State WRA Offices Close; 75 Per Cent Of Japanese Evacuees Reported Returned
SAN FRANCISCO (Special) - The Northern California area of the War Relocation Authority closed its doors here Wednesday as the wartime agency's four-year-old job of handling the relocation of the people of Japanese ancestry came to a successful conclusion.
As Area Supervisor Charles F. Miller turned the key in the lock of the area office door for the last time, only the WRA national office in Washington remained open to complete administrative details and it is expected to close on or before June 30.
Four district offices of the Northern California area, Oakland, Santa Rosa, Stockton and Watsonville, closed April 19; and the remaining four at San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Fresno were closed May 3. Unclaimed lots of goods, stored by people of Japanese ancestry at time of evacuation, were moved to WRA's San Francisco warehouse some weeks ago and sold at public auction April 29.
A final check of returnees to the area, which included all of California with the exception of the nine southernmost counties, showed approximately 34,757 persons of Japanese ancestry had returned, or 75 per cent of the pre-evacuation population of 46,357 in the area, according to Miller.
"Our job in this area is completed," Miller said. "From now on the responsibility for the welfare of the people of Japanese ancestry who have returned to their homes in California rests with the individual communities.
"Already the returnees, most of them citizens, have found their places in community life. Among them are many of the more than 22,000 Nisei veterans who served with our armed forces during the war and whose record in combat in all theatres proved beyond a doubt that loyalty has nothing to do with race, color or creed," Miller continued.
"On behalf of the entire staff of WRA," said Miller, "I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of California for their fine cooperation and understanding during a period of stress caused by the exigencies of wartime.
"The broad understanding and fair play exhibited by the newspapers aided us materially in accomplishing the job we were assigned to do as did the inestimable help given by labor unions, service clubs, church groups, fraternal organizations and other groups."
Continued Miller, "I particularly want to acknowledge the close cooperation given by Governor Warren and the immeasurable aid extended by Attorney General Robert W. Kenny and the State Department of Justice, the State and County Welfare departments, the FBI, Army Intelligence, and the various law enforcement officers of the cities and counties in Northern California.
"There are many other fine groups, such as the Pacific Coast Committee on American Principles and Fair Play, the National Council on Race Relations, the Friends organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union, interracial groups and civic unity councils, as well as individual citizens whose stand for tolerance and against bigotry was outstanding.
"Frankly, without the help of all these groups and individuals, all of whom believe in the American way of life, our job could not have been accomplished," Miller concluded."