January 29, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

The newspapers this morning gave Premier Hideki Tojo’s speech of yesterday to the Diet in Tokyo in which he promised independence to Burma. He also said: “The people of the Philippines deserve independence, because they understand Japan’s real aims and are ready to collaborate. . . . It is encouraging to observe an ever increasing movement among Filipinos for collaboration with Nippon.

I called this to Quezon’s attention and he was much disturbed. His own letter to President Roosevelt on the subject of “independence now” was dated January 25, but has not yet been sent; it is understood that the Executive branch of the government, except the Department of State, is in favour of a joint resolution by Congress stating that the “Philippines are and of right ought to be independent.” The Secretary of State (Hull) is also in favour of this, but he has little or no influence in his Department. The “permanent officials” headed by Dr Stanley K. Hornbeck are disposed to have no step taken in that direction until after the war and after it can be seen what the situation really is in the Far East.

After reading Tojo’s statement to the Diet, and a subsequent declaration by George Vargas expressing his readiness to accept “independence with honour” as already twice promised by the Japanese, Quezon was galvanized into immediate activity. I told him he should see Roosevelt at once and press the matter for all he is worth. Vargas’ statement as interpreted by Quezon shows that Tojo’s “independence” will not become a reality “for three months yet” and he, Quezon, must go into action in order to get the United States grant of independence first.

He said that the masses of the Filipino people would accept Tojo’s independence eagerly; that the leaders would know that this sort of “independence” would not be worth having, but would fall in line all the same. “This would be a very serious matter to my people–and to myself” he honestly added. After a pause Quezon continued: “When the United States gets back to the Philippines they will then have to fight not only the Japanese, but the Filipinos, as well, and I would be more likely to fall to a Filipino bullet than I was likely to be shot by the Japanese during the battle of Bataan.”

He had told us yesterday at Commissioner Elizalde’s luncheon, at which we gave him our official Mont Tremblant report, that the Japanese in the Philippines had already given to the small farmers of the Philippines land on which they lived and worked “a measure we will have to allow to stand when we regain our country, even if we have to recompense the landed proprietors.”

Altogether it looks to me as if the Japanese were “outsmarting” us in political warfare. It reminds me of what I told Professor Robert Gooch, in Charlottesville, 13 months ago when Churchill came to Washington and the “global” war was decided on, which meant simply “go for Hitler and abandon the Pacific until later.” I then said to him that if they are completely abandoned now, you may later have the Filipinos as well as the Japanese against you in the end.

Quezon’s draft of a letter to Roosevelt stresses three points:

(1)  the proclamation of Philippine independence and the recognition of the Philippine Republic by the Japanese.

(2)  the rehabilitation and development of the Philippine economy.

(3)  the guarantee of the future military security, political integrity and economic progress of the Philippines.

“It would be both wise and proper to proclaim Philippine independence now, rather than wait until 1946.”

He recommends the passage of a joint resolution by Congress advancing the date for independence to April 9th (the anniversary of the fall of Bataan) or the 4th of July, 1943.

This would be a “shot heard round the world” he urges–the most telling psychological blow that could now be delivered in opening the “Battle for the Far East.”

“A further and very important consideration is the possibility that Japan may, at any time, proclaim Philippine independence and establish a puppet state there. If this should happen” he urged, “before America recognizes Philippine independence, Japan will have gone far toward making the United States a laughing stock or a mere opportunist in the Far East.” (He should modify this language… in the recent abrogation of the extraterritoriality treaties. Axis propaganda hammered at the theme that this was “a plagiarism of the magnificent gesture of the Japanese”).

…In exchange for a guarantee of military security the Philippines will offer to the United States:

“The use under a generous lease of strategic air and naval bases which will act as the center of America’s power for peace in the Far East” and… “all the trained and proven Filipino man power needed to man these bases.”

…The assistance of the Filipino armed forces, etc.


January 26-27, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon is offered $1,000 a lecture for ten meetings by Getts, a lecture promoter, who came to lunch with his wife, the former Osa Johnson, widow of Martin Johnson the big game photographer.

Quezon expressed himself as in favour of a balance of power in the Far East–that Japan should not be so crushed that China may arise in her place as the would-be dictator of the Orient.

He said that Churchill and Roosevelt could not get Stalin to come to Casablanca–he did not wish to be tied up to them as he is playing his own game and intends to go to Berlin alone and then arrange his own empire; that Churchill and Roosevelt did not want Chiang Kai-shek at Casablanca.

Quezon maintained that the Ilongots in his youth were free-for-all head-hunters. I remarked that they had killed very few Americans–only two whom I remembered, while the Spanish in their day simply didn’t dare to go into their country. Quezon replied that during the first revolution against Spain, the Filipinos got hold of a lot of firearms, and they tamed the Ilongots who could not stand up to a shotgun when armed themselves with only their spears and arrows. Like most of the Filipinos who lived in Baler, his native village, Quezon has Ilongot blood through his mother.


January 20, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon and Nieto back from an hour with J. Edgar Hoover, Chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ever since Coolidge’s day. He has a small office at the end of a long narrow room like a corridor–visitors are visible for a long while as they approach him–rather like Mussolini’s arrangements for those whom he receives. Hoover, he says, is a very fine man and intensely patriotic–is against all forms of “isms,” but more especially is opposed to communism, which he detests.

At luncheon, we met Mr. Sinclair, newspaper publisher from Oregon and on the staff of an office which apportions for the government the newsprint to the newspapers. Says this paper is useful also for explosives (nitrates) and for containers. Present shortage will increase. They do not advise the papers to cut down on advertising, but leave them to arrange their own space. Advertising however is bound soon to diminish, since motors, radios, etc., no longer are being made for the public.

At lunch Sinclair questioned President Quezon on two main subjects:

(a)  Were they always aware of their danger from Japan? Quezon said: “No! Only aware during a year or so before the Japanese struck.”

(b)  Could an independent Philippines survive economically? Quezon said: “Yes, the loss or partial loss of the American market would affect the Philippine Government only temporarily or until readjustments were made. The great mass of the people would not be much affected in any case. The United States would need 600,000 tons of sugar from the Philippines even after absorbing their own sugar production and that of Cuba and Hawaii; in other respects, Philippine trade might increase in new channels. Trade modifications under an American law of independence for the Philippines was to be expected.”

The Philippines are necessary to the United States as a foothold, or outpost, especially in aviation, etc.


January 18, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Morning at Elizalde’s office, discussing with him, Ugarte and Zafra preparation of our official report on the recent international conference at Mont Tremblant.

Also talk with Elizalde on the subject of Bernstein–he was very much upset because they already had a budget for that office of $150,000–and no Filipinos were on the staff, except a recently appointed librarian. Says that Quezon has had no publicity since Bernstein took over two months ago. Cited his Saturday night speech in Baltimore which did not appear in the papers. The fact was, however, as Quezon told me, that he did not deliver his speech as prepared because he looked over the audience of the Maryland Bar Association, and listened to their dull chairman, and decided they needed a stronger and more personal address than he had prepared. He added that it was the “toughest looking” audience he ever faced, so he started off “on his own” and gave it to them “hot from the griddle.” I am told he had them applauding wildly and won rather an ovation.

