September 29, 1936

At Malacañan, Kiko was introduced to the President in his office–which was formerly the bedroom where Kiko was born–Quezon was very cordial to him and had delightful manners with the boy; showed him about the Palace, and I myself was intrigued by all the recent improvements. The fill is completed on the riverside–to be made into lawn only, with no buildings; the water front opposite is to be a private golf course for Malacañan with a little ferry across the river.

At luncheon, Quezon talked of his recent stiff remarks to the Assembly on their proposal to abolish the salary of Ruiz, Director of Posts,–which, he believes, was really an invasion of the constitutional privileges of the Executive.

The President reported that he had just been talking on the radio-phone with Hausserman, in the United States, who predicted Roosevelt’s re-election, though the Digest polls were favourable to Landon. I asked him about the change of sentiment in America as to the Philippines. He replied that he was like a man in charge of a vessel during a typhoon:–he had nothing to do but to stick to the helm and be prepared for every emergency, and he didn’t want to be caught “snoring.” He agreed that the ten year term for the Commonwealth before independence was just as likely to be shortened as to be lengthened.

He told me he had arranged for Hartendorp’s paper a subsidy of 300 pesos a month, and was ready to go to 500 pesos; remarked that Hartendorp had behaved so much like a man when he was “fired” at Malacañan.

He then went back to the Wood administration, and said that General Frank McCoy was the only able man around Wood. He had been put there by the Forbes crowd to outwit him, (Quezon) but he had won most of the deals. McCoy wanted later to be commanding General of the Philippines, and he (Quezon) had blocked it. I laughed and remarked that he must have selected all the recent commanding generals here himself; –none of them were too bright. Quezon actually looked slightly confused for a moment, then broke out in a story of the selection of T. Roosevelt as Governor General. Hurley (the Secretary of War) told Quezon that Hoover wanted to placate the Progressive element in the Republican party, so wished to make “T.R. Jr.” Governor General here. Hurley asked Quezon to meet “T.R. Jr.”–which he did, then went to see Hurley who enquired what Quezon thought. “You told me, Mr. Secretary that the people of Puerto Rico all liked ‘T.R. Jr.'”–“yes”–“Well then they must be very far behind the people of the Philippines in modern thought.” Hurley laughed and Quezon told him to give him one month in the Philippines before “T.R.” came, and he would make it all right for him. But he warned Hurley that the members of the Cabinet would size up a Governor General in fifteen minutes. When he arrived at Manila, “T.R. Jr.” was only a Mabuhay man. How mistaken “T.R. Jr.” was in writing that letter of advice to his son, (remarked Quezon)–in which he cautioned him against accepting a commission in the army as that career was only suited to the less intelligent mind! Quezon said Governor General Davis had really made no impression out here; he had previously been Secretary of War and really didn’t want to come here–had wished instead to be Ambassador to France or to England.

Quezon told me he would revise the terms of the close season for snipe shooting whenever I wished,–adding: “I never pay much attention to what those Ph.D. men in the Bureau of Science say.”

I remarked that Kiko, having been born here, could, upon reaching the age of 21, choose whether he wished to be an American or a Philippine citizen–in which respect he had a wider choice than myself. Quezon at once said he would put a resolution thru the Assembly conferring citizenship on me; he had looked up the power in the constitution and found it there.

We had many laughs together and a really happy luncheon. He was pleased with Foster’s recent interview, especially his remark; “Up to this point President Quezon didn’t seem to think there was anything he couldn’t do.”


May 8, 1936

Saw Dr. Sison who accompanied Mrs. Quezon over the mountains on horseback from Bongabong to Baler: two days of riding. Coming back down the coast in the Arayat it was very rough when they emerged from the shelter of Polillo–Mrs. Quezon was sea sick and Quezon ordered the steamer in to Mauban instead of carrying on to Hondagua. Sison says Quezon is talking of building a pier at Baler to exploit the big stand of timber there (too expensive!).

Saw General Sandiko at the office: he says the purchase of the remaining Friar Lands is the only solution of the agrarian troubles; says twenty per cent of the agitation is due to the activity of troublemakers. Also told me that in Pambusco men work eighteen hours a day thru a trickery in interpreting the eight hour law, which permits only twelve hours of service, and that only under certain agreements. He is strongly in favour of organizing the powerful labour unions, and so are Torres and Varona.

This morning, Quezon gave a press interview to both “foreign” and “local” reporters. Evidently, he had important things to give out. The newspapers published:

(a)  A statement that Davao land “leases” would go to the courts.

