THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY POLICE IN PROVIDING EXTERNAL SECURITY FOR THE MANZANAR WAR RELOCATION CENTER (continued)
DEVELOPMENT OF POLICIES TO PROVIDE FOR EXTERNAL SECURITY AT ASSEMBLY AND WAR RELOCATION CENTERS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE WESTERN DEFENSE COMMAND: 1942 (continued)
Memorandum of Understanding as to Functions of Military Police Units at the Relocation Centers and Areas Administered by the War Relocation Authority, July 8, 1942
In July 1942 a "Memorandum of Understanding As to Functions of Military Police Units at the Relocation Centers and Areas Administered by the War Relocation Authority" was developed to prescribe the functions of military police units at relocation centers within the jurisdiction of the Western Defense Command. It was signed by E.R. Fryer, Regional Director, WRA, on July 3, and by Karl R. Bendetsen, Colonel, G.S.C., Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Affairs Division, for the Western Defense Command on behalf of DeWitt. The memorandum defined a "center" or "relocation center" as "a community administered by the War Relocation Authority pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 9102, issued March 18, 1942." The term "area" or "relocation area" meant "the entire area which surrounds and includes a relocation center, which is under the general administrative jurisdiction of the War Relocation Authority, and which has been designated a military area pursuant to Executive Order No. 9066, issued February 19, 1942." The lengthy memorandum, which incorporated much of DeWitt's first order issued on April 15, contained sections dealing with: (1) the purpose of relocation areas; (2) freedom of movement of evacuees; (3) functions of the project directors; (4) functions of civilian and military police units; (6) conduct of enlisted men; and (7) cooperation between commanding officers of military police units and the WRA:
Conduct of Enlisted Men Enlisted men will be permitted within the areas occupied by the evacuees only when in the performance of prescribed duties. A firm but courteous attitude will be maintained toward the evacuees. There will be no fraternizing.
Cooperation between Commanding Officers and the War Relocation Authority Commanding officers of military police units will be furnished copies of operating instructions issued to Project Directors. The Project Directors and their assistants and the commanding officers will maintain such close personal contacts with each other, as will assure the efficient and orderly operation of the area, and the proper performance of the duties of all. 
Circular No. 19, Policies Pertaining to Use of Military Police at War Relocation Centers, September 17, 1942
On September 17, 1942, Circular No. 19, "Policies Pertaining To Use of Military Police At War Relocation Centers," was promulgated by the Headquarters, Western Defense Command and Fourth Army Reiterating many of the aforementioned provisions for external security at the war relocation centers, the circular formalized and amplified the earlier policy statements. Section 3 of the circular stated that the "boundaries" of the "War Relocation Project Areas" within the territorial jurisdiction of the Western Defense Command, including Manzanar, "shall be marked with appropriate signs in both [the] English and Japanese language." The circular stated that the provisions of Public Proclamation No. 8 "require that those Japanese persons evacuated to a War Relocation Project Area shall remain in that area, except as movement is authorized in writing by this headquarters, transmitted through the War Relocation Authority." Violations of these provisions were "subject to prosecution as provided by Public Law No. 503, 77th Congress."
Section 4 of the circular noted that a War Relocation Project Area comprised the "entire area" of a relocation center, including "the populated area and the administrative and industrial area." Relocation centers were not concentration camps" or "internment camps. While the relocation program "up to the present time has related particularly to the Japanese, the same program may be extended to other civilians as military necessity may dictate."
Section 5 of the circular stated that the project director of each relocation center "will determine those persons authorized to enter the center or the area, other than evacuees being transferred by War Department authority." The project director was "authorized to issue permits to such evacuees as may be allowed to leave the center or the area." He "will transmit his instructions regarding passes and permits to the commanding officer of the military police unit."
Section 6 of the circular stated that "Civilian police, operating under the Project Director, will be on duty to maintain order within the area; to apprehend and guard against subversive activities; or undercover crimes and misdemeanors; to make such search of the person and property of the evacuees as may be necessary to guard against the introduction or use of articles heretofore or hereafter declared contraband."
Public Proclamation No. 3, which had been issued by the Western Defense Command on March 24, 1942, designated "certain articles of contraband which are denied to all persons of Japanese ancestry within the limits of this command."
Section 7 of the circular stated that each relocation center "will be under military police patrol and protection as determined by the War Department." Military police escort guard companies had been assigned to duty at each of the relocation centers in the Western Defense Command.
