Before The

On The

Page 256
Monday, April 30, 1945


Statements of Dillon S. Myer, Director; Malcolm E. Pitts, Assistant Director; And Arthur J. Muir, Budget Officer


Mr. Cannon. We have an estimate before us, Mr. Myer, for the War Relocation Authority for 1946 for $25,140,000, which represents a net decrease of $12,521,352 below the 1945 appropriation of $39,000,000, if you take into account the overtime of $1,338,648.

This appears to be a liquidation budget, with the exception of the Tule Lake segregation center and the emergency refugee shelter.


We will insert in the record at this point page 7 of the justifications and the first three paragraphs of page 8, which gives a statement of the schedule for the relocation of the evacuees.

(The statement referred to is as follows:)

The following tentative time schedule is our aim in the liquidation of the program:

War Relocation Authority centers other than the segregation center, will be closed to evacuee residents within 12 months after revocation of the general exclusion orders.

Not later than 15 months, after revocation of the general exclusion orders, all evacuee property services to persons other than excludees (including segregees) will terminate, and all evacuee property warehouses not utilized for the property of such persons will be emptied.

Not later than 15 months after revocation of the general exclusion orders all War Relocation Authority field offices will be closed except (1) evacuee property warehouses, (2) an office in San Francisco servicing excludees.

In order to further orderly and planned relocation of evacuees, an approved relocation plan will be required as a condition to the granting of relocation assistance and property transportation assistance to (1) any center resident who wishes to relocate, or (2) any relocated evacuee who wishes to return to the State or Territory in which he resided prior to evacuation.

The relocation of dependent and handicapped persons who may need Government assistance on relocation represents a special problem. Every effort will be made to assist such persons to relocate to a place of their choice and to obtain assistance for which they may be eligible. State agencies administering State programs of general relief, hospitalization, institutionalization, and boarding or nursing home care, and federally aided programs of categorical assistance (old-age assistance, aid to the blind, aid to dependent children), child welfare services, services for crippled children, and vocational rehabilitation, are primarily responsible for determining evacuee eligibility for assistance under those programs. State agencies also administer funds appropriated by Congress to the Federal Security Administrator for temporary aid to persons affected by wartime restrictive action of the Federal Government, and make initial determinations of evacuee eligibility for such aid. Additional funds are included in this estimate to supplement the appropriations to the Federal Security Administrator for this aid where needed.

A number of persons unable at the time of evacuation to move to centers because of tuberculosis or other illness ("deferred evacuees") still remain in institutions in the evacuated States, their expenses paid by the War Relocation Authority. Responsibility for maintenance of these persons will be transferred to appropriate State or private agencies as rapidly as possible.

Only functions necessary to the maintenance of essential operations will henceforth be continued at the centers. All work will be undertaken with the purpose of furthering speedy and satisfactory relocation of the evacuees, providing the essentials of community and administrative services, and closing all centers except the segregation center or centers to evacuee residents by 12 months after revocation of the general exclusion orders. Every effort will be made to reduce center expenditures.


Mr. Cannon. We would be glad to have a statement from you at this time outlining the plan for the liquidation of the Authority.

Mr. Myer. Mr. Chairman, I would like to review briefly where we have been, where we are now, and what we plan to do, without going into great detail.

The War Relocation Authority was set up to assist in the relocation of people evacuated from military areas within the United States.

Our major job has been that of helping move evacuees from the Pacific coast, that is evacuees of Japanese ancestry evacuated from the coast and made the responsibility of this Authority during the year 1942, and most of that year was taken up in the movement of that group from California, Oregon, Washington, and a part of Arizona into the 10 relocation centers established at that time.

It was a new program. There was no precedent. Policies had to be developed without experience. During that year we outlined general plans for a relocation policy, on the assumption that the relocation centers were simply temporary homes for people to live in until an orderly process of relocation could be developed.

We found that there were a few people who started out to try to prove to the public during 1942 that we had a misconception of our duties, and tried to get the American public to believe that the Japanese evacuees were in internment camps, and that if they were allowed to leave the centers they might be dangerous. I think it has been proven that such has not been the case.

But we had to deal with that problem which we had not expected, because there was a small group of people, particularly along the west coast, who devoted a lot of time to starting propaganda, with a lot of misinformation about the program.

During the first year we recommended to the War Department that selective service be reestablished for boys of Japanese ancestry, because we thought it was essential to the sound relocation of these evacuees, and also, if these youngsters were to live as American citizens they should have the right to fight for their country.

Our first leave program started in May 1942, when a few people wereBeet field, Granada, 1942 allowed to work in the beet fields in the mid-Mountain States, and before the summer was over I think there were 10,000 working outside the relocation centers and assembly centers. [PHOTO: "Farm of Ed Paulish, 9 miles southeast of Granada, Colorado. High-school boys topping beets. These high-school students volunteered for beet work as a patriotic gesture." (Granada, 11/14/1942)]

During 1943, in January of that year, Secretary Stimson announced the organization of what is now known as the Four Hundred and Forty-second Regimental Combat Team, made up of a group of Japanese-American boys who volunteered for service and who are now fighting in Italy.

That was an important item in relation to this program and in my judgment it was an important historical event, as far as this country was concerned.

About the same time we established our first field offices in Chicago, Cleveland, and other points throughout the country.

Almost immediately following, we carried out our registration program in all centers, where we asked all evacuees 17 years of age and older a number of questions, and had them fill out a questionnaire giving full details of their history, of membership in organizations, and a number of other facts.

We utilized this information for carrying out a segregation program later in the year, which involved the movement of about 15,000 people into Tule Lake and out from Tule Lake. During that year, 1943, 17,000 people were relocated from the relocation centers.

During the following year, 1944, early in January, Secretary Stimson announced the reinstitution of selective service for practically all boys of Japanese ancestry.

