ENEMY ALIENS: Asps on the Hearth

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The Justice Department, which nothing should dismay, never batted an eye as it asked a Grand Jury to charge three white men, citizens of the U.S., with working for the Japs.

In San Francisco, Federal men haled Newsman Frederick Vincent ("Wiggy") Williams, Publisher David Warren Ryder into court. In Lake Geneva, Wis., they found sleek Ralph Townsend, onetime U.S. consular aide in China, a contributor to Scribner's Commentator, mouthpiece—until Pearl Harbor—of rabid isolationists in the U.S. (TIME, Nov. 17). The three were accused of writing and distributing Japanese propaganda without registering as Jap agents.

Wiggy Williams had registered with the State Department as a correspondent for The Japan Times and Mail—but he neglected to mention some of his other activities. According to the indictment, he got $350 a month from the Japanese consulate. He lectured, wrote, spoke on the radio, in terms which were gracious and flattering to the Japs. Wiggy Williams' newspaper colleagues greeted each other gleefully with the news. Said a reporter: "All his friends gathered around and tried to get his bail reduced from $5,000 to $25,000."

Townsend and Ryder, said the Government, edited a pro-Japanese monthly, Far Eastern Affairs. They also put out bales of propaganda pamphlets, including one entitled America Has No Enemies in Asia.

Warrants were issued for three of their Japanese confederates; but only one was held. The others had long since departed for Japan.

Arresting three native-born Americans was a jolt to West Coast citizens. Californians began to look hard at the 33,000 Japanese aliens in their midst.

Last week Attorney General Francis Biddle marked off 88 coastal areas from which all enemy aliens will be evacuated by Feb. 24. Forbidden territory so far includes San Francisco's waterfront, where 1,500 alien fishermen keep their boats; all lighthouses, radio and power stations, dams, airports, defense plants; 17 truck-farming districts where Japs for years have grown winter fruits and vegetables for U.S.tables.

—FBI men this week descended on San Pedro's Terminal Island, rounded up some 400 alien Japanese fishermen and cannery workers who live right in the middle of one of the Navy's big West Coast stations. (Their alien wives were not bothered.) But in San Francisco's Japanese quarter and Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, Japanese still go about their business unmolested. Another Japanese village at San Pedro looks out on the busy docks and shipyards of the harbor.

Other stories of the week:

—Narcotics Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger told Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. that for the past ten years Japan has encouraged smugglers to peddle dope in the U.S.—in order to prepare U.S. citizens for Japanese domination.

—In Norfolk, Va., Rear Admiral Manley H. Simons told newsmen that Navy wives have received mysterious telephone calls, telling them that their husbands' bodies were on the way home from ships which had been torpedoed and sunk. Such calls, said Admiral Simons, came from enemy agents hoping to learn where U.S. ships are stationed. He advised officers' wives to pay no attention, hang up immediately.

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