June 12, 1942

At Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York. I saw Quezon and Osmeña at 9 a.m.

They both seemed depressed, and the latter was absent-minded. I learned the reason for this depression while Morgan Shuster and I were questioning Quezon about his war book. He said he had had one of the most discouraging interviews of his life last night with two owners of publishing businesses–not merely editors, (Henry Luce and Roy Howard). And he was not satisfied that the future relations between the United States and the Philippines were not even yet settled, in spite of President Roosevelt’s cable to him on Corregidor that the islands were to be “taken back, independence granted and secured and protected”–a promise upon which he had staked so very much. Now, he began to believe that all the United States would do for them would be to “put them back in the same place they were in the beginning.” When I asked him exactly what he meant, he did not clarify the situation, but Shuster and I afterwards presumed these words to mean a sort of “phony” independence was to be theirs, and without being “secured and protected,” and, even possibly under the hegemony of Japan.

Shuster then remarked that there was a large number of persons in the United States today who were at heart pacifists and would be ready for an arranged peace.

When we were alone together once more, I asked Quezon why, when he was on Corregidor and refused the Japanese offer of “independence with honor,” he had been so sure in staking the whole future on confidence in a positive victory over Japan. He replied: “It is the intelligence of the average American and the limitless resources of your country which decided me. The Americans are, of course, good soldiers, as they showed in Europe during the last war, but as for courage, all men are equally courageous if equally well led. Merely brave men certainly know how to die–but the world is not run by dead men.” He cited the case of the Spartans and the Athenians. “What became of the Spartans?” And then he added that in making on Corregidor that momentous decision, he “wasn’t sure.”

It later appeared that one of Luce’s publications–Fortune in its August number was to publish an excellent analysis of Far Eastern affairs by Buell. They sent Quezon a preview copy of this article which however carried an absurg suggestion that independence be postponed in the Philippines until 1960, the islands to be garrisoned meanwhile by the United Nations. “What” cried Quezon, “they propose to garrison us with Chinese and Russian soldiers? The moment that article comes out, the Japanese radio will use it. The people of my country will turn at once to the Japanese side, and I shall be completely discredited. You propose to return Formosa to China? How foolish. Better garrison Formosa by the United Nations armies, and thereby protect the Philippines and insure peace in the Far East.”

Quezon says he finally converted Luce and Howard to this view, and Luce is going to advocate Philippine independence immediately after the war. Quezon is quite worn out by the strain of these arguments, conducted until 1:30 last night and for an hour this morning. He remains still greatly depressed by the views of Howard and Luce on the Philippines’ status after this war is over. He now sees that the final success of his life’s work really depends upon Roosevelt’s party remaining in power in Washington.

While we were somewhat gloomily surveying this episode of the inside working of New York editorial minds, an American press agent came in and told Quezon that at two-thirty p.m. on Sunday, the Flag Day of the United Nations, President Roosevelt will announce the recognition of the Philippines as one of the United Nations. This is the prompt result of the negotiations conducted by Quezon through Hopkins, and is surely a swift remedy for the enervating doctrines of Luce and Howard.

Quezon, in the midst of serious distractions and worries about the future of his country, has been stirred up by Shuster to make another effort to concentrate on his book. He has just wired General MacArthur inviting him to write and cable a foreword to his proposed book. I reported to Quezon that Shuster expected to sell 25,000 copies of the book, if gotten out promptly, which figure at 15% royalty on a $3.00 book would net him (Quezon) $10,000. The President’s comment in reply was that he had an offer of that sum for ten lectures in the United States which would be much easier for him that writing a book. However he believes that with his experiences and observations of the Japanese attack on the Philippines, such a book by him would serve a useful purpose. He asked me to get from Colonel Andres Soriano and from General Valdes the facts for the period between the invasion of the Philippines and the entry, unopposed of the Japanese into Manila. This I am proceeding to do, since both officers are here in this hotel with us.

(Note by the writer. The following pages are now, seven years later, inserted in this diary upon its preparation for the press, because, although the information was obtained by President Quezon’s direction for his own use in his book, it was never so used by him, and it now seems worth while to preserve for future students testimony as to the effect of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines from two highly competent witnesses of the scenes described and especially as coming from key men in the situation.)

Having been in France myself during the German invasion of that country in 1940, I had in my mind a picture of the kind of observations by members of Quezon’s entourage which should, in my opinion be included in a description of the fall of the Philippines.

Beginning with a question to Don Sergio Osmeña, I asked him how the municipal officials of Luzon had stood up to the invasion, remarking that in France I had been told they all had run away except for one mayor in the north, who had stood his ground.

Osmeña replied that they all stood firm in the path of the Japanese invasion in Luzon, and mentioned one mayor in the Province of Albay, who, when the head of the Japanese column entered his town, climbed on the step of the leading automobile and emptied his revolver into it, then fell back dead. Further questions to Osmeña were not possible because he was off to Boston to speak there in substitution for Quezon, who had been invited to luncheon tomorrow in the White House by President Roosevelt.

Quezon himself contributed only the following brief statements: that one of the lessons they learned during the invasion was that the Philippines could be defended–with one thousand planes, one hundred submarines and one hundred mosquito boats. The mosquito boats which he himself had ordered in Great Britain for the defense of the Philippines had never been delivered to him; they had been diverted to help Finland in the first of her two recent wars with Russia. England promised to replace them but was prevented by the war from doing so. Anyway, he remarked, at the banquet given him today by the Chase National Bank, he had told them: “This is not our war.” He also added that General Aguinaldo had most certainly not been a Quisling during the invasion; indeed, he observed, in recent years the General had been in favour of immediate independence for the Philippines because he believed that his country was in deadly danger under the American flag. The next morning I secured from Basilio Valdes the following statements on the subject of the invasion. He had been Commanding General of the Philippine Army until it was mustered into the American service, then he became Quezon’s Chief of Staff for the Filipino units in the army, and Minister of National Defense in Quezon’s Cabinet.

