The president calls for me to be at Camp Claudio early. I was there before he called. We inspected the horses and the stables. He saw the troops drilled. He asked me about the troop commander and I reported that the troop commander was about to be tried and probably he would be dismissed. He asked me of the offense and I said that it was immorality. My impression was that he is inclined to be lenient for offenders of this kind. I had his horse saddled up and the jump arranged. I gave him a demonstration on [illegible] and he was very much drilled.
At 9:30 he comes to headquarters to inspect.He looked over some offices downstairs and that came to Valdez office. We had a conference on the subject of concentration. P[illegible] wa present at this conference. He asked several questions. He asked
to what extent we could reduce the number of trainees. I expressed the opinion that we should not reduce too much the number of trainees as the number figured is for local defense. On his suggestion that we have only a few thousand trainees near Manila, I said that policy would be disastrous. If we had only a few thousand concentrated near Manila, it would be necessary to give them plenty of mobility so that they could be moved to the threatened area quickly. This is contradictory to the MacArthur plan of local defense where the reservist of one locality defend that locality.
We are invited to luncheon at 1 oclock. We did not leave the palace until 4:30. He talked on various subject. The Montilla case the recall of the Scout officers, the case of Laconico and Villareal, the case of Torres. On the subject of Laconico and Villareal he said that
Valdes brought my letter of protest to him accusing me of disloyalty in view of the fact that I tried to protest a decision which had already been rendered. The president said he could not understand how I could be accused of disloyalty for presenting my views. It was only after I had known the decision that I could express my opinion. He said he sent for MacArthur to find out the practice in the U.S. army whether a subordinate who express his opinion is considered disloyal. MacArthur told him “No,” provided such opinion were expressed thru proper channel. He told MacArthur he was glad of such advice as he was determined that such an expression by a subordinate did not constitute disloyalty and that he would have issued an order that it was not disloyal if in the U.S. Army, such act was considered disloyal. He looked at me said
“Segundo that was a strong letter.” He quoted my statement avout personal circumstances and personal liason. He did not understand what I meant so he asked Sec. Vargas what I meant and Vargas said that Laconico is Santos aid and the son-in-law of Assemblyman Alano, then he understood. He ordered the name of Laconico removed from the list right away. Later we talked about Villareal and I said Villareal was not the best to go to school. The President said that it was only thru my letter that he knew such things were happening.
He spoke about the 6 hr. conference with MacArthur, the one published in the papers. He did not want the subject of this conference published or communicated to anyone. It was about the creation of the Department of National Defense.
At the office. Miguel Unson, to whom I reported that Quezon told me he had instructed him (Unson) that I was to sit with the Government Survey Board replied: “It must be so because he said so, but I never heard it.” Said he would try again to see Quezon tomorrow.
Usual crowd of office seekers and Others needing help, in my office.
Visit from Hartendorp, Dutch-born American citizen; editor of the Philippine Magazine, who has just received from Vargas his dismissal as Adviser on Press matters. Says Quezon had sent for him before inauguration and had asked him to be Press Adviser at a salary of five hundred pesos monthly. He was flattered and pleased. He has a Filipina wife and children and was proud to be called in by the President. He asked Quezon from whom ho should take orders, and the President replied: “only from me”; thereupon Quezon called in his a.d.c. and gave instructions for the immediate admission of Hartendorp whenever the latter wished. However, Hartendorp soon found that he could not obtain “audience.” He thinks Vargas has “gypped” him, because he had criticized him severely in his magazine.
Hartendorp had rented a house in Uli-Uli, had taken his children out of boarding school, and was about to celebrate his reunion with them in a home when he received his dismissal. When first appointed, he had asked Quezon how long the work was to continue, and Quezon replied “two or three years–or as long as my administration lasts.” Hartendorp lasted three months!!
Talk with A. D. Williams, who suggested buying for the National Development Co. a yacht like Yolanda of 1000 tons for Quezon’s use. Thoroughly good idea!
Williams has just been made a director of the Cebu-Portland Cement Co. which had inherited the Cebu coal field, once the property of our defunct National Coal Co. He says they have just found 350,000 tons of excellent coal there which will lower the cost of cement. (Even our Coal Company was not without some merit!)
Elizalde presided over his last meeting of the National Development Co. this morning. Usual glowing accounts of his management given in Herald which he owns. It seems he thinks the Elizaldes have lost “face” since his resignation as President of the National Development Co. was accepted, so during this week while the President was away the Elizaldes forced an issue in the Polo Club by proposing and seconding Manuel Nieto for membership. (The Polo Club and the Army and Navy Club are the last stand of the “Old Tinier” Americans.) [Nieto was rejected on the ground that he was only Quezon’s “gun-man” (which is very unjust!).] All four Elizaldes thereupon resigned from the club and took their polo team to the practice field in Camp Claudio. They are now seeking to lead the army polo players away from the Polo Club–but in vain.
The late General Tinio’s son (nephew of Don Isauro Gabaldon) came in to see me with the request that he be appointed technical assistant to me. It seems that Assemblyman Angara of Tayabas had asked his uncle (Quezon) to make this appointment without consulting me, and Vargas had told him in reply that if “Governor Harrison had need of a technical assistant, it might become possible later on”!!!!