At lunch with Quezon, Mr. and Mrs. Andres Soriano, and two important Pacific Coast magnates with their wives decked out in valuable furs and new gowns. Quezon began by looking very tired, speaking slowly and reaching for his words in English. As he warmed up, he showed at his very best. Described the lunch of the day before at which he had entertained Mr. and Mrs. Henry Luce. Mrs. Luce is not enjoying her first days in Congress–the new member is usually treated with little consideration by the House. She could not get on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, etc. Quezon was much relieved to find that Mrs. Luce, who had been so very active in the propaganda for China, was now not in favour of entirely overthrowing the balance of power in Asia and of leaving Japan (as well as the rest of her neighbours) at the mercy of China.

Quezon had told her his plans for a joint resolution of Congress declaring the independence of the Philippines when a plebiscite of the Filipinos should accept it. When she asked whether an independent Philippines would grant commercial airports to the United States, he said “not only commercial, but military” she professed herself delighted and said she was entirely in favour of the resolution. (N.B. This morning Elizalde had expressed serious doubts whether Congress will pass such a resolution, and said it would meet opposition in the State Department until the general situation in the Far East becomes clearer.)

Then Quezon talked of his respect and regard for Congress, and denounced last summer’s smear campaign against it. “If a member of the House was a fool” he said “that only means that his constituents likewise were fools.”

He told again, and told well, the story of his last address to the students of the University of the Philippines one week before the Japanese struck.

One of the guests present today was a California contractor who had been employed by the Navy a year before Pearl Harbor to extend Cavite airport and other posts in the Pacific islands. Quezon told him how A. D. Williams disputed with the Navy over the extension of Cavite airfield and urged that extra fields, well camouflaged, should be constructed instead. But both Navy and Army authorities refused to listen to him.

I spent Monday morning and all day Tuesday in Elizalde’s office, working with him, Rotor, Ugarte and Zafra on the preparation of our formal report as delegates to the Institute of Pacific Relations last month at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Very interesting discussions and really entertaining.

When we were alone, I asked Elizalde, whether he had read Romulo’s book, I saw the Fall of the Philippines. He said: “Yes, I read it twice–it is bunk.” I inquired what it was that Quezon had objected to–he replied: “First because he put MacArthur ahead of Quezon all the time, and then because he had put in a full list of the persons whom Quezon took with him to safety from Corregidor; such people as Valdes, Major (Dr.) Cruz, Ah Dong, his personal servant, etc.” Elizalde says he left more important persons behind–should have ordered Manuel Roxas to come to Australia with him instead of consenting to his staying behind; that Romulo was obliged to have the book recast and to pay $1,800 to the publishers for resetting, renumbering the pages etc. This came out of his first payment of $2,500. That the blackouts in the book were really at the instance of the War Department; they were left in the book to add importance to it. Romulo has sold already 25,000 copies–will probably get $20,000 out of the book.

In the Philippine Government circles I find general anxiety over probably future aggressions by Russia and China. Many stories of Russian plundering of the elite in the part of Poland which they annexed.

Quezon is still planning to go in about two weeks to Phoenix, Arizona, and invites me to accompany him for a couple of weeks. Intends to stay there a month or six weeks. I wonder?


January 9-10, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon very friendly and gracious–perhaps making up for the incident of the week before, when, knowing that I was coming from Charlottesville on his request, he let me make the journey without sending me word that he was going to New York! Dr. Trepp says this is characteristic–that he often shows no consideration whatever, especially when he changes his own plans! Trepp does not know whether Quezon will really go to Arizona–his health would do equally well in Washington. Was under the weather in New York. His family spent the time in shopping, theatres and the opera; Quezon stayed only in his apartments in the Waldorf-Astoria. Had one visit each from Roy Howard and Morgan Shuster.

Quezon has on his desk a bound notebook containing the proof sheets of his (unfinished) book. Took it up for 15 minutes with me, and got me to write an additional page concerning his childhood at Baler, and then started our bridge game which lasted the rest of the afternoon and until one o’clock in the morning–“wild cat” bridge, in the Filipino fashion, with precious little of partnership in it.

The next day I was with him to receive David Bernstein, his new “Special Services” (i.e., advertising) man. Bernstein is full of clever schemes for publicity over the radio and movies. Quezon conveyed to him his decision to drop the “free India” and “free Indonesia” issues for the present. Said he had been with Harry Hopkins this morning communicating to him the same decision. (Harry Hopkins probably let Lord Halifax know this at once–thus removing a cause of irritation if not worse!) Told Hopkins he must concentrate on the affairs of his own people, and was beginning to prepare his plans for the Joint Resolution for Independence. Bernstein commented that this would be a very powerful weapon of psychological warfare; also conveyed a request of Time for a reply to an article from Buenos Aires–German sponsored propaganda purporting to come via Japan from the Philippines, in which eulogistic descriptions were given of the present peace and contentment in the Philippines. Quezon dictated a brief response quoting General Tanaka’s recent report on his tour of the Philippines, in which the situation of public order was described as “not very satisfactory.” Quezon added that naturally it was not satisfactory to the Japanese since the Filipinos were still fighting vigorously. They had tasted freedom such as the Japanese themselves had never known at home and did not mean to give it up.

Bernstein then presented the question of a movie drama in Hollywood, now in course of preparation, showing an American nurse and an American officer’s adventures on Bataan. A Filipino doctor had been proposed, and Romulo considered it, and insisted that he should appear as himself! Quezon said quietly that Romulo did not look sufficiently like a Filipino–was more like a Chinese. Proponed Dr Diño, his personal physician instead–said he was a real Malay type and also had had previous experience of acting.

Knowing as I did, from another source, of the terrific row Romulo and Quezon had recently had over Romulo’s book I saw the Fall of the Philippines, I was somewhat diverted by this calm discussion. Quezon had been so angry with Romulo that he had told him, “to get the hell out of here, and never come back” and had deprived him of his uniform as a Lieutenant Colonel of the Philippine Army when he was on the lecture platform.

Quezon takes an especial pleasure in spending money, due, no doubt, to his cramped childhood in Baler. He remarked that he had paid the Shoreham Hotel $20,000 (Trepp says it was $60,000–he had seen the bills) this year for redecorating the suite he and his family occupy! This sort of thing, in my opinion, constitutes a political danger of considerable menace. Then Bernstein took up with him the idea that Quezon’s own life should be the story of a Hollywood film. Some tentative discussion on this. If he had published his book, the film could be based on that. Personally, I dread the vulgarizing of this whole chapter of Philippine history by those fellows in Hollywood.