We continued our relocation program, and on December 17, 1944, the War Department announced that the mass exclusion order which had been in effect for nearly 3 years would be lifted as of January 2.

When this announcement was made we announced plans for the closing of the relocation centers within a year except for the segregation center at Tule Lake.

We also announced that any remnant left of the program involving segregees would be turned over to the Department of Justice, at the end of that time. We announced the establishment of three additional area offices on the west coast to assist in the relocation program.

We also announced that the farming operations of the relocation centers would not be carried forward during 1945, except to complete the programs under way, that our livestock programs will be continued for some time and that the programs at two of the southern centers, where the harvest will not be completed until the middle of this calendar year, will be continued until that time. We have also announced the closing of schools at the end of this school year. Farming operations on a limited scale and school operations will continue at the segregation center, Tule Lake.

Mr. Taber. What do you mean by that, as far as dates go?

Mr. Myer. For the schools at the relocation centers, about 2 months.

Mr. Taber. There will be a little summer school work up until August 31, but that will be the final date. Most of the school work will close about June 1.

Our schools have been operating on an 11-month basis throughout the year, and we will continue some work during the summer for some students who are behind schedule, until August 31, which is the final date of any school work in the eight relocation centers.

The present status is about this: There are approximately 42,000 people who have relocated up to date, outside the centers; some of them are in the United States Army.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You mean 42,000 out of the 110,000?

Mr. Myer. We have had more than 110,000, because there have been additional births and there have been some additional people paroled out of the internment camps. There are also some additional people from Hawaii, so we have had nearly 120,000 that we have had the responsibility for at some stage.

There have been about 18,000 Japanese-American boys inducted into the American Army, and of that group, of course, some have been Hawaiian boys. There have been approximately 8,000 inducted from the mainland.

Mr. Case. Were there 8,000 of those you have been dealing with?

Mr. Myer. Yes; except that there had been some of that group in the evacuation, but their parents have lived in the relocation centers, for the most part.

I am including all people of Japanese ancestry, Mr. Case, because it is hard to keep the figures separate.

We at the present time have about 53,000 people who are free to be relocated, who are still in centers; that is a job we have to complete during this calendar year. This will mean that we will have a job of assisting between about 6,000 or 7,000 people each month to move back into normal communities.

When we formulated this plan we anticipated that as of March 1 there would be 60,000 people, and that as of July 1 there would be approximately 44,000, who would be eligible to resettle. This would mean the relocation of about 16,000 during the rest of this fiscal year, which would leave us about 44,000 until the last half of the calendar year.

I want to summarize the problems we are now facing in regard to the relocation program.

Our major problem is one we have had for some time, and that is concerning the reluctance, particularly on the part of the old people in the centers to be relocated, because of a feeling of insecurity; they are aliens and they are not sure that they would be accepted. They fear that they would not be able to make a living, and also have a fear of actual bodily harm, because there have been small groups of people who have committed certain atrocities.

In certain areas, particularly on the coast, during the last 3 months, we have had some occurrences such as shooting into dwellings, boycotts, and other atrocities on the part of misguided un-American patriots and a small group of people who have an economic interest in opposing the return of evacuees.

We have also had difficulty with housing because of the crowded situation, particularly in cities which have expanded war industries, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as in the other cities throughout the country where they are relocating.

We have also had some job discrimination on the part of misguided, uninformed individuals who are very fearful of the individuals themselves, or fearful that public sentiment is such that their position will be jeopardized if they hire these people.

The only other comment I wish to make in my general statement, is to point out the major changes in our Budget this year as compared to last year.

There is the reduction in this Budget of $16,480,066 in the cost of operating centers this year as compared with a year ago. The only increase is an increase of $5,007,532 for relocation assistance. It is not quite that much because, as you will remember, that part of the Budget in the past has been on a different basis and we have utilized savings from the relocation center costs to pay for the relocation costs.

We have included in this Budget funds for the refugee shelter at Oswego, N. Y., which was not in the picture last year. We have a reduction in all our costs except for relocation assistance amounting to $14,527,075, which includes overtime pay in the amount of $1,338,648.

I think that summarizes the general status of our program.


Mr. Cannon. You are winding up the affairs of the Authority and channeling the evacuees back into their normal localities as rapidly as you can?

Mr. Myer. That is correct.

Mr. Cannon. How soon do you expect to complete this operation?

Mr. Myer. We expect to complete the operation as far as the eight relocation centers are concerned about January 1, 1946.


Mr. Cannon. That does not include Tule Lake?

Mr. Myer. It does not include Tule Lake or whatever the alternatives might be as to those that are still in the status of detainees. They will be transferred by that time to the Department of Justice, who are already running internment camps.

Mr. Cannon. Up to this time the Department of Justice has exercised no jurisdiction at Tule Lake?

Mr. Myer. No.

Mr. Cannon. It has been entirely under your authority?

Mr. Myer. That is right. Except for a short period following the so-called Tule Lake incident when the Army were in command.

Mr. Cannon. What disposition do you expect to make of the internees at Tule Lake?

Mr. Myer. Any of them that are left will be transferred to the Department of Justice.

Mr. Cannon. The Department of Justice will maintain the camps?

Mr. Myer. They will maintain the segregee camp.

Mr. Cannon. By that time, how many will you have at the Tule Lake camp?

Mr. Myer. We are estimating that, including family members, there will be 20,000 people there. It is a little hard to make that estimate because that will depend on the action of the military authorities since they make the determination. They are now making determinations as to who should be recommended for segregation and who should be recommended for exclusion.

They have set up a series of appeal boards who are now reviewing a large number of those cases, and I think it will depend on the trend of the war and the facts which finally develop. But the best estimate we could make at the time we made up this budget was that there would be 20,000 people, which includes all of the family members, which would involve about 7,000 adults who have declared their intention. There are a lot of youngsters and family members who are tied in.


The Chairman. What other problems besides the Tule Lake situation do you have in connection with liquidation?

