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Re/producing a "white British Columbia" : the meanings of the Janet Smith Bill Kerwin, Michael Scott 1996

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Re/Producing a "White British Columbia": The Meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l by Michael Scott Kerwin B.A. (Hons.), The University of British Columbia, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of History) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1996 © Michael Scott Kerwin, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) Abstract During the fall of 1924, the British Columbia Legislature debated a bill that proposed banning the employment of white women and Asian men as servants in the same household. Although this piece of legislation (publicly known as the "Janet Smith Bill") never passed into law, itf offers great insight into the racial and nationalist ideas that were dominant in 1920's British Columbia. Drawing on postmodern theories of 'discourse' and 'knowledge,' I have located the Janet Smith Bi l l within larger intellectual and political structures to understand what the bill's goal of "protecting white women" means. My thesis identifies two primary meanings of this bill. First, the Janet Smith Bi l l is meant to prevent the production of Eurasian children in British Columbia by keeping Asian men and young white women physically apart. Scientific "knowledge" dictated that such offspring would only produce social chaos in the country. The second primary meaning of the bill is based on the nationalist drive to keep British Columbia "white" by increasing the white birthrate. Moral reformers and politicians feared that young white women would become drug addicts through close association with 'Orientals,' consequently forsaking their duty as "mothers of the race." Protecting white women, according to this discourse, meant protecting their ability and opportunity to produce healthy white babies. The Janet Smith Bi l l , therefore, was meant to produce and reproduce a "white British Columbia." i i Abstract Table of Contents Table of Contents List of Figures Acknowledgement Re/Producing a "White British Columbia" Bibliography i i i List of Figures Figure 1: The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (c. 1921) 1 Figure 2: Janet Kennedy Smith (1902-1924) 14 Figure 3: Wong Foon Sing (1899?-?) 16 Figure 4: The 'City Scots' at Janet Smith's Grave 18 Figure 5: Victor W. Odium (1880-1971) 20 Figure 6: Mary Ellen Smith (1862-1933) 25 Figure 7: "The Lonely White" 32 Figure 8: A Chinese 'Houseboy' 41 Figure 9: Alexander Malcolm Manson (1883-1964) 45 iv Acknowledgement By attempting to complete the Master's program in 12 months, I have relied on the help of friends and colleagues to keep me focused. My ability to produce this thesis in the manner that I did would not have been possible without my experience in the History Honours program at UBC. I am still benefiting from the insightful discussions at school with Paige, Emmett, Kristen, Brad, Kris and Trevor that spilled over to coffee shops or kitchen tables. My special thanks goes to Paige for reading two messy drafts of this thesis and for recommending that I read Ann Laura Stoler's book way back in October. During the past year, David Breen's graduate seminar on Canadian history gave me a deeper appreciation of historical methods, particularly the use of photographs. I am also very much indebted to Joanne Poon for translating passages of Dahan gongbao for me. My studies at both the University of Calgary and UBC were made easier by the constant support of my Mom & Dad. Their unwavering assistance has always proved to be a boon for my various pursuits at both the undergraduate and graduate level. My researching and writing of this paper has, above all, relied upon the patience and knowledge of my advisor Bob McDonald. His enthusiasm for my project and insightful questions about my methodology (theory! Foucault!!) always kept me on my toes. With his guidance, I hopefully have challenged the familiar "narrative" of British Columbia's history. v Figure 1 The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (c.1921): The official portrait of John Oliver's Liberal government (left) taken shortly after their re-election in 1921. Oliver (first row, third from right, with beard) appointed Mary Ellen Smith (back row) to the Cabinet but disappointed women's groups by giving her the title Minister Without Portfolio. The Speaker of the House, Alexander Manson, became the Attorney-General and Minister of Labour in January 1922. (Source: British Columbia Archives and Records Service [BCARS1, G-06230) 3#idway through the afternoon session of the British Columbia legislature on 24 November 1924, the Liberal member for Vancouver South stood up to address the House. Mary Ellen Smith, the sole female M L A , announced that she was formally introducing Bi l l 24, entitled "An Act to amend the 'Women's and Girls Protection Act,'" and prepared to read the text. Before she could begin, a deafening roar of applause broke out in the Speaker's Gallery overlooking the 1 Assembly [Figure 1], interrupting the "lady Member." Crammed into the two rows of chairs above the House were more than forty women from the Scottish Societies of Vancouver and Victoria. These same women had earlier in the month decorated every Member's desk with sprigs of heather and a petition supporting the forthcoming bill. The Speaker of the House, John Buckham, quickly silenced the Scottish ladies and instructed the popular Vancouver M L A to continue.1 In her spellbinding voice, which a doting admirer later remembered as having the ability to "terrify all males and all but the fiercest of females," 61-year old Mary Ellen Smith then read the text of Bi l l 24. In the interests of protecting morals, she proposed prohibiting employers from hiring "Orientals" alongside "white women" and "white girls" as domestic servants in the same household. It was to "broaden out the measure of last year," which had attempted to bar the employment of "white" and "Indian" women in "Oriental" businesses, by protecting the large number of 'white' girls who worked as maids and nannies in the province.2 Mary Ellen (as she was known to the British Columbian public) earlier told reporters that she knew the names of twenty-eight servant girls who had recently quit their homes in the Victoria area out of fear of their "Oriental" co-workers. She was further disturbed by reports that their employers would prefer to dismiss the white girls in favour of retaining an Oriental servant. "I do not know whether it is a panic among them or not," Mary Ellen stated in her characteristic 'motherly' way, "[but] if such discrimination were pushed to extremes it would be serious for our own white women indeed."3 1 Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia from 3rd November to 19th December, Both Days Inclusive [JLAPBC] (Victoria: C. F. Banfield, 1924), p. 61; "Women and Girl Protection Act Well Supported," Vancouver Star, 25 November 1924, p. 2; "Oriental Servant Bi l l is Prepared," Vancouver Star, 14 November 1924, p. 1. 