Diary entries on the Leyte Landing: October, 1944

Philippine President Sergio Osmeña (center) and General Douglas MacArthur (right) on board a landing craft en route to the Leyte landing beaches, October 20, 1944. At left are Lieutenant General George C. Kenney and Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland. At the extreme right, with his head turned toward MacArthur, is Brigadier General Carlos Romulo. In the front row with two stars on his battle helmet, is Major General Basilio J. Valdes, Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army and Secretary of National Defense in the Osmeña War Cabinet. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Philippine President Sergio Osmeña (center) and General Douglas MacArthur (right) on board a landing craft en route to the Leyte landing beaches, October 20, 1944.
At left are Lieutenant General George C. Kenney and Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland. At the extreme right, with his head turned toward MacArthur, is Brigadier General Carlos Romulo.
In the front row with two stars on his battle helmet, is Major General Basilio J. Valdes, Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army and Secretary of National Defense in the Osmeña War Cabinet.
Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

The Philippine Diary Project contains diary entries from a leading figure in the Leyte Landing: Major General Basilio J. Valdes. His diary, as encoded, edited, and provided to researchers by the Valdes family, provides an invaluable, first-person account of the entire Pacific War, from the outbreak of hostilities in 1941 to the restoration of the Commonwealth Government in Manila in 1945.

During this period, Valdes, already Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army, became a member of the War Cabinet of President Quezon, accompanying him to Corregidor, and then to the Visayas, Mindanao, Australia and the United States. During that period he underwent further training in Fort Benning, Georgia.

He then served in the Osmeña War Cabinet and in the first regular cabinet established by Osmeña in the Philippines, after which he returned to focusing on the Philippine Army until November 7, 1945. He established a private practice in medicine and served as the head of the Lourdes Hospital.

The Philippine Diary Project has already focused on the early part of World War II in the Philippines, contrasting the eyewitness accounts of officials like Valdes and civilians: see December 24-25, 1941 In Diaries for example.

December 24, 1941, Malacañan Palace, shortly before the Commonwealth War Cabinet evacuated to Corregidor: Maj. Gen. Basilio J. Valdes; President Quezon; Secretary to the President and soon-to-be Mayor of Greater Manila Jorge B. Vargas; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose P. Laurel; Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos (taking his oath of office); senator-elect Benigno S. Aquino; Manila Mayor Juan Posadas  December 24-25, 1941 in Diaries

This period saw the transformation of Valdes from Chief of Staff to a member of the War Cabinet, including the key role Valdes played in the escape of a hospital ship, see The Great Escape of the S.S. Mactan

In Corregidor, the tensions of the time were also chronicled by Valdes; and it includes some acts of derring-do, for example the Evacuation of the Gold Reserves of the Commonwealth February 3, 1942. This was a time of particular crisis for Filipino leaders, which you can read about in The Debate on Taking the Philippines Out of the War: February 6-12, 1942.

Valdes’ diary then chronicles the risky, tension-filled hegira of the War Cabinet from Corregidor to the Visayas, then to Mindanao and Australia. From there, the War Cabinet went to the United States to establish a government-in-exile in May, 1942.

This entire period is a topsy-turvy one, and most accounts are confusing because the wartime situation necessarily made record-keeping and the keeping of an official chronology difficult.

This chart, prepared by the Presidential Library and Museum, shows in infographic form, the parallel governments that existed from 1942-1945:

As for the Commonwealth government-in-exile, you will find Valdes mentioned from time to time in the diary of Francis Burton Harrison who served as an Adviser to the government-in-exile. Much of 1943 was spent by Valdes undergoing further training, with expectations growing that the Allied forces would soon be returning to the Philippines.

The Quezon War Cabinet shortly after the Commonwealth government-in-exile was established in Washington, DC: Secretary of National Defense, Public Works, Communication and Labor Maj. Gen. Basilio J. Valdes; Member of the Cabinet without portfolio and Resident Commissioner Joaquin Elizalde; President Quezon; Vice President Sergio Osmeña, Secretary of Public Instruction, Health, and Public Welfare; Secretary of Finance, Agriculture, and Commerce Andres Soriano; Auditor-General Jaime Hernandez.

Valdes seems to have been relatively uninvolved in the intense debate over the succession issue involving the Philippine presidency at this time. For an insight into this, read Frederick Marquardt’s Quezon and Osmeña.

As for what was happening in the Philippines in the meantime, see Life, Death, Decisions During the Japanese Occupation and the special section in the Presidential Museum and Library, 70th Anniversary of the Second Philippine Republic for more information. This was a period of great stress for Philippine society: see the essay of Alfonso J. Aluit, World War 2 in the Philippines.

August 3, 1944, President Quezon’s state funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Front row: President Sergio Osmeña, Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce Col. Manuel Nieto, Secretary of National Defense, Communications and Labor Maj. Gen. Basilio J. Valdes; second row: Secretary to the President and Cabinet Arturo B. Rotor; former Resident Commissioner Joaquin Elizalde; Secretary of Public Information and Resident-Commissioner Lt. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo.

By August 1, 1944, Quezon was dead and Sergio Osmeña succeeded him as President of the Philippines. He was retained in the new War Cabinet, and soon after President Osmeña succeeded into office, preparations began for the return of Allied forces to the Philippines. Incidentally, Frederick Marquardt wrote an interesting account of the origin of the famous wartime slogan, “I Shall Return,” in Footnote to a slogan.

The Philippine Diary Project also allows us to contrast Valdes’ experience with those of civilians in Manila, before, during, and after the return of the Allies to the Philippines. Fr. Juan Labrador, OP, a Spanish Dominican priest, gives us the point of view of a Spaniard sympathetic to the Allies, and who shuttled back and forth between the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and the University of Santo Tomas where Allied civilians had been interned by the Japanese for the duration of the War. The diary entries of Felipe Buencamino III, a veteran of the Bataan campaign (see Bataan, 1942: Views of a Father and his Son), reflects the point of view of young Filipinos anxious for the return of the Allies and the expulsion of the Japanese.

Here are extracts from relevant entries in the Philippine Diary Project, together with information from C. Peter Chen’s Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign: 22 Oct 1944 – 21 Dec 1944 from which come the dates and summary of military movements, in italics. Diary entries from the same day or thereabouts follows each date.

The diary entries of Felipe Buencamino III for October 1, 1944 and October 2, 1944 opens the scene, so to speak, with a description of how life in Manila was breaking down, and anticipation of an Allied invasion was building up.

On October 3, 1944 Gen. Valdes tersely begins his journey home, flying from Washington D.C. to Hamilton Field, California.

October 5, 1944: In preparation for the invasion of the Philippine Islands… United States Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz ordered Admiral William Halsey to strike Japanese airfields at Taiwan, China and Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

On the same day, October 5, 1944, Gen. Valdes, President Osmeña, Col. Alejandro Melchor and Captain Antonio P. Madrigal had arrived in Hawaii and transferred to Kwajalein. By October 7, 1944 they had arrived in Hollandia, where Gen. Valdes shared a bungalow with Gen. Carlos P. Romulo.

October 10, 1944: American aircraft struck Okinawa, Yaeyama, and Miyako Islands, Japan. Okinawan city of Naha was heavily damaged; many of the 548 deaths occurred in Naha, as many of the 698 wounded. 11,451 buildings were destroyed, which included a great number of civilian residences

October 11, 1944: Halsey struck Luzon, and moved on to bombard Taiwan from 12 Oct thru 15 Oct. The attack on Taiwan disabled or destroyed every single one of the 230 fighters that Admiral Shigeru Fukudome had available to him at Taiwan. Other pre-invasion operations included bombing of Hong Kong, Dutch East Indies, and Mindanao.

October 12, 1944: [A] cloudy day, a total of 90 Japanese aircraft were sent to attack Halsey’s carriers off Taiwan, which included Army B6N Tenzan torpedo bombers, Army Ki-49 Donryu horizontal bombers, and Navy P1Y Ginga horizontal bombers.

Gen. Valdes had spent October 8-12, 1944 at work with American staff officers.On the same day, Felipe Buencamino III recounts in his diary that he suffered a relapse of the Malaria he contracted in Bataan, and that,

A Japanese visited Tio Phil and told him that 700 U.S. ships were sighted north of Luzon including 100 aircraft carriers. I wonder if this is the invasion fleet, cross your fingers.

October 13, 1944: 947 American aircraft struck several Japanese airfields at Taiwan. The Japanese staged a counter attack that achieved little, but inflated reports on damage inflicted on the enemy provided the Japanese leaders the false information that the counter strike sunk one aircraft carrier and one battleship; meanwhile, the Japanese admitted to only two aircraft lost.

On this day, October 13, 1944, Gen. Valdes wrote that the invasion fleet bound for Leyte Gulf set sail from Hollandia:

At 10:40 a.m. we boarded our ship the APH SS John Lang. Captain Graf the skipper, a very charming U.S Navy officer met us. Several cabins belonging to the officers of the ship were prepared for us. I occupy the cabin of Lieutenant John F. Moorehead the navigator, and I am very comfortable. The bay is covered with ships of all kinds — hundreds of them: L.C.V’s, L.C.I’s, L.C.M’s, L.S.T’s, APA Cruisers, Destroyers, Airplane Carriers and P.T. Boats. Airplanes are flying over us continuously. What a magnificent display of force. This wonderful picture shows what the U.S can do when she gets started. The alert has been sounded for 1:30 p.m. In a few hours we will start moving, and then the biggest convoy set for an attack, since the invasion of France, will be on its way. I have talked to several officers and men. The morale is high, the enthusiasm inspiring. They are all happy to go, anxious to meet the foe in a death struggle. I am happy to be with them.

At 2:30 p.m. life belts were distributed and instructions were given to us on how to use them in case of sinking. It is on the same principle as the Mae West life vest used by Aviators. It becomes inflated with carbon dioxide. We were advised to keep it on continuously and not to inflate until after we are in the water, as it would be dangerous to jump overboard with that inflated.

It is warm; sea is calm, perhaps a presage of the “hell” to come. I hope the weather is good when we reach our objective. With the grace of God we cannot fail.

The convoy started on its way at 4 p.m.. 400 ships of all kinds. We travel only at eight knots per hour because the L.C.I’s cannot go faster.

On the same day that the Allied invasion fleet set sail, Felipe Buencamino III mused in his diary,

Tribune headlined U.S. raid on Taiwan. They claim that a hundred U.S. planes were shot down. I wonder how much damage was done. Question is now being raised as to whether the U.S. will attack Formosa before the P.I.? Or is the Formosa raid just a diversionary attack? Or will they head for the Japanese mainland immediately?

October 14, 1944: American aircraft struck Taiwan and northern Luzon, Philippine Islands. About 240 Japanese aircraft were lost on this day both in the air and on the ground, including aircraft lost during another failed counter strike. Imperial General Headquarters reported that, once again based on inflated reports from the field, that at least three American carriers, one destroyer, and three unidentified warships were sunk, with another carrier and another warship damaged.

On his diary, on the same day, October 14, 1944 Gen. Valdes wrote,

En route. We crossed the equator at 2:30 p.m., and I was made a member of the ‘Order of the Deep’. A card signed by ‘Rex Neptune’ was presented to me. It is very hot. Practically no breeze…

The convoy is magnificent & impressive. It shows the tremendous power of the U.S. ships of all sizes, types and denominations.

In Manila, October 14 was the first anniversary of the Republic established by the Japanese. Fr. Juan Labrador OP wrote about the isolated nature of the official commemoration:

Today is the first anniversary of the Republic. Due to existing conditions—Formosa is under air attack—the celebrations were limited to some ceremonies at Malacañan. The projected parade before the legislative building was suspended. The suspension was attributed to the lack of transportation for the students and employees who were supposed to attend. Only the President’s family and some Japanese officials were invited to Malacañan. The public had never attended such ceremonies, nor is it interested in the welfare of the Republic, which they consider to be moribund and liable to collapse anytime, either violently or by natural death.

In his diary, Felipe Buencamino III, Bataan veteran and guerrilla sympathizer, wrote,

Today’s the first anniversary of the Philippine Republic, heh, heh. Puppet Laurel declared: “The first-year of the Republic has been a success”. He forgot to say that during this republic’s first year, the people have had less and less food. The BIBA has distributed rice only three or four times. There has been no peace and order, no….. oh why crab about it.

–adding that the public had been expecting an air-raid.

