to have done their work, and four couples, the gossips say, are expected
to announce their engagements. One of the ship's wits said, "Again the
dashing widows have proven far more attractive than some of their
unmarried sisters." Mrs. Carrie Schwabacher, offered a linen shower to
the first couple that were married on board, but they all seemed
bashful. Louis Mooser suggested that the name of the ship be changed
from Empire State to "Vampire State."
Some of our party visited homes in Singapore and found one solution of
the "servant problem." In many cases, the mistress of the house pays a
No. 1 boy, or upper servant, as you know they call them there, a fixed
sum to purchase so many meals and to take the entire responsibility of
the buying and running of the house, while she comes and goes and
entertains as a guest at a hotel. There are no unexpected huge bills at
the end of the month; if the cook leaves, why should she worry, No. 1
boy just gets another.
Some of the Chamber of Commerce party were frank enough to admit that
their most vivid recollections of hearing about Java were, in connection
with Moca, together with eggs and toast and the usual accompaniments of
the breakfast table, but we were all in for a revelation. The
cultivation of the hillsides in Japan is child's play in comparison with
the miles upon miles of hills, plateaus and even mountains, all in
flourishing rice fields, coffee plantations and sugarcane.
One can now realize what the late Premier Hara of Japan meant, when he
is said to have admitted to some intimates that there was no
over-population in Japan if only fifteen percent of the vast tracts (61
percent of all Japan) were utilized (as it is in Java), enough space for
Japan's growing population could easily be found. It is said that the
Japanese Emperor and his advisers will never dispose of this land or
allow it to be used.
Our party separated over the land of Java, like the forty tribes of
Biblical history. Some went to the famous ruins of Bora Badur erected
ages ago, some to Djorka to see the native dances and to see the strange
old walled city, where the Sultan, his wives and the fifteen thousand
natives, said to be related to him, live. While the Sultan and his harem
are seated, cross-legged on the floor, with the Dutch Queen's pictures
looking sternly down upon them, the ever waiting counselors of the
Sultan squat outside the sacred precincts. These wise-looking old
counselors of the Sultan also have their retinue of servants waiting on
them - one with a pipe, another with a pillow, still another with a fan,
etc., etc. Our delegation was especially honored in being permitted to
go in the sacred place where the ancient bedroom is situated. We even
spied some harem beauties in the distance.
Those of the party desiring a complete change from the sea, went to the
picturesque resort of Garot, perched high up near a volcano. Many of the
businessmen stayed right in Batavia to study business conditions. Still
others went to the Botanical gardens of Boetenzorg and to see wonderful
scenery near Bandoeng, but all attended the ball given for us the night
we departed at Batavia.
In starting out in any vehicle in the tropics we were all taken miles
out of our way. The drivers never attempted to find out where one wished
to go, or listened to one if one tried to make them understand. They
start off with a flourish, usually in the wrong direction, before they
can be stopped. It makes no difference to them. They know they are hired
and that is all they care about. Perhaps this is one reason why Charles
Yates unfortunately missed the ship. Constant Meese found the streets
apparently deserted one night when our party wished transportation back
to the ships but by clapping his hands together, half a dozen rick-shaws
came tumbling over each other to get there first. Sometimes the clapping
of the hands is not enough to attract the native's attention, as he
rarely listens to orders; some of the party say they have found the
typical tourist's cane most effective and think they have discovered a
real reason for a cane at last.
At Batavia the well-known Captain Edward Salisbury left his
world-touring yacht "Wisdom," to join our party. He entertained us in
the evenings with weird tales of his adventures in the South Seas, where
pigs are exchanged for wives and the wives thus acquired are then put to
work to raise more pigs to get new wives.
Good students of geography will doubtless recall that the approach to
Saigon is through the crookedest river in the world. As I usually "just
passed" in this subject, cannot speak with authority, but I will
guarantee that it has many more curves than our Tamalpais railroad,
advertised all over as being "The crookedest railway on the globe."
