September 29, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon back from Saranac in his apartment in the Shoreham; still on his back and confined to his bedroom; full of fight over the joint resolution introduced in the Senate by Mr. Tydings for immediate independence of the Philippines. No fever and yet not much strength–but the spirit burning fiercely. Tries not to speak and writes his remarks on a pad, but occasionally breaks in with a muffled voice.

The story of the joint resolution since I left Quezon in Saranac nearly three weeks ago, is the substitution for our form for independence (as soon as the Japanese are driven our of the P.I.) of a straight-out declaration for immediate independence, as suggested later by Frank Murphy. When Murphy got back to Washington he telephoned the White House that he did not want the Philippines “treated like India.”

Quezon has sent the two forms of resolution down to Tydings who had gone to see Roosevelt (for the first time in years) and, while he seems not to have actually shown the resolution he had selected (and enlarged) for immediate independence, he came out and announced that Mr. Roosevelt and Secretary Hull were in favour of it, and introduced it in the Senate on September 24th with a brief statement stressing the importance of preventing the Japanese grant of “independence” from influencing any Filipinos to fight alongside the Japanese army when our forces re-entered the Philippines.

Then the opposition got to work in the press. Mr.Walter Lippman attacked the new resolution introduced by Senator Tydings in two newspaper articles on September 28th and 30th, and Quezon replied to the first in very vigorous terms on September 29th, being ably supported by the veteran journalist, Mr. William Philip Simms. Editorials in the Washington Star and Washington Post opposed the Tydings’ resolution.

Quezon as is usual in one of his political fights, is alternately in high spirits and in the trough of depression.

I saw him at 6 p.m., September 29th, and he opened up by writing his views to me, in answer to my remarks. He said he had been willing to accept independence when the Japanese were expelled, but now it was too late to yield on immediate independence–the Filipinos could not be made to understand. He added “rather than yield, I’ll go Jap.” Stimson and the Interior Department (Ickes) were opposed to it, according to Quezon; Roosevelt was writing his message to Congress on the subject, and was to send it first to Quezon on Monday, October 4th. Quezon had sent General Valdes before the Senate Committee to read his (Q’s) views in support of the resolution “word by word” and could not now retract.

I told him this move should have been made last February (1943) when we first took it up–but Quezon said that Osmeña was then opposed. (Quezon was also then uncertain of Roosevelt’s position on the question.)

The President then reached under his pillow and showed me two telegrams from MacArthur of September 25th, and 27th, 1943. The first congratulated Quezon upon Tydings’ resolution, and said he knew of no people who would better adorn independence than the Filipinos. That early in August he (MacArthur) had become deeply concerned over the possible effects of the Japanese declaration of “independence” for the Philippines and had cabled the Chief of Staff that it was necessary for the United States to grant independence before the Japanese did so, and had asked the Chief of Staff to show his cable to the Secretary of War and to the President. MacArthur added that probably Quezon had not been apprised of his cable!

MacArthur’s second cable was to ask Quezon, in the event of the passage of Tydings’ resolution, to give MacArthur command without salary of the Philippine Army to use with the American Army to reconquer the Philippines, a task to which he had dedicated the rest of his life.

At this point Andres Soriano came in and joined us; he is trying to get released from his post as Secretary of Finance, but Quezon told him (in Spanish) that he must wait until next May.

Later I dined with Soriano; he told me he had been trying ever since last Spring to get out of the Cabinet; he wanted to join the Philippine Army in Mindanao and be a general officer there. Also wishes to launch his preparations for the rehabilitation of the Philippines. Wants to make it an industrial and shipping nation to take over part of the business in the Islands of the class of enterprise which had made Japan so strong in the past. Quezon kept telling him to wait.


May 26, 1943

Doria and I sat in a taxi today with Mrs. Paul McNutt who had not seen our small daughter Ursula since she was a baby of three weeks at Baguio, six years ago. Mrs. McNutt was looking lovely and very smartly dressed. She commented on the regal style in which the Quezons lived at the Shoreham; and said that sometimes shen she entered the hotel with her arms full of bundles, as one was obliged to do nowadays, she met Mrs. Quezon flanked by two a.d.c.’s! Said that she herself had once been a refugee (from Mexico), but that was not the way people expected refugees to look! It was good-natured but ironic.

The Japanese radio (Domei) states that Vargas announced that all Filipinos should celebrate Japanese Navy Day (May 17) since the freedom of East Asia had been assured by the shattering by the Japanese of the Anglo-American and Dutch navies!

Arnaldo in charge of the library in the Commonwealth Building (1617 Mass. Ave.) says that it is not believed that the Japanese have destroyed any libraries in the Philippines, except possibly a part of the University Library. That the Philippine National Library was untouched, except that probably they took the old documents for their own great collection of Filipiniana in Tokyo–as, also possibly all the priceless collections of Professor Otley Beyer.

Sitting in the lobby of the Shoreham that evening with Dr. Trepp, we saw Quezon and his daughter Baby going toward the front door for a drive. Quezon went up the three or four steps nimbly almost waving his rubber-tipped cane. Trepp observed that if he had seen us, he would have been leaning feebly on Baby’s arm. Trepp told me that the President was a “used-up” man, physically; that there was nothing organical serious about his condition, and that he should live for from 5 to 10 years more–but was gradually wearing down. Says he (Trepp) saved Quezon’s life in 1932 and at first Quezon was grateful to him and put him in charge of the Sanitorium later replacing him there by Dr. Cañizares and making Trepp the latter’s “adviser.” As soon as Trepp had taught the Filipino doctors his methods, they shoved him aside. Quezon has not been generous to him in later years, but Trepp had built up a fine private practice in Manila, and had put his savings into successful gold mines.