Section 8 of the circular listed seven functions that the military police units were to perform at the relocation centers. These were:
Section 9 of the circular stated that evacuees "in the relocation centers should be allowed as great a degree of freedom within the relocation area as is consistent with military security and the protection of the evacuees" In general, the evacuees "will have complete freedom of movement within the relocation area from sunrise to sunset," "From sunset to sunrise, the evacuees will not be allowed beyond the center limits without special permission of the project director." "Sentry towers, with flood lights, may be placed outside of the boundaries of the center to assist the military police in maintaining proper control." 
Delegation of Responsibility for External Security of War Relocation Centers from Western Defense Command to Ninth Service Command, November 22, 1942
On November 22, 1942, DeWitt issued a memorandum delegating responsibility for all external security of the war relocation centers within the jurisdiction of the Western Defense Command to the Commanding General, Ninth Service Command, with headquarters at Fort Douglas, Utah. The memorandum stated that "all persons of Japanese ancestry" had been transferred "from Assembly Centers operated by the Wartime Civil Control Administration under the control of this headquarters, to War Relocation projects, operated by the War Relocation Authority." Effective immediately, war relocation centers outside of the Western Defense Command were "of no further concern of this headquarters." The memorandum stated that the Commanding General, Ninth Service Command was designated "as the agent responsible for the enforcement of all security measures in connection with these projects, and for the enforcement of such parts of Public Proclamations 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 as apply." Thereafter, the Ninth Service Command and the WRA were "to deal directly" with each other "on all matters pertaining to these projects without further reference to Western Defense Command." Escort guard companies "presently on duty at these projects" were "assigned to the Ninth Service Command." All matters "concerning the operation of these projects for which the War Department is responsible under the Memorandum of Agreement dated April 17, 1942," would "be handled directly between the War Relocation Authority and such agencies as the War Department may designate." The Commanding General, Western Defense Command, however, would be "kept informed as to instructions issued and agreements entered into, under this directive." The war relocation centers at Manzanar, Tule Lake, Poston, and Gila River "are within the evacuated area of the Western Defense Command and, therefore, have a special status and are of particular concern to this headquarters." Accordingly, the Commanding General, Ninth Service Command, was directed to "provide for immediate reports to this headquarters of any incidents occurring within these centers involving disaffection or riot on the part of center residents in order that appropriate instructions may be issued to provide for the security of the evacuated area whenever such action appears necessary.
The memorandum indicated that the policies outlined in Circular No. 19 issued on September 17, 1942, would govern the military police unit activities under this delegation of authority Policies regarding (1) authorization to issue permits for ingress or egress from war relocation centers, (2) emergency employment of Japanese evacuees outside of the centers within evacuated areas of the Western Defense Command, and (3) parcel inspection at the centers issued by the Western Defense Command on August 11 and 24, September 13 and 21, and October 29, were attached to the memorandum as "statements of policy."
Authorization to Issue Permits for Ingress to and Egress from War Relocation Project Areas, August 11, 1942. On July 8, 1942, the Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Affairs Division, on behalf of the Commanding General, wrote a letter to the Regional Director and Executive Assistant and all WRA Project Directors and Assistant Project Directors governing policies for authorization to issue permits for ingress to and egress from WRA areas. This authorization letter was superseded by a memorandum to the WRA director from the Western Defense Command on August 11, 1942. Pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of Public Proclamation No. 8, issued by DeWitt on June 27, 1942, this memorandum delegated to the WRA director, and "to each person whom such Director may designate in writing, to grant written authorization to persons to leave and to enter War Relocation Project Areas." Each "authorization shall set forth the effective period thereof and the terms and conditions upon and purposes for which it is granted." The Commanding General, however, retained "the jurisdiction to and this grant of authority shall not authorize the Director, War Relocation to permit" (1) release "of persons of Japanese ancestry from any relocation center or project area for the purpose of private employment within, resettlement within, or permanent or semi-permanent residence within Military Area No. 1 or the California portion of Military Area No. 2," or (2) travel "of persons of Japanese ancestry within Military Area No. 1 or the California portion of Military Area No. 2." Release or travel "shall be by authority of the Commanding General under permits issued by or under authority" of the Civil Affairs Division of the Western Command.
