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101

Sunday, March 15th 2020, 12:12am

The Philippine Herald, Monday, 12 September 1949

Yesterday ground was broken for construction of the factory of the United Defense Manufacturing Company, a joint venture of Delta Motors and the French Hotchkiss firm of Paris. The works, located in Santa Rosa, Laguna, will assemble and eventually produce the Hotchkiss VLD light armored vehicle for the Philippine Amy and Constabulary. Minister of Defense Don Joaquin de la Vega led the delegation of dignitaries that oversaw the inaugural ceremonies.

102

Friday, March 20th 2020, 12:41am

Philippine Motor Torpedo Boat 110, Off Mariveles, Bataan, Friday, 16 September 1949

Capitaine de Corvette Couturier had accepted with alacrity the invitation to visit the boatyard of Senator Don Enrique Barretto at Mariveles to inspect the facilities as well as the testing of the most recent group of motor torpedo boats under construction for the Philippine Navy. That he found himself in the company of Kapitein-luitenant ter Zee Buis, his Dutch counterpart, was very much a surprise; Buis had, so it seemed, received a similar invitation.

The Barretto boatyard was completing work on the latest three of the Type 1949 boats that it had contracted for; others were built elsewhere in the archipelago. Today trials were going to be run before the boats were delivered to the Government, and Couturier was permitted to go aboard the MTB 110, while Buis boarded MTB 112.

He admired the fine lines of the small warship; her master advised him that in a pinch she could exceed her contract speed of forty-four knots, powered by a quartet of marine diesel engines of German design he discovered. Besides four torpedo tubes, two on either quarter, she carried a twin 25mm cannon on her foredeck and a similar weapon aft. In company with MTB 111 and MTB 112 the MTB 110 slowly made her way away from the piers of the boatyard and out into the open waters of the China Sea; there her master signaled the trials crew to open the engines for a speed run.

The diesel engines spun the boat’s propellers to their maximum revolutions, churning the boat’s wake to a mass of white froth as the MTB 110 surged ahead. Couturier stood in the boat’s cockpit, where the RPM indicator pegged at maximum and the boats speed over water inched up towards her contract mark. After twenty minutes they had achieved it, and speed was cut back to a more modest twenty-five knots for the trip back to Mariveles.

103

Saturday, March 28th 2020, 1:46am

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Tuesday, 20 September 1949

The noted local entrepreneur Enrique Razon has announced the foundation of a new shipping venture, the United Shipping and Trading Company, which will be based here. The firm has acquired two refrigerated cargo vessels with which it intends to enter the fruit export trade. In discussing his plans for the firm Senor Razon indicated that he anticipated the acquisition of additional ships to extend services to markets in Indochina, Indonesia, and Australia.

104

Monday, April 6th 2020, 5:37pm

The Mindanao Post, Sunday, 25 September 1949

The Senate has taken up the question of naval estimates for the year 1950; and in acrimonious debate the partisans of continued vigilance in the face of Chinese aggression, led by Don Pedro Teves faced off against those arguing that the nation cannot continue the pace of spending for national defense – a position championed by Don Ramon Fernandez and Don Marcelo Palmero. The Council of Ministers has yet to introduce a draft naval program, and Minister of Defense Don Joaquin de la Vega has urged the Senate to permit the Council to complete its work without distraction. It is doubtful that any work previously authorized will be suspended, but the question of what new construction may be authorized is at the heart of the dispute.

105

Friday, April 17th 2020, 4:05am

Manila, The Senate Chambers, Tuesday, 27 September 1949

The Senate had returned to the vexatious matter of the naval appropriations for the forthcoming fiscal year. The proponents of increased naval strength had not yet swayed a majority of senators to their position; neither had those who argued that the burden of defense spending threatened the health of the national economy. Don Pedro Teves rose and asked leave to speak, a request the speaker granted.

