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.”