March 5, 1943


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!

May 27, 1936

Luncheon alone with Quezon at Malacañan. He appeared in very good spirits; is swimming daily in his tank, and played golf at Wak-Wak at 5 o’c. this morning. Spoke with pleasure of my appearance of good health and asked me to go with him on the Negros trip to the Southern Islands June 3-15, with the members of the Assembly. I accepted. He spoke also of the speed with which he had acted at once on Miguel Unson’s recommendation for the creation of a budget commission and had appointed Marabut at the head. I said the Governor of Leyte would think this was the result of his public complaint when we were in Catbalogan in April because no Leyte men were high in government office–a complaint which the President had denounced blisteringly before the crowd (advocating a national, not a local outlook). Quezon said this was so, and as he had so many sound reasons for doing so, he would suspend that Governor for one month, to avoid his increasing his undesirable influence over his province thru the appointment of his friend Marabut.

I spoke to the President of the good time we had had at the dance at Masbate–he invited me to a small dance at Malacañan Friday night–said he had sent for Corpus from Masbate to come to Manila on government business, but the latter had not had the sense to bring those charmers with him!

I asked him (for Unson) what his attitude would be on the question of the transfer of the Provincial Treasurers from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Finance (Quirino?). He said that was a subject as to which as much might be said on one side as the other–that he would accept the recommendation of the Survey Board. (Later I told this to Unson, thinking he would act at once as I advised, but Unson began to deliberate!) I enquired of Quezon about the repeated kicks emanating from the United States Congress towards the Philippines nowadays, and whether they could not later be reasonably straightened out. He seemed doubtful, but evidently is not ready to talk about it. (Nazario tells me that at the last press conference he said it was “up to the American businessmen,” and hinted at reprisals by the Filipinos.) I told him the simile of American psychology–when a son grows up the father does nothing more for him; Quezon liked that. I said that some Americans appeared to be peevish now because after all that had been done for them the Filipinos had insisted on separation. He replied: “Well! then why did they give us independence?”

I called Quezon’s attention to the controversy over appropriations for the Department of Labour between Secretary Torres and Miguel Unson, in which Torres called Unson “not interested in the poor man”–Quezon at once said Unson was extremely interested in the welfare of the poor. He added that he had one Cabinet minister who was “useless” and “worthless,” namely Torres; that he had nearly fired Torres several months ago; that Torres kept calling up (3 times) in a recent Cabinet meeting the proposal to build four story concrete tenement houses for labourers. Quezon finally snubbed him, and explained that tenements to house 100 families would only make the other 900 families wild; that a four story building was “too much work” for a labourer to climb; that concrete as a material in this climate was too hot–“why not leave them in their nipa houses?”

An article in the Bulletin, May 29, described a quarrel between officials of the Department of Labour and some labour leaders as to which group should get the credit for the “higher wage” movement. Apparently, government officials claim the labour leaders are “trying to steal the show.” “There is no reason for this sudden antagonism” a high labour official stated, “as in the past we have always sided with the labour element.” This displays an utter lack of public responsibility, similar to the debates in the Municipal Council of Manila over the cochero registration ordinance–these speeches are only cadging for the cochero vote.

Quezon spoke highly of Sandiko–as did I–I told him Sandiko wishes to go to America to study the labour question there. He was interested.

A. D. Williams was brought in by Vargas, to receive instructions about air-conditioning the President’s room at Malacañan Palace. Was asked to have the work finished in two weeks–Quezon adding: “I don’t want to do it for my successor.”

We talked of Geo. White’s visit and of our old friends in Congress–Quezon said he had liked the Ohio delegation of that day, except R. J. Buckeley who had voted against independence for the Philippines offered in the Clarke Amendment (1916).

Quezon agreed with me about the type required for “Public Defender.”

