July 14, 1942

Shoreham Hotel. I found Quezon in high spirits; he had an overhaul yesterday at the Walter Reed Hospital, where they found his heart, arteries, kidneys, etc., quite sound, and ascribe his blood pressure only to nervousness.

He is now all enthusiasm for writing his book, and is at work six or eight hours a day in his room, dictating to Canceran, and writing his revisions of the manuscript. He has Morgan Shuster in New York on the telephone every day to talk over the batches of ms. he sends him. Shuster is encouraging him up to the limit.

I questioned him about the willingness of the Filipinos to agree to the retention of naval bases in their islands after independence and for which he had included a provision in the Tydings-McDuffie Act; the retention or establishment of which is to be subject to negotiation between the United States and the future Philippine Republic. He rejected the idea that the Navy should then continue to occupy the old base at Cavite, or, indeed, any place on Manila Bay, whereby the seat of government would be under naval guns –but would consent to their occupying such bases as Olongapo, Pollilo, etc., and he has already set up weather observatories at such stations. The idea of the Filipinos was that the American Navy would not interfere with the internal affairs of the Republic, but that its presence in the Philippines would deter other powers from aggressions.

With the Army, however, the situation was quite different –ever since the last military governor of the Philippines, General Arthur MacArthur, had shown such reluctance to turning over the government to Mr. William H. Taft, the first civilian governor; the Army and their different posts throughout the Philippine Islands had shown a very active interest in the working of the new government of the islands. Thus, they seemed to sense they represented the idea of the use of force against the Filipinos.

This opinion Quezon had expressed in November 1935 to Secretary of War Dern and to Senate floor leader Joe Robinson in Washington some months earlier, citing in a discussion of this question what he called the “betrayal” of a Governor General by the Army. He had reference, of course, to the ludicrous and abortive “uprising” of the Filipinos in the Botanical Garden in Manila at Christmas time of 1913 when I was the Governor. This affair had consisted of the gathering of some dozens of Filipinos, mostly of the cook or muchacho type, who tried to start a noisy demonstration, but were at once discouraged by a few of the city police. We later found that this abortive affair had been “staged” by agents provocateurs of the Philippine Scouts, a part of the American Army; and an American colonel of the Manila garrison had meanwhile paraded his regiment. The secret service agents of the army were at that time too much involved in local politics –possibly in order to justify their own continued employment.

Quezon on phone with Morgan Shuster over the first proofs of title page and foreword of his book. Insists on having the italics changed in Roosevelt’s pledge, taken from under “I pledge” and inserted instead: “the full resources and man power of U.S. are back of this pledge.”  “That” he added to me “was what influenced our people to resist.”

I told him of the campaign being conducted in the United States by Pearl Buck for what she calls “economic equality, etc.” for Negroes in our country. Her argument is based on the Japanese propaganda in Asia which, she maintains, weakens America with the Chinese. I asked him if such an argument had any effect on the Chinese and he just laughed. He never had heard of Pearl Buck. He said that American Negroes were well liked in the Philippines citing the example of Major Loving, leader of the Constabulary band.

Quezon gets every day here in Washington from the State Department a precis of Japanese propaganda over the radio in the Philippines. He says: “The Japs are doing too d – d well”; that they had released Gen. Vicente Lim; had rebuilt the damaged railways, and had restored inter-island passage to the central and southern islands. I asked him about the sugar plantations; he thought the Japanese would keep them going, take all the sugar and not pay for it, adding “it makes no difference to me.”

Spoke of his troubles caused by the corruption by the Chinese in the Philippines. When a delegation from Chiang Kai-shek visited him he told them he sympathized with their desire of independence and hoped they would throw the Japanese out, but he did wish they would help him to curb Chinese corruption in the Philippines. The last Consul General they had in Manila was one of the “new young men” and he helped Quezon to clean up the immigration mess; and to put in jail the violators of that act. Quezon reorganized the Bureau of Immigration. He added that if he lives to attend the Peace Conference, he will work to see that China and Russia do not remain armed while Japan is disarmed. Hopes to line up Canada, Australia and the Latin American countries to that end.