October 15, 16, and 19, 1944: successive corrections to the reports further increased the number of American ships damaged and/or sunk during the counter strikes at the US 3rd Fleet operating east of Taiwan.

On October 15, 1944, writing in his diary on the progress of the invasion fleet, Gen. Valdes noticed,

At 11:45 a.m. another convoy coming from Manis Island joined us. We are now 600 ships. The hardest part is the total blackout at night.

On the same day, in Manila, Felipe Buencamino III recorded another Allied air-raid:

Hooray, there were here again… this morning. They came at about 10 o’clock, after Mass. Of course, you know who I mean by “they”.

Japanese planes went up this time. People said there were many dogfights around Caloocan. Several civilians were killed.

I saw a heartbreaking sight. An American aviator bailed out. First, he looked like a toy dangling on a white umbrella. Then his figure became more distinct and people started shouting “Parachute, parachute!”. When he was just above the housetops, Japanese soldiers started firing at him. I even heard the rat-a-tat of machine guns. Made my blood boil, this slaughtering of a fellow that’s defenceless. Can’t conceive how the Japanese can interpret such an act as bravery.

No more raids this afternoon…

Several of the boys that came to the house to play basketball believe this is the prelude to invasion.

On October 16, 1944, Felipe Buencamino III reported in his diary that,

The Japanese have spread their ammunition dumps all over the city. In front of Hicky’s and Gabaldon’s and the street leading to the house and beyond there are a lot of boxes under the trees. Taft Avenue is exclusively for Army cars and trucks. Streetcars are also for Army and Navy men only. There’s a rumor that cars, dokars and bicycles will be commandeered. That’ll leave us with practically nothing. They’ve taken our food, our shelter and now –transportation.

The Japanese claim they sunk 12 aircraft carriers. “We’ve driven them off,” they boast. “No,” added another, “we sunk them all.” That’s why I’m disappointed. I wanted them to come to make these fellows eat their words.

Tio Phil thinks this was just a diversionary raid. Their main objective is Formosa, he said. They sent a couple of carriers here to mislead the Japs, he opined.

America is still silent about yesterday’s raid. Some say Aparri was terribly bombed. That’s what I think. In my opinion, the air raid over Manila was just a feint. They were after some big game up north.

The diary of Fr. Juan Labrador OP on the same day gives his own eyewitness account of the same air-raid recorded by Buencamino –and his own account of the same Japanese propaganda:

I was reading this dogmatic editorial when the air raid signal no. 1 sounded, and within a few minutes, anti-aircraft shells were exploding above the clouds. The Japanese fighter planes, emboldened by the editorial, were flying confidently overhead when the American bombers came without having learned about the sinking of their aircraft carrier. Bombs exploded so loudly from Nichols that they could be heard in Balintawak, as a giant umbrella rose from the airfield.

Eighteen out of sixty American planes were downed according to Japanese propaganda. Tokyo found the figure too low and increased it to thirty. Both agencies are giving a decisive importance, and as we supposed, a very inflated one at that, to the battle being waged at the east of Formosa. Tokyo radio arrived at fifty-three American ships sunk or damaged, twenty-thousand Americans killed, and one thousand planes shot down. The Manila news agency was more conservative, scattering flying leaflets in the streets and sending out a van through the city with streamers announcing the resounding victory.

On October 17, 1944 Felipe Buencamino III noticed only Japanese planes were flying that day, and recorded that,

Several people were getting disappointed. They are asking: Maybe there is some truth in the Japanese claims of 12 aircraft carriers sunk? Is that why they can’t bomb anymore? Others are angry. They say: “The Americans shouldn’t have bombed at all if they were going to stop like this. It only gave the Japs a chance to spread their dumps into private houses. They should have kept it up, bombed on and on”. Only consoling note is the fact that Formosa is being bombed and rebombed. People say that this is a prelude to the invasion of the Philippines. “They’re neutralizing whatever help Formosa can give to the Japanese here when invasion comes” according to Joe.

The next day, October 18, 1944, Felipe Buencamino III wrote,

I don’t know what history books will write about this day. Maybe they’ll put it down as the beginning of the offensive for the reconquest of the Philippines. Or probably they’ll note it as just the 7th day of the naval attack on Taiwan with diversionary raids on the Philippines. To me it’s the day I had a narrow escape. A machine gun bullet struck our shelter, fortunately on the concrete side. If it had hit an inch higher, it would have penetrated the thin wooden panel and I wouldn’t be writing this now.

I don’t know how many U.S. planes raided Manila today. They looked plenty and I didn’t have time to count because AA shrapnel started raining around our garden. By the drone and by the glimpse I had, I judged there were at least a hundred.

October 18 to this tramp means nothing but several hours in the air-raid shelter, Mama nervous about Vic who refused to take cover, Neneng praying the rosary, grandpop smoking a cigar, Dad going in and out of the shelter to take a look and then to hurriedly run in when the earth begins to shake, and the dog trying to squeeze into the shelter.

October 19, 1944: By the time the Imperial General Headquarters released the battle report on 19 Oct, it noted that 11 carriers, 2 battleships, and 7 cruisers and destroyers American ships were sunk. Furious but yet somewhat amused, William Halsey noted to Chester Nimitz that “[a]ll Third Fleet ships recently reported sunk by Radio Tokyo have been salvaged and are retiring at high speed toward the Japanese Fleet”, and Nimitz promptly made that message into a public relations piece. The top ranks of Japanese leadership bought into their own propaganda, with Emperor Showa personally delivered a word of congratulations for the achievement that never took place.

From October 16-19, 1944 Gen. Valdes had nothing to write about except the routine of the invasion fleet’s voyage:

At sea. Nothing unusual. I attended Mass every Morning to receive Communion. It is nice to see a number of boys that attend Mass and receive Communion, about 100 every day

On October 19, 1944, Fr. Juan Labrador OP reported another air-raid on Manila:

We had a double feast today; great activity in the morning and doubly great in the afternoon. Without previous siren warnings the planes attacked at 7:15 a.m. and caught the sleeping guardians of the city by surprise. Before the anti-aircraft guns could be positioned, the enemies had dropped their loads and spun back to the skies beyond the reach of ground fire. There was not one red marked plane in sight the whole day. It’s either that they were not given the chance to take off or they were discarded for good. Anti-aircrafts barkings were fewer. Only the guns near the bombings were fired, unlike before when the air vibrated with activities and the city was draped in smoke. On the whole, the thunder was still terrific, but there were fewer shelling victims. It’s surprising how there could have been less accidents when people were all out in the streets watching and enjoying the fight in the sky.

I found the internees the best indicators of oncoming raids. They were the first to identify American planes. All I did was watch these internees as they pointed to the skies and applauded noiselessly.

The contrast between the speculation in Manila and the stealthy advance –under cover of air-raids in other places– of the Allies is a striking one.

General Douglas MacArthur (right, seen in profile) on the bridge of USS Nashville (CL-43), off Leyte during the landings there in late October 1944. Standing in the center (also seen in profile) is Lieutenant General George C. Kenney. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
General Douglas MacArthur (right, seen in profile) on the bridge of USS Nashville (CL-43), off Leyte during the landings there in late October 1944. Standing in the center (also seen in profile) is Lieutenant General George C. Kenney.
Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

October 20, 1944: After a two-day naval bombardment, the US Sixth Army landed on the northeastern coast on the island of Leyte on 20 Oct 1944 under the command of General Walter Krueger. The US 7th Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Thomas Kinkaid provided transport and protection for the 175,000-strong landing force. Against the advice of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo (IGHQ) sent in reinforcements to Leyte from Luzon and as far as China, determining to fight the decisive land battle against the American land forces at Leyte. Landing troops almost whenever they wished, the US forces largely accomplished the goals set for the first day of landing.

After having escaped from the Japanese and in the process fleeing his homeland, one can only image in the emotion felt by himself –and the other Filipinos in the landing party– when, on October 20, 1944, Gen. Valdes finally returned to the Philippines.

His account of the historic Leyte landing is terse:

General Douglas MacArthur (center), accompanied by Lieutenant Generals George C. Kenney and Richard K. Sutherland and Major General Verne D. Mudge (Commanding General, First Cavalry Division), inspecting the beachhead on Leyte Island, 20 October 1944. Note the crowd of onlookers. The swamped LCVP in the right background is from USS Ormsby (APA-49). Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
General Douglas MacArthur (center), accompanied by Lieutenant Generals George C. Kenney and Richard K. Sutherland and Major General Verne D. Mudge (Commanding General, First Cavalry Division), inspecting the beachhead on Leyte Island, 20 October 1944.
Note the crowd of onlookers.
The swamped LCVP in the right background is from USS Ormsby (APA-49).
Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Entered Leyte Gulf at midnight. Reached our anchorage at 7 a.m. The battleships, cruisers, and destroyers opened fire on the beaches and finished the work begun two days before ‘A Day’ by other U.S Navy units. The boys in my ship where ready at 9:45 a.m. At 10 a.m. sharp they went down the rope on the side of the ship. Their objective was Palo. At 1 p.m. General MacArthur and members of his staff, President Osmeña, myself, General Romulo, and Captain Madrigal left the ship and proceeded on an L.C.M for Red beach. The beach was not good, the landing craft could not make the dry beach and we had to wade through the water beyond our knees. We inspected the area, and at two instances shots were fired by Japanese snipers. General MacArthur and President Osmeña spoke in a broadcast to the U.S. We returned to the ship at 6 p.m. under a torrential rain. We transferred to the Auxiliary cruiser Blue Ridge flagship of Admiral Barbey, as the SS John Land was leaving for Hollandia.

In Manila, Fr. Juan Labrador OP observed there was no air-raid that day, which was just as well as everyone was on edge after the past few day’s bombings:

A bomb fell yesterday near the Legazpi-Urdaneta monument, up an enormous crater, burying alive thirty-one persons who died of asphyxiation. They were in a shelter nearby. At the explosion, mounds of earth and a big uprooted tree covered the entrance.

The Luneta was turned into a forest of anti-aircraft guns. There was such a shower of exploded shells and stray bullets that even those who stayed in light houses could not be protected. If anyone was spared by the metallic fragments, it was someting miraculous. A roof of GI sheets and a wooden floor were as easily pierced as if they were made of paper.

October 21, 1944: US 7th Cavalry Regiment reached Tacloban, the capital of Leyte. Civilians cheered them on as they entered the city, but the Japanese were still well dug-in.

In his diary on October 21, 1944, Gen. Valdes recounted a kamikaze attack on their ship:

At 5:30 a.m. ‘general quarters’ were sounded. All rushed to their respective guns and fired at approaching Japanese planes. The Australian cruiser Australia was about 300 yards from our starboard side. A Japanese plane coming from the stern flew very low strafing the cruiser. He accidentally came too low and hit the wireless and crashed on the forward deck near the bridge killing the Captain and mortally wounding the Commodore, who died six hours later. The cruiser Honolulu was also hit and was beached to save it. The Australia returned to Australia for repairs.

At 5 p.m. some more Japanese planes attacked us and we downed two.

Manila found out about the Leyte landing on this day. Fr. Juan Labrador OP recounts in his diary entry for October 21, 1944, how news spread in the city:

Joy! Joy! The Yanks have arrived. They landed on the same place where Magellan set foot on firm land when he discovered these islands which he called St. Lazarus. The news of the landing in Leyte spread like wildfire. We took the news as probable, without reassuring ourselves of its certainty, but the exultant Filipinos believed it without a shadow of doubt. Tokyo had admitted it, although the local press still refuses to put its stamp of approval.

Gen. MacArthur and Pres. Osmeña were heard delivering messages over the radio. MacArthur announced that he had complied with his promise to return and, God willing, he would proceed with the re-conquest of the Islands. Osmeña declared that the legitimate government has been restored in this country. Reports have it that General Valdés, Soriano, Romulo and a nucleus of the exiled Philippine government has also arrived.

No one—not even the sharpest strategists—predicted where the landing was to be made. Some guessed that it would be in Mindanao, or at some gulf in Luzon, or in some island in the Visayas, but not one of them singled out the place where the landing was actually made. After the fact, everybody admitted that the Bay of Leyte, formed by Leyte and Samar, was the least guarded, least defended and most strategic point for the developing operations. Situated almost in the center of the archipelago, it is one leap from Mindanao, from Luzon, and from almost all the islands of the Visayas.