The following are the statements from Valdes as I understood his account:

Valdes reports that Americans made up only 20% of the army of defense, but the American newspapers overstressed the American participation in the whole war; that it is very difficult indeed to make any exact figures for the casualties.

He said that in the organization of the Philippine Army, for the first two years, 1936 and 1937, they drafted the prescribed 40,000 men a year. For the succeeding years, having found the financial burden too great, they drafted but 25,000 men a year. (Get copy of Valdes’ last annual report as Chief of Staff to President Quezon; a copy must be in the War Dept.)

Valdes says that when the invasion occurred, there was some panic at first in Manila, but none in the provinces. They had studied the disaster in the downfall of France, and military maneuvers were not hampered by crowds on the roads; certain roads were immediately closed to the public. They held the enemy above San Fernando Pampanga until the troops which had been engaged on the Lucena front were moved around Manila to the Bataan lines–a brilliant military move.

Valdes states that Quezon was in a wheel chair all the time he was on Corregidor; that he discarded it on entering the submarine; 24 hours after reaching Panay, he was able to go up two flights of stairs.

Fifth Columnists and Trickery: Valdes: “After the battle of Morong (in Bataan), General Segundo said, we had to withdraw and with us were cavalry from Stotsenburg who had lost their horses in the battle. The next day we retook Morong; so we searched the forest for those horses. We met a man in Filipino uniform who spoke perfect English; he said he knew where the horses were and led us up a trail. But he led our two officers, a major and a lieutenant up to a machine gun nest–thereupon the guide (Jap) threw himself on the ground. Our lieut. was killed, the officer in command of the machine gun, and the others fled. Then the major killed the false guide. The Japanese were always after Filipino uniforms.”

When asked who the fifth columnists were, Valdes said: “First of all, those opposed to Quezon’s administration such as the Sakdalistas in Laguna and Bulacan and Tayabas, tho their leader Ramos, in prison for sedition, had been moved from the Philippines to an American prison. (For Ramos and Sakdalistas see Hayden’s book). The new name for Sakdalista is Ganap, which also means “I protest.” The Japanese had made much of Ramos and sent him back to the Philippines.

Second: The Japanese-Filipino mestizos, of whom there were not many in the Philippines.

Third: General Artemio Ricarte, el Vibora (Viper) of the old Filipino insurrectionary army. He is now riding around Manila with an a.d.c. and Japanese soldiers beside him. (He caused me a great deal of trouble when I was Governor General and I sent Clyde Dewitt to Shanghai on a small coast guard cutter to arrest him with a warrant from the American Judge there–Dewitt was sea sick for the eleven day trip by sea–Ricarte escaped with the aid of an English clergyman.) Shuster, who was with us in this New York hotel while General Valdes was talking, related an experience of his own with Ricarte about 1903, when Shuster was Collector of Customs in Manila: Ricarte came over from Hong Kong to Manila, and Shuster went out to meet the steamer personally, to hand the oath of allegiance to the United States for Ricarte to sign. Ricarte replied that he was insulted by being asked to take such an oath and that he had breathed enough of the air of his native land, now that it was so polluted. So back he went to Hong Kong, crying out that he would live to see the day when every American was driven out of the Islands. Now he comes back with Japanese to see his curse fulfilled!

Fourth: In Angeles, Pampanga, 8 kilometers from Fort Stotsenburg, a Filipino furniture maker named [Timio kept a shop, at the back of which he had a speakeasy.] When the officers from Stotsenburg used the W.C. by his speakeasy, they would sometimes talk together, and Timio had a stenographer in the adjoining room, and furnished news to the Japs. This man was awarded a contract for making dummy airplanes of bamboo and cloth for the army camouflage, and when the bombardment of Camp Clark air field took place, not a single dummy plane was hit.

Fifth: In the second week of the war, telephone messages went all over Manila saying the watersupply had been poisoned. Three sakdalistas in a car were caught driving around Manila and shouting this news. Valdes had them arrested; lots of people came to his office to know if the rumours were true and in order to convince them he had to draw a glass of water and drink it in their presence.

Sixth: Story of Claro M. Recto, former Justice of the Supreme Court. After the bombing of Baguio, there was a stream of cars which started south for Manila; when they arrived at the “Forks” in Pampanga, “a man in uniform” directed them off to the right in the direction of Stotsenburg, so the line of automobiles served as a “pointer” to aircraft above, and the bombing at Stotsenburg began just before the motors got there.

Seventh: Cutting of wires to detectors on Clark Field (see below).


June 7, 1942

Quezon thinks this is a business war, caused by slavish imitation by Japanese of the Western powers’ methods of monopoly. If the Japanese had not closed the open door in China, there would have been no war. It was totally needless, in any case, for the Japanese could have undersold all commercial rivals with all of her own products in China and she had already regained for China control over her own customs administration. If the “open door” had been maintained, the United States could then have held their Chinese market only on petroleum and tobacco.

In Japan in 1937, Quezon met members of the House of Peers and of the Diet who were opposed to the militarists —not so now. One of the Peers who was speaking of the recent Coronation said it was the last, as a religious ceremony with all the “Son of Heaven” cult. Quezon says he is never entirely at his ease in conversations with Japs —they have been until recently, for too many centuries isolated from the rest of the world.

Thinks it is a mistake to assume the Japanese are naturally an Empire and the Chinese not; on the contrary, the Chinese have always been imperialists when they were strong enough, and the Japanese only recently so. China in the past tried to conquer Japan. If the Chinese now argue that the aid promised by the United States to China has not been satisfactorily supplied, he would reply, if he was an American, that the Chinese got us into this war anyway.

