Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

December 15, 1935

Speech at 9 o’clock at the Columbian Institute before the Professional’s League. Intelligent addresses before mine by two young Filipinos –Ernesto D. Bohol, the organizer was one of them; he is very sincere and straightforward.

Polo match in p.m. –fast  & first rate. A.D. Williams told me of Quezon’s discharge some years ago of Ernest Westerhouse as head of the Manila Railroad. Said it was a rough deal. Williams thinks permanent retention of the Philippines by the United States is probable –otherwise there would be disaster! He will retire in three years, and wishes to farm on his place in Virginia.

“At home” at Justice Vickers in Santa Ana –he showed me his “first edition” of La Gironiere –which turns out to be a 2d. edition (1857). Talk with Justice Recto, who expressed pleasure in the discharge of Cotterman from the Bank Board. Said Cotterman owned the building in which the Philippine National Bank is situated, and used his influence against the construction of a new building for the bank –[unethical!]

A.D. Williams said the High Commissioner was very much upset because the first China Clipper did not show him the first deference, for the pilot went straight to Malacañan Palace to report to the President. Murphy said his entourage are evidently feeling like flat tires since he ceased to be Governor General and gave up the great executive powers of that office.

A.D. Williams further says that the Elizaldes are possibly opposed to me because they think I might be an impediment in their transportation business –i.e., shipping. He added that the Elizaldes have just resigned, from the directorate of the Polo Club because they fear pressure there from Quezon. He reported that it is now rumoured that I came out here this time to advance the interests of the English in the Manila RR. bond redemption. (Exactly contrary to facts –as usual). Says Paez insisted on resigning if the bonds are not redeemed. I feel certain we could have made a better bargain with the English; that I could have done it; and that it is legally possible to avoid paying them receipts from the “gold clause” in the bonds, and that the English know it. (N.B. Quezon asked me to prepare “advise” on this subject and then never asked for my opinion.)

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