Chinese Labour Exclusion: 0050.0548
The meeting held in the Success Club hall in this city on the evening of Wednesday last for the purpose of giving expression to the views of the citizens on the actions of the Kootenay Shingle Company regarding the employment of Mongolian labor at Salmo and to take appropriate action thereon, cannot be characterized as a success in any respect. It was felt throughout the city that there were more politics connected with the inception of the meeting than a desire to exclude Chinese and Japanese labor; that the occasion was embraced as furnishing an excellent opportunity to give a slap to the Provincial Government; and many in consequence did not attend it who would otherwise have been glad to do so, because they did not want party politics to be mixed up with this matter. They felt that this is or should be regarded as primarily and solely an industrial question; and that it on this occasion was not being treated as such, but was being manipulated for political party purposes. They felt further that the member of the Legislature for Nelson was desirous of placing the member for Ymir in a false position; and that he regarded himself as having now the occasion for which he had long been seeking for this purpose; that he was manipulating this feeling to his own advantage so that he could oust him at the next Provincial election, and capture for himself the Ymir riding, which he had unsuccessfully attempted to do at the caucus prior to the last election, leaving or entailing the succession to the representative of Nelson to another co-worker, Mr. Blakemore. The knowledge that the influences at the back of this meeting were largely political and not industrial kept from it many who would have given expression to their views, as if they had done so their motives would have been liable to misinterpretation. There were doubtless some at the meeting who were actuated in their protest solely by industrial considerations, but such constituted the smaller and less noisy part of those who were present. When one hears the names of those who were most in evidence in connection with and at it – Messrs. Houston, Blakemore, Taylor, Deane, etc. – he is at no loss to know the spirit which prompted the calling of it and in which it was held; and this all the more readily and certainly when it is realized that Mongolian labor is to a considerable extent employed at the saw mill in Nelson and that no action in disapproval of this has been taken by these same “glad-hand” enthusiasts. While our sympathy is entirely with white labor in this matter, we have no sympathy whatsoever with this manipulation by politicians of industrial conditions for party purposes.