October 22, 1944: US 8th Cavalry Regiment secured the high ground around Tacloban, slowing strangling any remaining resistance in the area. At this stage, the American troops at Tacloban realized their mission became as much a humanitarian one as a combat one, for that many thousands of Tacloban residents were in dire need of food and shelter; some of the soldiers offered the little rations they had, while others opened up Japanese warehouses and distributed whatever they thought could help.

The day was spent quietly as far as Gen. Valdes was concerned: his diary entry for October 22, 1944 recounts sending radio messages and dinner on board another ship with American officers.

For his part, writing in Manila on October 22, 1944, Fr. Juan Labrador OP recounted how the Japanese finally confirmed the Leyte landing had taken place (and how Filipinos were responding to the return of the Allies):

Tokyo radio, in announcing the landings in Leyte, added that the Filipino and Japanese defenses furiously counter-attacked the invaders. This reports, however, were not repeated in the Philippines for lack of any semblance of truth. What appear credible to us, however, are the rumors that the Constabulary strongholds are passing over to the invaders. We were told that the insular police of different towns, with their rifles and baggages, have taken to the mountains to join the guerillas. In Calamba, the Constables have gone into hiding in the mountain thickness, a pattern which we had observed at other times. The guerillas are becoming active, mobilizing ex-USAFFE officers and chaplains.

With the first attack, whole towns have moved to the mountains. In some districts and provinces, the guerillas are in command. They cannot do so, however, in Manila, where it is risky for them to come out in the open.

U.S. naval vessels at Leyte, 1944

October 23, 1944: As soon as Tacloban [was] secured, MacArthur restored Osmeña’s government there as the ruling body of the Philippines. “On behalf of my government,” MacArthur announced, “I restore to you a constitutional administration by countrymen of your confidence and choice.” [At sea: Battle of Leyte Gulf, Oct. 23-26, 1944]

 

In his diary, Gen. Basilio Valdes (October 23, 1944)once again has a terse account of a history-laden event:

General Douglas MacArthur at the microphone during ceremonies marking the liberation of Leyte, at Tacloban, October 23, 1944. Philippine President Sergio Osmeña is in the center, one step behind MacArthur. At left are Lieutenant Generals Walter Kreuger and Richard K. Sutherland. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
General Douglas MacArthur at the microphone during ceremonies marking the liberation of Leyte, at Tacloban, October 23, 1944.
Philippine President Sergio Osmeña is in the center, one step behind MacArthur.
At left are Lieutenant Generals Walter Kreuger and Richard K. Sutherland.
Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Disembarked and went ashore to Tacloban. In front of the Capitol of the province, General MacArthur read the proclamation declaring null and void all laws promulgated by the Japanese and the puppet republic, and replacing those of the Commonwealth. His proclamation was followed by a speech by President Osmeña. At 2 p.m. I returned to the ship on a PT boat to get my luggage and return to Tacloban at 5 p.m. I was going to stay in the house occupied by the Japanese commanding general, which was made available for the President, but due to lack of space I accepted the invitation of Mrs. Losa to live in her home.

It’s only on this day, October 23, 1944, that Felipe Buencamino III is able to catch up with his diary, recounting the news of the Leyte landing and the excitement that swept the city:

Well, first there’s the landing in Leyte. The consensus was that they would land in Mindanao or perhaps Luzon so Leyte was quite a surprise. The Japs have admitted the landing but they’re trying to belittle it. Its been placed in a small corner of the front page. A lot of emphasis is being placed on the Taiwan affair. They’re tooting their horn about the aircraft carriers sunk, which to me is plain baloney. It seems they even had a sort of victory parade in Tokyo. People here think the Jap leaders are pulling the wool over the eyes of the Japs and that ought to be easy because they’re chinky-eyed.

Buencamino then catches up with the latest news –even in Manila, they’re getting news practically in real time by this point:

What really was a great surprise was the res-establishment of the Commonwealth Gov’t on Philippine soil. I’m not a very sentimental guy, but when I heard Osmeña and Romulo and Valdes and the rest were already in the Philippines, I wept like a kid. And when I repeated the story of how Mac landed to Dad, his eyes got moisty.

Everybody is jubilant these days. When you walk the streets, people greet you with “Have you heard? They’re here.”

The question now is when will they land in Luzon?

He also waxes nostalgic for President Quezon:

Quite anxious to see Baby and Nini. Gee, I wish their old man pulled through. Sometimes I think he’s still alive.

Yes, men like him, never die. He is the greatest man I’ve met.

October 24, 1944: [T]roops of the US 8th Cavalry Regiment crossed the strait to the island of Samar. [At sea: Battle of Sibuyan Sea] See photo of President Osmeña, Maj. Gen. Basilio J. Valdes, Lt. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo in Leyte, 1944.

The October 24, 1944 diary entry of Gen. Valdes features a close call with Japanese bombs:

5:20 a.m. I woke up with the sound of two airplanes flying low over our house. I thought “It’s nice to have our planes patrolling”. A few seconds later I was startled by two explosions nearby. The concussion blew away my mosquito net. I jumped out of bed. I took a quick bath, as I was wet with perspiration, dressed and went to the place where the bombs had exploded. The first one fell over a nipa house killing the whole family who were asleep. A woman and six children. The husband was out working for the U.S. troops unloading. When he returned home he found his home destroyed and all his family killed. Poor man. The second bomb fell about 60 yards from the house occupied by the other members of the Presidential party. The President slept elsewhere. Some small shell fragments went through the house.

In Manila, the story is of Allied air-raids. His October 24, 1944 entry has Fr. Juan Labrador OP writing,

Some twenty planes made a thunderous attack over Nichols, catching the guardians of the city unaware. They did not hit as accurately as on the first day.

In San Pedro, Makati, bombs were dropped off-target. A boat in Manila Bay was bombed several times but it remained firmly afloat.

A Japanese official attributed this poor hitting precision to the fact that the pilots were Canadians, not Americans. That was a consolation for the Imperial Air Force which had already lost supremacy of the air in the Philippines since the first day.

A good part of the Japanese officialdom is gradually being convinced, not only of the possibility of losing the war, but also of the improbability of winning it.

Once again, we have another eyewitness account of the same raid, this time from Felipe Buencamino III:

There are bombers flying. Nope, they’re pursuit planes, plenty of them, about fifty. They’re up too early, I think. Ben’s looking at them and he says they’re Japs. Yes, I think he is right. I can hear that familiar metallic roar… Vic is opening the radio to verify. Now, its not a raid. They’re playing a boogie number, “In the Mood” I think. Wait… I think that was an AA I just heard. Yes, siree, the guns are firing at something. It’s a raid, and the Japs have been surprised again. The radio is still playing “In the Mood”. Wow, I can see U.S. planes right here from the porch where I am typing. There goes five, ten, twenty, wow… so many…. heading for the Bay area. Now the house is shaking but they’re bombing the other side of Manila so I can still type. I want to give you a blow by blow description of this thing. Nope, change my mind. It’s getting too close. This blow-by-blow story might end up with this bum blowing up too.

P.S.

The radio announcer is excited. “There is an air-raid,” he says. There goes the siren giving the air-raid alarm. Caught asleep again, heh, heh.

October 25, 1944: [A]ll initial goals had been met, with slightly lighter casualties than expected. [At sea: Battle of Surigao Strait].

His diary entry for October 25-28, 1944 has Gen. Valdes recounting the success of U.S. fighter planes. On October 26, 1944, Juan Labrador OP was writing about the Japanese commandeering all forms of transportation:

The soldiers are commandeering horses, calesas, bicycles and push carts, and the people are forced to hide them. As a consequence, there is an even greater lack of transportation in Manila. This is a sign that the Japanese are running short of motorized vehicles. The trucks which they had confiscated at the start of the war are reduced to junk. They are now willing to pay ₱200,000.00 for an automobile of a reputable brand in running condition, and ₱400,000.00 for a good truck. The only cars moving about are those which are being used by the officers and ministers. There are many other cars, but their owners have dismantled them, hoping to drive them around again when the Leyte invaders arrive.

On October 29, 1944, Gen. Valdes was writing about going to Palo, Leyte:

At 9 a.m. left for Palo with Major Lambert 1st C.A.D., to inspect the post-office there. The town was full of soldiers, trucks, and tanks etc. The First Cavalry Division has a Squadron bivouac in Palo. The Church is being used as a hospital where army as well as civilian casualties are treated. Met Lew Ayers who is doing excellent work. Called on Bishop Manuel Mascariñas of Palo. He received me very cordially. He has accommodated civilian refugees in his convent and he himself at times sleeps in a chair.

For his part, after recounting there had been no Allied air-raids for four days, Felipe Buencamino III reported another Allied air-raid:

The Japs are in a happy mood. Their Propaganda Corps has been telling them for the last four days of great naval victories in Sulu Sea. Our Jap neighbors were drinking and feasting last night and shouting “Banzai! Banzai!”. Right now I can hear the radio saying something about outstanding victories in the waters east of the Philippines and that the American fleet is almost entirely crippled. Now he is boasting that MacArthur’s troops are stranded on Leyte. (Wait, I hear the roar of planes, many planes)

I can’t see them but I’m sure there are planes above. Maybe they are Japanese. There have been no raids these last four days. Some people are quite disappointed though many say that its just the lull before the storm. I’ve been trying to take bets that there will be landings in Luzon before the 7th or 15th and no one wants to call. The Japanese however interpret this lull as proof of the sinking of many aircraft carriers in Philippine waters. In fact, I can hear the radio saying this very thing right now. “The complete absence of raids in Manila for the last four days is proof,” he says, “of the crippling of the American Navy in the waters of…..” (Wow. That sounded like a bomb. More bombs. Yes, I can see planes diving at Nichols Field. Yes, that’s the direction of Nichols Field. There are hundreds of planes, Papa and Mama and Neneng are running to the shelter. My gosh… The Japs have been surprised again. Now the siren is giving the air-raid alarm, late again. The poor commentator has to eat his words. Now the AA guns are barking. But the planes don’t seem to mind. They keep on attacking the airfields and the Pier areas. Now I can hear machine guns, strafing probably. There’s not a single Jap plane intercepting. The Japs in the next house are now very silent. I can see them crouching in their foxholes. The Filipino boys in the fields behind the house are watching the planes and they are smiling. I got to leave now, AA shrapnels are falling nearer and nearer the house. I think I heard several drop on the cement pavement near the garage. Yes, Ma is calling for me. She gets nervous if all her chickens aren’t around her. I can hear more strafing. And there goes a big bomb. It shook the whole house. This is a pretty long raid. There goes another bomb and another…… Wish I could tell that radio commentator “So you’ve sunk all their carriers?”

By October 29, 1944, Juan Labrador OP would be writing about the increasing absurdity of Japanese propaganda:

The press proclaimed in bold lines: “American Bombing in Leyte Ceases”.

“In the face of a terrific Japanese attack, the American fleet had abandoned the landing troops which are facing complete annihilation. American forces in the Pacific have been completely destroyed and Manila is going to be spared attacks for a long time.”

I was reading these lines this morning when, without previous warning, American planes came within visible altitude, dropping their bombs on their targets on Manila Bay. The people who are getting to be more hopeful are comparing what the Japanese are claiming and what is actually happening. Obviously, what was annihilated was the Japanese fleet, and the Imperial Air Force has been left without wings.

Today is Sunday, and the UST Chapel was full of devotees. The sermon started just when the bomb explosions were loudest, the pounding of anti-aircraft shots was most resounding and the gloomy staccato of machine guns was most frightening. Many of the faithful were feeling uneasy, glancing towards the door with one foot forward. The preacher, calmly and cooly, exhorted the people to stay in their seats as they were safe within that sacred place. The Mass—a High Mass—went on and the choir continued singing to the accompaniment of the Celestial concert outside.

            Later, everybody ridiculed the Tribune editorial which promised peace and a sky free from attacks. It was a known fact that when the newspapers predicted a pleasant time, based on Japanese victories, the American planes—which were supposed to have fled or been destroyed—came attacking with greater intensity.

And so, on October 30, 1944, Felipe Buencamino III would write,

There are many planes flying but they’re Japs. You can tell by the metallic desynchronized roar of the engines. There’s one plane flying very low. It passed directly on top of the house. There was a time –just after Bataan when I would dive on the floor when I hear a plane. I must’ve been bomb-shocked but I didn’t realize it…

The Tribune says the Americans are shelling Lamon Bay. That’s about 60 miles from Manila in a straight line. Why don’t they hurry up because this waiting and waiting is killing me? Somebody told me the suspense is like waiting for the bride to appear in Church. Saw Emilio on my way home. He was looking at the map.

