1943 SEP 1

Division of
OCT 15 1943
Department of State

Office of the Attorney General
Washington, D. C.

SD 740.00115 Pacific War/1621

August 31, 1943

The Honorable

The Secretary of State

My dear Mr. Secretary:

This will refer further to your letter date July 30, 1943, and to previous correspondence with regard to Memorandum No. 473 of October 27, 1942 from the Spanish Embassy in charge of Japanese interests in the continental United States which enclosed a telegram from the Japanese Government setting forth complaints concerning the treatment of Japanese subjects in the hands of American authorities.

With reference to your request for additional facts regarding the treatment of the Japanese while they were in the hands of prison authorities, I find that the only information that we are now able to furnish relates to their treatment after they were received at the Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island.

The warden of that institution, who personally supervised the admission of these subjects, states that they were received at Terminal Island about the middle of the afternoon of December 8. Prior to that time they were in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The complaints which seem to refer to the treatment after these subjects were in the Terminal Island Institution are (1) that they were kept standing in the open air nearly three hours where the treatment was humiliating and (2) that no food was given them until 6 o'clock in the afternoon. The information which I have received deals with these two complaints.

More than one hundred of these Japanese subjects were committed to the Federal institution at one time. They were examined according to the usual methods for receiving persons at this institution. It was necessary that they be kept standing in the open air because naturally it took considerable time to complete the admission of each subject. They were taken in small groups of eight or ten into a heated receiving room for examination. It took longer than it ordinarily would to admit a person to the institution because the officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed and interrogated each person before he was finally turned over tot eh full custody of the warden. During the time which these persons were waiting for their admission, hot coffee and sandwiches were served several times during the late afternoon and evening. Later they were suitably quartered in a section of the institution separated from other inmates. They had ample room and their beds were furnished with a mattress, pillow, clean linen and blankets. At all times they were treated with courtesy and not subjected to any undue humiliation.

They were held in the Federal institution only a few days when they were again taken over by the Immigration and Naturalization Service officers and transferred either to the Immigration Station or to Missoula, Montana. Some time later the warden received a letter from one of the Japanese subjects who had been moved to Missoula expressing his appreciation for the treatment which had been given to these men while they were in the Terminal Island institution.

Sincerely yours,

(signed Francis Biddle)
Attorney General

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