IT would be amusing were it not pathetic to read some of the numerous articles in the American papers regarding the wonderful opening in Manchuria for American trade. With an overweening self-confidence, which is based on ignorance, and which in the United States passes muster as courage, the American people are told time and again that the trade of Manchuria "and incidentally of China Can be pocketed by their merchants if only Washington preserves a stiff-necked attitude in face of Japanese aggression. Columns are written on the wonderful diplomacy of Secretary Knox, the necessity for American participation in this or that loan, the enmity that China has for Japan and the friendliness the former has for everything American. Now and again a western paper will scare its readers by asserting that Japan is deliberately preparing for war with the United States. Latterly the idea that Japan should make a special treaty with Russia has been stigmatized as a deliberate blow at American interests, while at other times figures are given showing the value of Japanese imports from the United States and the commercial preponderance of the two nations in the Pacific.
It is easy to distinguish from the tenor of these very variegated articles that America is anxious to fathom the future of the Pacific and has no definite policy to pursue but trusts largely to chance to extricate her from a position which is gradually becoming untenable. By taking over the Philippines from Spain and annexing the Hawaiian Islands she light-heartedly plunged into an Imperial policy without in the least reckoning its cost. At that time American statesmen deluded themselves into imagining that the future of the Pacific lay in their hands, and ignored the cloud on the north western horizon which was then no bigger than a man’s hand. The Russo-Japanese war and the Anglo-Japanese treaty suddenly brought the cloud into the clear sky of American diplomacy and ever since then her statesmen have had to play a game in which bluffs were called with unfailing regularly and Japan held hands which proved winners all the time. In all her dealings with other nations America had found bluff a fine basis for negotiation and it annoys and irritates her to be called upon to put down her hand when it consists of nothing but a four flusher.
The magnificent reception accorded the American battleship fleet on its arrival in Japan was considered a hopeful sign, until it was discovered that Japan was unfeignedly glad to be able to judge of its weakness first hand. The “melancholy spectacle” of sixteen battleships escorted by a fleet of British colliers must have excited the risibility of the Japanese, who, however, were far too courteous to allow their smiles to be seen. From the commercial point of view the failure of the Hill line of steamers, trading from Seattle to Japan, to make a living, and the slow progress, if it can be called progress, of the Pacific Mail has tallied with the quick and profitable development of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha. A series of articles entitled the “Valor of Ignorance,” written by General Homer Lea, in Harper’s Weekly, exposed the terrible weakness of America on the Pacific coast and drew much criticism on the patriotism of their author, though no expert has ever been able to dispute their logic. But the constantly reiterated expressions of friendship for America emanating from Japan and the pooh-poohing of war scares have served as a sop to America’s pride in spite of the fact that the sop is thrown by Japan and can be withheld at any time.
Some three and a half years ago it was confidently asserted throughout Canada that America would act with Canada in resisting the influx of Japanese coolie labor. It was a natural assertion seeing that much of the trouble arising from that influx was engineered by American labor organizations on the Pacific coast. If Canada could be drawn into the game it was supposed that Great Britain would stand by Canada, and Japan would not act against the interests of her ally. For the time being the move met with success and Japan made arrangements limiting the emigration from her shores to the Pacific coasts of North America. This limitation was hailed as a triumph for Canada in spite of the fact that it might have been obvious, to any but those gifted with the most childlike faith, that such an arrangement would not have been possible but for the relationship of Canada to the British Empire, and consequently to the value of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. In the last year this relationship has been emphasized by the agitation regarding a Canadian navy which, with a fine disregard for the advice of the British Admiralty regarding the definition of a fleet unit, Sir Wilfrid Laurier has decided shall be nothing but an expensive toy. To any student of the question, who is not blinded by purely domestic considerations, the crux of the naval question as far as Canada is concerned lies in its value to the Pacific coast. In other words a Canadian navy that could not combine with Australia and New Zealand and which was cut off by the Pacific ocean from the British base at Singapore must remain, unless of great strength, a mere spectator of events that would most vitally concern not only Canada but the Empire. The insistence of the Conservative party in advocating a cash contribution to the British navy was valueless owing to the fact that its leaders were either afraid or ignorant of the true situation. The only reason for Canada contributing a Dreadnought, or even two, was owing to the defencelessness of the Pacific coast and the necessity of uniting with Australia and New Zealand in preparing, for the future which as surely as the sun rises must one day be faced courageously.