Trepp said he “simply adored” Quezon until they went to Corregidor–but thought his leaving Manila a terrible mistake (of course, Trepp did not know of the pressure and specious promises of help from Roosevelt).


May 24, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Osmeña was operated upon hurriedly on Saturday last for appendicitis. Quezon goes down to Doctors’ Hospital every day to call on him.

The President told me of a recent meeting of the Pacific War Council. Mr. Roosevelt had opened with a talk of Attu, of which he had a large map. Evidently, he intended this to be the end of the meeting, but Mr. Churchill took the floor. Quezon remarked that if he had not heard his statement, he would have had quite an erroneous idea of the situation in the Pacific merely from hearing Churchill’s previous recent address to the American Congress.

The Prime Minister now explained to the Council quite frankly that England could not undertake the prosecution of a campaign in Burma–they could, he said, use only a certain sized force there, and added: “The Japanese are better than we at jungle fighting.” Now, he could not supply the men to put the Burma road into proper condition and to maintain it. “This,” remarked Quezon to me “left me in some doubt as to whether the British Government really wanted to help China.” Thereupon, H. H. Kung made a “silly speech” and begged Churchill to open up the Burma road for them, adding that it was probably a choice of generals! Churchill interrupted to say, tartly: “I hope the time will never come when England cannot select its own generals.”

Churchill continued and stated that he heartily backed the present Australian demand, presented by Dr. Evatt, for more planes than the 400 he had requested. Roosevelt replied that both Australia and General Chennault were to get more planes than those for which they had originally asked.

In some unexplained way, Quezon seemed to think that the big attack on Japan was to come from Siberia! He also felt that the Philippines would be reclaimed from the enemy by direct attack which would be ruinous to his country.

Quezon added that from listening to these debates on the War Council he is inclined to believe that Churchill will not enter upon any more military or naval enterprises unless he is seventy per cent sure of success. For his own part, Quezon added while attending the meeting of the Pacific War Council, he was confining his part strictly to the interests of the Philippines. These seemed to fit in with the English plans. He recalled such Englishmen as he had liked personally in the Philippines, such as Horace Whittall and Pat Jollye–then he added reflectively: “Who could ever have expected the time to come when I should appear to be backing English imperialism?” He does indeed, at the present juncture, seem to be inclined towards English strategy. For years I have been cautioning Quezon not to neglect the importance for his country of the sympathetic backing of Great Britain.

Quezon next turned to political history as he had seen it unfold. He believed that Woodrow Wilson was the greatest American of this half century. Of Roosevelt, he commented: “He stands the criticism against him throughout the United States admirably,” adding: “I should be bursting out all the time.” He thinks Churchill is a greater man than Roosevelt.

Then Quezon turned to recollections of his service in the American Congress as Resident Commissioner from the Philippines, and dwelt on the failure to get the Clarke Amendment to the Jones Bill in 1916 through the House of Representatives. Senator Clarke introduced his bill for independence of the Philippines effective within two years. He was a solitary man who did his own thinking, and never went to the White House. So President Wilson went to Clarke’s apartment and asked him to change the period before full independence from two to four years because the first World War was then in full swing. Clarke was flattered and accepted the suggestion. The Philippine bill including this “Clarke Amendment” passed the Senate by the deciding vote of Vice President Marshall. In the House, however, Fitzgerald and his large bloc of Roman Catholic Democrats bolted the Democratic leadership and killed the Clarke Amendment. The only Catholics in the House to vote for the amendment were Ansberry of Ohio and Broussard of Louisiana. It appears that Osmeña had cabled Quezon from Manila not exactly expressing his own opposition to the Clarke Amendment but quoting adverse opinions of his followers–Rafael Palma, etc.

Independence for the Philippines in 1918 or 1920 would among other favourable results, have prevented the growth there of the “sugar barons” and might even, later on, have staved off the Japanese invasion. Their economy would have stood up to the test at that time better than in the subsequent period when sugar dominated the market.


May 16, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon busy writing a letter in his own hand to Osmeña in answer to a brief submitted to him by the latter. This is the opening gun in the contest between the two for the presidency of the Commonwealth after November 15, 1943. Quezon read me the salient points of Osmeña’s brief, all of which were citations as to the constitutionality of a government-in-exile. Quezon now points out that all of Osmeña’s authorities refer to formerly independent states now (or formerly) in enemy occupation; these examples are irrelevant, since the Philippine Commonwealth has never been an independent government and the issue now lies between the United States and Japan–so the whole subject is in the hands of President Roosevelt, and he alone can decide what part of the Commonwealth Government and of its constitution are in force today. This leaves little doubt that Quezon will remain as President of the Philippines even after his present term of two years, expiring December 31, 1943, has run out. This would bar Osmeña from enjoying the two years as President to which he was elected by the Philippine people, just before the invasion by the Japanese. Since Quezon is being privately advised by Justices Murphy and Frankfurter, there can be little doubt of the outcome. Opinion around headquarters is that Osmeña will not offer serious resistance.

The part of Osmeña’s offer to Quezon which aroused the latter’s indignation was the proposition that Quezon should continue to live in the magnificent suite in the Shoreham when Osmeña assumed the presidency, and that Quezon should become President of the Council of State, which as he points out was the same old suggestion made to me as Governor General in 1919, [sic] when Osmeña tried to persuade me to disassociate myself from the new Council of State under his own presidency–a proposal which I then rejected.