I can hear the sound of blasting somewhere in the direction of McKinley. I’ m afraid the Japs are planting mines.

Heard the G8s have been tipped to expect landings on either the 3rd or 4th.

Listened to broadcasts from Leyte to America by the different newspapermen there. Liked Cliff Roberts’ “personal report”. Time had a good story on the naval battle off Leyte Bay. Courtney had a good report on the rehabilitation work in Leyte.

P.S.

Heard that Romulo gave a nationwide instruction to the Filipino people. It was short, dramatic: WORK OR FIGHT!

The month ends with Gen. Valdes’ laconic entry for October 31, 1944:

Two air raids…An uncomfortable night.

But there would be months more of fighting before the Allies even reached Manila –and then the death agony of the capital city would take place. See The Battle of Manila, Feb. 3-March 3, 1945 for eyewitness accounts of the Battle for Manila. During that period, on February 25, 1945, Valdes took on the Health portfolio; soon after that, he would leave the Cabinet altogether to wrap up his work as Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army.

President Sergio Osmeña (September 9, 1878 – October 19, 1961) inducts his first regular Cabinet into office in the Council of State Room (now the Quirino Room) in the Executive Building (today known as Kalayaan Hall), Malacañan, 1945. His first regular Cabinet was composed of Secretary of the Interior Tomas Confesor; Secretary of Finance and Reconstruction Jaime Hernandez; Secretary of Justice Ramon Quisumbing; Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce Vicente Singson Encarnacion; Secretary of National Defense Tomas Cabili; Secretary of Health and Public Welfare Basilio Valdes;Secretary of Public Instruction and Information Francisco Benitez; Secretary of Public Works and Communications Sotero Cabahug; Secretary of the Budget Ismael Mathay Sr.; Executive Secretary Jose S. Reyes; Secretary of Labor Marcelo Aduru; and Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo.

 

 

 

 


September 30, 1943

did not see Quezon this day; he had a Cabinet meeting for half an hour at 11:30 a.m. and then “slept” the rest of the day.

Talked with Dr. Rotor and Bernstein. The latter says Quezon is emotionally very much upset with the editorials in Washington Post and Washington Star;  and very angry with Lippman. Rotor says Quezon is always pessimistic towards the end of a political fight; he walks right up to an issue, fights every step with all his might and then becomes pessimistic over probable results. Bernstein added that since that conversation at Saranac at which we were present when Quezon told Osmeña that if the resolution were passed by November 15th he (Q.) would resign because he is ill, Bernstein had heard nothing more on the subject. He says that at the time Quezon was sincere, but he (B.) never believed that Quezon would quit.

Talk with Resident Commissioner Elizalde who was more cordial than usual; he had helped Tydings to draw up the resolution as finally introduced. Thinks the idea inspiring and beautiful.

Discussed with him the Mountbatten appointment; he said it was not done in order to interfere with MacArthur, but so as to have British forces reconquer their lost Asiatic colonies; thus they can hold them. Otherwise if done by Americans or under American Command the United States might insist on independence for these colonies. At least the United States would be embarrassed by the matter! Elizalde said also that General Marshall, Chief of Staff, did have a “run-in” with Churchill at Quebec –Marshall is no “yes man.” Elizalde insists that old General Pershing is in an army combination with Marshall, Admiral King and General MacArthur.


September 6-9, 1943

Saranac Lake, N.Y.

This is the first entry in this diary for more than three months. Early in June, Quezon was attacked by bronchitis and soon developed a serious attack of tuberculosis. Dr. Trepp was frankly alarmed–he told me that Quezon was a worn-out man, and expressed himself as uncertain whether he could pull Quezon through this time. I suggested Saranac Lake, of which Trepp had never heard, but he understood at once when I mentioned the name of the famous Dr. Trudeau. So, after a couple of weeks in Washington and an equal period at Doctors’ Hospital in New York, Quezon was taken to Saranac.

Before leaving Washington, Quezon was not allowed to speak above a whisper, and the Cabinet met in his bedroom, where the President designated Osmeña to act for him, and in case the latter was incapacitated (as he then was!), Elizalde was to act as and for the President. This selection, inevitable as it was, created vast confusion among high officials–Quezon’s secretary, Dr. Rotor, and Bernstein, head of the Office of Special Services, were frankly uncertain whether they could (or would) get on with Elizalde!

Meanwhile, Osmeña, who, as already noted, has been suddenly operated on for appendicitis, came through safely, and then developed an infection and a high temperature. The first two occasions when I visited him in his bed in Doctors’ Hospital in Washington, he could not speak–only moved his eyelids. I then thought he might die in my presence. My third visit, a fortnight later found him sitting up in a wheel chair and conversing agreeably; I told him he would soon be dancing again, and to clinch the matter he stood up and did a couple of fox-trot steps. He has been more or less acting as President ever since, somewhat to the surprise of Elizalde, who had expected Osmeña to be out of business for a year.

Quezon’s 65th birthday was at Saranac on August 19, 1943; shortly after that I heard that he was going to send for me; a telegram on September 4, from Rotor asked me to go up to Saranac for a week.

On arrival, I found all the customary “court circle” at MacMartin camp–Mrs. Quezon, the three children and all their usual suite. Osmeña and Bernstein were there, and Valdes and young Madrigal soon arrived. They were all gayer and in better spirits than I have seen them since their arrival in the United States in May, 1942. Quezon was said to have gained five pounds, and was contemplating an early return to Washington to escape the cold weather at Saranac. Trepp seemed resigned to the move, although he was enjoying himself in surroundings which reminded him of his native Switzerland. Quezon had the steam heat on in the house all summer, and part of his “outdoor” porch enclosed!

I found Quezon still on his back in bed, he was obliged to talk in an unaccustomed low voice, and easily became tired. Osmeña, Bernstein and I were at once employed on several alternative forms for a joint resolution of Congress declaring that the Philippines were and of right ought to be free and independent, that independence was to be granted as soon as the invader was driven out of the Islands and was to be secured, and the United States was to make good the ravages of war.

Quezon had received at Saranac a visit from Secretary of War Stimson on the latter’s journey to the Quebec conference. Stinson had been deeply disturbed by the Japanese political maneuvers in the Philippines (as, indeed I have been myself). They feared that the Japanese grant of independence might rally a certain number of Filipinos to aid the Japanese army to resist the coming American attack on them in the Philippines. Stimson told Quezon that if this occurred, he (S.) would feel like committing suicide. Millard Tydings, the Senator from Maryland, Chairman of the Committee on Tertitories etc., had been staying nearby with his father-in-law, ex-Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, and the two of them had come over to visit Quezon. Tydings then told Quezon that he would “father” “any damn thing” to which the President would agree in order to meet this situation.

So, together with Osmeña and Bernstein, I worked for the first day on the various forms offered for the proposed joint resolution. We could see Quezon for only an hour in the morning and the same length of time in the afternoon. That night Osmeña and Bernstein returned south.

Talk with Colonel Manuel Nieto, Quezon’s loyal friend and chief a.d.c. He told me that they had recently seen a colonel (American) who had escaped from the Philippines in July last. He reported that the Filipinos still have 10,000 troops in Mindanao; that there the Japanese held only Davao, Zamboanga, Misamis and the country up as far as Lake Lanao. The Filipinos can operate elsewhere in Mindanao as they wish. Tomas Confesor has a sort of government in existence in parts of Panay and adjoining islands; Samar and Leyte are for the most part unoccupied by the Japanese. Parts of Cebu are still in the hands of Filipino commandos; Luzon is pretty thoroughly occupied by the enemy.

In conversation at lunch I condoled with Mrs. Marcos Roces over the death of her brother-in-law, my good friend Don Alejandro Roces. It seems that the news had been kept from her–I don’t know why! In talking over this with Quezon later he remarked “Roces was better dead than left alive to explain later his attitude in his newspapers (La Vanguardia, Taliba, etc.) which had been pro-Japanese from the moment the enemy occupied Manila.” Quezon added that he would not himself hang any of the pro-Japanese Filipinos upon his return, though he added that “some of them may be killed before we can take control.” The general impression is that the Filipino people can distinguish accurately between those who are really pro-Japanese and those who are merely co-operating formally to preserve what they can of their country. Quezon quoted again the cable he sent to Roosevelt before leaving for Corregidor, that “if a government cannot afford protection to its citizens it cannot claim their allegiance.” It seems that thereupon Roosevelt cabled MacArthur to release the Filipino Army if Quezon demanded it, but also cabled Quezon his famous message “promising to redeem and protect the Philippines and give them their independence.” Quezon added that he had changed the word “redeemed” when he issued to the Filipino people the proclamation publishing Roosevelt’s message, on the basis of which the Filipinos fought the battle of Bataan. Roosevelt did not know that MacArthur had showed Quezon the message allowing him to disband the Philippine Army if Quezon insisted. Quezon praised Roosevelt’s attitude very highly.

He told me that Stimson’s recent visit to London was to insist that a more vigorous war be waged at once. Hence the pronouncements to that effect at the subsequent Quebec Conference.

About the so-called “independence” offered by the Japanese to the Filipinos, Quezon said: “As soon as I heard that the voting was to be done only by members of the Kalibapi, all my anxieties were ended. If it had been a vote of the Filipino people I would never have gone against it–I would have resigned.” (As a matter of opinion, the Filipinos are said to have “adopted” the new constitution by the vote of 181 hand-picked members of the Kalibapi!) This attitude of Quezon toward his retention of the presidency is uncertain in my mind. When Osmeña and Bernstein left after handing him the various forms proposed for a joint resolution of Congress, Quezon in bidding good-bye to Osmeña said “If this resolution passes Congress before November 15th, I shall resign because I am ill.” Mrs. Quezon also told me that when they go back to Manila, it would not be to reside in Malacañan Palace, but in their own house! On the other hand, Trepp says that he knows Quezon is going to retain the presidency, since he has overheard the negotiations on that subject!

After Osmeña and Bernstein had left, I worked for two more days with Quezon on the joint resolution and the various alternative forms were whittled down to one, declaring the Philippines independent, etc., as soon as invader was ejected and reciting Roosevelt’s famous message of promises to “redeem, secure, etc., and to repair.”

Just as I was leaving to return home, well satisfied with the draft of the joint resolution and Quezon’s proposed letter to President Roosevelt, a telephone conversation between Mrs. Quezon and ex-Governor General Frank Murphy in Michigan introduced another uncertainty into Quezon’s mind! Murphy was then quoted as having said that “he did not want the Philippines to be treated like India, and the resolution must grant immediate independence and he was going to Washington to get it!”

Canceran, the President’s private secretary, who had been busy all day for three days typing and retyping forms of the resolution as Quezon thought of new improvements, sadly said to me: “That is the trouble with the President, he always changes his mind at the last moment, upon new advice.”

Well, we shall see, what we shall see.

Roosevelt and Stimson are already committed to the earlier proposition–i.e., independence as soon as the Japanese invader is thrown out. (The other form might look as if the United States were evading their obligations).

It seems that Quezon has had Dr. Cherin, an assistant of Bernstein, working on the re-writing of Quezon’s book this summer, though Quezon told me nothing of that. The real hitch in publication is that Quezon cannot yet tell the full story of the all-important interchange of cablegrams between himself and Roosevelt before the battle of Bataan.


May 15, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Dr. Trepp tells me that Quezon is in very much better condition; that his blood pressure is down to 160–about right for his age; that the past week has been largely given up to interviews with Supreme Court Justices Murphy and Frankfurter, and when I saw Quezon he told me the “legal” position as to the Philippine Government-in-Exile (probably worked out by the two justices) viz.: that only authority since the Japanese occupied the Islands is President Roosevelt, and he will decide about any change in the person to head the Philippine Government-in-Exile. This assures Quezon of continuance in office until the Islands are re-occupied by the United States and a new election is held. This, however, is not the sole cause of Quezon’s good spirits and improved health; the allied victory in Tunisia has sent the barometer up again.

Quezon says he has decided to give up his pressure of work as much as possible; no more evening work, and no more bridge. He is alone with his family in the evenings now; during the day he sees only those visitors absolutely necessary. Stays in bed as late as he can in the morning; has indefinitely postponed work on his book.

