WILL CANADA GO YELLOW?
Formerly Managing Editor of the Vancouver World.
DO YOU know that in proportion to population, Canada has almost FIVE TIMES as large a Japanese and Chinese population as the United States? Market gardeners in Toronto are complaining of being ousted by Orientals. One person in every eight in B. C. is an Oriental. Will the yellow race ever predominate in Canada, or on this Continent? This is the first of two or more articles by John Nelson, veteran journalist, formerly editor and part owner of the Vancouver World, who has been studying for more than a decade this vital question, and who has been investigating from all angles, exclusively for MacLean’s, for several months past. This question must not be made a FOOTBALL for politicians.
WE HAD been cruising for a week in the Gulf of Georgia, British Columbia, and ran one evening, for supper, into Secret Cove. Inside its narrow entrance a fishing launch rode at anchor while its owner mended his nets. As we passed, a brown hand waved a cheery salute and behind it beamed the smiling face of a son of Nippon.
Outside in rough water, another Japanese in a smaller craft was combing the beach for stray shingle bolts and laboriously booming them to be towed later to the mills at Vancouver. A tug passed, slowly towing a boom of logs and a white-aproned Chinese cook threw some potato peelings into the sea from his galley door. These were the only signs of labor about the Cove. On the rocks a merry p icnic party of a score or more from a near-by ' summer resort were enjoying a luxurious meal while others were gaily surf-riding, in' the wake of their launch, on the secluded waters.
We anchored, took our supplies and utensils ashore, lighted a fire and regaled ourselves on a four-course dinner. Five of us had started out to “rough it” for a week—the judge and myself contributing age, and avoirdupois, and three young university men furnishing the necessary navigation knowledge and culinary skill. The repast, in both quantity and quality, belied the frugal plans of our itinerary, and over our pipes the Science scholarship man chuckled:
“This reminds me of the idea the American millionaires had of rough-ing it”, he remarked. “Their conception of bitter hardship was to drink their champagne out of tin
The talk drifted to the little brown men, who, while we played, were laboriously, but cheerfully, wresting a living from the surface and the depths of the sea. Incident and moral, argument and comment, followed until a late hour. Among a group of British Columbians, such a topic is not lightly dismissed, and the
moon rode high before the young skipper called us on board.
“You see,” concluded the judge, who had been giving us the benefit of both his reading and his experience on the magistrate’s bench, .“it resolves itself into a question of efficiency. The Oriental accepts work as a condition of life. The Occidental seeks to escape from it. If you can reconcile those two attitudes without eliminating the white man you have solved the whole Oriental problem.” And knocking the ashes from his pipe, he turned into his berth.
Indians Ousted by Japs
THE next night we anchored further north in Pender Harbor. The courtly old Portuguese store keeper and landlord, Señor Gonzales, a pioneer of 1874, whose hos-
pitality we had frequently experienced, gave us dignified welcome.
Sitting on his verandah in the summer twilight, we discussed business conditions. The Señor reported a rather poor summer—fishing slack, logging camps closed, i produce prices poor.
‘ Some one pointed to the deserted shacks on the Indian rancherie, further up the harbor, and asked whither the red men had gone.
“Only two Siwashes there—” explained our host “gone to the lumber camps and up coast.”
“But the Indians should be out fishing now?”
“Oh, the Indians can’t compete with the Japs. Nearly all salmon and cod fishing now is done by the Japanese.” “Are they better fishermen than the natives?”
“No, but they work harder, and they follow the markets and know how to take advantage of them— something the Indian never mastered. And the government telegraph line to the city has been a great advantage to the Orientals,” he added.
“In what way?”
“They ‘live’ crate their cod, hold them -for a proper market, and ship their catch only when notified by their countrymen that the market is favorable.”
“Then the Indian," he went on, “as he got money—and he made big wages during the season—spent, it. like a white. He bought the best goods. The Japanese live on what ■ve will not eat. Now watch that fellow!”
As he spoke a Japanese fishing power boat puffed up to the float. Hardly was it secured before a couple of baited hooks were thrown overside, while smoke from a hark fire in the galley showed that the evening meal was being prepared.
A few perch were quickly caught
and fried for supper; the refuse from them served as bait for a couple of crabs to be used the next day; while a few mussels scraped from the piles of the wharf made a savorysoup. With the exception of a little rice and tea, the whole meal had been taken at no cost while the water was being boiled, and little of it was of a character that a white man would pause to catch or care to eat.
"First the red man, then the white, finally the yellow,” mused the
The .Jap is tlie Key
TPH E summer night came down. As we clearedfrom the wharf, an old Siwash—one of the few left on the island raneherie—paddled past us so noiselessly in his frail dug-out, that we almost missed him. To our hall of “klawhoyah, tillicum!” he turned for a moment, poised his paddle, and a flicker of acknowledgment passed over the pathetic old face. Then he paddled silently on, and vanished like a wraith, in the smother that lay upon the water, in search of a piece of driftwood for his fire or of a fish for his meal.
At the same moment the Japanese fisherman threw over his engine, pulled in his mooring lines, tossed us a friendly farewell, and seizing the tiller with an air of blithe self-confidence, and efficiency, headed his boat for the fishing banks, and followed us out to sea.
