Long talk with Unson about the reorganization of the government. Query: how to get funds from the Legislature for research scientific work? We finally decided the only way by which we could avoid alarming the legislature is to strengthen the Bureau of Science, instead of turning over its researchers to the University, or trying to secure a large appropriation for the Council of National Research (Dr. Roxas); Unson says Governor General Murphy considered Dr. Roxas something of a spendthrift. We talked of the American attitude of growing indifference and severity towards the Philippines. He commented that it was American psychology for a father to cut loose entirely from a grown-up son! Unson expressed doubt of the Philippine Army.
Quezon returned from Hong Kong and after a day at Malacañan left for Baguio. His office work is greatly in arrears and is in confusion. Vargas handed me a memorandum prepared by Quezon dated April 14 in Iloilo, addressed to me, (and unsigned) asking me to prepare papers to carry out the recommendations of the annual report of the Manila Railroad Co. This I received May 18!! Vargas says he found it “on the boat” (Arayat?). I hardly think it was meant for me, anyway, but probably for Paez who is away inspecting the line for the proposed railroad in Mindanao. Quezon cannot stand the racket at Malacañan Palace–when he finally does receive his visitors he gives three times the time necessary for each interview. He is too restless for office work anyway, and while there feels like a bird in a cage. He gives himself so thoroughly to each visitor that this kind of work wears him out. He cannot, however, let his underlings run their offices, so all of them are simply terrified of him, and the administration becomes paralyzed.
I asked Unson why the United States Army officers thrust themselves to the fore continually in the press, giving “full military honors” and exchanging so many visits of ceremony, so that the public must have an engorged idea of militarism in the Philippines. He said this was not so from Taft to me, but dated from General Wood as Governor General.
Unson is anxious to have the Bureau of Printing print all textbooks for Philippine schools; but is opposed by the Bureau of Education. I advised him to include this recommendation in the Survey Board’s report on the Bureau of Printing, thus advocating giving more employment to Filipino printers.
Intense heat these days–97°-100° indoors. In the afternoon Trinidad (who is the manager of the Pampanga Sugar Co.), of whom I asked why no sugar shares were for sale, said this was the time to sell out, not buy, but shareholders expected to get all their capital back in three or four years, and a profit also. However, present prices offered for the shares were too low to tempt holders into the market.
In shopping in Manila, especially on the Escolta, American “salesmanship” is used to the Nth power, with the result that some of us are offended (as I was in Heacock’s today) and leave without a purchase.
Five prisoners escape from Montinlupa–one is recaptured; the “trusty” system seems to have its limits.
At 3:30 p.m. went down to the Coolidge to say good-bye to High Commissioner Murphy and Quezon. The former looked preoccupied and tired. I said to Quezon: “you will see Doria in Peking.” He answered: “Oh! I’m only going to Hong Kong–to be back Tuesday (18th)–wish you were coming with me.” I told him I was staying here under Dr. Sison’s care. The next day, Vargas received a telegram stating that Quezon was not returning until the 28th so probably he will get as far as Shanghai. On the steamer, I chaffed Osmeña about being my “boss” now, and he said “I’m not to be acting President”–Quezon apparently acts on precedents of recent American presidents.
Talk with A. D. Williams. He said Quezon was angry with Bewley, whom he had previously always supported, because the teachers in the Bureau of Education had opposed giving up Teacher’s Camp in Baguio for the National Army as Quezon and MacArthur desire. This worried Bewley greatly, so he apparently saw Quezon and disowned all opposition.
Earthquake lasting fifteen seconds at 5:13 a.m., which did not even wake me.
The morning papers published Rafael Palma’s report on a proposed reorganization of the educational system here. This is the promptest and most intelligent report of any board so far appointed under the Commonwealth Government. Emphasis is laid on five years of elementary education which should be free and compulsory; secondary education to be confined to agriculture and industry, and people are to pay for the usual high school education, which would better be left to the non-government schools. I wrote to congratulate him. If accepted, I wonder whether this report can be put through the legislature? (The Bureau of Education is the strongest political organization in the Philippines.)
Went to the British Consulate at the request of Foulds, acting British Consul General, who wanted some information from Quezon but did not desire to make it “official” by asking questions himself, as follows:
Did the Japanese threaten Quezon with “grave consequences” over the Davao land question, and did Quezon reply: “you can’t bluff me”? Foulds himself expressed skepticism over the accuracy of this newspaper report.
Could High Commissioner Murphy when going to the States, appoint an “Acting” or merely “delegate” his powers? These involve questions of official calls if a British warship comes here to visit.
Would the High Commissioner return here?
Then Foulds and I had a general, and on the whole, very congenial conversation on Great Britain, the Japanese, and the question of complete independence here.
Went to the Survey Board and made my report on the Bureau of Science. This is the first time in 15 years I have tried dictating to a Filipino stenographer and I found it more work than to write in long hand. I seem to have a larger vocabulary in English than that to which they are accustomed out here. I told Miguel Unson that Geo. Vargas had expressed himself as impatient to get the Government Survey Board’s report–Unson replied: “I am a slow worker, I know, and Vargas is a fast one, but I do not trust those quick decisions of Vargas.”
Talk with ex-deputy Varona. I asked him what the National Economic Council, of which he is a member, was doing? He replied: “nothing much until the question of “national self-sufficiency” was decided. (The Filipinos are getting ready to trade the Philippine markets for continued free trade with the United States.) In that case, they will do nothing at all in the Economic Council, and it will be a regular gas chamber, instead of actually going to work, as the public expects, to prepare the economic life of the Philippines for complete independence. The attitude of Roces’ papers here on Senator Walsh’s ridiculous objection to competition in the United States market by Filipino made rubber shoes is a good example of the paralysis here! Varona said that in Negros there was a new patriotism–viz: “Buy American”–“Entirely disinterested!” I commented. He said the “N.E.P.A.” was anathema in Negros (sugar).
Quezon is due back today from his family trip to Baler, the birthplace of himself and of his wife as well. He is to stay here until he goes on May 13th as far as Shanghai with High Commissioner Murphy.