Notes for an undelivered speech (Excerpts)

From The Papers of Will Rogers: The final years, August 1928-August 1935, University of Oklahoma Press, 2006 pp. 283-289


Notes for Speech
ca. 3 January 1932
[Manila, Philippines]

Rogers likely prepared the following notes for a speech he intended to deliver in Manila, but while en route to the Philippines by sea he discovered that the connecting ship to his next destination was late. Although he “wanted to go by and set the Phillippines free,” he decided to forgo the stop in Manila and to steam directly to Singapore.

Now what do you Boys want, are you on the level with this thing, Do you want Liberyy [Liberty], or do you just want to Heller [Holler],

Now over home there is a lot of things we holler for that we dont want.

I think you should be given your Liberty, There is nothing that will cure a nation of Liberty any quicker than giving it to em.

Now if you all can runnyour Nation, and do a good job of it, I am perfectly satisfied to let you also take us under your hands and run us…

Dont send a Deligation with petition, senda Deligatin withsome Guns, The [n] too have your Sugar Crop fail one or two years, that will make us disgusted with you quicker th n [than] anything, Two failures and I will guarantee your Freedom,

This fellow CURZOn [Quezon] you got here that has put up such a good fight for you, I expected to find a fellow like that little Gandi of India, Where is your Goat, and your Diaper, why this Guy is better dressed than Mayor Jimmy Walker, You cant get fr edom lo[o]kinglike that, why you look more prosperous than Andy Mellon, and perhpas are, You want to plead spiritually for your cause, you dont want to plead with reason,

Reason wont get you anyhwre in the Senate,

Who were your Deligates anyhow, who went on hti [this Excursion, Curzon [Quezon] dident go he is going on theone next year,

It will be a great trip for em, They will show em a great time over there, they will give em everything, of  ourse everything but what they come after. They will get a lot of laughs eut ef the trip, but but no liberty out of the Junket,

Hoover will put em on a Commission to comeback [come back?] and investigate the Philipine [Philippines?]

I dont want to see it, I dont want to look at peoplein Slavery, I just hate to go home and tell people how you are living here in such suuroundings, Why they tell me thatthere is alot of your Politicinas that are down to their last two cars,

Now I am going to recomend in my report that [?]

You got the biggest Dance Hall in the Old [world?], if you had your Liberty you couldent have any bigger, andyour saloons, you would have to close up up if the Americans went home, for the natives dont drink much,

Then suppose the Soldiers took all their Girls home with em, where would you be for Women folks then, You couldent keep on with just arace of men,

No there is two things thats overated in this world one is a pretty Widow, and the other is Liebty [Liberty]. But if you wwnt [want] it I will get it for you,

Course I may charge you a commission, I am still an American…

Telegram from Manuel Luis Quezon
4 January 1932
Manila, Philippines

Quezon’s words, “liberty or no liberty,” echo those used by Rogers in Notes for Speech, ca. 4 January 1932, above, and suggest that Quezon was responding to a telegram from Rogers in which he had expressed regrets for failing to make his planned stop in the Philippines. See also ML, 169-74.

Will Rogers
s/s Rawalpindi Manila Rdo

We just wanted to meet a fine fellow stop liberty or no liberty all sorry not to have met you regards


Will Rogers
Author: Will Rogers
(1879-1935) American humorist.

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