THE CHINESE QUESTION
To the Editor of The Ledge.
Dear Sir, - I have the article on the Chinese in the issue of March 11th, and I am pleased to see the ground taken by the writer. For years I have been opposed to the entrance into Canada of these people in large numbers.
They come in, remain and go out living or dead as foreigners.
They compete in wages with our workers, men and women, to such an extent as to force them into idleness and out of the province.
They are of no good in any way to our country.
Let us suppose the Canadian Government had $200,000 worth of post stamps. Suppose Chinamen would come in to Canada and quietly take possession without payment.
Would the government or the people permit this line of robbery?
Post stamps are of no more value to the country than gold. Chinamen visit the streams and gravel beds in large numbers. They gather up the gold and transfer it to China. Why should China have our gold without payment? Can any man answer?
They take the wealth but give nothing in return. Their clothing, sugar, rice tobacco, opium, many kinds of vegetables, and other goods come from China. They go into our mountains and valleys and live like pigs. There are hundreds of better pig pens in Ontario than the average Chinaman’s hut, hovel or pen.
Hence they are of no value to the house carpenter, the sawmill, the nail maker, painter, clothier or others. Then why permit them to come and be as truly pirates as any that ever infested the Chinese coasts. As pirates on the high seas, they kill and rob, but as pirates in Canada they rob and kill. In one case they kill by the bludgeon in the second by a keen lowlevelling competition which produces starvation and death for the white labour.
I would be merciful to them but would first show mercy to and make provision for our labourers and fellow citizens.
I have against them as foreigners what cannot be held against others. Take our numerous American cousins who are in Canada. Technically they are foreigners. But in all that goes to make up practical citizenship they are fellow citizens from the day they enter our Dominion. They enter heartily into every phase of social, commercial and enterprise life. Frequently they take the oath of allegiance, and if they do not their children naturally grow up good loyal Canadian subjects. Bu the Chinaman is always a foreigner and never enters into the doings of the country except to get and carry out all he can, producing depreciation of wages and therefore degradation of life for those of our own people who at the best have a hard keen struggle. British fair play requires that we give our own people at least a fair living chance.