Digital History>eXplorations>Japanese American Internment>The Decision to Intern>Diary of Henry Morgenthau

Diary of Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
December 11, 1941

Edward Foley, General Counsel, Treasury Department: No time to be thinking about civil liberties when the country is in danger.

Morgenthau: 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, indiscriminately, no….

Copyright Digital History 2016