OUTLINE FOR FINAL REPORT
RELOCATION DIVISION

  1. Organization and duties of personnel.
    1. Appointed personnel and their duties
    2. Evacuee personnel
  2. Brief description of physical quarters, including remarks on adequacy of apace and office equipment for interviewing, applications, and leave clearance activities. Comment on Relocation Library, its adequacy as to location and space, and as to materials contained therein.
  3. Purposes of Relocation Division
    1. Seasonal and indefinite leave, including trial period
    2. Nisei relocation for specific jobs
    3. Shift of emphasis on issei and family relocation
    4. Program to obtain staff contribution to relocation
    5. Development of evacuee information program
    6. Problems and solutions in the operation of the division such as:
      1. Staff turnover
      2. Language difficulties
      3. Interest family groups in relocation
      4. Obtaining types of opportunities which appeal to issei
      5. Overcoming reluctance of evacuees to relocation which stem from the following:
      6. Evacuee participation in relocation planning
  4. Services and accomplishments of the Relocation Division
    1. Coordinating general activities of relocation including participation or advisory activities relative to Relocation Planning Commission, Staff Relocation Committee, and Relocation Planning Board.
    2. Interviewing individuals and families concerning their relocation plans, and aiding them in development of plans.
    3. Receiving information from Relocation Officers and presenting it to evacuees.
    4. Handling of leave records and coordination the process of leave clearance at the Center. Membership of hearing boards.
  5. Cost of operation of the division in terms of man hours, salaries, office supplies and equipment, travel, etc.
  6. Closing procedures

Physical Set-Up

The relocation program was started in administration building No. 3 on which was occupied by Employment and the Internal Security. John L. McCormick was in charge of the employment office.

On Nov. 6 the empoyment office was moved to the block 36 recreation hall. A partition divided the building into two distinct and separate offices. The employment office, under the guidance of Mr. William C. Love, placement officer, became situated in the smaller office of the two divisions. The larger office was occupied by the Leaves Secion. The entire building had been remodeled to the extent that four small office rooms were conviently placed on the left hand side as you entered the Leaves part and on the right hand side as you entered the employment office space. Of the four offices two were placed in the employment space and two were placed in the leaves space. In addition to this, four smaller sections, used bor interviewing were placed in the Leaves office,, on the same side with the larger offices.

The employment office was so arranged that a cardex file on all evacuee employees, two stenographers desks, clerks desks, evacuee interviewers table, placement officer's office and that all were convenient to the public.

The leaves office was so arranged athat an entrance space, the information counter, stenographers space, leaves files' corner Relocation Program Officers Office, Leaves Officer's Office, and interviewers booths were easily accessable to all people interested in, or having business on relocation.

On March 1, 1944 the employment office was moved to Administration Building No. 1 and the Relocation Division moved to Barrack 36-02, to occupy the entire building.

Under the active and energetic leadership of Mr. William C. Love, Acting Relocation Program Officer, this new office was arranged and labeled to take care of unlimited members of prospective relocatees. The welfare Section had occupied this building prior to the movement of the relocation division and it had been separated into four large rooms (composed of 1-F unit alone, 1-B unit alone, and one A unit partitioned in half); four nice offices on one side of that was the C. D&& E units, and one long open space on the opposite side of the same units. The entrance was the door entering the B unit and in the B unit was placed an information clerk, one evacuee interviewer, 1 stenographer, and the Relocation Adviser, Relocation interviewers (2 evacuee, and 3 appointed personnel) accupied the divided rooms of the A unit. The job offer files, with two clerks were placed in a large opening between the A-B units. The Relocation Program offices occupied an office next to the Relocation Adviser, and a cut away in the partition allowed the use of one phone by each office. An extension phone was in the opposite end of the building near the files. The Leaves office had a desk in the Reloc. Program Officers office, since it was a large office. The open space of the C unit, in front of the Relocation Program officers office and next to the interviewers offices, was used for a waiting room. One large setter, 2 chairs to match and one drop leaf table was attractively placed in this space. Pictures on relocation were put on the walls of this space. Pamphlets and magazines were consiciously placed. and a labeled mail compartment was just outside the door of the Relocation Program officer's office. In this same room a large block board, used for a bulletin board, was hung.

On through the building, and continuing on the left side from the entrance at the B unit came in order, the Leaves clerk, transportation clerk, alien travel; and stenographers; all in separate rooms. The open space opposite these offices was occupied by two typists and one clerk who supervised family cards on the leave status of individual. Enough space was available for passing.

The large A unit was occupied by the chief file clerk and two assistants; as well as the entire leaves files.

Maps and pictures of various localities open to relocation, were placed throughout the office. Signs and placords, in bold lettering were appropriately fixed in order to assist clients in becoming acquainted with the office and its divisions. With such and arrangement prospective candidate could enter at the B unit door, review job offers, have an interview, check with the leaves officer, apply to the leaves clerk, secure routing, and grant application, all papers signed, fingerprinted, and identification made, and all papers on their way around from the efforts of a continuous line, and out the other end of the office ready for relocation.

Appointed Personnel and Their Duties

John L. McCormick, head of the Employment and Leaves office was transferred to the Buffalo office of the Cleveland area on Nov. 1, 1943. William C. Love. Placement officer, before McCormick's transfer, became Acting Relocation Program officer. John C. Tucker had served as Leaves officer until he left for service with the Seabees on October 5, 1943. Robert A. Allison served as Leaves officer until he was appointed Acting Personnel Technician in April, 1944. Young M. Orsburn, Acting Asst, Welfare Counselor was transfered to the Relocation Division, on March 1, 1944, as Relocation Adviser.

The Employment office was moved to Administration building No. 1 in March, and the Relocation office was moved from the Block 36 recreation (labeled Adm. # 4) hall to the former Welfare building, at barrack 36-02.

