February 3, 1936

Dinner at Malacañan for Cabinet–Doria wore her new black dress which was a great success, and Quezon asked her chaffingly if she was in mourning for King George? Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, sat on one side of me, and spoke con amore of how I supported him as Director of the Bureau of Lands against American attacks. He said Secretary Denison only supported him when, as Governor General, I ordered it. I urged Corpus to write his memoirs–he said he had been a newspaper reporter for five years before I appointed him as Director of Lands, but that his own style was only anecdotal.

Talked with Under-Secretary Albert, who remembers not only the Philippine Revolution against Spain, but later on an interview he had with President Wilson; he came back here sharing a cabin with Quezon when I arrived in the Manchuria in Oct. 1913. He said that Quezon was much excited when he secured my appointment as Governor General through Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan in 1913–he then said: “now we are sure to get independence.” Albert gave Doria some complimentary accounts of me as a public speaker.

After dinner, I talked for a half hour with the President. He told me of his difficulties in appointing Judges, and said that Osmena had urged on him the nomination of Rafael Palma to the Supreme Court. That he (Quezon) had wanted to appoint him, and had consulted Chief Justice Avanceña and other Justices–that they had been rather non-committal, but when Quezon returned from Baguio, and asked them again about Palma, the Supreme Court Justices had meanwhile heard Don Rafael Palma argue a case before them and were now certain that he was not qualified to be a Justice. Quezon said that Osmeña had asked for an appointment with him every day for a week, and that he had given every excuse, especially that he was tired, until it was too late for Osmeña to interfere again. Osmeña then told Quezon that they were better able to select the judges than was the bench. I called his attention to how Osmeña had nearly wrecked by administration by his insistent recommendation of Venancio Concepcion as President of the Philippine National Bank. We agreed that Osmeña was a bad judge of men. I called his attention to the efforts I made for five years to induce him (Quezon) to break with Osmeña. He replied: “It took me twenty years.”

Osmeña had also persistently tried to get an appointment with Quezon to argue in favour of Aldanese. Quezon and I agreed that the Collector of Customs was personally straight, but Quezon said he had been put in an awkward position by Governor Wood. I complained that the Philippine Government was full of graft, and asked whether it was not because Governor Murphy has had his head in the clouds. Quezon said, “no, you must not think that of Murphy”–that the original fault was with Governor General Wood–that corruption was rife under him. That his successor, [sic] Governor General Davis had announced in a speech in Honolulu that he was going out to the Philippines to clean up graft in this country. That while Davis was here, he never knew anything at all about the country.

The announcement of the Government’s decision to cancel the lease of the arrastre to Simme & Gilke had subjected Quezon to a perfect bombardment of letters of protest from Americans. They state that the lease of the arrastre to the Manila Terminal Co. under Governor Wood had greatly improved the freight service at the Manila docks. Quezon said that perhaps it had not been done any too well before but that he was going to turn it over to the Manila Railroad Co. and have Paez manage it; that the Manila Terminal Co. had been making 500,000 pesos a year out of it. That they had offered Aldanese a large salary for extra service with the Manila Terminal Co.; that Governor Wood had permitted him to accept; [that it was “unethical” for the Collector of Customs to have another salary from a business firm.] This practice had been stopped November 15 under the new constitution.

Quezon next talked about the (Baguio) Constabulary Academy case, where he had just dismissed eight of the cadets, including his own nephew, for hazing and had transferred Colonel Johnson, the Commandant. The cadets whom he had examined personally concerning this case, had replied that they thought the regulation against hazing was a dead letter. I told him how President Thomas Jefferson in the last year of his life had ridden down from Monticello to the new University of Virginia and had dismissed his own two nephews (my great uncle Cary and his cousin Carr) for a student prank. He said he wished he had known of this, for he would have cited it as a precedent in this Constabulary case.


January 28, 1936

Ex-Federal Judge Milton Purdy from Shanghai arrives. Funeral service in the afternoon in the Episcopal Cathedral for the late King George V. A very representative turnout. Murphy and Quezon both there –tho I think Quezon was rather unwilling to appear before his own people to take second place. Service was all about God and very little about the late King! Too many hymns and too much choir. Speech by Consul Blunt well phrased, and not so sloppy as if given by an American. Mrs. Quezon’s absence with Mrs. Phil Buencamino en route for Java is odd. What does it mean? Is it her dislike of Malacañan and of public office? Or has it political significance?


January 22, 1936

Only a short time at office. Played bridge in p.m. with Pedro Guevara, Tuason, Nicasio and Reyes. I have laryngitis, and can hardly speak. Home and to bed, where I stayed until January 26 with a severe attack of “tonsilitis” or perhaps “dengue” –had no doctor.