(b)  The President contemplates the construction of a 150 kilometer (300!) electric railway between Davao and Cagayan de Misamis, and also would complete the Aloneros-Pasacao gap in the southern lines of the Manila Railroad. The Maria Cristina Falls in Lanao are to be used for part of the power for the first project.

(c)  That the Philippines would sooner ask for immediate independence than wait for the end of the ten years period if there are no prospects of improving the provisions of the economic clauses of the Tydings-McDuffie law. The Philippines, as stated, “would prefer to break away from the American economic apron strings and blaze a new economic and political trail from itself.” “I am not exactly in favour of eliminating the export tax,” he said “if Congress would remove the tax I would ask for authority sufficiently elastic so that this power can be lodged in the hands of Philippine authorities to impose a tax on sugar exports from the Philippines.” “This would be a good test of the patriotism of the sugar barons” he declared, and: “If we cannot export our sugar duty free to the United States, that is, if we should lose our American market for sugar and tobacco, for example, I would ask for immediate independence. I would not wait for the expiration of the transition period. There would be no use marking time.”

Newspapers also quoted Judge Hausserman, head of the Benguet Mines and now in the United States (usually in recent years very tactfully) as saying that the withdrawal of the United States from the Philippines would be “tragic” because it would mark the end of American interest in the Orient. This remark was resented by seven or eight Assemblymen, who understood that Hausserman meant it would be tragic for the Philippines. They replied that the “tragedy” might be for Hausserman’s many mining millions.

Alcalde Posadas vetoes the “Hyde Park” (i.e., speeches) ordinance of the Municipal Board, stating that the Luneta should not be used for the propagation of subversive doctrines.


February 26, 1936

Talk with Rafferty who is being done in by his partners in the manganese mine. Rafferty told me of repeated lies and evasions which are characteristically the world’s 11th wonder!

Talk with Simmie about the arrastre plant and the Government’s attitude toward same. Simmie says he, Gaches and Hausserman would become Philippine citizens in a moment if they could get out of the United States income tax by so doing. Said he was selling out his California property as quickly as he could.

Jollye told me last night that he once crossed the Atlantic on the same ship with ex-Governor General Stimson and ex-Governor General Davis–they spoke to one another but were not friendly.

Sinclair mentioned that the Tabacalera had spent several hundred thousand pesos here trying to raise Sumatra tobacco wrappers–it would not grow–either due to the soil or the climate. At the Carnival, he and I had inspected his (Smith-Bell’s) hemp stripping machine–noisy, slow and almost as much physical exercise as if done by hand!


February 12, 1936

At office, Hartendorp, who has been appointed Adviser to the President on press matters, came in to see me–he has the next room. He suggested that Roxas had tried to drive a sharp bargain with Quezon and had been repulsed.

He told also the story of Quezon’s visit of a few days ago to the Lian Friar estate. The President asked an old man there why the tenants had burned the residence of the manager for the Friars. The old man replied that this had not been done by the tenants, but by the estate managers in order to get up a case against the tenants. Quezon replied “I am not an American Governor General–don’t tell me such nonsense. As a matter of fact, I am a Filipino, and not from Manila–I was born and brought up in a small place just like this.”

Hartendorp also told me of last Friday’s Press Conference: how somebody asked whether Judge Paredes’ petition for a rehearing of his sentence of dismissal would be entertained by the President, and Quezon had replied that since he had read a whole column editorial in the Bulletin commending his act of dismissal, this being the first time in his life he (Quezon) had not been attacked by the Bulletin, he would not forfeit this new found favor by rehearing the sentence. Then Hartendorp later advised Quezon that Robert Aura Smith had been very much flattered, and the other newspapers were jealous. Would it not be well for Quezon to compliment the other editors? (Quezon told me later he had replied: “You ass! I was sarcastically running the knife into Robt. Aura Smith–not flattering him!!!)

Quezon came back and asked me to go for a ride with him–the usual ceremonies took place which he has established for leaving Malacañan–motorcycle cops etc. Quezon went to see the High Commissioner, who was very cordial to me. Do not know the purport of their half hour talk. I chatted with Franks, Ely, Teahan, the a.d.c.’s and others of the High Commissioner’s office until Quezon and I started back to Malacañan for lunch-alone together, and about as pleasant a time as I have ever had with him; we had at least twenty hearty laughs.