Quezon is absolutely opposed to the plan to let the Chinese remain armed after this war, and the Japanese entirely disarmed. “The Japanese could teach us civic virtues, but the Chinese only ‘trickery and corruption.'” Would prefer to have the Indians armed.

I asked him whether, in the peace settlement, the Dutch East Indies would be given back to the Netherlands? He replied: “That would be an outrage. The Malays should be allowed to unite. For years the Javanese have been looking to the Filipinos to lead them to freedom. The movement started when General Wood was Governor General; we smuggled their leaders into the Philippines with the connivance of the Collector of Customs (Aldanese); Ramon Fernandez helped them and gave them money. I must soon begin to work on this with the English, the Australians and the New Zealanders. At the Peace Conference, I intend to make a loud noise. If we were to be united politically, I would be willing to have the capital in Java. It is not mere numbers that count, but intelligence.”

He thinks we could make a satisfactory peace with Japan at any time, but Roosevelt would not consider it for a moment. Believes the Japs would consent to leave the Philippines outside their “Co-prosperity sphere.”

“The greatest political danger to Don Sergio and me now is that the Japanese may declare the independence of the Philippines themselves.” “If so” he added “I would not stand in the way for one moment, but would resign and not spend one more penny of the money of the Philippines in the United States, even though that would reduce my family and myself to starvation.” He said that if he were President of the Philippine Republic, and the Japanese sent for him now to return to be head of an independent country, he might consider it. But he is only president of the Commonwealth which owes allegiance to the United States, and he is irrevocably tied up with that. If the proposition of independence were put to the Filipinos now by Japan they would vote overwhelmingly for it —there would be no need of Japanese soldiers to carry out the election.

Roosevelt did not insist that the Filipinos should continue the war against the invading Japanese. On the contrary, on January 3rd, 1942 in response to his cable of the day before from Corregidor, in which Quezon had questioned the right of the United States to make the Filipinos carry on a war for a power which could not protect them, Roosevelt had wired MacArthur to permit the highest ranking Filipino officials to surrender the Philippine Army, and then ordering MacArthur to carry on the fight to his last man.

Quezon then told of some Indians who were on the steamer with him when he was crossing the Pacific in 1916 with the Jones Law in his pocket. Two or three of them came up to congratulate him on his great achievement and ask his help for Indian independence.  “This,” he replied, “I am not in a position to give.” They were taken aback and asked: “Aren’t you in favor of our independence?” “Yes, I’m in favor of it, but with your 350 million people, all you have to do is to have every Indian sneeze at the same moment. Give me one half of your population and I would have the English begging me for their independence.” They retired angry and confused.

He thinks that, physically, the Siamese most resemble the Filipinos. They went over to the Japanese before the war began because their former territories in Indochina which had been seized by the French, had been given back to them by the Japanese.

Discussing the two photos in the Manila Tribune ofJan (?) 1942 showing first George Vargas reading to the Japanese officers his acceptance of the post as head of the Executive Commission set up by them, and the second showing the group of Philippine representative citizens who had been summoned, or chosen to accept this new form of temporary government, I commented on the presence there of former Chief Justice Avanceña. Quezon remarked that it was a damned shame that the group insisted on the presence on that occasion of that old man.

He thinks Kihara, former Vice Consul at Davao, whom he likes, is the go-between between the Japanese High Command and the Executive Commission of Filipinos.


June 6, 1942

a.m. Having himself dictated a letter to President Roosevelt requesting that he be given a seat on the Pacific War Council, which was sitting in Washington, Quezon gave me his proposed draft to read and advise him as to its form. I read it with dismay. He had been watching my face and asked me: “What’s wrong with it?” I told him that his strong reference to the contrast of the gallant resistance of the Filipinos to the aggression of Japan with the “supine surrender” of the English at Singapore, and the “inefficient battle” put up by the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies somewhat jolted me. I asked him to consider that he was asking for the honour of a seat on the United Nations Pacific War Council, although his own country was already represented there by President Roosevelt. I suggested to him to omit all such criticisms of allied nations the representatives of which already sat on this Council; that those phrases might actually block his own admission, especially since Harry Hopkins was “one thousand per cent pro-English.” I urged him to send no letter to President Roosevelt on this subject, but merely to call up Harry Hopkins on the telephone and make his request, and I believed it would be accepted. His was a perfectly reasonable request and was similar to proposals understood to have been already made by Australia and India to the British Government–both of which propositions were backed by American public opinion. I also said that if his request was granted, this would be considered by the outside world as another step towards independence of the Philippines.

In a few days, he was invited to become a member of the Council and subsequently played an active and useful part in discussions there over the whole Pacific scene.


June 5, 1942

At night at the Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon told me the story of his visit to Corregidor in 1935 after he had been inaugurated as the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth. He was invited by General Kilbourne, the American officer then in command of the fortress, who was the man who had done so much to develop its defenses. Quezon said: “As I went ashore on Corregidor I saw there a whole regiment of Americans–not Philippine Scouts, drawn up as a guard of honor to salute me. I was quite overcome with emotion–just two miles away across the water was the little town of Mariveles, where thirty-four years earlier I had surrendered myself as an officer of Aguinaldo’s army to an American Lieutenant of artillery. If ever since that surrender I had felt any bitterness against America, it vanished when I looked upon that regiment of American soldiers drawn up to salute a Filipino President of the Commonwealth. This regiment seemed to me to epitomize the whole history of the United States in the Philippines. They had come there in the beginning with their soldiers to overcome us by force–and now the symbol of that force was drawn up to salute the Filipino head of a government of Filipinos which had been set up by the United States. The three most thrilling events of my life all occurred within a radius of two miles of that spot where I then stood:

(1)  My surrender at Mariveles to the American officer

(2)  An American regiment drawn up on Corregidor to do honor, and

(3)  Besieged in the fortress of Corregidor by the Japanese.”