The papers are attacking Quezon freely for receiving the bandit Asedillo and allowing him to be taken back to his province by the Governor of Tayabas in Nº 1 car –thus making a hero of him. However, Quezon is extremely wise in showing such energetic determination to put own banditry in the provinces and graft in the government. Both have increased in recent times out of all measure, and much more so than is publicly understood. Whether this is due to (a) the prospective change to a Commonwealth Government or (b) the dreamy mentality of Murphy plus his absorption in his own career as a promoter of Christian ethics, or (c) to the “get rich quick” mood of the times in the Philippines ( hard times following a great sugar boom) is hard to say –possibly all three. But Quezon is placing emphasis upon public order, and he knows how to secure it –his method of “getting” the bandit leaders out here is, in the end, always the successful one in the Philippines.


January 16, 1936

Finished abstract of Irish Land Laws and gave it to Quezon with advice to secure at same time as the passage of these laws an act enabling him at his discretion to impose progressive rates of taxation on all estates over 1,024 hectares. I said I would like to help him in the drafting of the law, and he replied he wouldn’t dare to draft it himself –that he would send it to the Secretary of Justice for preparation. He absolutely assured me however that the powers needed in the act now existed in the constitution, in provisions expressly included by him at the time it was adopted.

Luncheon alone with Quezon. I told him how surprised I was at the lateness of some of his guests at the banquet on Tuesday—he said it was the a.d.c.’s fault—the system had been running down—I replied that there was a general lowering of American social manners in the last twenty years. He said he was going to raise the standard of manners and clothes at Malacañan—“you know” he remarked “how familiar I am with my own friends in private, but in official matters I am going to insist on form.” He was annoyed because Murphy had not brought a full dress coat down from Baguio, so he (Quezon) also had to wear white. Said that recently when guests were late at dinner he had threated to close the doors and not admit them. That in the future he would accept no excuses except illness and absence from Manila; that he had recently sent Nieto to “Mike” Elizalde who had pleaded a “previous engagement,” and Mr. and Mrs. Elizalde came to his dinner. He said Stimson and I were the two American Governors General who observed proper form at Malacañan. Said he was having prepared Malacañan enlarged photographs fo the three Governors General who had been identified with significant progress in Philippine history: Taft, myself and Murphy. We went over the old paintings which had just been brought back from the Museum to Malacañan—I advised him to get the Arellanos to hang and light them. His favourite is the picture of Dasmariñas (the Governor General in 1592) when being persuaded by the head of the Dominican Order to lead Filipoino troops to assist the King of Cambodia (an expedition in which Dasmariñas lost his life). This was painted by the Filipino artist Hidalgo (in Paris?) I advised him to change the position of the Pacto de Sangre which is wasted where it hangs. This led us to talk of Dr. Pardo de Tavera who had posed for Luna in Paris for the portrait of Legaspi singing the Pacto. We both wished he were still with us with his nice wit and culture. Quezon said Tavera was an inveterate enemy of Osmeña and always referred to him as “That Chinese.” Quezon added that Osmeña never forgave anyone and never forgot! I said how sorry I was to have angered Tavera by pardoning the Pajaro Verde.

At luncheon he was waited on by my Ah King and a new Chinese number two boy—I commented upon how wise it was to have foreign servants who did not understand his conversation any too well, and who would probably neither understand nor repeat what was said at his table—he said that was the point. I understand he just added five American policemen to the Malacañan staff—one of them recommended to him previously as the man who had arrested an armed murderer—“that’s just the kind of man I want” he replied.

I asked him whether he wanted me to talk public business at luncheon, and he replied that he enjoyed it with people he liked. Told him I had just been with Paez and had written for him (Quezon) an opinion on the Manila RR. I advised him to instruct the public utilities commission to stop for the present issuing any more “certificates” or licenses for the bus lines. Said he would do so. Told him it was fortunate he could put the railroad and the busses under one control –other countries could not now do so but he was catching the situation nearly as it began.

I also expressed the hope that he would be able to get the Legislature to agree to permit the Manila Railroad to abandon those branches which were (dead) unprofitable. He replied that if the Assembly would not grant such permission, he would just abandon those branches!

Then I raised the question of the five years plan for road building in Mindanao, of which he had sent me the papers this morning. I remarked how wise he was to push development of this great and almost uninhabited Empire –many schemes having been advanced in the past to separate that part of the Philippines from the rest on the pretext that it should be done because that territory was “Mohammedan.” He then said we would go down there together in the Spring; that he was determined to open up those regions; that he considered nationalism only a “means to an end” and that the rights of the human race to land and to existence were superior to the rights of nationalism. I cited the case of the Australians and said the equities were against them –that if he did not develop Mindanao, some other nation would take it and occupy it. Advised him to persuade some of the more turbulent of the dissatisfied people in the Tagalog Provinces to move down there. He said he was already planning that –they were exactly the sort of men needed in pioneering. I suggested that in the end he would probably emerge as the leader of the masses (in the provinces) after being double-crossed and betrayed by his “friends” in Manila. He said he already was the leader of the masses, and that his votes came from them. I observed that he was the only Chief Executive I had known except Woodrow Wilson who was a political philosopher –that most executives were interested only in force and guile –that is what Mussolini believed (Machiavelli)– who had no principles of any sort except opportunism.