2 J. K. Nesbitt, "'Brave' Women Follow Ellen's Path," Vancouver News-Herald, 15 June 1949, p. 2; Edward Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?: The 1924 Vancouver Killing That Remains Canada's Most Intriguing Unsolved Murder (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1984), pp. 122-23. 3 "Servant Girls Quit Homes, Refusing to Work With Chinese," Victoria Daily Times, 24 November 1924, p. 1. 2 Among the press and public, Bi l l 24 quickly became known as the "Janet Smith B i l l . " Its arrival in the legislature in November 1924 was the result of over three months of lobbying by newspaper editors, clergymen and the United Council of Scottish Societies of Vancouver. Their actions grew from the notorious murder case of the summer involving the suspected sex slaying of a 22-year old nanny named Janet Smith by her co-worker Wong Foon Sing. Social and intellectual forces that transcended the specifics of the Janet Smith case also worked to produce this piece of legislation. In the words of one of the most vigorous supporters of Bi l l 24, Brigadier-General Victor W. Odium, the bill is really the culminating point of a feeling which has been growing in the province for a long time and which has only been brought to a head by this tragic happening ... It is not morally in the eternal fitness of things that a white girl or woman should be placed in a position where she is constantly coming into daily personal touch with a Chinaman under the same roof. Such a measure as that proposed would render this impossible.4 Interpreting the Janet Smith Bi l l requires both a reconstruction of the political happenings that brought it to Victoria as well as an understanding of the larger intellectual forces that produced the bill and established its meanings. * The complex layers of meaning encoded in the Janet Smith Bi l l provide insight into the dominant racial and nationalist ideas in 1920's British Columbia. This piece of legislation was primarily designed to prevent the production of Eurasian children in British Columbia by keeping 'white' women and Asian men apart. Working within the constraints of scientific knowledge about the effects of race-crossing, early twentieth-century British Columbian leaders believed 4 Victor W. Odium, "Chinese and White Girls," Vancouver Star, 13 November 1924, p. 4. 3 that miscegenation between Europeans and Asians would produce deteriorated offspring and social chaos for the province. The Janet Smith Bil l 's stated goal of "protecting white women" also meant protecting their opportunity and ability to produce healthy 'white' babies. Nationalists feared that if young 'white' women forsook their duty as "mothers of the race," British Columbia would not remain a "white" province. The meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l reveal the biological foundations of racial and nationalist thought among the province's intellectual and political elite. The debate surrounding the bill also demonstrated how inseparable the categories of race, gender, nation and sexuality were in social thought during the 1920's. In order to produce (and reproduce) a "white British Columbia," politicians and reformers tried to monitor the racial boundaries of the province at the most intimate of levels, making the sexual choices of men and women a public concern. What follows in this essay is both a narrative of the events surrounding the Janet Smith Bi l l of 1924 and an analysis of the discourses which produced the bill's meanings. A "discourse," as the term will be employed in this essay, refers to a system of knowledge ('a way of talking about things') that structured how past actors thought about subjects and established the meanings that they gave to them. Contrary to what critics of 'discourse analysis' claim, discourses are not divorced from social and material context but interact with historical reality in a dynamic way. This historical method asserts that language is not a transparent window onto the world but is "politically contaminated."5 Like the Beckett character who lamented that "what I speak of, what I speak with, all comes from them," theorists recognize that both language and the subjects language seeks to understand are inherently constructed. Discourse analyses seek to 5 Mariana Valverde, The Age of Light, Soap and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1991), p. 10; Hayden White, "The Fiction of Factual Representations," in Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), p. 129. 4 identify the "limitations upon thought and action" - what the poet William Blake called "mind-forg'd manacles" - which fetter understanding of the events unfolding around us. The meaning of a particular event, such as the death of a Scottish nanny in 1924 Vancouver, is produced through the interaction of material forces, human perceptions and these larger discursive structures.6 Discourse analyses stress the inseparable link between power and knowledge, recogniz-ing "truths" (such as moral or scientific 'truths') as the products of a historically specific power relationship. The 'empirical' activity of science behaves in this way. Sciences such as physics and biology are 'discourses' in that they are self-referential systems of knowledge that become dominant at a specific time and place; they are not empirical "Truths" about how the universe works. As Thomas S. Kuhn famously argued, scientific models become dominant because they are able to solve the 'puzzle' at hand better than any competitor. Centuries of humans regarded Ptolemy's model of an Earth-centred universe as the 'truth' not because they were superstitious fools but because it explained 'natural' phenomena better than any model prior to Copernicus and Galileo.7 Such theoretical assumptions are important to this essay since the early twentieth century 'sciences' of biology and eugenics - whose conclusions have been discarded by modern science - formed the foundation for. past British Columbians' racial views. Scientific 'knowledge' about the relationship between 'race' and 'nation' and the effects of race-crossing shaped the meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l . 8 0 Samuel Beckett, Three Novels: "Molloy, " "Malone Dies, " "The Unnamable" (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1958), p. 324; William Blake uses the line "mind-forg'd manacles" in the poem "London" in Songs of Experience (1794). M y use of the term "discourse" is also influenced by the works of Edward Said and Joan Wallach Scott. See Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1978); Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), pp. 4-9. 7 Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2d rev. ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), pp. 2-3, 205-7. Kuhn's famous book uses the term 'paradigm' rather than 'discourse,' but the two ideas are extremely similar. 