At Malacañan where I saw Sandiko. He came to enquire how he could get some of his followers placed as waiters at the Manila Hotel. He had with him a child of 4 whom he called his baby. My next visitor was Major Mendes, aged 64, who was looking for a job. His appeal was chiefly based upon the number of children he had. It was very much like the line of talk of Mussolini who prods the Italians into frenzied reproduction, and then complains that there is no room in Italy for its people, and they must have colonies for expansion! Odd how all these Filipinos in their sixties have a brood of little children!
Afternoon bridge here with Mrs. Oleaga, Mrs. Hill and Peters. I gave a dinner for Geo. White, ex-governor of Ohio and my old friend in Congress and his bride, whom he married in Columbus, Ohio just thirty days ago. Captain and Mrs. Sellers also were here. Geo. White is 64–likewise, ex-Governor General General Davis was married again this week.
Sunday. Awakened at 5 a.m. by a ferocious brass band in the nearby barrio “playing” for some church festival. At 10 a.m. it is still at it, and worse than ever. What with dogs, roosters and church bells, this adds new horrors to residence in the Philippines. (The fiesta, with band complete went on steadily until 11 p.m.)
In the afternoon, I went out to McKinley and golfed alone. In the evening six toughs threatened Oleaga and his cook and frightened the family. Oleaga sent his chauffeur to the police station at Parañaque, but the police were all away at the fiesta!
At Malacañan. A. D. Williams had just come from a conference with Quezon, Paez and Ramon Fernandez; says the President is set on building railways in Mindanao, and “A.D.” and, Fernandez tried to convince him they would not pay. “A.D.” said he thought he had offended Quezon still more by replying to his (Quezon’s) complaints that the roads offered too unfair competition to the Manila Railroad, that the competition from trucks was unfair and when they had finally managed by January 1, 1936 to get the tax on trucks raised from one peso to two pesos per 100 kilos, the rate had at once been reduced again. This was Quezon’s own doing on the advice of Geo. Vargas, and they both looked pretty glum. (This is the first instance I know since his inauguration where private interests had influenced the President contrary to the public interest.)
“A.D.” also inveighed against the taking of the accounting division out of the Bureau of Public Works and putting it with the others in the new budget office.
He also admitted it was a mistake to have put the Bagagab-Echague road over the mountains–it should have followed the Magat River down stream.
3 to 5 p.m. with the Survey Board quizzing the Directors of the Bureau of Lands and of the Land Registration Office. They sat side by side rather like naughty school boys, each covertly watching the other.
Bridge at the Polo Club, Peters, Satterfield and Ale. Went for a short time to Oleagas “cock-tail supper.”
Long talks with Unson about the Philippine Government. He remarked that General Wood had a sense of humour and was a strong character–in some respects was a great man. Does not know why Wood vetoed the act to create a Budget Office.
Unson and I discussed the Bureau of Science. He thinks it is attempting too many diverse duties; that it is overlapping the work of other bureaus. Unson is in favour of turning it into an Industrial Research Bureau; when it has perfected an industrial method it should quit that and investigate another. Discussed also appointive provincial governors and a national police as authorized in the constitution, in order to stop political maneuvers, favouritism and improper use of the police. Various members of the Assembly seem to be receptive to these ideas.
We reviewed consideration of the Bureau of Posts and of a possible consolidation of the Bureau of Lands with the Land Registration Office. Unson says it has been a mistake always to have appointed a lawyer as Director of the Bureau of Lands. (Undoubtedly this is one of the most unsatisfactory Bureaus of the Government.) More discussions as to Aldanese and the Bureau of Customs. All agree that Aldanese is himself perfectly honest but has not enough firmness or “ferocity” (Unson).
Dinner with Mr. and Mrs Oleaga at Casino Español. Doria tells me that Marguerite Wolfson and Mrs Gaches tried to take care of Quezon at Topside, Baguio, two or three years ago when he was so ill he could not walk. They were trying to get him away from his host of followers, but Quezon stayed only thirty-six hours at Topside, and was so strenuous a personality that she and Mrs Gaches had to “go to bed for a week” after he left. She says he is as exhausting as a “vampire.”
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!