making it all-Filipino, as it ought to be.

Later: Valdes appeared, having come by plane from Fort Leavenworth, where he was studying at the Army Staff College. He was loth to give up his studies, but off he goes tomorrow with Elizalde, Rotor and Zafra to Hot Springs. The American press much vexed because it is not allowed to attend the sessions of the “Food Congress.” Newspapers are indulging in all sorts of bitterness and “smear stuff.”

Friday, May 14, 1943

Last night was the final at Santo Tomás –Both [Charmian and I] quite upset… It has been very pleasant with Charmian for all these months… Loading started with Sec. 1 at about 6:45 instead 0f 7 as ordered. Whole procedure quite orderly –Darling, I could see you very clearly on the platform as we drove away and could hear or rather see the words your lips formed and I hope you received the same message from me. I love you.

I’ll try to tell you what happened from that time on. It seemed rather quiet on the streets and only half familiar, I believe it was Tutuban station where we went. I was in the next to last truck as I recall and most of those who had preceded us were lined up in the freight yard on the loading platform with their baggage being searched. I kept my group together and then a J guard came along and ordered us to line up in 3 columns parallel with the tracks. Having done this we were told to unpack for inspection. For the first time one of the guards barked at me because he thought I was not going to pile things to the right of the bag as I unpacked. He was very brief though, slapped my pockets and seemed interested only in the contents with red white and black bag where I had letters etc.

…Before most of my section had repacked a civilian J told us to move forward and we were counted as we entered the box cars, “slide door pullmans” you know. They were hot and dirty and although I didn’t count, I guess we were close to 60 per car, with baggage made it crowded but not unbearable. The guard closed door on the left side looking forward and the right door was open. A civilian J was in the car with us. Bill and I sat on our luggage near the left front ventilator of the car, he had some candy, cornbread and water which he shared on the trip. There were long stops at Paco Station and Nichols Field. It was hot, particularly when the train was stopped, but the trip didn’t seem too long, though we had to wait a long while at College Station before getting out of the train. Oh yes –3 nurses were on our car, the only one I know was Miss Todd. They were graciously allowed space between the doors, the left one was reopened shortly after leaving the station. There was quite a stink of sweat at first but one got used to it. Not much to be said about the trip, we were allowed out once, near Nichols Field, I think. Dick Harrell was in the same car, a big Nicaraguan in his group insisted on staying at one of the doors. The two Franciscos didn’t help the air much. I touched the metal roof once and very nearly burned my hand. Some were in all metal cars, fortunately ours had wooden sides.

When we arrived at Los Baños (College Station), no one appeared to know what to do. Most of us finally disembarked. I found Bill McCandish, Calhoun, and a little J interpreter. Sections 17, 18, 19 and 20 were to stay and unload the baggage that had been loaded onto the boxcars at Manila the day before. First thing however was to get the 20 groups together and hold Roll Call. I got 19 together ad Chuck Palmer did the same with 20… 160 men remained at the station. Of course there were guards all around and lots of confusion.

Rather foolishly I left 19 again to find Bill and Calhoun and told everyone to stay put until further instructions. I got back with no additional dope and found all but a few of 18, 19, and 20 in trucks. Cal, Bill, and J civilian had started with group 1 and were getting them into trucks in an orderly fashion but instead of waiting for them to progress down the whole line, the J guards told 19-20 groups, etc., to get into trucks, which all but a few did. As usual, the 17 group made mostly of Englishmen didn’t break ranks and consequently did not have to get off the truck again. This was managed by the interpreter after a lot of shouting, etc. The whole thing burned me up, particularly J. Sams who stayed in one of the trucks until I insisted he get out.

