Looting continues unabated. War brings out the noble and the degrading in man. Saw three Japanese soldiers talking with two women with painted faces in a street-corner.
Thousands of people mobbed our warehouses. The bodega on Batangas street was completely looted. Asked Chief Torres and Mayor Nolasco for police protection, but they had none to offer.
After consultation with Sec. Vargas, it was decided that I take up the problem to the Japanese authorities. I called up Consul General Nihro, but he was not in his office. Vice-Consul Itoh attended me instead. I made the following representations, having nothing but the people’s welfare in mind. Firstly, the people must be assured of their rice supply; otherwise there will be riots, bloodshed, deaths. Secondly, NARIC warehouses must be provided with military protection. Thirdly, sales must be authorized in Pureza, Evangelista, Batangas, and Azcarraga. All these selling points must be well protected. Fourth, NARIC trucks must not be confiscated. Rice distribution must not be hampered in markets, sari-sari stores, schools and NARIC warehouses.
Mr. Itoh was courteous, understanding and helpful. I think he realizes the seriousness of the food situation. We went to the Manila Hotel to look for the Army’s quartermaster. Finally, found the supply officer at the Army and Navy Club. The Japanese commander said he would study my propositions tomorrow, Sunday, and he promised to give his decision on Monday.
A government official’s job is a thankless one. I’d like to leave my work right now, stay home, sit on my sofa, and read books. That’ll free me from a lot of headaches, gossip and a strained health.
There are bombers again. I can hear their drone. It must be another raid on Bataan. I wonder if my son is still alive. I keep telling myself there is nothing more glorious than the death of a soldier in the battlefield. My eldest brother Joaquin died in the war of 1898.
Thinking of the eternal sleep keeps me from sleeping.
Wrote a memorandum for Quezon on the extension of the season for shooting snipe.
Saw Quezon from twelve to one o’clock in his office with Secretary Torres, Alcalde Posadas &c. He asked me about the Landlord and Tenant Bill–I told him I had left it the day before in Diokno’s office for revision–he said “It is loaded with dynamite–better telephone Diokno how confidential it is; not to let it leak out prematurely; and I want to see it before it is sent to the Assembly.” Something or somebody has been at him–this warning from him is alarming!
Beyer and Belts, two geologists to lunch. Ross and Hoskins to dinner.
Called on T. Wolff at his office to discuss his memorandum on the new cedula tax law. Finished the draft of Landlord & Tenant Bill.
In the p.m., the Survey Board had its weekly meeting; they are framing a plan for the standardization of salaries in the Government. One of the marked characteristics of round-table conferences of Filipinos is their sense of humour. Unson, Trinidad, Paez, Rustia and Occuña were there.
Went to the Legislative Building to hear the message of the President to the Assembly. Gratings were locked on the doors. I pushed through the crowd, got a policeman to open the door and was met by Chief of Police Antonio Torres who said the city had been “under arms” since the night before; the only people in the galleries were his secret service men. Communists were supposed to have threatened a bomb.
Sat with the Alcalde and the Chief of Police. Quezon read a forty minute message of “progressive conservatism”–really an excellent program for the development and relief of the country. Acoustics of the hall are so bad, I could hardly catch his words. Torres says this building was designed for the National Library and 3000 pesos have just been spent to improve the acoustics of the hall, but with no success;–he said it must be air-conditioned and hung with tapestries. Quezon’s voice is too strong and oratorical for the loud speaker. If he proposes to broadcast, I have advised him to study the matter of his voice.
Bridge with Gordon, Jollye and Sinclair at the Manila Club. When I was home at dinner Quezon called me on the telephone to ask if I had read his message. He said he was very tired–had only begun it yesterday morning and had been up all last night over it. Quezon called attention to his reference to the Irish Land Laws.
Will analyse his message after reading it in the morning papers.
Mrs. Quezon returned from a month’s absence in Java etc. Press photos of attentive loving couple, Quezon in yachting cap. The next day Quezon left with Nieto and his aides for an eight day trip through Balete pass and the Cagayan valley.
