HONOLULU, T. H.RLS:PB
December 4, 1941
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D. C.
Re: INTERNAL SECURITY.
CUSTODIAL DETENTION LIST -
JAPANESE, GERMAN AND ITALIAN ALIENS.
Reference to the Bureau letter in the above-captioned matter dated November 25, 1941, concerning the status of the custodial detention project and the submission of information relative to Japanese, German and Italian aliens who are considered dangerous and whose removal from society in the event of war would be required in the public interest.
Concerning the comment on the instructions contained in a radiogram dated November 20, 1941, to submit a list of all German and Italian aliens recommended for custodial detention, I have forwarded date in compliance with these instructions by letter under the caption, "INTERNAL SECURITY, Custodial Detention, German and Italian Aliens," date November 17, 1941, which was mailed on the first available clipper from these islands. This letter contained as an enclosure a memorandum approved by the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department of the United States Army, outlining the procedure for the custodial detention of these aliens in the event of a declaration of war involving the United States with Germany and Italy. In addition to the names of the aliens who are considered dangerous and for whom custodial memoranda had been prepared, there were also listed American citizens of German descent of similar classification. These names were selected by the military authorities in collaboration with this office and represent the persons of German and Italian tendencies for whom custodial detention has been recommended by this field division and represent the list described in the letter of reference.
This list includes all of the known German aliens residing in the Territory of Hawaii which have been compiled from the alien registration data furnished this office by the Bureau, which it received from the Bureau of Immigration, and which this office obtained from the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Honolulu.
This information has been furnished by this office to the office of G-2 in Honolulu. Since the War Department in Hawaii will exercise control over German aliens, the office of G-2, with the approval of the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department, has decided to deal with these aliens, as outlined in my letter to the Bureau of November 17, 1941. Custodial detention memoranda are being submitted to the Bureau on all of the aliens who are to be seized by the War Department in Honolulu on whom they have not heretofore been submitted.
This office feels that insofar as the German and Italian alien situation is concerned, there can be no improvement since each and every German and Italian alien in the Hawaiian Islands is known and arrangements have been effected by the War Department through the assistance and cooperation of this office in furnishing them the names of such individuals, for the specific handling of each and every individual alien German and Italian in the Hawaiian Islands, as outlined in my letter of November 17, 1941.
A similar compilation of the names of Japanese aliens and citizens of Japanese ancestry was furnished to the Bureau in connection with the control of Japanese aliens in the event of war between the United States and Japan which was transmitted to the Bureau with my letter of November 22, 1941, captioned "Internal Security, Custodial Detention, Japanese Aliens." As pointed out in this letter, the names included in these annexes attached to the plans under which they will be seized are those Japanese aliens and citizens of Japanese ancestry for whom custodial detention memoranda have been submitted by this office to the Bureau.
I have kept myself currently informed at all times as to the identity and number of persons recommended for custodial detention by this office and this information has been properly classified according to existing Bureau instructions.
The Bureau will observe from my letter of November 22, 1941, and my letter of December 4, 1941, as a supplement thereto, entitled "Internal Security, Custodial Detention, Japanese Aliens" that there are now a total of 338 Japanese aliens to be seized under the respective plans outlined therein. It also includes 9 American citizens of Japanese ancestry. The Bureau will also observe from Exhibit A to my letter of November 17, 1941, entitled "Internal Security, Custodial Detention, German and Italian Aliens" that a total of 80 alien Germans and 29 alien Italians have been listed for custodial detention and seizure by Army authorities. This figure is arrived at by deleting the exceptions listed in paragraph 4, 6 and 8 of the memorandum entitled "Seizure and Detention Plan" attached to my letter from the total number of German and Italian aliens listed in Exhibit A to said letter. It is true that investigative reports have not been submitted in every case but such reports are being prepared. However, the custodial memorandum submitted on each subject was based on information already in this file which was obtained through the general survey of Japanese activities in the Hawaiian Islands and other investigations which have not been reported by investigative report in the individual case files.