8 There are two excellent Kuhnian takes on racial history: on the U.S., see Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Men (New York: W. W. Nor-ton & Co., 1981); on Great Britain, see Nancy Leys Stepan, 77ie Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800-1960 (London: Macmillan Press Ltd.. 1982). 5 Locating discussions of 'race' and 'nation' among British Columbia's elite within larger discursive structures reveals the powerful effects of mind-forg'd manacles upon nationalist thought. Central to my argument is that early twentieth-century nationalists "imagined" British Columbia in biological terms, usually as a 'living body' with traits like blood and skin colour whose 'health' needed constant monitoring. These organic metaphors were not simply colourful ways of talking but had profound implications on what past actors could (and could not) think about racial and national issues.9 'Imagining' the population as an organic entity made the biological 'health' of British Columbia a vital political concern. Early twentieth-century governments and reform movements became fixated on purifying the bloodstream of B.C. and targeted all threats to the 'health' of the body politic: venereal diseases needed to be eliminated; social hygiene had to be maintained; and by the 1920's, the fecundity of the "feeble-minded" needed to be controlled. The biopolitical discourse of eugenics, whose influence on British Columbian politics is only beginning to be understood, was obsessed with racial strength and focused on matters of sexual reproduction. The inseparable link between the production of children and the biological health of "British Columbia" made the sexual choices of men and particularly women a public, racial concern.10 'Imagining' British Columbia in biological terms fundamentally structured the way 'white' nationalists thought about the "Oriental menace." Within the constraints of this discourse, y The method of imagining a community as a "body" is, of course, hardly new as it dates back to antiquity. According to anthropologist Mary Douglas, the body "is a model which can stand for any bounded system. Its boundaries can represent any boundaries which are threatened or precarious." See Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966), p. 115. On the use of metaphors by nationalists, see Allan Smith, "Metaphor and Nationality," in Canada: An American Nation? Essays on Continentalism, Identity and the Canadian Frame of Mind (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Press, 1994), pp. 127-8. 1 0 Michel Foucault gave the name "biopolitics" to the modern State's obsession with the biological health of its population. See Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume One: An Introduction (New York: Vintage Books, 1978), pp. 137-140, 149. Ann Laura Stoler provides a brilliant "engagement" with Foucault's theories in her recent Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham, N C : Duke University Press, 1995). For discussions of the role of eugenics in British Columbian politics, see Margaret Hillyard Little, "Claiming a Unique Place: The Introduction of Mothers' Pensions in B .C . , " BC Studies, nos. 105-106 (Spring / Summer 1995) and Angus McLaren, Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada. 1885-1945 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1990), pp. 89-106. 6 the mere presence of Asian settlers meant the metaphorical 'mixing of blood' with Europeans and First Nations people, producing a 'mongrel' British Columbia." The genealogy of such ideas can be traced to Victorian discourses about the relationship between race and nation. Intellectuals and scientists such as the "apostle of Social Darwinism" Herbert Spencer popularized the idea of the nation being a living organism. When different races live within the same nation, their bloods metaphorically mix, producing a hybrid community. The effects of race-crossing, according to Spencer, depend upon the "proximity" of the races. The 'amalgamation' of various ethnic groups into the 'British' showed that mixing between "allied" races is advantageous; however, the "perpetual revolutions" and social chaos of Mexico and Brazil show the results of mixing between "unallied" races.12 These 'scientific' ideas about the links between race and nation were well known among British Columbia's 'white' elite. In 1908, the booster magazine Westward Ho ran an editorial about Asian exclusion stating that the "history of the world furnishes no instance of the commingling of such [disparate] races [as Europeans and Asians], and the profoundest students of anthropology are a unit in concluding that it would be disastrous."13 Early twentieth-century sciences of racial biology further entrenched this fear of race-mixing. Prominent eugenists and biologists were adamant in their conclusion that widely separated races such as Europeans and Asians simply could not intermarry. According to a widely-read author on this subject, American eugenist Lothrop Stoddard, the offspring of mixed-race unions are a "walking chaos ... every cell of whose bodies is a battle-ground of jarring 1 1 It should be noted that First Nations people were largely effaced from these discussions. The 'Indian' population of "British Columbia" - which had declined proportionately from being 70% in 1870 to 4% in 1921 - was seemingly "vanishing" and therefore did not constitute a threat to 'dilute' the bloodstream of the province. See Brian W. Dippie, The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and U.S. Indian Policy (Lawrence, K N : University Press of Kansas, 1982), pp. 247-269; on the decline in First Nations population in B.C. , see Jean Barman, The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1991), p. 363. 1 2 Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1969), pp. 131-32; Stepan, 77te Idea of Race in Science, pp. 105-6; Robert J. C. Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 18. l 3 "Asiatic Question," The Westward Ho Magazine 2, no. 3 (March 1908), p. 2 7 heredities" and "quite worthless."14 Such 'truths' about racial biology were central to the drive by 'white' British Columbians to exclude Asian immigrants. In the words of Alexander Manson, who would be a key figure in the debate over the Janet Smith Bi l l , the real objection to the Orientals is due to their distinct ethnological character-istics, compared with whites. I do not think it was intended - at least not in our own time, nor for many generations to come that there should be an intermingling of Oriental and European blood. I do not think that the product of the admixture that we have seen have been such as to induce us to believe that the bloods may be mixed with advantage. It is well established that the Eurasian is a very unsatisfactory product, in that nearly every case he absorbs the weaknesses of both races, without acquiring the virtues of either race. That is the real objection...15 Manson's phrase about the "intermingling of Oriental and European blood" had a double meaning: there was a metaphorical 'mixing of blood' by