File No. 763.72114/3608

The Acting Secretary of Labor ( Abercrombie) to the Secretary of State

No. 54278/General

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th ultimo, in which you express the view that in order to coordinate the treatment of the various classes of interned enemy [Page 228]aliens and to present a unified front to the enemy in this connection it might be advisable to transfer the former crews of enemy merchant ships who are now in the custody of this Department to the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, so that the Attorney General could then, in his discretion, transfer those seamen whom he considered it undesirable to release on parole to the custody of the War Department, which now holds all other classes of prisoners of war and interned enemy aliens.

This Department appreciates the force of the representations made by you with respect to the international phases of this matter, and I beg to advise you that the Department is willing to adopt your suggestion and has written the Secretary of War to that effect.

Respectfully,

John W. Abercrombie