These simple, and seemingly trivial incidents, bear directly upon the problem which provoked the Judge’s gloomy comment. Any study of the question of Oriental immigration in Canada must take initial cognizance of the facts these incidents reveal, and of their economic significance. And that study must recognize the Japanese as the key of the problem if not the principal factor that creates it. For the large immigration of Japanese women, and consequent high birth rate, Japanese independence and initiative in industrial development, Japanese racial pride and national self-consciousness, and Japanese insistence upon race equality and demand for political rights, these have done more in one decade to render the Oriental question acute than half a century of economic pressure from the bland and passive Chinese.
These facts cannot be ignored in any attempt to adjust the relationship of the races concerned or to solve the most difficult and insistent problem in our national life.
If, in what follows, the reference is persistently to the subjects of the Mikado rather than to other Orientals, it is because the former embody the aggressive Pan-Asiatic spirit, now stirring the East and are giving it expression and leadership on this continent.
The question is none the less of national concern because for the moment it obtrudes itself mainly in one province. It is more grave because of that fact. It is in British Columbia that the pressure is felt, and the danger evident. But British Columbia is so remote from the populous centres of Canada, and its representation at Ottawa is so small, that protests seem of little avail. The great bulk of the Canadian people have little interest or concern in the matter, because its incidence rarely comes under their notice. When in the West a few weeks ago, Lord Northcliffe was not only startled by the facts, but amazed at the absence of interest in them, or comment thereon, among eastern Canadian publicists. (In Toronto market gardeners have recently protested against Oriental “encroachments” in their field—Ed.)
The purpose of this article being neither to make political capital nor to foster propaganda what follows will be a simple narration of facts, and a description of conditions of which every Canadian should be in possession, especially in view of the growing interest in the Pacific, and the trend of its peoples and trade. The facts are serious. They may become menacing if neglected or misunderstood. The problems they suggest should on the other hand prove quite soluble as a result of precise information, and under the invincible influence of good faith and good will.
ILJISTORICALLY, the story of Oriental immigration in Canada differs sharply from that of the trek of Europeans to this country. The government frankly sought and paid for Slav and Swede, Mennonite and Muscovite. It bonused agents to secure him ; it subsidized steamship companies to transport him. It endowed him with free land. It was even forced to care for him when, deserting the land for the city, he became a victim of industrial stress.
The Caucasian immigrant was very costly. From the year 1901 to 1905 inclusive, Canada spent $1,662,000 on United States immigrants, and $1,445,000 on United Kingdom immigrants or $4.98 and $3.22 respectively. From these classes about 72 per cent ofj'the total immigration came.
In contrast with^this costly bill for Europeans, no money was used to secure Asiatics. On the contrary a head tax of $50 was imposed on Chinese in 1885, was increased to $100 in 1901 and to $500 in 1904. In 1886 to 1919 inclusive Canada derived from this tax the enormous sum of $20,537,961. The year before last more than $2,000,000 was taken and $500,000 last year. It is perhaps to be expected that a traffic which brings to the Federal authorities such substantial revenues renders the government less sensitive to its perils.
Attempted to Evade the Law
'T'HE Japanese, being covered by special treaty, of course contribute nothing under this head; and that fact undoubtedly is resented by the Chinese and explains in part their sleepless resource in circumventing the law. The Chinese are dealt with under the Chinese immigration act, as from time to time amended. The original measure was passed about 1906, and the changes in the statute, though frequent, have not been sufficiently so to keep pace with the ingenuity of would-be immigrants. A certain facility in ways that are dark and tricks that are vain, first noted by Bret Harte, continues as a racial gift.
These subterfuges, take various forms. In 1913 for instance, a Canadian Order-inCouncil was passed prohibiting the immigration of all laborers.
This helped to curb for a time the inflow from the East. But by 1915 the departmental officials began to note a great increase in Chinese boys coming to attend school. On investigation it was found that many of these drifted into coast restaurants and laundries. This class is now limited to those less than sixteen year of age, whose parents reside in this country, who actually propose to attend school, and who, of course, pay their
A more formid. able test of the
Act arose some time ago under the exemptions clause. This permits free entry to merchants, students, tourists, men of science, etc., "who shall substantiate their status to the satisfaction of the controller, subject to the approval of the Minister, or who are bearers of certificates of identity or other similar documents issued by the government or by a recognized official or representative of the government whose subjects they are, specifying their occupations and their object in coming to Canada.”
“Every such document shall be in the English or French language and shall be examined and endorsed (vise) by a British consul or charge d' affaires or other accredited representative of His Majesty at the place where it was granted, or at the port or place of departure.”
This provision led to no abuse until recently. Then its possibilities dawned on some bright Asiatic and the merchant inundation started with a rush. Half Asia seemed to have'turned trader. There was no time to investigate the bona fides of the original certificate or the diligence of the consul. The officials appealed to the courts, but the bench rejected summarily the attempt of the worried officers to question some of these passports. Then parliament took a hand, and made the Minister’s decision final. Incidentally it relieved some easy-going consuls in China of the exertion of examining these pasrports and wasting time on them, which could be more congenially employed at tennis and tea.
But this did not terminate the tribulations of the perplexed officials. To the ordinary man all Chinamen look alike, and even experienced experts require accurate aids and data in identifying the returning Mongolians. Each year their identification cards, used by the department, have grown more comprehensive and complete, until now they would seem to be bomb-proof. On departing for China the Celestial delivers up his registration card with his photo and elaborate data attached, including at least three distinctive physical marks, usually facial. It may be a gold tooth or a deformed finger. It is never a pock-marked face for the officials find a pock-marked face to be as common to Chinese as the sentry found the itch to be to the 495 Macphads in his regiment. Woe betide the returning son of Cathay if he cannot produce his interim card, or if, on comparison with his registration slip, the two do not agree. He gets a long and unexpected return trip across the Pacific.
