Thomas George MCBRIDE

MCBRIDE, Thomas George

Personal Data

Cariboo (British Columbia)
Birth Date
August 5, 1867
Deceased Date
June 15, 1950

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
  Cariboo (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 75 of 77)

May 12, 1922


I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by hon. members, but I do not think they have gone far enough. I think they should advocate a tariff on

fuel oil, so that our mines in Canada would have a better chance to give steady employment to our miners.

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May 8, 1922

Mr. T. G. McBRIDE (Cariboo) :

It is not my intention to take up very much time this evening, as many aspects of this) question have already been dealt with. When I spoke in the debate on the Speech from the Throne I made the statement that one of the most important questions that could come before the House this session was the oriental question. I repeat that statement here to-night. I stated then that it was hard for the people in he East to realize fully what the people in the West were up against in this oriental problem. The people who have to live and associate and compete with the Orient are the people who know what a menace the oriental is to our country. People in the East speak of Vancouver as the gateway to the Orient: the Orient speaks of Vancouver as their gateway to Canada.

Oriental Aliens

Ship captains who have sailed the seven seas speak of the port of Vancouver as the best harbour they have ever entered. Tourists speak of the sunny slopes of the Pacific as the land of sunshine, the California of Canada, a land loved by all who dwell there. Why should we, with a country like that on our Pacific coast turn it over to the Orient, and that is what will happen in the future if the laws of this country continue as they are at the present time. It seems to me that every person who has the vision of a greater Canada should try and keep British Columbia a land for the white race to dwell in, and not turn it over to the Orient. People who live in the West know from experience that if immigration of the Asiatic race is not checked and if the tide of immigration flows as it has in the past, the time will soon come when the white race will have to retreat across the Rocky mountains and British Columbia will be left in the hands of the Orient. The present state of affairs has only to continue for a short time for that day to come. I ask who will be responsible for that state of affairs? It will be the members sitting in this House to-night who will be responsible if they do not enact laws here that will stop oriental immigration to our shores. Why cannot that be done now, and done once for all?

The increasing tide of oriental immigration at the present time is striking at the very root of our civilization. It is tearing the foundations from beneath our home life, and home life reflects itself upon a nation; it always reflects itself upon the prosperity of a nation. We cannot have an A-l country and a C-3 class of people. It is against all laws of economy to expect such a thing. Home life either makes children good citizens or a public nuisance; and I say that so long as the working man in this country is forced to compete with the oriental they cannot have in Canada the home life he ought to have. Our workingmen cannot even have the semblance of home life if they have to compete with Asiatics. Why should not the interests of the Canadian people come first? Why should we have to cater to the Asiatic? Why should we allow these people to land on our shores? Let us look for a moment at the manner in which the Japanese treat white men when they go to Japan and let me say in this connection that I am not going to make statements that cannot be verified. There was a man named Mr. C. J. Kirkpatrick, formerly of the Royal

Naval Service but who for five years was employed as a civil engineer at Yokohama by the Japanese government. Let us hear what he says about what the white people are up against in Japan. This gentleman declares "There is absolutely no law for the white man in Japan." He goes on to make several other statements. He tells of a practice on the part of the Japanese rickshaw men of demanding a fee of 25 yen for carrying a European or an American whereas they only ask 5 yen for carrying a Japanese. Imagine what an outcry there would be if we were to extort 25 cents from the Japanese or the Chinese on our street cars, and only charge our own people 5 cents. That would be discriminating against the Asiatic race, they would tell us. Well, that is the kind of discrimination which is carried on in Japan against the whites.

A few months ago a Mrs. J. Gray, wife of an accountant in the Lane-Crawford Company, a large wholesale establishment in Yokohama, refused to pay what she considered an exorbitant fee demanded by the rickshaw men. What happened? One of the men caught hold of the lady, twisted her arm and abused her in a most shameful way, and because her husband interfered he was summoned before the courts. Notwithstanding the evidence, which was wholly against the rickshaw men Mr. Gray was convicted of a criminal offence, and only escaped a sentence of six months in a filthy Japanese prison by the whole white population of Yokohama going to the authorities and offering an apology.

Mr. Kirkpatrick has made the statement that at the time of the riots in Vancouver some of the citizens of Japan boasted that if they did not get the same rights in Canada as the white people, the Japanese in Vancouver would cut the water mains and set fire to the city. They further declared that if the military were called out they were well prepared to take care of themselves. I have no doubt of the accuracy in the main of the latter statement, bearing in mind that all the Japanese who come to Canada are trained, either in the navy or in the army, before they are allowed to leave the Empire.

