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

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Nov. 18, 1944. p. 1


SACRAMENTO (UP)--Gov. Earl Warren, commenting on complaints against the return of several Japanese to California, Saturday disclosed he had discussed with officers of the army's Western Defense command the possible danger of large scale release of evacuated Japanese.

However, he emphasized that the army alone may decide on transfer of the Japanese. He said that he had assured army officials that if it is decided that it is no longer necessary for military reasons to exclude Japanese, "California proposed to support their determination as patriotically as it did the original order of removal."

Warren said in a prepared statement that he had never received any official information on plans for release of the evacuees, but had "discussed the question with Gen. DeWitt and his successors (as Western Defense commanders) Lt.-Gen. Delos Emmons and Maj-Gen. C. H. Bonesteel".

"In these conversations," he said, "I have endeavored to respectfully point out that there are factors which I hoped would be considered in addition to the possibility of air raids, invasion or sabotage.

"I had in mind that California, by reason of its proximity to the Pacific war area, is crowded with feverish war activity, with debarkation centers, hospitals and with military concentrations, and with acute housing shortages and overtaxed law enforcement machinery."

Japanese, he continued, would be thrown into contact with hostile Koreans and Filipinos, and many would find their former homes occupied by war workers.

"These factors, existing in California," he added, "are over and above the general resentment of American people resulting from government published reports of Japanese atrocities..."

However, Warren said that he told the army officials that California is not asking for preferential treatment, and is not trying to force the Japanese into other states.

"I have suggested only that they evaluate the dangers to the war effort from civil disturbances which might be provoked as a result of existing tensions now within our state."

He added that he not only told the Western Defense commanders that California would accept "patriotically" a military decision for the return of the Japanese, but also that the state would "at all times accord these people, as it does to all in our state, the full recognition of their constitutional and statutory rights."

Salinas Legion Post Resolution

Pleading with the War Relocation authority to take cognizance of the situation in this area and be governed accordingly, Salinas Post No. 31, American Legion, Saturday had adopted a resolution emphatically protesting return of Japanese evacuees.

The resolution reads as follows:

"Be It Resolved, by Salinas Post 31, American Legion, in unanimous vote at its regular scheduled meeting of Thursday, Nov. 16, 1944,

"That this post definitely looks with disfavor on any War Relocation authority process which may have any bearing whatsoever upon return of any or all Japs to the Salinas Valley, now, or at any other time.

"That this Post go on record, without the slightest reservation, in stating that the return of any Japanese to this locality, is not in the best interests of the valley.

"That such return would unquestionably have repercussions of a serious nature.

"That passions of some who may have lost sons in the South Seas would be aroused beyond control.

"That there would be bloodshed.

"That the state guard would prove futile in any program to police or patrol the area.

"That every Jap returning here would hold his very life in jeopardy and live in constant fear of retaliation for said atrocities committed by their kin, on our boys, both in action and in prison camps.

"That copies of this resolution be forwarded by air mail to the governor of California, all congressmen, senators and any others who may be interested in the matter from the standpoint of safety to all our people, tranquility on the coast and in the interests of humanity."

Signed --

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