The western nations regard the Chinaman as rather comprehensive in his family life. But when John wants to get into Canada he becomes positively promiscuous. Nearly 40 per cent of the rejections of merchants are on account of alleged members of their families who fail to satisfy the department regarding their bona fides. It may be a wife for whom identification is lacking, or a wistful son whose relationship is in question. By dint of hard practice and long experience the Canadian officer has developed an astuteness which is often too much for even his wily wards. Not long since a Chinaman with his alleged son presented himself with a return certificate at the landing stage in Vancouver. The boy, now nine years of age, he declared, had been born in China after the father’s return from Canada. The original registration certificate was unearthed and although the boy was admittedly nine years of age, it was found that the father had been but five years in China. The spurious son was promptly deported.
Relations With Japan
CANADA’S immigration relations with Japan do not hinge, as many suppose, upon the Treaty of Alliance between Great Britain and Japan made on July 13, 1911, and which has been the subject of recent discussions at London. They depend instead upon the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Great Britain and Japan signed in London, April 3,
1911. This treaty provides for reciprocal rights of travel, residence, and the carrying on of business between the two countries. The! subjects of each Empire are placed on exactly the same footing with regard to travel, residence, the carrying on of commerce and manufacture, or trading in all kinds of merchandise or lawful commerce. In all that relates to the pursuit of their industries, callings, professions, and educational studies they are placed on the same footing as the citizens or the subjects of the most favored nation.
They may own or lease property. They have the same protection and security for their persons and property as natives and shall not be exposed to fees or charges in excess of the subjects of the other nations.
They are exempt from military service in their adopted country.
Under Article 26 of the treaty in question its stipulations are not applicable to any of the British Dominions unless such Dominions give notice of their adhesion. Canada has so subscribed to the treaty by proclamation effective on May 1 of the same year it was made.
This treaty has been modified only in so far as the voluntary undertaking of Japan, to Hon. Mr. Lemieux, to restrict emigration to Canada to 400 yearly, constitutes a limitation of its provisions.
How the Yellow Man Came
THE circumstances under which Asiatics first came to Canada are of interest. If they did not come originally by volition of any government they performed a service, and filled a need. The first Chinese drifted northward after the gold rush in California. The oldest Canadianborn Chinaman is Cumyow, a well-known local Vancouver merchant, notary and interpreter. He was born sixtyone years ago at Fort Douglas, above New Westminster, where his father, a California merchant, started a store, and traded with white and Chinese alike on their way to the diggings of Cariboo.
But the great influx came in the early eighties, with the building of the C.P.R. All the circumstances are recalled by H.J. Cambie, the octogenarian railway engineer, who, hale and hearty, is still in the C.P.R. service. He was engineer under Alexander Mackenzie in his projected system of railways and “Magnificent water stretches” across Canada. When the C.P.R. project was taken over by a private company Mr. Cambie became divisional engineer, and thus he saw the almost frantic efforts of Andrew Onderdonk to build the line across British Columbia within his stipulated five years. There were few labor-
ers, white, red, or yellow, in the country, and Onderdonk turned to California hoping to recruit his gangs from the navvies now known as “bohunks” who had been working on railway construction there.
“It was terrible!” Mr. Cambie recalls. “Onderdonk paid good wages, but what fish came to his net! In the cuts and fills between Vancouver and Yale you would see bar-tenders and other riff-raff from San Francisco, often in dancing pumps, vainly trying to extricate themselves
from the mud. They knew nothing *of that kind of work and were perfectly useless.”
The next year Onderdonk tried again with as little success. But in April, 1882, he brought two sailing ships across from China with 2000 Oriental laborers. The ships were more than a month at sea and, the passage being rough, the men were battened down much of the time. The inevitable followed. Scarcely had they been established in the huge camps provided for them at Spuzzem than scurvy broke out. The terrified Chinese fled from the care of their sick, and even from assisting in their burial. The unfortunates died by hundreds. Those whom disease spared paid terrible toll in the tunnels and on the grade. In the main it was coolie labor and in the ’eighties human life in that form was not accounted valuable, much less sacred. By premature explosion and kindred causes many of them died on the work, and the bones of both— victims of scourge and accident alike—lie littered along the line of the great highway they helped to make possible. For Onderdonk finished on time.
The Chinese who are in British Columbia today are partly the aftermath of that first great yellow wave.
The Arrival of the Japs
'T'HE Japanese were later comers. They date from A about thirty years ago. They quietly appropriated the silk and lacquer trade which Chinese merchants had built up with Japan. They were already in considerable numbers at Steveston when riots broke out among the
fishermen of the Fraser, and the Japanese, knowing neither union card, nor union obligation, took the places of the strikers. More of them followed, and many fishermen from the best fishing district of Japan, namely Wakayama, soon found their way to British Columbia. How speedily they orientalized Steveston will appear subsequently. Introduced to solve one economic problem they remained to create another. But it is fair to remember that both the Asiatic races against which an outcry is now directed have made a striking physical contribution to the development work of this country.