The War Department will control the enemy alien population in the Hawaiian Islands. The method and manner of such control, as has been agreed upon by the War Department in Hawaii, is outlined in my letter of November 22, 1941, and the enclosures attached thereto. Since there are over 41,000 Japanese aliens in the Territory of Hawaii, it is obvious that the War Department would not and could not seize approximately a tenth of the population of the Hawaiian Islands and place that number in concentration camps. Furthermore, there are approximately 115,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry which makes a total, in round figures, of 155,000 people in in the Territory of Hawaii of Japanese ancestry against a total population of 430,000. Therefore, the seizure of Japanese aliens in Hawaii is a matter of selectivity. This has been gone over carefully and thoroughly with representatives of Military Intelligence and it is the considered opinion of this office and the Office of Military Intelligence in Hawaii that if the leadership of the Japanese alien population is seized, that, of itself, will break the backbone of any Japanese alien resistance or organized attempt at interference. The Japanese alien, without leadership, can not and will not operate effectively against the internal security of these islands. Those aliens who have been listed for custodial detention comprise the alien leadership in Hawaii in every branch of alien activity, namely: businessmen, consular agents, Japanese language school teachers and principals, Buddhist and Shinto priests, and others of no particular affiliation but who by reason of their extreme nationalistic sentiments would be a danger to our security as well as others who have seen Japanese military service.
This office, through its Special Agent in Charge, is in entire agreement with the plans which the Army has formulated for the handling of the enemy alien in Hawaii and has collaborated with the Army here in perfecting these plans.
In selecting the custodial detention subjects in this field division, this office has at all times had the full cooperation of the Office of Military Intelligence and the Office of Naval Intelligence and has received full and complete information concerning subjects which they had heretofore regarded as being persons who should be taken into custodial detention in the event of war. As a matter of fact, early in 1940, this office received from the Office of Military Intelligence and the Office of Naval Intelligence the names and addresses of all the persons whom they considered dangerous to the internal security of these islands and who should be picked up for custodial detention in the event of war, involving the United States and Japan and the other axis powers. It also received at that time the names and addresses of individuals who were considered less dangerous and who should be placed under surveillance in the event of war. Both the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Office of Military Intelligence have continued to since that time to furnish the names of those individuals whom they consider dangerous to the internal security of the United States and who should be considered for the custodial detention as those names have come to their attention. This office has opened investigative cases on all of these individuals and as the investigations are completed, custodial detention memoranda have been and will be, submitted in the cases where the information justifies it. Custodial detention memoranda will be submitted to the Bureau promptly as justified in current investigations. Those will be on individuals who have been considered less dangerous. The primary thought in this project at the Honolulu Division was first to be sure that the leadership of the Japanese alien populace was taken care of and this had been done through the submission of custodial detention memoranda which includes membership i the organizations heretofore mentioned. Custodial detention memoranda will be submitted to the Bureau daily as they are prepared at this office.
This office will forward to the Bureau a weekly summary of all persons listed for custodial detention divided into nationalities, both citizen and alien. This summary will be a supplement to my letters of November 17 entitled, "Internal Security, Custodial Detention, German and Italian Aliens" and my letter of November 22, 1941, entitled "Internal Security, Custodial Detention, Japanese Aliens" and will classify the individuals reported under the respective plan of seizure which will govern them.
The plan formulated by the military authorities for handling the enemy aliens in Hawaii is based on a comprehensive knowledge of the situation which has been gathered by this office over a period of two and one-half years and the knowledge which the military intelligence has gained over a period of many years in its operations in the Hawaiian Islands. It is intelligent and represents the thinking of this office, the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department and the officers of G-2, and has been designed in the light of that knowledge and the effect of such actions on the civil populace.
The progressive stages outlined in my letter of November 22, with respect to the Japanese alien populace, are an intelligent approach to the situation and are calculated to obtain maximum results with minimum disturbances in the civil community. It is further calculated to preserve and maintain the respect of the alien populace in the constituted authorities and to maintain the loyalty of the vast majority of the second and third generation Japanese without alienating
Very truly yours,
R. L. SHIVERS,
Special Agent in Charge
Japanese, German, and Italian detainees
(1941, Daily News, Los Angeles, Calif., Dept of Special Collections/UCLA Library)
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