He cited the case of the Chinese in the northern provinces of China and Manchuria –they did not develop their own lands and, of necessity, another nation stepped in.

Said he too had heard that W.H. Anderson had given an option for the purchase of his big ranch at the border of Sabani ranch! Asked him if he knew that an iron mine had been discovered and was being developed in Samar –he did not know about that and I was unable to give him the names of the promoters except the engineer –Milton Sutherland. They are believed to have made a contract for the ore with the Japanese.

Quezon stated he had this morning cancelled some of the oil leases including that of the Asiatic Petroleum. I asked him who had been the lawyer who had secured illegal leases for Asiatic Petroleum –he replied “our friend Jimmie Ross.”

Showed me the magnificent cabinet of maroon and gold presented to him on Monday by the Tabacalera Company in which to keep the Constitution –he is to have it in his office in the Palace.

The President then said that after his banquet on Tuesday he wanted to ask me to join him and Murphy at a dance (which lasted until 3 a.m.) on the Arayat, but that he thought it would be embarrassing for me without Doria.

Doria says an army woman told her Quezon is a very “fast worker” with women, and that he does not confine himself to those of his own race –this rather surprises me– it was one thing when he was in the United States but is a quite different proposition in the Philippines!


January 14, 1936

Made a short memorandum on proposed silver purchase and annexed Colin Hoskins’ opinion. Could not see Quezon as he was too busy.

State banquet in the old ball room of Malacañan so used for the first time. Very magnificent—over 100 guests in honor of the High Commissioner, two Admirals, three Generals, Cabinet, Supreme Court, Consular Corps etc. nearly half an hour’s delay in going to the table. The High Commissioner and President Quezon came in twenty minutes late, but that was not their fault—they were waiting for guests to assemble, as is done in British Government Houses—a custom introduced here by T. Roosevelt, Jr. That particular ceremony only works effectively when the guests are sufficiently self-disciplined to get there first—many of the Filipinos stroll in at any old time—some accept an invitation and never even show up.

Quezon was looking very dignified and as proper head of a State –made an excellent address –which he read– (caution of an executive rather than of a legislator)! He touched on the coming trade conference and hoped that when President Roosevelt calls it together some of the inequalities of the situation may be smoothed out; he stressed the importance of having a High Commissioner like Murphy who will cooperate. The High Commissioner spoke well and without notes. He is dignified and has admirable use of English; he is, perhaps, a little too sentimental, but that is genuine and kindly. I sat next to the Japanese Consul General who pumped me for all he was worth on trade questions. He especially wanted to know when the Trade Conference would be called, but I, of course, had no idea, and only told him I hardly saw it coming this year.


January 12, 1936

(Sunday) bridge at 10 a.m. in Mariquina in Lord’s house (as partner of Babbitt). Players: Rogers, Andy Anderson, Babbitt, Quezon & myself. At lunch, Quezon was in good form, though he had to get up and wander around as he can never stand sitting through a long banquet. Spoke about his campaign against Encallado and the other bandits, and of his method of handling a bandit campaign when he was Governor of Tayabas 30 years ago, which was to suspend the Presidente and Consejales of Casiguran (his kinfolk) and threaten to put them in prison for 20 years, if they did not turn over the bandit –who had been living quietly in Casiguran all the time. He told them to get him dead or alive, and shortly his body was delivered in two pieces with the head cut off.

Anderson asked the President if he could pay a bonus to the “boys” of the Manila Hotel who had so cheerfully accepted a reduction in their wages –Quezon said no! that a similar request had been referred to him by Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, for his employees, on the allegation that it would keep them honest (!!). Quezon remarked to Corpus that he would like to put some of them in prison, as he needed prisoner workmen for building the new prisons at Alabang. A lot of chaff about Anderson & Rogers, each of whom had put 6,000 pesos in the stock of the new oil companies. Quezon said he had discovered that the Standard Oil Company’s lease was illegal.