After the trucks had pulled out, 160 of us remained and all walked under the cover of the waiting shed. I had just poured myself a glass of water when I was called over to the little J interpreter: my blue arm band left me taking orders from the J and getting the 160 to comply. Palmer was sort of staying in the background, but I think he thought he pulled a clever move before the day was over and I guess he did. Anyway, they wanted a double line along the platform next to the tracks. I yelled the instructions and after one trip down the platform and back there was a fair double line. I didn’t know what they were really up to. Then the J said count, no, he thought I had already counted them, then when I started to he said, “Have them count off,” I asked them to do so and for the most part it went OK, although some of them were too dumb or too sullen to count, some didn’t yell so the next men could hear and I had to keep the count straight. Palmer caught me slipping too. There were 75 in the front row, 80 in rear, three guys and med. certs. and were sitting down (Earl Spear among them) and Palmer and myself totaling 160. Then J said to unload boxcars and place on ground and to load trucks when they came. I asked if we would not save time by waiting for trucks. He said no, start unloading. Meanwhile, the engine had backed a dozen cars onto the siding and everyone knew what the score was but I had to get them started. At about this point CH approached with hand on side and a pained looking face. “Charlie, I can’t do that work.” So I asked J to excuse him on grounds of recent op and he did so. C thanked me but he also rather surprised me, because other men in worse shape, I’m sure, went down the tracks and at least went thru a few motions and then found a place in the shade. The kicker engine never returned although the J expected it. Including moving 13 cars by hand, without even a bar to start them, we unloaded the 11 cars and loaded the stuff on trucks in a little over two hours. Ed Gray brought coconuts for a lot of fellows and we drank the juice –there was a pile of them on the station platform and he bought the lot. There was water also, alleged to be from artesian wells, that we drank. We had to move the cars because of a huge pile of cordwood, about six cars in length, piled so close to the tracks that we couldn’t get the stuff out of the car doors, let alone back a truck anywhere near. No trouble to speak of and I think damn near everybody pulled his weight. I was so exhausted at the end of it. After finishing the last car I went to fill a water jug, Lee went with me and before we returned the trucks were already loaded, but we made it all right. A few guys like B. Yankey, Von Hess, McVey and a bunch of others I don’t know by name made the whole job easy, comparatively. Anyway, we filled the last truck with ourselves and baggage and started for “college.”

Things looked familiar and college grounds as beautiful as ever except for the buildings on both sides of the bridge, of which only the foundations remain. One was the recreation hall on the left after crossing and the other where Dan and I found you drinking Cokes on Dec. 12, 1941. The trucks turned left after crossing the bridge and we unloaded under the trees near the tennis courts. The YMCA had not been turned over by the J and we were really out of luck. Even after we arrived truckloads of Filipino workmen with furniture moved into the place. It was being used by the fellows who were to build the camp barracks. Anyway some of the fellows went into the gym, others stayed under the trees. Water was being boiled in a couple of large tanks, it tasked OK hot, but lousy when cold. For chow we had 1 can CB [corned beef] and 3 biscuits for every two men. Bill and I set up my bed, net and poncho under a tree for a pretty good tent. A gang went to the station at 8 PM when the 5 cars would really be there. I don’t remember much more except that I was ready to drop at 9 and when I did crawl in I couldn’t sleep. The prospect wasn’t pleasant and I guess I was kind of low and I prayed for lots of things and wished you and I and all the rest were well out of it. The propaganda corps had been around all day taking pictures etc. I suppose they’ll try to make a sugary story out of it. Bill found Mr. and Mrs. Curran at the Hoop here and all the trouble was worth it for him. They were fine and glad to see him, they have been incommunicado for a couple of years too. Before going to sleep, the sentry came by and started poking at the cot. The captain of the guard had been by before and agreed to our sleeping out temporarily. We finally settled –learned too that “yaka” is J for guard and the captain told us to make that answer if challenged by a sentry at night.

It rained hard and intermittently most of the night. I got a little damp toward morning but we stuck it out and slept most of the night. I forgot to say that I had a cup of “Sanka” coffee about 6:30 PM. thurs. and it “sure was delicious” Friday morning after chewing on a cracker and getting more mush. About 9 Bill and I moved to Bldg. No. 2 where Curavo and Danny were. Can’t recall much more of Sat, except that I slept like a log from 9 PM to 6:30 AM and took a cold shower, first one before breakfast since I’ve been interned, I guess. Washed clothes, aired things from the cabinet, slept in afternoon and after usual meetings went to sleep by 9:30 P.M. I’ll try to write every day, darling and put down what goes on generally as well as what I’m mixed up in. Oh yes, I hope you read all you wish from the measly note I was permitted yesterday. I really could have written more.