At ten a.m. in Quezon’s rooms at the Shoreham with Don Andres Soriano and Resident Commissioner “Mike” Elizalde helping us to correct the typed draft of the twenty minutes address Quezon is to deliver before the House of Representatives tomorrow. Dr. Clark, formerly one of his advisers in the Philippines was sent off to get the text of Quezon’s first speech in the American House of Representatives in 1911 in which he had promised the United States the very support of the Filipinos in time of need which they had now rendered them thirty-two years later.
At luncheon at the Shoreham with Quezon and Osmeña. Talk of the good effect created by Quezon’s quiz by the Senators and members of the House last Saturday at luncheon at the Cosmos Club. Quezon commented that the most disturbing element of that occasion was the statement of Senator La Follette at the conclusion of the Senators’ remarks upon how we should disarm our opponents after we had won the war. La Follette had remarked: “We expect those five or six million men who will make up our armed forces, when they come home to tell us what we shall do with the peace.” This, according to Quezon, was “rubber-stamp” statesmanship, and he added: “We might as well have pure democracy.” He believes that the representative form of government means that the representatives are chosen to make the final decisions for their constituents; La Follette’s theory would mean a complete abdication of power by representatives elected by the people.
While we were at luncheon in the restaurant of the Shoreham, two priests came up with a tall refined looking young man whom they presented as the Archduke Otto.
Seeing that I was not to have the projected fortnight of quiet with Quezon at the Hot Springs, with a stenographer present, I seized this opportunity to tell him about the plans of our friend Morgan Shuster in New York for publication of his book. Shuster’s suggestion is that Quezon should write now chiefly about the war, and insists that it be ready for printing in September; he suggests that Quezon should prepare another and more complete biography later.
Quezon asked me how long it took me to write my Cornerstone of Philippine Independence, published by Shuster in 1922. I told him five weeks, and he expressed surprise that it had been written in long-hand.
I began, then, by asking Quezon to tell me of his birth and early life. This is a difficult way of working out a book because the text will lack the originality of expression and the animated style of narrative characteristic of Quezon’s own diction, and will have to be made up on the basis of my daily memoranda of his conversations. But I see no other way, at present, than to catch his ideas on the “rebound” every time I am with him, and we are so seldom alone together. At all events I had better make hay while the sun shines.
So I said to him that Shuster wants the story of the poor boy who became President of his country, as a means of reaching popular opinion in the United States, but that I myself had always found him muy señor, and supposed he had sprung from the class of principales. He laughed, and said his parents owned two acres of land at Baler when he was born. Then I said that since Shuster wanted, this time, only a war book, he should present first a short account of his early life and upbringing and then pass to a good story of his participation in the Philippine insurrection against the United States, and balance that later with a careful account of his recent notable and gallant services in this war as an ally of our country. He seemed to accept that idea, and I hope he will find time from now on to develop his own way of carrying out this literary undertaking.