Quezon thinks that when he asked Roosevelt for independence for the Philippines in 1938 or on 4th of July, 1939, Roosevelt was quite in conformity but was curbed by those “Experts” in the Department of State.

Quezon then remarked that he brought Rafael Palma’s new “history” for the government and then refused to have it printed, adding that Don Rafael seemed to favor Wood’s administration quite as much as mine. I told him that Palma had said to me in 1936 that I was much more “radical” than some of the Filipino leaders then were –meaning, of course, that my views on independence were more aggressive.

On Corregidor, Quezon said, he became so dissatisfied with Carlos Romulo’s broadcasts on Corregidor that he asked MacArthur (on whose “staff” Romulo served) to put him under the censorship of a committee composed of Osmeña, Roxas and Santos. Romulo came to him and said that would humiliate him, but “I had decided to fire him if he did not submit. I told him I never put out anything myself without submitting it to them.” I then read to Quezon Romulo’s interview in today’s New York papers stating that the Japanese had burned all the books in the library of the University of the Philippines dealing with “Democracy, the United States and England” etc… Quezon stated that he had heard this rumoured but did not know whether this was true or not. The part of Romulo’s interview dealing with the Bello incident was true. Bello had a school of his own at Vigan, and when the Japanese first got there they ordered him to haul down the American flag, but said he could leave the Philippine flag over his school flying. He replied that the law obliged him to have both flags, that they could haul down the flags themselves, but he refused to do so. They shot him down.

I then tried to read to Quezon from Collier’s recent article on atrocities by Japanese when entering Manila. He didn’t want to listen to it, said he never even read Marsman’s article on atrocities in Hong Kong; said he did not believe all this stuff, and would not take part in the abuse of the Japanese.

I subsequently asked three members of Quezon’s staff about atrocities in Manila; they seemed somewhat surprised by the question, calling attention to the fact that Manila had been declared an open city and was not defended. One of them said he had heard that the niece of Major Stevenot, a young American woman, had been abused by the Japanese because she would not tell them where Stevenot was. (He was on Corregidor). Stevenot was the head of the long distance telephone company, and of the radio company. Another indignity was offered to a Filipina girl who had no pass for crossing a bridge –or else did not understand the sentry’s questions. There were many atrocities of rape in the provinces.

Quezon said he had sent Colonel Andres Soriano to see Norman Davis to ask about treatment of prisoners by Japanese. Davis is head of the American Red Cross. Quezon is trying to have supplies forwarded to the Philippines. Davis stated that he was already in touch with ex-prisoners returning from Shanghai and they reported they had been well treated.

The British recognized the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, and can thus communicate with their nationals there through channels. The United States has not recognized Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

American School System in the Philippines. Quezon described his quarrel with Vice Governor and Secretary of Public Instruction Gilmore (under Wood). It was in a car going down to lunch with Gilmore at the Army and Navy Club. Quezon told him the American system was destroying the old civic virtues of the Filipinos –respect for the family, the church and authority– the discussion became so heated that Quezon refused to lunch with Gilmore.

The following story was told me recently by Frank L. Crone, former Director of Education in the Philippines and in Peru:

Quezon and Osmeña were sent for during Wood’s time to come to Malacañan Palace and were occasionally kept waiting for three quarters of an hour before being received by the Governor General. Wood’s a.d.c. told Crone that on one such occasion Quezon appeared clad in a camisa de chino, chinelas (slippers) and a salacot (big country hat). When surprise was expressed at his costume, he replied: “well, if I am to be treated like a tao when I come to Malacañan, I’m going to dress like one.”

Crone said also that the ancient local, democratic self-government still prevailed in every barrio in the Philippines. The cabeza de barangay was not a government position, but was the head of the local group named barangay after the original muster of the vinta, or long boat in which their ancestors had first landed in the Philippines.

Also, he added, family affairs, such as domestic matters like Marriage, are usually settled by a big family council.


December 2, 1938

Went aboard the new government yacht Casiana at 6:30 p.m. with Don Alejandro Roces, Colonel Eisenhower, Colonel Hutter, Major Speth, Jake Rosenthal, Bob Rogers and A. D. Williams–all close friends of Quezon, who brought with him also his elder daughter Maria Aurora and his son Manuel Jr.