the mere presence of different races in British Columbia and a literal 'mixing of blood' through miscegenation. These two concerns became inseparable in nationalist thought. A Prince Rupert observer, writing in 1921, emphasized that the most pressing reason to stop Asian immigration was the 'fact' that Europeans and Asians could not "assimilate." Although he was speaking in the metaphorical sense, his argument quickly shifted to the literal meaning, writing that: there is bound to be mixing of the race when there is social intercourse, for one leads to the other as naturally as night follows day. The only way to ensure the perpetuation of a white race in this country is to make it impossible for the Oriental to come here to settle.16 My use of the term 'nationalism,' particularly 'British Columbian nationalism,' requires some clarification before I continue. My argument is informed by recent scholars such as 1 4 Lothrop Stoddard, Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920), pp. 120, 166. See also the views of Stoddard's mentor Madison Grant in his The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis of European History, 4th ed. rev. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921), p. 92. On the eugenists' obsession with race-mixing see William B. Provine, "Geneticists and the Biology of Race Crossing," Science, 23 November 1973, p. 793. 1 5 "Oriental Bills Called Out of Province Scope," Victoria Daily Times, 25 February 1927, p. 2. See also "In the Sunset Glow," Saturday Sunset, 17 Apri l 1909, p. 1; John Nelson, " W i l l Canada Go Yellow?," MacLean's, 1 November 1921, p. 46; Nelson, "Shall We Bar the Yellow Race?," Maclean's, 15 May 1922, p. 13. 1 6 "Editorial," Prince Rupert Daily News, 29 October 1921, p. 2. 8 Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner who argue that nations are not natural entities, but are "imagined" creations of its members. In Gellner's famous words, "it is nationalism which engenders nations and not the other way around." Another scholar, Homi K. Bhabha, has recently suggested that 'nations' can be identified with the 'narratives,' or histories, that nationalists use to construct an identity for themselves. "National narratives" are constantly being negotiated -their plotlines being re-written, the meanings of the events in the stories changing - making 'national identity' an inherently unstable concept.17 This intellectual shift has led some scholars to identify 'nations' with imagined historical communities rather than to confuse the term 'nation' with 'State.' Consequently, many communities that share a common (imagined) history and culture but lack a formal State structure - such as American 'Southerners,' Ulster Protestants, or the 'First Nations' of North America - can be identified as 'nations.'18 In a similar vein, I will apply these theories about the discursive meaning of 'nation' to understand how 1920's reformers and politicians 'imagined' British Columbia. It is a working assumption that past actors were constantly negotiating what the term "British Columbia" signified. Many British Columbian nationalists, particularly those like Vancouver MP H. H. Stevens (1911-1930) who were involved in federal politics, imagined B.C. as being an integral part of Canada. When the Crown colony of British Columbia joined Confederation in 1871, the 'organic body' of B.C. was 'grafted' onto the Dominion to the east. As a result, what happened inside the organism of British Columbia naturally affected (and " Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, 2d rev. ed. (New York: Verso Books, 1991), p. 6; Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (London: Basil Blackwell, 1983), p. 55; Homi K. Bhabha, "DissemiNation: Time, narrative and the margins of the modem nation," in Nation and Narration, ed. Bhabha (London and New York: Routledge, 1990), pp. 292-321. 1 8 In other words, the meaning of the American Civil War, the Battle of the Boyne, or Columbus' voyage in these communities' narratives are markedly different from that of the Yankees, Irish Republicans or 'Anglos.' On the "terminological chaos" of defining the term 'nation,' see Walker Connor, " A Nation is a Nation, Is a State, Is an Ethnic Group, Is a ..." in Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 90-117; Prasenjit Duara, "De-Constructing the Chinese Nation," The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 30 (July 1993), pp. 1-26. 9 infected) the 'body' of Canada.19 Many 'white' British Columbians in the 1920's, however, were not 'Canadianized' and downplayed the tie to the east. They continued to imagine their community within the British Empire, locating the province's history within the larger Imperial narrative.20 Although B.C.'s place in the world was still being negotiated by nationalists during the 1920's, they agreed on a fundamental point: namely, British Columbia had its own, distinct identity. Historians and political actors alike trumpeted the province's unique pattern of settlement (around the Horn rather than across the continent); B.C.'s intense political isolation from Ottawa; and, especially, the province's geographical location between the Rockies and the Pacific. These factors forged a "distinctive British Columbia type," making the land's inhabitants "Canadians with a difference" - hence, "the West beyond the West" had its own story, its own "narrative."21 For these reasons, the term "nationalism," rather than "regionalism" or "provincialism," seems to most aptly describe the dominant ideas of the 1920's. My essay's central focus on the biological and sexual underpinnings to racial and nationalist thought in early twentieth-century B.C. does not discount the role of material factors. Wage competition and other 'economic' factors, as Gillian Creese and others have pointed out, were major sources of hostility between European and Asian settlers during this time.22 However, it must be recognized that economics-based theories can only go so far in explaining how events l y See Kay J. Anderson, Vancouver's Chinatown: Racial Discourse in Canada, 1875-1980 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Press, 1991), pp. 137-38; Patricia E. Roy, "The Oriental 'Menace' in British Columbia," pp. 247-251; John Nelson, " W i l l Canada Go Yellow?," MacLean's, 1 November 1921, pp. 13-14, 46; John Nelson, "Shall We Bar the Yellow Race?," MacLeans, 15 May 1922, p. 13. 2 0 John Nelson, "The Problems of British Columbia," in The Canadian Provinces: Their Problems and Policies (Toronto: The Musson Book Company, 1924), p. 173; Allan Smith "The Writing of British Columbia History," in British Columbia: Historical Readings, ed. W. Peter Ward and Robert A . J. McDonald (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre Ltd., 1981), p. 13; Barman, The West Beyond the West, pp. 131, 141, 345. 2 1 Nelson, "The Problems of British Columbia," pp. 169-175, 178; Barman, The West Beyond the West, pp. 345-347; Smith, "The Writing of British Columbia History," pp. 9, 13; Roy, "B.C. 