Long discussion between Quezon, Secretary of Finance Andres Soriano, Foley, head of New York branch of Philippine National Bank, and the Auditor General Jaime Hernandez. The National City Bank of New York asks payment of 200,000 pesos turned over December 27, 1941, while Manila was being bombed, to the Insular Treasurer for transmission by telegraphic transfer to New York. The National City Bank holds a microfilm of the Insular Treasurer’s receipt, but nobody knows what happened to the original since the destruction of part of the Intendencia building by Japanese bombs. Auditor Hernandez opposed the payment now, in view of the uncertainty as to the facts. Quezon upheld him and seemed justly proud of the character and independence of his Filipino auditor.

Quezon gave me several stories from the inside talk of the United States Supreme Court, which he gets from Justice Murphy and Justice Frankfurter; incidents illustrating the very high esteem in which the Filipinos are now held in America.


January 7-8, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Arrived in answer to a telegram asking me to come as soon as I could. Quezon was looking very well and in good spirits. Told me he was going down to Arizona in about two weeks and “if he hadn’t finished his by that time he wanted me to accompany him for ten days or so.” No signs here of any work on his book. Dr. Trepp insists he had not worked on it “for months.” Elizalde told me en route to Canada that Bernstein was writing Quezon’s book for him; that he heard Quezon direct Canceran to turn over the ms. to Bernstein. Trepp thinks not. I asked Trepp why Quezon had so entirely neglected my draft of his book; Trepp did not know–thought possibly it had not been sufficiently eulogistic!

Quezon had seen Panikkar, the Indian, whom I met at Mont Tremblant. Had been very deeply interested. Panikkar told him the Indians want independence–not Dominion Status; that the Moslems also want it, though they demand safeguards as a minority. Quezon suggested to him the federal system like the United States, with a lower house representation based on population, and the upper house giving equality to states. Panikkar replied that is what they propose to do. That they must retain all of Occidental influence they now have and not just lapse into their former Oriental luxury and magnificence. England is afraid to let go just now–the Indian army is chiefly one of professional soldiers, and could easily turn against England if things went badly.

But Quezon told me he had abandoned all idea of taking any hand in the freeing of India and of Indonesia and in the forming of an Indonesian Empire, made up of a union of the Philippines and the Netherlands Indies. He had decided to concentrate entirely on the problems of his own people, though he would be “the happiest man in the world” if the other projects became a reality. Said it would take fifty years for an Indonesian Empire to become strong enough to withstand China or Japan. He had told President Roosevelt of his decision to concentrate on the problems of his own country and not take part in the other schemes, and that this statement “made Roosevelt jump.” He added that the good will or support of Great Britain as well as of the United States would be needed in either eventuality. Thought Hong Kong should not be given back to China, but that the English should pay China the value of the barren island as it was when ceded to them, because of the disgraceful circumstances in which they got it.

Panikkar told Quezon that the Burmese were going to fight on the side of Japan!

Quezon is now going to try to get through Congress a joint resolution that the Philippines are and of right should be independent, etc.

I spoke of my distaste for the masochism of Gandhi and Nehru–always in prison and seeming to glory in it; Quezon said: “It’s that Hindu philosophy.”

He recognizes that the English are essentially a manly race, but they have “that racial superiority which I hate. I am a member of a race which has been looked down upon for centuries, and I can’t stand that theory of racial inferiority. But their feeling of superiority is not vanity–they really believe it–hence their feeling of responsibility which is so marked not only in officials, but in businessmen and bankers as well.”

I also had a talk with Dr Trepp, his Swiss doctor. Says Quezon does not really need him now; his TB is so well under control, he can live anywhere he likes. Says he feels like a mere lackey of Quezon; there is no real work for him to do. Would like to get a job on the staff of a sanitorium. Has come to the conclusion that Switzerland is the only real democracy he knows. There is not an ounce of democracy in the Philippines–even a businessman there has no chance unless he is a Quezon man.

I also had a short chat with Quezon on past events in the Philippines. He said Governor General Luke Wright was all right, but his influence was impaired by the very anti-Filipino attitude of his wife.

Told me how he had taken Sumulong, Rodriguez, etc., away from General Wood, and then the latter threw up his hands. Quezon organized a Supreme Council of the Philippines and gave the pro-Wood Filipinos an equal representation on it with his own partisans. He, Quezon, presided but had no vote–still they all followed him obediently and without a question.

Dr. Pardo Tavera, a distinguished member of the first Philippine Commission, was patriotically against independence; he wanted the United States to remain there for the sake of the Philippines. Still, he was so independent-minded himself that he continually opposed the Governor General and really forced himself out of the Philippine Commission.


December 15, 1942

On my own return from the two weeks session of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, I reported to Quezon at the Shoreham. He was deeply interested. Said the terms of the proposed settlement by Holland of the Indonesian question didn’t really matter–the Indonesians could get rid of the Dutch any time they wanted. Remarked that there was a percentage of truth in the English claims that they always had a policy of preparing their colonies for self-government. He thought that a Dominion Status for the Philippines might be the outcome of this world situation. Expressed apprehension over the Chinese attitude on emigration and their general aggressiveness.


December 3, 1942

I was sent by President Quezon from Washington as a member of the Philippine delegation to the Eighth Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Mont Tremblant Lodge, Mont Tremblant, Province of Quebec.

On the train, I shared a compartment with Resident Commissioner J. M. Elizalde and was vastly entertained by his account of “palace politics” in the entourage of President Quezon. “Mike” and I talked so late that we overslept in our compartment and were carried on to the wrong station in Montreal; without any breakfast we had to take a taxi in the frozen slush for four miles to catch the little one-horse single-track train northwards. On the train, crammed in like “sardines in a tin,” we went through an endurance test for five hours at ten miles an hour, up snowy hills.

These physical discomforts are mentioned to show how thoroughly the management of the Institute of Pacific Relations carried out their agreement with the governments represented at the conference that absolutely no newspaper reporters should attend. I believe this understanding was rigorously carried out.

My account of the proceedings which follows is exactly as it was written in pencil upon yellow paper at the time. This is mentioned to excuse the informal and perhaps indiscreet nature of the communication.

On the little train, a relic, I suppose of the seventies, I sat next to an Indian, whom I later found to be head of their delegation. Sir A. Ramaswami Mudaliar. Told him he was the first Indian gentleman I had ever met–when I was in his country the Government of India had taken jolly good care that I should meet no Indians. He smiled. Told me he had lunched recently with King George; was frequently in England–member of British War Cabinet etc.; but always delighted to get over to France where there was no colour line and he could have a nice long talk with anybody he chanced to run across. I asked him whether the trouble in India was not largely social? He assented. Whether it had not been much worse since the English had brought their ladies over with then? Answered “yes.” To my question whether Churchill would last after the war, he replied: “Not one day!”

At Mont Tremblant Station, we got into a sleigh with a mixed bag of foreigners. Driving up to the Lodge I observed that when I was younger I used to come to this region at this same season to hunt caribou. The man opposite asked me if the caribou were still here? “Yes,” I replied “some of those I shot at certainly are.”

