The Department of State to the Spanish Embassy
The Department of State informs the Spanish Embassy in charge of Japanese interests in the continental United States that the general exclusion orders by which persons of Japanese ancestry have been excluded from the West Coast of the United States since early in 194214 have been rescinded. The Commanding General of the Western Defense Command rescinded the mass exclusion orders on December 17, 1944, thereby restoring freedom of movement within the coastal areas to all persons of Japanese ancestry, including Japanese nationals, with the exception of a limited number of individuals to whom individual exclusion orders are being issued. The orders of the War Department which controlled the egress of persons of Japanese ancestry from the War Relocation Authority centers have also been revoked as of January 20, except as they still apply to persons resident in the centers who have been designated by the War Department for [Page 432] further control. The War Relocation Authority has also revoked its Leave Regulations.
There are enclosed for the Embassy’s information copies of the following statements relating to the rescinding of the exclusion orders:15
- Public Proclamation No. 21, issued December 17, 1944, by the Commanding General of the Western Defense Command.
- Statement by the War Department, December 17, 1944.
- Statement by the Secretary of the Interior.
- A Message from the Director of the War Relocation Authority.
A great majority of the alien evacuees are now free to leave the centers at any time. Most of them will be eligible to return to the Pacific Coast area as well as to relocate in other parts of the United States. The War Relocation Authority proposes to extend substantially the same assistance to persons eligible to return to their former homes on the West Coast as it extends to persons wishing to relocate elsewhere. The staff of the War Relocation Authority in the States of Washington, Oregon, and California is being enlarged to assist with this work and the program of the War Relocation Authority in other States is being continued.
Relocation assistance will be provided for citizens and aliens alike in order to facilitate their orderly absorption into normal communities. Relocation assistance will be of the following types:
- Counselling assistance from trained welfare counselors to help families develop relocation plans to fit their individual circumstances.
- Financial assistance to individuals and family groups who leave centers on the basis of approved relocation plans. This will include (a) grants to cover the cost of transportation to destination, and (b) grants in the case of need to cover subsistence costs en route and initial expenses at the point of relocation.
- Free movement of household goods and personal effects to point of relocation.
- Property management assistance to evacuees in regaining possession of business and residential properties and in reestablishing themselves.
In addition, other assistance made available through public agencies to the population generally will be available to relocating evacuees. [Page 433] Thus the facilities of the United States Employment Service and the War Food Administration may be utilized in connection with securing employment. Credit accommodations may be sought from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Federal Security Agency, and the Farm Credit Administration. Resources of the appropriate Federal, State, and local housing agencies will be available in locating living quarters. The regular welfare programs carried on by the Federal Security Agency and State and local agencies will be applicable to dependent and handicapped evacuees needing special assistance; in this connection Congress has appropriated supplementary funds for the special purpose of providing relief and assistance to persons who have been affected by wartime restrictions.
It will be noted by the Spanish Embassy that the great majority of the Japanese nationals residing in the War Relocation Authority centers are now free to leave at any time and that they will be given assistance in finding a place to live and means of support.
- For documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, pp. 1046 ff., passim.↩
- All enclosures are found with a letter of August 6, 1945, from the War Relocation Authority to the Department of State (not printed). For texts of enclosures a, b, and c, see 10 Federal Register 53, press release of December 17, 1944, by the War Department, and press release of December 18, 1944, by the Department of the Interior, respectively. Enclosure d not printed.↩