June 4, 1942

12:30 p.m. at Senate Chamber to hear Quezon’s address. Excellent and effective. He seemed a little nervous at the beginning, and no wonder: that is the most critical audience in the world. They were all very friendly to him. Quezon told me that never in his wildest dreams had he expected to address the United States Senate, though he had always counted on being the President of his own country. Senator Barkley of Kentucky, the floor leader, sat on his right and led the applause, while Senator Tydings sat on his left. As the Senate was technically in recess to receive him, applause was not “out of order” and some of the Senators kept it up even longer than the crowded galleries. They had interrupted their voting on a declaration of war against Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary to receive him. The ex-Mrs. Douglas MacArthur went up in the motor with the Quezons.

Quezon was in high spirits after it was all so well over, and had A. D. Williams and myself, with Quezon’s two daughters to lunch at the Shoreham. His daughters were chaffing him because he had made one slip–referring to the V.P. as “Vice President Marshall.” It was, of course, Henry Wallace.

At lunch, there was a lively conversation between Quezon and A. D. Williams, who in recent years had been closest to the President of any American in the Philippines, being his adviser in the construction of public works in which Quezon’s keen creative energies were always fully employed. Williams, who had at last, after so many years of service in the tropics incurred the disease known as “sprue” had finally, in July 1941, been obliged to resign his most confidential post with the President in Manila and retire for good to his farm near Culpepper, Virginia. One of his last bits of construction work in the Philippines had been the creation of an air-raid shelter at Quezon’s country home at Mariquina, near Manila. The Quezon girls, who were present at this luncheon commented enthusiastically over this and said that, during the invasion they had spent most of their time in that shelter; it had a toilet and two entrances, and had been cut out of the tufa rock which is excellent material for insulating shocks.

Quezon and Williams told of some differences of opinion between the President and General MacArthur during these months of anxiety and strain before the war broke, but it would be quite superfluous to recount such matters now after the close friendship and heroic co-operation of those important personages during the dramatic war scenes which followed.

They also chatted about General Eisenhower the present Chief of the War Plans Board in Washington. MacArthur had brought with him on his mission to the Philippines two Majors in the United States Army, Ord and Eisenhower. When poor Ord was killed in an airplane accident at Baguio, Eisenhower became MacArthur’s “number two.” Eisenhower was very popular with both races in Manila–Americans and Filipinos, and seemed to enjoy the many occasions on which Quezon entertained him at Malacañan and on the yacht Casiana. Finally, Mrs. Eisenhower began to claim the Major’s time for her social engagements and Quezon had chaffed him about this in the presence of his wife at the farewell luncheon he gave them at Malacañan Palace some months before the war broke, when they were returning to the United States.

At this same luncheon, Quezon and A. D. Williams made quite different computations as to the number of American war planes in the Philippines at the time of the invasion. When Williams then ill, finally left the islands to retire home, he had been a member of the board appointed by Quezon to advise on new air fields. He calculated that the United States then had some three hundred plane in or en route to the Philippines, actually on hand or about to arrive. Quezon said there had been, at the time of the Japanese assault thirty-eight four engine bombers and about one hundred and thirty war planes of various types. Many of these were destroyed on the ground at Nichols Field, Clark Field and Cavite on the eighth of December, 1941. I asked whether this destruction caused any panic among the Filipinos and he replied that they knew nothing about it. Williams told again of his having, as representative of the Philippine Government gone around in June or July 1941 with the American officer-in-charge to inspect ground for new air landing space near Manila and how he personally had begged the Commanding General not to extend existing fields, but to build a dozen new landing grounds among the bamboo fields to either side of the South Road. No attention had been paid to his advice. He also remonstrated with the navy for spending five or six million dollars in dredging and in filling in an extension of the existing air field at Cavite which, as he said, “stuck out like a sore thumb” in Manila Bay, and was visible from the air for a great distance.

Quezon then said how indignant he had been with Admiral Hart for withdrawing his fleet from the Philippines at nearly the last moment. “If he was going to lose his fleet, why not to so in defense of the Philippines instead of Java?” He admitted, however, that Hart’s fleet was destroyed after he, himself, had been relieved of command at the insistence of the Dutch, who took over the American ships before the disastrous naval battle of the Java Sea. But Quezon still insisted that his submarines, based on Cavite for refuelling, should have been used to sink the Japanese transports and thus interrupt the invasion of the Philippines. There were twenty-eight submarines in this command of which some twenty-two were of the new type.

Quezon then turned to some remarks on the pressing reasons which had induced him to attempt towards the end of February 1942 the escape by submarine from the beleaguered fortress of Corregidor. This will not be repeated here, because it has been described in his book The Good Fight, published by D. Appleton-Century in New York in 1944, after the President’s death.

This account of that day’s conversation at the luncheon table at the Shoreham would be incomplete without recording the writer’s recollection of another subject discussed by Quezon, which has, however, a very remote bearing if any on the invasion of the Philippines.


June 3, 1942

Shoreham Hotel. Helping Quezon with the preparation of his address to be made before the United States Senate tomorrow. I suggested to him that if he used the phrase that “he did not come to ask that they send troops to drive the invader from his beloved land,” (in preference to their putting their American effort into another theater of war)–he might be called into account later by his own people. He replied: “I have an answer to that: I do not want the Philippines to be utterly wrecked by becoming again the theater of war–I hope the United States will strike directly at Japan. God forbid that our country should be treated like France today–that is simply awful.”

Osmeña came to see Quezon, but the latter was closeted with Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, so Don Sergio came to my room for a talk. His purpose was to suggest the introduction in the speech tomorrow of a strong statement Quezon had made in October 1941 in Manila in which he stressed the absolute necessity for the Filipinos to join with the United States if they were drawn into the war. I think Quezon will use it.

