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….

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