At all events, Quezon feels that Osmeña’s offer to him now is “insulting.” I have no idea of the contents of Quezon’s letter of reply and probably never shall know but I consider it now practically certain that Quezon will remain as President until at least the Philippines are reoccupied. I had previously told him I did not believe that Roosevelt would tolerate any other plan.

Whether this is politically wise for Quezon is another matter. As Trepp says he weakened his political future when he left Corregidor, and the present project that he shall hold the presidency of the Commonwealth for the two years for which Osmeña had been elected president by the Filipinos, while practically unavoidable, will weaken him still further with the people at home. Quien sabe?

Meanwhile the Japanese radio announcements of statements by leading Filipinos continue to unsettle Philippine headquarters in Washington–however, these are now considered either as downright Japanese lies, or else as statements made under duress. Collier ‘s, May 22, 1943, publishes a recent statement by George Vargas: “It becomes our pleasant duty to share the joy of liberated millions… victory for Japan is victory for the Philippines.” At the same time, the Japanese radio announced that Vargas’ son had been sent to Tokyo to the University–ostensibly for study, but we assume, as a hostage for his father’s “good behaviour.” Manuel Roxas is in his own home in Manila, under “protective custody.” Generals Lim and Capinpin have apparently issued statements that the Americans let them down in the Philippine war and they are in favour of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Both of these Generals are now at liberty.

There is evidently still a great deal of ill-feeling among those who surround Quezon (but not in his own mind) because of the failure of the United States to make any effort to relieve Corregidor, after all the abundant promises made to that end in the early stages of the invasion. Mrs. Bewley, who brought her daughter out just before the fall of Corregidor in an American Navy plane to Freemantle, Australia, is still bitter about the lack of effort made by the United States in the theatre of the Philippines. Her husband is a prisoner in Manila–or at Los Baños. Her plane was the only one of the three that got through. One was shot down over Corregidor and all on board lost; one fell in Lake Lanao and all were drowned. This was the end of what had frankly been considered a “suicide mission.”

Quezon took me out for a long drive. I tried to get his mind fixed on pleasant thoughts–got him to tell me of the making of Tagaytay ridge into a resort now by the new road only 40 minutes from Manila–the resort is at 2,500 feet altitude–plenty of water (and wind!).

At Malacañan he has cleaned out the slaughter house and dog pound across the Pasig River and all other “smelly things” on the swampy land opposite the Palace and has turned it all into a park–where I used to shoot snipe! He fears the Japanese will destroy Malacañan if they have to evacuate the Islands. So far they have done no damage there and have not even occupied the Palace.

Secretary Knox told him the Japanese could have taken Dutch Harbor if they had tried; now their occupation of Kiska and Attu really made no difference–we could get them out whenever we cared to try.

Quezon thinks Roosevelt tried to get us into the war immediately after the fall of France but that the American “isolationists” prevented this at that time; it was Pearl Harbor that was the immediate cause of our fighting.


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.”


April 29-May 1, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon back from three weeks rest at Miami as guest of the military intelligence service. Originally he had planned to have me spend a fortnight with him to “finish his book” but on arrival there with his family he wired me there was no room available for me in the house which was provided for him. The real reason, however, as Trepp tells me, is that he was absolutely tired out, and spent the whole three weeks sleeping, resting and playing two-handed bridge. Dr. Trepp says that Quezon is in “good physical condition” but he, Trepp, does not know whether the President will live to get back to the Philippines if that is delayed four or five years longer. Quezon is already homesick, and much depressed by this “global strategy” which has postponed the prosecution of the Pacific War in favour of the European theatre. Trepp says Quezon is “wearing down.” He admits it is chiefly a question of spirit, and on this count, Quezon is getting gradually to realize how the cards are stacked against him and his country. Also he is deeply worried as to whether the Filipino leaders will continue to stand by him or whether they are provoked because Quezon and his family are safe in Washington while they are suffering under the Japanese occupation.

I had only two sizeable conversations with Quezon in these three days. A good deal of our talk was over the attempt he is about to make, after an hour’s conversation he had April 27th with Sumner Welles to get the Administration to pledge itself to two or three principles essential to the future security of the Philippines after the Japanese are expelled. The first of this is the acceptance by the United States after the Philippine Republic is set up, of naval and air bases in the Islands; the ground forces of the air bases to be supplied by the Filipinos. Second, an appropriation of $600,000,000 by the United States to rehabilitate the Philippines, which Quezon thinks would repair all essential damage done by the Japanese and also allow the Filipinos to industrialize the Islands. Third, support by the United States Government of quota laws on immigration into the Philippines in order “to maintain our occidental, Christian civilization.” (This last, of course, refers to Chinese immigration.)

Quezon expressed his present determination to retire at the end of the two years term of his second presidency which will expire November 15, 1943. He gave very sound reasons why he is determined to observe the constitutional provision under which he was elected for a second term of two years, but I told him I did not believe the “United States Government” would allow him to do this. Roosevelt has the power to suspend the Philippine constitution and after his message to Quezon on Corregidor of December 28, 1941, promising “to redeem and protect the independence of the Philippines” had done little since to carry out this promise.

Quezon says MacArthur states that, if, after Pearl Harbor, the United States had delivered an all-out attack on the Japanese with the two task forces in the Pacific, which survived the Pearl Harbor disaster, plus sufficient naval forces then on duty in the Atlantic, Japan could have been defeated at that time.

Roosevelt had agreed, however, to all the propositions of Churchill, when the latter came to Washington about New Year of 1942, to concentrate the first efforts of America and Great Britain on Hitler. Hence the present “global strategy.”