What has been stated with respect to the two
Mongolian races applies in
a limited way to the Hindus. This has been a comparatively recent, and somewhat spasmodic, tide. It first appeared in 1905 and most of the Sikhs now living in British Columbia came in the years 1907 and 1908 when nearly 5000 landed in Canada. Here again the principal impelling motive seems to have been the promise of work at wages dazzling enough to an East Indian but below the current wages then in force in British Columbia. A wily Brahman was the principal agent, and his representations were supported naturally enough by interested transportation companies.
The Hindu invasion reached its most acute stage in July and August 1914 when the Komogata Maru brought a ship-load of them to Vancouver where they were refused a landing and where very serious trouble ensued before they could be returned to their native land. With that exception however, there has been no serious attempt to flood the country with Hindus, and immigration from that source is now practically nil, largely because of the application of section 38 of the Immigration Act which provides that any immigrants who have come to Canada, otherwise than by continuous journey from countries of which they were citizens or natives, and on through tickets purchased in that country, may be excluded. Transportation facilities at present do not make this possible, hence travel from India to Canada has fallen off. The Hindu population of Canada is a little over 5000.. With this in mind the conditions herein stated will, in the main, relate only to Chinese and Japanese.
Increase of Immigrants
DURING the last twenty years the influx of Chinese into Canada has far exceeded that of the other two eastern races under consideration. From 1900 to 1907 it practically ceased. It reached its peak between the years 1910 and 1914 when more than 30,000 came to Canada. It fell to small numbers again until 1918-19, when more than 4,300 came in. Last year 544 arrived. The total for the twenty-seven years mentioned was 37,913.
All these Chinese did not pay head tax. The exempted classes include merchants, their wives and children, consular agents, their families, and suites; teachers; and men of science. There is a still more numerous class which is exempt under what is known departmentally as C19 registrations. This registration is filled out by any Chinese returning to China for a period of twelve months or less, and entitles him or her to re-enter Canada free of headtax. To show how rapidly this form of travel has expanded it may be mentioned that last year only 363 Chinese paid head tax while 5,519 came in under C19 and 181 as exempt admissions (merchants, consuls, etc.)
It is not hard to understand the groundless alarm of many who on seeing one of the giant Empresses disgorging thousands of Chinese from her capacious hold at Pier A in Vancouver conclude that a yellow invasion is in progress. The large number who travel under return registration certificates, and the equally large number who often come in cm bond fortranshipment to Cuba and Mexico are frequently responsible for misapprehension on the part of the onlooker.
One Sikh in Six Years
TN THE case of the Hindu there has been no immigraA tion whatever for the last four years, (excepting 12 during the last fiscal year for which the returns are not yet published). Indeed, so far as published official figures are concerned, only one Sikh has arrived in the last six years, while the total for the last score of years is 5297.
The Japanese figures do not disclose the same tendencies. The immigration has continued since the year 1904-05 at a fairly even figure, with, of late, a disquieting tendency to increase. In 1916-17, 648 came in; the next year 883; and the following year 1,178. Last year there was a falling off although the total stood at 7! 1. The total for the twenty years under review is almost 20,000 to be accurate, exactly 19,886.
In 1908, 7601 Japanese landed in Canada—the largest number coming in any one year. As a direct result of the Federal Royal Commission of 1908, and the visit of Hon. Mr. Lemieux to the Orient, came the so-called “gentleman’s agreement” whereby the Japanese authorities
Continued on page 40
Continued ¡rom paye 17
undertook to limit the number of laborers going each year to Canada to 400. The entry figures already quoted, and which are official, show that in only one or two years was the influx of Japanese kept within the prescribed limits.
Consul Salto firmly insists that there is no inconsistency between the undertaking of his government and the immigration returns. “My country,” he claims, “agreed to limit the number of laboreremigrants to 400 yearly. We have kept within that number. It is not the wish of our government to exceed the number mentioned, and we have scrupulously observed the compact.”
In passing it may be mentioned that the agreement in question is not available in the offices of the consuls. They have never seen it. It is not expressed in statute or order-in-council at Ottawa. It is on file in the department of External Affairs, under the immediate custody of the Prime Minister. It has been seen by a few members of parliament and Ministers, but it is not a public document, and hence the difficulty of deciding whether or not its terms are being observed.
A Domestic and External Problem
UP TO THIS point we have been studying what may be termed the external aspects of Oriental immigration, those which arise upon the advent of the immigrants to these shores. It is upon these that anti-Asiatic leagues and agitators usually fasten in their periodical outbursts of protest. But the lapse of time, and the steady flow of the new-comers to Canada, have resulted in an internal problem as well. It is the domestic rather than the foreign which is today probably the more perplexing of the two. Negotiations and arrangements with other lands and governments are likely to be less difficult than the adjustments of our own national affairs because of the unknown quantity in our national problem which the native-born and the naturalized foreigner presents.
The two difficulties interlock. _ But any attempt at the solution of one will be futile unless some logical, fair, and permanent adjustment is found for the other. This is the task before Canadian statesmen, and it is one of the most delicate with which they have to deal. For apart from a desire to deal justly, they have the whole future of this nation to safeguard, the sensitiveness of a proud ally to consider, and the resentment of a sleeping, but potential, national giant to forestall.