On April 3 Miss Minnie Lee Mayhan, Vocational Adviser from the High School, was transfered to the relocation division as a relocation Interviewer. Miss Beryl Henry, head Teacher from the high school, and a very a capable person was detailed to the Relocation Division on April 6, as Acting Leaves Officer. Miss Corine Key, teacher from the High school, was transfered to the Relocation Division on April 7, as a Relocation Interviewer. Mrs. Gracia D. Booth, who had been very helpful with the American Friends Committee in Cleveland, and wife of G. Raymond Booth Relocation officer there, was assigned to this cente on April 20, as a Relocation Interviewer. John Penery, Relocation officer from the Washington office, was detailed to this cente on April 1, 1944 and to 6/24/44 to recruit Civil Service workers for Washington Governmental Agencies. He was very instrumental and helpful in recruitment of employees for Seabrook Farms, near Bridgeton, N. J. E. Price Stieding and Miss Priscilla Ayres, both of the New York office were detailed in April, 1944 to this Center to bring out the points in Relocation apportunities of the N. Y. area. Stieding returned to the N. Y. office in April, and Miss Ayres returned on June 9, 1944. Roland A. Barnard Relo. Off. of the Boston Office, was detailed to this center in May, 1944 and returned to Boston o June 3. William K. Hollond, Reloc. Officer. from Omaha visited the center on June 7,8, and 9, 1944.

Dr. P. Weber, of the Relocation Team, worked in the Relocation Division here during April, 1944.

Mr. William C. Love, Act. Reloc. Program officer was inducted into the Army on May 19, 1944 and the office was under the supervision of Young M. Orsburn, Reloc. Adviser, who served as Act. Reloc. Program officer until the Center closed June 30, 1944.

Thus, in the final 2 or 3 months of the life of the Relocation Division in the Jerome Relocation Center the office for its first time, had been sufficiently staffed to begin an energetic program on relocation.

With such a short time in which to work, and with the time-comsuming center closing operations rapidly increasing, considerable deviation and reluctance on the part of the evacuees to relocate, was felt in all interviewing. However of the 72 families expressing a desire to relocate before the center closed did help the relocation Program. It is well that we realize the untireing efforts of both the evacuee and appointed staff which lead to a successful end in group and family relocation. The Seabrook Farms deal was a new and encouraging experience even though a majority of the relocatees there have taken Indefinite Leave (Trial-Period). Interviewing and counseling, in the month of May, reached a new level and the work of the staff was of the very best that could be offered.

It is regretful that such a perfected and streamlined office was limited to operations as far as time was concerned.

It is well to remember also, that John R. Anders, Mrs. V. Lee Pidge, Miss Marguritte Smith, Miss Hazel Keck, Miss Jewel Palmer, and Harold C. Mass; all personnel from the center high school assisted in consolidating the leaves files for the center movements.

The evacuee persnnnel of the Relocation Division is the winner of a medal which only dwells in the minds of those who know and appreciate their endurance, obedience, and patience. The detail work, so numerous in the relocation program, could have never been done without the five evacuee staff and its willingness to learn and cooperate with the entire program and appointed Personnel.

At Jerome, the Reloc. office had the following evacuee staff, three interviewers (Ray Moriwaki,) Shigeichi Kubo, and Tom Kamikawa), one leaves clerk (Peggy Iwatsuru) 3 outside employment fill clerks (Eillian Inami, Fumi and Mitsuko Omura), 2 Transportation clerks (Fred Kamioka, Bill Nakaido) 3 typists, (Sakoko Mukai, Chisa Oda, Susie Ch Chickaraishi) 4 leaves files clerks (Nancie Masuda, Sajiko Mibu, Mieko Shimamoto) 1 messenger, Bill Ishida, 1 librarian, Haruko Kawano, and the Executive Secty. of Reloc. Planning Comm. Ellen Ayako Noguchi; Names given above are the employees at the time the center closed. Fred Kamioka transportation clerk, had been in the office throughout the center history beginning work with employment in Oct. k942). There were three stenographers who did all of the stenographic work for the office. (Yoko Goto, Tsuruyo Matsui, Momoye Kitahara),

Dr. I. D. Sasaki (Optometrist) was very helpful while employed by the Reloc. Div. in advertising arranging, coding, and placing job offers.

From time to time the Relocation Office evacuee staff set the pace in relocation. This may attributable to the learnign and understanding of the relocation program, as well as contacts with many Caucasion labor recruiters.

The evacuee interviewers were continually busy explaining job offers to those evacuees who placed faith in them or who spoke, only in Japanese. There work was not limited to the above mentioned fields, but they counseled with any person or groups, interested in relocation. They were helpful in field calls, and of course made regular file recordings on case activities.

The leaves clerk worked with the Leaves Officer in making out applications for leaves, issuing a center Route Sheet, issuing ration certificates, and instructions to people going out.

The Transportation clerks figured reouting, filled applications for leave assistance grants, supervised the typing of evacuee grant, vouchers, assisted local station agent in securing tickets by GTR's and checked baggage for people leaving the center. They informed the Motor Pool and Internal Securitu offices of peoples names addresses, and time of departure from the center, to insure their pick-up to the train depot. They also forwarded memorandas to the Operations Division for crating to be issued to people going out on indefinite leave.

The file clerks working on outside job offers, kept such offers filed, distributed, put in open files and when filled put in closed files, Dead offers were properly filed and many returned to employers on WRA offices as requested.

The leaves files xlerks filed all indefinite, seasonal, ans short term leaves in proper folders. All leave records, including correspondence, papers, interviewing records and etc., were properly placed in individual folders. Evacuee population summaries, by leave and readmissions were reported by these clerks, a center directory was maintained, weely and monthly reports were made by the head file clerk, and the filing of all miscellaneous items was taken care of.

One typist kept family card records on the leave status of individuals. This was a tedious and full time job. One typist typed Grant, Vouchers and Personnel Security Questionaires, as well as extra work. The third typist typed most term, seasonal, indefinite leave forms. and other extra duties were carried out.

The stenographers in addition to duties already mentioned took care of all Alien Travel, correspondence, and wires (Teletypes-Telegrams). Many times they assisted in taking leave clearance hearings and recording same.

The relocation program officer who has been responsible directly to the project director has coordinated, planned, and directed the relocation programs at the center. His duty extended into the field of assisting evacuees in preparing them for relocation. The ground work which was the foundation so necessary to encourage people to go out was started and completed by the Relocation Program Officer. He served as executive officer for the Relocation Committee and was executive secretary to the Relocation Executive Board. Conferences, meetings, moving, pictures, and many other things to stimulate relocation were under the leadership of the Reloc. Program Officer.