I spoke of Vamenta’s article on the Japanese leases in Davao. He said that the illegality had been committed by Filipinos who had sub-let to the Japanese; that these Filipinos were getting 15% of the profits and that he was going to seize that 15% for the government –even if he did not disturb the Japanese until their leases expired. That it really dated back to Governor Carpenter who had encouraged every development of Mindanao, “a thing which any one of us in his position would have had at heart.” (Vamenta was one of Carpenter’s young men). Mention was made of some American for years in the service of the Japanese (supposed, erroneously I believe, to have been Geo. Bronson Rea) who had announced that he was going to retire and live in Zamboanga. Quezon commented that he would hang him if he could.

Babbitt told me later that it always made him furious to have Americans denounce Quezon for his “hair-trigger” opinions, and that Quezon had told him recently how different it was being an Executive –that causes he had championed in the Senate now appeared impracticable to him (Such as Sec’y. Torres’ opinions on labour). Babbitt also said that he usually knew to a centavo how much money the President had –and that Quezon had said not long ago, that he had not saved up anything for his wife and children –he spends every cent he gets, in keeping up his position and the fight.

Quezon said Murphy was so very “good” it made him uncomfortable.

Doria said Mrs. Gaches had stated that all the Filipinos (Mestizos??) she had met, had expressed a great fear of the new army –that they expected to be unbearably taxed to support it. Babbitt told me the new army was the only thing which could keep down future civil disorders.

At lunch, during the discussion about the outlaws, I said that in former times there were some very good people among the remontados, hoping that Quezon would tell the story of his own youth in Baler, where he struck a guardia civil with a club and knocked him out (in a quarrel over some girl)and fled to the mountains with the wild men –but he did not rise to the bait.


January 1, 1936

Eleven a.m. went to the Mansion House for High Commissioner’s New Year’s reception on the lawn as per custom. We had been invited to dinner there the night before but could not accept (3d time). Mr. & Mrs. Charles Hoover (Consul General at Hong Kong) had already left but we met Chief Keith of the Baguio police with an assorted family of mestizas —I asked after the pony he used to ride when he weighed 300 lbs. and he said it was “resting easily.” Also met Colonel Kimberly and his second wife (a Viennese). He is back again at Corregidor –they had been making a really perilous motor trip thru the Mountain Province to Lubuagan and down to the Cagayan valley in a big Cadillac. Mrs. Kimberley said she had lost seven pounds in weight thru fright.

The High Commissioner looked very sun-burned and rather wildeyes. He told me the plans for a residence for the High Commissioner to be built in Manila next to the Army & Navy Club were already drawn by architect Arellano and been sent off to the Secretary of War; that the dredging was going on. He believed the building would be completed in nine months.

Motored down from Baguio –lovely drive until we ran into heavy rain near Manila. Doria and I had “New Year’s talk” and agreed that I was not really welcomed out here, and my services in the Government were not actually needed –that Quezon was exceedingly kind and loyal to me, but that my presence was likely enough a source of embarrassment to him. That we (D & I) would stop living in a dream world, that we would slow up social efforts and really try to enjoy ourselves and make the most we could out of our year here.

Arrived at 5:30 in the rain at McDonough’s house in Parañaque which I have rented for one year at 500 pesos a month; a staggering rent. Servants in confusion –nothing ready– Doria almost in tears –McDonough told us his “night watchman” had just been caught making off with some of his silver and linen! I must try to get a Sikh (Indian) in his place. No food –no soap– no conveniences, so Doria & I dined alone in the Polo Club much depressed.


December 28, 1935

Golf alone in a.m. Doria rode with the High Commissioner and Teahan –enjoyed it immensely but said the High Commissioner was so “mooney and difficult to talk with”– Doria refused to enter the Mansion House because Mrs. Ora Smith whose husband directs the Bulletin was there.

(Baguio). In p.m. at Quezon’s house; bridge; Quezon, Peters, Ed. Harrison & myself. Quezon is undoubtedly a brilliant bridge player tho unacquainted with many of the Culbertson calls. He listens attentively to the bids, then takes a long time to bid and places the cards with skill. As my partner he bid three no trump, was doubled and he redoubled making 3 extra tricks, all of which depended on one successful finesse –thus netting 2100 (game & rubber). He had Jake Rosenthal staying with him, who is a really devoted personal friend of his. House was full of children playing with Christmas toys.


December 27, 1935

Golf in a.m. with Doria. Bridge in p.m. with Ed. Harrison, Houghton & Thompson at the Pines Hotel. Called on the Quezons who were out and left my memorandum of the digest of Gladstone’s Irish Land Laws. Called at the Mansion House which is double the size it was in my days. Instead of a wooden second story with sawali walls between the bedrooms as formerly, it is now a really modern mansion reconstructed by Governor General Davis. Grounds and gardens are greatly extended and really well done. Saw the High Commissioner in his bedroom apparently at work in his dressing gown. He asked Doria to ride tomorrow. After dinner in Pines Hotel, an evening talk with Rafferty –my loyal friend.