May 29, 1936

A. D. Williams at my office. A few days ago, he was called before the Cabinet to advise on new taxation. Quezon wants a transportation tax on all forms of travel. Cabinet members wish to devote the cedula tax to school purposes only, thus making it more popular.

The President went today to Cabuyao, Nueva Ecija to see a new church dedicated. A. D. Williams is to take him on Monday to Silang to see the route of a new road to Tagaytay thus cutting thirteen kilometers off the run. Quezon stopped this road construction several years ago (not to favour the wishes of Aguinaldo?). Now he wants to see it go through, but says he apprehends a “kick-back” because he (Quezon) is interested in the land syndicate at Tagaytay!

Luncheon with William Shaw at Wak-Wak for Andres Soriano–about 150 men–terrific din of talking and later of noisy jazz music. One’s voice is strained trying to converse. Say with Clyde Dewitt, and had a very interesting talk over the Archbishop and his business interests here. His Grace appears to be losing all along the line.

Hoskins greeted Secretary Rodriguez as “Governor” (he was formerly so in Rizal) and remarked that a governor of a province had more power than a Secretary of Department. “Yes” said Rodriguez “especially nowadays”! He has just been replaced by Secretary Alas as President of the National Development Co.

Small dance in the new downstairs cabaret at Malacañan. The heavy rain from 5-8 p.m. had flooded parts of the Palace, which we entered on planks. Quezon appeared late. He asked me if I noticed the speed with which he signed the Executive Order proposed by Unson for transferring Engineer Island and the lighthouse service to the Bureau of Customs. This is the second time lately he has emphasized his rapid executive action–Why?

Sunday, March 22, 1936

All day at sea and very rough–all hands more or less under the weather. Bridge in p.m. Quezon has, so far, won all the rubbers and we three are all losers.

Talk with Quezon off Panay. I asked him about Philippine sugar shares; he said they were good for dividends for ten years–even after the “sanctions” levied five years hence. He told me that the planters are counting on the continuance of free trade with the United States. I remarked that I had bought some gold shares–he commented “They are good.” I said I was thinking of buying Shaw’s Philippine Iron Company’s shares–he said if you wait, you may be able to buy shares in a government-owned Company in Surigao–“you reserved them for the government twenty-one years ago.” I asked him if they had been recently surveyed and were as rich as we had believed? “Yes,” he replied.

I then asked about the possibility of setting up separate Filipino consulates–said he had taken it up with Secretary Hull before inauguration, and he had referred it to William Phillips. Had received no answer as yet.

Next I reported a conversation with Simmie concerning the arrastre plant. He replied that Simmie is a good man: “if I leave that business in private hands, his company will have the preference–but I want more money from it.”

Said Rodriguez would not remain as head of the National Development Co. He would send him around the world for a year to study industry and commerce, adding: “he talks too much”!

He asked me if I had talked with the High Commissioner about silver–I said certainly not; that I would not go to the High Commissioner about anything official without his instructions. I had asked Weldon Jones about it as he (Quezon) had requested and was waiting his report before making up my own opinion. Quezon said that the High Commissioner had talked with him about it.

We laughed a little over “experts” and he said he was getting one to come out here with only his travel paid.

I asked him if the United States would not give the Philippines the equivalent in silver even if they had refused to pay the losses on devaluation in gold. Quezon said that Morgan had formerly been ready to do this, but businessmen in Manila were carrying on with capital borrowed abroad and they are now afraid their loans would be called if silver in large quantities were introduced into the Philippines currency. He also remarked that the Philippine loss on devaluation was already more than thirty million pesos–especially when computed in terms of trade competition with Japan; he added that the present was the moment to get any benefits or concessions from the United States, before the Republicans get in.

I remarked that the Manila Bulletin was still fighting hard, against us and he replied: “They are the damndest die-hards and reactionaries I have ever seen.”

Next he commented upon Dr. Victor Clark, the financial expert of the American Congress, who had come for a few months to the Philippines as an adviser. Quezon said Clark was able to review all things dispassionately because he wasn’t even prejudiced about the Soviets, and that was the supreme test for an American.

Then he spoke of lawyers, and remarked that Clyde Dewitt was the best American jurist in the Philippines, and Jose Laurel was the best Filipino jurist.

At luncheon, on the steamer I told the President, of his daughter “Baby’s” witty reply to my comment on his speech in Zamboanga, and he sprang up and kissed her, saying; “She is a true daughter of mine.”