Up at 5:30 and to airport with Adm. Giles Stedman. Got off at 7 a.m. by Philippine Air Lines Skymaster (DC-4). Up east coast of Formosa in good weather, but, on rounding north end of island, met heavy clouds and little ceiling. Pilot nosed around for 3/4 of an hour trying to find a break, but had to give it up and go on to Okinawa, where we landed about 2 p.m., and had lunch. Took off about 4 p.m. and, this time, managed to get in to Taipei at 6. 11 hours to complete a 4 hour flight. Adm. Stedman and a few other passengers were continuing on to Tokyo-another 7 or 8 hours. Met at airport by Lo Ching Hsiang, Fang Tu and about 15 members of the staff.
Lunch at the Staplers lovely house in Rizal (next door to the Huie home). He is Capt. Jack Stapler’s brother, and in Marsman & Co. He says the outlook for foreign firms in the Philippines is pretty dim, chiefly because they are the only ones which pay 100% taxes. Stapler also spoke of the crowd of American swindlers and carpetbaggers who came to Manila after the war, and gave the American community a black eye. He also mentioned the scandalous sale of US Army and surplus stores by American officers and men; and said that US Army people are even today selling supplies stolen from Clark Field. Dinner here with Foster Knight and a man named Fuller, who is going to Formosa for E.C.A. He told of the 4 brides who compared notes after a month of marriage and discussed, in political terms, their wedding night experiences. No. 1 said it was a case of Roosevelt, — over and over again. No. 2 said she could quote Churchill: blood, sweat and tears. No. 3 mentioned Dewey, who tried to get in twice but failed both times; No. 4 said it was like Truman: he got in twice but didn’t know what to do after he got in.
Where to place a statue of Quirino in Washington. Not near Washington, who couldn’t tell a lie. Not near Honest Abe Lincoln. Put it next to Christopher Columbus, who didn’t know where he was going when he started, didn’t know where he was when he got there, and did it all on borrowed money.
Yesterday and today I wrote 12 letters, — to US, England, Australia, Spain, Portugal, India, Hongkong, Taiwan, Burma and Shanghai. Had first swim in the hotel pool, and enjoyed it.
Dinner at the Huie’s. He is in the Luzon Stevedoring Co.; she is daughter of Rev. Mr. Gleystern (Peking). They have an 11 month baby boy, who came to my arms and smiled at me. Other guests were Chick and Mrs. Parsons and Col. And Mrs. Duke (?) of JUSMAG (“Yoosmaag”). Adm. Giles Stedman and another lady were in for a drink. A very delightful evening, and an excellent dinner.
Had all three meals in the hotel for about the first time. The food here get very monotonous.
Wrote several letters. The Cecchi’s had E.C.A. staff for cocktails. After dinner, Foster Knight showed us his colored photographs of Korea and Hongkong. Conference with some of the staff re re Quirino’ s latest move — an appeal to America to give him a hand-out with no strings attached. Feeling among E.C.A. staff here is strongly opposed, and I concur 100%. I don’t want to see what happened in China repeated here.
Holiday for E.C.A. but I worked, finishing odds and ends and getting my report polished up. With Foster Knight lunched at Capt. Rayon’s [Razon] house, with Sr. deLeon, former Commissioner of Customs, and Sr. Francisco (of the Dalupan Committee). De Leon said that getting rid of political influence in the Customs is even more important than raising pay. He was very bitter against the politicians. Capt. Razon said that the Philippine people have lost all confidence in, and respect for, the government. He intimated strongly that the best thing that would happen to the Philippines would be re-occupation by the USA.
Had an hour’s chat on the general situation and the E.C.A. program with Charles Glaser and David Sternberg. The latter is a cripple and confined to a wheel chair. He knows the country and the people pretty intimately. One thing that worries Glaser and Sternberg is the apathy of the people toward reform. They can’t understand why the common people are not more excited about the failure of the Congress to pass the Minimum Wage Law. Sternberg says they are “politically illiterate.” To buffet dinner given by Admiral Giles Stedman at Elks Club. Invited for 7:30 and arrived at 7:30. Dinner served at 9:30 —- by which time I was fit to be tied. I still dislike this type of entertaining intensely.
Fortunately, I had a table with Mr. and Mrs. Huie. Mr. Huie was in Navy during war (Commander) and had his ship blown out from under him in Manila Bay. Lost 40% of his complement. After occupation he was ordered to go to Santo Tomas, get a Chinese and his family and put them on a destroyer. He took 16 men, all armed to the teeth, and and finally found the family. He has forgotten the name but says the man was T.V. Soong’s secretary. Mrs. Huie was Miss Gloysteen, of Peking. She is very charming and easy on the eye. We have many friends in common. She spent a summer at Sacconnet, R.I. when she was at Smith took care of two children. Later, taught at Tingchow. I told her that I went to Junior Prom at Smith the year she was born (1914). Rotary Club had. a “Barrio Fiesta” on the lawn of the hotel tonight, and it was most colorful. Many of the American women wore the Philippine woman’s costume, and some of the American men wore Filipino “pina” shirts.
Mr. P.V. Gonzale (Nate’s local agent) took me to the government-owned cotton mill, where the Manager showed us over the place. (I took Nathan, E.C.A. Economist with me). 17,000 spindles; 105 looms. Saco-Lowell equipment for preparatory and spinning; Crompton and Knowles and Draper looms. Completely integrated including dying, bleaching and printing. 10’s, 12’s, 16’s, 20’s and 30’s yarns. Machinery old. It looked to me as if the place was doing pretty well with the equipment it has.
Lunch at Bonnie Liu Sycip’s pretty little house. She was very proud to show it to me. We had a good talk fest about mutual friends. Alexander came in after lunch. Dined at K. Huang’s house. Mike and Louise Arnold were there. 16 other guests, Chinese and Filipino. Good Chinese food, but I missed two courses: a shrimp dish and a crab dish. In office here all day. To dinner at Delgado’s (Delgado’s Bros. Arrastre Contractors). Mrs. Delgado very pretty, mother of 4. I held the 9 month old baby boy, and he laughed and gurgled. Jacinto, Commissioner of Customs, Handry (Free Press), McKelsey, and several Filipinos there. Very good buffet supper with a chicken pie the size of a motor car wheel, salad, ham and mangoes for dessert […]. Had long talk with Jacinto, who is very worried about the future of his country. He asked how we can expect the people to be honest when they know that the highest officials are crooked. Since the war, the morale of the whole country has sunk to the very lowest depths. The military forces are worse than the Huks in their oppression of the peasants; no wonder the people in the barrios protect the “dissidents”. In the Customs, corruption is brazen; Customs officers go around to importers’ offices and shops and demand bribes (This happened in Shanghai after the war.) Jacinto blamed the Chinese for much of the corruption in high places, because they have, as he said, the “money bags” and don’t hesitant to open them in influential quarters. He cited one Chinese who brought in millions of dollars worth of American cigarettes without import license, put them in bond, and then (by bribery) got release as “advance quota.” He was supposed to have paid out $1,000,000 in squeeze, but he cleared much more than that. Jacinto begged me to have E.C.A. send out a man to help him with investigations and enforcement work. I told him frankly that I didn’t think it would be of much use until the government raises Customs pay to a subsistence level.
My nose to the grindstone all day, drafting my report — or starting it. Foster Knight had Mr. David Gunnell to lunch here. He is President of the Philippine Educational Company (books). His description of the corruption among the officials made sorry listening. He has been here 40 years, and now faces the liquidation of his fine old company unless the authorities change their tactics.