Mr. Myer. Our major problem, Mr. Chairman, is what I would call a bad case of institutionalization. We have spent about 3 years making people dependent, and now our big job during the rest of the calendar year is to try to make people independent again and build up their courage and their morale to the place where they feel that they can face the public without fear and make a living.

The Chairman. That applies largely to the older members?

Mr. Myer. That applies to all of them but particularly to the older members who are Japanese nationals, who feel that they cannot go about as freely as others. A good many of them have language difficulties.

Then, too, a good many of the old people in the centers have sons in the United States Army fighting on many fronts, who feel that they are dependent upon these soldier boys because they are affected by the alien property laws on the coast. The boys own the land, and they work with them, but they feel that their homes will be in jeopardy for the reason that their boys cannot will their real property to alien parents because of alien land laws.

It is a very complex problem.


The Chairman. Do any of them indicate a desire to return to Japan?

Mr. Myer. A good many people are planning to return to Japan.

The Chairman. You encourage that?

Mr. Myer. We encourage them to do so if they want to go. We have taken this position, that if they live in this country they should be allowed to make up their minds as to what they want to do, and when they have done that they should be treated accordingly. If they want to go back to Japan, of course, they should be allowed to go whenever it is possible to go. When he[we?] carried out the segregation program we had that in mind when we moved those to Tule Lake, who said that they wanted to go to Japan. Most of those older people were not dangerous people, in my judgment. A good many of them were simply old folks who felt that they were not going to be able to make the adjustment in this country, and some of them were too old to start over again. Some of them felt that they were not going to be allowed to live in the United States, and they were simply looking for security. That has created some of our problems because I think a good many of them thought they would be able to return to Japan immediately.

Some of them have property there that they were to inherit, and there were all kinds of mixed reasons. Tule Lake is not a place where we have a lot of dangerous people, but it is a place where we had to put all the people who wanted to be Japanese. There are still some people at Tule Lake who are not in the category.


The Chairman. What property will you have on hand, both real and personal property, if you are successful in liquidating your internees?

Mr. Myer. We have real estate of our own only at two centers. We purchased real estate at the Central Utah center and at the Granada center in Colorado. All of the rest of the centers were situated on Government-controlled land or leased land. Two in Arizona are on Indian reservation lands and there are three others on reclamation land, and that land will go back to the Reclamation Service. We only have two places where we own real estate. We have already declared all of our farm lands surplus at Granada. That has been leased by the Army to private operators.

We will, of course, have a large amount of equipment and materials used in the operation of the centers, such as automobiles, trucks, and other equipment of many kinds, but we are already declaring these items surplus as fast as we can possibly do it.

We have already declared surplus practically all of our farm equipment that we have used in those centers where we are not farming this year. What that will amount to in the total amount -- I could not give you the exact figure at the moment, but it is a pretty large amount. We are working closely with the Surplus Property Board and the Treasury Procurement Division in turning over month by month any equipment that we do not need.


Mr. Ludlow. You say there are about 7,000 families at Tule Lake?

Mr. Myer. No; I said that in connection with the figure of 20,000 the estimate we made probably would not include more than about 7,000 adult individuals who had made a declaration as to what they wanted to do.

Mr. Ludlow. How was it decided as to what Japs would go to Tule Lake? Are they all recalcitrants?

Mr. Myer. No; I would not call them that. At the beginning we set up certain categories of people to be sent to Tule Lake, including those who had requested repatriation to Japan, and then there were also certain people who had requested expatriation as American citizens.

Many of those people were not in any way dangerous to the country; they had simply made up their minds that they wanted to go back for various reasons. Anyone who said "No" to the allegiance question was transferred to Tule Lake and the only other group involved was a small group of people who, because of their intelligence records, we decided ought to go to Tule Lake even though they may not have requested repatriation. We had a check with the F. B. I., the Army Intelligence Service, and the Naval Intelligence Service, and we took the information they had as basis for certain decisions.

Those determinations are now no longer made by the W.R.A. At the time the mass exclusion orders were lifted, the Army took over the determination and we are no longer doing that.

Mr. Ludlow. Are some of those at Tule Lake American citizens?

Mr. Myer. Yes.

Mr. Ludlow. What proportion?

Mr. Myer. The proportion ran pretty close to 70 percent in the beginning. Some of them have renounced their citizenship.

Mr. Ludlow. How long do you think Tule Lake will be used for that purpose? How long would it take to wipe it out?

Mr. Myer. I cannot answer that. It will depend on the policy of the War Department and the Department of Justice as to how long they feel it is important to maintain people under confinement, and, since they are making the determination, I have no basis for an estimate.

Mr. Ludlow. I notice in your justifications of the other eight centers they will all be liquidated and will be entirely gone by January 1, 1946.

Mr. Myer. That is right, according to the plan, providing everything works the way we expect it to work. We will have a tight schedule to meet, but that is our expectation.

Mr. Ludlow. This is an estimate for $25,140,000. Will that pretty well liquidate all of the war-relocation activities?

Mr. Myer. If everything works smoothly, as we proposed to try to have it work. This is the tightest budget we have ever had. It has been trimmed to the absolute limit. However, if nothing unforeseen happens, I think we will make it.


Mr. Ludlow. Are these evacuees going back to their original lands?

Mr. Myer. The major relocation in the last 3 months has been to the East and to the Middle West. However, it is getting to the place where it is pretty close to being 50-50. A good many are beginning to go back. It took them some time to make those decisions. There are a good many ready to go back home. There are 40,000 of them relocated in the rest of the country.

There is hardly a family that did not have people relocated in other parts of the United States. Every family had some difficulty in making up their minds what they wanted to do. It has been a rather complex problem for the families to decide where they were going to locate.

Mr. Ludlow. What proportion of them in relocation centers still own property?