I asked Osmeña about the early days of American government in the Philippines. He said that General Franklin Bell as Provost Marshal of Manila was considered by them as a liberal. Frank McIntyre was the first American he ever met. Osmeña was then editing a newspaper in Cebu and McIntyre was the Military Censor there. General MacArthur (the father) was Military Governor of the Philippines for only a short time–then he had a row with Mr. Taft over turning over the government to the latter.

Osmeña and Quezon were then governors of their respective provinces and together founded the Nacionalista party, but advocated co-operation with the Americans–which produced a storm of protest. The opposition to the Americans, however, came rather from the Spanish and Spanish mestizos than from the bulk of the Filipinos; Quezon was an exception. Dr. Pardo Tavera was active in opposition to America.

Don Sergio said that another time they would not fortify the region around Manila, which is indefensible; it is better for them to have their capital in the mountains of Pampanga or Tarlac–says at Fort Stotsenburg, which can be defended. He thinks that with the help of the United States the damage now done to the Philippines can be repaired in a comparatively short time.

Dinner with Quezon. He is very much disturbed by the evening news of the bombing by the Japanese of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. I told him that if they effected a foothold on the mainland of Alaska, they could bomb Chicago and Detroit. He said: “then somebody ought to be impeached.”

Our talk was then mostly about Japan. He said he had first met Matsuoka when the latter was head of the South Manchuria Railway; at that time, Matsuoka talked very frankly against the Chinese policy of his own government and ridiculed the idea that an indemnity should be exacted by them from China. “Why,” he asked “should we make them pay when we ourselves have invaded and devastated their country?” Quezon believes that he himself might have been asked to be a referee between China and Japan except for the complete control of Philippine foreign policy by the United States.

I expressed again to Quezon my regret that Professor Africa’s plea in 1936 for the training of young Filipinos in American consulates which I had at that time favorably recommended to him, had not been allowed by the United States. He replied that Secretary of State Hull had, at the time, agreed to the proposition and he supposes it had been blocked by some clerk in the State Department, or possibly a chief of bureau.

Quezon then turned to the subject of his luncheon with the Emperor of Japan. The presentation and wait before lunch were very formal. Then the Minister of the Household disappeared and they sat down at the table. Quezon was to the left of the Emperor, whose brother was on his right and on the other side of him sat American Ambassador Grew. Grew’s deaf ear was turned towards the rest of them, and the Emperor’s brother talked very loudly into it. This enabled the Emperor to have a quiet conversation with Quezon. His Majesty spoke English, but an interpreter stood behind his chair; he asked a good many questions of Quezon, and Quezon of him. Afterwards, Grew asked Quezon what they had talked about, especially when the Emperor and Quezon were alone in the “study.” Quezon refused to tell what the Emperor had said to him, and also what he, himself had said in reply, stating that it would be insulting if Grew suggested that he, Quezon, had said anything disloyal to the United States. This was in February, 1937.

He then turned again to a discussion of Francis Sayre, the High Commissioner to the Philippines. He touched on a discussion which had occurred between them as to the future trade relations between the United States and the Philippines which had taken place while Sayre was still in the Department of State. It was then suggested that this most important subject be referred to a Joint Committee, and Sayre proposed as Chairman former Vice Governor Hayden, recommending him because he was a professor. Quezon made a grimace. “Why,” said Sayre, “I have been a professor myself.” Later, when Sayre was appointed High Commissioner, and Quezon gave him a banquet, he introduced him as a “professor,” and everybody laughed. Quezon added that he entirely agrees with the opinion once expressed by Professor Becker, head of the Agricultural College at Los Baños, who stated before the Board of Visitors of the University of the Philippines (Governor General Wood, Quezon and Osmeña), that: “A Doctor of Philosophy cannot run anything.”

Turning to another subject, Quezon lamented that the United States Government had not backed up Morgan Shuster on his mission as treasurer of Persia, but had let him be run out of office by Sir Edward Grey, then the English Foreign Secretary. He added the remark to me that: “Shuster and you certainly started something thirty years ago–he in Persia, and you in the Philippines.”

Turning back to the subject of Japan once more, Quezon said he was sure Prince Konoye tried to prevent war between Japan and the United States. He sent Nomura over here as Ambassador to this country. When he saw he was going to fall. Prince Konoye resigned as Premier.

Finally, Quezon observed that Siam had made a mistake in joining even nominally with Japan; that France and England are no longer able to parcel off pieces of Siam for their own Empires, and would never be so again. Sic transit gloria mundi.


June 2, 1942

At noon to Capitol with General Valdes and Colonel Andres Soriano. Valdes says he is going back to service in Australia next week.

I felt much like a stray cat on the floor of the House of Representatives–had not entered the Chamber since in August 1913 I left after nine years of service there to go to the Philippines. I recognized only two of the old members who were there in my time. The representatives looked rather depressed. Elizalde tells me that they know they have their authority and power to the Executive; and feel very much the bitter and frequent attacks on them by the “smear” press.

When Quezon mounted the Speaker’s dais he made a striking figure outlined against the huge American flag–shoulders squared and head thrown back. His eyes sparkled and his person gave out a spirit of animation and vitality, quite in contrast to the rather weary, not to say depressed looking figures of the members of the House.

He received an ovation, and prolonged applause punctuated his address. He read the cablegram to him at Corregidor from President Roosevelt promising the re-occupation of the Philippines, the giving of independence and, most important, the protection of it. Gave the impression that it was these promises which inspired the Filipinos to their gallant stand at Bataan. Altogether an impressive and useful speech. The occasion was one of real drama. He lived up to it.