While I was present with him, Quezon received visits from Generals Stilwell and Chennault and also from the Foreign Minister of Australia, Dr. Herbert V. Evatt. They all had received an unsatisfactory answer from Roosevelt as to sufficient aid to MacArthur.

All of this weighs with increasing depression upon the bright hopes with which Quezon came to the United States in May of 1942. It is breaking his spirit.

He is intensely interested in the pro-MacArthur wave of sentiment now flooding the United States. Says MacArthur will never consider his own candidacy for the presidency if he is given the weapons and men with which to attack Japan. MacArthur has demanded 500 bombers and 450,000 men; he proposes to skip over the Netherlands Indies and get to Mindanao with air-troop transports. If refused sufficient support, he might become a candidate for the presidency–especially if he has been made to appear a martyr.

Quezon had dinner three nights ago with J. Edgar Hoover and Senator Chandler of Kentucky, the leader of the “pro-Pacific War” group in the Senate. Quezon says J. Edgar Hoover is much of the same opinion as Chandler. During this account of his dinner with them, Quezon cheered up as talked of the wonderful Kentucky ham they had eaten–far superior he thought to any so-called “Virginia ham”!

Quezon says that Roosevelt is absolutely “sold” on the Chinese, but adds that he (Q.) would rather live under Japanese rule than under the Chinese, but detests the thought of either.

The speech for which Quezon had been preparing on “Bataan Day” (April 9, 1943) was stopped by Roosevelt who thought it undesirable to commemorate an American defeat. The ceremony was to have been under the auspices of the Treasury Department as a rally to sell war bonds. So, instead of this, Quezon went a week later to Hartford, Connecticut, and spoke at the meeting in honour of General Wainwright, now a prisoner of the Japanese. Wainwright is a Connecticut man.

I tendered Quezon two invitations to come to Charlottesville to speak, but he merely shook his head. One bid was from General Wickersham to address the School of Military Government and the other was from Dabney Welford, President of the Raven Society–Welford had told me he thought that 800 students would attend for such an occasion.

It seems doubtful whether Quezon will finish his book; I turned back to him some fifty typed pages of his account of his experiences on Corregidor with my pencilled notes on it. He expressed no desire to see it. I asked Trepp why Quezon had not wanted to complete his book at Miami and Trepp replied: “He has no mental discipline.”

Quezon said that when he came to Washington in the early summer of 1937 and asked the President for independence in 1938 or 1939, he told Roosevelt how the Japanese had approached him on various occasions asking for “neutralization” of the Philippines, which would have meant withdrawal of the United States forces in case of independence. Roosevelt refused to entertain this idea though expressing himself as in general favour of “neutralization.”

When Quezon first arrived with MacArthur on Christmas eve, 1941, at Corregidor, Quezon wired Roosevelt stating that it was already evident that the Philippines could not be successfully defended, and equally evident that no immediate relief from the United States was to be expected, therefore he requested Roosevelt to authorize him to approach both Roosevelt and the Japanese, asking that the armed forces of both be withdrawn from the Islands. It was in connection with that request that Roosevelt wired authorizing MacArthur to disband the Filipino Army if Quezon requested it, and at the same time wired Quezon that he pledged the entire resources in men and materials of the United States, so that the freedom of the Filipinos should be redeemed and their independence established and protected. This was the first time that the United States had ever agreed (tho only by presidential announcement) to protect their independence. It was on this basis that the battle of Bataan was fought–at least, so far as the important participation of the Philippine Army was concerned.

During all these years of political struggle for the independence of the Philippines neither Quezon nor I had ever considered a protectorate possible–nor that the United States would consent to it. Quezon says: “Nobody fought the American imperialists more constantly and vigorously than I did–but now I would prefer to have them there–so long as they let us have back what we had already gained, and allow us to make our own laws. They will never send another Governor General nor High Commissioner to the Philippines.”

Quezon said that in his visit to him the day before, Dr. Evatt, the Foreign Minister of Australia, was in a cold rage against the English. Evatt reacted to the coining of the tricky phrase “global strategy” just as I (F.B.H.) had done. Evatt said that when Australia was threatened with invasion by the Japanese, the English would not send back the Australian troops until after the battle of El Alamein, and then returned them with only the clothing in which they stood–not one item of equipment. Evatt was going directly to England to tell Churchill exactly how the Australian troops felt about it. From my own acquaintance with Evatt I have no doubt that he did just that.

Quezon did not believe the English will make much of an effort in the Far East after Hitler is beaten; he quoted Churchill’s recent address in which he stated that after victory over the Germans, England would partially demobilize. But, all the same, even if the English leave the job in the Pacific chiefly to the Americans, Quezon is, for the first time in his life, friendly to the English and would be willing to co-operate with them and with the United States in the projects for future security in the Pacific. This is something very new for Quezon, who has always detested the English imperialists. He has heard from me many times how the United States originally took over the Philippines at the instigation of England, and against President McKinley’s wishes, but as part of the balance of power, and to avoid a war in 1899 with Germany. Also how the English have always exerted secret pressure on the United States to hold the Philippines as a means of maintaining the balance of power.

Quezon told me at great length of his conversation on April 27, 1943, with Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, which took a full hour, and in which they apparently reached complete agreement. Quezon began by reading to Welles a quotation from a recent address in which Welles had said: “It can never be made too clear nor reiterated too often, that the foreign policy of the people of the United States exactly like their domestic policies, should only be determined from the standpoint of what the American people believe is their real, their practical, self-interest. Our foreign policy must not be based upon emotional altruism or sentimental aspirations.”