Mr. Myer. There is not a large proportion that own property. Many of them had long-term leases. The proportion, I should say, is fairly small. There are some. Some have already gone back to their properties.

As I pointed out in my general statement, because of the alien land laws, most of this property is held in the names of American citizens, and some of them are in the armed forces. Alien adults have some reluctance to try to operate that property because they are fearful that there will be escheat proceedings brought against them, as there have been in several cases recently. I may say that many of the parents are in a position where they would inherit the property of a boy killed in action on account of the alien land laws on the coast.


Mr. Ludlow. The Government pays the cost of transportation at these relocation centers?

Mr. Myer. Yes; we are paying the cost of transportation wherever they wish to go.

Mr. Ludlow. Wherever they decide to to go, the Government pays the cost of transportation?

Mr. Myer. That is right.

Mr. Ludlow. Regardless of what the situation is, whether they have resettled in their own right?

Mr. Myer. That is right; the same thing applies to all of them.


Mr. Ludlow. I think you said there were two of these centers where the Government owns land or purchased the land?

Mr. Myer. We purchased the land.

Mr. Ludlow. In the case of the habitations in the eight centers, are those being moved, or are they being knocked down and sold?

Mr. Myer. There has not been any disposal as yet. We have closed only one center up to this time. We closed the Jerome center in Arkansas last year. That was taken over by the War Department and is now being used as a prisoner-of-war camp. I do not know what disposition will be made of it. That disposition will be made by the Surplus Property Board. Practically all of the buildings are temporary structures. It is what they call the theater of operations type of construction, with tar-paper barracks.

Mr. Ludlow. It was good lumber?

Mr. Myer. Yes, sir; all of the frame work was good lumber. I presume it will be salvaged, under contract, perhaps, but that is only a presumption.


Mr. Ludlow. You said, as I understand you, that 8,000, approximately, of these Japanese have been inducted into the United States Army and some are fighting in Italy?

Mr. Myer. Yes; 18,000 all told -- approximately 8,000 from the mainland.

Mr. Ludlow. Are they fighting as a separate unit, or are they infiltrated into other units?

Mr. Myer. I mentioned the Four Hundred and Forty-second Combat Team, and that is all a Japanese-American unit; they have made a wonderful record. There are a large number intermingled with other units.

Mr. Ludlow. Where?

Mr. Myer. In Italy and France. The One Hundredth Infantry Battalion was the first unit to go overseas. In the beginning that was a unit of all-Hawaiian boys who had mostly been in the Hawaiian National Guard. At the time when the Four Hundred and Forty-second Combat Team completed their training the One Hundredth Infantry became a part of that unit. That is the outfit, incidentally, that saved the "lost battalion" of the Thirty-sixth Division. That is an example of what they have done. I have here a statement about that in a press release.

Mr. Ludlow. Can you insert that in the record?

Mr. Myer. Yes; I will be glad to do that; but I would like to read this one paragraph into the record:
In France, the story of the One Hundredth's heroic rescue of the Thirty-sixth Division's "lost battalion" has been told and retold. In its present position in the French Alps, it could easily rest on its laurels: 21 Distinguished Service Crosses, 6 Legions of Merit, 73 Silver Stars, 7 Soldier's Medals, 96 Bronze Stars, 16 Division Citations, 2 awards from the Italian Government, and the War Department Distinguished Unit Citation. The  One Hundredth's infantrymen have been award over 1,547 Purple Hearts and Oak Leaf Clusters for wounds received in battle.
That is the first Japanese-American unit that went over. It later became a part of the Four Hundred and Forty-second Regimental Combat Team. The Four Hundred and Forty-second was the outfit that rescued the lost battalion of the Texas unit in the Vosgost Mountain area.

(The press release referred to is as follows:)

{Editor: Soldiers from your locality are mentioned on attached sheet. Passed for publication by Field Press Censor JW 201.}
Sixth Army Group, France. -- The One Hundredth Battalion of the Four Hundred and Forty-second infantry Regiment, made up of Americans of Japanese ancestry, is writing another thrilling chapter in its already massive book of courageous action. In a sector of the formidable barrier that separates France from Italy -- 250 miles of jagged mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks -- this battalion, one of the most famous in American military history, is engaged in hazardous mountain warfare.

Along the Franco-Italian border, part of Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Dever's Sixth Army Group front, wary Nisei patrols probe their way into German defenses with a skill born out of long combat experience. There buddies are well entrenched in defensive positions, ready for enemy counter thrusts or patrols. In the shadows of towering cliffs, German ambush traps are dealt with in deadly thoroughness.

The One Hundredth gained a reputation as "the fightin'est outfit" in Italy. In one of the most sensational actions of the Italian campaign, the battalion was ordered to wipe out a strongly defended German bastion, a small town north of Rome. In short time, it took the town, cut the main German escape highway at three points, destroyed the enemy's right flank, and forced a withdrawal over 6 strategic miles. Germans killed, wounded, and captured totaled over 270. For this action, and consistently outstanding combat operation in Italy, the battalion was awarded a War Department distinguished Unit Citation.

In France, the story of the One Hundredth's heroic rescue of the Thirty-sixth Division's "lost battalion" has been told and retold. In its present position in the French Alps, it could easily rest on its laurels: 21 Distinguished Service Crosses, 6 Legions of Merit, 73 Silver Stars, 7 Soldier's Medals, 96 Bronze Stars, 16 Division Citations, 2 awards from the Italian Government, and the War Department Distinguished Unit Citation. The  One Hundredth's Infantrymen have been award over 1,547 Purple Hearts and Oak Leaf Clusters for wounds received in battle.
Mr. Myer. I have heard that the one battalion had 60 percent casualties. They have had a marvelous record. I have also heard it said that for 3 years they have never had a case of A.W.O.L. They were the spearhead that took Genoa 4 or 5 days ago. They moved into France and then they moved back into Italy. They are not only fighting in Italy and France but some are scattered throughout other battle areas; they are fighting in the South Pacific, in the Philippines, in Iwo Jima, and in Okinawa. They were at Kiska, and Attu, and Saipan. There are several hundred boys there doing special service work. There have been a number of similar engagements that they have been in, in Leyte and other parts of the Pacific. They have rendered service on all fronts.


