Colin Hoskins called with Biggars, manager of the Chase Bank at Hong Kong to discuss the possibility of the Philippines buying silver, with a large seignorage profit, and putting the currency on a silver basis, with gold credits for foreign trade accounts. Biggars advocates this and says he thinks the United States would approve; and he would be glad to see a solvent nation going on silver. Said the United States had driven a very hard bargain with England on silver.
In p.m. at work at office on a speech for tonight. Saw Quezon for half an hour–in his pyjamas after siesta, and looking tired, but in his usual vitally active mood. I told him I had suggested to Unson before the latter saw him the setting up of a budgetary bureau within the framework of the Act creating the Survey Board on the reorganization of the Government–let the Survey Board serve for 2-3 years or until they had finished a scientific standardization &c. Let the members of the board plan the consolidations etc., for immediate use. He said “Oh! I thought that was Unson’s own idea.” The President wants me to work with the board.
Then I took up the subject of Landlord & Tenant and he said no special session was to be called. Told him the more I went into it, the more suspicious I was of the existence of a racket on part of both landlords and tenants–he agreed, and said he must have some plan by which the small man would get his lands–and to beat the speculators. I told him two of the Friar Estates were on 60-90 year lease to outsiders, and that these lessees were demanding 1-2 million pesos for their interests–we must put penalty taxation on all estates larger than 1000 hectares, to squeeze them.
Then I told him of my morning’s talk with Biggars and he at once wrote me notes to Roxas, Weldon Jones and Vicente Singson Encarnacion to consult them on this subject.
Then he arranged on the telephone a trip to Masbate with Andres Soriano for March 25-30, to see the mines; he invited Doria and me to come and some lady to accompany Doria. His conversation with Soriano was gay and courteous. Soriano is chartering the Negros for the trip, and Quezon begged him to go light on the food, so as not to threaten “mi ulcera de estomago.” Quezon also fixed up with the Japanese consul dates for the trip to Davao, April 1-10, inviting Doria and me to accompany him on the Arayat.
Quezon Said he was tired and needed recreation, so we arranged for two bridge games.
He told me of his speech to the executive chiefs at Malacañan that morning; telling then how he had been getting all the credit for their work, and while this satisfied his vanity it hurt his sense of justice, and if anything went wrong he would get all the blame!
I spoke that evening before the Foreign Relations Club of the University of Manila–good audience and it went off well. Constitution Day. The Dean (Gallego) in introducing me referred to Quezon as the “Father of the Constitution” and to me as its “Grandfather” which pleased the students and brought a big laugh. Usual anemic musical program.