Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

August 18, 1936

I read of a petition by part of the Native officials of the Dutch East Indies to the Volksrad for an autonomous government after ten years! This is one reason why, in my time, I always found the Dutch there (except for Governor General Limburg von Stirum himself) so worried about our plans for Philippine independence.

A. D. Williams came in to consult me about the task just given him by Quezon in a Cabinet meeting, to draft an Executive Order fixing a minimum wage 25% higher than the present average wages paid by the Bureau of Public Works in the different provinces. This order is to apply, of course, only to employes of the government. Quezon said this move was a “matter of conscience” with him. Williams had replied to him that the wages now paid them ranged from 40 centavos a day, in Ilocos to 90 centavos in Davao. He called Quezon’s attention to the fact that many clerical employes of the government received only 20 pesos a month. The President was for raising at once this minimum to 30 pesos, and proposed including the two propositions in one order. Difficulties of Civil Service rules appeared etc.

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