Mr. Ludlow. Aside from the disturbance at Tule Lake, have you been troubled by disturbances in any of the other relocation centers?

Mr. Myer. We have had three disturbances in three different centers, two of them occurring in 1942. We have had one disturbance at Poston, and we have also had a disturbance at Manzanar. Then in 1943 we had the disturbance at Tule Lake.

The groups of people who caused those disturbances have been disciplined. The disturbances at Tule Lake was not as bad as it was painted. But there was some fire there, and I would think were about two or three hundred boys that got out of line, but they were brought back into line.


Mr. O'Neal. Have you any responsibility after you once relocate them?

Mr. Myer. No; except that we do try to get them connected up with their personal property where we have had it in storage. We do serve as consultants if they get into difficulties, and try to give them advice and help. We try to make them as independent as possible as quickly as possible.

Mr. O'Neal. Suppose they do not make good on their job, then it becomes the job of the State to take care of them, I presume?

Mr. Myer. Most of them have not gone on the land. Most of the locations have been in the cities. But in the western irrigated areas there have been a good many working on the land there as hired laborers, or they have worked as sharecroppers. They have made their own arrangements, largely, and they are able to shift for themselves. We have had an arrangement with the Social Security Board under which, if an individual got into real difficulties such as illness, they have received assistance if needed. The last figure I had showed that there had only been an average of 147 people per month up to the time when the exclusion order was lifted who had been relocated, who had received aid under that program. I will say that they have been a pretty independent group of people in that respect. They have prided themselves that they have had practically no one on relief, and they have taken care of their own situation. They usually do not ask for help unless they are actually up against it.


Mr. Taber. I want to get a picture of this question as far as I can. You have got 7,000 adults at Tule Lake, who are obstreperous more or less?

Mr. Myer. No; they are not obstreperous; the most of them are just people who decided they want to go back to Japan.

Mr. Taber. Have you moved any of them back through the exchange of nationals?

Mr. Myer. There have been a few; there has been only two shiploads on the Gripsholm during the whole period, Mr. Taber, that have gone to Japan, and just a few have gone from Tule Lake. First, because there has been no exchange since this segregation program was carried out.

To Japan via Gripsholm, Poston, 1943
"Left to Right: Mr. and Mrs. Tom Yanai of Poston, Tom Takamatsu and Mrs. Takamatsu of Manzanar, ready to board the Rivers bound bus for first lap of trip to Japan via Gripsholm. Mr. and Mrs. Yanai, however returned to Poston." (08/24/1943)]

Mr. Taber. Seven thousand adults are there now. How many are there altogether?

Mr. Myer. Seventeen thousand eight hundred and eighty-six, if you include the family members.

Mr. Taber. How many have you got right now altogether, including Tule Lake?

Mr. Myer. There were, as of April 21, 72,755 in all the centers, including Tule Lake.

Mr. Wigglesworth. I thought you said there were 53,000.

Mr. Myer. There are 20,000 that we estimate will not be eligible for relocation, and if you subtract the 20,000 from the 72,755 it will leave you around 53,000.

Mr. Taber. You have some who will not be eligible for relocation scattered at other places?

Mr. Myer. That is right. There will be about 20,000 as near as we can estimate, in that category.

Mr. Taber. I would like you to set out in the record how many you have and where they are.

Mr. Myer. Mr. Taber, I cannot give you the exact number. That is only an estimate based upon what we think will be the Army action; they make a determination as to the number of people and that estimate is changing every day.

Mr. Taber. I see.

Mr. Myer. We do not make that determination, and we simply have had to make that an estimate.

Mr. Taber. The 72,755 is an estimate?

Mr. Myer. No; the 72,755 is an accurate figure.

Mr. Taber. I thought you said it was an estimate.

Mr. Myer. No; that is not an estimate.

Mr. Taber. Can you give me a break-down of the number in the centers?

Mr. Myer. I have some figures right here that I will be glad to give you for the record, or I can give them to you now.

Mr. Taber. I believe I would like you to put the table in the record, setting it up in tabular form.

Mr. Myer. Very well.

Mr. Taber. How does this figure of 72,755 compare with the number that you had a year ago when you were up here?

Mr. Myer. Approximately 18,000 less.

Mr. Taber [Myer?]. I would like to recheck that figure as of April 1 last year because I do no have the figures with me, but I can get the figures for you.

Mr. Taber. I wish you would put that in the record as a separate column on this other table.

Mr. Myer. The figures to compare with a year ago of approximately April 1?

Mr. Taber. Yes.

(The statement requested follows:)

Center Apr. 1, 1944 Apr. 21, 1945
Central Utah 7,028
Colorado River 12,991
Gila River 9,251
Granada 6,404
Heart Mountain
6,415 4,989
8,458 6,421
Tule Lake

Mr. Taber. You told us that you expected to get rid of -- I understood you to testify that there would be only about 40,000 by the 1st of July.

Mr. Myer. Forty-four thousand. Including the 20,000 that was estimated for Tule Lake, there will be all told about 64,000 by the 1st of July.

Mr. Taber. You only expect to get rid of about 8,000?

Mr. Myer. During the next 2 months, about 9,000.


Mr. Taber. How long do you expect to have to operate this situation?

Mr. Myer. We expect, Mr. Taber, to be out of business, so far as the War Relocation Authority is concerned, within the next fiscal year. We do not know as yet just how long it is going to take to dispose of the property and get the final details in order. We have two types of property to dispose of: One of them is the property that we are looking after for the evacuees, personal property in warehouses up and down the coast. We are estimating that we can get that job done by about April 1 so we can turn it over to someone else. If we can get it geared up with the disposal agency we hope to have most of the Government property disposed of by April or May of 1946.