Quezon then proceeded to show Welles what the practical self-interest of the United States in the Far East would be, Pearl Harbor has proven to be ineffective to protect United States strategy. The United States, he advises, should take all the mandated islands and make the Philippines their outpost in any plan of defense in the Pacific. Of course he (Q.) knew that he spoke only as a layman, and the General Staffs would have to decide all these plans. Welles interrupted to say that the United States could not take the mandated islands, since that would be contrary to their public professions. That the mandated islands would have to be under international ownership, but the Americans should administer them. With this Quezon agreed, remarking that from the point of view of what he had come to say, it would amount to the same thing.

Quezon then went on to develop his ideas to Welles, stating that a condition precedent to all further agreements should be that the Philippine Republic be recognized by the United States as soon as the Japanese were expelled from the Islands.

He then quoted Roosevelt’s cablegram to him in Corregidor that freedom would be regained and protected, etc.

Quezon finally stated that this was his own last year of office as President, that he had yielded last time to the demand for re-election, but only on the basis of two years more, when Osmeña could succeed him. He would not stultify the position he had then so publicly assumed, that Osmeña had been included on the ticket on his (Quezon’s) own insistence, for Osmeña was only leader of a minority of the Nacionalista party. He was determined to retire on December 31, 1943. He now asked that the United States come to an agreement on future plans for the Philippines and now wait for the end of the war, so that Quezon could retire in the knowledge that he had completed his program for the Philippines.

What he asked was:

(1)  That the United States accept airfields and naval bases in his country (Welles stated that the Army and Navy were in favour of that); that the Filipinos furnish the ground forces for the airfields, and pay their men insofar as they were able.

(2)  That the United States contribute $600,000,000 for the rehabilitation of the Philippines.

(3)  That the Philippine Republic be supported by the United States in maintaining the quota systems established for immigration by the Philippine Commonwealth, so that they could sustain and preserve their own form of civilization.

Welles said he was in agreement with all of these propositions, and if Quezon would write him a letter to that effect, he would present the matter to the President within a week.

Quezon commented to me that the sum he asked for rehabilitation would be sufficient, and would also allow them to industrialize, and that fifty years hence there would be 50,000,000 Filipinos, able to defend themselves.


March 12, 1943

Shoreham Hotel. Lunch with Mr. Canceran, private secretary to Quezon. Canceran much bothered by the President’s frequent changes of plan for his trip to Florida causing the utmost possible inconvenience to everybody around him. This is the usual performance, but none of them get really used to it, and all grumble as much as they dare. I asked Canceran how the President got that way? He replied: “It was his life in Malacañan–absolute authority; all opposition crushed–complete selfishness–thinks about nobody but himself.”

Canceran is a young man, son of a farmer in the Cagayan valley. He is tall, lithe and graceful. His chin is up, his shoulders thrown back. He would look equally as well in a G-string and necklace of cowrie shells, and with a spear in his hand instead of a pen. As it is, he contents himself with a suit of “Kollege-Kut Klassy Klothes,” and flirts with all the waitresses. As this is the only possible way to get served in an American restaurant, it must be admitted that he shows a good deal of practical sense. He possesses a measure of native dignity and good taste in his pride of country. He is not impressed by American movies.

I told Quezon about the School of Military Government at Charlottesville. He replied: “Not one of those–fellows will get to the Philippines. The President has assured me that the first man to land there will be President Quezon, arriving in an American battleship.”

Discussion of the Moro problem: Quezon pointed out the mistake of Americans in not letting the Sultan govern Jolo–that they would thereby have avoided all those disorders and little wars. The Americans whom he left last Spring in Mindanao made another mistake: the American Army officers have always believed that the Moros loved them and hated and despised the Filipinos. General Sharp (in command there) and his staff were making plans for the great aid the Moros would render in repelling the Japanese in Mindanao. Quezon said to Sharp: “That’s all very well, but for God’s sake don’t give them any guns.” The other day he was laughing over a report from MacArthur of questions put by one of his staff to an officer who had escaped from Mindanao–the staff officer was trying to bring forth an answer showing how the Moros loved the American Army, and asked what kind of people the Moros were killing now? “Oh! every kind–Americans, Filipinos and Japanese” was the answer. As a matter of fact they had recently assassinated three American Army officers.

I suspect that Quezon’s own policy toward the Moros is that of the American of past days in our own country. “The best indian is a dead indian.”

When Quezon, before the war, granted permission to 10,000 Jews to settle in the Philippines at the rate of 1,000 a year, the Jewish Committee picked out, as the best farming land–Lanao! Quezon says he refused this, since they wouldn’t be alive at the end of a year. Quezon tells me that Lanao has as many rich and wonderful Moro farms as has Jolo nowadays.

Quezon settled the question of the recent succession to the Sultanate of Jolo, by refusing to make the choice. The Government of North Borneo, a territory most of which is part of the Jolo Sultanate, wrote to him to enquire whom he now recognized as Sultan. He replied: “The Sultan is, for us, only the head of his Church–he will not meddle in the choice.” So the North Borneo Administration sent for the two candidates to come to Sandakan and present their claims–which they did. Datu Umbra, himself of the late Sultan, the royal blood, the husband of Princess Dayang-Dayang, niece of the late Sultan, was elected over the other claimant–a brother of the late Sultan.

This decision aroused two factions in Jolo, and greatly weakened their subsequent claim to the North Borneo lands. Some years later, the Chartered Company of North Borneo transferred “their” land, to Great Britain–but they had waited for this momentous action until six days after the inauguration of the Philippine Republic! Thus the Jolo Moros were dispossessed of their great inheritance in North Borneo!