On arrival at the Lodge, found ourselves parcelled out in various little chalets–bare walls–typical skiing resort–one bathroom per chalet–standing in line to shave and to get to W.C. Picturesque but d-d uncomfortable.

Dr Jessup (Philip C.), the Chairman of the Pacific Council sent for me and told me that rules of the Institute did not allow one not native-born to be part of a delegation–asked me if I would not be willing to sit as a member of the United States delegation. I replied: “No–because I haven’t been invited.” He said: “I invite you.” So I said I should be equally happy on either delegation. That left the Philippine delegation to consist of Resident Commissioner J. M. Elizalde, Arturo B. Rotor, Secretary to the President of the Philippines, Urbano A. Zafra, Commercial Adviser to Resident Commissioner of the Philippines, and Sebastian Ugarte, a Basque mestizo, Legal Adviser to the Resident Commissioner–who was secretary of the delegation. We all sat together at the table for meals, and were usually joined by Chinese, a Siamese, Indians, a Korean, etc., and Dr. Ralph Bunche, an intelligent and agreeable American Negro.

English was the tongue of all the meetings. I only had to talk French with the delegate from France, Professor Paul Rivet, formerly head of the Musee de I’homme in Paris–now head of the Ethnological Institute of Columbia in Bogota, whence he had come by plane. He is noted for his ability to distinguish racial traits by studying one’s head and face. I asked him to diagnose me–he took one look and said “purement anglais.” (I have often read his article on ethnology).

There were more than one hundred delegates present from 13 different countries, vizt.: Australia, Canada, China, Fighting France, India, Korea, Netherlands, Netherlands Indies, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. To these must be added an international secretariat of at least fifty more–many of whom sat as delegates at the round tables.

The Institute meets every three years. Heretofore, government officials have been banned. This time, nearly all those present were connected in some way or other with governments in esse or in exile. This added a grim note of reality to the discussions which, I believe, are usually conducted by professors of one sort or another. Instead of a research committee of philanthropists, it had become a political meeting, pure if not simple. In fact, the round tables and even the plenary sessions sometimes broke out into all-out verbal wrestling matches, with no holds barred.

The main theme of the conference was whether the “Atlantic Charter” applied to all the world, or whether it was meant only for Europe. Roosevelt and Willkie had maintained recently that those principles of self-determination must apply to all the world. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, had not long ago announced in a speech at Mansion House that “what we have we hold,” and “I did not become Prime Minister of the British Empire to preside over the liquidation of that Empire.” On no occasion in any of the numerous meetings did anybody, even on the U.K. delegation defend Churchill’s speech. In fact, it caused them acute embarrassment. Some even made futile attempts to explain it didn’t mean what it clearly did mean. The Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and many of the Americans barked like the seals on the Golden Gate ledges outside San Francisco. Walter Nash, the vice premier of New Zealand, barked loudest and angriest of all. In vain did such delegates as Arthur Creech Jones, Labour member of Parliament, (and parliamentary secretary to Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour) and Captain D. Gammans, Conservative member of the British Parliament, protest that nobody in Parliament would dream of interpreting the Atlantic Charter as inapplicable to any part of the world–especially Asia!

There stood the vision of the robust figure of Winston Churchill, their Prime Minister, and he was not to be pushed behind the curtain any more than was the Statue of Liberty–rather less so, if anything. So at the end of ten days the English delegation looked like a lot of hens after a raid on the coop–feathers ruffled and the picture of dejection. Sir John Pratt almost in tears.

In this chorus of barking seals I was impressed by the conviction that the assemblage was making the English pay for many generations of arrogance and condescension towards colonials. The Canadians in all this were clearly without any sense of responsibility. All that they were determined to accomplish was to be able to go before their voters and be free from the reproach of “fighting to save the British Empire.”

The Australians did not enjoy quite such supreme self-confidence. For them to help drive the European powers out of Asia was to let down the barricades between themselves and the Asiatics. Neither the Australians nor the New Zealanders really understand that they are Asiatic powers–they are still thinking in terms of the British homeland.

The Dutchmen present were obviously under the wing of the English–one thought of the Royal Dutch-Shell oil alliance. They had come there with two puppet Javanese who were utterly unable to express themselves–one was head of their delegation. They supported the English in everything. Meant to keep as inconspicuous as possible, but we smoked them out from under their leaf. They were forced to produce in the middle of the conference a statement by Queen Wilhelmina promising after the war to give the Netherlands Indies equal partnership with Holland. Her statement was wreathed in Royal Phraseology as to be practically unintelligible to the rest of us. It appears the Dutch Viceroy may be obliged to have his powers somewhat curtailed. No racial discrimination henceforth. Vague references to general elections which are evidently expected to take some time to organize. It appears that Queen Wilhelmina made practically the same commitments in her address before the United States Senate several months ago. When Lord Hailey, who was the chairman of our round table at which such topics were discussed on the second day of the conference, came to the subject of the Netherlands Indies, he was for slipping the subject along the table until perhaps it might fall into a convenient scrap basket. When challenged, some Dutch member present ventured some vague reference to an important announcement about to be made on the matter–I kept insisting that some disclosure as to the nature of this announcement be made during the conference and that we be given the privilege of debating it. At a later round table, my next-door neighbour, Mr G.H.C. Hart, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Netherlands Indies, Curacao and Surinam showed me a long rather obscure telegram from his Government-in-Exile, explaining (?) the scheme; he also had included in the mimeographed reports to the conference a further statement. He seemed convinced that “language is given us to conceal our thoughts.” The Dutch Prime Minister had sent this to him, and it consisted of long passages of “double talk”–in the midst of this jungle of words I detected a statement that “The Queen thinks that perhaps the powers of the Governor General may have to be reduced”!

On my return to Washington, I made an especial (verbal) report to President Quezon on this situation. It is a subject in which he is most particularly interested. For some years, underground conferences between him and “leaders” of the Javanese (who are erroneously supposed to be completely docile–like the two hand-picked specimens the Dutch brought with them to Mont Tremblant). They seem to have some sort of a vague ambition to recreate the old Malay Empire of long ago–to include the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines and parts of British North Borneo.

Quezon did not seem much impressed by the determination of the Dutch to hold on to their rich empire. His comment was that the last time he talked to the Javanese leaders a few years ago, they were all pro-Japanese. He told them this was a very great mistake; for while they could get rid of the Dutch any time they tried, they would never of their own efforts, get rid of the Japanese, once the latter were established in the East Indies.

Except for the brilliant Professor Rivet, who spoke like a brave and vigorous man, the other three “Fighting French” delegates had absolutely nothing to say. They were like three white rabbits. If cornered, they pretended not to “spik English.” They gave the impression of knowing absolutely nothing whatever about the topics under discussion. As a matter of fact I think they were struck dumb by all this talk of giving any power back to any “natives”–they had never heard of such a thing–much less done it. If too much was demanded in their colonies, their custom has been just to shoot a few hundred of them, and not write home about it. They consider that the abolishing of the colour line socially, which is their specialty, is all the “natives” want.

