Mr. L. W. HUMPHREY (West Kootenay) :
I have the honour to represent a
constituency in British Columbia which is close to the eastern border of that province, and would like to take time to explain the situation which has developed locally and the position in which the people of West Kootenay find themselves owing to the invasion of orientals into our province. Situated on the eastern border of the province we feel that we can speak with authority upon that invasion, more particularly as to the effect of the birth rate and the operations of the immigration law. First of all, we find that we in the eastern part of the province are now in the same position that our fellow-citizens on the coast were in a few years ago. We find that the orientals are crowding farther east and looking for more territory in which to expand. It was only a short time ago that we in eastern British Columbia felt that we were not very directly affected by the movement of orientals and not directly interested. The movement eastward of the orientals of recent years and their encroachment on territory within West Kootenay itself have been brought home to us with such force as to make us realize that it is not a local question, nor a provincial matter, but a national issue, with which the federal authorities must deal. I would like to speak particularly upon the question of the urgency of an exclusion policy. Is it not true that if Canada were in
danger of being invaded by orientals, or by white races seeking to gain control of this Dominion to the great detriment of our population of eight and a quarter millions, that we should take immediate steps to put in force a policy of prohibition or exclusion? That is the situation, I believe, which threatens us to-day. That is the igreat issue we are confronted with in the future unless steps are speedily taken to offset the threatened movement. As previous speakers have explained measures will .have to be taken to stop the immigration of oriental and the growth of that population within the country. Otherwise the time will not be long in coming when we shall cease to have a white Canada. I entirely agree with the terms of the resolution and endorse it most heartily. In my opinion the day has arrived when legislation along the lines indicated must be enacted if we wish to preserve this country for the white race. I believe the day is past when we can depend upon merely restrictive measures, or when we should have recourse to "Gentleman's Agreements" in handling this question. What we must decide upon is a policy of exclusion or prohibition.
Let me endeavour briefly to describe the local conditions in West Kootenay, and I believe that in the statements I have to make I shall be voicing the opinions of the white residents of that constituency. Speaking as a returned soldier, upon coming back to Canada after a service of four years service overseas, the inroads that the orientals had made during the great war at the expense of loyal Canadians heartily sympathetic to our cause were very noticeable to myself and my companions. When the great struggle in Europe began orientals were not present in excessive numbers in the eastern part of British Columbia. Returning when the war was over, we found they had appeared in great numbers and I as a returned man, voicing the sentiments of returned men, object to the condition in West Kootenay such as we find existing to-day. We find that orientals have secured greater control of our natural resources and have improved their position to such an extent that they are better off financially than the average citizen of British Columbia. They took advantage of the war period, when wages were high and labour scarce, to secure a footing in different industries to the extent that it is almost impossible to dislodge them to-day from places which
should be occupied by returned men. From another angle we believe that it is a deplorable state in which to find our country, especially for those who sacrificed themselves during the war, looking that good might come, looking to protect our Dominion from invasion, from the democratic point of view, looking to make it a better Canada for Canadians. We believe it is not a healthy state that these conditions should exist in Canada to-day. We cannot believe that this is what our soldiers made sacrifices for,-that at the conclusion of the war the yellow races might benefit. These facts have been set out by the previous speakers to-day, and each fact can be substantiated. It is not a healthy condition or a healthy atmosphere from a national point of view. Unless legislation is enacted as soon as possible it will only be a short time when Canada will not be a white man's country, but the greater percentage of control will be, as in British Columbia at the present time, in the hands of the yellow race.
I desire to present for the benefit of hon. members the conditions in respect to the unemployment situation. I believe we can attribute the unemployment situation to a certain extent to the laxity of our laws in connection with the increase of population of Chinese and Japanese. The figures show that seventy per cent of the unemployed throughout the Dominion of Canada are returned soldiers. We find that in the province of British Columbia to-day that there are very few unemployed orientals, and the figures given by previous speakers show that the number of orientals in that province is very large. I hope the present Government will see their way clear to enact such legislation as will bring relief to us in British Columbia, for the benefit of the Dominion, because I believe it will be in the best interests of this country. If such legislation is enacted, it will overcome, not only one phase of the difficulty but a great many, and will remedy the economic conditions in regard to unemployment. It will create a greater market for our labourers, and will give us better control of farm and fruit lands, and will prevent the orientals getting control of our natural resources.
I wish to repeat that I agree with the resolution in its entirety and take great pleasure in supporting it.
Topic: ORIENTAL ALIENS
Subtopic: RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE FUTURE IMMIGRATION