What political and citizen rights should the native-born Oriental receive? How far may these be extended to naturalized Asiatics? The answer to these two urgent questions can be given more authoritatively if several others are first forthcoming. How far, for instance, has the presence of the Oriental in British Columbia impinged upon existing industries? How far has it affected the social state? To what extent does it complicate and compromise our future? Perhaps a passing glance at a few localities in the province where Asiatics have secured a foothold will best illustrate the essential facts.
In the Gardens and Orchards
THE transcontinental traveller will recall Ashcroft. He comes to it bound west, down the beautiful valley of the North Thompson not long before that river pours its limpid waters into the torrent of the turbid Fraser. A sage-brush capital in the old days, it broiled during the long summer surrounded by brickbrown hills except where touched here and there into vivid green by the magic of water. But Ashcroft was more famous as the base for the trade of the Cariboo—the terminus of the longest stage line in the world, the home of picturesque and daring “whips”, whose exploits and skill carried their fame into more than one continent.
The building of a couple of railway lines far to the North explains the discarded stages and freight vans which lie rotting in the back streets of Ashcroft. But it does not explain the departure of other glories. Some years ago a fire wiped out the business section of the little town. It was rebuilt by Chinese. Today half the population of the town is Chinese. Its two hotels are Chinese. Its stores are Chinese. Pierce back into the hills where Bonaparte Creek, Cache Creek, and other fine streams are used to irrigate valleys of incredible fertility and you will find Chinese owners in possession, and Chinese helpers planting, sowing, reaping. The census of the provincial department of agriculture shows that in this section 2500 acres are owned by Chinese and almost as much more is under lease. But that is but part of the story. Each owner has many helpers, living as no white man will live, working longer than any white man will work, and creating conditions against which no white man can compete.
Go back along the line of the P.G.E. Railway. Stop at old Lillooet, drowsy, hot, dry, but, where water is applied, productive as few lands are productive. On the benches above the river it is Chinese who till; in the town the biggest store trade is that Of a Chinaman.
Travel to what was until recently the end of steel at Williams Lake on the same line, and you will'find the theory that the Oriental is no pioneer rudely dispelled. He keeps the hotel here, and runs other businesses as well.
Go down the Okanagan valley—in blossom and harvest time, fairest of all Canadian vales. It is still a land of lovely homes, of people of station, of culture and means—above all of those qualities of loyalty most difficult for any nation to secure in settlers, and yet indispensable to any nation’s permanency. From one end to the other of Okanagan Lake, a distance of eighty miles, there are perhaps 20,000 souls. Of that number 3,300 went to the war without hesitation and without counting the cost. Whole hamlets were deserted. Whilethey were away a danger which had long menaced, became acute. Labor was lacking, crops had to be harvested. In many instances pajmnents had to be met, in others, the strain proved too heavy and lands had to be sold.
The ready cash buyer, and the available hired hand, were almost invariably the Chinaman and the Japanese. Today the situation is painfully acute. In towns like Kelowna, it is of first concern. Public sentiment is alert and vigilant, but gold talks. Some declare that the Japanese government financed its people in many of the British Columbia enterprises. This may be dismissed on its face as very improbable. Their leading men deny it, and logic does not sustain the theory. But the ability of Orientals to secure money shows that many of their colony not only have ample means but are willing to lend it to their countrymen (doubtless with ample security).
Kelowna’s Vital Problem
THE Chinaman knows irrigation perfectly. Hè fits in naturally and competently to any place where water has to be brought by the ground route, instead of from the sky supply to the thirsty plant and tree. But the people of Kelowna had misgivings and when the soldiers returned, and employment was lacking, murmurs arose, Chinese were working in the packing houses, sometimes as bosses, or straw bosses, over white men and white girls. Japanese were working orchards on the well-known fifty per cent, tenant basis—an arrangement whereby the lessee does the work, cultivates and irrigates the land, markets the crop and divides half and half with the owner.
A public indignation meeting was called. Iwashita was there. A mere lad in appearance, he is the mouthpiece, and champion of his race in Kelowna. He reminded his
hearers of the war, and of Japan’s aid to Britain. He also recalled that he had bought for his countrymen the 40 acres which he now cultivates within city limits when no white man would bid for it. He almost persuaded his bearers, for Iwashita has a fine English vocabulary with a plausible and insidious style calculated to disarm the most hostile.
The factories weeded out their Oriental help. But the aliens didn’t leave town. There are between 200 and 300 there today. On Iwashita’s place they bend their tireless backs over forty acres of as fine a garden as can be seen in Canada. Onions, potatoes, green peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, canteloupe and cucumbers in abundance testify to their industry and skill. Some of the Chinese own orchards. They and the Japanese market under a separate organization. Managers of local factories say the Oriental has not yet learned cooperation in the white man’s sense. If they were sufficiently numerous, say the white packers, they would be a demoralizing influence in the market, for the Oriental, to secure a customer for everything from labor to vegetables, must undersell his white competitor.
Across the lake at Summerland there is another Japanese colony. Its bead is George Tada. Tada started working for white fruit men six or seven years ago. Today he owns six acres of full bearing orchard—a white man’s competence at present prices. Tada is the son of a Japanese professor. He holds several degrees from a Japanese university. One he secured for a thesis on the silkworm. His wife was a teacher in a Japanese college. Another prominent Japanese grower is Frank Agno. He worked for Manager Logie of the land company for six years. When the fruit was off each year he would disappear and work m the wood camps and otherwise augment his earnings. He paid more than any white would pay for the ten acres he owns. He leases another ten acres. He owns bis own motor and motor truck._ There is a considerable colony of Asiatics at Summerland. They work bard, _ save, and attend English classes in big numbers every Sunday afternoon, when one of' the young Sunday Sebool workers undertakes their instruction gratuitously.