Delegation of Authority to Issue Permits for Ingress to and Egress from Relocation Areas, August 24, 1942. On August 24, 1942, WRA Director Dillon S. Myer issued a directive designating and authorizing 'the Regional Director of the Pacific Coast Region of the War Relocation Authority, and all Project Directors and Assistant Project Directors" to "grant written authorizations to persons to leave and to enter the particular relocation area or areas over which they have, respectively been authorized to exercise jurisdiction." No authorization to enter a relocation area "shall be for a period in excess of 30 days."
Parcel Inspection at Certain War Relocation Authority Projects, September 13, 1942. On September 13, 1942, DeWitt issued a memorandum to the Commanding General, Communications Zone, concerning "Parcel Inspection" at the Tule Lake, Manzanar, Poston, and Gila River war relocation centers. Each of these relocation centers was located "within areas evacuated of persons of Japanese ancestry," thus necessitating "establishment and maintenance" of "security measures not currently requisite at other relocation centers."
Section 2 of the memorandum provided "for contraband inspection of all packages destined for delivery to any center resident (any person of Japanese ancestry or the non Japanese spouse of any such person who is a center resident)" at the four relocation centers. Inspection was to be accomplished by the military police stationed at each of the centers. Inspection was "applicable to all such packages irrespective of the method of delivery and will be inclusive of parcel post and express." In all cases it would "precede delivery to the addressee."
Section 3 provided that inspection would be conducted "in a manner which will insure the detection and removal from all such packages of contraband." The following basic requirements were to be observed:
Section 4 of the memorandum delineated a lengthy list of "articles, commodities or things" that were considered contraband. The list included those items "the use, possession or operation of which are prohibited by paragraph 6, Proclamation No. 3, of this headquarters." Among these items were "firearms, weapons or implements of war or component parts thereof, ammunition, bombs, explosives or the component parts thereof, short-wave radio receiving sets having a frequency of 1,750 kilocycles or greater or of 540 kilocycles or less, radio transmitting sets, signal devices, codes or ciphers, cameras.
Also listed as contraband were "articles, commodities or things" the "use, possession or operation of which are prohibited by Public Proclamation No. 2525, promulgated by the President of the United States on December 7, 1941." These items included 'papers, documents or books in which there may be invisible writings; photographs, sketches, pictures, drawings, maps, or graphical representation of any military or naval installations or equipment or of any arms, ammunition, implements of war, device or thing used or intended to be used in the combat equipment of the land or naval forces of the United States or of any military or naval post, camp, or station." The provisions of this category of contraband were subject to the following exceptions:
Section 5 of the order stated that the "tools and implements of an artisan or of a professional person of Japanese ancestry" were "not absolute contraband," and thus were "not subject to confiscation." These items included "wood-working tools, agricultural implements, dressmakers or tailors trade tools, and mechanics tools." The memorandum observed that it was "not intended to prevent the development of skills, crafts, trades and professional endeavors within relocation centers."
Section 6 of the directive noted that the WRA "has concurred in this order and has agreed to provide for the issuance of appropriate instructions to each project director affected." The instructions would "direct the discontinuance of current postal, express, or other parcel delivery service and in lieu thereof the delivery of all packages to military police for inspection."
Emergency Employment of Japanese Evacuees Outside of War Relocation Authority Projects Located within Evacuated Areas of Western Defense Command, September 21, 1942. The Western Defense Command issued a directive to the Commanding General, Ninth Service Command and Communications Zone, on September 21, 1942, concerning emergency employment of Japanese evacuees outside of the four relocation centers located within the evacuated areas under its jurisdiction. The directive stipulated that the Western Defense Command did not object to such employment of evacuee labor provided "the points outlined" were "understood and observed." Accordingly the following information was to be furnished to each commander of military police units stationed at the four centers:
Authorization to Issue Permits for Ingress to and Egress from War Relocation Project Areas for Purposes of Emergency Hospitalization and Incarceration, October 29, 1942. On October 29, 1942, the Western Defense Command issued a directive to Dillon S. Myer, the WRA Director, supplementing the authority granted in the aforementioned memorandum of August 11, 1942. Under the October 29 memorandum, authority was delegated "to the Director, War Relocation Authority and to each person not of Japanese ancestry" that he designated "in writing, to grant written authorization for persons to leave and to enter War Relocation Project Areas for purposes of emergency hospitalization, institutional detention and incarceration." Each authorization was to "set forth the effective period thereof, if this can be determined, and the terms and conditions upon and the purposes for which it is granted." Complete records were to be kept by the WRA and submitted to Western Defense Command headquarters as well as the commanding officer of the military police company on duty at the individual project in question. 
Last Updated: 01-Jan-2002