So the members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce tour were busy
speculating on just how many turns and twists the Empire State had made
before she finally docked at Saigon, when some members of the Saigon
Reception committee told us that we were the largest American steamship
that ever had landed in port.
Two large busses were placed at the disposal of our delegation. The
Cercle Sportivo gave a dance at their club in our honor and two tea
dansants were held at the Continental Hotel. Some of the ladies got
quite accustomed to the bags of mosquito netting that one slips one's
feet in, to evade the pests while dining, but most of us forget to step
out, and, for a moment, thought we were in a sack race.
The elephant at the beautiful botanical gardens, that would go and buy
himself food when given the proper amount of money was interesting, but
he was not the real attraction at Saigon. Our party had been entertained
by the Geisha girls, sung almost to distraction (you know it is impolite
for the sing-song girls of China to stop singing until requested to
stop). We had watched the dancing of the Javanese and Philippine
Ballerinas, but, we had to come here to see the real French girls. We
now understand why many of our soldiers came home with French wives -
"vamp" is the only word we could think of in describing every one of
them. Never before had we seen so many picture hats.
What fun we all had airing our moth-eaten French. (Here I am not
referring to the few of our party that speak French fluently.) And it
was several days before some of us stopped calling the Chinese
Perhaps, to show that the San Francisco committee appreciated the
distinction of being on board a ship fifteen feet longer than any other
American steamer to make that port, we broke off part of the propeller
as a souvenir in departing.
Never were more elaborate preparations made to receive our big
delegation. Some said it was a wise precaution to have the day the
Philippine Chamber of Commerce were to entertain us before the
publishing of the "Wood-Forbes Report;" but after the report had been
made public we found the laughter and shouts of "Viva" (long life) from
the children and the heartfelt greetings of their elders, were
cordiality and good-fellowship personified.
We were told that there were three times the number of people in Java as
in the Philippines, but that the Philippines could easily support a
population of 50,000,000. We were so glad to hear this, as there are
more babies there than any other place in the Orient, with the exception
of Japan, but the Philippine babies seem to be free from the awful sores
we noted on many of the Japanese children. However, it seems that infant
mortality is great in the Philippines, on account of the improper diet
of the mothers and many of the babies die, we were told, as their
mother's milk does not agree with them. One of the first orders of
Governor-General Leonard Wood was to call a meeting to check the infant
In an interview, just after the "Wood-Forbes Report" had been published,
Governor Leonard Wood said, "I look for great things from the women of
the Philippines; the quicker they form a part of the Government, the
better for the Islands." He seems to feel that they are the most
important factor in the islands and considers them more dependable than
the men. He told with great satisfaction how he had arranged for Miss
Hartlee Emprey (the research worker from the Rockefeller Hospital at
Peking, who succeeded in perfecting a four-cent-a-day diet for the
famine-stricken in China) to eliminate the malnutrition in the food for
the young Philippine mothers and to discover a better diet for the
lepers. Governor Wood added, "I want doctors, lots of them, modern
equipment' and nurses to make more sanitary conditions. I also wish the
diseases destructive to cattle studied." There are only 930 nurses in
the islands and funds and equipment are needed badly. More doctors are
needed in curing the lepers. In speaking of the present condition of the
islands, he said, "The Philippines are not ready to cut loose from the
Everything was done in Manila to make us feel at home, from the moment
the Reception Committee landed on board and Mayor Fernandez handed over
the keys of the city. After being entertained by the Chinese,
Philippine, Spanish and American Chambers of Commerce and being told
that there were countless dialects and language mixtures, we were not
surprised that a telephone operator must speak at least nine languages.
The Montalban Falls trip, as guests of the Philippine Chamber of
Commerce, made us recall the days of 1915, for there the same leader of
the Philippine Orchestra at the Exposition, greeted us. We passed
through a flower-decorated arch and then beneath a specially constructed
bower under which were the charmingly set tables for our "tiffin."
The second day in Manila we were taken to the Pampanga Sugar Refinery.