Called Bernstein and me into conference about the future of the “Office of Special Services” at 1617 Massachusetts Avenue. Will not ask for deferment of draft of the Americans now in that office, since he says he does not feel that he has the right to do so. Bernstein, himself, is not asking for deferment (tells me of the example of what happened to several of the new-style “planners” in the Federal Government); he has evidently been made nervous by the strength of feeling in Congress. Bernstein will be drafted July 1st, and his assistant, Dr. Cherin, will probably get a commission this Summer.

Bernstein had submitted to Quezon a memorandum on the future of the “Office of Special Services”–proposing that the head of it hereafter be given cabinet rank, proposing Dr. Rotor, the President’s Secretary, as head of this office. Quezon refused to consider this, said he could not give up any of Rotor’s time and duties as fixed at present. Quezon complimented Bernstein on his work and said that since he was leaving, he (Q.) had considered abolishing the rest of the office. But now he wished to put me in there to supervise this office–I spending half my time in Washington.

It looks to me if Elizalde had been right in the very beginning (when Q. first made this suggestion to me early in December last) that I was to be a banana peel for Bernstein! Since then Bernstein has made very good, and it looks as if the transfer of Bernstein and of his second in command to the army would leave me as the banana peel for the rest of the office!

Some talk in the antechamber of my going on Monday to the Hot Springs Conference with the Philippine delegation, but shortly afterwards they managed to get in touch with General Basilio Valdes, so he came East at once by plane to join the delegation–thus making it all-Filipino, as it ought to be.

Later: Valdes appeared, having come by plane from Fort Leavenworth, where he was studying at the Army Staff College. He was loth to give up his studies, but off he goes tomorrow with Elizalde, Rotor and Zafra to Hot Springs. The American press much vexed because it is not allowed to attend the sessions of the “Food Congress.” Newspapers are indulging in all sorts of bitterness and “smear stuff.”


January 29, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

The newspapers this morning gave Premier Hideki Tojo’s speech of yesterday to the Diet in Tokyo in which he promised independence to Burma. He also said: “The people of the Philippines deserve independence, because they understand Japan’s real aims and are ready to collaborate. . . . It is encouraging to observe an ever increasing movement among Filipinos for collaboration with Nippon.

I called this to Quezon’s attention and he was much disturbed. His own letter to President Roosevelt on the subject of “independence now” was dated January 25, but has not yet been sent; it is understood that the Executive branch of the government, except the Department of State, is in favour of a joint resolution by Congress stating that the “Philippines are and of right ought to be independent.” The Secretary of State (Hull) is also in favour of this, but he has little or no influence in his Department. The “permanent officials” headed by Dr Stanley K. Hornbeck are disposed to have no step taken in that direction until after the war and after it can be seen what the situation really is in the Far East.

After reading Tojo’s statement to the Diet, and a subsequent declaration by George Vargas expressing his readiness to accept “independence with honour” as already twice promised by the Japanese, Quezon was galvanized into immediate activity. I told him he should see Roosevelt at once and press the matter for all he is worth. Vargas’ statement as interpreted by Quezon shows that Tojo’s “independence” will not become a reality “for three months yet” and he, Quezon, must go into action in order to get the United States grant of independence first.

He said that the masses of the Filipino people would accept Tojo’s independence eagerly; that the leaders would know that this sort of “independence” would not be worth having, but would fall in line all the same. “This would be a very serious matter to my people–and to myself” he honestly added. After a pause Quezon continued: “When the United States gets back to the Philippines they will then have to fight not only the Japanese, but the Filipinos, as well, and I would be more likely to fall to a Filipino bullet than I was likely to be shot by the Japanese during the battle of Bataan.”

He had told us yesterday at Commissioner Elizalde’s luncheon, at which we gave him our official Mont Tremblant report, that the Japanese in the Philippines had already given to the small farmers of the Philippines land on which they lived and worked “a measure we will have to allow to stand when we regain our country, even if we have to recompense the landed proprietors.”

Altogether it looks to me as if the Japanese were “outsmarting” us in political warfare. It reminds me of what I told Professor Robert Gooch, in Charlottesville, 13 months ago when Churchill came to Washington and the “global” war was decided on, which meant simply “go for Hitler and abandon the Pacific until later.” I then said to him that if they are completely abandoned now, you may later have the Filipinos as well as the Japanese against you in the end.

Quezon’s draft of a letter to Roosevelt stresses three points:

(1)  the proclamation of Philippine independence and the recognition of the Philippine Republic by the Japanese.

(2)  the rehabilitation and development of the Philippine economy.

(3)  the guarantee of the future military security, political integrity and economic progress of the Philippines.

“It would be both wise and proper to proclaim Philippine independence now, rather than wait until 1946.”

He recommends the passage of a joint resolution by Congress advancing the date for independence to April 9th (the anniversary of the fall of Bataan) or the 4th of July, 1943.

This would be a “shot heard round the world” he urges–the most telling psychological blow that could now be delivered in opening the “Battle for the Far East.”

“A further and very important consideration is the possibility that Japan may, at any time, proclaim Philippine independence and establish a puppet state there. If this should happen” he urged, “before America recognizes Philippine independence, Japan will have gone far toward making the United States a laughing stock or a mere opportunist in the Far East.” (He should modify this language… in the recent abrogation of the extraterritoriality treaties. Axis propaganda hammered at the theme that this was “a plagiarism of the magnificent gesture of the Japanese”).

…In exchange for a guarantee of military security the Philippines will offer to the United States:

“The use under a generous lease of strategic air and naval bases which will act as the center of America’s power for peace in the Far East” and… “all the trained and proven Filipino man power needed to man these bases.”

…The assistance of the Filipino armed forces, etc.


January 18, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Morning at Elizalde’s office, discussing with him, Ugarte and Zafra preparation of our official report on the recent international conference at Mont Tremblant.

Also talk with Elizalde on the subject of Bernstein–he was very much upset because they already had a budget for that office of $150,000–and no Filipinos were on the staff, except a recently appointed librarian. Says that Quezon has had no publicity since Bernstein took over two months ago. Cited his Saturday night speech in Baltimore which did not appear in the papers. The fact was, however, as Quezon told me, that he did not deliver his speech as prepared because he looked over the audience of the Maryland Bar Association, and listened to their dull chairman, and decided they needed a stronger and more personal address than he had prepared. He added that it was the “toughest looking” audience he ever faced, so he started off “on his own” and gave it to them “hot from the griddle.” I am told he had them applauding wildly and won rather an ovation.

At lunch with Quezon, Mr. and Mrs. Andres Soriano, and two important Pacific Coast magnates with their wives decked out in valuable furs and new gowns. Quezon began by looking very tired, speaking slowly and reaching for his words in English. As he warmed up, he showed at his very best. Described the lunch of the day before at which he had entertained Mr. and Mrs. Henry Luce. Mrs. Luce is not enjoying her first days in Congress–the new member is usually treated with little consideration by the House. She could not get on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, etc. Quezon was much relieved to find that Mrs. Luce, who had been so very active in the propaganda for China, was now not in favour of entirely overthrowing the balance of power in Asia and of leaving Japan (as well as the rest of her neighbours) at the mercy of China.

Quezon had told her his plans for a joint resolution of Congress declaring the independence of the Philippines when a plebiscite of the Filipinos should accept it. When she asked whether an independent Philippines would grant commercial airports to the United States, he said “not only commercial, but military” she professed herself delighted and said she was entirely in favour of the resolution. (N.B. This morning Elizalde had expressed serious doubts whether Congress will pass such a resolution, and said it would meet opposition in the State Department until the general situation in the Far East becomes clearer.)

Then Quezon talked of his respect and regard for Congress, and denounced last summer’s smear campaign against it. “If a member of the House was a fool” he said “that only means that his constituents likewise were fools.”

He told again, and told well, the story of his last address to the students of the University of the Philippines one week before the Japanese struck.

One of the guests present today was a California contractor who had been employed by the Navy a year before Pearl Harbor to extend Cavite airport and other posts in the Pacific islands. Quezon told him how A. D. Williams disputed with the Navy over the extension of Cavite airfield and urged that extra fields, well camouflaged, should be constructed instead. But both Navy and Army authorities refused to listen to him.

I spent Monday morning and all day Tuesday in Elizalde’s office, working with him, Rotor, Ugarte and Zafra on the preparation of our formal report as delegates to the Institute of Pacific Relations last month at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Very interesting discussions and really entertaining.

When we were alone, I asked Elizalde, whether he had read Romulo’s book, I saw the Fall of the Philippines. He said: “Yes, I read it twice–it is bunk.” I inquired what it was that Quezon had objected to–he replied: “First because he put MacArthur ahead of Quezon all the time, and then because he had put in a full list of the persons whom Quezon took with him to safety from Corregidor; such people as Valdes, Major (Dr.) Cruz, Ah Dong, his personal servant, etc.” Elizalde says he left more important persons behind–should have ordered Manuel Roxas to come to Australia with him instead of consenting to his staying behind; that Romulo was obliged to have the book recast and to pay $1,800 to the publishers for resetting, renumbering the pages etc. This came out of his first payment of $2,500. That the blackouts in the book were really at the instance of the War Department; they were left in the book to add importance to it. Romulo has sold already 25,000 copies–will probably get $20,000 out of the book.

In the Philippine Government circles I find general anxiety over probably future aggressions by Russia and China. Many stories of Russian plundering of the elite in the part of Poland which they annexed.

Quezon is still planning to go in about two weeks to Phoenix, Arizona, and invites me to accompany him for a couple of weeks. Intends to stay there a month or six weeks. I wonder?


January 7-8, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Arrived in answer to a telegram asking me to come as soon as I could. Quezon was looking very well and in good spirits. Told me he was going down to Arizona in about two weeks and “if he hadn’t finished his by that time he wanted me to accompany him for ten days or so.” No signs here of any work on his book. Dr. Trepp insists he had not worked on it “for months.” Elizalde told me en route to Canada that Bernstein was writing Quezon’s book for him; that he heard Quezon direct Canceran to turn over the ms. to Bernstein. Trepp thinks not. I asked Trepp why Quezon had so entirely neglected my draft of his book; Trepp did not know–thought possibly it had not been sufficiently eulogistic!

Quezon had seen Panikkar, the Indian, whom I met at Mont Tremblant. Had been very deeply interested. Panikkar told him the Indians want independence–not Dominion Status; that the Moslems also want it, though they demand safeguards as a minority. Quezon suggested to him the federal system like the United States, with a lower house representation based on population, and the upper house giving equality to states. Panikkar replied that is what they propose to do. That they must retain all of Occidental influence they now have and not just lapse into their former Oriental luxury and magnificence. England is afraid to let go just now–the Indian army is chiefly one of professional soldiers, and could easily turn against England if things went badly.

But Quezon told me he had abandoned all idea of taking any hand in the freeing of India and of Indonesia and in the forming of an Indonesian Empire, made up of a union of the Philippines and the Netherlands Indies. He had decided to concentrate entirely on the problems of his own people, though he would be “the happiest man in the world” if the other projects became a reality. Said it would take fifty years for an Indonesian Empire to become strong enough to withstand China or Japan. He had told President Roosevelt of his decision to concentrate on the problems of his own country and not take part in the other schemes, and that this statement “made Roosevelt jump.” He added that the good will or support of Great Britain as well as of the United States would be needed in either eventuality. Thought Hong Kong should not be given back to China, but that the English should pay China the value of the barren island as it was when ceded to them, because of the disgraceful circumstances in which they got it.

Panikkar told Quezon that the Burmese were going to fight on the side of Japan!

Quezon is now going to try to get through Congress a joint resolution that the Philippines are and of right should be independent, etc.

I spoke of my distaste for the masochism of Gandhi and Nehru–always in prison and seeming to glory in it; Quezon said: “It’s that Hindu philosophy.”

He recognizes that the English are essentially a manly race, but they have “that racial superiority which I hate. I am a member of a race which has been looked down upon for centuries, and I can’t stand that theory of racial inferiority. But their feeling of superiority is not vanity–they really believe it–hence their feeling of responsibility which is so marked not only in officials, but in businessmen and bankers as well.”

I also had a talk with Dr Trepp, his Swiss doctor. Says Quezon does not really need him now; his TB is so well under control, he can live anywhere he likes. Says he feels like a mere lackey of Quezon; there is no real work for him to do. Would like to get a job on the staff of a sanitorium. Has come to the conclusion that Switzerland is the only real democracy he knows. There is not an ounce of democracy in the Philippines–even a businessman there has no chance unless he is a Quezon man.

