Earthquake lasting fifteen seconds at 5:13 a.m., which did not even wake me.
The morning papers published Rafael Palma’s report on a proposed reorganization of the educational system here. This is the promptest and most intelligent report of any board so far appointed under the Commonwealth Government. Emphasis is laid on five years of elementary education which should be free and compulsory; secondary education to be confined to agriculture and industry, and people are to pay for the usual high school education, which would better be left to the non-government schools. I wrote to congratulate him. If accepted, I wonder whether this report can be put through the legislature? (The Bureau of Education is the strongest political organization in the Philippines.)
Went to the British Consulate at the request of Foulds, acting British Consul General, who wanted some information from Quezon but did not desire to make it “official” by asking questions himself, as follows:
- Did the Japanese threaten Quezon with “grave consequences” over the Davao land question, and did Quezon reply: “you can’t bluff me”? Foulds himself expressed skepticism over the accuracy of this newspaper report.
- Could High Commissioner Murphy when going to the States, appoint an “Acting” or merely “delegate” his powers? These involve questions of official calls if a British warship comes here to visit.
- Would the High Commissioner return here?
Then Foulds and I had a general, and on the whole, very congenial conversation on Great Britain, the Japanese, and the question of complete independence here.
Went to the Survey Board and made my report on the Bureau of Science. This is the first time in 15 years I have tried dictating to a Filipino stenographer and I found it more work than to write in long hand. I seem to have a larger vocabulary in English than that to which they are accustomed out here. I told Miguel Unson that Geo. Vargas had expressed himself as impatient to get the Government Survey Board’s report–Unson replied: “I am a slow worker, I know, and Vargas is a fast one, but I do not trust those quick decisions of Vargas.”
Talk with ex-deputy Varona. I asked him what the National Economic Council, of which he is a member, was doing? He replied: “nothing much until the question of “national self-sufficiency” was decided. (The Filipinos are getting ready to trade the Philippine markets for continued free trade with the United States.) In that case, they will do nothing at all in the Economic Council, and it will be a regular gas chamber, instead of actually going to work, as the public expects, to prepare the economic life of the Philippines for complete independence. The attitude of Roces’ papers here on Senator Walsh’s ridiculous objection to competition in the United States market by Filipino made rubber shoes is a good example of the paralysis here! Varona said that in Negros there was a new patriotism–viz: “Buy American”–“Entirely disinterested!” I commented. He said the “N.E.P.A.” was anathema in Negros (sugar).
Quezon is due back today from his family trip to Baler, the birthplace of himself and of his wife as well. He is to stay here until he goes on May 13th as far as Shanghai with High Commissioner Murphy.