Here the men of the party had lengthy talks with the officials, while
the women of the party were being entertained at a luncheon. The ladies
were told that the American factory girl who spends the best part of her
week's wages for silk stockings has her equal in the Philippines. It
seems that the natives (yes, the men too) are so fond of showy clothing
that they will go buy some fancy trifle, when they are in need of food.
Very often the employer has to feed them so as to be sure they will have
strength enough to do their work properly. It seems that many Filipinos
regard the United States as a child regards a benevolent uncle - they
want their independence knowing that the United States will get them out
of any difficulty and protect them from all harm, at the same time,
letting them have their own way.
They are so quick to learn it is no wonder that many of our soldiers
turned into teachers, just as the soldiers in Russia today are repeating
history in this respect.
Members of the local Chamber of Commerce told us that on account of the
soil and climate, the sugar matured in seven months instead of eighteen
months necessary in the Hawaiian Islands, and that in one day, the
refinery (we inspected) could turn out 20,000 tons of sugar, enough to
supply San Francisco for one year (the help working on two ten-hour
shifts and receiving one and a half pesos a day a piece).
Although the pineapples have been imported from the Hawaiian Islands to
the Philippines, they are not subject to the blight that affects them
there; they have a wonderfully sweet flavor. An increase of a million
dollars in the industry has recently been reported, our party was told.
The third day we were taken to Pagsanjan Rapids, where the party left in
small canoes through a scenic gorge. Mrs. Francis Krull, George Vranizan
and Mrs. Vranizan, Mrs. Bruce Foulkes, S. Swartz and Mrs. Swartz, Harry
Dana, Frank Howlett, A. I. Esberg and his wife were all thrown out of
the boats and into the swift current, but all were rescued in time. Dr.
F. E. Orella introduced the first woman lawyer in Manila, and she
addressed us in the observation car, on the way back from the Falls.
We passed miles of beautiful groves and were told on the way back to
Manila, that each tree averaged about fifty cocoanuts a year, but that
one tree has been known to yield three hundred nuts, and that a new
breakfast food, made from them, is about to revolutionize the morning
meal. Also we heard that no longer will it be necessary to go to the
tropics to enjoy the mango, for a new process has at last been
discovered that will permit of their being canned. We were told that the
natives carry long knives and often use them and that someone said,
"Although they may be dressed in the latest style from toes to head,
they are still savages from the waist up." This seems difficult to
believe, in spite of the numerous scars one sees, as one could not but
feel friendly toward the Filipinos. Their courtesy is typified in their
road signs that we passed, "Slow please," and after the curve was
rounded, "Thank you."
We all noticed how clean and neat their appearance was. You know it is
said that the Japanese keep their bodies clean, but not their clothes,
while the Koreans keep their clothes clean (perhaps because they are
white and the dirt is so evident), and not their bodies, that the
Chinese keep neither their clothes nor their bodies clean, but the
Filipinos keep both, their bodies and their clothes, immaculate.
One of our party asked one of our hosts. "Why he never said, 'right' and
'left', in directing the chauffeur." The answer was that in the old days
the footman's seat was on the left horse, hence 'cella' for left, while
the driver held his reins in his right hand, therefore 'mono' (or hand)
means right to the Filipinos.
Reese Lewellyn said, as did most of the Americans in the Islands, "That
the United States should never give up the Philippine Islands, as they
are a necessary base for America's importing and exporting." He said,
"Although, before I made this trip, I was not in favor of the United
States holding outside territory, I now realize that we must keep the
Philippines as an outlet for our supplies. In a diplomatic way the
Filipinos will have to be made to realize that, in spite of the fact
that they have been told they would be independent of United States,
conditions warrant our keeping them as a part of the United States."
Our first impression of the native women was that they were all going to
some ball or had put on their low-necked, transparent evening dresses by
mistake. But, before any reader gets the impression from this that they
are immodest, let me hasten to add that we found that they were
exceptionally sweet and charming and are the souls of propriety. Why,
even the man engaged to a girl cannot so much as walk with her on the
streets in the broad daylight, and to take her arm - Oh, horrors! If a
girl should permit two different beaus to call upon her, even if well
chaperoned, it would eliminate her matrimonial prospects, as she would
then be branded as a hopeless flirt, so we were told.
