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, 1935

Golf alone in a.m. Doria rode with the High Commissioner and Teahan –enjoyed it immensely but said the High Commissioner was so “mooney and difficult to talk with”– Doria refused to enter the Mansion House because Mrs. Ora Smith whose husband directs the Bulletin was there.

(Baguio). In p.m. at Quezon’s house; bridge; Quezon, Peters, Ed. Harrison & myself. Quezon is undoubtedly a brilliant bridge player tho unacquainted with many of the Culbertson calls. He listens attentively to the bids, then takes a long time to bid and places the cards with skill. As my partner he bid three no trump, was doubled and he redoubled making 3 extra tricks, all of which depended on one successful finesse –thus netting 2100 (game & rubber). He had Jake Rosenthal staying with him, who is a really devoted personal friend of his. House was full of children playing with Christmas toys.


November 26, 1935

Long talk with Rafferty in the morning re industrialization in the Philippines.

Golf at Wack-Wack with Jim Rockwell in the afternoon.

Appointment at 7 o’clock at Malacañan with Quezon. He has a sala (or office) next to his bedroom over the front door (where my bedroom used to be, but now reconstructed). He was cheerful and in good form; very friendly. He said he was off tomorrow for a couple of days in Laguna to look into this Encallado banditry. I told him it sounded like the days of Rizal’s books; he said the Constabulary had slipped back in the last few years –thought it a defect in Governor General Murphy’s administration. (Later Osmeña and I expressed to one another a wish that Quezon might not be known to take the matter too seriously.)

Quezon again voiced his irritation with Major General Parker. I said I was sorry to see General MacIntyre leave; he said that he, too, was sorry, but that MacIntyre was determined to leave and retire as Trade Commissioner. He had been quite knocked out by the recent death of his wife. Quezon plans to manage so that MacIntyre remains in the service.

We then discussed my appointment as Adviser on Communications and he asked me also to help him in the reorganization of the government. He is to put me in touch with Quirino and Paez on the purchase of the Manila RR. bonds from the English.

9:30 pm ball at Malacañan—about fifty extremely nice people—the only Americans there besides ourselves were Roy Howard, his wife and son and the High Commissioner and family. The dance was given for Judge Murphy who returns home tomorrow.

Had many interesting conversations —with General Valdes, Miguel Unson and Colonel Paulino Santos. The latter is opposed to the appointment of Moros to govern Moros; said it is better to give positions to bright Moros such as fiscal etc., to serve up here in Manila.

Teahan was amusing about the boredom of Baguio. Osmeña danced every dance; Quezon only one tango. Drinks were served on the balcony; Garfinkel, a.d.c., says that no drinks were offered at big parties following the custom initiated by Governor General Wood. I arranged, at wish of Quezon, to have Nick Kaminsky stay on as superintendent at Malacañan. Ah King whom I brought from Shanghai as my servant was installed again at the Palace as number one “boy”.


November 12, 1935

Saw Joe Cooley who is still living in Zamboanga —told me of his success down there with dessicated coconuts.

 

Called at Malacañan on Vice-President Garner, but missed him. Talk with Senator Byrnes of South Carolina —mostly about fishing.

In P.M. “Carabao Wallow” at Camp Nichols Club House —excellent show of jumping horses— aviation display of six small pursuit planes—very impressive. Met General Alfred T. Smith who was very cordial and polite.

Went with the Paynes to Satterfield’s house (Colonel Livingston’s) on Pasay Beach —met Mr. Hargis (now of Cebu) who is interested in Mindanao mines. I asked him about the future of the sugar mills, he expressed confidence in spite of the calamity howlers.

Cocktail party at Mrs. Stowes —all the “Old Guard” were there— i.e. the former “Polo Club (Forbes) set.”

Dined with the Paynes on the lawn of the Army and Navy Club, then went to Malacañan Palace to the last reception to be given there by an American Governor General. The palace was dark enough for the last scene in Götterdämerung.

Quezon was there in full evening dress. The Governor General was very cordial and seemed happy. Colonel Garfinkel, a.d.c. as a special privilege, got some drinks for our group. Played bridge with Selma Payne, Julian Wolfson and Marguerite his sister—one of the staff came up and commented on the “first bridge game he had seen in two years at Malacañan”! It was a very small party. Talked with Nick Kamisky, the old palace superintendent.


October 13, 1935

Dined informally at Malacañan. Governor General Murphy and his sister very cordial and kind. The Palace much the same as when I left it but is largely refurnished. It is indeed a very romantic old house. Murphy was particularly enthusiastic about the Executive Building which was finished in my time (1920). We talked of Aguinaldo’s feud against Quezon and he told me he rebuked Aguinaldo for giving him so many stories against Quezon; he said he did not believe it all—that anyway Quezon would make no concealment of anything in his past—mentioned the trip of Quezon to Russia in 1911(?). He added that Don Manuel always spoke worse of himself than did any of his critics. Murphy offered us his car, and we used No. 1 with Ambrosio (my old driver) for several days.

Tea party at Tiro al Blanco  on October 16. All old friends and very delightful. Doria was enchanted with the Filipina ladies and with the dancing. Dinner at Quezon’s fine house in Pasay on October 17 —about thirty guests, all old cabinet, etc. Mrs. Quezon was very sweet and cordial. Saw young Aurora (Baby) Quezon; they call me her “honorary god-father” because at her christening in the Cathedral in 1920 the Archbishop refused to accept me as god-father because I was a Mason. Quezon was rather tired of dinners and was nervous at having to sit still so long, but was very cordial; told me had fought in turn all of the Philippine political leaders. I replied that he dearly loved a fight, like an Irishman, and that Congressman Tim Ansberry had not nicknamed him “Casey” for nothing. Pleased to find Osmeña also friendly; but Phil Buencamino warns me that “the old gang” headed by Osmeña would turn on Quezon again at the first opportunity.

On October 19 played bridge with Quezon, Palma and Guevara at the latter’s house —a good game. Quezon held no cards but was amiable about it. Several young men and ladies were sitting or standing around in the old Filipino fashion, ready to serve. Guevera has been thirteen years as Resident Commissioner in Washington and wants to go back there. Will Quezon reappoint him? He has been advocating to Congress an American Protectorate here as a permanency. I was told of Guevara’s dramatic defense of me before the Committee on Insular Affairs when Ben Wright the then Insular Auditor, attacked me. Guevara fell senseless at the end of his speech.

The Archbishop of Manila, Msgr. O’Doherty called on me October 17; friendly as ever; he has cooperated with the government during his 19 (?) years here, and says he is ready to leave if the Filipinos want their own Archbishop —possibly Bishop Reyes of Iloilo aged 42 and a nephew of Mrs. Sophie de Veyra; that the Islandsare now divided by the Church into a northern and southern section. Quezon told me later that Msgr. O’Doherty had been very satisfactory and that they would probably wish to keep him for a couple of years. I understand that most of the Bishops under him are now Filipinos.