The Relocation Adviser has had the duties of forwarding genral relocation information to the Evacuees, and he has assisted the evacuees in the development of specific plans for relocation. Individual and family plans were worked out, and advise on job offers was available. The Relocarion Adviser, with the assistance of the Relocation Interviewers, studied relocation plans, made summaries, sought specific jobs for families and individuals. Conferences were held with outside employment recruiters to hear and lean the details of thier offers. The job files and evacuee interviewers were also under the supervision of the Relocation Adviser.

The Leaves Officer recieved all applicants for Indefinite, Indefinte(trial-period) Seasonal and short term leave. With the leaves clerk applications were filed when the Leave officer had determined, by use of a card file, the leave status of the evacuee in question. Outside of signing many formes, necessary in the procession of an individual applying for leave, the Leaves Officer finger printed the individual and approved their grants. Through the efforts of the Leaves Officer short term leaves from the Jerome Relocation Cente were held to samll number. This fact is reavealed by the weekly reports from the Relocation Planning Division of the Washington Office, Jerome was the lowest in this respect with the exception of Tule Lake in amny cases, and Manzanar in several cases.

The Relocation Interviewers handled specific relocation opportunities, counseled with individuals and families on relocation planning, and made summaries to that effect. They became acquainte with all sections of the U.S. open to relocatees, studied the many job offers, and sought, capable, as well as suitable employees for requesting employers. The many tedious and unusual problems were noted and discussed in group meeting in order to arrive at conslusions on these undertakings.

The Purposes of The Relocation Division

It has been the policy of the Relocation Division as well as the purpose in the main, o offer any possible assistance necessary to the end that the successful return of loyal and law abiding evacuees to normal American life could be accomplished.

Among the populace, of the Jerome Relocation Center, it has been found that the majority of the evacuees were either farmers, or were people who had a good farming background. Time and again it has been expressed among the more formerly successful evacuees, that the Issei is continually growing older and with the close family ties that exist the older people, who are heads of families, have lost considerable courage to start over again. In this connection, it has been frequently said among the older evacuees, that the Nisie are to young and inexperienced to go into farming extensively.

Despite the reluctance of evacuees to relocate, it has been the purpose of the relocation division to stimulate family relocation which is, as a whole, is the most successful relocation. The following figures show what families relocation has accomplished at Jerome:

  • 1-
    • 265 Families have relocated
    • 702 persons made up this group
  • 2-
    • 76 Families of 265 joined the family head who had already relocated
    • 254 Persons made up this group
  • 3-
    • 189 Families Relocated as a whole group including the family head after origonal application
    • 450 Persons made up this group
    • 1894 Applications were made for Indevinite Leaves and were approved (includes each individual)
  • 4-
    • 1780 Indefinite leaves as of the weekly report from Washington of May 20, are out. Note (difference of 114)
  • 5-
    • 15 Families (Refer. to group 1 above) returned to the Center.
    • 35 Persons made up this group
  • 6-
    • 1 Family (Refer. to group 2 above) returned to the Center
    • 5 Persons made up this group

These figures reveal the fact that family relocation has been good, and that possibly the permanent settlement of family heads at first and calling the family members to join them later was the most successful phase of the program.

On an average it has cost $51.65 to relocate each individual from the Jerome Relocation Center. With the new Indefinte leave (trila period) of which we have relocated 60 people on this agreement, it is hoped that permanent relocation will result. The division has encouraged this type of leave to qualified people for specific jobs, especially Nisei, who had been reluctant to take Indefinite leave.

IV. Problems and solution in operation of division such as:
Staff Turnover

The Relocation Division for many months handled employment as well as Leaves and the relocation program. It was handicapped by small workquarters and insufficient personnel. Because of the small and changing staff, every person necessarily had many duties to perform thereby cutting down the efficiency that a highly organized system should have. The evacuee staff has changed so frequently that much lost motion has existed in effective training of any one person to discharge well the job assigned. To the number of appointed personnel members has been held to a minimum. For months there were only three persons to supervise relocation, leaves, employment, reports, files, grants and statistics. With these many details, very little time was left for field service such as special interviews, home visitations family counsiling and group conferences. It was not until late Spring of 1944 that changes were brought to remane employment and set up Relocation Interviewers and Advisers with Assistant Relocation Program Officers and Leave officer being added to the staff of the Acting Relocation Program Offices. Preceding this change, however, the Acting Relocation Program Officer had set in motion plans for the organization of the Planning Commission and through this, job offers for individuals as well as family and group offers were channeled. A Library located in the office of the Planning Commission, which was set up in a centrally located barrack, was placed at the evacuees disposal. Here could be found all kinds of literature of practically every section of the U. S. The evacuee had an opportunity to drop in at any time during the day until 9 O'clock at night. Readin matter was available so that he could get a bird's eye view of job offers and opportunities without pressure or coercion from any source, and to study at his leisure what resources and opportunity for development various sections could give him.

Language Difficulties and Interest Family Group in Relocation

Very few issei who had not mastered well the English language had very little interest in attempting relocation without the family group. The reason for this is obvious as they would be absolutely dependent upon interpreters to carry on the business transaction. Many farmers, fruit growers, nurserymen and floriculturists have been among the group in Jerome. Naturally they wished to continue their old line of work, since many had spent practically a life time in it. With that in view the Relocation Division attempted to “spot” various areas in U. S. where avocations in these fields were followed, and at the same time where public relations were not averse to having evacuee labor. Simultaneously seasonal leave was released by Washington which gave added zest for this kind of relocation. With seasonal leave arrangement an opportunity was given the evacuee to bemoe acquainted with farming in the Middle West and East along with a personal investigation for permanent family relocation. Among the first offers of attractive employment for farmer-families came from the sugar beet fields in Utah, Idaho and Soth Dakota. Transportation cost to the fields were given, in addition workers were furnished homes and garden plots free of rent the year around. While the sugar beet season was short the evacuee was promised other types of work in between seasons.

This to a certain extent was re-assuring for though funds were low, prospective and continuous work would keep him going. Soon after seasonal leave las offered (late March 1943) the relocation program was strenghtened by cash grants available to resettlers. This ($50.00) would in some measure give some money to tide him over until pay day came around on his new job.