's Fear of Asians," p. 658. 2 2 Gillian Creese, "Class, Ethnicity, and Conflict: The Case of Chinese and Japanese Immigrants, 1880-1923," in Workers, Capital and the State in British Columbia: Selected Papers, ed. Rennie Warburton and David Coburn (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1988); Roy, "British Columbia's Fear of Asians," p. 663. These writers fail to note that even these "economic" factors were based on the premise that Asian people have immutable, biological characteristics which enable them to subsist on lower standards of living. 10 unfolded. Such a conclusion was reached in 1925 by U.B.C. economist Theodore H. Boggs after leading the B.C. section of the University of Chicago's "Pacific Coast Oriental Survey." According to Boggs: If the Oriental had a white skin and therefore was as readily capable as the Irishman and Italian of being assimilated through intermarriage, the economic argument would be no more sound when applied to him then it was when applied to cheap labourers from Europe.23 Boggs' conclusion grasps the crux of the "Oriental problem" as it pervaded the political-intellectual culture of the province. It was the biological 'fear of Asians,' more than any other factor, that preoccupied 'white' nationalists prior to World War Two. The biological and sexual basis of racism in British Columbia has been little examined by past scholars. In White Canada Forever, Peter Ward argued that 'white' British Columbians were obsessed by the belief that Asian people could not 'assimilate' with the European population of the province and thereby become a "part of ourselves." Ward fails to emphasize that prior to 1950, 'assimilation' meant biological fusing, not the adoption of 'British' cultural practices.24 Patricia Roy notes the "ethnological argument" of actors like Alexander Manson but dismisses such ideas as cynical justifications for 'racist' practices. More recently, Kay J. Anderson, in her study of racial discourse in Canada, includes images of opium fiends 'ravishing' white women as part of the Euro-Canadian's representation of "Chinatown," but she does not connect these images to questions of national identity.25 The various meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l demonstrate how the categories of race, gender, sexuality, and nation were inseparably linked in social thought in 1920's British 2 3 Theodore H . Boggs quoted in Timothy J. Stanley, "Defining the Chinese Other: White Supremacy, Schooling and Social Structure in British Columbia Before 1923." (Ph.D. Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1991), pp. 192-193. 2 4 W. Peter Ward, White Canada Forever (Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 1990), pp. 11-13, 22, I75(42n). Ward's attempt to identify the 'popular' attitudes towards Orientals probably accounts for the ambiguous way his book uses the word 'assimilate.' I am not arguing the biologically-based discourse about race and nationalism disseminated to all classes in society, but am focusing solely on the intellectual and cultural elite. 2 5 Roy, "British Columbia's Fear of Asians," pp. 666-7; Anderson, Vancouver's Chinatown, pp. 97-100. 11 Columbia. In order to fully understand the meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l , this piece of legislation must be recognized as being a product of these larger discourses.26 My essay will seek to identify the gender and racial ideas encoded in the bill as well as drawing links between these meanings with that of nationalism. It should be remembered that this was a "dynamic racism" at work - it was not meant merely to 'repress' minority peoples or sexual desires but to produce something.27 The Janet Smith Bi l l was meant to produce and reproduce a "white British Columbia." Of course, the idea that early twentieth-century politicians were striving to produce a 'white British Columbia' is not new. The works of Peter Ward and Patricia Roy, among others, clearly identify that past actors saw "whiteness" as being the primary symbol and criteria for being a member of the province. Even 'postmodern' works by Kay Anderson and Timothy Stanley have described how the process of creating a "Se l f identity gave new meaning to the physical symbol of white skin as a source of insider and outsider status.28 None of these writers, however, have fully explicated the dynamic nature of this process. Recent theorists who have expanded the Self/Other model of identity-making, most notably Homi K. Bhabha, portray nation-building as a more precarious project than previously believed. Boundaries between insider and outsider are permeable, constantly being erased and redrawn. Nationalist discourses *° M y discussion is informed by recent theorists within the genre of "legal anthropology" that laws must be seen as products of mainstream culture. These theories are premised on 'postmodern' theories of power: laws are not meant to repress behaviour but to produce a particular vision of society. Laws are "symbolic representations" of what the dominant group in society believes the way the world should work. See Jane F. Collier and June Starr, "Introduction: Dialogues in Legal Anthropology," in History and Power in the Study of Law, ed. Collier and Starr (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989), pp. 1-22. 2 7 Foucault, History of Sexuality, p. 125. 2 8 Ward, White Canada Forever, p. 22; Patricia E. Roy, A White Man's Province: British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Immigrants, 1858-1914 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1989), p. 268; Anderson, Vancouver's Chinatown, p. 54; Timothy J. Stanley, "Defining the Chinese Other," pp. 170-174. Definitions of what "whiteness" meant in early British Columbia were more complex than these works imply. As Bob McDonald points out, "white" often transcended biological bases or even common social constructions, and meant being a "citizen." Most non-British groups, such as Italians, were not considered "white" by this definition. See Robert A. J. McDonald, Making Vancouver: Class, Status, and Social Boundaries, 1863-1913 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1996), pp. 208, 235. 