There is absolutely nothing unfriendly to Japan in making such preparation. Japan is making, as best she can, provision for events that nature is forcing upon her, and that other nations should make similar provision entitles them to her respect rather than to her unfriendliness. Both Canada and America speak of the future of China as something which will lead to a vast expansion of international trade. Japan is fully aware of this and undoubtedly would gladly work with America and Canada and share with them the profits of such expansion were she not forced to remember that neither Canada nor America admit that she is on an equal plane with them. The white race looks on itself as something half divine, predestined by a benign Providence to exploit the vast riches of the Orient, and Japan can hardly be blamed for stigmatising its divinity as something very human and very objectionable, when it carries with it the proviso that the white race may interfere in the Orient but that the Orient shall not interfere in the Occident.
Laying aside, however, for the moment all question of race it may be possible to examine the subject from the economic viewpoint and thus, to some extent, elucidate what is after all the most serious problem of the next decade. To begin with it will be as well to examine the situation geographically.
If Japan be taken as the centre of a circle with a line to the Hawaii Islands as a radius the circumference of the circle thus drawn will enclose the Bering Sea, all the Aleutian Isles, and the tip of the Alaskan peninsula in the north, Samoa, Fiji and the Philippines and the greater part of Australia in the south and south-west. This would be for practical purposes a radius of about 3,500 miles.
If Vancouver be taken as the centre of a similar circle the 3,500 mile radius would make a circumference that would enclose the Bering Sea, Alaska and Hawaii.
The circumferences thus drawn will show at once the position of Japan and its relation to the Pacific ocean. Tactically speaking, with the exception of Hawaii, the Pacific coast of America is still further than the Pacific coast of Canada from the points mentioned as being enclosed by the circumference, based on Japan as a centre.
The Pacific coast of the white races, that is the. territory inhabited and colonized by them to the practical exclusion of colored people is as follows.
Sq. Miles. Pop.
California ..... 158,360 1,485,053
Washington ... 69,180 518,103
Oregon ....... 94,560 413,566
Alaska ....... 590,804 30,507*
U.S. Total ... 912,904 2,447,229
* Alaska has a total population of about 63,000, of whom about 30,000 are whites.
Sq. Miles. Pop.
British Columbia .... 383,000 300,000
Australia ...... 2,972,573 3,767,443
New Zealand.. 104,751 815,862
U.S. and British
Total ....... 4,373,228 7,330,534
The above figures are taken from the last American census in 1902 with the exception of the British Colonies which are as nearly up-to-date as possible. In round figures Australia and New Zealand may be reckoned as containing 5,000,000 people.
The Philippine Islands contain 128,000 square miles, and have a native population of about 7,000,000, of whom a large part are Chinese.
Hawaii contains 6,538 square miles, with a population of 153,727, of whom no less than 61,000 are Japanese and 25.000 Chinese.
Both these territories are under the military control of America.
To sum up, the white races possess, exclusive of Hawaii and the Philippines, which may be reckoned as held by the sword, 4,373,228 square miles, bordering on the Pacific ocean, inhabited by about 7,500,000 people.
Japan contains 147,655 square miles and is inhabited by about 50,000,000 people, over half of whom are males.
China proper contains 1,532,420 square miles, and is inhabited by over 407,253,000 people.
From the Japanese point of view, therefore, the white race dominate about 27 times as much territory, with a population one-seventh as great as their own, and the greatest part of that territory comes well within the radii of their tactical positions in the Pacific. Truly, the position is extraordinary when looked at from the eastern point of view.
The economical point of view is still more extraordinary when it is realized that the white races refuse the Japanese emigrant admission to these enormously wealthy and sparsely-populated areas, giving as their reason for such refusal that the Japanese emigrant lowers the standard of living. Even if the area of Australia be reduced by one-half, owing to the interior being incapable of supporting human life (which, by the way, is doubtful, if racial characteristics be taken into account), economically the problem is unaffected thereby. For with Japan it would be perfectly reasonable to reckon China and even India as being excluded from these lands which are held by the white race and closed to the colored.