Mr. Taber. How much do you expect to have on hand at the 1st of January 1946.

Mr. Myer. About 20,000 persons.

Mr. Taber. And how many of the 1st of April 1946?

Mr. Myer. None; because they will have been turned over by that time to the Department of Justice and we will be out of the business January 2 and have nobody in residence if our schedule is maintained.

Our job, from the 1st of January on, will be to complete the liquidation of the other eight centers, the property, and to complete the job of adjustments as far as the evacuees' property is concerned, and to assist those not finally adjusted for 2 or 3 months after centers are closed.

Mr. Taber. That is, to complete the adjustment job altogether of the individuals who are being relocated.

Mr. Myer. We plan to maintain our relocation staff until about the 1st of April 1946, and there will be a few things probably that will require attention after the 1st of April, but the staff will be drastically reduced after April 1, 1946.

Mr. Taber. These estimates were made on the basis of that reduction, were they?

Mr. Myer. They include, however, as far as personnel is concerned, the terminal leave that would accrue within this fiscal year; there will be an accumulation, as you know, of leave, so that the estimates are based not only on the completion of the work job but terminal leave of those who may resign from the Government or move out.

Mr. Taber. How many people did you have in this group on the 1st of April, or right around the 1st of April 1944?

Mr. Myer. That is what I told you I would have to get for the record. I do not have that figure.

Mr. Taber. You could not give me an estimate now?

Mr. Myer. I can give you a pretty good idea. It was around 91,000 or 92,000 people.

Mr. Taber. Ninety-one or two thousand?

Mr. Myer. Yes; in all centers. I would like to have the opportunity to correct that figure for the record, because I can check it accurately when I get back to the office.
{The exact figure for April 1, 1944 was 92,715.}

EXPENDITURES, 1945 and 1946

Mr. Taber. I would like to have you give me your expenditures to this date, altogether, and a table indicating the monthly expenditures so far this fiscal year, with an estimate of what you will have the rest of the fiscal year; and then I would like to have you give me an estimate of what you expect to expend in the next fiscal year, by months.

Mr. Myer. I would like to ask you a question: Do you want the total expenditure for the whole life of the Authority, or just for this fiscal year?

Mr. Taber. I am asking for this fiscal year.

Mr. Myer. We will furnish that.
(The information requested follows:)

Monthly expenditures for the fiscal year 1945 (estimated for the months of April, May, and June) and apportionment by months of estimate of appropriation for fiscal year 1946

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
3,790,531 872,559

Mr. Taber. You have another activity which I do not believe has been touched on yet.

Mr. Myer. The refugee shelter?

Mr. Taber. Yes. I will take up when we reach that item in the justifications. I believe that is all I have until we get to the details.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Mr. Myer, when was your estimate presented to Budget?

Mr. Myer. About January 18, Mr. Wigglesworth. We started working on it immediately after the mass exclusion was lifted, December 17, and I think we actually got it over to the Bureau of the Budget about the middle of January.

Mr. Wigglesworth. What was the first day you were requested to appear before the Budget?

Mr. Myer. February 5.

Mr. Wigglesworth. That was the first date you were requested to appear before the Budget?

Mr. Myer. Yes, for this year's budget, you mean?

Mr. Wigglesworth. Yes; for this year's budget.

Mr. Myer. Of course we have met with the Budget committee from time to time to report progress.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You prepared this on a man-year basis at the request of the Budget?

Mr. Myer. Yes; it was prepared on a man-year basis at their request.


Mr. Wigglesworth. I wish you would put in the record a statement showing the penalty mail costs, by years, including the estimate we have before us.

Mr. Myer. This last fiscal year.

Mr. Wigglesworth. For each fiscal year you have been in operation, and including the request you are now making, and also a similar statement in respect to the money expended on publicity, public relations, by fiscal year, including the one we now have before us.

Mr. Myer. Yes.

(The information requested follows:)


There were no penalty mail costs prior to the fiscal year 1945 which are estimated at $26,250. This estimate of appropriation does not provide for an estimated $30,000 for the fiscal year 1946 as it is being included by the Department of the Interior in their estimate.


Publicity and public-relations costs are estimated, by fiscal year, as follows:

1943 ---------- $ 84,380
1944 ----------- 122,744
1945 ----------- 204,168
1946 ----------- 160,740

 Mr. Wigglesworth. You have already given us a statement as to the promotions in the higher brackets, I believe.

Mr. Myer. That is right.


Mr. Wigglesworth. Would you also furnish for the record a statement covering the over-all activities, showing a break-down of your construction and operation, and the outside sources of funds and the amount you have received?

Mr. Myer. From the beginning?

Mr. Wigglesworth. Yes; any emergency funds that have been appropriated, and funds received from other sources.

Mr. Myer. The total cost, and the total funds we have had available; that is what you want?

Mr. Wigglesworth. Yes.

(The information requested follows:)


Fiscal Year
Amount received by --
---------- $70,000,000
---------- 48,170,000

Approximately $11,852,000 of the total was expended for construction of additional facilities to meet our requirements and the balance for operation of the centers. The original construction of the centers was done by the War Department and the cost is not included in these figures.

1 The transfer from "Emergency fund for the President, national defense" in the fiscal year 1942 was $6,300,000 of which $667,075 was unexpended and made available for the operation of the emergency refugee shelter for the fiscal year 1945.
2 Expenditures estimated for the months of April, May, and June 1945.

Mr. Wigglesworth. This request you are making is a full fiscal year's request?

Mr. Myer. That is correct.

Mr. Wigglesworth. A 12-months' request?

Mr. Myer. That is right.