Afterwards, we spent an hour “revising” or correcting the official stenographic report of his speech, as is customary before an address in the House of Representatives goes to the government printing office for the Congressional Record.

“Baby” Quezon to whom, in an aside, I confided my fear at the time that Quezon’s voice would give out in the middle of his address, replied: “Oh, Father’s voice never gives out unless he finds it expedient.”

Driving back from the Capitol alone with Quezon, I found him too tired for conversation, until I mentioned by chance the subject of the Philippine Moros. I commented upon the sad end of former Governor Fort of Jolo, who had been an appointee of Governor General Wood. After resigning his post in 1937 he became a Protestant Episcopal missionary in Cotobato–another unruly Moro section. One morning on a path near there, his body was found on the path with the head severed by the blow of a bolo.

Quezon remarked that the Moros really like nobody whatever but themselves, except when they can get something out of it. “That,” he said, “was a fact which no Americans had discovered”; in Australia this Spring even General MacArthur had told him of the great use we were going to make against the Japanese of the enthusiasm of the Philippine Moros for the American cause. Quezon told him, however, that he hoped the American Army was not going to give arms to the Moros on Jolo, who are reported to have joined the Japanese, but added that the Japs will have plenty of trouble with them. “Jolo,” Quezon added, “is divided into two factions each claiming a Sultan.” (As I think this split was brought about by Quezon himself, in order to weaken the power of the Joloano Sultanate, I made no comment.) Quezon further remarked that when he reached Mindanao on his journey of escape from Corregidor, the American Army officers there were boasting of the great help the Moros were about to give them. Quezon laughed.

He then turned to the subject of the war against Japan: He said it could not be won without “the complete destruction of their army and navy–that with such a government and such a people, a negotiated peace would be utterly impossible.

In the Shoreham grill-room I met Harry T. Edwards, one of my former Bureau Chiefs as Director of Agriculture. He is now and for years has been fibre expert in the United States Department of Agriculture. He first came to the Philippines shortly after the Insurrection was over, but says many Filipinos in the provinces kept on fighting until about 1904. Even then, there was a raid by them on Cavite when he was visiting his brother there. He told me that General MacArthur, the father of our General, who was the last Military Governor of the Philippines was very “stuffy” about turning over the reins of power to the first Civil Governor, William Howard Taft, and kept the latter waiting at the door of his office in Fort Santiago for an hour before admitting him to take over. Taft never forgave MacArthur. So ended the “Days of the Empire,” except in Mindanao and Sulu where the army officers still refer to the Philippine administration in Manila as the “Civil Government.” The singing by Army Officers at their annual “Carabao Wallow” of the song “Damn, damn, damn the Filipinos” continued until 1913, when after my arrival in the Philippines, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that to cease.

Had a conversation with Resident Commissioner “Mike” Elizalde at his office this afternoon. He has great and sincere admiration for President Quezon. Thinks Osmeña would be of no use except to hand out the offices, and that he could not run a government himself. (This in my opinion is a gross underestimation of Osmeña’s abilities.) Elizalde says the Filipinos were all right under American Governors General, but queries how they will make out by themselves when solving such problems as government finance. He esteems Quezon highly because when he is not “up” on a subject himself he is willing to take advice; says he was called in with Yulo and others to give opinion as to whether Quezon should accept a second term as President of the Commonwealth. He was the only one consulted who answered “no,” because he is such a confirmed democrat and believes the other system leads to dictatorship. Thinks well of Manuel Roxas as an eventual successor to Quezon.


June 1, 1942

At ten a.m. in Quezon’s rooms at the Shoreham with Don Andres Soriano and Resident Commissioner “Mike” Elizalde helping us to correct the typed draft of the twenty minutes address Quezon is to deliver before the House of Representatives tomorrow. Dr. Clark, formerly one of his advisers in the Philippines was sent off to get the text of Quezon’s first speech in the American House of Representatives in 1911 in which he had promised the United States the very support of the Filipinos in time of need which they had now rendered them thirty-two years later.

At luncheon at the Shoreham with Quezon and Osmeña. Talk of the good effect created by Quezon’s quiz by the Senators and members of the House last Saturday at luncheon at the Cosmos Club. Quezon commented that the most disturbing element of that occasion was the statement of Senator La Follette at the conclusion of the Senators’ remarks upon how we should disarm our opponents after we had won the war. La Follette had remarked: “We expect those five or six million men who will make up our armed forces, when they come home to tell us what we shall do with the peace.” This, according to Quezon, was “rubber-stamp” statesmanship, and he added: “We might as well have pure democracy.” He believes that the representative form of government means that the representatives are chosen to make the final decisions for their constituents; La Follette’s theory would mean a complete abdication of power by representatives elected by the people.

While we were at luncheon in the restaurant of the Shoreham, two priests came up with a tall refined looking young man whom they presented as the Archduke Otto.

Seeing that I was not to have the projected fortnight of quiet with Quezon at the Hot Springs, with a stenographer present, I seized this opportunity to tell him about the plans of our friend Morgan Shuster in New York for publication of his book. Shuster’s suggestion is that Quezon should write now chiefly about the war, and insists that it be ready for printing in September; he suggests that Quezon should prepare another and more complete biography later.

Quezon asked me how long it took me to write my Cornerstone of Philippine Independence, published by Shuster in 1922. I told him five weeks, and he expressed surprise that it had been written in long-hand.

I began, then, by asking Quezon to tell me of his birth and early life. This is a difficult way of working out a book because the text will lack the originality of expression and the animated style of narrative characteristic of Quezon’s own diction, and will have to be made up on the basis of my daily memoranda of his conversations. But I see no other way, at present, than to catch his ideas on the “rebound” every time I am with him, and we are so seldom alone together. At all events I had better make hay while the sun shines.

