June 13, 1936

At sea–caucus between Quezon and members of the Legislature. Most convincing evidence of good will and cooperation of the executive and legislature upon a high level of intelligence. The President’s method of address to the Assembly was perfect:–extreme seriousness in presenting his plans, and terminating many a subject with a pretty wit which brought roars from his audience. I believe he will get his whole program through, and very progressive it is: increased income tax and inheritance tax; increased taxes upon the mining industry (where not still in the exploration stage); change of cedula into “school tax”; progressive land tax on large estates to solve agrarian problems without the necessity of government purchase of all the Church haciendas (my contribution); regulation of transport by omnibus so as not to lose government investment in the railroad; trebling of sales tax, but to be imposed only once–and at the source. He said that without these taxes there would be only one million pesos surplus in the budget–which left nothing extra for the “pork barrel,” i.e., public works. If passed, he would see that the Assembly had at least three millions more to spend on public works. He also recommended Boards of Arbitration for fixing minimum wages, etc.–said they had been going slow heretofore in labour legislation being recommendations from the Department of Labour are “too theoretical” and might possibly cause damage greater than their good. Time, he thinks, has now come to make a beginning “for we have done nothing as yet for the labourer and small farmer.” (To my surprise, when Quezon broached his “somewhat radical” plan for a progressive land tax, Roxas who sat next me turned and said “splendid”).

Quezon told the Assembly that he would recommend nothing bearing on the tariff laws, until after a trade conference with the United States; and nothing changing the currency laws as at present.

Then Osmeña spoke, gracefully and eloquently. It was a very passionate and convincing address. The first part was about the development of Mindanao, in which he made references to work in the past of Quezon, Carpenter and me. Then turned to leprosy problem (Culion)–Quezon is anxious to abandon Culion and have separate leprosia in different provinces, so as not to separate and isolate the lepers so horribly. Osmeña (and Dr. Cañizares) believe leprosy is contagious and especially so in childhood. Roxas says the annual increase of lepers in the Philippines is one thousand; all they can do is to take care of them. He adds that the Philippine Government has, so far, spent twenty million pesos on Culion–chiefly in subsistence and transportation.

Quezon finished by saying that hereafter, bills for legislation would not be transmitted to the Legislature by the Executive but even if prepared in the Executive branch would be handed to Chairmen of Committees. He concluded by saying that there is no reason for calling this a junketing trip, due to the serious and productive conferences aboard. At the same time, he did not deny that there had been recreation on the journey, adding: “For my own part, when I became a candidate for the Presidency, I did not become a candidate as Obispo.

Visit to the Culion Leper Colony: Quezon was very emotionne and quoted Dante’s inscription over Inferno--Osmeña once more did the honours, and made the speech. Cured lepers, who are discharged, are not wanted any longer at home especially if they bear traces of their former disease, and after 6 months or so they usually write asking permission to come back here and settle in the “Negative Barrio.” Private capital is doing good business in this town of 7000, with a cinema, electric light plant and Chinese tiendas. After a drive around by motor, in which many facts were discussed in relation to the disease, back to the Negros–and off on our last leg towards Manila.

At lunch there was an interesting discussion between Quezon, Roxas and Sabido over labour. Roxas says there are no labour problems in the Philippines except in two or three large towns. They all condemned the attitude of the Bureau of Labour (now a Department) in trying to stir up trouble. Murphy’s creations of Parole Courts and Public Defenders were attacked;–evidently Secretary Torres is going to have a rough ride in this National Assembly.

Quezon said “someone” (F.B.H.) had told him how agents of the Department of Labour went around asking labourers if “there were any complaints” and he had given Torres a severe dressing down. He added that the right man for Secretary of Labour is Varona, whose attitude is always reasonable–he has common sense and a great hold over labour audiences. Quezon also remarked that the labour leaders in the Philippines are generally “crooks.”