12 become fixated upon the boundaries, the "margins," the "in-between" spaces, of the nation.29 The meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l reveal that past 'white' leaders realized that a 'white British Columbia' would not be produced 'naturally.' Rather, the racial boundaries of the province needed to be constantly monitored at the most intimate of levels to produce and reproduce a 'white British Columbia.' * * Sometime during the Saturday morning of 26 July 1924, the hottest day of the year in Vancouver, 22-year old Janet Kennedy Smith [Figure 2] died in a "most unnatural way" at 3851 Osier Avenue in Shaughnessy Heights. The Point Grey Police found her lifeless body in the house's laundry-room, where she had apparently been ironing baby clothes, with a bullet wound to her head and a gun near her hand. The first arriving officer on the scene, Constable James Green, reportedly called it one of the most obvious cases of suicide that he had seen in his long career of police work. The following day, city coroner Dr. Brydone-Jack concurred with P. C. Green by concluding that the Scottish-born nanny died a "self-inflicted but accidental death."30 Despite such mundane beginnings, the young woman's death precipitated an extraordinary set of events over the next few weeks. The local papers and the general public alike would quickly discredit and eventually overturn the coroner's verdict of suicide and declare that young Janet had been murdered. By the end of August, the Point Grey Gazette would mock the verdict Homi K. Bhabha, "Introduction: Locations of Culture," in The Location of Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 2, 4; Bhabha, "Introduction: narrating the nation," in Nation and Narration, ed. Bhabha (London and New York: Routledge, 1990), p. 4; Bhabha, "DissemiNation," pp. 296, 300, 318. 30 r r Sky Lee, Disappearing Moon Cafe: A Novel (Vancouver: Douglas and Mclntyre, 1990), p. 70; Province of British Columbia, Department of Attorney-General, Report of the Superintendent of Provincial Police for the Year Ended December 31st, 1924 (Victoria: Legislative Assembly, 1925) p. X-15; Martin Robin, "The Houseboy," in The Saga of Red Ryan and Other Tales of Violence From Canada's Past (Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1982), pp. 128-9; Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, pp. 1-23. 13 of suicide by stating that women, who "understand the psychology of [other] women," could not "imagine one of their sex doing such an unromantic act as committing suicide at the ironing-board." 3 1 Responding to such public pressures, the city coroner exhumed Janet Smith's body on August 28 and held a second inquest at the beginning of September. The inquest jury's verdict, delivered on September 10, was by then anti-climactic: "Janet Smith was wilfully murdered in the course of her employment in the laundry basement of 3851 Osier Avenue by being shot through the head with a revolver, but by whom fired we have no evidence to show."32 Figure 2 Janet Kennedy Smith (1902-1924): Born in southern Scotland, Janet Smith grew up in a working-class district of London. A Vancouver-based couple, Frederick and Doreen Baker, hired her in January 1923 to care for their new baby Rosemary. Janet later followed the Bakers to Paris and eventually to their West End home on Nelson Street in Vancouver. During her service as nursemaid, Janet took Rosemary to nearby Stanley Park, where the 21-year old met several boyfriends from the city's transient logger population. Janet and the Baker family later moved into the Osier Avenue home of R. P. Baker (Frederick's brother) for the summer of 1924. This photo, taken of Janet while in Vancouver in 1924, shows a rather timid, shy girl - quite different from the Janet that appeared in the young woman's diaries. In one of the more memorable entries to her diary, she wrote: "I suppose that I will always play with fire. I expect that is what the fortune teller meant when she said I have the girdle of Venus." See Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, pp. 36-41; "Diary Bares Flirtations," Vancouver Sun, 8 September 1924, p. 4. (Source: BCARS 95475-6, F1934). 3 ' "Ho ld New Inquest Probably Tuesday," Point Grey Gazette, 30 August 1924, p. 1. 3 2 Attorney-General, Report of the Superintendent of Provincial Police, p. X-15. 14 What 'actually happened' in the Shaughnessy Heights home on that sweltering summer morning remains the stuff of local legend. The Crown did not convict anybody for the 'murder' despite fifteen frustrating months of investigation and an unsuccessful prosecution of Janet's co-worker Wong Foon Sing. Recent attempts by writers, most notably Edward Starkins, to uncover the 'truth' of this episode become easily bogged down by rumour and conjecture.33 There is no shortage of plausible stories to explain what happened to the "Scottish nightingale," Janet Smith. One narrative, which would be the most popular by the spring of 1925, speculated that Janet was raped and murdered at a "wild party" the night before by playboy bachelors in Vancouver's elite. These rich men then paid off the cops and the coroners to get away with their evil doings.34 Another story portrays Janet as a young innocent who stumbled upon her employer's drug-trafficking schemes and was then murdered to be kept quiet. However, the narrative that first became dominant during the hot summer of 1924 was (perhaps unsurprisingly) the most cliched story of all: the butler did it. The 'butler' in this murder mystery was 25-year old, Guangdong-born 'houseboy' Wong Foon Sing [Figure 3]. He was the only person in the Osier Avenue home (other than the baby Rosemary) when Janet's death allegedly occurred. Wong's alibi - that he was peeling potatoes in the kitchen when he heard a loud noise and then went down to the basement to find something terrible had happened to "Nursey" - satisfied the Point Grey Police but not Janet's friends. On the Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?; Martin Robin, "The Houseboy"; Frank James, "Who Shot the Scottish Nightingale?," in Trail of Blood: A Canadian Murder Odyssey (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1981). The coroner embalmed the body before an autopsy could be performed (which led perfectly to rumours of a cover-up). Since he plugged Janet's vagina with cotton, he was later unable to discern whether or not she had been raped. See Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, p. 168. Two former neighbours of the Baker house (where Janet was working) later told an interviewer that the embalming of the body should not be seen as suspicious, since that is how 'it was done' in Shaughnessy Heights. See Anonymous Voices, Janet Smith Murder Case (BCARS, Audio-Visual Department, 3837:1, date unknown (1985?)). 15 Figure 3 Wong Foon Sing (1899?-?): Wong was abducted twice by 'whites' seeking to uncover the truth to Janet Smith's death. On 12 August 1924, he was abducted from Carrall Street and brutally beaten by private detectives during questioning in an office building on Hastings Street. Seven months later, a large group of men (dressed in K K K -style robes) abducted Wong and chained him in a house near the present-day corner of Dunbar Street and King Edward Avenue. For six weeks, Wong's "kidnapping" dominated the headlines of Vancouver papers until he miraculously appeared walking on Marine Drive in the wee hours of May 1. He was promptly arrested for the murder of Janet Smith and held over for trial. Wong would eventually be acquitted in October 1925 for the murder of Janet Smith but not before losing most of his hearing due to the beatings he suffered. He returned to his wife and family in Guangdong sometime during 1926. Whether or not he killed Janet Smith remains unanswered. See "Wong Foon Sing Found, Charged With Murder of Janet Smith," Vancouver Sun, 1 May 1925, p. 1; Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, pp. 136-184. (Source: Vancouver Sun, 18 May 1925, p. 1) night of July 27, a Shaughnessy Heights nanny named Mary Jones went to see Reverend Duncan McDougall of the Highland Presbyterian Church on East 11th Av:aue and Guelph Street. She refused to believe that her friend had killed herself and began spinning a web of stories portraying Janet as a 'good girl' who lived in fear of Wong Foon Sing. The wild-eyed McDougall, whose magazine The Beacon would devote prime attention to the case, sensed something sinister was afoot and quickly notified friends on the United Council of Scottish Societies [Figure 4]. 