Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

November 14, 1942

P.M. at the Shoreham.

Quezon pale and tired and talking as little as possible. He was dictating a letter to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson thanking her for some courtesy and expressing to her how much the Filipinos loved the late President Wilson for fighting for their independence and for protecting their rights.

He gave an amusing explanation of the reason why the mass tomorrow is not to be at the Cathedral, as he had directed his chaplain, Father Pacifico Ortiz– instead, it is to be held at the Jesuit Church to which order the chaplain belongs, though there are more steps there than Quezon wishes to climb. “He wants to get more people at the mass than we had at the broadcast. But I told him” said the President, “‘to invite only the Roman Catholics on the list of those whom we had invited to my broadcast.'”

He then talked of his veto of the bill for “religious instruction” in the schools of the Philippines–adding however, that if beforehand, High Commissioner McNutt had expressed to him disapproval of that measure, “I would have signed it. I’ll tell you a secret: I let the Assemblymen think I might sign it–it was, however, so long I couldn’t read it, but would consider it if passed. They offered a conference with me on the terms of the bill, but I refused. When Mrs. Quezon heard that it might fail to pass the Assembly she was greatly upset. She was ill at the time, but I had a talk with her. I asked her ‘Do you trust me?’ She looked at me and said that question was almost an offense–of course she trusted me. I then asked her if she realized that in pursuit of my duty I would sacrifice even herself, our children and myself? She said: ‘Yes, do your duty.’ Then, when the time came to veto the bill, the Bishops whom I defied could not get at me.” Quezon remarked: “Many a ruler has been ruined by priests, especially by his wife’s confessors.”

Quezon then showed me the script of his proposed broadcast which will, as we now know, be heard in the Philippines, where the Filipinos are able to conceal their short-wave radios because, as the President remarked they shift their short-waves every day, and you know how far they can walk in the mountains in one day.

I made one suggestion to add four words to his address, which he adopted. It referred to the guerrilla warfare in the mountains, in which the Japanese take fearful punishment. Their experiences in Formosa have taught them to dread the mountain tribes. Quezon had recently received a short-wave message from Colonel Peralta in Panay which stated that he had just killed two thousand Japanese in mountain warfare there.

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