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For every sixty-four letters opened and read, one submission slip was prepared.
One bright spot occurred in the spring of 1943, when internees under army control were returned to INS custody.
Once the Provost Marshal General's office was out of the picture, only two conflicting sets of regulations remained in effect, reducing but not eliminating the inmates' letter-writing woes.
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Local censors passed many letters only to see them returned by the POW unit censors weeks or even months later.
These experiences contributed to a declining prisoner morale, since letter writing from the lonely outposts was the only access to loved ones in the outer world.
Internees were provided preprinted form letters with which to inform correspondents of the new address.41 For the time being, the new policy reduced some of the delays in delivering the mail. During the first six months at the Chicago censor station, 141 examiners manned the tables to censor the mail.
At any one time, thirty-eight men and women were processing more than fifty pieces of mail each workday.
"Letter writing to their homes," he wrote, "is one of the greatest 'salves for their sores.'" An opportunist, he recommended allowing internees to write more freely to enable camp and POW unit officials to better assess morale and to more easily identify the "beefers," or troublemakers.44 For its part, the Office of Censorship felt that censorship in the INS camps was too lax and encouraged the service to tighten its controls and submit all domestic mail to the POW unit.
In Director Price's view, the value of information gathered on behalf of the war effort, no matter how small, superseded any peace of mind that letter-writing might bring to enemy alien internees of war. Kelly, assistant INS commissioner for alien control, in an attempt to persuade the service to turn over the domestic mail of internees and detainees to his office.