3 5 This line of events would prove to be crucial to understanding how the young nanny's death became such a cause celebre. Historian Eric Nicol, somewhat overstating the case, colourfully wrote that "nothing more would have been heard about the unfortunate Miss Smith had not the united Scottish societies persisted in muttering darkly in their porridge about 'Orientals' and the bizarre pastimes of the wealthy."36 Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, pp. 24-25. Eric Nicol, Vancouver (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, Limited, 1970), p. 153. 16 The recently founded United Council, which served as an umbrella organization for the numerous Scottish Societies in the city, would become the leading advocate of the theory that Janet had been murdered. Their motives for taking up the case of the "young Scotswoman of blameless character" - who was not very 'Scottish' at all - were a complex amalgam of racial, social and political concerns.37 The United Council's actions over the next year, particularly their involvement in Wong Foon Sing's 'lynching' during the spring of 1925, deserve further study by Vancouver historians. Yet, an obvious motive of this middle-class organization was the familiar bourgeois concern to maintain social stability and "law and order."38 Their public statements throughout the next year focused on the state of law enforcement in the province and the Point Grey Police's apparent bungling of the case. On 6 August 1924, United Council president David Paterson sent a telegram to Attorney-General Manson in Victoria stating that his group was "very dissatisfied with the apparent improper investigation" conducted by local police. There was something rotten indeed in the city of Vancouver if, as Reverend McDougall later wrote, "a friendless servant-girl can be murdered in cold blood, presumably in broad daylight, in the most fashionable quarter of the city."3 9 McDougall, who viewed this case in more apocalyptic terms than others, wrote in The Beacon that: the blood of Janet Smith is at the door of every man in this Province, and especially at the door of the Churches, so long as they make no protest against allowing the murderer to walk the streets as a free man. 4 0 " "Editorial," British Columbia Monthly 23 (September 1924), p. 3. On the founding of the Council, see " A Scottish Centre," British Columbia Monthly 18 (October-November 1921), p. 11. Janet Kennedy Smith was actually, like Humbert Humbert, a "salad of racial genes": her mother was Norwegian and her father was of Irish, English and Scottish descent. 3 8 The lynching of Wong Foon Sing seems akin to Reformation-era 'rites of violence' to cleanse the body politic. See Natalie Zemon Davis' classic essay "The Rites of Violence" in her Society and Culture in Early Modern France: Eight Essays (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975). On "law and order," see Michel Foucault, "On Popular Justice: A Discussion With Maoists," in Power/ Knowledge: Selected Interviews & Other Writings, 1972-1977, ed. Colin Gordon (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), pp. 22-23; Tina Loo makes the point that 'law and order' was central to the identity of 'white' British Columbia in her Making Law, Order and Authority in British Columbia, 1821-1871, p. .134. 3 9 "Scots Demand Inquiry Into Tragedy," Vancouver Star, 7 August 1924, p. 1; "The Janet Smith Case," The Beacon 1, no. 9 (August 1925), p. 12. McDougall chastised Attorney-General Manson for being more concerned about muskrats in the Fraser Valley than pursuing Janet's murderer in "The Janet Smith Case: Why Did Wong Foon Sing Disappear?," 77ie Beacon 1, no. 5 (April 1925), p. 3. 4 0 "The Janet Smith Case," The Beacon 1, no. 9 (August 1925), p. 12. 17 Figure 4 The 'City Scots' at Janet Smith's Grave: (L - R: two unidentified women, United Council secretary Alexander S. Mathew, Point Grey Police commissioner H. O. McDonald, United Council secretary Jessica Stratton, Point Grey Police commissioner H. P. McRaney, United Council president David Paterson, Reverend Duncan McDougall, two unidentified women). In this political photo-opportunity, laden with religious overtones, the leaders of the Scottish community of Vancouver celebrated what would have been Janet Kennedy Smith's twenty-third birthday on 25 June 1925. Jessica Stratton brought a wreath paid for by Janet's mother Johanna. Al l of the identified people in this photo (except for Reverend McDougall) were arrested a day earlier for abducting Wong Foon Sing. Al l were later acquitted. (Source: Vancouver Province, 26 June 1925, p. 1) 18 The United Council found a willing ally in their pursuit of 'justice' in local newspaper editor, politician, and war hero Brigadier-General Victor W. Odium [Figure 5]. The recently-elected Liberal M L A for Vancouver Centre praised the 'city Scots' for their "public spirit in prosecuting the case of their ill-fated fellow-countrywoman." As publisher of the 'yellow' Vancouver Star, Odium would prove to be the primary author of the "Janet Smith murder mystery."41 From the Star's first story about the case, Odium's narrative of what 'really happened' was clear: Janet was murdered and Wong Foon Sing was the likely culprit. On Tuesday morning July 29, General Odium would publish a story about the death of "pretty Janet K. Smith" and the Scottish Societies' unwillingness to accept the official verdict of suicide. The story also contained nanny Mary Jones' rather confused statement that Janet "complained to me about being nervous of being left so much alone with a Chinaman and when she did get a Sunday off she went to church."4 2 Odium's motives for 'creating' the murder mystery were, in one sense, very obvious. The murder of a "pretty young nursemaid" in Shaughnessy Heights coupled with a real-life 'whodunit' readily sold newspapers. Odium began publishing the Star in the spring and consciously used the 'scandal' to lure readers away from the more established Vancouver dailies, the Sun and the Province. General Odium, however, quickly took a more political interest in the case. During the weeks immediately following Janet's death, Odium began lobbying for what 4 1 Victor W. Odium, "Chinese and White Girls," Vancouver Star, 9 October 1924, p. 4. On Odium's early life, see Who's Who in Canada, 1925-26, ed. B . M . Greene (Toronto: International Press Limited, 1925), p. 900. I have relied on newspaper sources, like Odium's Star, throughout this paper due to the dire lack of material in B C A R S or the City of Vancouver Archives. Most of Alexander Manson's papers relating to this case are not in the Attorney-General's papers in Victoria but are in the possession of his daughter who currently does not allow scholars to read them. My use of the 'traditional' source of newspapers has been informed by modern theories about ethnography - that newspapers should be read as 'texts,' not as sources of pure 'fact.' See James Clifford's essay "Partial Truths" in Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, ed. James Clifford and George E. Marcus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 2, 6-7. 