Diary of Dwight D. Eisenhower

December 12, 1938

I’ve played bridge recently with Pres. Q: once for a weekend on the Casiana; once for an afternoon at Malacañan. He’s a peach of a player but somewhat unorthodox in bidding.

Today I’m scheduled to give a talk to 31st Infantry officers on Philippine Defense Plan. It will be fun to address a bunch of people of my own kind.

The results of my trip to the States are very well outlined in the notebook I carried with me. For that reason I don’t repeat them here.

How I wish poor old Jim were alive and here to go over things with me!

He’d be particularly astonished to find that, again, the 30 Division plan establishes the basis for all our work. No hint is ever given that it was once definitely and finally repudiated –that the Gen. shouted down in anger any suggestion that he had ever directed us to take 30 Divs. as an objective! He has completely forgotten that when, in a pinch, he momentarily had to look at facts, he hastily established 15 Divs. as the limit to which we’d aspire. Now the 30 Division plan is accepted, not only accepted, there’s no suggestion of any other thought. Luckily, I’ll be long gone before the Filipinos have the right to look about them and say, Well, the time is up, where are the 30 Divs?” There will be no answer to that one; not for 160,000,000 pesos aggregate!!

To save money we’ve curtailed training plans and original concepts in every direction.

The Constabulary figure was finally fixed at 350 officers, 4500 enl. men. This leaves us (even counting provincials) with about 270 officers and 3000 enl. men. This number, the Gen. says, except for a special case here and there, is sufficient. We’ll scuttle the Reg. Force, except in name. It will be just a number of training cadres!! This great reduction the Gen. justifies on the grounds that we no longer carry any responsibility to maintain a reserve force for maintenance of law & order!! If that was the only reason for a Reg. Force, it never was justified! We may as well establish the Constab. and let it alone!! The Gen. decided to recall reservists for training only every other year!!

We’re doing nothing about pre-military training except in the sketchiest way. Yet, in the beginning, when the Gen. still looked at some of these problems from a professional, no matter how warped, viewpoint, he justified the 5 1/2 months training period only on the plea that each of them would undergo 10 years continuous training in schools; and would, after completion of trainee instruction, be called every year for unit training. But to preserve outward evidence of progress, which he thinks will get by with laymen who know nothing of efficiency, the Gen., as always, is willing to scuttle anything and everything real.

Will I be glad when I get out of this!!