Talk with Colonel Vicente Lim, senior Filipino officer in the United States Army and a graduate of the American War College. He said: “Quezon is a very hard man to work with.” I commented on how the President’s calendar was congested, because gave too much time talking with each visitor. He replied, “He understands the psychology of his people.” He stated Quezon “is giving us the best Government we ever had, but God help us if he dies and we get a weak-kneed President.” Lim also said: “even Quezon is only human and can’t be 100% perfect–as evidenced by the appointment of Antonio Torres.” As Lim himself had wished to be Chief of Police of Manila, he may be prejudiced, but he seemed to be trying to be fair in the following estimate of Torres: “integrity unquestioned; has ideas, but is childish and can’t write English, and is a coward.” Lim said that his “thesis” at the Army War College in 1929 was that Japan within five years would take Manchuria; that they would wait until the United States got into great financial difficulties; that England is now also waiting, but to see if the United States will put itself together; otherwise England is prepared to fall back on Singapore. That Japan is planning a canal thru the neck of the Malay peninsula in Siam, and for this purpose is making friends with the Siamese rulers. That this canal would present no more difficulties than had the Panama Isthmus. Lim also said in his thesis (and still believes) that the Philippines is bound to fall under the economic domination of Japan, but the latter will not pay the cost of physical domination. Said the Americans could never defend the Philippines against Japan, but the Filipinos could make the invasion of their country too difficult to make it worthwhile. Lim is a brother-in-law of Vicente Villamin, and thinks highly of him, tho’ Quezon does not like Villamin. Lim told Quezon that he is ready to give up his rank in the United States Army to serve in the Philippines Army if really needed–otherwise not.
Dinner with Jollye–excellent food and civilized service–later to Carnival–poor show, and the loudspeaker has added new resources of horror to the barkers!
Holiday. An hour with Sam Gaches in his office where he told me at my request the whole story of the Mineral Resources Mining properties. Excellent and vivid 40 minutes talk by him on rediscovery of the ancient Chinese mines of 500-1,000 years ago in Camarines Norte. Gave all the difficulties of mining in that region (Labo) and said it might be a “flop” “but”–with a gesture–“it drives you crazy it looks so good.” Said all mines in the Philippines except those in actual operation, like Benguet Consolidated, were “hooey,” meaning, a speculation only as yet–but added he believed the Paracale–San Mauricio–Labo district was destined to become the great gold fields of the Islands.
Had a talk yesterday with Palting, who has made a survey of the executive offices at Malacañan since inauguration, and he reports four times the volume of business compared with the days of the Governors General–but, he added, this was mostly due to the different boards engaged in reorganizing the Government.
Saw also Colonel Antonio Torres, Municipal Councillor, candidate for appointment as first Filipino Chief of Police of the City of Manila. He seemed downcast and said to me “My career is ended”–I replied “No! it is just beginning”–that afternoon’s papers carried the announcement of his nomination to head the Police Department.
Saw also Dr. Calderon, Director of the Philippine General Hospital–he is old and failing–walks with a stick. He is the senior surviving appointee to office made by me as Governor General.
Long talk with Colin Hoskins on currency problems in the Philippines. He had two hours with Weldon Jones this morning on the silver purchase. We also went into constitutional questions; the United States under Roosevelt; and the administration. Colin asked why Jim Ross and I could not support Roosevelt.
Doria’s dinner here tonight. Colette Guest, Kuka Guest, Mr. & Mrs “Shiny” White, Andres Soriano, Jim Rockwell, Paco Oleaga, Evelyn Burkhart who is to marry Paco in a few days, Tony McLeod, Young Hoover, Florence Edwards and Commander MacDowell. Dinner not well cooked. Orchestra dismissed by Doria as no good, so we went on to the Polo Club dance and had a gay evening. Mr. & Mrs. Gaches had a large dinner party there on the lawn–with the Rectos and Buencaminos. Doria said the Army crowd mournfully regretted that the last stronghold of the Palefaces was now invaded. Mrs. Gaches told Doria how difficult her social-political work on the committees was, because the Filipinos with whom she served were so casual–not to say rude!