Among the Small Fruit
TN THE small fruit districts, the Oriental -L is securing a foothold even more rapidly than in the orchard areas. From a point below Hope, where the Fraser river emerges from its long race through the mountain canyons, it pursues its leisurely course for seventy or eighty miles to the sea. In an earlier geological age, the river entered the ocean at this point. The long, and singularly rich alluvial valley which the river sluggishly traverses is the sedimentary deposit which year by year has been left there after high water by the receding stream. By rea-'on-of proximity to Vancouver, character of soil, and ample transportation facilities,-—it has railroad, steamer and tramcar—it is peculiarly adapted for the growing of strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, currants, and gooseberries. Of recent years, that form of farming has made quick progress. But in the last decade the Japanese have shown a lively interest in this district. _ The rapidity with which they have displaced white growers, or have developed lands of their own, is a matter of surprise to every visitor. In strawberry season, wife and children take their places as pickers. Even a white woman may find it profitable for wages to help garner the crop of the Japanese. Each Japanese grower has many helpers, where a white man has few. These cheerful, industrious little folk swarm over the fruitful patches in a manner disquieting to those who think that our future composite nationality should be limited as much as possible to Caucasian stock.
In the Mission-Hatzic district and in other valley communities a comparison of the land holdings in the last five years shows how rapidly the process of penetration goes on. In 1915 there were 115 small fruit growers in this district, of whom ten were Japanese. In 1920 the total had grown to 250 but 55 were Japan-
The change is even more marked in the Pitt-Meadows-H ammond-Haney district. Here a total of forty-two growers in 1915, of whom sixteen were Japanese, has grown in 1920 to a total of 248 of whom no less than 120 are Japanese On that basis,
with a birth rate such as will presently be seen, and with the expulsive effect ot Japanese intrusion on white settlement which is one of the important factors in the situation, the small fruit industry in the lower Fraser valley must pass, and pass soon, into other than white
hdA survey of this entire districtlshows the following conditions.
Total Japanese Growers Growers 55
Mount Lehman-DennisonBradner-Milner-Langley Prairie, Aldergrove New Westminster Districts Whonnock-Ruskin
Total number of growers 578
Total Japanese Growers
Immediately about Vancouver the Chinese have acquired under ownership about 1,000 acres. Every foot of this area with the exception of about thirteen acres is devoted to intensive truck gardening. Seventy-five per cent of this splendidly tilled land lies along the north arm ot the Fraser River in South V ancouver, and southward over the rich deltas which form estuaries between the main channel and the different arms of the river More than 3600 acres in addition are held under lease, and with the exception of about twenty acres all for the purposes of truck gardening. For this land they pay $40. per acre annually.
The Well-Tilled Ridges
THESE areas are easy to locate. Following the river drive from Vancouver to New Westminster, the traveller’s eyes at once identify the home of the Oriental. The long, well-tilled ridges of celery, of lettuce, of onions, of spinach, of broceli and cabbage—without a weed—none but an Oriental would so diligently cultivate. In the centre of the tract a group of hovels marks where the patient fellows sleep and eat, while squatted here and there between the drills, shaded by ample straw hats, the gardeners may be seen at work from morn till noon, from noon till_ dewy eve—and later. For if the white will not live like the yellow man, neither will he toil as does the Asiatic.
While the Chinese have favored the south side of the river because of the rich bottom lands favorable to vegetable growing, the Japanese have given more attention to the higher banks of the north side of the Fraser where the rich red loam with its southern exposure attracts the fruit growers. Here they have in a very few years entrenched themselves in a remarkable way. Nearly 7000 acres are already owned by them in the territory from Vancouver to the entrance to the mountains; roughly about 70 miles. Only about 300 acres is under lease—a fair indication of the intentions of the men from Japan. It must of course be remembered that land for truck gardening lends itself to leasehold while for fruit growing the disposition is to own and develop.
On Vancouver Island in the vicinity of Victoria the Chinese own about 700 acres and lease more than 800. The Japanese in the same district lease about 100 acres and own practically none. Here again the bulk of the Chinese holdings are for truck purposes, and of the Japanese for orchard, although there is a considerable amount of small fruit and greenhouse work carried on by the Chinese in the vicinity of the Capital.
At Enderby and Armstrong, where the finest celery in Canada is grown, the Chinese own 2,500 acres and lease 703. The Japanese lease sixty acres in this valley.
In the Okanagan the Chinese own about 100 acres and lease about 1230. This does not include the celery fields of Armstrong and Enderby already mentioned. The Japanese holdings are not large amounting to about 250 acres freehold and 600 leasehold.
The largest holdings in the interior by Chinese are at Ashcroft, already referred to, where title to 2,500 acres has already passed to them, and where they operate another 1905. Indeed the “penetration” of Ashcroft by the Chinese is almost as complete as that of Steveston by the Japanese.
The whole land situation in British Columbia reflects the danger which the Occidental instinctively feels when con-
fronted with the massed competition of the Asiatic. Hon. E. D. Barrow, the Provincial Minister of Agriculture, stated recently that 90 per cent of the produce supplied to the markets of Vancouver, 'ocally, was from Chinese. More than half the potatoes grown in the province are produced by Chinese. In Victoria maximum sunshine throughout the year stimulated, nearly a score of years ago, the erection of greenhouses, whose products went as far east as Winnipeg, and as far north as Sawson. Today there remain but two that are not under Mongolian control.