An interesting constitutional question arose between Quezon and Roxas as to impeachment–Quezon is opposed to the unicameral system; he says esprit de corps will cause the Assembly to impeach the Executive and so long as the Commonwealth endures, ultimate safety lies in the President of the United States having the last say. After complete independence the situation would be dangerous–he says a vigorous Executive would send General Santos with soldiers to close the Assembly! This may be prophetic.

At dinner with Quezon and Roxas alone, I commented on how little things change in the Philippines–here were the two of us together again twenty-three years later! Quezon answered: “Isn’t it beautiful.”

Long talk later with Floor Leader Romero of Dumaguete.

June 11, 1936

Arrived early in Jolo. The party went off to tour the island, while Quezon took me swimming to a beach half an hour by motor from Jolo, an ideal strand and cool crystal water. This is the only proper swimming place we have yet found. We were followed by Major Gallardo and six soldiers, who were posted at sharpest attention facing back from the beach on to the jungle. There have been three killings this week in Jolo–one of a soldier by a juramentado. Quezon found the water rather too cold, but was exhilarated by the spur of it. We were taken there by a Spanish mestizo formerly in government service in Manila who now owns the electric light plant in Jolo. The President introduced him as the “Rockefeller of Jolo” and said to him: “you have made millions out of the Moros”–to which he replied: “no Sir! out of the cristianos, because the Moros go to bed immediately after dinner!” Quezon roared, and said: “Now this man is a friend of mine.”

We talked of General Wood, and Quezon said: “When I write my history of his administration here people will say I was prejudiced, but Wood wished to sell the whole Philippines. He was also so anxious to make friends with the Moros that he told the Constabulary not to shoot at them”–“the result was that a few years ago the Moros massacred nearly a whole company of Constabulary here in Jolo, and killed all the officers; the only survivors were those who were the fastest runners”–“I do not feel any rancour against General Wood, only pity.”

The Sultan of Sulu has just died, and the question of the perpetuation of the “Sultanate” is raised. His brother is the claimant tho his niece Dayang-Dayang wishes to be Sultan. Quezon says she is, by far, the ablest of the Moros, and is married to Datu Umbra. (I remember her telling me 20 years ago how she had fought against the American army in the trenches at the battle of Bud Daho.) The Mohammedan law, so far as I know, does not permit of a woman being Sultan, but anyhow the late Sultan surrendered a large part of his political sovereignty to General Bliss in 1903 (?) and finally to Carpenter in 1915. “Much greater surrender of rights to Carpenter” said Quezon. He told me Governor Fort of Jolo wished the government to select the Sultan, but Guingona stopped his making this blunder before it was too late. There is to be a conference at 10 a.m. today to settle this question; Quezon said he would recognize the Sultan only as the religious head. I asked him whether it would not be easier to do as the English and Dutch do? “No! not at the expense of good government. My first thought is always of that.” (An excellent and characteristic bit of philosophy).

He is now talking confidentially with Mrs. Rogers (a German mestiza who is the wife of a former Governor of Jolo, and is the source of much of his information here). I heard him say: “If you were a man, I would make you Governor of Jolo.” I asked Mrs Rogers if there were any dances at Jolo? “No! only killings.”

Quezon told me that Osmeña made a speech during the late political campaign denouncing him for his fight against Governor General Wood, and stating that he (Osmeña) had only taken part “as a matter of discipline.” Quezon remarked: “I was very glad to learn this–they were scared.” To my question, he said “I forced the Cabinet to resign.”