So I said to him that Shuster wants the story of the poor boy who became President of his country, as a means of reaching popular opinion in the United States, but that I myself had always found him muy señor, and supposed he had sprung from the class of principales. He laughed, and said his parents owned two acres of land at Baler when he was born. Then I said that since Shuster wanted, this time, only a war book, he should present first a short account of his early life and upbringing and then pass to a good story of his participation in the Philippine insurrection against the United States, and balance that later with a careful account of his recent notable and gallant services in this war as an ally of our country. He seemed to accept that idea, and I hope he will find time from now on to develop his own way of carrying out this literary undertaking.


May 31, 1942

Quezon came into my room at the Shoreham for a two hours’ talk. Yesterday he had offered me an official position to go around with him and help him with his English in preparing his speeches. I told him I thought his command of English was excellent, and that I had not come to him to get a job. “But that was the reason why I asked you to come,” he replied. So here I am back again as adviser to the President, as I had been in 1935 and 1936. I hope I may be of some use to him in his very trying situation as head of a government-in-exile.

I then asked him whether he had foreseen the coming of war between the United States and Japan. He replied that during those last few weeks before the Japanese struck he had been sure of it. I enquired what he had thought of the note handed by Secretary of State Hull on November 26, 1941 to the two Japanese Ambassadors. He replied: “What did you think of it?” “I thought it,” I said, “the equivalent of a declaration of war upon Japan.” “So did I,” he put in; “with such a people as the Japanese,–no government could possibly accept such a proposal as to get out of China and give up Manchuria; the government which did that could not survive. So immediately I asked Admiral Hart urgently to call on me, and told him: ‘Admiral, this is the same as a declaration of war by the United States upon Japan. What will happen if our communications with the Mainland (i.e., the U.S.) are cut?’ The Admiral replied: ‘Oh, it will only be a matter of three weeks.'” Quezon continued by saying that a few days before Pearl Harbor in his speech on “Heroes’ day” (on December 2nd, 1941) at the University of the Philippines in Manila, he told the students how heavy his heart was, because many of those magnificent young men who had just passed in parade before him were soon to lay down their lives for their country.

Quezon then went on to describe to me the meeting of the American-Japan Society in Tokyo which was attended by Ambassador Grew, on the occasion of the appointment of Nomura as Ambassador to the United States. At this meeting, Foreign Minister Matsuoka had told them of his efforts to get Nomura, a retired admiral, to go to United States as Ambassador, because Nomura was known to be a personal friend of President Roosevelt. At first Nomura had been unwilling to accept the post, but Matsuoka went to his house and persuaded him to take on the serious and difficult talk of reaching a working agreement with the United States Government. Matsuoka then emphasis his opinion that it was the duty of the United States and of Japan to avoid war–if not, it would be a terrible conflict, and would destroy civilization. Matsuoka then sent a letter to Quezon enclosing a copy of this speech and wrote at the bottom of the letter as follows: “To His Excellency President Quezon: Dear Mr President, I hope you will agree with my views.” The envelope was addressed in Matsuoka’s own handwriting, and was handed to Quezon by the Japanese Consul General at Manila–so every precaution had been taken to conceal the identity of the person to whom the letter was to be delivered–even the stenographer was not to know. Quezon said that at the time, he thought this was a very “suspicious circumstance,” and that Matsuoka was in deadly earnest. “But,” Quezon added, “I did not then know anything about the real strength of Japan, and I simply wondered how they dared even to consider a war against the United States, since he assumed that America would immediately send their whole fleet against Japan and completely destroy the Japanese navy.”

He did not believe that the second Japanese envoy Kurusu was sent to the United States to join with Nomura in order to “gain time.” Indeed, he thought that it was the United States that needed “time”–not Japan, and he added: “The seriousness of the situation was apaprent when the attack was made on Pearl Harbor, because the Japanese never go to war unless they are thoroughly prepared.”

On the question as to why the Japanese aviation had bombed President Quezon’s birth place, Baler, Quezon did not believe at any time that this was done in reprisal because he had called upon his people to support the American side; “If it was aimed at me,” he asked, “why did they respect my houses at Baguio, at Mariquina and Malacañan Palace itself? Those buildings have not been damaged nor looted.” (N.B. It transpired later that the bombing at Baler had been aimed at the small wireless station there.)

Quezon then reported a conversation he had had a few days ago with the Chinese Ambassador who had told him Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had recently gone to India not, as reported, to try to persuade the Indians to join the English in resistance against Japan, but to try to persuade the British Government to give independence to India!

I then asked the President to elucidate the phrase he had used: “doubts as to my duty to the people of the Philippines” which beset him when he arrived at Corregidor and of which he at once had informed President Roosevelt by cable. Of course, I could understand his perplexity as to whether it would be best to insist upon further resistance when he was already convinced that the United States neither could nor would send reinforcements nor supplies to them while concentrating on the German War, but I asked him to explain further his state of mind then on that momentous question. Thereupon, he replied that he might have considered advising his countrymen to join an association of Asiatic nations which were to be partners in the real meaning of the word but that he had no confidence in the Japanese offer to them of self-government. He added: “Those fellows would not really leave us alone to govern ourselves—-it would take them three hundred years longer to learn how to do so.”