Briefly, then, we are face to face with a problem which has for its basis the well-defined policy of excluding from very much under-populated areas the natural trend of emigration from over-populated and over-cultivated lands. In the under-populated areas lie untouched immense natural resources, which, if used properly, would add very greatly to the wealth of countries, which are, when compared to the wealth of the white man’s lands, poverty stricken. There is no doubt whatever that the Hindus, Chinamen and Japanese could produce enormous wealth, both agricultural and mineral, from these areas, which would add tremendously to their industrial growth and make them very serious competitors to the domination of European and American manufactures.
As long as the colored races were content to remain in a state of what we called barbarism, the problem was not serious, but to-day Japan is admitted to the comity of nations as a first-class power, and there is no denying that her civilization is fully equal, if not superior in many ways, to that of the white man. Japan is no longer content; the Japanese merchant and statesman has proved himself able and willing to compete with the white man and to defeat him in peace as well as war, and the Japanese nation to a man has learnt the value of western methods of business and industrialism and have applied to their own country the methods of the Occident. The Japanese system of education is every whit as good as the German, which is putting it on the highest plane possible, and the spirit of the nation is a model for all the rest of the world to marvel at. There is no denying these facts, the question is how is the white race going to face the future? Supposing for one moment the races changed places, would the white race allow the colored to exclude it from the immense natural resources of which the colored made no use ? There can be but one answer to that question, and it is, NO.
English statesmen have for years foreseen this natural development and in every way possible have endeavored to anticipate the inevitable. They have tried to turn Indian emigration into East Africa, and are to-day encouraging the Hindu settler more than the white. Why? For the simple reason that they have realized long ago that Providence has set apart certain lands for certain races, and that to expect the white man to develop countries situated as is East Africa, is like making use of horses to do dogs’ work.
But we in Canada shut our eyes to anything unpleasant. We refuse to study any problem that does not have for its solution the adding of so many dollars and cents to our personal coffers. The man who is engaged in the lumber business has no time to take thought of the agricultural, except as it touches his own particular market; the man that manufactures boots in the east does care a shoe lace whether a white man or colored buys those shoes in British Columbia ; all he cares about is the number of shoes he can sell. The laboring man of the west does not care about anything at all except to get as much money as possible for the work he does. He anxiously watches the Provincial Governments to see that nothing is done to increase competition, and thus decrease the power of his unions. It is all very natural and quite understandable. The dollar-mark is our standard of civilization!
Yet here is a problem which is most formidable, and one that must be faced within the next few years. In 1915 the Anglo-Japanese treaty expires and it is extremely doubtful if Japan will renew it. It is extremely doubtful if any nation situated as Japan is would renew it under the circumstances, for it is the one thing that stands between her and these sparsely-populated lands, which she, with cheap labor, could make immensely profitable. The plain fact is, that the wealth of these lands developed by Oriental labor would flow into the coffers of Japan, instead of into the pockets of individuals who are exploiting them very largely for their own personal profit. I refer particularly to Alaska, which hangs like a ripe apple just nicely within reach of Japan. It is a very good example of the whole Alaska is immensely wealthy in natural resources, which are being developed by American capitalists. Copper, coal, iron, gold, exist in practically unlimited quantities, and even agriculture can be carried on at a profit. The white man demands a high wage to work in Alaska, and the raw material which he sends out to the world is thereby more costly than it would be were it worked by cheap labor. Supposing Japan were anxious to buy Alaska coal, she would have to pay about two-thirds as much again as she would have to supposing that coal were mined by her own labor. That is the problem, and sooner or later it must be solved. I admit that I have stated it very roughly, but when it is realized that exactly the same argument may be applied to all the white man’s territory bordering on the Pacific, a very fair estimate may be made of the economical side of the whole question.