But, needless to say, the few American girls in Manila do not follow
these rules, for we heard that an engagement for tea with one masculine
admirer and to watch the oily seola nuts burn at dinner with another
friend, and to attend an evening dance with a third, is not considered
unusual. After the Philippine women get the suffrage, Governor Leonard
Wood seems to want them to have, some of the ladies of our party wonder
if things will not be a little different for the native women?
We were escorted through cigar factories, hemp works, and to Bilibid
Prison, where from a central reviewing stand, the avenue of cells with
the drilling space between, radiate like a great pinwheel. A very
elaborate drill was given by the prisoners, who were dressed according
to their conduct - white for the best behavior, blue, fairly good,
stripes for bad behavior.
Besides the tea dance at the beautiful Spanish Club, the Governor's
Reception at the Palace (as it is called here), and the numerous dances,
there was a luncheon given to our party at the delightful Manila Hotel
by the Rotary Club.
At this function the cablegram to us from Mayor Rolph was read and
applauded, as were the messages from former Manager Wood of the St.
Francis, and Manager Manwaring of the Palace. After speeches by A. I.
Esberg, Byron Mauzy, C. B. Lastreto, Ex-Senator James Phelan, who had
just arrived in Manila, made a very interesting and humorous address.
He referred to the time when the war over the Philippines was going on,
at which time he was Mayor of San Francisco. He said, "Then we hardly
knew where the Philippines were." He dwelt upon the marvelous resources
of the Islands and warned us not to be like the old miner, who before
the "Days of '49" said that he saw a sign advertising the village that
is now San Francisco, for sale for five dollars. When asked, "Why he
didn't buy it," he said, "He didn't' have the five dollars, and anyway
he didn't want it then."
Governor Wood finished the speeches with a stirring address. "Capital is
safe in the Philippines. Take an interest in them," he said. "They are
big, there are wonderful resources and there is big work to do here. The
American Flag is still at the top of the pole. The progress of the
Philippine people in the last twenty-three years cannot be paralleled,
it could not have been accomplished without their cooperation and
without our aid." He referred to the so-called laws of discouragement
that are said to impede business. "I want to get hold of them and
correct them, but they cannot be changed in a hurry. The United States
stands for the development of trade and the open-door in the Pacific.
One of the best piers in the world will be built; the harbor rivals
Seattle, and Manila will be a great port and a distributor of the
products of the Far East. There is room for expansion, labor is cheap.
Germany, the beaten nation, has learned to live without import or export
and understands cheap living. Competition will be keen. They are out to
gobble up South American trade. We must get busy. The war talk is
tommy-rot. Of course there will be wars in the future, but only
irresponsible people think of war at present."
Manuel Queson, in a long interview, after the "Wood-Forbes" report was
out, said, "I do not agree with the report as the Islands are ready for
Sergio Osmena, referred to as a great power and known as the "Sphinx of
the Philippines," was reticent at first, but later he talked freely
about the marvelous resources of the Islands and stated that he, too,
believed the Islands ready for independence.
Returning from Manila we stopped once more at "The City of Mist,"
Hongkong, and were entertained all over again. While some of the Chamber
of Commerce party were motoring to a dance given in honor of the San
Francisco delegates, a coolie was hit and nearly run over. Our host told
the coolie to get out of the way, while assuring us that it would not
have caused much trouble had he been severely injured. He said, "Labor
is so cheap here, some coolies try to get hit to get something out of
you, and if I had really run over him, I would have given him fifty
cents, or so. You know there is a law that if a Chinese accepts any
amount of money after being injured, he has no redress." He went on to
tell a story about using Chinese women to retrieve instead of dogs in
snipe shooting. If these coolie women happen to stand up and get a stray
shot, a few cents is given them, and it is called "square." One of the
husbands of these women retrievers needed money, so his wife stood up in
order to get a lot of shots. She got seven shots and went away with her
husband rejoicing upon receipt of five dollars.
It was like meeting someone from home when Mrs. H. W. Thomas and Mrs.