I also had a short chat with Quezon on past events in the Philippines. He said Governor General Luke Wright was all right, but his influence was impaired by the very anti-Filipino attitude of his wife.

Told me how he had taken Sumulong, Rodriguez, etc., away from General Wood, and then the latter threw up his hands. Quezon organized a Supreme Council of the Philippines and gave the pro-Wood Filipinos an equal representation on it with his own partisans. He, Quezon, presided but had no vote–still they all followed him obediently and without a question.

Dr. Pardo Tavera, a distinguished member of the first Philippine Commission, was patriotically against independence; he wanted the United States to remain there for the sake of the Philippines. Still, he was so independent-minded himself that he continually opposed the Governor General and really forced himself out of the Philippine Commission.


December 3, 1942

I was sent by President Quezon from Washington as a member of the Philippine delegation to the Eighth Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Mont Tremblant Lodge, Mont Tremblant, Province of Quebec.

On the train, I shared a compartment with Resident Commissioner J. M. Elizalde and was vastly entertained by his account of “palace politics” in the entourage of President Quezon. “Mike” and I talked so late that we overslept in our compartment and were carried on to the wrong station in Montreal; without any breakfast we had to take a taxi in the frozen slush for four miles to catch the little one-horse single-track train northwards. On the train, crammed in like “sardines in a tin,” we went through an endurance test for five hours at ten miles an hour, up snowy hills.

These physical discomforts are mentioned to show how thoroughly the management of the Institute of Pacific Relations carried out their agreement with the governments represented at the conference that absolutely no newspaper reporters should attend. I believe this understanding was rigorously carried out.

My account of the proceedings which follows is exactly as it was written in pencil upon yellow paper at the time. This is mentioned to excuse the informal and perhaps indiscreet nature of the communication.

On the little train, a relic, I suppose of the seventies, I sat next to an Indian, whom I later found to be head of their delegation. Sir A. Ramaswami Mudaliar. Told him he was the first Indian gentleman I had ever met–when I was in his country the Government of India had taken jolly good care that I should meet no Indians. He smiled. Told me he had lunched recently with King George; was frequently in England–member of British War Cabinet etc.; but always delighted to get over to France where there was no colour line and he could have a nice long talk with anybody he chanced to run across. I asked him whether the trouble in India was not largely social? He assented. Whether it had not been much worse since the English had brought their ladies over with then? Answered “yes.” To my question whether Churchill would last after the war, he replied: “Not one day!”

At Mont Tremblant Station, we got into a sleigh with a mixed bag of foreigners. Driving up to the Lodge I observed that when I was younger I used to come to this region at this same season to hunt caribou. The man opposite asked me if the caribou were still here? “Yes,” I replied “some of those I shot at certainly are.”

On arrival at the Lodge, found ourselves parcelled out in various little chalets–bare walls–typical skiing resort–one bathroom per chalet–standing in line to shave and to get to W.C. Picturesque but d-d uncomfortable.

Dr Jessup (Philip C.), the Chairman of the Pacific Council sent for me and told me that rules of the Institute did not allow one not native-born to be part of a delegation–asked me if I would not be willing to sit as a member of the United States delegation. I replied: “No–because I haven’t been invited.” He said: “I invite you.” So I said I should be equally happy on either delegation. That left the Philippine delegation to consist of Resident Commissioner J. M. Elizalde, Arturo B. Rotor, Secretary to the President of the Philippines, Urbano A. Zafra, Commercial Adviser to Resident Commissioner of the Philippines, and Sebastian Ugarte, a Basque mestizo, Legal Adviser to the Resident Commissioner–who was secretary of the delegation. We all sat together at the table for meals, and were usually joined by Chinese, a Siamese, Indians, a Korean, etc., and Dr. Ralph Bunche, an intelligent and agreeable American Negro.

English was the tongue of all the meetings. I only had to talk French with the delegate from France, Professor Paul Rivet, formerly head of the Musee de I’homme in Paris–now head of the Ethnological Institute of Columbia in Bogota, whence he had come by plane. He is noted for his ability to distinguish racial traits by studying one’s head and face. I asked him to diagnose me–he took one look and said “purement anglais.” (I have often read his article on ethnology).

There were more than one hundred delegates present from 13 different countries, vizt.: Australia, Canada, China, Fighting France, India, Korea, Netherlands, Netherlands Indies, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. To these must be added an international secretariat of at least fifty more–many of whom sat as delegates at the round tables.

The Institute meets every three years. Heretofore, government officials have been banned. This time, nearly all those present were connected in some way or other with governments in esse or in exile. This added a grim note of reality to the discussions which, I believe, are usually conducted by professors of one sort or another. Instead of a research committee of philanthropists, it had become a political meeting, pure if not simple. In fact, the round tables and even the plenary sessions sometimes broke out into all-out verbal wrestling matches, with no holds barred.

The main theme of the conference was whether the “Atlantic Charter” applied to all the world, or whether it was meant only for Europe. Roosevelt and Willkie had maintained recently that those principles of self-determination must apply to all the world. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, had not long ago announced in a speech at Mansion House that “what we have we hold,” and “I did not become Prime Minister of the British Empire to preside over the liquidation of that Empire.” On no occasion in any of the numerous meetings did anybody, even on the U.K. delegation defend Churchill’s speech. In fact, it caused them acute embarrassment. Some even made futile attempts to explain it didn’t mean what it clearly did mean. The Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and many of the Americans barked like the seals on the Golden Gate ledges outside San Francisco. Walter Nash, the vice premier of New Zealand, barked loudest and angriest of all. In vain did such delegates as Arthur Creech Jones, Labour member of Parliament, (and parliamentary secretary to Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour) and Captain D. Gammans, Conservative member of the British Parliament, protest that nobody in Parliament would dream of interpreting the Atlantic Charter as inapplicable to any part of the world–especially Asia!

There stood the vision of the robust figure of Winston Churchill, their Prime Minister, and he was not to be pushed behind the curtain any more than was the Statue of Liberty–rather less so, if anything. So at the end of ten days the English delegation looked like a lot of hens after a raid on the coop–feathers ruffled and the picture of dejection. Sir John Pratt almost in tears.

In this chorus of barking seals I was impressed by the conviction that the assemblage was making the English pay for many generations of arrogance and condescension towards colonials. The Canadians in all this were clearly without any sense of responsibility. All that they were determined to accomplish was to be able to go before their voters and be free from the reproach of “fighting to save the British Empire.”

The Australians did not enjoy quite such supreme self-confidence. For them to help drive the European powers out of Asia was to let down the barricades between themselves and the Asiatics. Neither the Australians nor the New Zealanders really understand that they are Asiatic powers–they are still thinking in terms of the British homeland.

The Dutchmen present were obviously under the wing of the English–one thought of the Royal Dutch-Shell oil alliance. They had come there with two puppet Javanese who were utterly unable to express themselves–one was head of their delegation. They supported the English in everything. Meant to keep as inconspicuous as possible, but we smoked them out from under their leaf. They were forced to produce in the middle of the conference a statement by Queen Wilhelmina promising after the war to give the Netherlands Indies equal partnership with Holland. Her statement was wreathed in Royal Phraseology as to be practically unintelligible to the rest of us. It appears the Dutch Viceroy may be obliged to have his powers somewhat curtailed. No racial discrimination henceforth. Vague references to general elections which are evidently expected to take some time to organize. It appears that Queen Wilhelmina made practically the same commitments in her address before the United States Senate several months ago. When Lord Hailey, who was the chairman of our round table at which such topics were discussed on the second day of the conference, came to the subject of the Netherlands Indies, he was for slipping the subject along the table until perhaps it might fall into a convenient scrap basket. When challenged, some Dutch member present ventured some vague reference to an important announcement about to be made on the matter–I kept insisting that some disclosure as to the nature of this announcement be made during the conference and that we be given the privilege of debating it. At a later round table, my next-door neighbour, Mr G.H.C. Hart, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Netherlands Indies, Curacao and Surinam showed me a long rather obscure telegram from his Government-in-Exile, explaining (?) the scheme; he also had included in the mimeographed reports to the conference a further statement. He seemed convinced that “language is given us to conceal our thoughts.” The Dutch Prime Minister had sent this to him, and it consisted of long passages of “double talk”–in the midst of this jungle of words I detected a statement that “The Queen thinks that perhaps the powers of the Governor General may have to be reduced”!

On my return to Washington, I made an especial (verbal) report to President Quezon on this situation. It is a subject in which he is most particularly interested. For some years, underground conferences between him and “leaders” of the Javanese (who are erroneously supposed to be completely docile–like the two hand-picked specimens the Dutch brought with them to Mont Tremblant). They seem to have some sort of a vague ambition to recreate the old Malay Empire of long ago–to include the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines and parts of British North Borneo.

Quezon did not seem much impressed by the determination of the Dutch to hold on to their rich empire. His comment was that the last time he talked to the Javanese leaders a few years ago, they were all pro-Japanese. He told them this was a very great mistake; for while they could get rid of the Dutch any time they tried, they would never of their own efforts, get rid of the Japanese, once the latter were established in the East Indies.

Except for the brilliant Professor Rivet, who spoke like a brave and vigorous man, the other three “Fighting French” delegates had absolutely nothing to say. They were like three white rabbits. If cornered, they pretended not to “spik English.” They gave the impression of knowing absolutely nothing whatever about the topics under discussion. As a matter of fact I think they were struck dumb by all this talk of giving any power back to any “natives”–they had never heard of such a thing–much less done it. If too much was demanded in their colonies, their custom has been just to shoot a few hundred of them, and not write home about it. They consider that the abolishing of the colour line socially, which is their specialty, is all the “natives” want.

When Indo-China was reached in the geographical review which occupied our first round table, there was a spattering of talk about the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. The chairman was about to pass on to fresh fields and pastures new, but I insisted on pointing out that there was a very great deal more to Indo-China than what had been said. The Annamites covered the larger past of Annam and Tonkin and they had a Long history of self-government behind them until very recently. The Free French delegate present preserved his mask of immobility. In answer to a question he stated that the French Government General was still functioning in Indo-china, but was very restricted in its powers by the Japanese. M. Baudet was being either unnecessarily secretive, or else was too depressed to care much anyway.

At a later round table, one of the French present admitted that he understood the implications of the Atlantic Charter and that they were ready to apply them. I wonder? There was no use in badgering these poor fellows–they will probably have been forgotten long before one of the multi-coloured French parties emerges as a stable leader. Anyway, were we Americans not bound by our government’s reiterated promises that the French Empire would be restored intact to France? It was only the British Empire that some of our delegates, together with all the Canadians and some of the Australians, were out to disrupt. Walter Nash, the vice premier of New Zealand, was the loudest and easily the most offensive leader of these battling reformers. So far as one could think amidst this shouting and tumult, the principal war aim of the “Allied Nations” was to strip our principal ally of its empire.

The American delegation, some 36 strong, held but two caucuses. The first was opened by a voice on my right, coming so far as I could judge from Mr. Len de Caux, the publicity director of the C.I.O. and editor of the C.I.O. News. He is an educated man of considerable refinement. He started the proceedings by announcing in a clear voice: “We are going to fight to preserve the British Empire.” To my surprise, the chairman, Dr. Jessup, asked for a show of hands on that point, and nearly half of those present voted for the proposition. Then we adjourned!

The most ardent American abolitionist of colonies, however, seems to have been Edwin R. Embree, President of the Justice Rosenwald Fund of Chicago and Vice President of the Division of Human Biology, Rockefeller Foundation. He was reported to have opened the ball at his round table with the “all-out” statement: “I’m for doing away with all colonial governments.” This clear but all-too-sweeping statement exposed him to so much good-natured chaff that he calmed down into a useful and intelligent member of the conference.