The question of Quezon’s health is always to the fore, every day of his life. Even his American friends in the Philippines used to say that he used his illness as a means of avoiding unnecessary engagements or contingencies. Dr. Trepp tells me that so far as Quezon’s TB is concerned, that is perfectly in hand, and there is no reason why he should not live for years. As for his blood pressure, Trepp himself, who, not long ago had a heart attack, has a much higher blood pressure! Recently the President was urged to cut down on his food, and especially to avoid heavy meats. That regime lasted a few days, and then he claimed to be fading away so rapidly, and had become so feeble, he could hardly speak. At once, the family set up a terrible clamor that the doctors were killing him, and the regime was relaxed. It must have been a superb piece of acting. As it is now, he and his family, at least once a day, eat a Filipino dish reeking with fat, and with great lumps of pork, ham and sausage.

Every now and then, Trepp persuades Quezon to go out for a walk, which consists of creeping along the hotel corridors, doctor on one side and a.d.c. on the other, to his luxurious motor. They drive out to the suburbs and Quezon walks slowly for three or four hundred yards. Back home again, Quezon goes to work, or to receiving visitors to whom he talks for hours and hours–rounding off with four or five hours of concentration on bridge, until well after midnight.

Truly a remarkable “invalid”–he wears out all of his associates!


March 11, 1943

Shoreham Hotel. Conversation with Major (Dr.) Trepp. Disillusionment of a doctor.

Dr Trepp, aged 56, short, stocky with thick shoulders and a round skull–a typical “alpine.” Comes from a Swiss village on the Italian side of the Alps, lying at an altitude of 1,500 meters. This used to be a 40 horse post-road station run by his grandfather before the St Gothard Tunnel was opened. Has a son in the American army in Tunisia; says that if his son dies, he will kill himself. Anyway, he is really more seriously ill himself than Quezon is.

For ten years was head of the Quezon Sanitorium outside Manila–is a specialist in TB.

His round, pale blue eyes, express a sort of childish innocence which he conceals with a brusque manner. At bridge, his “dooble” comes forth with a crack like that from the long rifle of a Swiss sharpshooter.

When Quezon left Manila for Corregidor on December 28, 1941, he took Trepp with him as a “personal physician.” Trepp says: “I believed he was a god.” During the weeks on Corregidor, Quezon had a sharp attack of bronchitis and perhaps a touch of pneumonia. “The food for all of us was rationed to two scanty meals a day–but Quezon had mutton chops and beefsteak.” Trepp added: “I lost forty pounds there.” I asked if Quezon had been brave during the bombardment. Trepp answered: “Quite the contrary.” He added: “I once, afterwards, asked Colonel Nieto, his a.d.c, about all the exploits told by Quezon in his book, of his insurrecto life–how he had fought in this and that engagement and Nieto answered. ‘Yes! behind a tree.’ When we got to Negros,” continued Trepp, “Quezon had bought two automobiles, which he left behind him there. When we boarded the planes in Mindanao for the journey to Australia, all the rest of us were obliged to leave our clothes behind, so that the seven chests of valuables belonging to Quezon and his family could be carried. Once he was in Melbourne, he bought two more automobiles and rented a house at $500 a month for six months. A few weeks later, we were on the Coolidge en route for the United States.”

Then with some indignation Trepp added:

“On April 9th, 1942, in Melbourne, Australia, we received word of the fall of Bataan. Nieto and I went up to the President’s apartment and told him the news of the disaster. He was seated in a chair with the family gathered about him looking over the silver and jewelry and personal possessions they had been able to bring from Malacañan Palace on their flight. It had been taken out of the bank in Melbourne that day and a little later was sent back there. Nieto and I went downstairs and cried.” This simple Swiss was evidently unaccustomed to the life of those who sit in the seats of the mighty, nor did he allow for the fact that Quezon had known from day to day, through General MacArthur of the approaching and certain disaster to the armies on Bataan and Corregidor.

I asked Trepp why Quezon had spent $20,000 of the Government’s funds in redecorating and refurnishing the suite in the Shoreham Hotel in Washington? “$20,000!” he cried: “it was $60,000–I saw the bills.” Trepp, with his Swiss conscience did not understand the tremendous inner urge in Quezon to be always building and recreating Malacañan and all of his surroundings as President of the Philippines. It not only compensated Quezon’s own soul for his starved surroundings as a barrio boy in Baler during his childhood, but it truly expressed, as Quezon believed, the desire of a people approaching nationhood to “put their best foot forward.” However brilliant the Swiss may be in interpreting the psychology of foreigners who come there to have themselves analyzed by their doughty psycho-analysts, the rest of the world will always be a puzzle to these fierce democrats of Switzerland.

Quezon had told me that the offer of “independence with honour” was made him by the Japanese before he took his final decision to fight alongside the Americans. Trepp now tells me that Quezon did not learn of this offer until he was in Melbourne, some months later, and that then his first comment was: “If I had only known!”

Poor lonely, defeated man! He had been ousted from “the seats of the mighty” and plunged into the depth of “some divine despair.”

One’s comment on Trepp’s perhaps quite natural feeling is that “any man may be a hero–except to his valet.”


March 5, 1943

Shoreham.

Quezon wired for me to come here for ten days or so to help him finish his book, which he is determined to do, because, no doubt, of Warner Bros’ offer for the cinema rights.

Congratulated him on his Opera House (New York) address last Saturday, which he said had brought him many compliments.

