711.62115 AR/8–8145

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman

I attach for your consideration a draft of a proclamation23 authorizing the Secretary of State to order the removal from the United States of certain individuals whose removal from other American republics and internment in the United States pending repatriation was agreed upon between this Government and those other republics in the interest of national and Hemisphere security.

At a conference held in the Department of Justice on August 30, 1945 it was concluded that the powers conferred upon that Department by your proclamation of July 14, 1945 do not cover the situation of the individuals referred to above. It furthermore developed that our political relations with the other American republics, including commitments arising out of the recommendations adopted at the Rio de Janeiro and Chapultepec Conferences, as well as out of a Resolution adopted by the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense at Montevideo at the suggestion of the United States representative, make the situation of these enemy aliens different from that of the enemy aliens apprehended in the United States to whom the Proclamation of July 14, 1945 relates. Furthermore it was ascertained that the Department of Justice would prefer that the Secretary of State determine which of these persons should be removed from the United States to Europe or Asia on grounds that their further residence in this Hemisphere would be prejudicial to the national safety and the security of the Hemisphere.

The recent arrest in Trinidad and transfer to this country of a German espionage agent who left Europe for this Hemisphere after [Page 281] the complete surrender of Germany emphasizes the importance of this matter as a measure of security.

The attached proposed Proclamation will cover the cases of approximately 900 German nationals now interned in this country who were sent here from the other American republics and of approximately 1300 Japanese nationals who arrived here in the same manner. The Proclamation makes provision for exceptions in cases in which it is deemed that an individual is innocuous.

Arrangements have already been made for the accommodation of approximately 150 dangerous Germans of the categories referred to on the N.Y.U. Victory scheduled to sail from New York on September 8. As it is the feeling of the Department of Justice that there now exists no express authorization for the removal of these Germans, I bespeak your urgent consideration of this matter to the end that an order of removal over my signature may be issued prior to the date of sailing of the vessel.

James F. Byrnes
  1. Draft not printed; see bracketed note, p. 283.