May 11, 1936

At Malacañan where I saw Sandiko. He came to enquire how he could get some of his followers placed as waiters at the Manila Hotel. He had with him a child of 4 whom he called his baby. My next visitor was Major Mendes, aged 64, who was looking for a job. His appeal was chiefly based upon the number of children he had. It was very much like the line of talk of Mussolini who prods the Italians into frenzied reproduction, and then complains that there is no room in Italy for its people, and they must have colonies for expansion! Odd how all these Filipinos in their sixties have a brood of little children!

Afternoon bridge here with Mrs. Oleaga, Mrs. Hill and Peters. I gave a dinner for Geo. White, ex-governor of Ohio and my old friend in Congress and his bride, whom he married in Columbus, Ohio just thirty days ago. Captain and Mrs. Sellers also were here. Geo. White is 64–likewise, ex-Governor General General Davis was married again this week.

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 29, 1936

Air of repose in the Executive Building—when Quezon is in Malacañan the whole place is like a beehive.

Visit from Sandiko. An interesting type, apparently of mixed ancestry: Chino and Moro. He reported on his investigation into Friar Land questions in Bulacan: says the purchase by the Government would benefit chiefly the hacendros; somewhat also the tenants who had added from two to four hundred pesos value per hectare to the land–the aparceros also would gain some slight benefit. They now pay 24-40 pesos rent per hectare which goes eventually to the hacenderos but is not entered on the estate books; if they can raise 70-80 gantas of palay per hectare, the aparceros now get only about 20-30 of it for themselves–not enough on which to raise a family. He says usury in one way or another is universal, and that a system like the “Raffeisen” must be introduced here. Says all wealthy Filipinos invest their money in land, not in industries or mines, for they know how to get much more for it thereby. He wants to break the power of landlords and to free the small man who is now a sort of slave under a feudal system. Says our Rural Credit Association under Prautch broke down because the caciques borrowed all the money intended for the aparceros, Sandiko says they may have him killed, but he is not afraid.

Visit from Don Vicente Singson, who came at Quezon’s request, to talk with me over the suggested purchase of silver at 45 cents with part of the “gold” (i.e., United States dollar) credits in the United States. Singson is opposed to this because silver is so uncertain, being now a by-product of other mining. Is in favour of a gold standard for this government. Is also strong for the Philippines having its own currency standard–free from the United States dollar, being suspicious of the latter. Two years ago, when he was Secretary of Finance, Singson went with the mission to the United States, and finally persuaded the War Department to agree to separate the currency system here, but was not informed of their decision for six months and meanwhile had left the post of Finance for private business. Says the change of system must be made while the Philippines are still under American sovereignty, so as not to alarm the public. He wishes to have a central bank here, such as has been introduced in “succession states” in Central Europe–thus making the government able to regulate and prevent raids on the gold supply. Has heretofore been opposed by other bankers here, but they have now come around to his view. Thinks Quezon does not understand these questions, and he admits it. Laughed at the Chinese irony over Kammerer’s regulations. I tols him my story of Yuan Shih Kai in 1915. Singson says he is convinced the United States will give the Philippine independence “whether the Filipinos want it or not,” and that they must prepare for it now.

Golf in p.m. at Caloocan with Fox, Jollye and Sinclair. Bridge 7-2:30 a.m. here with Guevara, Dr. Bangui and the younger Palma. Good game–they are better performers at the Culbertson system than are the English or Americans here. At supper, Guevara launched forth on his favourite subject–the absorption of the Philippines by Japan. Says that altho’ the two raced are related they really have nothing much in common–“but our grandchildren will.” Cited a recent statement by Vice-Admiral Kenkicki Takahashi, Commander in Chief of Japanese combined fleets as follows: “It is likely that Japan’s economic advance in Manchukuo, soon will reach its limits, and, therefore, the Empire’s future commercial expansion must be directed to Southern Seas, with Formosa or the mandated islands of the Equatorial Pacific as bases. In such event, the cruising radius of the Japanese Navy must quickly be expanded so as to reach New Guinea, Borneo and Celebes.”