Meeting from 5 p.m. till late in the evening with the Industrial Committee of the Japanese Army. The members of the Committee are Mr. Abe of Ohta Development, S. Fukada of Mitsui, and S. Tamura of Nippon Bazar. Yoshio Noya acted as interpreter.
The gathering of the harvest was discussed. The Japanese are for regimenting it. They want the sale of rice to NARIC to be made obligatory.
I told the committee that I wanted more time to think over their proposition and to discuss the matter in a conference with my men. I also stated that the task of handling the whole rice industry in 5 provinces was too gigantic for NARIC’s present organization.
There are many difficulties regarding the gathering of the harvest. People must have an inducement to go to the field. Their personal safety must be guaranteed. Their families must not be molested. There are too many stories of rape and abuses committed in the provinces. There is also a shortage of fuel. This will hamper threshing and the movement of trucks. Transportation is dislocated. Roads are destroyed and bridges have been broken. It will take time and persuasion to ‘round up’ skilled, semi-skilled and technical personnel. There seems to be a lot of military restrictions regarding the harvesting of palay. This expansion will also involve the enlargement of NARIC‘s personnel which means a bigger, costlier organization. It is easy to plan. It is difficult to execute. There is a long gap to be bridged from the paper and ink stage to the point of harvesting.
What’s that? The rumble of cannons. But it sounds so far. It might be thunder. Nope, it’s artillery.
Can’t write anymore. Am thinking of my boy.