I told Quezon that the closest parallel to his constructive work was that of Mustapha Kemal in Turkey, who has given perhaps the best example today of government work in modernizing and organizing an Asiatic race. He replied: ”Yes! he is more like me than anybody else.” He has evidently been studying Kemal’s career. Quezon added: “the chief difference between us is the religious one–he is a Mohammedan and I a Christian.” I remarked that Kemal had separated Church and State. “Yes, but the religious difference between us, however superficial the religion of each of us, permits him a different behaviour. We both love to gamble, but I refrain from doing so–Kemal seeks his excitement, when government affairs are quiet, in the underworld, drinking with the lowest men and frequenting the coarsest women.” I remarked: “Well, Kemal is not a gentleman.” Quezon replied “Neither am I,–I come from the common people.” He went on to say that Kemal, like himself had an “unbalanced nervous character,” but while Kemal satisfied his tendencies in abovementioned ways, Quezon restrained himself. He agreed with my remark that he (Quezon) would not be so well if he did not have all these troubles and excitements of political life with which to contend.

The President then talked of the Philippine Army. I said that if they had not taken away from us the National Guard which he and I organized in 1917-18 (Air Corps and submarine also) we would be better off here now. “Yes,” he replied, “our work would now be partly accomplished.” We spoke of the parade on the Luneta in which I led the National Guard division in review before him. Quezon said “Wasn’t that splendid! I want you and myself to review at least one hundred thousand Filipino soldiers before the end of my administration; many of our rich people here don’t want to pay for protection! But this will cure the inferiority complex of the Filipinos.” He spoke of the fine soldiers now here on the wharf, and we agreed that these fellows were “killers.”

There has been only one typhoon in Jolo in 80 years–that of 1932, which took off most of the roofs in the town.

I asked him (Quezon) again about the 5 torpedo boat vessels he has ordered from Italy, and he said they were exceedingly fast and quite cheap, adding: “these are the boats with which Mussolini scared the British Navy out of the Mediterranean.”

Bridge in p.m.; at night a ball in the Park pavilion in Zamboanga. I went with Osmeña. Major General Holbrook was there, having brought three planes down from Manila. The steamer sailed early in the morning for Manila direct, cutting out the Culion (leper colony) part of the program because many of the Assemblymen are prone to seasickness.

May 20, 1936

Quezon issues a statement that passage by the United States Senate of a bill repealing the authorization to pay the Philippines $23 millions for gold devaluation of Philippine Government deposits in the United States banks was a “great injustice to the Filipino people,” and that the “loss of the money to the Philippines was directly due to the refusal of an American Secretary of War to convert convert Philippine Government deposits in the United States into bullion, despite the urgent requests of Philippine representatives”; and that: “The said funds were in the keeping of the government of the United States and held in trust by its officials and America has profited by it as much as we have lost.”

General Santos said, quoting MacArthur, that judging from the registration for military enrollment, the present population of the Philippines is 18,000,000. This is 4 million more than is usually given, but seems probable. It is 18 years since we took a census.

Victor Buencamino told us there is a daughter of Governor Frank Carpenter employed in the Philippine Education Co. I asked him about mestizos. He said those part Spanish and American blood exhibited all the worst traits of both races–that the Chino-Filipino was the best–(n.b. he is one himself)–the real reason (in my opinion) is that the half-blood of one of the dominating races tries to “belong” to the social caste above him and is rebuffed and embittered by his partial failure. The Chinese, on the other hand, have never dominated politically nor socially here.

At the Survey Board, Unson who had proposed abolishing the “home economic division” of the Bureau of Science, had today been interviewed by Miss Olora, head of that division. He was all of a twitter, and couldn’t keep off the subject of what a great work she was doing.

April 9, 1936

In Zamboanga. The Mayon arrived with Yulo, Quirino and Rodriguez, Santos, Fellers and many others, and Peters, Wolff and I shifted to the Mayon for Manila.