When Indo-China was reached in the geographical review which occupied our first round table, there was a spattering of talk about the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. The chairman was about to pass on to fresh fields and pastures new, but I insisted on pointing out that there was a very great deal more to Indo-China than what had been said. The Annamites covered the larger past of Annam and Tonkin and they had a Long history of self-government behind them until very recently. The Free French delegate present preserved his mask of immobility. In answer to a question he stated that the French Government General was still functioning in Indo-china, but was very restricted in its powers by the Japanese. M. Baudet was being either unnecessarily secretive, or else was too depressed to care much anyway.

At a later round table, one of the French present admitted that he understood the implications of the Atlantic Charter and that they were ready to apply them. I wonder? There was no use in badgering these poor fellows–they will probably have been forgotten long before one of the multi-coloured French parties emerges as a stable leader. Anyway, were we Americans not bound by our government’s reiterated promises that the French Empire would be restored intact to France? It was only the British Empire that some of our delegates, together with all the Canadians and some of the Australians, were out to disrupt. Walter Nash, the vice premier of New Zealand, was the loudest and easily the most offensive leader of these battling reformers. So far as one could think amidst this shouting and tumult, the principal war aim of the “Allied Nations” was to strip our principal ally of its empire.

The American delegation, some 36 strong, held but two caucuses. The first was opened by a voice on my right, coming so far as I could judge from Mr. Len de Caux, the publicity director of the C.I.O. and editor of the C.I.O. News. He is an educated man of considerable refinement. He started the proceedings by announcing in a clear voice: “We are going to fight to preserve the British Empire.” To my surprise, the chairman, Dr. Jessup, asked for a show of hands on that point, and nearly half of those present voted for the proposition. Then we adjourned!

The most ardent American abolitionist of colonies, however, seems to have been Edwin R. Embree, President of the Justice Rosenwald Fund of Chicago and Vice President of the Division of Human Biology, Rockefeller Foundation. He was reported to have opened the ball at his round table with the “all-out” statement: “I’m for doing away with all colonial governments.” This clear but all-too-sweeping statement exposed him to so much good-natured chaff that he calmed down into a useful and intelligent member of the conference.

The second caucus of our delegation was held to discuss the dilemma in which the United States delegates found themselves. Having somewhat over strained themselves in dismembering the British Empire the Americans were asked by the English what contribution their country was prepared to make to the post-war world? That was a question no American cared to answer after the Republican triumph at the polls the month before. The tables were thus neatly turned. Now we were on the spot. It took us three or four days to regain our customary complacency and to recover some of the ground lost by this counter attack. At our caucus, the chairman asked old Senator Elbert D. Thomas, as the most expert political analyst present to say whether he thought the United States would accept post-war international responsibilities. The old Buddha, after consideration, gave birth to the following important formula: “My state would do so, but I do not think that the states around us would!” Since his state is Utah, with the smallest electoral vote in the Union, the oracle had not completely solved our troubles for us. If he was no more persuasive as a young Mormon missionary to Japan, one is not surprised that the Latter-Day Saints failed to convert the Japanese. We retired in some confusion to our icy bedrooms to sleep over the situation–but la nuit did not porte conseil, and perforce on the succeeding days our ferocity against the English colonial system somewhat abated. Nobody mentioned the name of one Franklin D. Roosevelt, either at our caucus, nor on any later occasion. The November election had wrought wonders. Even Mr. Michael Straight, editor of the New Republic, Mr de Caux, the C.I.O. representative, and Mr Edgar A. Mowrer, who were members of our delegation laid aside their harps, took off their long white robes and dismounted their wings for several succeeding days. There was thus some crumb of comfort, however negative, to be derived from the doldrums in which we Americans found ourselves.

With the odds so heavily against them, nevertheless the British delegation was easily the best there. Headed by old Lord Hailey, forty years in the Indian Civil Service, former Governor of the Punjab and of the United Provinces, in his old age he had shown much liberality in his book African Survey and was filled with genuine concern for undeveloped minorities. It is perhaps this very concern for the minority which has kept the English parliamentary system alive during the centuries.

Hailey enjoyed the undeniable advantage of being the only “Lord” there, but he owed his success at the meeting chiefly to his Irish wit, not to mention a polished parliamentary manner. Add to this his old-world air of authority. His bald head and aquiline features resembled a bust of Julius Caesar. The Old Romans of Queen Victoria’s day governed a large part of the world–and looked it. He confided to me that he hadn’t a bean in the world, except his pension, and was in a hurry to retire so that he could spend the rest of his days sea-trout fishing on the west coast of Scotland.

Hailey opened the first plenary meeting of the conference with a prepared address stating that England was ready to speed-up the progress of all her colonies towards self-government, adding that their policy had never been one of exploitation–but of trusteeship. He said the new watchword was to be partnership with their colonial subjects. He and his colleagues on their delegation were absolutely sincere in this, and were shocked at the lack of appreciation from the “have-not” members present. He described the progress towards self-government as a ladder: some of their colonial peoples had climbed already higher than others up the ladder; Ceylon and Burma were at the top, and were now ready. To the Indians, he turned and said in most decisive tones: “We are ready to accept any constitution for India of whatever form, upon which you can agree.”

He was followed by Dr. Sao-ke Alfred Sze, former Chinese Ambassador in Washington and London. He too, read from a prepared address. He is an amiable and popular man, and the method by which he has gained his popularity was apparent in his speech. He talked for some time and said nothing. He has some nervous disorder which caused his hands to shake so he could hardly follow the paper. The other fourteen Chinese present were gloomy and recalcitrant. They felt they were being neglected–they had moreover positive complaints, to wit: four lend-lease shipments of armaments which had been ear-marked for China had been diverted en route to others of their “allies.” (India?) They wanted all of their territory back–especially the three eastern provinces which make up Manchuria, and Formosa which they had ceded to Japan in 1895. They did not ask for Korea–they wanted to stick the United States with a mandate for that! Especially on the subject of emigration of Chinese they were insistent. This is a really live issue in all near-by parts of the eastern world, and causes the utmost and genuine concern to their neighbours. The spectre of Chinese penetration and economic imperialism haunted us all throughout the conference. Their ardent nationalism of the present day alarms all of their neighbours. They demanded the return of Formosa without any concession as to an international police post–said that could be discussed later. Their delegation showed little teamwork; they seemed to me to be afraid of the two or three delegates who had come by bomber plane from Chungking, and were alarmed at what they might report on their return there. One of them, at a plenary session made a fiery speech, demanding: “Is America fighting for China?”

The most attractive, refined-looking woman present was the lady pilot, Mrs. Hilda Yen, who had flown her plane from Chungking via India and Africa. She had been as a child to school in the United States and could speak English perfectly, free from those humming, explosive noises indulged in by most Chinese when they are said to be talking in English.

Taking it all in all, throughout the conference, the English got the roughest ride, but the Chinese caused the greatest uneasiness to others.