The argument that cheap Oriental labor would reduce the standard of living on the Pacific coast is a perfectly natural and a perfectly right one, but if it is to be used effectively, then some method must be adopted by which it can be made effective. It is no good stating a bald fact which is obvious to the most near-sighted, and take no steps to follow it to its natural conclusion. If the Anti-Asiatic Leagues of America and Canada were honest they would follow up their argument by demanding that absolutely efficient means of protection were devised to enforce their dictum on the Orient. But do they do anything of the kind? Not they! In the same breath as they pass resolutions affirming their unalterable determination to exclude Orientals from the Pacific coast they pass more resolutions decrying the building of a Canadian navy, and any cash contribution to the British navy, which, alone, to-day stands between them and the Orient. Furthermore, in admirable imitation of the ostrich, they add to the above by declaring their love of peace and state they are unalterably opposed to all militarism. In other words, they fling defiance in the face of the Orient with one hand and with the other publish their weakness to all the world. There is not a single politician in British Columbia to-day who dare face an audience of working men and tell them the truth to their faces, any more than there is a single official of the trades unions who will dare argue the matter on the platform. All parties in Canada are only too willing to let sleeping dogs lie. They declare that there is no danger, as if all the declarations in the world could set aside the logical outcome of a policy. Did any single politician rise in his place at Ottawa and mention the Orient during the naval debate? Did any one even hint that it was the Pacific and not the Atlantic that needed defence? Instead, they spoke of patriotism, of loyalty, and a thousand and one things that sounded beautiful, but were merely words, words, words. The only possible excuse for this want of spirit was want of knowledge, and yet these are the men that intelligent Canadian electors look to for guidance. God help Canada when her sons do not dare to speak their minds for fear they may embarrass their party.
The most astounding thing about the whole matter was the apathy of British Columbia herself. Here again was a conspiracy of silence. Perhaps the Provincial Government was anxious not to embarrass the Dominion Government for fear the latter would not grant certain Indian lands to the province, which came within the scope of their negotiations with the Canadian Northern Railway; or the Provincial Government were hopeful of getting something else from Ottawa; or a wholesale grocer, a fishmonger or candlestick maker represented the political spirit of the Liberal party, and to their dictum we bow in silence. That is the sort of stuff of which statesmen are made. This or that man wanted a contract, a judgeship, or some other Dominion Government appointment. Real estate was booming, everybody was making money, what was to be gained by kicking. Public spirit ! Pshaw ! The dollar marks the level of public spirit.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in his speeches on the Oriental question, with which he dealt fully, both in Vancouver and Victoria, during his tour of the west, spoke plausibly, but not logically. He emphasized the fact that owing to Canada being part of the British Empire, it was impossible to absolutely exclude Japanese immigration, and thereby gave the impression that his hands were tied in dealing with the matter. He also stated, on his responsibility as leader of the Dominion Government, that Japan had held faithfully to her agreement not to allow more than 400 emigrants a year to enter Canada. It is said in Vancouver that considerably over this number have come in, but for the sake of argument the figures will do as well as any other. The point is that however limited the immigration, the labor organizations are not satisfied, and, further, that the arrangement is purely temporary and dependent on the goodwill of Japan. The Anti-Asiatic League desire total exclusion of the Japanese and a head tax of $1,000 on all Chinamen entering the country.
There was absolutely nothing new in what Sir Wilfrid Laurier said. He uttered a few of the usual platitudes, but did not attempt to drive home the only logical conclusion that if one country wishes to make legislation inimical to another, it must have something more than mere words with which to back up that legislation. He spoke of the opportunities for trade, leaving Vancouver for Oriental ports. All of which may be perfectly true, but entails friendly relations with the Orient, and does not allow for special discrimination. Furthermore, if there are such vast opportunities for trade, it is obvious that these opportunities would be enhanced to an immense extent were labor on the Pacific coast cheap enough to allow of production at a cost that would enable the Orient to buy at a reasonable price. The obvious truth that to enhance the cost of production is to limit the possibility of markets never appears to have been taken into account.
Economically, then, the fundamental problem of immensely wealthy and practically undeveloped lands with a very limited population, excluding the remarkably efficient population of comparatively poor and largely overpopulated areas from any participation in the benefits of these undeveloped areas remains the same. Dr. Hodgkinson, the well-known historian, after a year’s residence in Australia, has written a striking article, in which he states that the crying need of Australia is a population of 25,000,000, not only for the purposes of development, but also as a natural barrier against the pressure that the Oriental races are bound to exercise sooner or later. He might have applied the same argument to the Pacific coast of this continent. It must be remembered that both Australia and New Zealand are morally in a better position than Canada, as they have contributed to the British navy, and the labor governments in both countries have passed bills for the training of every able-bodied man in the use of arms. If Canada had done the same it might have been said that the nation realized its responsibilities and was determined to be honest and make provision for the future.
“But,” the anti-militarists would cry, “you are pre-supposing the necessity of war.” I am pre-supposing nothing of the kind. There is such a thing as Pacific penetration, and the pressure that might be exercised by a few million Orientals in their anxiety to find room and the raw materials necessary to their further development might be none the less sure because it was not backed by force of arms.