The second caucus of our delegation was held to discuss the dilemma in which the United States delegates found themselves. Having somewhat over strained themselves in dismembering the British Empire the Americans were asked by the English what contribution their country was prepared to make to the post-war world? That was a question no American cared to answer after the Republican triumph at the polls the month before. The tables were thus neatly turned. Now we were on the spot. It took us three or four days to regain our customary complacency and to recover some of the ground lost by this counter attack. At our caucus, the chairman asked old Senator Elbert D. Thomas, as the most expert political analyst present to say whether he thought the United States would accept post-war international responsibilities. The old Buddha, after consideration, gave birth to the following important formula: “My state would do so, but I do not think that the states around us would!” Since his state is Utah, with the smallest electoral vote in the Union, the oracle had not completely solved our troubles for us. If he was no more persuasive as a young Mormon missionary to Japan, one is not surprised that the Latter-Day Saints failed to convert the Japanese. We retired in some confusion to our icy bedrooms to sleep over the situation–but la nuit did not porte conseil, and perforce on the succeeding days our ferocity against the English colonial system somewhat abated. Nobody mentioned the name of one Franklin D. Roosevelt, either at our caucus, nor on any later occasion. The November election had wrought wonders. Even Mr. Michael Straight, editor of the New Republic, Mr de Caux, the C.I.O. representative, and Mr Edgar A. Mowrer, who were members of our delegation laid aside their harps, took off their long white robes and dismounted their wings for several succeeding days. There was thus some crumb of comfort, however negative, to be derived from the doldrums in which we Americans found ourselves.

With the odds so heavily against them, nevertheless the British delegation was easily the best there. Headed by old Lord Hailey, forty years in the Indian Civil Service, former Governor of the Punjab and of the United Provinces, in his old age he had shown much liberality in his book African Survey and was filled with genuine concern for undeveloped minorities. It is perhaps this very concern for the minority which has kept the English parliamentary system alive during the centuries.

Hailey enjoyed the undeniable advantage of being the only “Lord” there, but he owed his success at the meeting chiefly to his Irish wit, not to mention a polished parliamentary manner. Add to this his old-world air of authority. His bald head and aquiline features resembled a bust of Julius Caesar. The Old Romans of Queen Victoria’s day governed a large part of the world–and looked it. He confided to me that he hadn’t a bean in the world, except his pension, and was in a hurry to retire so that he could spend the rest of his days sea-trout fishing on the west coast of Scotland.

Hailey opened the first plenary meeting of the conference with a prepared address stating that England was ready to speed-up the progress of all her colonies towards self-government, adding that their policy had never been one of exploitation–but of trusteeship. He said the new watchword was to be partnership with their colonial subjects. He and his colleagues on their delegation were absolutely sincere in this, and were shocked at the lack of appreciation from the “have-not” members present. He described the progress towards self-government as a ladder: some of their colonial peoples had climbed already higher than others up the ladder; Ceylon and Burma were at the top, and were now ready. To the Indians, he turned and said in most decisive tones: “We are ready to accept any constitution for India of whatever form, upon which you can agree.”

He was followed by Dr. Sao-ke Alfred Sze, former Chinese Ambassador in Washington and London. He too, read from a prepared address. He is an amiable and popular man, and the method by which he has gained his popularity was apparent in his speech. He talked for some time and said nothing. He has some nervous disorder which caused his hands to shake so he could hardly follow the paper. The other fourteen Chinese present were gloomy and recalcitrant. They felt they were being neglected–they had moreover positive complaints, to wit: four lend-lease shipments of armaments which had been ear-marked for China had been diverted en route to others of their “allies.” (India?) They wanted all of their territory back–especially the three eastern provinces which make up Manchuria, and Formosa which they had ceded to Japan in 1895. They did not ask for Korea–they wanted to stick the United States with a mandate for that! Especially on the subject of emigration of Chinese they were insistent. This is a really live issue in all near-by parts of the eastern world, and causes the utmost and genuine concern to their neighbours. The spectre of Chinese penetration and economic imperialism haunted us all throughout the conference. Their ardent nationalism of the present day alarms all of their neighbours. They demanded the return of Formosa without any concession as to an international police post–said that could be discussed later. Their delegation showed little teamwork; they seemed to me to be afraid of the two or three delegates who had come by bomber plane from Chungking, and were alarmed at what they might report on their return there. One of them, at a plenary session made a fiery speech, demanding: “Is America fighting for China?”

The most attractive, refined-looking woman present was the lady pilot, Mrs. Hilda Yen, who had flown her plane from Chungking via India and Africa. She had been as a child to school in the United States and could speak English perfectly, free from those humming, explosive noises indulged in by most Chinese when they are said to be talking in English.

Taking it all in all, throughout the conference, the English got the roughest ride, but the Chinese caused the greatest uneasiness to others.

After Dr. Sze had finished his address, the chairman called on the only Korean present, Younghill Kang, who came from the Board of Economic Warfare in Washington. He was formerly Professor of English Literature at New York University. He started off well enough telling how a Presbyterian missionary had helped him to escape from Korea and reach the United States. Then he recited the names of all the masters of English literature to whose works he was addicted. Finally he turned on the tap of self-pity and told us what a hard time he had in getting started. He had worked up from seven dollars a week to fourteen when I went down for the third time. I did not listen to his last ten minutes. My mind went back to my visit to Seoul, the capital of Korea, in 1915. The Japanese Resident Commissioner had done the honors and shown me around, then offered me a drink. He thereupon told me he had been to school in Bridgeport, Conn., and not only spoke American but thought like an American. He had accepted his mission to Korea with exalted notions of how he would up-life them, but, he added bitterly, “I had not been here a month before I wanted to hit these God-damned boobs of Koreans with a club.” No! Delegate Younghill Kang did not sharpen the zest of anybody present for a Korean mandate!

To turn now to the working of the round tables. Bach was given a special subject, to be discussed by the twenty to twenty-five delegates present. No votes were to be taken–no decisions to be made–only discussion. Ordinary statements to be confined to three minutes. All proceedings deemed confidential except the summary of opinions written up by a rapporteur who was present. Since about half of the delegates sat silent most of the time, the report of the rapporteur could not be taken as a correct summing up of what all members thought.

When a round table had finished its discussions, the rapporteur, looking worried, disappeared for a day or so, to write up the report which he was to read to a plenary session.

The best of the rapporteurs we heard were:

  1. Professor Ralph J. Bunche from Howard University in Washington. He is a Negro (mulatto), member of the American delegation, and one of the most popular and useful members of the conference.
  2. Miss ———– (?), an American girl, who came there as a member of the secretariat.

The most important round table at which I sat was that on India. We had six sessions of two hours each. The result was a personal, parliamentary triumph for Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, with whom I had chatted in the train. The Indian delegation was hand-picked and perfectly drilled. No voice was allowed to be raised for Gandhi, Nehru and the Congress party.

There were seven Americans and five Canadians at this round table, and they started off baying in a chorus of discontent with the failure of the Cripps Mission. They all regarded it as of supreme strategic importance to get some kind of settlement of the India question. The complexities of the question finally brought our round table to a peace of exhaustion or perhaps one should say numbness not unaccompanied by headache.

Sir Frederick Whyte started off as the ringleader for his trained Indian performers. For five years he has been President of the Indian Legislative Assembly. Large, bland and parliamentary, he seemed too reasonable to be entirely true. He had intended, I think, to hold the hoop through which the Indians were to jump. After the first session, pale and almost unnerved, with disordered hair and his parliamentary manner shattered, he subsided into innocuous desuetude.

The Indians took charge. Their teamwork was perfect; their manners imperturbable, their modesty and good humour beyond reproach. They ranged in importance all the way from the highest officials down to Mr N. Sivaraj, a representative of the “Depressed Classes” i.e., the untouchables. His manner was as humble as that of the Mad Hatter at Alice’s tea party; his countenance was so black you would have collided with him on a dark night. But like all the rest of them, he had brains and wit. He rather attached himself to me socially, and more than repaid my attentions by his one witticism to me–he called our Philippine experiment, “a policy of inexpediency,” which made me laugh.

The Begum Shah Nawaz, parliamentary Secretary to the Government of the Punjab, was the light forward of the Indian team. It is said that our soldiers now in North Africa have been instructed never to speak to a Mohammedan lady–such orders would be quite superfluous in dealing with the Begum. No man I have ever met could have gotten one word in edgewise with her. She was gifted with a perfect cataract of English speech and possessed the added advantage that we could not understand a word she spoke. Moreover she brought with her an ammunition dump of stupefying statistics.

I think she gained more yards for her team than any of the others. Her star play, however, seemed to pass unnoticed by all but myself. Among the hand-picked Indians who made up their delegation were two partisans of the Indian Congress party–but with sealed lips. One of them was a bearded, rotund jolly lawyer named K. M. Panikkar, whose continual high spirits were infectious–except at the breakfast table. He was the kind of social Indian who stays at the Savoy Annex and dances at the Kit-Kat Club. He had whispered in my ear that he was pro-Congress but pledged me to secrecy.

Having been called before our round table to testify about how easy it would be for the Indian Princes to fit into an independent and federated India–he being the foreign minister of the native state of Bikaner, and thus qualified as an expert–he was uninterrupted during his ten minute statement. When he finished, our chairman, Mr. Edgar J. Tarr, Director of the Bank of Canada, asked Panikkar mildly what he thought of the Congress party–at once a brilliant diversion was created by the Begum: she poured forth a torrent of words to which Mr Tarr listened most courteously. When the Begum paused for breath, it was noticed that Panikkar had disappeared. This was as neat as any forward pass I ever witnessed. When after the meeting I charged Panikkar with this maneuver, he denied it vehemently, but I noticed that his face twitched slightly.

Another Indian who contributed to the gaiety of nations was Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Judge of the Federal Court of India. I had supposed he did not speak English, so silent and judge-like was his demeanor for several days. Finally we reached a point where Lord Hailey was betraying his usual anxiety over the minorities. He was asking what would become of the aboriginal inhabitants of Formosa if it were given back to China. There was a pause and then the Indian Judge said in deep and solemn tones: “Minorities are more interested in self-indulgence than in self-government.”

To return now to the discussions at the India round table. Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, who was their spokesman, opened by stating that the Cripps Mission had failed because Sir Stafford dealt only with Gandhi and Nehru. That Gandhi would not negotiate with England because he believed the United Nations were already licked. That “Mahatma” Gandhi, (in slightly sarcastic tones) had tremendous influence on the Congress party, but that many of his followers could not swallow his non-violent resistance. There was little to be done while Gandhi and Nehru lived, but each had now reached their alloted “three score and ten.” He insisted they were not now “in jail” but only under detention. Meanwhile voluntary enlistment of Indian soldiers was going ahead at a greatly increased rate. Most Indians wanted to fight–and certainly did not want the Japanese. If the Western powers believed they could bring about a mediation, they would be most welcome to try. The Committee of Mediation should have the power to settle the dispute or else the Indians would not accept it. He wished for an independent dominion form of government for India, but within the framework of the British Empire.

Sir Frederick Whyte, who had been sadly jolted by the sand-papering he had undergone from the Canadian-American bloc at the table broke in to say that the Americans had disqualified themselves from sitting on such a mediation board because they were so soaked in Gandhi propaganda. Explosive denials by several Americans. Then someone suggested “Let the Chinese do it!” Thereupon the Begum was understood to reply “China has been as much exposed to Gandhi propaganda as America.”

Then the subject of Pakistan, or Mohammedan separation was introduced, and quite a lively wrangle ensued between Hindus and Moslems. There were few, if any, dull moments in the conference.

A mild and scholarly American, W. Norman Brown, Professor of Sanskrit at what they are pleased to call the University of Pennsylvania, had a constructive proposal to make. He has served in India for years as a Professor of English, but neither his voice nor his manner were sufficiently aggressive to dominate the tumult–which sounded like the zoo at meal time. Brown’s blond head sank back quite disconsolately. What he proposed was that the Government of India should give “responsible government” to the Viceroy’s Executive Council. I managed to get the floor to support his proposal, citing how President Wilson had sent me to the Philippines in 1913 to break the governmental deadlock there. My predecessor had failed to get the budget passed by the Filipino Assembly. I did. Instead of repressive measures, we gave the Filipinos more concessions, beginning with a majority in the Commission, or Upper House. Shortly afterwards, I added, the First World War broke out. The prelude was the United States withdrawing its army and navy from the Philippines for more needed use elsewhere. The Filipinos were left to take care of American interests in the Islands. The last act of this drama was the recent battle of Bataan where 20,000 young Filipinos laid down their lives to protect not only their own liberties, but also the American flag.

Towards the end of our long session on India, Mr. Len de Caux, the C.I.O. representative, wanted to bring in a discussion of the American poll tax!

As the only representative of a poll tax state (Virginia) present, I stated that if given an opportunity I would vote to amend the constitution of Virginia to abolish the poll tax, but that I differed from my colleague both as to the nature and implications of the poll tax. Mr. Tarr, the chairman, intervened to rule the poll tax out of order. Mr de Caux, in the next plenary session, complained he had been “shut up” on the poll tax question.

