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.
Called on T. Wolff at his office to discuss his memorandum on the new cedula tax law. Finished the draft of Landlord & Tenant Bill.
In the p.m., the Survey Board had its weekly meeting; they are framing a plan for the standardization of salaries in the Government. One of the marked characteristics of round-table conferences of Filipinos is their sense of humour. Unson, Trinidad, Paez, Rustia and Occuña were there.
Went to the Legislative Building to hear the message of the President to the Assembly. Gratings were locked on the doors. I pushed through the crowd, got a policeman to open the door and was met by Chief of Police Antonio Torres who said the city had been “under arms” since the night before; the only people in the galleries were his secret service men. Communists were supposed to have threatened a bomb.
Sat with the Alcalde and the Chief of Police. Quezon read a forty minute message of “progressive conservatism”–really an excellent program for the development and relief of the country. Acoustics of the hall are so bad, I could hardly catch his words. Torres says this building was designed for the National Library and 3000 pesos have just been spent to improve the acoustics of the hall, but with no success;–he said it must be air-conditioned and hung with tapestries. Quezon’s voice is too strong and oratorical for the loud speaker. If he proposes to broadcast, I have advised him to study the matter of his voice.
Bridge with Gordon, Jollye and Sinclair at the Manila Club. When I was home at dinner Quezon called me on the telephone to ask if I had read his message. He said he was very tired–had only begun it yesterday morning and had been up all last night over it. Quezon called attention to his reference to the Irish Land Laws.
Will analyse his message after reading it in the morning papers.
At office. Hartendorp uneasy because his appointment is as “technical assistant,” and not as “adviser”; fears he will be reduced to mere routine work, and is upset because he can’t see Quezon. Told him I had been unable to see Quezon myself for three weeks. Appointments are out for the Boards of Directors of the Philippine National Bank and of the National Development Co. They are completely Filipinized: even Colin Hoskins is ousted! Bank directors henceforth are to consist only of Government officials, thus freeing the bank from business interests of a private nature. Sorry about Colin who is one of the best directors the bank has had.
Saw Rafael Palma coming to take the oath of office as President of the National Board of Education. He seems pleased, and I am really glad Quezon took care of him–rare magnanimity on the President’s part!
At Manila Club for bridge, but Peters, entering the card room slipped and fell cutting his head badly and fracturing his wrist–took him to doctor’s. Only a few days ago called on General and Mrs. Holbrook and found her with a broken wrist from a fall on a slippery floor. This is a common accident here.
Admitted by affiliation as a member of Bagumbayan Lodge N° 4; I heard that our former efforts to make Americans fraternize with Filipinos had now been replaced by the necessity of persuading the poor Filipinos (Plaridel Temple) to fraternize with the “aristocratic” lodges which contain Americans–a schism is threatened–trouble seems to have been created by Masterson, an ex-soldier who is ambitious and speaks a few words of Tagalog.
Soriano told Doria that he finds it more profitable to sell his copra (Laguna) in the open market than to send it to the nearby (San Pablo) dessicated coconut factory.