Very luxurious vessel and admired by all.

Bridge took up most of our waking hours on this brief trip. I had only one conversation with Quezon produced a story to record. He says that on his last visit to the United States in March, 1937, he told President Roosevelt that he was in favour of independence for the Philippines in 1938 or 1939, because the existing situation was impossible since: (a) the relations of the High Commissioner to the Philippine Government were not defined and (b) trade relations under the Tydings-McDuffie Act were so disadvantageous. So far as President Roosevelt was concerned, he was then willing to grant immediate independence.

Quezon reports a scene at the reception then given him in Washington by the Secretary of War. Dr. Stanley Hornbeck, adviser on Far Eastern Affairs in the Department of State, whom he describes as “one of those imperialists” came up to him and sneered at the plight in which the Filipinos would find themselves if they got immediate independence. Quezon roared at him: “We Filipinos can live on rice and fish, and to hell with your sugar and oil.”

Quezon also commented that if Murphy really did not wish to return as High Commissioner when McNutt withdrew, he was in favour of Francis Sayre. He says Sayre is a fine fellow, and a son-in-law of the late President Wilson. He learned as Adviser to the King of Siam how to get on with Orientals. “But,” he added, “Sayre is opposed to commercial concessions by the United States to the Philippines.”

Manuel Roxas joined us for the last day of the trip, and I saw him win seven straight rubbers of bridge. He is singularly well up in American political history. He seems to me facile princeps after Quezon. He is shrewd enough, I think to steer his way through all the shoals around him as he enters the present Administration. Very agreeable and interesting man.


October 21, 1936

Dinner dance at Malacañan for the passengers of the first Pan American Clipper–including Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, the son of a father and mother who had been my childhood friends. The evening was excessively dull.

At his office with the President I told him that one very important feature of the Commonwealth had been the improvement in his health. Pointed to the picture of one year ago showing, Quezon and Murphy, with Secretary of War Dern and Speaker Byrnes–the two latter were now dead. Quezon replied that he was far too busy to die, or to think of death.

Asked him about his new yacht, which is due here at the end of this month. Advised him to anchor out in the bay in her, and he said he would have a 25 knot launch. He must get away; was restless and remarked that he was tired out. He was not going to Baguio, and wanted to take my son Kiko on a provincial trip.

He then called in Osmeña and some sixty members of the Assembly (who were waiting en masse for the appointments of justices of the peace), and the President then administered to me before them the oath as a Philippine citizen. Cordial and good feelings on all sides, and it was a very pleasant and dignified ceremony, befitting the significance of the act. Judge Agra is preparing for me a seat in the Assembly in the next elections!!


November 15, 1935

Inauguration of Manuel L. Quezon as President of the Philippine Commonwealth. His inaugural address was his best speech. The Secretary of War also made an admirable address. The ceremonies were perfectly carried out. The crowd was immense, but there was not much shouting. the old walls of Spanish Manila made a picturesque historical background for the memorable transfer of executive authority from the United States to the Philippine government. Military parade was blocked by mobs. Osmeña looked very serious, and very much the gentleman. Altogether, it was a moment of wonderful sentiment for me.

Governor General Murphy now becomes the first American High Commissioner –he left the ceremonies when his own part was finished, and went to his rooms in the Manila Hotel to receive the official call of the Admiral and of the Commanding General there. He told me a few weeks ago it looked as if there might be no inauguration: Aguinaldo was proposing to raise 60,000 men to march on Manila in demonstration of his opposition. He remarked that bloodshed would have been inevitable. I congratulated him on having put his hand to the plough, and then having finished the furrow. The Governor General seemed very tired.

One of the interesting features of the inauguration was the presence there of Quezon’s little son, in uniform with a.d.c. aiguilletes on his right shoulder –an honor paid only to a President or to a Field Marshal. General MacArthur sat next to Doria during the ceremonies.