It may thus be seen that the machinery at the India round table was running down–whirring and knocking noises were, by now, quite audible. Injured combatants were quietly licking their wounds. Sir Rasmaswami was allowed the last half hour almost without interruption. He acquitted himself with dignity and composure. Altogether a notable parliamentary triumph for him. No votes were taken and no decisions reached. Nevertheless, those of us who had for the first time debated with Indian leaders left the Council chamber with vastly increased respect for their race, and with much greater hopes for the future of India. Later I asked Panikkar whether the Indians would believe the word of an Englishman. “Absolutely,” he replied “but it’s damned hard to get them to give their word!”

During almost the whole course of this “round table” four representatives of the American State Department had sat side by side with a dyspeptic expression. They were not wearing striped pants due I suppose to the deep snow through which they had to walk to the meeting. All four looked as if they had had their faces lifted.

My next round table was the “Political-Military”–a review of the political situation in the Far East, with consideration of the strategic implications involved. In the room next to us sat the “Military-Political” round table, where questions, similar to ours, but with the stress laid on the military features were debated. All the Generals, Admirals and Air Chief Marshals present sat, of course, at the latter table. Judging from their typical style of debate, as observed in other meetings, we could easily picture what was going on at this adjoining round table. Major General V. W. Odium, recently Commander 2nd Division Canadian Army in England, barked out his words by two and threes, apparently ordering us all to go over the top. Our own more suave Admiral Harry E. Yarnell, U.S.N., adopted the quiet technique appropriate to the quarter-deck. His was the “You may fire ready, Gridley” style. Major General Frank McCoy, resting after his recent arduous duties of condemning a lot of German spies to death, was suave and reticent. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore had plenty of time during the discussions to think over the more congenial days he had lived through in the distant past before this war. Judging from private conversations I had with him at meal times, his mind dwelt often on grouse-shooting, tho one of his most pleasant memories was of a night long ago at St. Tropez, where they bought the dance band, and didn’t get home until the next afternoon.

We were credibly informed that the Military-Political table dismissed our own deliberations in the next room as freshman-sophomoric; saying that we spent all our time up in the stratosphere, without sufficient oxygen.

In the Political-Military round table I sat between Lord Hailey and Mr G. H. C. Hart, the brains of the Netherlands’ delegation. This was enjoyable. While the Chinese were indulging in some big talk about the unreasonableness of asking for an “international security post” on Formosa after the war–explaining that it could only be intended against Japan–who would be disarmed anyway–Hailey and I were whispering together about the siege of our legations in Peking by the Boxers! While Dr Sze, the leading Chinese delegation, was denouncing the opium traffic, I told Hailey that I had demanded and received the recall of the Chinese Consul General at Manila [because he was personally involved in the opium smuggling ring]. I think Hailey enjoyed it, too, for he invited me to join him in sea-trout fishing on the west coast of Scotland; meanwhile, as a first installment, he invited me to lunch with him.

The chairman of our Political-Military debate was Mr. H. B. Butler, C.B., LL.D., Minister and Director General of British Information Service, British Embassy, Washington. He was a fair and discreet presiding officer, hut gave out very little light and heat.

Lord Hailey was, as usual, the central figure of the discussions. He exhibited his usual concern over untutored minorities. Mentioned more than once the headhunters of Borneo. Was told that after a head-hunter had completed his collection of heads he wasn’t such a bad sort of chap at all, and much like other people. Being considerably badgered by several Americans at the round table Hailey showed what a sting he had in his tail. He remarked in a dreamy voice that he had said somewhere recently–thought it was in the House of Lords–that he was sometimes thankful he was not an American–look at Puerto Rico–when the people there asked for bread, the United States gave them the vote! I joined in the loud laugh, but happened to glance at the faces of my fellow Americans present–they looked like graven stone images.

We Americans were being pushed about as usual at this conference because we criticized others and had nothing constructive to offer. Finally, Dr. Stanley K. Hornbeck of the State Department expressed the opinion that the United States would join the International Police after the war. I added my opinion to the same end. Embree and Tyler Dennett, former President of Williams College, said ditto. Our views were well received. Old Senator Thomas had gone home, anyway! The only persons present who did not look particularly gratified were, as it seemed to me, the Chinese. But perhaps I did them an injustice. They have the shape of countenance which cannot express pleasure without grinning–and they were certainly not grinning at the moment.

I improved the occasion to drive the point home by announcing that before the battle of Bataan, President Roosevelt had wired President Quezon, that all the man power of the United States and all their resources would be back of his promise to regain the independence, and to secure it. “To that extent at least,” I added, “the United States is determined to stay in the Far East after the war.” I listened carefully for three rousing cheers from the Chinese, but do not now recollect to have heard even one cheer. Still, one never knows, they may have their own quaint way of expressing a delirium of pleasure.

The most serious issue of immediate post-war concern was, of course, Hong Kong. Did the Chinese insist upon its return after a century as a British colony? Was not the matter also of great importance to the trade of all the nations in the Western Pacific? Could we afford to lose this great free trade post? One of the English delegates put the matter very objectively and with much restraint. There was no answer from the Chinese. They sat silent, with poker faces. The foreign concessions at Shanghai present an almost equally thorny problem. A great imperial city has grown up on the mud flats so contemptuously given the European merchants long ago. In recent years, the Chinese have shown a decided intention to get them back, with all the fabulous riches which have been built up there.

Two of the fears in the back of the minds of many Asiatic delegates were Chinese imperialism and American imperialism! One delegate let slip the statement that the people of the United States were imperialists and didn’t know it themselves. Perhaps he referred to our “Good Neighbour” policy towards South America which is compounded of an equal mixture of self-defense and exploitation. However, there is no need at present to worry about that since everyone knows that people seldom stay bought. There were no delegates present from any of the South American States which front on the Pacific!

Of the four delegates from the Philippines, it can be said that they won good opinions on all sides because of their modesty and excellent manners. They knew that after the battle of the Philippines their race had won universal good will from the United Nations. They were, indeed, “sitting pretty,” and unlikely to mar the picture by any demands or aggressiveness. Commissioner Elizalde went home on the third day; Rotor and Ugarte three days later. The latter two had never attended an international conference before. Dr. Zafra stayed to the end and came back with me. He had been at the “sugar conference” in London several years before, and is thoroughly grounded in economic facts and figures concerning the Philippines.

Zafra was at the Economic round table and reported that it had degenerated into a cross fire of arguments between half a dozen of the so-called economists present. Their terminology was so obscure that it was not certain that they even understood one another. The rest of those present had little idea what the debate was about. The rapporteur, Mr. J. B. Condliffe, Professor of Economics at the University of California, and of several English institutions, made what seemed to me a comic report of the proceedings to the plenary session. It thus becomes apparent, as I had always suspected, that economics is not an exact science–or else its high priests have not yet agreed upon a common prayer book.

The last plenary session ended on a note of bitter wrangling between the delegates from the British Dominions and those from Great Britain. The ghost of Winston Churchill’s Mansion House speech had not been laid. Walter Nash, New Zealand Minister to the United States, and a member of the Pacific War Council made a rousing stump speech taking great patches of skin off the English delegation. It was a thoroughly embittered and masterly address. Various of the English present answered him, maintaining the complete sincerity of their offers, and the good faith of the English Government and especially of the House of Commons on the question of gradual freedom for the component parts of their empire. Mr. Arthur Creech Jones, M.P., parliamentary secretary to Hon. Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour, made an answer of passionate sincerity and deep feeling to Nash’s attack. Pool old Sir John Pratt, Chairman of the Central Chinese Railways–a slender, tall mestizo of some ancestry hard to analyze–almost broke into tears. He acknowledged that he had come to this conference to aid in offering most substantial concessions to present world opinion on the subject of colonial imperialism, but that he would leave with a miserable feeling of defeat and utter failure. Then there was some more sandpapering of the American delegation because of our failure to promise more substantial post-war co-operation. Mr. Michael Straight, the youngest American delegate, finally presented a resolution offering such co-operation as the rest of us could not now dare to propose. This won goodwill, and considerably raised Straight’s batting average. His chief impediment throughout was his delivery–he talks as if he had a hot potato in his mouth.

The closing ceremonies that night were given to amiable discourses from delegates selected by the management. The storm had blown itself out.

Dr Zafra made a modest and humorous little address which was well received. Dr Stanley K. Hornbeck, (representing the Department of State) closed for the Americans. He tried to offer post-war co-operation without committing himself to anything definite. The mountain groaned in labour, and “mus ridiculus exit”--in other words, he is not proficient in the art of walking on egg shells.

As for myself, having been the first proponent thirty years ago of the gift of self-government to a “native race,” I had to rub my eyes and look around to make sure it was not all a dream. Where were all of these fiery apostles of freedom a quarter century ago? Which one of these Americans had approved my policy in the Philippines and had backed me up when I most needed it? Not one. I remembered the visit of Clyde Tavenner to the Philippines when I was in my eighth year as Governor General. He had been a former colleague of mine in Congress and was on my side of these problems. When he came to say good-bye at Malacañan, he told me that in his tour of the Philippines he had met only one American who believed in Philippine independence. “Who’s that?” I eagerly inquired. “Yourself” he replied.

Whatever may be the satisfaction one may feel in seeing in his own time a large part of world opinion swing around to the thesis on which he wrecked his own political career, nevertheless it is a sad fate to be a whole generation ahead of the times.


December 1, 1942

Quezon thinks Admiral Leahy arranged for the occupation of North Africa, but when he was “recalled” from Vichy he was really getting out before the Nazis could seize him and treat him as a spy.

I was invited to attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday to hear Bernstein explain his plan and program for the new office of “Special Service” (propaganda) which he is organizing for Quezon. It was a one man show. Quezon made a long and rather astute statement to let Bernstein understand that he had changed his mind as to the scope of the undertaking. Bernstein was told to read his plan of organization and was stopped after the opening paragraphs. It was a scheme for a Malay Federation to include the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Siam and French Indo-China. Quezon explained that if such a scheme were ever proposed, it would have to come from the Javanese, or others of the countries concerned –otherwise it would look as if the Filipinos were reaching out after an empire. Quezon said he would not mind if Java were the seat of government, of such a federated state –but that it was no time to mix in such questions now! Such a move would only provoke ill feelings among allies. Elizalde says that Quezon watches the faces and studies the expressions of everybody in a group which he is addressing and added that Quezon must have noted the strained and worried countenances around him during this very interesting and, perhaps, momentous conversation.

Luncheon with the two United States Army captains, who escaped with extreme hardship from the Philippines in August and made their way to Australia. Splendid chaps: they are longing to get back to fight the Japanese and don’t wish to be sent anywhere else, even to North Africa! One had been in Batangas and one in Mindoro, and tho every Filipino in each of those provinces knew where they were, nobody gave them away to the Japanese. Instead, they sheltered and fed them and gave them the small boat in which they finally got away together. They reported that there are believed to be only 20,000 Japanese in the Philippines now. They stick to their garrisons, or to the big cities, or to the camino real. The Filipino protector of the captain who was in Batangas came and went to Manila whenever he wished. He repeated a conversation with a Japanese colonel who spoke Spanish well: this colonel confessed that the Japanese knew from the beginning that they could not win this war. The two officers agreed that there were many Americans –soldiers and civilians, at large and in hiding in the Philippines.  They said the Filipinos had remained perfectly loyal, but one of them added that he was not sure they would all continue so if the situation were prolonged indefinitely without relief.

Quezon was much gratified to have them say that the Filipinos were perfectly loyal to him, and had not blamed him for his escape from the islands –that they understood the necessity for this. He stated again that when MacArthur pressed him to go to Corregidor, he had resisted and then finally been persuaded. He had sent for General Francisco, who told him that with 1,500 of the Constabulary soldiers he could keep Quezon perfectly safe indefinitely in the mountains of Rizal; he knew every foot of those wild mountains; that if they gave him enough machine guns he could continue to harry the Japanese and inflict great damage on them. MacArthur vetoed this suggestion. Quezon said no Filipino would ever have given his hiding place away. I remarked that they did do so in the case of Aguinaldo and he replied that Aguinaldo had been guilty of great crimes and misdemeanors.

He also remarked that like Governor General Murphy, he had never allowed the death sentence to be inflicted –he hated the idea of putting a man to death in “cold blood”!