I have been assured over and over again that Japan’s whole energies are centered on Manchuria, and that her emigration must move into Korea and Manchuria. I confess that is an argument that does not appeal to me any more than that Canadians must emigrate to Great Britain. The area of Korea is 71,000 square miles, and its population 10,000,000. Furthermore, Koreans can live as cheaply, if not cheaper, than the Japanese, and consequently there is no need for cheap labor. With regard to Manchuria, the same argument may be used, with the addition that Japan’s commonsense policy would be to treat Manchuria very much as England treats Egypt, and I have never yet heard that British emigration to Egypt can be either profitable or possible. Manchuria is a safety valve for China, and Japan’s policy seems to be to develop it by means of the Chinese themselves, and thereby build up a nation between herself and Russia. In pursuance of this policy Japan makes a treaty with Russia which seems to be a commonsense policy to pursue, as it leaves her free on the Pacific for some years to come. The mistake we make is in imagining that Japan is blind to her obvious advantages, though why we should credit a nation like Japan with less perspicuity than we have ourselves is a puzzle I have long ago given up trying to solve. The truth is that we are afraid to face this question from a commonsense point of view, and the very fact that we are afraid will lead to disaster. Fear is generally the cause of war.
Some so-called Socialists believe that the whole danger of the Oriental question lies in its commercial aspect, and that once the nations give up manufacturing for profit there will be no danger of war, because there will be no new markets to conquer. That would be a very comfortable doctrine if the whole world were Socialistic, and also if all populations remained stationary. Unfortunately, this is not a question of commercial competition as yet, but it is already a case of pressure of population. That all labor organizations are affiliated and that the industrial workers of the world are all on the side of peace has absolutely nothing to do with the case. If the white laborer welcomed the yellow or brown laborer as a brother on terms of equality, and admitted his right to labor in the same markets, and expressed a willingness to lower his own standard of living to that of his new relation, ‘the argument might have some force, as it would allow for the natural escape of populations from over-crowded areas. But the Socialist is no more honest in this matter than the politician. Just because he has arrived, in his own mind, at a point which he fondly imagines will cure all evils, and because he forgets to go one step further and take into consideration that the essential motive power of humanity is competition, and that if competition be eliminated the human race will come to a standstill through inertia, there is no reason for him assuming that the Oriental, with his age-long study of philosophy, has not seen the futility of that argument just as soon as Occidental pressure awakened him. In tact, strange as it may seem, China to-day is awakening from centuries of a kind of socialism practised for some two thousand years before Christ.
*“The laws of China determine the individual’s share in the possession of the soil and the taxes to be paid to the state; they regulate the buying and selling of merchandise and determine measures, weights and market prices ; they regulate all life and activity, moral conduct, as well as the forms of social convention, for they lay down laws concerning the behavior of men towards men, and of men towards animals, and concerning the duties of parents towards the aged . . All subjects are equal from their birth; there are no hereditary classes, no castes. ‘According to old laws,’ says Wuttke, ‘the state is the sole owner of the soil and gives possession to the individual only by way of loan.’ ”
It seems, therefore, as if the white race were gradually adopting as its own an economic theory which for thousands of years has atrophied ail development in the Orient, just at the very time that the Oriental is awakening to the fact that the secret of western development has been the continuous struggle for existence, in other words, competition. History is apparently repeating itself.
The Socialist solution of the problem may therefore be set aside as worthless.
As has been said, the present method of solving the problem pre-supposes that the Oriental will always allow the white man to dictate a policy of exclusion, and yet at the same time demand the right of trade. In other words, it pre-supposes that the white race of the Pacific will always be strong enough to force their will on the Oriental, or that the Oriental will always be so friendly to them that he will allow himself to be placed in an inferior position. It is obvious that neither supposition will bear the light of examination. As far as force is concerned, it is now admitted that even America is no match for Japan, owing to want of organization and an adequate army. A nation of 80.000,000 with a standing army of 50,000,
* Historians’ History of the World.
of which not more than 35,000 could take the field and keep it for a month, is hardly a match for the nation that brought Russia to its knees, and of which every male is trained to arms from childhood. Furthermore, the national spirit of America has become so poisoned by money that it cannot compare in any degree with the national spirit of Japan. It is extremely doubtful if America, with the whole of her fleet stationed on the Pacific coast, could guard that coast against an invasion by Japan, and it is obvious that at the declaration of war, Hawaii, the Philippines and Alaska must fall directly into the hands of an aggressive and magnificently-organized nation.