Asked him about political conditions here–whether Roosevelt would seek a fourth term? He said, yes–if he thinks he can be elected, otherwise he will sacrifice Wallace or McNutt. That nobody could make a success of the first post-war presidency. The Republicans had no man in sight who could do it–the United States would be in for very hard times–whoever got in would be a one-term president. Then Roosevelt would try to get in again in 1948 when he would be only 68 years old. He thought the present trend in America was towards post-war isolationism, which would be disaster. The only two leading candidates who were surely not isolationist, are Roosevelt and Wilkie, and the latter was talking himself out of the nomination.

He then turned to the story of my nomination to the Philippines in 1913. He, as Resident Commissioner, had had an understanding that no nomination of a Governor General would be made without letting him know. But one day he read in a Washington evening paper that the nomination of Oscar T. Crosby, a West Pointer and an engineer for the New Jersey traction companies, was being considered. He went right to Tumulty and said he must see President Wilson. T. let him in with the agreement that he would take only three minutes. He asked Wilson if it was proper for him to express himself on a nomination of a Governor General? Wilson said “Yes.” “Mr. President, I have just read in an evening paper that Mr Oscar T. Crosby is being considered, is that a fact?” Wilson replied that it was. Then Quezon said: “The people of the Philippines will not feel that this is what they had expected of you.” “Why not?” “Because it says here that Mr. Crosby is a West Pointer, and that would mean to them that you were sending out a soldier to govern them with an iron hand; then it says that he is an engineer for the great traction interests–that would mean to the Filipinos that he was coming out there to advance American financial interests.” Mr Wilson replied: “That is interesting.” So Quezon went out and straight to the War Department where he told General Frank McIntyre that they had not kept their understanding with him, and that now he could tell them that they would not get their man nominated.

(It must have been shortly after this that I went to see the President at the request of my brother Fairfax, to advocate the nomination of Crosby. Wilson told me that he esteemed Mr. Crosby very much personally but that Crosby was connected with traction interests against which he had been fighting when Governor of New Jersey.)

Quezon then continued by stating that a few days after he had seen the President I came into his office at the request of my brother, to ask whether there was any hope for Crosby. He told me his objections and then said: “Why shouldn’t you get the nomination yourself?” I was somewhat taken aback and asked: “What makes you think I could get it?” He replied: “I don’t know, but I can try.” I asked him to wait a little for me to consider the matter and that anyway I did not want Crosby to believe that instead of advancing his cause, I had only been working for myself.

A few days later, I returned and said that if he found the idea acceptable he might go ahead. He went at once to Representative William A. Jones of Virginia, the Chairman of the House Committee on Insular Affairs and told him he had found the right man for Governor General. Jones expressed himself as much pleased with the idea so Quezon went on to Secretary of State Bryan’s office. He was diffident and rather uncertain in approaching the great man, but was at once admitted to his office. Bryan replied “why he’s the man who has been helping me to fight the reactionaries in the Ways and Means Committee in the tariff revision. I’ll go right into the President and put the matter before him.”

A day or two later my nomination went to the Senate and was confirmed the same day. Meanwhile Quezon had seen Senator Gilbert Hitchcock, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Philippines, who was believed to be rather a “reactionary” but he agreed at once. Hitchcock, however, was believed to be opposed to Philippine independence.

Secretary of War Lindley M. Garrison, a leading conservative, was fortunately absent on a speaking tour in the West at this time, or else, with the backing of the War Department he might have blocked the nomination. He, like most of the Army officers, was opposed to the independence of the Philippines.

Next we talked over the strong anti-English sentiment in the United States today. I told him of my arguments with Gwathmey and Finley of the University of Virginia two days ago; that I was convinced that the heart of the so-called “democratic” movement in the world today was social: that it was rather a revolutionary struggle, not so much for political rights, as formerly, but a demand for social equality. He agreed, and said that it was rather dangerous to be pronouncedly in favour of the English in the United States today. That Roosevelt was aware of this and had told Lord Halifax so, but was sticking firmly by England. Quezon said that a large part of the dislike of England in the United States today arose from dislike of the Jews who were all-out to help England. Justice Felix Frankfurter had lost his commanding influence in Administration circles because of being so excessively pro-English. I recalled Colonel Lindberg’s Chicago address of August 1941 in which he stated that the principal influences which were pushing the United States into this war were: 1. The Roosevelt Administration; 2. The English; and 3. The Jews. For this, Lindberg was violently attacked in the press.

Quezon told of his own long-standing dislike of the English because of their arrogance in Asia; of how he had cursed them in Corregidor for their failures in Singapore and Hong Kong; how he had come to admire them as men, after Dunkirk and the battle of Egypt, and how the alliance between the United States and England now was the salvation of the whole world. He, himself, had given up for the present, all his own interests and plans for a Malay Federation, etc., and was concentrating only upon the interests of his own country. (This was the advice I so strongly urged upon him when I first joined him ten months ago on May 30, 1942.)

