Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

May 18, 1936

Long talk with Unson about the reorganization of the government. Query: how to get funds from the Legislature for research scientific work? We finally decided the only way by which we could avoid alarming the legislature is to strengthen the Bureau of Science, instead of turning over its researchers to the University, or trying to secure a large appropriation for the Council of National Research (Dr. Roxas); Unson says Governor General Murphy considered Dr. Roxas something of a spendthrift. We talked of the American attitude of growing indifference and severity towards the Philippines. He commented that it was American psychology for a father to cut loose entirely from a grown-up son! Unson expressed doubt of the Philippine Army.

Quezon returned from Hong Kong and after a day at Malacañan left for Baguio. His office work is greatly in arrears and is in confusion. Vargas handed me a memorandum prepared by Quezon dated April 14 in Iloilo, addressed to me, (and unsigned) asking me to prepare papers to carry out the recommendations of the annual report of the Manila Railroad Co. This I received May 18!! Vargas says he found it “on the boat” (Arayat?). I hardly think it was meant for me, anyway, but probably for Paez who is away inspecting the line for the proposed railroad in Mindanao. Quezon cannot stand the racket at Malacañan Palace–when he finally does receive his visitors he gives three times the time necessary for each interview. He is too restless for office work anyway, and while there feels like a bird in a cage. He gives himself so thoroughly to each visitor that this kind of work wears him out. He cannot, however, let his underlings run their offices, so all of them are simply terrified of him, and the administration becomes paralyzed.

I asked Unson why the United States Army officers thrust themselves to the fore continually in the press, giving “full military honors” and exchanging so many visits of ceremony, so that the public must have an engorged idea of militarism in the Philippines. He said this was not so from Taft to me, but dated from General Wood as Governor General.

Unson is anxious to have the Bureau of Printing print all textbooks for Philippine schools; but is opposed by the Bureau of Education. I advised him to include this recommendation in the Survey Board’s report on the Bureau of Printing, thus advocating giving more employment to Filipino printers.

Golf alone at McKinley at 5 p.m.

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