Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

August 24, 1936

Quezon’s banquet for General MacArthur of 144 guests at one table in the central hall in Malacañan. Army, Navy, Consular Corps, Committees of Assembly, Church pundits, etc., etc. Probably the most brilliant and dramatic dinner party ever given in the Palace. The purpose of the evening’s ceremony was to confer an appointment as Field Marshal on MacArthur with the presentation of a gold baton. Quezon’s address opened with an account of his first visit to Malacañan in 1900 as a prisoner of war, he having been sent through the lines by General Mascardo of the Filipino insurrectionary forces from Zambales to ascertain whether General Aguinaldo was really a prisoner of war. The story was well and dramatically told–thus furnishing an excellent introduction to the son:–MacArthur’s address was carefully prepared and was eloquently delivered. He was covered with orders and decorations. His speech was all about preparedness. When he had finished, the Japanese Consul General who sat next to me whispered: “it is the same speech the Japanese Generals make before the Diet when they want more money for the Army!” He (Uchiyama) talked that evening more openly and frankly about Japan that one expects from one of their officials. Told me of recent nationalization of all water power in Japan; also of the new rule requiring old men to vacate the public service and in business as well;–in the latter they must now retire at the age of 55 unless they are Directors, when they can go on to 60. Youth insists on taking control. Pensioners get one third of their former salary.

Uchiyama had originally set up the first Japanese Legation in Havana;–he commented that Cuba under the Platt Amendment was much like the Philippine Commonwealth now.

Later, Quezon invited MacArthur and his staff, Cavender, Jim Ross and myself to stay on in his office, and we talked until one o’clock. MacArthur and I were urging Quezon to influence the Bulletin to stop its campaign in the United States in derogation of the Philippines. MacArthur says that news from the Philippines, manufactured by the Bulletin and by Walter Robb is published as facts by the Associated Press and the United Press etc., without verification–the only place in the world where this is possible! MacArthur also discussed the influence of Stanley Hornbeck in the State Department, who for fifteen years has directed “Far Eastern Affairs,” and is strong for America’s withdrawal from the Pacific.

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