As for Canada, Australia and New Zealand, their strength lies in the shadow of Great Britain’s naval strength, and in unity. If, and under present conditions, it has been shown that force is the only logical solution, if war must be the outcome, then it is obvious that strong naval force at Singapore can alone hold Japan in check. That force would have to be sought out and destroyed before Japan could move troops across the seas. This is the point that Canada in her naval policy has refused to recognize. She has chosen the policy of hesitation and patchwork, for fear, forsooth, lest a contribution should “smack of servitude.” Her policy is to build up a navy of her own, and meanwhile allow Great Britain to assume the whole responsibility of her defence. It takes about two and a half years to arm and equip a Dreadnaught, and five years from the 12th of August, 1910 the Anglo-Japanese treaty expires. We have five years in which to build, equip and man a navy which can be of some moral use when the crisis arrives, for whether the outcome be war or peace depends very largely on our preparedness for war on that date. We can hardly blame Japan if she Jake advantage of our want of foresight. That would hardly be an unfriendly act, it would be simply common-sense. I really believe Japan wants peace and means to keep it by every means in her power. As Baron Kinuchi explained to the business men of Vancouver, Japan has never made war, she has always been forced to it.
The sooner we recognize that the policy of Asiatic exclusion, combined with the present naval policy of the Dominion Government, is the surest method of forcing war on Japan the better. America is in exactly the same position. She is forcing war on Japan by her attempts to bluff Japan out 01 Chinese markets and excluding Oriental emigration from her coasts, while she takes no steps towards instilling into her people a spirit that will face some national sacrifice.
The deduction is plain. Either we must prepare for war by uniting with Australia and New Zealand, and, under the guidance of the British Admiralty, make our preparation so effective as to render it extremely improbable that any success can attend an attack, or else we must prepare to admit, at least Japan, on equal terms to the benefits of our undeveloped resources.
Such a deduction may be considered by some unreasonable, but is it not perfectly logical? It is all very well theorizing, but the time is past when theories solve international problems. Efficiency and preparation alone are the means of anticipating and guarding against misfortune. The ostrich that tucks its head in the sand never yet saved its feathers from the hunter. The whole problem is one that bristles with hard, plain facts, and it is useless to add to its difficulties by tacking on a mass of theories regarding religion, an abhorrence for war, the spread of civilization and so forth.
It must be remembered that it is the white races that are putting the colored races in an inferior position, and that as long as they do so no amount of religion or peace influences will stave off the primeval struggle for race equality. When the colored races looked on and treated the white men as inferiors, and refused to admit traders into their countries, the white 60 men by “force-majeur” insisted on such admittance being given.. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and it is hardly wise to imagine that we can change that old adage because it does not happen to suit us at the moment.
I have endeavored to show the serious nature of this problem by emphasising its economical aspect which I deem to (be far t‘he most important and by far the most dangerous, merely because of our utter helplessness in the face of a perfectly natural phenomena. Naturalists assert that the 'huge ungainly animals of the prehistoric periods ceased to exist as soon as their cost of living became too high for the regions which they inhabited to support them. The enervating effect of luxury, on the masses of this continent especially, has as its counterpart a highly intricate system of existence which has become enormously costly. It is impossible for the white man on the Pacific coast to-day to live as the Oriental races can live. He has not the hardihood or the education. His necessities are luxuries to the Oriental and he cannot now learn to do without that which he has been accustomed. That is the basis of the problem and the danger.
I am also convinced that it is absurd to expect a highly efficient nation like Japan to remain debarred from a natural expansion and that the spectacle of 50,000,000 people sitting on a rock bound island of 150,000 square miles for all eternity, is ridiculous. I have shown that this expansion is not likely to be attracted westwards, and that the only natural outlet for this swarming multitude of trained soldiers, with a spirit that will carry them anywhere, is into countries which belong to other nations and are sparsely occupied by them. It is well known that China is fast developing under the aegis of these islanders and that the problem of disposing of her surplus population is also likely to become a very complicated one at no very distant date. The danger has to be faced whether we like it or not and it will become greater or less just in exactly the same proportion as we face it with fear or courage. A courageous policy from now on will save Canada and America as well as Australia and New Zealand from untold humiliation, misery and expense.
