Digital History>eXplorations>Japanese American Internment>The Decision to Intern>Diary of Henry Morgenthau
of Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
December 11, 1941
Foley, General Counsel, Treasury Department: No time to be thinking
about civil liberties when the country is in danger.
Listen, no-one except Harold Ickes and myself could want to go
further [in protecting the nation]… so my record speaks
for itself. But when it comes to suddenly mopping up a hundred
and fifty thousand Japanese and putting them behind barbed wire,
irrespective of their status, and consider doing the same with
the Germans, I wanted some time to catch my breath. I am sure
you are on my side. Anybody who wants to hurt this country or
injure us, put him where he can’t do it, but irrespective,