At the present time the Japanese companies are making a determined effort to secure control of the Pacific shipping and the Japanese government is giving-or at least it was a year ago-a subsidy to help these companies to control the shipping. Now what are the orientals doing in Can-

Oriental Aliens

ada? On the Pacific coast they are driving the white men and women from the most fertile valleys we have, and at present they control over 27,000 acres of the best land in British Columbia. Some years ago Chinamen started in peddling vegetables from door to door in Vancouver and Victoria, underselling the white man in every case. Finally they drove the white man to the wall and to-day the people of these cities are paying more for vegetables than is paid in any other city on the Pacific coast. The reason of that is that the oriental is in control of the market. Out of nineteen firms classified as retail and wholesale vegetable dealers in the telephone directory of Vancouver eighteen of them are under oriental names. The orientals are also getting well advanced in many other lines. Take, for instance, the wholesale and retail merchants of the city of Vancouver. Over 300 of them are orientals, and this number does not include Asiatics trading under the names of white men. A number of these firms combine together and purchase at wholesale prices. Then they retail the products bought in this way to the oriental restaurants at the wholesale rate. This is gradually driving the white men who are trying to run restaurants out of business. It is a very effective way of killing opposition.

What are they doing in the case of the logging camps all along the coast in which employment was given to hundreds and thousands of men? Over forty logging camps on the Pacific coast are controlled and operated by the Japanese. How can white men compete with orientals who can board themselves for twenty-five or thirty cents a day and live in shacks not fit for human beings to dwell in? Surely the people of Canada do not want to allow into this country a class of immigration that will lower the standard of living for the workingman. Why should the laws of this country not be such that they would raise rather than lower the standard of living of the workingman. The workingmen and women of this country are the backbone of Canada. No country can long continue in the forefront whose people are not workers.

The white people in the West are waiting to see what the members of this House are going to do about this question. The fishermen on the Pacific coast are eagerly waiting to see the stand this House will take on the oriental question; and the farmer and his family, who realize that they will finally be run out of house and home

by the oriental if the immigration laws of this country are not changed, are eagerly waiting to see whether this Government is or is not going to take some action. The lumbermen and the logger are eagerly waiting to see whether they will get a square deal at the hands of this Government. The laundrymen, who employ hundreds of our boys and girls, are eagerly looking for action on the part of this Government. The small merchant is also eagerly expectant of action. The young girl, who, through lack of employment, is forced to work in the restaurant with some of these orientals, is eagerly looking to see what the members of this House are going to do on this question. The mother of the little school girl-dear to her as life itself-is anxious to know if any relief is in sight, or if she will still have to continue sending her little one to school to sit in the same seat and associate with oriental boys twice her age. Yes, and the little girl herself who resents such company wants to see a change brought about. If this Government takes hold of this situation and passes legislation that will stop orientals entering this country they will have done more for Canada than any other government that was ever entrusted with the administration of public affairs in the Dominion.

Why should this Government not assume the responsibility and put an end to this at once? Why should it not assume the responsibility the people sent it here to assume? I will admit that you can educate the orientals, but it is simply like painting a pump to purify the water in the well. You can never change their disposition. The oriental is not a man who will develop the country. He will not go out and cultivate the country. He stays rather in the city, and takes the jobs from our women and young people. I read a statement in a paper the other day about this question, and I may say I do not believe in people coming into this House and spending hours reading the newspapers. When there are so many young women out of employment, the oriental problem becomes a serious affair. One young woman said "I have two bits left". I have lived for the last two weeks on two pints of milk and two doughnuts a day, and when I go to look for a job I mostly meet a Chinaman at the door and am told that I am not wanted." It is pretty hard for these young women that we have allowed into our country orientals to fill jobs that our own people

Oriental Aliens

should fill. Another young woman said "I am supposed to be good, I have got 75 cents left, I am two weeks behind in my rent. The landlady says I must pay the rent or she will take my clothes. I have to earn the money some way". And yet the Chinamen are taking the jobs that those women ought to have and want to fill. Is it not time to wake up to the situation, and stop sidetracking it, as has been done in the past? Is it not time that we realized our responsibility to the people of Canada, that this House took some action in the matter and stopped once and for all the immigration of orientals coming into our country?

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April 28, 1922


And that under prohibition?

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April 28, 1922


Do I understand the Minister of Justice to say that the number of penitentiary inmates is increasing?

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April 27, 1922


I have heard a good

deal this evening about post offices. I was not asked to get much when I came down here. I was merely asked to gat four post offices, but I am not asking that 'to-night. If there is a place in British Columbia which needs a post office it is Kamloops. We need a building from several standpoints. We have in Kamloops no land or no forestry office accommodation, no telephone office, and several other branches of the Dominion government need accommodation. We should have a post office building there. Money was voted for it some years ago, and I do not see why that money should not be voted again, and, at least, a start made on it. The present post office is a menace to public health. It has been condemned twice by the health inspector of that district. Kamloops is in a central location. It is a distributing point for the North Thompson, for the southern portion of that district and for both east and west, and they have no facilities there for such business. I think it is up to the present minister to take action, and I would like to know what he intends doing with regard to the Kamloops post office.

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