After Dr. Sze had finished his address, the chairman called on the only Korean present, Younghill Kang, who came from the Board of Economic Warfare in Washington. He was formerly Professor of English Literature at New York University. He started off well enough telling how a Presbyterian missionary had helped him to escape from Korea and reach the United States. Then he recited the names of all the masters of English literature to whose works he was addicted. Finally he turned on the tap of self-pity and told us what a hard time he had in getting started. He had worked up from seven dollars a week to fourteen when I went down for the third time. I did not listen to his last ten minutes. My mind went back to my visit to Seoul, the capital of Korea, in 1915. The Japanese Resident Commissioner had done the honors and shown me around, then offered me a drink. He thereupon told me he had been to school in Bridgeport, Conn., and not only spoke American but thought like an American. He had accepted his mission to Korea with exalted notions of how he would up-life them, but, he added bitterly, “I had not been here a month before I wanted to hit these God-damned boobs of Koreans with a club.” No! Delegate Younghill Kang did not sharpen the zest of anybody present for a Korean mandate!

To turn now to the working of the round tables. Bach was given a special subject, to be discussed by the twenty to twenty-five delegates present. No votes were to be taken–no decisions to be made–only discussion. Ordinary statements to be confined to three minutes. All proceedings deemed confidential except the summary of opinions written up by a rapporteur who was present. Since about half of the delegates sat silent most of the time, the report of the rapporteur could not be taken as a correct summing up of what all members thought.

When a round table had finished its discussions, the rapporteur, looking worried, disappeared for a day or so, to write up the report which he was to read to a plenary session.

The best of the rapporteurs we heard were:

  1. Professor Ralph J. Bunche from Howard University in Washington. He is a Negro (mulatto), member of the American delegation, and one of the most popular and useful members of the conference.
  2. Miss ———– (?), an American girl, who came there as a member of the secretariat.

The most important round table at which I sat was that on India. We had six sessions of two hours each. The result was a personal, parliamentary triumph for Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, with whom I had chatted in the train. The Indian delegation was hand-picked and perfectly drilled. No voice was allowed to be raised for Gandhi, Nehru and the Congress party.

There were seven Americans and five Canadians at this round table, and they started off baying in a chorus of discontent with the failure of the Cripps Mission. They all regarded it as of supreme strategic importance to get some kind of settlement of the India question. The complexities of the question finally brought our round table to a peace of exhaustion or perhaps one should say numbness not unaccompanied by headache.

Sir Frederick Whyte started off as the ringleader for his trained Indian performers. For five years he has been President of the Indian Legislative Assembly. Large, bland and parliamentary, he seemed too reasonable to be entirely true. He had intended, I think, to hold the hoop through which the Indians were to jump. After the first session, pale and almost unnerved, with disordered hair and his parliamentary manner shattered, he subsided into innocuous desuetude.

The Indians took charge. Their teamwork was perfect; their manners imperturbable, their modesty and good humour beyond reproach. They ranged in importance all the way from the highest officials down to Mr N. Sivaraj, a representative of the “Depressed Classes” i.e., the untouchables. His manner was as humble as that of the Mad Hatter at Alice’s tea party; his countenance was so black you would have collided with him on a dark night. But like all the rest of them, he had brains and wit. He rather attached himself to me socially, and more than repaid my attentions by his one witticism to me–he called our Philippine experiment, “a policy of inexpediency,” which made me laugh.

The Begum Shah Nawaz, parliamentary Secretary to the Government of the Punjab, was the light forward of the Indian team. It is said that our soldiers now in North Africa have been instructed never to speak to a Mohammedan lady–such orders would be quite superfluous in dealing with the Begum. No man I have ever met could have gotten one word in edgewise with her. She was gifted with a perfect cataract of English speech and possessed the added advantage that we could not understand a word she spoke. Moreover she brought with her an ammunition dump of stupefying statistics.

I think she gained more yards for her team than any of the others. Her star play, however, seemed to pass unnoticed by all but myself. Among the hand-picked Indians who made up their delegation were two partisans of the Indian Congress party–but with sealed lips. One of them was a bearded, rotund jolly lawyer named K. M. Panikkar, whose continual high spirits were infectious–except at the breakfast table. He was the kind of social Indian who stays at the Savoy Annex and dances at the Kit-Kat Club. He had whispered in my ear that he was pro-Congress but pledged me to secrecy.

Having been called before our round table to testify about how easy it would be for the Indian Princes to fit into an independent and federated India–he being the foreign minister of the native state of Bikaner, and thus qualified as an expert–he was uninterrupted during his ten minute statement. When he finished, our chairman, Mr. Edgar J. Tarr, Director of the Bank of Canada, asked Panikkar mildly what he thought of the Congress party–at once a brilliant diversion was created by the Begum: she poured forth a torrent of words to which Mr Tarr listened most courteously. When the Begum paused for breath, it was noticed that Panikkar had disappeared. This was as neat as any forward pass I ever witnessed. When after the meeting I charged Panikkar with this maneuver, he denied it vehemently, but I noticed that his face twitched slightly.

Another Indian who contributed to the gaiety of nations was Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Judge of the Federal Court of India. I had supposed he did not speak English, so silent and judge-like was his demeanor for several days. Finally we reached a point where Lord Hailey was betraying his usual anxiety over the minorities. He was asking what would become of the aboriginal inhabitants of Formosa if it were given back to China. There was a pause and then the Indian Judge said in deep and solemn tones: “Minorities are more interested in self-indulgence than in self-government.”

To return now to the discussions at the India round table. Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, who was their spokesman, opened by stating that the Cripps Mission had failed because Sir Stafford dealt only with Gandhi and Nehru. That Gandhi would not negotiate with England because he believed the United Nations were already licked. That “Mahatma” Gandhi, (in slightly sarcastic tones) had tremendous influence on the Congress party, but that many of his followers could not swallow his non-violent resistance. There was little to be done while Gandhi and Nehru lived, but each had now reached their alloted “three score and ten.” He insisted they were not now “in jail” but only under detention. Meanwhile voluntary enlistment of Indian soldiers was going ahead at a greatly increased rate. Most Indians wanted to fight–and certainly did not want the Japanese. If the Western powers believed they could bring about a mediation, they would be most welcome to try. The Committee of Mediation should have the power to settle the dispute or else the Indians would not accept it. He wished for an independent dominion form of government for India, but within the framework of the British Empire.

Sir Frederick Whyte, who had been sadly jolted by the sand-papering he had undergone from the Canadian-American bloc at the table broke in to say that the Americans had disqualified themselves from sitting on such a mediation board because they were so soaked in Gandhi propaganda. Explosive denials by several Americans. Then someone suggested “Let the Chinese do it!” Thereupon the Begum was understood to reply “China has been as much exposed to Gandhi propaganda as America.”

Then the subject of Pakistan, or Mohammedan separation was introduced, and quite a lively wrangle ensued between Hindus and Moslems. There were few, if any, dull moments in the conference.