A continuance of the ostrich-like policy we .are now pursuing can do nothing but lead to our eternal undoing.
In order to find some means of escape from a position that is rapidly becoming untenable, it would be as well to glance at the nations interested in its solution. First of all there stands the British Empire, whose alliance with Japan has up to the present helped very largely to keep peace in the Pacific. Secondly, there is the United States, whose policy has hitherto been built on opportunism and bluff, and whose possessions are practically untenable even to-day. Thirdly, there is Germany, whose position in the Samoan Islands would be jeopardised by a too dominant Japan, and in greater or less degree follow France, Portugal and Holland. Russia has interests in the north, but her influence in the Pacific is over and her hands will be fully occupied with the problem of holding back Chinese emigration westwards in the days to come, and watching German influence in the Balkans.
If Great Britain’s hands were free from European complications she could so strengthen her squadron at Singapore as to render any aggressiveness on the part of Japan bad policy, and it is unlikely that Japan will deliberately embark on any bad policy. She will be guided largely by circumstances, and it is our business to anticipate the circumstances and endeavor to lead them into the paths of peace. To do this we have to allow for a natural expansion of Japan, and at the same time preserve the policy of Oriental exclusion to the zones where it is now in force.
In Europe an understanding or alliance between Great Britain and Germany would remove the chief cause of apprehension and set free a certain portion of the British fleet.
In the Pacific an understanding or alliance between Great Britain and the United States would be an almost dominating influence on the side, of peace. Such an understanding is. however, largely dependent on the supposition that the United States would not be dragged into any European complications ; and further, Great Britain might not be anxious to complicate the position of her Dominions bordering on the Pacific coast by, in any degree, sharing the responsibility of the United States for the defence of the Philippines and Hawaii.
In adventuring herself in the above territories it seems to me that the United States has overreached herself and that were she free from their embarrassment she would be much happier. It might be infinitely less expensive for Japan to purchase these territories from the United States than to take them, and Great Britain might be willing to lend her money to do so, were the United States willing to sell. It must be recognized, however, that the temptation to take them is great unless it would complicate Japan’s relations with Great Britain. Both groups of islands are the natural outposts of Japan and necessary to her complete security. Neither is capable of more development in the hands of the United States than in the hands of Japan. The latter might have, later on, to settle with China regarding the Philippines, but that is outside the range of the present discussion. The point is that in the hands of Japan they remove the chief cause for friction over territory in the Pacific.
There remains the economic question of the pressure of population.
If Australia were to allow Hindu emigration to Australia north of latitude twenty, she would be economically in a much better position, for the Hindu is peace-loving and a magnificent agriculturist, and cheap labor might do much with the help of irrigation to develop lands which are hardly suitable for white colonization. The Hindu would also render the country unfit for Japanese immigration, owing to his capability for living extremely cheap. He is also a British subject and amenable to British law.
Restrictions on Canadian Immigration should be made as light as possible and everything should be done to encourage the British settler to make his home in British Columbia which is climatically suited to his temperament. If it were possible, however, to pour 100,000 people a year into British Columbia in the next five years the problem would be very slightly altered thereby, unless at least 50 per cent, of those people showed themselves ready to make some sacrifice for their adopted country. The point that has to be insisted on again and again is the efficiency of the Japanese nation as a whole compared to the inefficiency of the white races on the Pacific coast as a whole.
Apropos of this point it might be as well to quote from the paper by Sir Alexander Bannerman in the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution on the creation of the Japanese national spirit.
“In the elementary course it is laid down that the children shall be instructed by means of examples in filial piety, obedience to elders, affection and friendship, frugality, industry, modesty, fidelity and courage, and also in some of their duties towards society and the State. Here, at the very beginning of the child’s education, we meet the word ‘duty,’ and although it has been said before, it cannot be too often repeated, that duty is the keynote of Japanese morals. The word ‘rights’ does not appear in the syllabus. Even when treating of the franchise, it is not spoken of as the ‘Right to vote,’ but the ‘Duty of voting.’