Other Family Plans

In addition to the sugar beet offer there were other plans for farmer-families that included resettlement of a small number of families in hand picked areas where Community sentiment was favorable to Japanese-Americans', where schools and housing facilities were available; and where acreage was operated on a share crop, tonnage, rental or monthly stipend basis. In order to accelerate movement to these sections and to attempt to overvome the feeling of uncertainty of the outside, Relocation Division arranged short term as trial indefinete leaves to investigate farming opportunities and to recieve first hand information as to the sentiment in the area toward evacuee resettlers. Chief among these opportunities was the Seabrook Farms offer. Interest was keen and much of the aroused interest was due to the activitiy of the untiring efforts of the Acting Relocation Program Officers, the Community Council, the Planning Commission and the Block Managers who have always been a potential cleaning house for jobs as well as publicity. Special meetings were called when offers of this nature comes through so that the Heads of families could ask questions, discuss with each other problems which might arise. Men of leadership sho held the confidence of the Community working with the Relocation Division gave only gilt edged offers their wholehearted support. This encouraged confidence in the advice given evacuee residents. One plan adapted by them which reveals the earnestness which characterized the evacuees' interest was their election of four representatives to go into the field to investigate prospective territory for permanent location. These representatives were given sufficient time away from the Center to get the pulse of public sentiment, investigate housing and living conditions, and the productivity of farm lands. Their reports on return to the Center were convincing to those who were contemplating such a move. In addition, recruiters came from various sections of the Middle West and East with movies of farm homes and farm lands; teams of relocation officers visited the Center to assist families in making plans for farm relocation; War Food Administration sent in recruiter to get help for seasonal crops, etcl Interest was accelerated but that interest was greatly curtailed by the closing of the Center and there was no great hordes of migrants to farm lands as had been hoped for. There has been a steady increase of family relocatees but no mass movement. Could the reluctance of leaving a Center be stemmed from a well-administered, well-organized, smooth clicking, general administration and Relocation Division be a possible answer to the evacuee desire to remain in the Center! Certainly confusion and misunderstanding within an administration do not make center life more pleasant. There have been some families to take advantage of the Seabrook Farm offer, but it is belived that many more would have been placed had not the problem of Center movement been in progress.

V.

Many of the California evacuees (issei especially) have clung to the hope of returning “home” some day and for that reason have made little effort to go outside. They have the feeling resettling ferther away from this Center will reduce their chances of getting back. Many of course have left some property there and are anxious to return to it. Many have been interviewed, both individuals and family units, to present relocation plans and geographical sections of U. S. which seemed adapted to their best interest. Adverse Newspaper reports coming out of California, measures introduced in Congress as legislation against their return especially in large groups, have done much to discourage high hopes of returning any time soon.

It has not been so difficult to interest individuals in different types of work. As early as January 1943 relocation was stressed by churches, schools, newspapers articles reviewed by the local paper and by recruiters who came into the Center looking for labor. When once the flow of Nisie started, they in turn wrote of the favorable acceptance of them This served as a stimulus to others in getting placed. Many came back into the Center, and addressed individuals and groups about the opportunities which awaited them. Hostels have also been a boon to the hesitant evacuee when relocating to a city. The Relocation Division kept in close touch with managers of these so that all arrangements for temporary housing could be made for the individual before his leaving the Center. The Hostel served as a home and through the Relocation Division and courtesy of the Hostel managers names of other evacuee boarders were secured before the relocatee left this Center. These were given to him so that he would know the names of relocatees of ther Centers living at the Hostels. This gave him immediate entree to the group without two much formality on reaching the Hostel. There was a hit of Comradeship there before he even left the Center. Of wourse his stay there was limited totwo weeks only unless he was employed by the Hostel but before his departure here, the Relocation Division had furnished him with prospective empoyer and at the same time notified the City Relocation Officer of his arrival and need of assistance when he had no definite job offer.

The Relocation Center office had job-discription-offers from practically every large City in the middle west and East. These were made available to the evacuee by posting in Block Mess Halls and Block Manager's offices, as well as the central office. Pictures of former residents serving on their jobs were always a source of much interest. These were always given prominent places on the walls of the Relocation office where those who were anxious to “go outside” could get full account of the work represented in the pictures.

The problem of combating propaganda by confirmed segregees was difficult to overcome in spots. The segregation program halted practically all resettling. The program of relocation was understood however to be for those who expected to remain in this country, and though during the time of registration and final segregation these was not much concentrated effort to push relocation. The people had many things to think about at that time and the policy of watchful waiting seemed to be the most effective procedure. The schools were in the midst of their greatest “drive” “for education for relocation” when this occurred, and at the request of the Community Council the direct emphasis was shifted temporarily.

Obtaining Leave Clearance has always been stumbling block for maturation of plans but there have been some advantages even in this deferment because it has given time to those who were desirous of resettling, a period of study of various sections of the U.S. and how well adaptions could be made in light of individual needs. Many interviews and conferences were held with those who were waiting until leave clearance could come through. The Relocation office has used this period as a time for building up confidence in the program. In addition, it served as a time when the personnel could serve the needs of the infividual by making investigations of jobs offers which seemed attractive to the evacuee and at the same time to clear up as quickly as possible the results of the leave clearance hearing.

There has always been a hesitancy on the part of the Issei to brake loose the moorings of Center life and launch out, with out some members of the family already located. The Relocation Division has not insisted too much on the Issei leaving the protection that a Center may give them without every step of their relocation program worked out in every detail. Their language difficulties is a decided barrier, and the fact that they have known no other part of this country except Califoria make them reluctant in developing plans. Always there seems to be in their thinking that some day they will be permitted to return to their former homes and friends. The policy of the Relocation Division has been a sympathetic and patient understanding of this problem. The evacuee is by nature slow in making up his mind but coupled with these obvious handicaps, the Relocation Division has not insisted too much on their breaking away unless some of the younger members of the family have first gone out to make their own adjustment and find opportunities that would insure pleasant surroundings and situations when once their parents joined them. This of course took the right planning for the right type of community and job analysis for the issei to be satisfied. When once he reached the outside. Another item that cannot be overlooked too is association on the outside with others of their own race. The issei do not find it so easy to form new friendship and unless there is a possibility of association for them they become discouraged and lonesome, and their morale is lowered.

