"This is the summary
by Assistant Attorney General Rowe to the Commanding General of a conversation
with the Attorney General of the United States, and Mr. ROWE'S understanding
of what the Department of Justice is prepared to do on questions of Alien
Enemy Control referred to him by the Commanding General and his staff.
"1. PROHIBITED ARTICLES:
Besides cameras, radios and firearms,
the articles prohibited by the President's proclamation are to be deposited
by all alien enemies with local police authorities by Monday night, January
5, 1942, at 11 P.M. Because sufficient publicity was not given to the requirement
that all prohibited articles be so deposited, the Department of Justice
will, by [press] release for Tuesday morning, allow all alien enemies at
least two more days, say 11 P.M., January 7, to dispose of the articles.
An effort will be made to obtain sufficient publicity by radio and in the
"2. RESTRICTED AREAS.
The Department of Justice tonight
will wire direct the United States Attorneys in the Western Theatre of
Operations, with particular emphasis on Washington, Oregon, and California
to telephone Major General BENEDICT for recommendations as to what areas
should be regarded as restricted. The United States Attorney will automatically
accept the General's recommendations, and these areas will immediately
become restricted areas pending confirmation by the Attorney General. As
soon as possible, a press release ordering all enemy aliens to evacuate
restricted areas by a certain date and hour will be issued. Any release
by the Department of Justice will specifically state that the Attorney
General has designated these restricted areas at the specific and urgent
request of the Commanding General. The Army will request the Navy to submit
its recommendations through the Commanding General. It is believed several
days will elapse before the Army will be ready to submit its recommendations.
"3. SEARCH WARRANTS.
New forms for search and seizure
of prohibited articles in homes controlled by, or inhabited by, alien enemies,
are to be received tomorrow morning by Federal Bureau of Investigation
teletype. The question of probable cause will be met only by the statement
that an alien enemy is resident in such premises. It is Mr. ROWE'S understanding
that the local United States Attorney's interpretation that more information
is necessary to show probable cause is incorrect. The United States Attorney
will issue a search warrant upon a statement by a Federal Bureau of Investigation
agent that an alien enemy is resident at certain premises. It is not necessary
that the Department in Washington be consulted.
"4. ALIEN ENEMY REGISTRATION.
The Department feels it can conduct
an alien enemy registration in the Western Theatre of Operations within
a week or ten days. tomorrow morning by Federal Bureau of Investigation
teletype a statement will be sent from Washington outlining a procedure
of what the Department is prepared to do. The Department feels it can conduct
such a registration, though the local police authorities, much faster than
the Army itself. The Department also feels that the existing list from
the previous alien registration, now in Washington, is in better shape
than is the impression in San Francisco, and every effort will be made
to have such lists available in the Western Theatre of Operations.
"5. The Department is willing
to make spot-raids on alien enemies tomorrow or at any time after the registration,
anywhere within the Western Theatre of Operations. Mr. ROWE emphasized
that such raids must be confined to premises controlled by enemy aliens,
or where enemy aliens are resident. In other words, the Department cannot
raid a specific locality, covering every house in that locality, irrespective
of whether such houses are inhabited by enemy aliens or citizens. The Attorney
General requested Mr. ROWE to make clear to the Commanding General that
under no circumstances will the Department of Justice conduct mass raids
on alien enemies. It is understood that the term 'mass raids' means, eventually
a raid on every alien enemy within the Western Theatre of Operations. The
Attorney General will oppose such raids and, if overruled by the President,
will request the Army to supersede the Department of Justice in the Western
Theatre of Operations.
"6. It was agreed by the Commanding
General and his staff and Mr. ROWE that certain questions pertaining to
raids on localities and the issuance of search warrants, particularly referring
to raids on localities in which radio transmitters are probably to be found,
will be transmitted to the Department, also for an indication as to how
far the Department will proceed, as a matter of law and policy."
IN: Final Report: Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942, Headquarters Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, Office of the Commanding General, Presidio of San Francisco, California; Chapters 1 and 2.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
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