Asked about the internal situation in the Philippines just before the war, Quezon began his reply by stating that he himself was a sincere democrat and really believed in the rule of the people, but that in dealing with the application of this theory, especially in times of strain, there were too many people going around advocating democracy for everybody without any real sense of responsibility towards the people themselves or knowledge of the struggle and fight necessary to protect democracy. He believed it was especially necessary to know the background of a people, and to understand what their history meant. This, of course, recalled my effort in 1936 to prepare for him at his suggestion, and when first acting as his adviser, a bill to reform the system of landholding in the Philippines, so as to protect the millions of small farmers (taos) in their tenant holdings and really to begin the dividing up of the many great haciendas. The bill was modelled upon Gladstone’s “three F’s” land bill of the 1880’s for Ireland, as had been suggested to me by Quezon himself. But, as related in the first part of this “diary,” the members of his Cabinet all balked at it and the President had handed it back to me with the remark that it was “loaded with dynamite.” I replied that I had, at the time, been greatly distressed by the failure of this effort at reform, but that I know a little of the background in Philippine history: how, always until the Spanish liberals had begun in their own country for reforms, with repercussions upon the Filipinos, the state of society in the Philippines as in other Malay communities elsewhere had been entirely aristocratic. “Why,” I said, “Your own Cabinet then, and most of the members of the legislature–those gentlemen were almost all aristocrats.” “Except me” he interrupted, “I wasn’t one.”

Then I got him to tell part, at least, of the story of the constant friction existing between High Commissioner Sayre and himself during the year before this war. He started by saying that Sayre is, personally, a very nice fellow, but unlike his late father-in-law, Woodrow Wilson, he does not understand government. He is one of those lovers of liberty who goes around trying to apply liberty as a solution to problems which arise without much consideration of the results to follow; that he started all his arguments with him (Quezon) with the statement: “I am a Christian gentleman,” which is no doubt perfectly true, but in itself does not solve by its application all political problems. The serious disagreement between Quezon and Sayre which had some bearings on inadequate civilian preparedness in the Philippines just before this war broke out, arose through what the United States would call the “Office of Civilian Defense,” and had nothing to do, as I had previously presumed, with any attempt by President Quezon to spend part of the $50,000,000 then held in the United States for the Philippines. Nor did Quezon try to get the United States to pay for his Office of Civilian Defense.

The trouble between the President of the Philippines and the High Commissioner started in 1940 when the legislature passed an act delegating to Quezon powers to regulate the civilian defense corps and otherwise prepare for a supply of food and for making air-raid shelters for the protection of the civilian population of the Philippines. The Philippine constitution placed his power in the legislature only “in a national emergency,” with restrictions on the power to be exercised by the President. They had studied the history of difficulties which had arisen in the United States over the “delegated powers” which are forbidden by the American constitution.

In 1941, during the growing tension throughout the Far East, Quezon issued the necessary executive orders based upon this grant to him of limited delegated powers. At once, a group of young Filipinos called the “Civil Liberties Union” passed a resolution of protest. High Commissioner Sayre was aroused, and is believed to have notified President Roosevelt who cabled Quezon warning him that adverse sentiment was aroused in the United States since the American “Civil Liberties Union” had joined in the fray. Quezon at once cabled back to Roosevelt that he would not exercise any of the powers so delegated to him without a direct application to him from High Commissioner Sayre.

A few months later, Major General Grunert then in command of the Philippine Department of the American Army, asked Quezon to attend a meeting with him. High Commissioner Sayre and the American Admiral. The general wanted to know what plans there were for the protection of the civilian population in the event of war and complained that so far as he could see, nothing had been done; what was Quezon going to do about it? The President replied: “Ask High Commissioner Sayre”–who sat absolutely silent. Finally, at this conference, it was agreed that a committee should be appointed as an Office of Civilian Defense, consisting of General Douglas MacArthur, then a retired Lieutenant General of the American Army, but engaged as Quezon’s Adviser on Military Affairs and occupied in organizing the Philippine Army, and Quezon’s secretary George Vargas, and A. D. Williams, adviser to the President on public works. This committee was to cooperate with the American General and Admiral. At the meeting, General MacArthur asked Major General Grunert if he would state to him first of all, as Department Commander, whether the American Army was going to protect the Philippines and what plans he had for getting the equipment necessary for such protection? The Department Commander replied that he was only a soldier, and knew nothing of politics; that he intended to fight for the protection of the Philippines but could not state what equipment would come to him for that purpose. General MacArthur then expressed himself as dissatisfied with the latter part of the Department Commander’s reply, and refused to serve on this committee until he had a satisfactory answer. So MacArthur retired from this committee and A. D. Williams and Vargas went ahead with their plans for air-raid shelters, etc.

Shortly after this, A. D. Williams returned to the United States after forty years of service in the Philippines on public works and construction, and by this time General MacArthur had been put in command of all American and Philippine forces in the islands.

At the public meeting on “Heroes’ day,” December 2, 1941, to which reference has already been made in these pages. President Quezon said in his public address that he had not been able to discharge his full duty and prepare adequately for the civilian population a sufficient food supply nor adequate air-raid shelters because he had been prevented from doing so by the President of the United States, and this statement was reported in garbled and misleading form in some newspapers in the United States. Further, Quezon stated that the protest against due preparation in the Philippines had been started by the local Civil Liberties Union, and that if they were thus responsible for any evil results, they merited condign punishment.

At dinner that evening, Quezon told me had rented the house of General Hurley, “Belmont,” near Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia from next Sunday for the summer, so he will be only two days at Hot Springs–another of those sudden and unexpected changes of his plans to which his entourage are thoroughly well accustomed. This means, however, that I am not to have him to myself to get on with the manuscript.

Bridge in my room at the Shoreham, nine p.m. to two a.m. Very lively bidding and the playing was animated. The other players were Quezon, Dr. Trepp, his devoted physician from Manila and the attractive and modest young a.d.c., Lieutenant-Colonel Velasquez from the Province of Bulacan, a West Pointer, who has been through the battle of Bataan. When the Governor General of Australia met Quezon a few months ago, Quezon told the Governor General that Velasquez was one of the Filipinos who had been doing the fighting. The Governor General talked with him for five minutes and turned and thanked Quezon for the delaying battle in the Philippines which had helped to save Australia. Quezon, however, agrees with me in doubting whether the Japanese plans included the conquest of Australia.