Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Feb. 24, 1943. p. 1

RESOLUTION AGAINST JAP PROGRAM

Following is the resolution adopted Tuesday night by the Pajaro Valley and Watsonville Defense council:

Whereas it has been announced through the press:

1. That the Secretary of War contemplates that some 28,000 native-born Japanese shall be incorporated into the United States army in separate combat units; and

2. That the Federal authorities contemplate the release of from 25,000 to 40,000 Japanese from Relocation camps where they are now restrained, with no announced provision for adequate surveillance or control; and

Whereas, the Pajaro Valley and Watsonville Defense Council, the membership of which is made up of representatives of all civic organizations in the community, at a meeting held for the purpose of considering these matters, has officially expressed its opinion that such contemplated action would be inimical to the best interests and to the welfare and effective defense of our country;

Be it resolved that we most vigorously and earnestly protest against the above proposed actions and each of them; that we convey this protest to the Secretary of War, to the War Relocation board, to our congressmen and senators and to the President of the United States.

That we urge upon these authorities the following reasons, based upon an extensive experience with the Japanese, for more than 40 years, an intimate knowledge of their character, and our observation of what occurred on December 7, 1941, and immediately thereafter:

(1) Following Pearl Harbor and for the defense of the West Coast against attack and sabotage the Army wisely moved the Japanese from the Pacific Coast. NOW TO PERMIT THEM TO RETURN TO THEIR FORMER HABITAT WOULD SUBJECT US AGAIN TO THE DANGER OF SERIOUS SABOTAGE AND DIFFICULTY IN DEFENDING OUR SHORE LINE IN THE EVENT OF ATTACK.

(2) DUE TO THE TEMPER OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SINCE THE DASTARDLY ATTACK AT PEARL HARBOR we feel that IT WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE JAPANESE THEMSELVES TO ALLOW THEM TO RETURN FOR RESIDENCE ON THE WEST COAST, and that difficult additional policing problems would be presented thereby in effecting their safety.

(3) IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN LOYAL AND DISLOYAL JAPANESE. We are in no position to judge the emotions of the Japanese inasmuch as they have maintained their own schools and religion, and in many cases, dual citizenship with their main allegiance to the Emperor of Japan.

(4) IF JAPANESE WERE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO THIS AREA WE COULD NOT EXPECT THE COOPERATION OF PRESENT AGRICULTURAL OR INDUSTRIAL LABORERS ALREADY ENGAGED IN THE WAR EFFORT IF THEY WERE CALLED UPON TO WORK WITH JAPANESE EVACUEES.

(5) TO ALLOW YOUNG JAPANESE TO LEAVE RELOCATION CAMPS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES IN OUR COLLEGES WOULD BE UNJUST AND INEQUITABLE AS IT AFFECTS OUR OWN AMERICAN BOYS WHO HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT OF COLLEGE AND ARE SO LOYALLY SERVING THEIR COUNTRY in the armed forces to the detriment of their education and employment.

(6) IT IS THE OPINION of this council that these Japanese should be contributing substantially to the war effort but we feel that it should be in areas removed from the Pacific Coast and by group movement UNDER FULL AND PROPER CONTROL AND SUPERVISION BY THE ARMY. IN NO EVENT SHOULD THEY BE DISBURSED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY WITHOUT PROPER PROVISION FOR ABSOLUTE SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT THE JAPANESE, BOTH ALIEN AND AMERICAN BORN SHOULD BE RETAINED IN RELOCATION CENTERS FOR THE DURATION UNLESS THEY ARE PLACED UNDER DIRECT AND ABSOLUTE SUPERVISION AND FULL CONTROL OF ARMY AUTHORITY and engaged in the furtherance of our war effort.

THIS RESOLUTION ADOPTED this 23rd day of February, 1943, by the PAJARO VALLEY AND WATSONVILLE DEFENSE COUNCIL.

Attest: J. E. GARDNER, Chairman
O. B. LARSEN, Secretary of said council
C. H. BAKER, Mayor of the city of Watsonville, Ex-officio chairman of the Watsonville Defense Council.

It was further ordered that copies of this resolution be sent to other defense councils in California and that our local civic organizations be urged to join in this protest.

O. B. LARSEN, Secretary

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.