“Everyone admits that not the least important part of a nation’s training is the education of its girls, and the object which, the Japanese have set themselves to attain is, in their own words, to convert their girls into ‘ Good wives and wise mothers.’ Both boys and girls are to be trained so as to ‘Make them value public virtues, and foster the spirit of loyalty and patriotism.’
“The general purpose of the system is to begin by teaching the infant its duties at home and in everyday life, and as its intelligence develops to go on to more advanced social questions, keeping all the time in the foreground the dominant ideas of deference to superiors, filial piety, loyalty to the Emperor, and duty to the nation. The teaching is aided by giving examples from history of the various virtues which are to be fostered.”
The creation of this spirit is a rudimentary guide to efficiency and cannot be emphasized too often, for only by such efficiency can a nation enforce restrictions against a rival.
Conditionally, on completely stopping immigration to the coast of California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, Japan might be allowed free entrance to Alaska and the Yukon. Cheap labor would be an immense benefit to both those provinces and American and British capital would benefit enormously thereby. Furthermore, it would enable Japan to acquire at a reasonable price those raw materials of which she stands so much in need for manufacturing purposes. The danger that such emigration would gradually spread southward would undoubtedly be a real one and white labor in those provinces would naturally resent such a proposal. Yet the fact remains that some provision must be made and these provinces are to this day more populated by Indians than white men, the Indians, by the way, being evidently of the same descent as the Japanese.
I can, of course, understand such a solution of the question being hailed as impossible and absurd, yet I would point out that the great weakness of the United States lies in Hawaii, the Philippines and Alaska, for the simple reason that their defence entails operations being carried on at an immense distance from any base and the organization of the United States is lamentably deficient for the carrying on of such operations. Furthermore, it is far better to make a dignified treaty than an undignified retreat. Cheap labor in Alaska and the Yukon may enable Japan to obtain the materials for her industrial development which will eventually lead her into the Chinese markets but we have to face that commercial competition one day in any case.
Moreover, it is obvious that every year brings the South American continent more and more to the fore, and that the United States will have to face most momentous problems in that region. Already Japanese emigration to Peru is assuming considerable proportions and in Argentine, Chile and Brazil, three great nations are in their infancy. The United States may not be anxious to form an alliance with the British Empire owing to possible European complications, but Germany has ambitions in South America which may well cause the United States food for thought.
Three factors have recently arisen which strengthen the argument for an alliance between the British Empire and the United States:
1. The Russo-Japanese treaty which will probably lead to an alliance between those nations.
2. The new Japanese tariff against Great Britain.
3. The tariff agitation in Canada and the United States.
In the first case Russia in alliance with Japan can pay more attention to Germany. The Austro-German action with regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina will not be forgotten by Russia, and she is unlikely to turn her cheek to another such blow.
In the second case Great Britain is forced to recognize that Japan intends to stand alone and to compete in the Oriental markets with all her power.
In the third there is a large and growing movement among the consumers of both Canada and the United States towards a freer trade. Possibly such a movement may lead to a gradual elimination of trade barriers between the two countries and a further discussion of the possibilities of free trade within the British Empire.
It is true that at the present moment everything seems tending towards a raising of further barriers to trade within the Empire, but it is possible that a proper understanding of the Oriental question may lead to a broader and more statesmanlike policy for eliminating artificial barriers to the growth and development of the British Empire, especially if the two great English speaking races on this continent find it to their mutual interests to work together for the benefit of the whole people rather than to stimulate certain favored industries at the expense of the whole country.
Finally, I would say this. The problem of the future is the development of our race in peaceable competition with the Oriental. We must not only be prepared to shout our greatness in the face of other races, but emulate their example of spirit and patience. No amount of empty bragging that the twentieth century belongs to Canada will make up for alack of national spirit. Making money is not the only thing for which we have to strive. We have to educate ourselves, not only to get a living, but also to get character. The man who brags of what he has will always succumb to the man who keeps his mouth shut and his body in training. Once instill a spirit of self-sacrifice and service to our country into our race and we may be prepared to face the future with equanimity. Without that spirit we are doomed.
Above all what we want in Canada to-day are men who can inspire us to look a little beyond our own immediate and individual interests. Men who will speak their minds and grapple with the economical and social problems of the day without fear of losing favor. We do not want men who are mere .party hacks, dependent for their position and future on the favor of a political boss whose one idea of patriotism is the amount of money he can make out of pandering to this or that political party. We want men of inspiration and, above all, of courage.*