Dinner for the Secretary of War at President Quezon’s house in Pasay; very well done indeed. Quezon was tired but happy –General MacIntyre, General Cox and Admiral Murfin– Doria sat next to General MacArthur at the table– there was an air of satisfaction among the guests. After dinner, we went to the Inaugural Ball which was opened by President and Mrs. Quezon. The auditorium was not overcrowded –people, especially among the Congressional party were pretty well tired out. Colin Hoskins told me that since this was the most weighty Congressional party ever gathered officially out of Washington, its visit has not only given great weight to the new government among Filipinos but had deeply impressed the “Old Guard” Americans here. The auditorium was beautifully lit and the whole affair in very good taste. Colin hopes that the new High Commissioner will assert American prestige here, and not be merely an “Ambassador.” General MacArthur told Doria that the position of High Commissioner at present was very “nebulous”; that he himself might take it if offered him –combining the duties of that and military adviser. The Secretary of War told Doria how he and the Governor General had visited Aguinaldo in Cavite giving only one hour’s notice of their coming, so that a crowd (of demonstrators) could be avoided –“nevertheless when they arrived at Kawit, there were two thousand people there”!


November 13, 1935

Called at Pasay. Quezon was closeted with General MacIntyre, General Creed Cox (Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs), Osmeña, Roxas, Paez and Carmona –I believe they were discussing the subject of the bonds of the Manila Railroad. Later, had fifteen minutes talk with Quezon, who told of his learning that the Governor General and Secretary of War were going ahead after all with defining the High Commissioner’s prerogatives. Quezon says he got out of bed and drove to Malacañan; the Secretary of War offered to leave the room , but Quezon asked him to stay so that he could hear what he said to the Governor General. Then Quezon went for the Governor General who, in reply, spoke of the army and navy. Quezon replied that while some of his best friends were in the army, that body as an institution seemed unable to think rationally on some subjects. The Governor General offered to resign as High Commissioner, if he had forfeited Quezon’s confidence, but the latter replied that this was not necessary. Then Quezon told the Secretary of War that the army had even “betrayed” an American Governor General (me). That if they tried on anything now he would ask the President to withdraw the United States Army, and he would take over the defense of the Philippines himself. He then told the Secretary of War that if he would treat him frankly and “without mental reservation” he would find that he was always ready to come half way to meet American views, but that if he conducted plans behind his back, he would get no co-operation from him, and then all that would be left for the Secretary of War to do would be to order his soldiers to shoot him. Quezon thinks this has definitely settled the relations between the Philippine Government and the army; says he reminded the Secretary of War how he had gome to Washington to get the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act amended just so as to cut out a provision retaining the army here after independence. Quezon thinks he had now nothing adverse to expect from the office of the High Commissioner.

Another subject discussed at this animated meeting just before the inauguration of Quezon as President of the Philippine Commonwealth, where Secretary of War Dern and Governor General Frank Murphy “went to the carpet” with President-elect Quezon was the question of the number of guns to be fired by the American Army to salute the new government. This salute had already been fixed by the Secretary of War, before his arrival at Manila, at 21 guns. Later, after his first few days in the Philippines, Secretary Dern changed his mind, yielding under American “Old Timer” influence in Manila (Quezon thought through Murphy, on the instigation of the Bulletin), so it was decided to make the salute only 19 guns. Quezon heard of this by chance, so he hurried to the meeting at Malacañan Palace, where Dern and Murphy were in conference. Quezon told them both that he did not like this being done behind his back; that he would take his oath of office in his house in Pasay, and would not attend the inauguration; that he was only a farmer’s son (and a poor farmer) and all his life had found ceremonies irksome, but this matter of the salute was one affecting the new Commonwealth. Quezon stated that Murphy turned blue and Dern pink. He told them they had selected the wrong man to trample on –that no Secretary of War had any authority over him– not even the President could remove him unless he used his Army to do it and he intended the United States Government to understand this right at the beginning. That if, by the Tydings-McDuffie Act the United States intended to give sham self-government to the Filipinos, as the English had to the Egyptians and to the Indian Princes, he would not be a party to it. Dern very decently said he appreciated the way Quezon was talking. Thereupon, President Roosevelt was brought in by cable, and he sent a personal appeal to Quezon to go through with it, which the latter accepted, rather than embarrass Roosevelt and make the Congressional delegation appear ridiculous. Quezon adds that after this “brush,” his stomach ulcer cleared up, and he got well again.