Breakfast at Malacañan Palace with the President, Secretary Yulo, Carmona and architect Arellano.
Before the others arrived, I told Quezon how much I approved his appointment of Hermenegildo Cruz as Director of the Bureau of Labour, and the President replied that under the preceding administration Cruz had been “framed,” but that he (Quezon) had then advised him to resign because he had lost the confidence of Governor Murphy.
At the table, the President remarked that he was reading Professor Kirk’s new book on the Philippines, and enjoyed the first chapter so much because of the cynicism with which the author exposes the “cant” of McKinley’s government in pious profession of the “White Man’s Burden.” He added that Governor Forbes had really believed in that cliche. Quezon and I both admitted to one another that we had tried to read Governor Forbes’ book on the Philippines, and had been quite unable to do so.
After lunch, we all went down to Binondo to look at three sites for the proposed new building of the Philippine National Bank. In the business district, the crowds stared at Quezon as if he were royalty!
I enquired as to Quezon’s opinion of the present disorders in Spain. He replied that the Spanish people are not fit for self-government, and have lost the ability to carry on under a constitutional monarchy. “What they need,” he remarked “is five years of a dictatorship.”
To dinner with Colonel Hodsoll at the Manila Club; the first entertainment given by the English since the death of King George V.
A. D. Williams, back from a trip to Cebu with the President, says that Quezon never left the Mayon on which he had a severe attack of “flu,” and the doctors were afraid of pneumonia. He is now back at work, weak but much better. The rumours as to his illness which were published Saturday last in the Bulletin were utterly unfounded and mischievous. Williams states that the campaign against “graft” by Vicente Sotto, as published in La Union concerning the location of the proposed Cebu Capitol is entirely untrue; this land belongs to Osmeña but he has always “offered to donate it to the government.” For many years the plan has been approved by all concerned.
A. D. Williams is exercised over Quezon’s sending to the United States for architect William Parsons (Yale ’95) for town planning here without consulting him (Williams); thinks Parsons should not come during the rainy season. Quezon says Arellano’s municipal buildings etc. are too much like churches or theaters–(Arellano says ecclesiastical architecture suits and Philippines, and I rather agree with him).
The Government Survey Board is being mildly criticized in the Press: “the net result, thus far, has been an increase, rather than a decrease in the already top heavy government personnel” (editorial in Bulletin). If the Board is to be credited with an increase in the Bureau of Justice and in the Civil Service, there would be some appearance of reason in this criticism. So far as I know the Board had nothing to do with either! Yulo “put one over” in the Bureau of Justice matter (thinks Unson)! I personally do not disapprove of either increase, but it makes things more difficult when the Board comes to recommend reductions elsewhere!
Issue of Vicente Sotto’s paper La Union of July 1, 1936 contains the following alleged interview with Quezon: “Confio en que la independencia vendra dentro de quatro anos y debemos estar preparados: ?quien debe sustituirme?”–dijo Manuel L. Quezon en el curso de una entrevista con un representante de Union.” (Is this the same idea expressed publicly by Quezon some weeks ago: that he would rather have early independence than the economic sanctions of the Tydings-McDuffie Act?)
Photographed by Arellano for Malacañan. Quezon wishes to hang up photos of Taft, myself and Murphy as the three Americans most closely connected with significant chapters of the American occupation. Arellano told me that everywhere confidence in Quezon was growing–that he was a real leader.
Papers contain notices about two matters showing the results of slowness in the administration. 1st, the rice regulation by the Government. The dealers claim that Quezon had acted too slowly to benefit them as intended. 2d, Quezon has suspended the Governor of Albay because he would not come to Manila to answer as to why the Provincial Board had reduced the cedula tax from two pesos to one. But it seems that the resolution of the Board had been before Quezon for so long without action that it became effective without approval!
Long talk with Manuel Concepcion on the currency; we agree that Paredes had lost his fight in Washington against the repeal of the law authorizing the payment of $23,000,000 to the Philippines for the gold devaluation, because he argued on sentimental grounds instead of giving exchange and commodity prices, the best he can do now is to get action by Congress suspended until proper arguments can be presented later on.
American republicans of the Philippines had their political convention to select delegates to their National Convention. Selph and Marguerite Wolfson were the spokesmen. They have learned very little in 36 years of progressive defeat on the Philippine question. They still hope to turn back the hands of the clock. They did not come out against “independence after ten years” but denounced the economic provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie Act.
Doria describes the hopelessness of trying to shop in establishments where Filipinos serve. They are obstinate, disobliging and arrogant. Always answer to any enquiry that “we haven’t any of that”–will never compete successfully in the retail trade with Chinese, Spanish and Japanese.
Attended dinner of Yale graduates of Philippines in honor of Yale men promoted recently: Justice Jose Laurel, Judge Delgado, Secretary of Finance de las Alas, Assemblyman from Marinduque and Celeste, the Secretary of the National Economic Council. A lot of real fun and a very pleasant evening.
Bridge earlier with Colonel Lim, Tan and Nazario at the Philippine Columbian Club–good game.
Did not attend Tommy Wolff’s gigantic reunion of “Old Timers.”
Eleven a.m. went to the Mansion House for High Commissioner’s New Year’s reception on the lawn as per custom. We had been invited to dinner there the night before but could not accept (3d time). Mr. & Mrs. Charles Hoover (Consul General at Hong Kong) had already left but we met Chief Keith of the Baguio police with an assorted family of mestizas —I asked after the pony he used to ride when he weighed 300 lbs. and he said it was “resting easily.” Also met Colonel Kimberly and his second wife (a Viennese). He is back again at Corregidor –they had been making a really perilous motor trip thru the Mountain Province to Lubuagan and down to the Cagayan valley in a big Cadillac. Mrs. Kimberley said she had lost seven pounds in weight thru fright.
The High Commissioner looked very sun-burned and rather wildeyes. He told me the plans for a residence for the High Commissioner to be built in Manila next to the Army & Navy Club were already drawn by architect Arellano and been sent off to the Secretary of War; that the dredging was going on. He believed the building would be completed in nine months.
Motored down from Baguio –lovely drive until we ran into heavy rain near Manila. Doria and I had “New Year’s talk” and agreed that I was not really welcomed out here, and my services in the Government were not actually needed –that Quezon was exceedingly kind and loyal to me, but that my presence was likely enough a source of embarrassment to him. That we (D & I) would stop living in a dream world, that we would slow up social efforts and really try to enjoy ourselves and make the most we could out of our year here.
Arrived at 5:30 in the rain at McDonough’s house in Parañaque which I have rented for one year at 500 pesos a month; a staggering rent. Servants in confusion –nothing ready– Doria almost in tears –McDonough told us his “night watchman” had just been caught making off with some of his silver and linen! I must try to get a Sikh (Indian) in his place. No food –no soap– no conveniences, so Doria & I dined alone in the Polo Club much depressed.