Teves continued, “I have heard it said that the Chinese Fleet’s aircraft carriers are third-rate at best. But look at their number. If they were they to mass for air strikes they could overwhelm portions of our land-based air defenses and inflict considerable damage. With our own strong carrier force we would be able to redeploy it to bolster an endangered local defense or pursue such an attacking force following its repulse, destroying the enemy in detail.”

There were nods among a number of senators. Don Marcelo Palmero stood and offered a response.

“According to the latest information available the Chinese have assembled from the four corners of the world no fewer than eight aircraft carriers of dubious utility that between them can operate little more than two hundred obsolete aircraft of all types. Our air defenses have little to fear from this sort of ‘threat’ – so outclassed are the Chinese piston-engine fighters and bombers by our MiGs and Vampires. And as for a potential riposte, the expansion of our land-based air attack force is by far the more effective and less costly alternative.”

“In approving the Naval Armament Replenishment Act in the last session our navy is committed to the construction of two heavy cruisers that will not be commissioned until the end of 1951. The suggestion that the program for next fiscal year include funding for the first of two new aircraft carriers – vessels of fifty-thousand tons – which would take more than five years to construct – is ludicrous.”

And so the debate would go on.

106

Friday, April 24th 2020, 1:34am

Manila, The Malacañan Palace, Thursday, 29 September 1949

Minister of Defense De la Vega returned to his private office weary. He had spent far too much of the day in the Senate Chambers listening to the seemingly interminable debate on the next year’s naval program. “Why can they not make up their minds?” he asked aloud.

“Because they have too much to lose and too little to gain by doing so.” It was his personal assistant, Ramon Magsaysay, who took a seat on the sofa opposite his chief.

“Yes Ramon, you are quite correct. Teves is out to beat the drum for us to stand up to China on China’s terms, but we don’t have China’s resources to do so.”

“And Palmero is out to score points with the voters in avoiding the taxes Teves’s proposal would bring in its train. So where is Soriano?”

“Don Andres supports neither extreme. He know that while the some officers might love to have two huge aircraft carriers to play with Suarez and the other chiefs recognize that we haven’t the manpower to operate them and all the escorts they would require. He also knows that the situation in Mindanao and the Moro provinces is still simmering and that the Navy needs to step up its support of civic action programs.”

“Where do the Kayalaans figure in his thinking?” The expansion of the observation network there was a significant drain on naval resources.

“That is where he’d like to see money spent, and whatever form the final law takes there will be money for its continuation and expansion. So once Teves and his crowd get tired of making noise Don Andres will make common cause with Palmero to bring a decent bill through.”

“You make it sound easy…”

107

Thursday, May 21st 2020, 6:59pm

Philippine News and Events, October 1949

The Manila Herald, Monday, 3 October 1949

The first of four refurbished Junkers Ju252 airliners was delivered today to Philippine Air Lines, who will operate the type on express services between Manila, Cebu, and Davao. It is expected that the remaining aircraft will be put into service before the end of November, in time to handle the expected Christmas holiday traffic.

108

Thursday, May 28th 2020, 9:22pm

The Philippine Herald, Thursday, 6 October 1949

An example of the Chilean ENAER N1E-4 Coati advanced trainer arrived today at Fernando Air Force Base near Lipa City, where it will undergo test and evaluation by the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Center. The N1E-4 "Turbo-Coati" is being considered as a replacement for its current inventory of N1E-3 piston engine advanced trainers to better approximate the speed and handling of high-performance jet aircraft. If selected, it is anticipated that license manufacture would be undertaken by the Philippine Aircraft Development Company at its Davao works.

109

Yesterday, 6:03pm

The Davao Herald, Monday, 10 October 1949

The Senate has concluded debate and approved the Naval Augmentation and Replenishment Act of 1950, which will govern the Philippine Navy’s construction program for the coming year. In addition to funding vessels already under construction it provides funding for four additional ocean escorts of the Kagitingan class and authorizes construction of two seaplane tenders, two survey ships, eight harbor tugs, and two small hospital tenders. This represents a shift by the Senate and the Malacañan to recognize the needs of civil development in the southern provinces and the continued expansion of the observation network in the Kayalaan Islands.