Closing Procedures

The Relocation Division has therover almost its entire personnel into the job of closing the Center. Two Relocation Counselors were placed on “Train lists” Committees where leaves of every description were checked for transfer of families. This has taken three weeks of close careful checking, and long hours in the day. Because of the importance of an accurate list, double checks were made of every list. The train lists was almost completely handled by one of Relocation Counselors. The train lists speak for how well the job was handled. Out of 3080 persons handled by train, only three were missing when the train pulled out-one was called by the Army the morning the train was scheduled to go; one received clearance papers for relocation; and one committed auicide. The efficiency with which this was cleared was no doubt due to the long hard hours of careful meticulous work of two Relocation Counselors. In addition the Assistant Relocation Program Officer assisted with train and truck movement; the Acting Leave Office served on the Transfer Committee which designated Centers for future homes of evacuees.

All Leaves, Short Terms, Seasonal. Trial and Indefinite, have been accounted for through records filed in Washinton (Indefinite) and Centers to which the evacuee has been assigned by the Transfer Committee. The Education division has assisted the Relocation and Leave office in assembling family records to be filed in other Center. The full record of each evacuee is compiled into family folders and filed with Office Services. Equipment used by Relocation Division is checked to the Property Division of the Center. Many photographs of evacuees living outside, and in their many jobs, maps, cuts of various places of business, etc., which gave the Relocation office and attractive appearance have been packed and checked to the Property Division.

The Relocation Division has assisted the welfare section in family counseling. Many questions regarding leaves of family members have sometime made uncertain the desired Center for temporary location. These have had to be worked out in collaboration with other agencies which had given counsel and advice to the family.

The center's leave office opened with a staff of two evacuees, who processed necessary papers before the applicant was interviewed by the assistant director. But before the end of December it became apparent from the residents' enthusiasm that additional space and equipment and a full-time Caucasian interviewer would be required to handle its volume of work.

By the end of December, 10 persons had been granted leave clearance, six to accept positions, one to attend school, three to join relatives. Growing steadily, the office was placed under the direction of the head of Employment and Housing in December. At the end of the period, 211 applications for leave clearance had been accepted, 24 of which were transmitted to Washington. None had been cleared. The 10 were granted leave among a total of 58 who had applied.

Before the end of December applicants had become discouraged and impatient over the amount of time ordinarily required for clearing applications, but it remained obvious that during the next six months an extensive orgnization will be required to handle this phase of the center's work. At the end of that time it is expected that most of the center's progressive and best qualified residents will have been processed and released. After that time it will in all probability require a comprehensive and extensive promotional campaign to keep leave applications up to what is expected of the overall program.

During January and February, 29 persons were granted indefinite leave. During March 65 persons were granted indefinite leave. During the quarter 22 went out on educational leave.

The increase is attributable to several factors: (1) The mechanics of clearance were speeded up by the registration program of February and March. (2) With the planting season appreaching job offers became more numerous and more attractive. (3) As the various relocation offices began to function job offers became more varied, interesting a larger number of evacuees. Also the direct representation of the relocation officers gave individuals a greater sense of security. (4) Recognition by the Army had its moral effect. (5) Resettlement grants made it possible for a greater number of individuals to accept outside job offers.

Of the 94 persons who went out during the quarter, 74 left to accept jobs, six to join their families and the remaining seven left without classified reason. Among the 74 who went out to work were: teachers, farmers, domestic workers, mechanics, hospital workers, chick sexors, accountants, stenographers, cooks and livestock workers. There seem to be no well defined groups who think one way or the other about relocation. There are still issei who one fear for the children to leave, but there is an increasing number who have decided it is safe enough. There are still issei who think that they will some day be allowed to go back to their own land in California and who are willing to wait in the center until that time, but there are other California landowners about ready to give up that hope. There are still individuals who resent the fact that the will have to be extremely circumspect about their actions on the outside, carry identification and in other ways conduct themselves to some extent contrary to what the average American accepts as his way of life, but in many instances this resentment is breaking down. Perhaps the only group which is in no way inclined to consider relocation is made up of those who are living better than they ever lived before--those who have tasted government food and found it good.

The relocation program made some progress during the last quarter, but its success has been far below expectation.

The relocation program started operation with very limited office space and only recently moved into office space that was equipped with the necessary private interviewing booths and other facilities needed to conduct the leaves program. It is now possible to take care of 175 to 180 evacuees per week if there should be that many applicants.

It is realized that considerable effort in encouraging the evacuees to accept the relocation program is necessary. To date, there have been relatively few Issei to leave the center. Still fewer families have departed for outside employment. In the past, the bi-weekly paper and bulletin boards in each block have been used to get the job offers over to the evacuees. In order to further acquaint the evacuees with the program, a Relocation Committee composed of evacuees and members of the appointed personnel has recently been appointed. It has not begun to function as yet, but should accomplish much in encouraging the older people to leave for outside employment. The success of the relocation program hinges on the resettlement of families, because an individual who goes out on employment will not be thoroughly satisfied as long as other members of his family remain the center regardless of whether or not he is the family head.

A brief outline of the number of evacuees who have left the center on indefinite and seasonal leave, together with the number that have returned to the center, shows:

  • Total number of evacuees released on seasonal and indefinite leaves - 796
  • Total number of evacuees re-inducted from seasonal and indefinite leaves - 17
  • Total number of evacuees still out on seasonal and indefinite leaves - 779
  • Number of evacuees released on seasonal leaves 75
  • Number of evacuees re-inducted from seasonal leaves 4
  • Total number of evacuees still out on indefinite leaves 71
  • Number of evacuees released on indefinite leaves 721
  • Number of evacuees re-inducted from indefinite leaves 13
  • Total number of evacuees still out on indefinite leaves 708

Evacuees were granted seasonal leaves to work on the farms and railways as laborers.

A majority of the evacuees granted indefinite leaves accepted employment outside as farm laborers, demestic workers, and general factory laborers. Of the indefinite leaves issued, fifty-six (56) were released to join their families; thirty-one (31) to attend school; twenty (20) volunteers for induction in the army; and the remaining six hundred eighty-nine (689) for outside employment.

