The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of War ( Stimson )
My Dear Mr. Secretary: At Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, the Department of State has under detention approximately 160 Japanese [Page 440] nationals26 who were apprehended in Germany and brought to this country to be exchanged for United States and United Nations nationals as well as to be used in psychological warfare against Japan. The agreement with the management of the Bedford Springs Hotel calls for the use of the premises for a minimum period of four months which will expire on November 5, 1945. In order to avoid unnecessary expenditure of public funds and to remove from this country a group whose detention here is no longer warranted, it is hoped that the War Department can arrange for these Japanese to be accommodated on a vessel leaving for Japan as soon as possible after November 5 as well as for the reception of the group by the United States forces in Japan. It is possible that some members of the group may qualify as war criminals.
The group referred to in the foregoing paragraph constitutes only a small portion of the number of Japanese in this country and in this hemisphere who should promptly return to Japan. It is appreciated, however, that in the initial stages of occupation and in the present shipping situation the transportation to Japan and reception there of very large groups is probably not feasible. This matter has, however, been taken up with the American Consul General at Manila for discussion with General MacArthur’s27 staff in a telegram, a paraphrase of which I attach for your convenience.28
I should greatly appreciate any information you can provide me in the foregoing matter. There is a great deal of popular pressure in Western Pennsylvania for the removal of the Japanese at Bedford Springs at the earliest possible date.
[On October 3, Acting Secretary of State Acheson sent a further communication to the Secretary of War which cited advice from the Consul General at Manila that General MacArthur had “no objection to the evacuation of those Japanese in the United States when it can be accomplished without displacing replacement personnel en route to Japan”. The communication also expressed Mr. Acheson’s belief that the Canadian Government, which had borne the burden of interning its own Japanese nationals throughout the course of the war, “should be accorded as good facilities as the United States Government in dealing with the disposal of such persons”. (740.00115 PW/9–2745)]