He explained the whole Roxas business: he had arranged with Don Manuel to accept the post of Secretary of Finance and on February 8 wrote him a former offer of this plus power to vote Quezon’s powers of control in the Manila Railroad and the National Development Co. To his intense surprise, on his return from taking his children out for a drive at 5 p.m. (which drive he didn’t want to take) he received an answer from Roxas, which he read to me, in which Roxas thanked him but stated that in as much as he had been elected, in accordance with his own wish, a member of the Assembly from Capiz, he could not leave his constituency unless called on to do so by “unavoidable duty of the Government.” This was a shock and surprise to Quezon who at once sent him a letter saying that he (Quezon) had believed that Roxas could be more useful as Secretary of Finance than as a member of the National Assembly; that Roxas was entitled to his own opinion on the matter, and since he (Roxas) had decided against it, Quezon would accept his decision not to be a member of the Cabinet, but with regret. Thereupon Roxas hurried around and tried to chip in–said he would withdraw his letter and would serve as Secretary of Finance, but Quezon replied it was “too late” as he had already appointed de las Alas. Then Osmeña came to see Quezon and Quezon says that if he (Osmeña) had then offered to resign as Secretary of Public Instruction, he (Quezon) would have interrupted the opening of his first sentence with “I accept”; but Osmeña had no idea of resigning. Quezon says Osmeña is an “old snake, but a non-poisonous snake.” He said “I licked those fellows only a year and a half ago, but they won’t stay licked.” I told him he had enough loyal men around him to run any government, and it was unwise to count upon loyalty from his opponents. He said that the night after he got rid of Roxas he was so happy he could not sleep–he wanted to call up an old friend (me) to come and talk to him; that after staying awake until 3 a.m. he got up and worked at his desk until 6.

Next I asked him about his acceptance of “Mike” Elizalde’s resignation of the presidency of the National Development Co. He replied that “Mike” had been the largest contributor to Quezon’s campaign fund in the election for the Presidency; that “like the Republicans in the United States, he had expected in return to run my administration, and so I dropped him.”

Next Quezon described his recent interview with Hausserman, Marsman and Andres Soriano, the three leaders in gold mining here. He told them he was in favour of developing the natural resources of the Islands; that he was also in favour of a fair return to investors. That all three of them had contributed to his campaign fund but if they believed that gave them a right to do as they pleased under his administration they were in for a rude awakening. That if they found existing laws unfair or unworkable, they should come to him and they would find a “sympathetic” listener when they were proposing amendments, but that if they or their clever lawyers tried to evade the law, they would go to jail. He said from the aftereffects of this conversation, they seemed to be very well pleased with the outlook.

Next, I took up with him the question of his attitude to the newspapers–a point on which he and I seem to be entirely congenial. He said he had agreed to the Friday interviews, and enjoyed them. That when he had been questioned and had answered, and another question was put he had “refused to be cross-examined” which produced a sympathetic laugh. I urged him to bend a little to avoid the nibbling of squirrels which might impair the confidence he was gradually inspiring in his own people. But he continues to scorn the press. I said I was just like him and had never crooked the knee to the newspapers.

Then we reverted to Hartendorp, and Quezon said he had received news from him a day or two ago that Scandal was going to publish an article about him and Miss. “That sweet girl” Quezon added. He told Hartendorp to let it be published, and I recalled the Duke of Wellington’s answer: “Publish and be damned.” Quezon replied that he never objected to this sort of scandal “because they always get the wrong woman or the wrong place.”

Then Quezon told me that the law permitting him to reorganize the Government had been drafted by Roxas who was to have undertaken the job. That he regretted he had allowed this to happen, because Singson told him it had taken six months of the hardest work of his life to reorganize only the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources–and even then his doorstep was always crowded with weeping wives and children. So, Quezon asks me to draft a “superficial reorganization,” so as to have something to show to the Assembly when it convenes in June; he will give me the appropriation and personnel. “We” he added, “will really reorganize the government two or three years hence.”

His mind is set on our vacation trip in April to Moroland when he “will be through establishing his Government firmly and can relax.”

Golf at McKinley later with Doria and call on Felicia Howell.


December 28-31, 1935

With Doria in Baguio –golf every day on Country Club or municipal links and those at Camp John Hay. Called on Colonel Dosser, Governor of the Mountain Province. He has a nice house, an Igorot mestiza  wife and lots of children. Mrs. Dosser is attractive and runs a succesful beauty parlor. Dosser and I talked over old times and how near we came to a casualty in our wild carabao hunt in Ifugao in 1915.

Big party on New Year’s eve at the Country Club, where Hausserman and Marsman were entertaining their American mining managers and engineers. We went with Peters, Mrs. Fox, Macaulay of Sun Life –etc. In the afternoon Doria and I drove around Trinidad valley and down to overlook the Benguet mining settlement.