A recent survey made by the department of agriculture for the province shows that there are 1,080 Asiatics controlling 26,918 acres, in British Columbia. Of this acreage 367 are orchard lands, 2341 are in small fruits, 10,659 are truck farms, 515 dairy farms, and 3677 acres are used for mixed farming.
The Oriental Evolution
IN THE cities a certain evolution is noticed. For more than half a century Victoria has had its Chinatown where suave and slippered salesmen did a thriving trade in everything from silks to opium among white and yellow alike. But these foreign traders kept to their own quarters. Today in all the coast cities under the impulse of some Pan-Asiatic urge they are -expanding everywhere. Thirty years ago Alexander Street, Gore Avenue and lower Main streets in Vancouver were the district of select homes and of old families the Bell-Irvings, the Beechers, the Alexanders. Today it is a section of solid business blocks where you may see no names that are not Oriental.
At a meeting in Vancouver a few weeks ago to form an Anti-Asiatic League the president of the Trades and Labor Council made some statements with respect to the inroads which the yellow men had made on industries in which white labor is primarily, affected. He claimed that in the city of Vancouver alone there were fifty-six boss Chinese or Japanese tailor shops each employing at least three persons; that there were over 700 Mongolians employed in restaurants and hotels ; and that there were fifteen Chinese and sixty Japanese barber shops each with two or more assistants. Many of the latter were women.
Asiatic Methods Contrasted with European
TO APPRECIATE the full effect of the foregoing, it is necessary to remember an important distinction between Europeans and Asiatics, in their method of settlement. The former usually seek ands and areas where they can maintain their insularity. This they seem to fear will not survive contact with the predominant races. One of the chief anxieties of the government is to combat and overcome this tendency, and to inoculate with western ideas and ultimately assimilate the new-comers. Education and intermarriage among the younger generations, in time, complete the flux.
The Oriental works on an entirely different plan. He knows his white man, has evidently appraised his capacity or lack of it for competitive labor against the Asiatic, and has no fear of the outcome. He also knows that racial instincts and prejudices make assimilation of his people through intermarriage with whites, practically out of the question. So he boldly buys the most fertile lands, the most advantageous business stands and the most lucrative businesses from his white neighbor and settles down to a policy of “freeze-out” which rarely if ever fails. Ostracism by his white neighbors has no terrors for him. But the alarm of the white settlers who some fine morning find Chinese or Japanese children playing in the yard next door, may be readily understood. If he waits long enough he will probably shortly find another Mongolian on the other side of him. He becomes panicky. Where the first alien probably was forced to pay a long price for his holdings, the next is able to buy much cheaper, and in the end property is so depreciated by the yellow that the remaining whites are glad to sell for whatever their foreign competitors care to pay. German penetration was never more effective than is that of the Mongolian when he elects to establish a community at any point, in either city or country. It is this quiet relentlessness which has
created the suspicion so common in British Columbia that the whole system of land lease and purchase is guided and financed by officialdom across the Pacific.
C rtainly it can be ruthless and if any doubt exists on the matter ample proof is found at Steveston.
The Story of Steveston
STEVESTON deserves a chapter by itself. Here in little more ttha.n a Quarter of a century the whole, salmon industry—on what was once the most famous of all salmon rivers, the Fraser— has passed absolutely under Oriental control. , , ,,
Steveston lies at the mouth of the river.
It was never an attractive spot. _ It huddles behind the great dykes which shut out the sea from the rich delta on which it stands. A row of frame canneries extends along the main channel of the mighty Fraser which here becomes a tidal estuary of the Pacific. It smells of fish and of fish offal. Inside the great canneries, before the advent of the laborsaving machinery with which they are not equipped, squaws (called k ootcheen in the vernacular of the coast) and OhmKs gutted, decapitated, and cleaned the mu -ions of fish that the boats brought in.
A recènt premier of British Columbia in his boyhood days, discharged that homely, redolent, but not unprofitable task, as did many another British Columbia boy. Outside where the river mingled its turbid waters with the blue brine of the Gulf, a great fleet of fishing smacks manned by hardy wJllte,,°r fishermen harvested their profitable crop from the sea. This fleet under sail against a background of mountain ana setting sun, was one of the most stnki g and beautiful spectacles to be seen on any ocean in the world.
The yellow man came. Older residents of Steveston will tell the visitor of how awkward the new-comers were, bow inefficient in comparison with the sturdy fisher folk whom they sought to displace. Some had to be taught boat pulling. Then they taught their wives, and the smiling little brown women soon be came expert as assistants to their huslbandsh Labor stormed and protested that ^nses should go only to Canadian citizens. That proved no obstacle. Applications for naturalization papers for J¡ap^ne*® Doured in upon the authorities. Soon all disqualification on that score was removed. The race pressure became too much. The whites abandoned the lower river. The Indians too withdrew. Contracts with Japanese bosses soon followed White merchants sold out. In a quarter of a century a fishing town of about two
thousand souls became thoroughly and
The Japanese evolved a one-man power boat much the best of its class. T y borrowed capital from the canners who
finding toind¿íst°USTheld Japanese
built theird own boats and paid for them Ätheir° catch. Fortheyaredarmg and tireless fishermen. Not content with the rivers they put out fai to sea, ana nassengers on inbound liners from the Orient have marvelled to see twenty-five oA thirty Vmiles off the wild[west; coas of Vancouver Island, exposed to the tuil sweep of an ocean which often belies its name, the plucky little brown men fishing deep with huge 30 pound smkers which carry their lines many fathoms deep to
the marine recesses where the great spring salmon lurks. Unlike the white fish men, they fished the year round, and while no more expert, their persi^ence and their sobriety soon brought them the ■ favor of the cannerymen. .