Mr. Wigglesworth. As I understand it, since the decision by the War Department to which you have referred, and since the decision by the Supreme Court, overruling some of the regulations and requirements, all of these evacuees are free to leave and go home immediately if they want to, except such persons as may individually be---

Mr. Myer (interposing). Excluded by the War Department.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Except those excluded by the War Department.

Mr. Myer. Yes.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Why should we not turn Tule Lake over to the Department of Justice to handle and tell the other people they are free to go?

Mr. Myer. For the simple reason, Mr. Wigglesworth, that Tule Lake is now a mixed center; it is not only a segregation center. As I pointed out to the chairman, we have at Tule Lake several thousands of people who are free to go, who are now in that category, but who were placed at Tule Lake, but now under the decision of the War Department it has been determined that it is not necessary they be detained there any longer.

And, that ties in with the whole relocation program, and we feel that it is possible to assist some of those persons to relocate before we finally turn the center over.

We furthermore feel that it would be unjust to the program at this moment if we had any large movement of people between centers now for it adds to the feeling of insecurity, the feeling of not knowing just exactly what is going to happen, and the whole problem is so complicated that it is going to take another, perhaps, 2 or 3 months to determine how many people are eligible to relocate and it may take longer. We have turned over approximately 1,000 people to the Department of Justice since about the 1st of January.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Well, here it is the 30th day of April and the Army's revision of its ruling was made December 17, was it not?

Mr. Myer. All the determinations were not made---

Mr. Wigglesworth. I mean the decision on the policy.

Mr. Myer. The decision was made December 17; yes.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Prior to that date, you have told us, in previous hearings, I think, that you had made a very careful investigation of every one of the evacuees under your jurisdiction.

Mr. Myer. Yes.

Mr. Wigglesworth. And you knew who they were.

Mr. Myer. We also had segregated some of them.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Particularly in respect to last year?

Mr. Myer. That is right.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You have had altogether 4½ months elapse since the change of policy by the War Department. Can you give us some figures comparable to the figures prior to the time the change in policy was made? I am just wondering why you cannot complete the process more rapidly than you suggest.

Mr. Myer. I am trying to explain to you that the change in the policy, and the making of a determination about the individuals and those who are members of the family, involves a rather large task.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You must have some of those figures.

Mr. Myer. Oh, we do.

Mr. Wigglesworth. On each individual case.

Mr. Myer. We do.

Mr. Wigglesworth. It would seem to me to be a simple matter for the War Department, in the light of this information, and the information secured by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to decide whether an individual was someone that should be or should not be detained further.

Mr. Myer. It is not that simple, the fact is that they are still making changes in their lists.

Mr. Wigglesworth. And they are deducting some?

Mr. Myer. They are.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Certainly you have some estimate.

Mr. Myer. They are following through with the revision, and maybe the next day we will find out they are listing some additional people.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Listing them?

Mr. Myer. The Army's list is changing.

Mr. Wigglesworth. That they are letting more of them move?

Mr. Myer. Yes; that is changing all the time. And I would say that at the time this determination was made that probably instead of 20,000 people there were probably 30,000 people, all in all.

Mr. Wigglesworth. In other words, using the 73,000 roughly, that you have got under your jurisdiction now, of that number the War Department is satisfied to let 43,000 go now?

Mr. Myer. They were at that time. They have more than that on their clear list now.

Mr. Wigglesworth. And that number is increasing?

Mr. Myer. That number is increasing.

Mr. Wigglesworth. But there are 43,000 that the War Department is ready to let go?

Mr. Myer. Approximately 53,000. Some of those are at Tule Lake.

Mr. Wigglesworth. That gets back to my original question: Why can you not turn the 43,000 loose almost immediately instead of taking 4½ months that you have had since the War Department's order went into effect plus another 6 months that you contemplate now in which to let them go back home?

Mr. Myer. I misunderstood your question. I thought your question was why can we not turn them immediately over to the Department of Justice.

Mr. Wigglesworth. That was only part of my question. Now, why can you not let them go?

Mr. Myer. We can let those go that are free to go at any time. However, it is not an easy thing for people to go who have been out of circulation for 3 years, and whose property, if they had any, is either leased for a period of months, or if[it] takes time for them to decide, between their family members, where they are going.

I would like to point out, Mr. Wigglesworth, that during the evacuation movement in 1942, when the Army moved people without any question as to the consideration of those people at all, that it took about 7 or 8 months to move the 110,000, by trainloads, and now when you are dealing with the movement of a large number of people, trying to get them established, according to our plan, it will take about 20 months to move approximately 65,000 people on an individual family basis. We have figured they should have the opportunity to determine in their own way where they want to go, and to make that determination with the rest of the family, and in working out a plan they must look over the territory to determine where they are going. And we have adopted the policy of not moving the people out, especially the older people and the children until they have had a reasonable time within which to determine where they want to move. It is a delicate and patient operation, and it is just almost impossible, for anyone who has not lived with it, to know the human problems involved.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Your obligation to these people is very different. First, to those who are at Tule Lake, and the others who are under your jurisdiction which the War Department has told are free to leave.

Mr. Myer. Yes, but we feel we have a reasonable obligation, since they were taken away from their homes, to help them get reestablished, and it will take a few months for them to do so.

Furthermore, there is the transportation question: Suppose they were ready to leave the centers now, we could not move all of these people at once if we wanted to do so; it would be a physical impossibility.


Mr. Wigglesworth. Do you feel you have the necessary authority to look after these people indefinitely who are now free to go?

Mr. Myer. We have the Executive order of the President, plus the congressional appropriation acts, and I think we have been quite clear in what we planned to do and we have been careful not to exceed the authority that has been given us here. And we hope Congress will see fit to give us some flexibility, to continue the centers until we can get this job done in a decent and humane manner.