Interview with Johnson who has been here since ’99 and was an agent for Governor Frank Carpenter whom we discussed–he said Carpenter was a public servant thru and thru and perfectly coldblooded; knew everything that was going on from his agents and especially from Filipina women. Said the only way for a white man to succeed down here was by keeping active every day. Most of the fifty Americans who had settled in Zamboanga Province had gone in for loafing and booze, and lived on their Filipina wives. He was broke when in 1932 copra went down and he was left with nothing but debts–subsequently, he paid them all off and last year was assessed for the largest income tax in the Province, on an income of 50,400 pesos. It came from dealing in cutch and copra, and from stevedoring and automobile agencies. He remarked that the Chinese down here come as coolies, get a little tienda at some cross-roads and in ten years own all the property around–they plant nothing and create nothing–send to China for their “sons” (made by parcel post)! The Japanese on the other hand created plantations and improved and developed the country, and lived like highly civilized beings with all the modern conveniences. He greatly preferred the latter.

February 28, 1936

Visit to office of the usual series of men wanting me to get them jobs. Great relief when Rafferty arrived–he has forced his partners in the Manganese Mine, to “do him right.” Told me Sy Cip’s brother took a Chinese “dumb head” to the United States to campaign against our attempt to make the Chinese keep their books in English, Spanish or Tagalog so that the Government could collect taxes. The Chinese won.

We discussed the “customary law” of the Philippines which underlies the laws imposed by the Spanish and by ourselves. This explains many apparently incomprehensible events here. I told of the magnificent lands in the Cavite foot hills which were unoccupied because of the bandidos. He said he was the first of the Americans in Cebu to move out to a section on the outskirts of the City–no Filipinos would then live there because of the Pulijanes. Said Osmeña told him apropos of the recent surrender of Encallado, that this was the customary method of putting an end to brigandage: inviting the leader to one’s house and treating with him. “I was afraid” said Osmeña “when the criticism was running so high here over the princely way Encallado was treated by Quezon, that the papers would recall that this was the method I used myself when Provincial Governor to put an end to the Pulijan movement in Cebu.”

Long talk with Rafferty about Pershing and the “Moro question”; he was collector of customs in Cebu and Zamboanga at the time General Pershing was military governor there. Rafferty believes there was no Moro question there; only a “question” created by the United States Army! Said the reason why Pershing did not oppose my plan to remove the Army from Moroland and install Civil Government under Carpenter was that Pershing wished the credit, for having made this possible. (As a matter of fact we would never have had peace down there unless we had withdrawn the United States Army!) Rafferty says Pershing was utterly selfish and extremely unpopular in Zamboanga. His “illness” when he left for home as the last military governor of Mindanao was only an excuse.

Golf in p.m. at McKinley with Doria.

Memo: Beyer said yesterday that Governor General Murphy had been so afraid of provoking “labor” hostility in the United States that he had declined to take action against two or three labour leaders here when they deserved it. (That seems to have seen his fault as an administrator: every question to be decided here was considered with one eye on his political future at home.)

Quezon is making speeches in the Cagayan valley denouncing people who will not pay their (cedula) taxes, and those governments in the provinces which fail to collect it. (Perhaps the land tax is involved.) It seems probable that the situation is due both to “hard times” and to a general relaxation of government in recent years.

Quezon has announced that the June drawing in the Charity Sweepstakes will be the last; no doubt the affair has given rise to some scandal but I think it wiser for an aministration to regularize and make use of gambling rather than vainly trying to eliminate it.

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 3, 1936

Nothing doing at office; Quezon sick in Malacañan –should return to Baguio. Garfinkel said Quezon had a “heavy night” at the Casino Español –but Quezon does not drink. Food causes his upsets. Saw Vamenta formerly Attorney of Department of Mindanao and Sulu; he told me Osmeña was anxious to do something for Governor Frank Carpenter who is now in a soldiers home in Massachusetts. Said when the Sultan of Sulu signed the treaty with us renouncing his rights of sovereignty (in my time) Carpenter had told him (Vamenta) that if they were Englishmen their future would be assured, but that “republics were ungrateful” &c.

P.M. Golf at Caloocan with Doria. Talked with Consul General Blunt who commented on Quezon’s quickness of thought and decision –said Quezon was so reasonable –he could even take another’s opinion.