Seasonal leaves were issued to evacuees to go to the following Counties:

  • Adams County, Colorado 9
  • Weld County, Colorado 6
  • Franklin County, Kansas 15
  • Phillips County, Montana 9
  • Valley County, Montana 13
  • Butte County, South Dakota 22
  • Iran County, Utah 1

Indefinite leaves were issued to evacuees to go to the following states:

  • Arizona 12
  • Arkansas 9
  • Colorado 66
  • Idaho 2
  • Illinois 212
  • Indiana 11
  • Kansas 2
  • Kentucky 1
  • Louisiana 1
  • Massachusetts 2
  • Michigan 83
  • Minnesota 47
  • Missouri 37
  • Montana 7
  • Nebraska 18
  • New Mexico 1
  • New York 3
  • Ohio 117
  • Oklahoma 2
  • Pennsylvania 2
  • South Dakota 20
  • Texas 16
  • Utah 20
  • Washington 4
  • Wisconsin 17
  • Wyoming 6

By November 15, 1942, the Washington office had drawn up a preliminary set of regulations governing early relocation. Leave application forms and leave clearance notices came into being and the relocation program at this stage consisted of an individual making application for general indefinite leave. Application was made by executing Form WRA-26 and WRA-126 in accordance with Instruction No. 22.

One of the earliest hindrances to relocation that the program had to overcome was the feeling in mind of the evacuee that community acceptance, tolerance, and sentiment were against his future plans. The matter was so basic to the success of relocation outside the centers and the WRA was aware of this problem from the very inception of its program.

At no time did the leave regulations require the applicant to secure evidence of community attitude, tolerance, and acceptance. But, it was quite wide-spread practice among applicants to write to county officials, police, and other local officers for statement of “permission” to accept employment or to reside in particular communities.

The War Relocation Authority set a policy from the beginning that they will assume the responsibility for the determination of community attitudes. Continuously evacuee applicants for indefinite leave were reminded that they need not secure statements of public acceptance for submission with their applications. There was no prohibition against such efforts but the practice probably jeopardized and confused early relocation. It is noteworthy to mention that the second resident of the Jerome Center to relocate had previously secured in writing from the Chief of Police of Lincoln, Nebraska, a certificate saying she will be protected and that her actions and movements would be governed by District Attorney of that city. This young lady was a twenty-two year old American-born citizen who had never lived with or associated with evacuees. In fact she could not even speak the language.

On November 18, 1942, a new set of instructions, with forms, were issued by the Washington office governing the issuance of leave. This was Administrative Instruction No. 22 Revised. Application for leaves were made on WRA-126 accompanied by an Individual Record made out on Form WRA-126 Revised.

At the Jerome Project in the early days of its history--November and December, 1942, January and February, 1943, considerable resistance toward relocation was faced, and some of the resistances causing evacuees to be reluctant to accept relocation carried over to the very end in Project history. Paramount in the minds of the evacuees planning relocation was the fear of discrimination on the part of people had no understanding of the Japanese-American problem or the program of relocation. Among the older people of the center, they have never lost the feeling that they were told it was patriotic to submit to relocation and that they would remain there for the duration. Many of the Issei people have never changed their thinking and have consoled themselves to self-satisfaction with center life.

Probably the earliest and most drastically felt resistance to Nisei relocation was that of the Army's refusal to draft Niseis and to place them as citizens in the well-known 4-C classification, that of an enemy alien. Many Nisei have never been able to get over this action. Added to this is noteworthy to mention that many young Japanese-Americans who were in the Armed Forces and who had volunteered for service were discharged and put on the Inactive Reserve and returned to the centers, left to feel that they could not make a contribution and that their services were not wanted. Not only did this affect the Nisei but it weighed heavily with the Issei fathers and mothers.

It is well to mention that the Jerome Center had one of the highest percentage of its population of any center to go to Tule Lake. Approximately 2200 residents of the Jerome Center are now residing at Tule Lake. The handling of segregation has been the Number 1 problem at this center. Until March 1, 1944, all leave clearance and all application for repatriation and expatriation was handled by the Relocation Division.

In the early days of issuance of short-term, seasonal, and indefinite leaves, considerable confusion and difficulty were experienced in the minor details of getting the evacuees in and out the gate. Through some misconception and misinformation the Escort Guard Unit felt that it was directly responsible for keeping the residents behind the wire. There was a complete lack of coordination and understanding between the WRA and the Army Unit, and quite often, it was necessary for a Caucasian personnel member of the Relocation Division to actually accompany departing residents through the gate and to the depot. At one time the local guard unit had approximately 35 members of its Army Personnel assigned to guard duty, who were illiterate and could not even read or interpret the meaning of a pass. In the early days and until the Army placed better-qualified soldiers at the center, much embarrassment was encountered and many evacuees were made to feel that it was a high privilege and honor to be able to pass through the front gate.

Coupled with our conflicts with the Army in the early days, we were continuously faced with building resistances toward relocation by certain potent evacuee leaders who lately were sent to Tule Lake, who constantly talked against relocation and went about their work of converting residents to the idea of requesting repatriation or expatriation. The leadership, which constantly and quietly forwarded and promoted the applications for repatriation and expatriation, kept continued pressure on the loyal evacueessand kept reminding them that they should not relocate. Evidence of the powerful leadership that kept the Jerome Center in constant confusion speaks for itself. The large number of people who went from Jerome to Tule Lake and the pressure group of leaders who subsequently caused considerable trouble at Tule Lake found their initial organization in the Jerome Center.

By April 1, 1943, the relocation program had progressed to such a point that it became necessary to reorganize the Employment Division and departmentalize the various aspects of the program in order to meet the stepped-up activities in handling larger numbers of people going out of this center. With the advent of cash grants, transportation and meal subsistence grants as an incentive and induement for evacuees to relocate, the Employment Division was enlarged and staffed with sufficient personnel to handle the increased number of people. Through the efforts of the Project Director, primary responsibility for relocation was cooperatively assumed by Employment Division, the Reports Office, and the Community Services Division.

The mechanics of the Employment Office were set up to code and classify all incoming jobs, to receive and disseminate to the residents of the center all relocation information and to render every type of assistance possible to the evacuee in his relocation planning. The Employment Division published a weekly news bulletin which gave a summary of job opportunities, carried news items of successful relocatees, gave general information to prospective relocatees concerning community acceptance, how to get leave clearance and depart from the center, and how to use the facilities of the WRA Field Offices.

