Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

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.

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