A mild and scholarly American, W. Norman Brown, Professor of Sanskrit at what they are pleased to call the University of Pennsylvania, had a constructive proposal to make. He has served in India for years as a Professor of English, but neither his voice nor his manner were sufficiently aggressive to dominate the tumult–which sounded like the zoo at meal time. Brown’s blond head sank back quite disconsolately. What he proposed was that the Government of India should give “responsible government” to the Viceroy’s Executive Council. I managed to get the floor to support his proposal, citing how President Wilson had sent me to the Philippines in 1913 to break the governmental deadlock there. My predecessor had failed to get the budget passed by the Filipino Assembly. I did. Instead of repressive measures, we gave the Filipinos more concessions, beginning with a majority in the Commission, or Upper House. Shortly afterwards, I added, the First World War broke out. The prelude was the United States withdrawing its army and navy from the Philippines for more needed use elsewhere. The Filipinos were left to take care of American interests in the Islands. The last act of this drama was the recent battle of Bataan where 20,000 young Filipinos laid down their lives to protect not only their own liberties, but also the American flag.

Towards the end of our long session on India, Mr. Len de Caux, the C.I.O. representative, wanted to bring in a discussion of the American poll tax!

As the only representative of a poll tax state (Virginia) present, I stated that if given an opportunity I would vote to amend the constitution of Virginia to abolish the poll tax, but that I differed from my colleague both as to the nature and implications of the poll tax. Mr. Tarr, the chairman, intervened to rule the poll tax out of order. Mr de Caux, in the next plenary session, complained he had been “shut up” on the poll tax question.

It may thus be seen that the machinery at the India round table was running down–whirring and knocking noises were, by now, quite audible. Injured combatants were quietly licking their wounds. Sir Rasmaswami was allowed the last half hour almost without interruption. He acquitted himself with dignity and composure. Altogether a notable parliamentary triumph for him. No votes were taken and no decisions reached. Nevertheless, those of us who had for the first time debated with Indian leaders left the Council chamber with vastly increased respect for their race, and with much greater hopes for the future of India. Later I asked Panikkar whether the Indians would believe the word of an Englishman. “Absolutely,” he replied “but it’s damned hard to get them to give their word!”

During almost the whole course of this “round table” four representatives of the American State Department had sat side by side with a dyspeptic expression. They were not wearing striped pants due I suppose to the deep snow through which they had to walk to the meeting. All four looked as if they had had their faces lifted.

My next round table was the “Political-Military”–a review of the political situation in the Far East, with consideration of the strategic implications involved. In the room next to us sat the “Military-Political” round table, where questions, similar to ours, but with the stress laid on the military features were debated. All the Generals, Admirals and Air Chief Marshals present sat, of course, at the latter table. Judging from their typical style of debate, as observed in other meetings, we could easily picture what was going on at this adjoining round table. Major General V. W. Odium, recently Commander 2nd Division Canadian Army in England, barked out his words by two and threes, apparently ordering us all to go over the top. Our own more suave Admiral Harry E. Yarnell, U.S.N., adopted the quiet technique appropriate to the quarter-deck. His was the “You may fire ready, Gridley” style. Major General Frank McCoy, resting after his recent arduous duties of condemning a lot of German spies to death, was suave and reticent. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore had plenty of time during the discussions to think over the more congenial days he had lived through in the distant past before this war. Judging from private conversations I had with him at meal times, his mind dwelt often on grouse-shooting, tho one of his most pleasant memories was of a night long ago at St. Tropez, where they bought the dance band, and didn’t get home until the next afternoon.

We were credibly informed that the Military-Political table dismissed our own deliberations in the next room as freshman-sophomoric; saying that we spent all our time up in the stratosphere, without sufficient oxygen.

In the Political-Military round table I sat between Lord Hailey and Mr G. H. C. Hart, the brains of the Netherlands’ delegation. This was enjoyable. While the Chinese were indulging in some big talk about the unreasonableness of asking for an “international security post” on Formosa after the war–explaining that it could only be intended against Japan–who would be disarmed anyway–Hailey and I were whispering together about the siege of our legations in Peking by the Boxers! While Dr Sze, the leading Chinese delegation, was denouncing the opium traffic, I told Hailey that I had demanded and received the recall of the Chinese Consul General at Manila [because he was personally involved in the opium smuggling ring]. I think Hailey enjoyed it, too, for he invited me to join him in sea-trout fishing on the west coast of Scotland; meanwhile, as a first installment, he invited me to lunch with him.

The chairman of our Political-Military debate was Mr. H. B. Butler, C.B., LL.D., Minister and Director General of British Information Service, British Embassy, Washington. He was a fair and discreet presiding officer, hut gave out very little light and heat.

Lord Hailey was, as usual, the central figure of the discussions. He exhibited his usual concern over untutored minorities. Mentioned more than once the headhunters of Borneo. Was told that after a head-hunter had completed his collection of heads he wasn’t such a bad sort of chap at all, and much like other people. Being considerably badgered by several Americans at the round table Hailey showed what a sting he had in his tail. He remarked in a dreamy voice that he had said somewhere recently–thought it was in the House of Lords–that he was sometimes thankful he was not an American–look at Puerto Rico–when the people there asked for bread, the United States gave them the vote! I joined in the loud laugh, but happened to glance at the faces of my fellow Americans present–they looked like graven stone images.

We Americans were being pushed about as usual at this conference because we criticized others and had nothing constructive to offer. Finally, Dr. Stanley K. Hornbeck of the State Department expressed the opinion that the United States would join the International Police after the war. I added my opinion to the same end. Embree and Tyler Dennett, former President of Williams College, said ditto. Our views were well received. Old Senator Thomas had gone home, anyway! The only persons present who did not look particularly gratified were, as it seemed to me, the Chinese. But perhaps I did them an injustice. They have the shape of countenance which cannot express pleasure without grinning–and they were certainly not grinning at the moment.

I improved the occasion to drive the point home by announcing that before the battle of Bataan, President Roosevelt had wired President Quezon, that all the man power of the United States and all their resources would be back of his promise to regain the independence, and to secure it. “To that extent at least,” I added, “the United States is determined to stay in the Far East after the war.” I listened carefully for three rousing cheers from the Chinese, but do not now recollect to have heard even one cheer. Still, one never knows, they may have their own quaint way of expressing a delirium of pleasure.

The most serious issue of immediate post-war concern was, of course, Hong Kong. Did the Chinese insist upon its return after a century as a British colony? Was not the matter also of great importance to the trade of all the nations in the Western Pacific? Could we afford to lose this great free trade post? One of the English delegates put the matter very objectively and with much restraint. There was no answer from the Chinese. They sat silent, with poker faces. The foreign concessions at Shanghai present an almost equally thorny problem. A great imperial city has grown up on the mud flats so contemptuously given the European merchants long ago. In recent years, the Chinese have shown a decided intention to get them back, with all the fabulous riches which have been built up there.