A Relocation Committee was appointed by the Project Director. This first committee was composed of a combination of representative evacuees of the community and of members of the appointed personnel, whom it was felt could contribute toward relocation planning. The committee was both an advisory and an operating committee. From the very beginning the committee made plans and recommendations designed to further the relocation program.

Primarily, the committee concerned itself with: (1) collecting and disseminating materials and information, (2) securing and using the assistance of evacuees who had successfully relocated, and (3) making reports and surveys at the center to ascertain the resistances to relocation with a view to breaking down these resistances.

At appointed personnel staff meetings the importance of the reestablishment of loyal Japanese-Americans and law-abiding aliens of Japanese ancestry in American communities was emphasized. The personnel was thoroughly acquainted with the importance of relocation in order that members could serve as sources of information and actively support and advocate relocation.

It was about this stage of relocation that the center school system, the Welfare Section, and the Reports Division were brought into the program as an integral part of the over-all program. Through these madias center residents were furnished with the fullest possible information in written, oral and pictorial form concerning life in outside communities, housing conditions, job opportunities, living costs, and community sentiment.

Visual education in the form of maps, photographs, charts, movie films, newspaper clippings, and so forth were utilized to the fullest extent. With the organization of the Community Council, new emphasis was given to evacuees participating in relocation. The general policy was set forth by the Project Director that it was both a right and a responsibility of evacuees to help develop opinions favorable to successful relocation. From the very beginning evacuees of the center were told that the relocation program was theirs and that the WRA with its Project and Field Offices were anxious to facilitate and assist in every way on the furtherance of their program.

Following the general registration program for leave clearance which was concluded March 10, 1943, activities in relocation increased considerably and reached a peak by the middle of May.

Much confusion and misunderstanding resulted from the general registration program. From the very beginning the intentions of registration were closely misunde stood and misinterpreted by most of the center residents. The lasting effects of the general registration program have always been a factor in relocation at this center.

The relocation program continued to be a part of the Employment Division until October 30, 1943, at which time the Director issued an administrative notice abolishing the relocation assistance division, effective November 1, 1943. On that same date the Director issued an administrative notice establishing a Relocation Division and abolishing the Employment Division. Under the new Relocation Division, job finding, job placement, and relocation functions were conducted and coordinated with the other divisions.

The Relocation Division was headed by a Relocation Program Officer, an Assistant Relocation Program Officer, and a Leave Officer. With the establishment of the Relocation Division the mechanics of the office were again enlarged and staffed with sufficient personnel to undertake relocation on a larger and broader program.

The Relocation Division was made responsible directly to the Project Director and was responsible for coordinating, planning and directing the total relocation program at the center.

In carrying out is coordinating functions, the Relocation Division succeeded in developing with the various other divisions their responsibilities to the relocation program. By November 15, 1943, the Relocation Division had an evacuee staff of 29 members, and an average of approximately 50 residents per week were departing from the center.

It was at this stage of the relocation program that both the appointed personnel and the evacuee residents of the center were made to feel that relocation was the primary objective of the War Relocation Authority, and that full and cooperative participation was expected. All available resources were mobilized and the support and furtherance of a comprehensive program which would enlist the efforts of every division and section in the coordination of the total all-out effort.

The Project Director announced that each division and section was responsible for informing its personnel of the value of the relocation program to the evacuees and for the development of active and vigorous support for the relocation program among its staff.

Increased emphasis was placed on the importance of assisting and encouraging evacuees to take the initial step and to start planning for the future.

Services and Accomplishments of the Relocation Division

Evacuee participation in the local relocation program has been possible in Jerome through the early formation of the Relocation Guidance Committee under the instruction of the Project Director in June of 1943.

The Committee was composed of both the evacuee and appointed personnel representatives. The purpose of the organization was to study and assist in the furtherance and improvement of the relocation program and to aid in the dissemination of news and information regarding resettlement to the residents.

The potentialities of the said Committee were greatly subdued during the ensuing months, however, by the presence of the anti-element in the Center which was later removed to Tule Lake through the segregation process.

The Relocation Committee later met at two week intervals, but the beginning organizational stage was rather a slow process in that some members were still hesitant in assuming responsibilities concerning the relocation program.

Following the organization, however, the Committee continued to meet quietly and be of counsel to individuals contemplating relocation. But the general consensus of opinion among the members was that the Committee could not function justifiably until segregation had been completed.

Another reason for hesitancy on the part of the evacuees, it was felt, was due to the fact that the Committee was a mixed evacuee-personnel group, and that the evacuees could not discuss the relocation program freely at certain times.

As one of the major projects under the sponsorship of the Guidance Committee, it is noteworthy to mention that between September and November, 1943, a total of eight 16 mm sound movies on “This is America” series prepared by the Washington WRA were given a public showing with approximately 6,225 persons in during the period.

In November, 1943, through WRA administrative instructions received from Washington, the organization of the new Relocation Planning Commission, composed entirely of evacuee representatives, and the Staff Relocation Committee, composed entirely of the appointed personnel members, was suggested in order to revitalize the resettlement program in the center.

The work of the newly suggested committees would be primarily the same while direct contact with the Project Director would be maintained at the same time through the Executive Board embodying representatives from the two divisions.

The feasibility of such an organization was mooted at length before the actual formation of the suggested bodies in early December, 1943.

The members of the Relocation Planning Commission were composed of the evacuee members on the original Relocation Guidance Committee and representatives from the Community Council, Block Managers, and every large religious, welfare, social, enterprise and educational groups officially listed in the center. It can be well said that the members were all leading citizens in the Community.

With the potent segregation element removed from the Center in the latter part of October, 1943, keener interest was shown by the people toward the relocation program.

In December, 1943, through the effort of the relocation committees, the Relocation Library was established in a stragetic location in the Center where people were welcomed to visit daily as well as nights to obtain whatever available information regarding relocation was in the library.

Maps, books, pamphlets, pictures and job offers as well as hostel reservations were available to the public at the library.