After all, I would just like to say that we take a little pride in the fact that we are an emergency agency that is trying to get out of business by the time the war is over, and we believe we should, from the standpoint of what is best for the program itself. From the standpoint of what we think is good and sound for the United States Government, since we have been assigned the task of looking after these people, we should continue the program we have stated for a reasonable time until we can find some place where they can make a reasonable adjustment. We feel we are simply following in the normal line of procedure in line with the principles of the United States Government. We are dealing with a group of people who have been badly torn and we are endeavoring to help them make adjustments. Many of them do not speak English very fluently, and there are a number of other problems involved.

Our authority, Mr. Wigglesworth, stems entirely from this committee and the Congress; we must leave it with you to determine whether or not you feel our proposal is sound.

Mr. Wigglesworth. There is no legislative authority for your present program.

Mr. Myer. No; and there never has been except the Executive order and the appropriation acts.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Do you feel you have authority to provide assistance, special assistance for every one of these people who are free to go, and if so, for how long?

Mr. Myer. We are asking that authority from this committee now. The only authority we will have is the order to do the job, with the funds that are given to carry out that authority, and I hope that the money will be available, and we hope if possible to complete the major part of the job by the 1st of January.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Do you feel that you have the authority to grant relocation assistance to these people after they are free to go?

Mr. Myer. There is no question about that.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Where do you think it comes from?

Mr. Myer. We laid out our program this last year on that basis, and we have explained the basis on which the job was to be done, and we have granted relocation assistance during this whole period.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Yes; but I am talking about now. That refers to the condition that existed at that time, but now you are under the War Department policy that says they are free to go.

Mr. Myer. Our major responsibility has always been relocation.

Mr. Wigglesworth. But whatever authority was implied at that time was not given in the light of the picture we now have which authorizes the evacuees to leave immediately. In other words, the situation has changed materially now.

Mr. Myer. We made the statement, I think, to the Congress, certainly to the Bureau of the Budget, and I think to the Congress as well that if the situation changed, if there should be a sudden change in the program in[it?] would necessarily affect our program. I think we have made it clear all along the line what our responsibilities are and what we intend to do in the operation of the program.

Mr. Wigglesworth. But I am looking ahead and not looking back. I am talking about your authority at the present time.

Mr. Myer. We think we have the authority.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You mean as to the evacuees that are free to go home?

Mr. Myer. Yes.

Mr. Wigglesworth. As to these people who are free to go home, do you feel you have the authority to assist them in securing jobs and working out the adjustments in the centers until they are evacuated?

Mr. Myer. Yes.

Mr. Wigglesworth. As to these people who are free to go home, do you feel you have the authority to assist them in securing jobs and working out the adjustments in the centers until they are evacuated?

Mr. Myer. Yes.

Mr. Wigglesworth. Even though they are free to go?

Mr. Myer. That is right; that has been our job right straight along, Mr. Wigglesworth.

Mr. Wigglesworth. But the situation has changed now.

Mr. Myer. No; it just expedites the operation, Mr. Wigglesworth, but we have never been jailers or never have operated a concentration camp; our job has been simply to assist in relocating these people, we were established as an agency for that purpose.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You are talking about the old program.

Mr. Myer. We feel that we have an administrative responsibility to assist them to get relocated into normal communities, and I think you will find that is what we have tried to do.

Mr. Wigglesworth. But you go back to what has been done; the condition has changed, the emergency has passed, and you want to go back here and assist these people until they go home.

Mr. Myer. That is right.

Mr. Wigglesworth. You spell out the authority given you in the acts of this committee as contained in the appropriation made to you.

Mr. Myer. Partly. Our authority stems from Executive Order 9102.

Mr. Wigglesworth. That does not go to these estimates; I do not believe that covers this picture.

Mr. Myer. I believe it will, assuming that you consider the Executive order valid, and the authority which is set up under the appropriation act. I want to repeat that we have complied with the policies which have been laid out in the appropriation acts by the Appropriations Committee in the expenditure of funds and I do not believe that we have overstepped that authority.

Mr. Wigglesworth. I do not believe you have developed in the record as yet, in detail, this fact, but I think there must be some limitation, because you do not plan to keep those people who are free to go home indefinitely, do you?

Mr. Myer. I thought I had made it clear, Mr. Wigglesworth, that January 2 was the date we have set for liquidating the centers other than Tule Lake.

Mr. Wigglesworth. That is your present plan; if this works out as expected it would take how long?

Mr. Myer. There are certain things of course we cannot control, and I would like to make it clear that if the transportation situation is tied up through the movement of troops, for instance, we cannot of course transport all of these people. It might be impossible during certain periods of movements of troops, for instance, to get transportation facilities, and that would make it necessary for us to revise our plans. And these[there?] are other elements that might change the situation, when you are thinking of the movement of fifty or sixty thousand people. But we are trying to assist these people to relocate with the thought in mind that they are American citizens, most of them. Some extremists on the one side, who have battled us throughout the whole relocation program, and on the other side, some of our best friends, feel that we are attempting to close these centers too soon. We have tried to hit what we think is a reasonable ground in order to do the job as efficiently and humanely as possible.

I would like to repeat that it would not be possible, assuming that all these people wanted to go tomorrow, to move them tomorrow. We have more than 50,000 people and that involves a tremendous job; we have a difficult administrative problem, and we are trying to help this little minority group adjust themselves throughout the country, and we think it is a pretty good thing, and in doing so we are trying to give these people a reasonable time to make up their minds where they want to go.

Mr. Wigglesworth. May I just make this observation, Mr. Chairman. I do not care to ask any further questions now on the general statement, but I do want to make this observation for the record, that in reading the justifications it seems to me that some of the activities are doubtful from the standpoint of authority, and that doubt is very much increased since the War Department has now determined that a great proportion of these evacuees are now free to go at any time they may see fit.

- - - - - - -

(The reproduced portion covers the Director's testimony during the forenoon of the day of the hearing. The afternoon testimony was not included because it went into the detailed discussions of individual budget items.)

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