Two of the fears in the back of the minds of many Asiatic delegates were Chinese imperialism and American imperialism! One delegate let slip the statement that the people of the United States were imperialists and didn’t know it themselves. Perhaps he referred to our “Good Neighbour” policy towards South America which is compounded of an equal mixture of self-defense and exploitation. However, there is no need at present to worry about that since everyone knows that people seldom stay bought. There were no delegates present from any of the South American States which front on the Pacific!

Of the four delegates from the Philippines, it can be said that they won good opinions on all sides because of their modesty and excellent manners. They knew that after the battle of the Philippines their race had won universal good will from the United Nations. They were, indeed, “sitting pretty,” and unlikely to mar the picture by any demands or aggressiveness. Commissioner Elizalde went home on the third day; Rotor and Ugarte three days later. The latter two had never attended an international conference before. Dr. Zafra stayed to the end and came back with me. He had been at the “sugar conference” in London several years before, and is thoroughly grounded in economic facts and figures concerning the Philippines.

Zafra was at the Economic round table and reported that it had degenerated into a cross fire of arguments between half a dozen of the so-called economists present. Their terminology was so obscure that it was not certain that they even understood one another. The rest of those present had little idea what the debate was about. The rapporteur, Mr. J. B. Condliffe, Professor of Economics at the University of California, and of several English institutions, made what seemed to me a comic report of the proceedings to the plenary session. It thus becomes apparent, as I had always suspected, that economics is not an exact science–or else its high priests have not yet agreed upon a common prayer book.

The last plenary session ended on a note of bitter wrangling between the delegates from the British Dominions and those from Great Britain. The ghost of Winston Churchill’s Mansion House speech had not been laid. Walter Nash, New Zealand Minister to the United States, and a member of the Pacific War Council made a rousing stump speech taking great patches of skin off the English delegation. It was a thoroughly embittered and masterly address. Various of the English present answered him, maintaining the complete sincerity of their offers, and the good faith of the English Government and especially of the House of Commons on the question of gradual freedom for the component parts of their empire. Mr. Arthur Creech Jones, M.P., parliamentary secretary to Hon. Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour, made an answer of passionate sincerity and deep feeling to Nash’s attack. Pool old Sir John Pratt, Chairman of the Central Chinese Railways–a slender, tall mestizo of some ancestry hard to analyze–almost broke into tears. He acknowledged that he had come to this conference to aid in offering most substantial concessions to present world opinion on the subject of colonial imperialism, but that he would leave with a miserable feeling of defeat and utter failure. Then there was some more sandpapering of the American delegation because of our failure to promise more substantial post-war co-operation. Mr. Michael Straight, the youngest American delegate, finally presented a resolution offering such co-operation as the rest of us could not now dare to propose. This won goodwill, and considerably raised Straight’s batting average. His chief impediment throughout was his delivery–he talks as if he had a hot potato in his mouth.

The closing ceremonies that night were given to amiable discourses from delegates selected by the management. The storm had blown itself out.

Dr Zafra made a modest and humorous little address which was well received. Dr Stanley K. Hornbeck, (representing the Department of State) closed for the Americans. He tried to offer post-war co-operation without committing himself to anything definite. The mountain groaned in labour, and “mus ridiculus exit”--in other words, he is not proficient in the art of walking on egg shells.

As for myself, having been the first proponent thirty years ago of the gift of self-government to a “native race,” I had to rub my eyes and look around to make sure it was not all a dream. Where were all of these fiery apostles of freedom a quarter century ago? Which one of these Americans had approved my policy in the Philippines and had backed me up when I most needed it? Not one. I remembered the visit of Clyde Tavenner to the Philippines when I was in my eighth year as Governor General. He had been a former colleague of mine in Congress and was on my side of these problems. When he came to say good-bye at Malacañan, he told me that in his tour of the Philippines he had met only one American who believed in Philippine independence. “Who’s that?” I eagerly inquired. “Yourself” he replied.

Whatever may be the satisfaction one may feel in seeing in his own time a large part of world opinion swing around to the thesis on which he wrecked his own political career, nevertheless it is a sad fate to be a whole generation ahead of the times.


December 1, 1942

Quezon thinks Admiral Leahy arranged for the occupation of North Africa, but when he was “recalled” from Vichy he was really getting out before the Nazis could seize him and treat him as a spy.

I was invited to attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday to hear Bernstein explain his plan and program for the new office of “Special Service” (propaganda) which he is organizing for Quezon. It was a one man show. Quezon made a long and rather astute statement to let Bernstein understand that he had changed his mind as to the scope of the undertaking. Bernstein was told to read his plan of organization and was stopped after the opening paragraphs. It was a scheme for a Malay Federation to include the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Siam and French Indo-China. Quezon explained that if such a scheme were ever proposed, it would have to come from the Javanese, or others of the countries concerned –otherwise it would look as if the Filipinos were reaching out after an empire. Quezon said he would not mind if Java were the seat of government, of such a federated state –but that it was no time to mix in such questions now! Such a move would only provoke ill feelings among allies. Elizalde says that Quezon watches the faces and studies the expressions of everybody in a group which he is addressing and added that Quezon must have noted the strained and worried countenances around him during this very interesting and, perhaps, momentous conversation.

Luncheon with the two United States Army captains, who escaped with extreme hardship from the Philippines in August and made their way to Australia. Splendid chaps: they are longing to get back to fight the Japanese and don’t wish to be sent anywhere else, even to North Africa! One had been in Batangas and one in Mindoro, and tho every Filipino in each of those provinces knew where they were, nobody gave them away to the Japanese. Instead, they sheltered and fed them and gave them the small boat in which they finally got away together. They reported that there are believed to be only 20,000 Japanese in the Philippines now. They stick to their garrisons, or to the big cities, or to the camino real. The Filipino protector of the captain who was in Batangas came and went to Manila whenever he wished. He repeated a conversation with a Japanese colonel who spoke Spanish well: this colonel confessed that the Japanese knew from the beginning that they could not win this war. The two officers agreed that there were many Americans –soldiers and civilians, at large and in hiding in the Philippines.  They said the Filipinos had remained perfectly loyal, but one of them added that he was not sure they would all continue so if the situation were prolonged indefinitely without relief.

Quezon was much gratified to have them say that the Filipinos were perfectly loyal to him, and had not blamed him for his escape from the islands –that they understood the necessity for this. He stated again that when MacArthur pressed him to go to Corregidor, he had resisted and then finally been persuaded. He had sent for General Francisco, who told him that with 1,500 of the Constabulary soldiers he could keep Quezon perfectly safe indefinitely in the mountains of Rizal; he knew every foot of those wild mountains; that if they gave him enough machine guns he could continue to harry the Japanese and inflict great damage on them. MacArthur vetoed this suggestion. Quezon said no Filipino would ever have given his hiding place away. I remarked that they did do so in the case of Aguinaldo and he replied that Aguinaldo had been guilty of great crimes and misdemeanors.

He also remarked that like Governor General Murphy, he had never allowed the death sentence to be inflicted –he hated the idea of putting a man to death in “cold blood”!