May 9, 1936

Talk with A. D. Williams who says Quezon now wants a much bigger yacht than that he (Williams) had selected for him; wishes the Southern Cross, now in Cuba, twice the size of the Yolanda; price asked: half a million dollars.

He told me again of a talk with Quezon concerning transportation. It arose out of a project to build a wharf for the Cebu Portland Cement Co. Williams pointed out that this would reduce the revenues of the Cebu Railway. Quezon replied: “our guarantee of interest on the bonds expires next year. We will have to buy the road and move it.” Williams agreed and suggested moving it to Negros. Quezon remained silent. What he wants is to move it to Mindanao which Williams opposes since he believes that a railroad would be so much more expensive to maintain and operate than roads. Williams says a wharf at Baler would be too expensive to build. That wharf at Iligan is O.K. and we should have landed there on our recent trip.

Papers today carry a statement from Pardee, calling on bondholders of the Philippine Railway to deposit their bonds with him for purposes of negotiation with Philippine Government; says the company cannot pay the $8,000,000 principal of bonds due next year, and proposes to sell bonds ($1000) at $350 apiece to the Philippine Government; (price now in New York $300 and the stock sells for $1 a share).

April 28, 1936

At Malacañan. A. D. Williams had just come from a conference with Quezon, Paez and Ramon Fernandez; says the President is set on building railways in Mindanao, and “A.D.” and, Fernandez tried to convince him they would not pay. “A.D.” said he thought he had offended Quezon still more by replying to his (Quezon’s) complaints that the roads offered too unfair competition to the Manila Railroad, that the competition from trucks was unfair and when they had finally managed by January 1, 1936 to get the tax on trucks raised from one peso to two pesos per 100 kilos, the rate had at once been reduced again. This was Quezon’s own doing on the advice of Geo. Vargas, and they both looked pretty glum. (This is the first instance I know since his inauguration where private interests had influenced the President contrary to the public interest.)

“A.D.” also inveighed against the taking of the accounting division out of the Bureau of Public Works and putting it with the others in the new budget office.

He also admitted it was a mistake to have put the Bagagab-Echague road over the mountains–it should have followed the Magat River down stream.

3 to 5 p.m. with the Survey Board quizzing the Directors of the Bureau of Lands and of the Land Registration Office. They sat side by side rather like naughty school boys, each covertly watching the other.

Bridge at the Polo Club, Peters, Satterfield and Ale. Went for a short time to Oleagas “cock-tail supper.”

February 18, 1936

When I saw the Cabinet today waiting patiently for the President to finish a talk in the Palace, I did not much envy them–especially when remembering that Quezon’s intention is not to share anything confidential with them (on account of Osmeña?) but to have an “inside cabinet” of his own–like the War Cabinet in England.

Roxas has been appointed head of the “Rice Commission” which relatively unimportant post he accepts with every show of pleasure after his recent encounter with Quezon’s will and a thorough drubbing.

Enaje has been appointed Adviser to the President on matters concerning judicial reorganization–an excellent choice, but small potatoes after his disappointments over the Speakership and Presidency of the Court of Appeals.

Doria tells me that the tradesmen try on her a regular racket of overcharging–to wit those who supplied conveniences for our tea dance–electrician, chair man and orchestry. She says it really frightens her, and she must get everything down in writing before hand. If, as Major Anderson told me, commercial morality had been enormously lowered in the United States since the war evidently similar influences are at work here.

Saw Osmeña for a few moments, handsome and smiling as of yore.

Professor Africa of the University of the Philippines, the head of the Department of Students of Foreign Relations, called on me to enquire whether the “supervision and control” of the United States over the foreign affairs of the Philippines prevented the establishment of separate Philippine Consulates. Told him I would get Quezon’s opinion, but my own opinion was that it could be done if Philippine Consuls were to deal only with Philippine ships, matters of citizenship and of commerce. I then told him of the question which the American judge at Shanghai recently asked me: “what am I to do if Filipinos now claim extraterritorial rights here?”

A. D. Williams came in to enquire whether there was any basis for Quezon’s newspaper statement that it was being considered whether to build main roads in Mindanao, or railroads, which would cost ten times as much and probably be a heavy loss. We agreed that roads were the modern solution, and that a railroad was only justified if leading to a mine or other heavy industry. He had told Quezon of the failure of the Bureau of Science to get a 6,000 peso machine to manufacture quinine for the Bukidnon plantation. Quezon took up the phone and ordered this done at once. Williams is greatly relieved that Quezon has now abandoned his plan of constructing another building opposite Malacañan–he has compromised on a chalet for tea parties constructed of Philippine woods, after the fashion of the forestry Exhibit at the Carnival.

Visit from Lacson, Iloilo lawyer, whom I asked what the Negros sugar planters were doing to prepare for the “sanctions” of the Tydings-McDuffie law? He replied, as they all do, “nothing, except to wait for a modification of that law–no effort is being made to lower costs of production and transportation–except talk of a harbour and wharf in Negros.” He said he had never been in favour of immediate, absolute independence; that the Visayans are all “Progresistas,” and the Tagalogs are for immediate independence. I asked him just what he meant–he replied “I am an Idealist–I want independence, but it is like wanting a beautiful woman–you want her all right, but if you have any sense, you count the cost.”

Dr Piguiging of Tanay called. He is going to work with the Bureau of Plant Industry and Bureau of Commerce on the Friar Lands question. Evidently Quezon is getting all the information he can on this subject.

Pedro Tan of Arayat and Major Santos, Assistant Chief of the Constabulary in Central Luzon called; both keen sportsmen. I asked them why the law against trapping and selling snipe was not enforced and Santos said because it added fuel to the flames of socialism–the peasants said the rich could shoot snipe and the poor couldn’t catch them. We agreed to try to get the snipe shooting season extended for next Autumn and Winter.

Santos told me of the rarity of the monkey-eating eagle of the Philippines. The British Museum had finally secured two specimens from a missionary priest in northern Luzon. Santos has one specimen, Jaronilla one and the University of Santo Tomas one. Santos also said he could prove that the “painted snipe” bred all the year around in the Philippines like the wild chicken. He believes that Balabac and Palawan had been part of Borneo at one time, as is shown by the existence of the peacock and mouse deer in those islands. Said he disapproved of “deer-sticking” in Jolo, because usually only the females and young were speared.