Cudahy joined our party again.
Many of our party looked for the American flag at our consulate, and H.
L. Judell said he could not buy one in all of British Hongkong.
The feeling against the Germans in Hongkong, many of our party decided,
must be very strong, as we saw cartoons showing a fierce-looking person
killing everyone, and the same person in another pose, dressed as a
traveling salesman, together with the warning, "Remember they are one
and the same." We also noted sentiment against the Japanese in China,
for instance, a Chinese gentleman told a group of our party that he and
many of his countrymen taught their children that someday they would
fight the Japanese. We were told that if a Chinese child is given a
piece of candy and then told that the candy was made in Japan, the child
refuses to eat it. This just typifies the attitude we found in China
towards the Japanese. But as Dr. Kasper Pischel said at one of our
evening meetings, "The spirit of China is not dead but is very much
alive in Canton. Where the guidebooks discussed the narrow streets, to
small even for rickshaws, I found twenty miles of broad streets. Where I
anticipated hovels, a twelve-story skyscraper was seen, and it is my
belief that unscrupulous outsiders are trying to keep the old political
power in Peking."
Leaving Hongkong, we passed the typhoon shelter on the bay with its
hundreds of floating homes. Next we noted the numerous curved graves
(evil spirits, we were told, would not attack curved lines) and that all
the graves faced the rice fields and the water for good luck. It seems
that once a year, the relatives come with a big feast, and after waiting
two hours for the spirits to eat, the mourners "fall to" and devour it
themselves. The sacred mountain that resembles an amah and child, where
the expectant Chinese mothers come to pray for male babies, was seen in
the distance, as was the inlet of the bay, which, according to legend,
was the original location of the Garden of Eden. Some members of the
party considered this region much more beautiful than the Inland Sea of
Many of the party could not understand what the tall buildings in all
the small villages could be. The fluent-talking Chinese officials, sent
to escort our party, informed us that they were the pawnshops, and the
wealth of the villages is determined by the number of their pawnshops,
it being quite an honorable business in China, and all the inhabitants
put their winter clothes in pawn. If, when they redeem this clothing, an
epidemic of disease occurs, no one seems to think it might be because
the clothes of all are put together unfumigated.
We were discussing the odd names on the official program when we were
told that besides meeting a Mr. Looking For, a Mr. Jack Rabbitt was to
follow the first speaker at the coming luncheon. We heard all about Ho
Fook, with his fourteen wives and fifty-six children, and how Wang Chong
Hin had just made a million in Java, raising sugar cane; that fat worms
were considered a great treat, as were portions of rats, cats and dogs,
all of these questionable delicacies being on display in the wayside
The Canton reception was by far the most spectacular the Chamber of
Commerce party received in the Orient. After the gaily attired band
(playing American airs) greeted us, we passed through a brilliantly
decorated arch and drove past the business section of Canton to the
Yamen of His Excellency, Chan Chuing Ming, the Governor of Kwangtung.
Here a reception committee representing the Government of the Republic
of China, at Canton, the Provincial Government of Kwangtung, the Canton
Municipality, the General Chamber of Commerce at Canton and the American
Association of South China gave us a never-to-be-forgotten welcome.
An elaborate Chinese tiffin (yes, we ate a la chop sticks) was served.
Governor Chan Chuing Ming, in his opening address, spoke of South
China's plan for trade expansion and the development of this vast
section. He referred to America's policy of fair play and the "Open
Door" in the Orient and said that South China was rapidly becoming a
progressive democracy and that the delegation showed its interest in
South China by its presence there.
Commissioner Francis Krull, in answering this speech, spoke of the
"Heavenly Welcome." This reminded us that besides the bands, military
escort, soldiers at salute throughout the streets, auto street sprinkler
to keep down the dust in front of the procession, an aeroplane had
soared over our heads dropping messages of greeting. Someone suggested
that a book on Chinese etiquette should have been studied by all
representatives, for, when Mayor Sun, the son of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, head
of South China, gave one of the ladies of our party a choice morsel,