The library was also established as the regular meeting place for the two newly organized relocation committees with the Planning Commission holding its weekly session every Friday morning. The attendance at the meetings in general was surprisingly good.

In January, 1944, the Planning Commission was instrumental in arranging for the visiting Relocation Team.

In December, 1943, it was suggested by the members of the Commission that a Relocation survey be undertaken in the Center to determine how many people planned to relocate and when; how many intended to remain in the Center for the duration and planned to return to their previous homes after the war; and what problems were being faced by the individual families regarding relocation.

It was planned that no names would be attached to the survey questionnaire so that the people might express themselves freely.

Unless such a survey could first be taken, it was felt that the relocation conference proposed by the WRA Director at the time would not be a success.

Several attempts were made to undertake the survey following suggestion, but the actual work was always postponed till what was believed would be a more opportune time.

It was not until March of 1944 that the survey titled, “Relocation Opinionnaire”, was finally initiated by the Commission. Over 4,000 copies were mimeographed and distributed to all persons 18 years of age and over.

Through the cooperation of the block managers, councilmen and the Commission members, the survey was successfully taken with 2,324 returns from the people.

The result of the survey was termed worthwhile. Both Issei and Nisei did not hesitate to express their minds as there were no names or references attached to the questionnaire. Printed in Japanese as well as in English, the questions were carefully arranged and simplified in order to obtain a satisfactory response from the public. The only available copy of the Opinionnaire is attached.

The final percentage tabulation for the survey is as follows while the complete block totals according to the Issei and Nisei returns may be found on the attached sheets.

         
YES  NO 
Issei  4.25  95.7  54  7.8  12.6  1.2  2.4  17  .2 
Nisei  17.5  82.5  48.4  4.8  10.9  .8  8.9  2.8  2.8 
TOTAL  9.4  90.5  52  6.6  12  11.4  1.2 

The primary reason for hesitancy in relocation was given as economical insecurity by both the Issei and Nisei. Fifty-two percent of the people gave “A” as their answer.

In their remarks the people stated that the present cash grant was insufficient especially to care for family needs. Reasonable increases in the amount of cash grants would stimulate further family relocation, it was felt.

The next reason for hesitancy to leave the center was the peoples' wish to return to their previous homes on the West Coast after the war. Twelve percent of the people gave this as their reason for remaining in the center.

It was understood that the majority who answered the Opinionnaire was the responsible family head among both Issei and Nisei groups. The individuals who had no responsibilities, it was assumed, had already left the camp.

Five percent of the people had family ties which made their relocation difficult. Among the Nisei alone, the precentage for those planning to relocate in the near future would have been higher if 8.9% of the group did not have responsible family attachments in the center.

Another factor which must be remembered is that the Opinionnaire, in spite of the postponement, was still unfortunately issued simultaneously with the administrative announcement regarding the closing of the Jerome center which had the people in an untimely upheaval and confusion.

Following the completion of the survey, the Planning Commission did not undertake any other major projects.

However, during the latter part of April, 1944, three members of the Commission, including the chairman and executive secretary, were sent to investigate group relocation possibilities at Seabrook Farms, wold's largest vegetable farm located in Bridgeton, New Jersey, at the invitation and expense of Mr. C. F. Seabrook The group spent four days at the farm studying existing conditions and relocation possibilities for some 250 families needed at Seabrook as permanent workers.

A favorable report was brought back to the center by the delegates who returned home in early May after a meeting with the Relocation Authorities in Washington, D. C.

During the remaining weeks, the Commission spent much of its time informing the public regarding conditions at Seabrook Farms. This, it was felt, was the first real opportunity for a large group relocation which with careful planning would result in the successful return of numerous Japanese families to their normal way of living.

With the organization of the Relocation Planning Commission, joint planning between the appointed staff and the evacuee population became the basis to an organized and intelligent approach to relocation. The organization of the various committees through the Council and Project Director were meant to effectively implement joint planning.

In organizing the committees through the Council, the project fully recognized the Community Council as a representative of the evacuees. The Council and committee were invited to assume a major responsibility in planning and furthering relocation. Through the Council and committee, every effort was made to inform the residents of relocation policies and operational procedures. They were asked to relate attitudes, problems, and to make whatever suggestions they deemed necessary.

From the very beginning, the relocation program received the endorsement and cooperation of the Community Council. The Relocation Division attempted, as a program developed, to keep the Council well informed concerning changing regulations, new procedures, and policies.

The first center survey undertaken to determine resistance to relocation and to seek solutions to these resistances was sponsored by the Council through the organization of the Block Managers.

Probably the next most important step toward perfecting a workable relocation program at the center level was the issuance of Manual Release No. 51, covering Sections 130.1.1 through 130.2.3, which superseded Administrative Instruction Nos. 88 and 96, together with their supplements. This instruction formulated plans for the institution of a counselling and guidance program as set forth under the manual section.

Through the interviewing program, the Relocation Division attempted to contact every family that had indicated by survey that they would relocate providing a suitable opportunity would be found. Soon after the announcement was made that the Jerome Center would close and the relocation survey was completed, it was found that fifty-nine families had indicated by the questionnaire a desire to relocate. This center's Relocation Division immediately started calling in these families for interviews and for the purpose of making up family relocation summaries. Within thrity days, seventeen complete family units had been interviewed and thirteen complete families had departed from the center. The success of this first undertaking was evidence of timely planning and careful counselling offered some of the answers to relocation. At this point, it is noteworthy to mention that the success of the special counselling program depends upon two things. First, that the interviewer understand and appreciate the requirements of a particular family and secondly. that the family give full assistance in helping the interviewer record a complete family history and give as good a picture as possible of the requirements that must be met for the family to successfully relocate. In initialing our family interviewing program, we found from the very beginning that if the family had made up its mind to relocate, our major problem was solved. It is well too, to mention at this point that interviewers must develop unique and broad techniques in order to get the information necessary to find an opportunity for a particular family.

In making family relocation plans, it was found very wise to review the family history and records and make a careful study of family backgrounds before calling the family in for interview. It was further found that in the family interviewing program, it is best to call in the entire family or to call on the entire family at a scheduled time and that the interview be conducted in privacy. At all times, we attempted to arrange interviews to the convenience of the family and at a time that we would not be rushed in any phase of the interview.