Information for Researchers
Tule Lake Defense Committee History
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Wayne M. Collins Papers
Date (bulk): 1945-1960
Collection Number: BANC MSS 78/177 c
Collins, Wayne M.
Number of containers: 33 boxes, 4 cartons
Linear feet: 18.75
Microfilm: 38 reels
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: Consists of selected material remaining from Collins' San Francisco legal practice. Major portion of collection is devoted
to his work as legal representative for the Tule Lake Defense Committee from 1945 to 1960. Includes correspondence, litigation
documents for mass civil and equity suits filed for renunciants, individual case files, and financial files for the Committee's
Also includes Collins' legal files representing his civil liberties and general law practice, including case files and other
materials concerning East Indian deportation, Levering Act/Loyalty Oath controversy, estate files of Astaroth Haskell and
Bruce Porter, and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Also includes a small amount of personal papers, including family correspondence,
genealogical, other biographical materials, and ephemera.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Conditions of Use
Publication Rights Materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition,
the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor
restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected
by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public
domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively
with the user.All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing
to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
[Identification of item], Wayne M. Collins papers, BANC MSS 78/177 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000, Phone: (510) 642-6481, Fax: (510) 642-7589, Email: email@example.com
Title: Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 67/14 c
Title: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946: Field Basic Documentation, located at the National Archives...[microform],
Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 1932.
The Wayne M. (Mortimer) Collins Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by his son, Wayne M. (Merrill) Collins on March
Funding for processing and partial microfilming provided by Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) Title III: Networking,
Preservation and Statewide Resource-sharing grant for the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records Project, 1994-1996.
Tule Lake Defense Committee History
In late 1944 and early 1945, over 5,000 native-born United States citizens of Japanese ancestry interned at Tule Lake Segregation
Center renounced their U.S. citizenship. As a result, these renunciants were classified "alien enemies" under the provisions
of the Alien Enemy Act. On July 14, 1945, President Truman issued Public Proclamation No. 2655 authorizing their removal to
Japan. San Francisco attorney, Wayne M. Collins, began advising the renunciants of their legal rights during August 1945.
For those desiring to remain in the United States, the first step was an appeal by letter to the Attorney General, withdrawing
their renunciation on the grounds that it had been the direct result of governmental duress, private coercion, and undue influence.
After V-J Day the renunciants formed the Tule Lake Defense Committee to facilitate and finance what they foresaw as an extended
legal process. Thirty-two committeemen and a five-person Executive Committee were selected from their ranks. The first Executive
Committee (Chairman Harry Uchida, Yasuo Honda, Yoshiro Kaku, Fumio Masuoka, and George Tsuetaki) negotiated a verbal agreement
with Collins to represent their legal interests and began raising money to finance the endeavor with pledges from members.
On November 13, 1945, Collins filed two mass class equity suits No. 25294 and No. 25295) and two mass class habeas corpus
proceedings No. 25296 and No. 25297) in the U.S. District Court at San Francisco. Representing approximately 1,000 renunciants,
these cases sought to determine nationality, prevent removal to Japan, end internment, and cancel renunciation. The lawsuits
immediately stayed the removal of the internees to Japan and forced "mitigation hearings." These hearings, conducted in Tule
Lake, California, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Sante Fe, New Mexico, resulted in the release and relocation of most of those
in the enemy alien camps. Those remaining in enemy alien camps were eventually paroled into Collins' custody before the cancellation
of their removal orders and their outright release. Collins and the Committee represented 4,754 persons in mass civil and
equity suits. Of those, approximately 1,000 had their renunciations cancelled by final judgment, and administrative remedies
were agreed upon for the rest.
In addition to the renunciants, Collins and the Committee represented individuals stranded in Japan during the war or deported
for renunciation and unable to return to the United States (strandees), and Japanese Peruvians deported to the United States
from Peru during the war, who were subsequently being deported from the United States to Japan (Japanese Peruvians).
Throughout the extended litigation, the Tule Lake Defense Committee maintained contact with the parties to the various suits
and negotiations, informed them of progress, obtained evidence from and for them, and solicited contributions to defray expenses.
They negotiated with Collins and monitored the trust fund created to disperse Committee funds until the disbanding of their
Los Angeles office in 1958. The Committee remained a voluntary, unincorporated, nonprofit organization throughout its existence.
Scope and Content
The Wayne M. Collins Papers consist of selected material remaining from his San Francisco legal practice and a small number
of personal papers, spanning the years 1918-1974.
The major portion of the collection is devoted to Collins' work as legal representative for the Tule Lake Defense Committee
from 1945 to 1960. It includes correspondence, litigation documents for mass civil and equity suits filed for renunciants,
individual case files, and financial files for the Committee's trust accounts, which Collins managed. Also included are Collins'
case files for the 1944 "stockade cases," in which he represented evacuees imprisoned for violations of Tule Lake's special
project regulations prohibiting Japanese Nationalistic activities, and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) renunciant case
files given to Collins in 1958 by Ernest Besig.
The remainder of Collins' legal Papers contain selected files representing his civil liberties and general law practice from
1947 to 1963. These include case files and other materials dealing with East Indian deportation, the Levering Act/Loyalty
Oath controversy, estates of Collins' friends, Astaroth Haskell and Bruce Porter, and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of
1964. Collins' office files include extensive correspondence with the Society for Helping Boys and the Swedenborgian Churches
of San Francisco, Tokyo, and South Africa.
Finally, a small number of personal papers, including family correspondence, genealogical, and other biographical materials
and ephemera are also included.