The recently (March, 1943) announced convention of the United Nations soon to be held to debate the world food problems, was originally the suggestion of Mr. Nash, the Minister of New Zealand, in the Pacific War Council. But, after a debate lasting two hours over the subject of wheat, in which the difference of viewpoint between those nations which produced wheat and those which bought it was apparently so sharp, the Council was going to abandon the idea of a convention of the United Nations as likely to serve only to show up the lack of unity among these “allies.” Then Quezon spoke in the War Council in favour of calling such a convention–he said it was quite right that the nations (U.S. and Gt. Britain) which were making the greatest effort in the war, and were spending their money should be the ones to direct the affairs of the United Nations. However it would be wise to allow the smaller countries an opportunity to present their own views. That would make them all feel that they were taking their share of decisions. It is potentially a strong movement to which attention must be paid. “Have the conference,” he said “not in Washington or New York, but in some quiet place like the Warm Springs, Virginia, where the delegates would be thrown into intimate association with one another and could discuss everything in private conversation. Roosevelt could address the conference on the subject of food, select a chairman and let the latter send everything placed before the Conference to Committees, to hear and consider and report later. Let there be no real debates before the conference to disclose or develop sharp differences of opinion, but let anyone discuss what he pleased, even though the ostensible purpose was only the food question.” Finally, these ideas were accepted by the whole Pacific War Council, and the project of a Conference of the United Nations was later announced by the President.

I commented on the loyalty of Roosevelt to his friends and supporters–how he immediately appointed to new posts those of his circle who had been defeated in the elections. Quezon commented: “I never did that.”

Excerpt from Quezon’s letter of March 4, 1943 to General MacArthur in Australia.

I gather from the reports to which 1 have referred above that some of our guerrillas are committing the same mistakes or abuses that were committed by our guerrillas during the fight against the Spaniards and later against the Americans. They are looting and maltreating, and, in some cases, killing Filipinos whom they suspect to be pro-Japanese. From every point of view that is wrong, moreover, it may be of serious consequences.

In the case of Peralta, he has even gone to the extent of criticizing me for not denouncing Vargas and his colleagues. The insolence of this man in attempting to give me a lecture regarding the history of the revolution in which I took part while he was still unborn or a baby, and on the psychology of the Filipino people, would be laughable if it did not betray his utter unfitness for the role that he is aspiring to play in the Philippines.

Not as an answer to Peralta, but only to make crystal clear my stand in this respect, I wish to remind you that even while we were in Corregidor, at a time when a policy of threat or condemnation might have had more effect than now, I studiously avoided saying anything that might give Vargas and the rest of the Filipinos who have now accepted positions under the Japanese Military Administration, the impression I have lost faith in them. The reason for my attitude is that I knew, and have not changed my opinion, that the Filipino can best be won by showing him confidence rather than distrust. Indeed, if threat and punishment would make a Filipino loyal, the whole country would now be pro-Japanese. In other words, I am of the opinion that if we want to keep the Filipinos on our side the commanders of the guerrillas must refrain from persecuting those who seem to be co-operating with the Japanese, unless they help the Japanese to discover the places where our guerrillas are hiding, or kill our men. Prager’s report shows that even our Constabulary and Philippine Army soldiers who are now serving in the Japanese organized police force are, in fact, loyal to us.

Long discourse today by Quezon illustrating his advantage in politics in the Philippines because he knew how to appeal directly to the tao instead of relying like most of the other politicos upon securing the support of the “leaders.” He illustrated this method by referring to General Sandiko’s successful appeal to the people in his province of Bulacan (during Governor Forbes’ administration) against an extra-legal Executive Order of the Governor General which Speaker Osmeña had obligingly ratified by passage through the Assembly.

His best story was of the campaign made by him against the all-powerful Godofredo Reyes of Sariaya, Tayabas, when Quezon was President of the Senate and in control of the Nacionalista party. He put up Primitivo San Augustin and, to the astonishment of all the leaders in Tayabas, San Augustin beat Reyes. Quezon had gone himself to open the campaign and had addressed crowds of taos appealing to them in speeches 1 hour to 1 ½ hours long not to let their caciques vote for them, but to exercise the right of suffrage like free men. This method won that election.

Discussion of the Church and of Masonry. Quezon thinks neither of them count much in Philippine politics–bishops always have been easy to beat, but less so since Filipinos have been ordained as bishops, and the parish priests are now almost exclusively native citizens.

Quezon always states that he became a Catholic again after his “daughters were grown,” but it really was in 1928 when “Baby” was about 7 and “Nini” was, say, 5. Quezon scorns the idea that this move benefited him politically. He explains he did it so that his daughters should not be “ashamed” of him. One can understand how Mrs. Quezon brought pressure on him upon this subject in the home life. In order to be readmitted to the Church, he had to renounce Masonry, since the Church will not tolerate any secret society and is especially violent against Masonry. Quezon argued with his father confessor against the prejudice in the Church against Masonry. The priest said: “Ah! you do not know–they don’t let you know what the real secret purpose of those in control of it cherish–they spit on the cross!” Quezon protested. “Do you know who I am–I am the Cardinal of the Masons–I almost might say their Pope! I am the Grand Master of the Blue Lodge.” But it was all to no effect–he had to give in.

Conversation with Mrs. Quezon on her voyage with Mrs, Buencamino to Java in 1936. The Dutch Government would pay her no direct courtesies because she came unofficially. The American Consul General in Batavia told her of all the precautions the Dutch Government had taken to prevent the Javanese leaders from meeting her. Two of the Javanese leaders, ladies who had been educated in Europe came to Mrs. Quezon’s hotel room after midnight and asked that the door be locked. Mrs. Quezon had already refused the room prepared for her so as to avoid the possibility of dictaphones. These two ladies begged her to help them towards independence. She said in reply that the Filipinos had succeeded because they were united under her husband (!). But the Javanese replied that they could do nothing to that end because they could not assemble to unite–the Government would not even allow more than two of them to meet together after dark.

The Japanese, she said, through their cheap and excellent shops in Java as well as through the excellent manners of their shopkeepers were making great headway with the Javanese.

The Dutch system of rotation of crops included also rotation of agriculturalists–so the native farmers never felt they owned any of the fields!