A visit to Steveston today is a depressing experience. It is reached in less an hour by tram car from Vancouver Little homes, surrounded by smiling gardens, flash by the windows, as you traverse the Delta. But as you approaCi Steveston a change is noted. 1 he gardens are still productive. But they are wor ed by Chinese or Japanese, male and témale. The children, where old enough, assist in the field. The latest additio reposes in the shade of a hay coil, or ■ borne on the back of the patient mother.
School for Japs Only
AS YOU alight from the car a near-by school discharges its noisy horde upon the green. The ear is at first cheer-
ed by the grateful laughter and shouts of happy children. Investigation however, shows that the school is one for Japanese and Japanese only. It is a three roomed school with three Japanese and one English teacher. The walls of the principal’s room are hung with Japanese scenes, and pictures of Japanese heroes. The curriculum is Japanese, geography taught in Japanese terms, and Japanese history taught with a Japanese angle to world events. There is no instruction in British or Canadian history. The English teacher instructs in primary English only.
The school is maintained by the Japanese Fishermen’s Benefit Society which for twenty years has carried on the excellent hospital which it adjoins. This latter is maintained and equipped on western medical lines with a Japanese doctor although nominally under the control of an English doctor whose office is situated a few miles away.
Across the road from the larger Japanese school is a smaller one maintained in the same way but falling more particularly under the care of the Japanese Women’s Society which is a sort of auxiliary to the Fishermen’s Union. Here a white lady teacher attempts to carry on a kindergarten. Her efforts to instruct young Nippon in the musical mysteries of “gathering nuts in May” while well meaning, are not such as to evoke enthusiasm.
These children start at a tender age. but their somewhat clumsy performance is in marked contrast with the militarylike precision with which the larger Japanese children across the road render, in the open air, their own folk songs and dances.
The Japanese consul comes down occasionally. His sole inquiry of the teacher is “Are they strong?” and “Do they learn English?”
There is a fine English school near by, which some of the foreign children attend and more would, had they the opportunity. The white tax-payers are rather set against the mixed education involved. Offers of a per capita grant from the Japanese organization to the school are re-
A few figures will show how thoroughly the process of absorption by the new comers has been accomplished. There are more than 2,000 Japanese in Steveston. Judging by what one observes on the streets, and who one meets on the dykes, there are few others. The doctor and the druggist are both of that nationality. So are many of the store-keepers. Lesser lines of trade are marked by the same characteristics. The great river is now temporarily fished out, but here the aliens remain, and from here they visit the West coast and the northern rivers. For they are great seamen. Gone are the white sails from the river mouth, gone the simple jargon of the aborigine, gone the ready song and rugged speech of the Saxon fisherman. Instead a thousand power
boats, each with a son of Nippon in charge leave the river mouth to fish from Steveston to Alaska.
A Nursery of Alien Sailors
TN THIS connection it should be re1 membered that Canada has only a few hundred miles of sea coast on the Pacific; that it is all in British Columbia; and that it is almost solely to the fishing population here, as it is in the eastern maritime provinces, thatshe must look for the backbone of her navy, when she gets one. With the rapidly growing importance of the Pacific in world affairs, there is a touch of the tragic in this quiet, but effective banishment of Canadian and British sailors from a great coastal and river trade.
Canada, for instance, can scarcely regard with equanimity a situation which today grives 873 out of a total of 1376 of the gill net salmon licenses on the Fraser to Orientals and only 133 to Canadians, thirty-seven to Englishmen, and twentyeight to Scotchmen. Even Scandinavians have but 138 of these licenses and Newfoundlanders fourteen.
On the Skeena the Asiatics hold 642 out of a total of 1098 and on the Naas 201 out of 338. On Vancouver Island they have twenty-three out of a total of fifty-four.
There is a Dominion Government regulation which limits these Asiatic licenses to the number issued in 1920 but the dwindling catch robs this provision of much of its value. The economic folly of allowing such a high proportion of an industry worth $25,000,000 annually to drift into non-Canadian channels need not be emphasized.
Legislative action, drastic and thorough, has protected the metalliferous mining of the province from the penetration which is proceeding in the case of agriculture and fishing. But it has been less effective in the case of the timber industry. Here, first by resolution of the legislature, and latterly by specific legislation, the province has debarred these people from the crown lands of the province. But pending an appeal to the highest courts to decide the real powers of the province, the latter is not pressing action against the brown-law-breakers, and Ottawa is suspending any veto of the measure such as is being urged by the Japanese through their consul and other officials.
In the meantime logging camps are multiplying apace, manned and operated by Japanese. Perhaps a thousand men are now so employed, and the rapid extension of the industry in their hands is certain whether the legislation in question is rendered valid or not, because many of them are operating under arrangements with white owners. The logging and timber industry may be fairly described therefore as one of the threatened trades in British Columbia.
Concluded in our next issue