4 2 "City Scots to Probe Death of Nurse," Vancouver Star, 29 July 1924, p. 1. During the second inquest held to look into Janet Smith's death, held at a Vancouver courthouse in early September, the storyline that pegged Wong as the culprit was repeatedly reinforced..Several of Janet's nursemaid friends took the stand, all telling the courtroom audience about their friend's fear of Wong Foon Sing. According to them, Wong had laid his hands on Janet, made "improper suggestions" that left her speechless, and squeezed her hand. One of the nursemaids stated that after the 'hand-squeezing incident,' "Janet told her the Chinese had said that some day he would see Janet" pregnant. See "Witnesses Tell of Janet Smith's Fear of Chinese Servant," Vancouver Sun, 6 September 1924, p. 1. 19 would become the Janet Smith Bi l l later in the fall. As early as August 5, in an editorial meant to criticize the Point Grey Police's sloppy handling of the case, Odium stated that "no young and pretty girl should be left alone and unprotected in a house with a Chinaman. It is against all rules of decency and safety."43 On the very next night, Odium's sentiments were echoed at a meeting of the United Council of Scottish Societies. One "Scot," in what the Star reported as being the "most loudly applauded statement" of the night, declared that employers "should be prepared to keep all white help or all Oriental help if they cannot guarantee [white girls'] proper Victor Odium's racial beliefs need to be examined to understand both his readiness to believe that the Chinese butler did it, and for his advocacy of protective legislation for women. During the 1920's, Odium was one of the leading 'exclusionists' in Vancouver politics. While running as a Liberal for the federal seat of Vancouver South in 1921 (with the slogan "a clean, Victor W. Odium, "Was Investigation Suppressed?," Vancouver Star, 5 August 1924, p. 5. "Scots Demand Inquiry Into Tragedy," Vancouver Star, 7 August 1924, p. 3. protection. Figure 5 Victor W. Odium (1880-1971): A veteran of the South African War (1898-1902) and such famous World War One battles as The Somme and Vimy Ridge, Odium was a prominent member of Vancouver society. In the late spring of 1924, he was elected as an M L A for Vancouver Centre and began publishing the Vancouver Star. His 'yellow' newspaper, through its use of shocking headlines and hearsay, largely 'created' the phenomenon surrounding the death of Janet Smith. Odium found it easy to pin the murder on Wong Foon Sing, as he had no love for the 'low caste yellow men' who were immigrating to British Columbia. Ironically, Odium would later become Canada's first Ambassador to China. From March 1943 to October 1946, Odium lived in the Guomindang's wartime capital of Chongqing. In the midst of Japanese air raids and constant confusion, General Odium became acquainted with another Methodist military man, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, whom Victor found "delightful." See Odium, Victor Odium, pp. 23, 61-68, 162-180; Berton, Vimy, pp. 113-115. (Source: The Western Recorder, November 1925, p. 7.) 20 hard fighter"), General Odium made Asian exclusion central to his campaign.45 Like most 'white' British Columbians, Irish-Canadian Odium believed that Asian immigrants were an economic threat because of their immutable, 'biological' characteristics that allowed them to subsist on a standard of living that would "put the white man in his grave." Such beliefs gave Odium a particular hatred for the 'coolie' class from southern China that was immigrating to British Columbia during this period and 'undermining' the wages of 'white' working men. His attitudes towards Japanese immigrants, however, were more ambivalent. Having spent part of his boyhood in Japan, Victor had a deep appreciation for Japanese culture and society. The General's admiration for the nation only increased after Japan's resounding military defeat over Russia in 1905. Nevertheless, Odium (who boasted that he read a book a day) based his objection to Asian immigration on scientific 'knowledge.' As he wrote in the Star, the main objection to Asians immigrating to B.C. was the fact that 'whites' cannot assimilate with 'Orientals' because "such assimilation is biologically a failure." Odium contended that it "is no reflection upon the Mongolian race that it cannot assimilate with the Aryan race [but this] is simply a biological fact."4 6 Odium's language shows that he used the term "assimilate" to mean intermarriage, or the biological fusion of peoples. Not only did modern science 'know' that Europeans and Asians could not intermarry, but any attempt would be utterly disastrous. Odium found the idea of miscegenation between 'Mongolians' and 'Aryans' abhorrent. In the winter of 1923, he was profoundly disappointed when Mary Ellen Smith's Women's and Girl's Protection Act -(De^ e m t T l ' ^ n ' '" fr ° d ' U m ' S " S i " C e r i t y " h i s V i e W S i n " D e & e e s Insincerity," Danger: The Anti-Asiatic Weekly 1, no. 9 46 /• P- -Victor W. Odium, "Reply to a Chinese Critic," Vancouver Star, 26 November 1924, p. 4; Victor W. Odium, "Canada and Japan- The Only 7^JZZZUTA / ^ b e r l T r ' 4 H F ° r T c b a C k g r ° U n d °" ° d , U m ' S f a S d n a t i " g U f e ' S £ e « reCent ~ * h i s s o n t ; Od?umy entitled Victor Odium. As I Saw Him and Knew Him and Some of His Utters: A Memoir (West Vancouver: Petrokle-Tor Publications. 1995). 21 designed to prevent miscegenation in B.C. - was blunted by amendments, rendering it ineffective. Odium also objected to 'blood-mixing' in the metaphorical sense. He worried that a massive influx of Asian immigrants would dilute the bloodstream of British Columbia, 'mongrelizing' the body politic.4 7 On Friday, August 8 - thirteen days after the death of Janet Smith - Victor Odium published an editorial in the Star entitled "Should Chinese Work With White Girls?" This text, which deserves to be reproduced in full, provides one of the clearest statements of the meaning of the bill that was to come. Odium wrote: You cannot make people good by Act of Parliament, no matter whether they have white skin or yellow. But you can at least preserve white girls of impressionable youth from the unnecessary wiles and villainies of low caste yellow men. A year ago Mrs. Mary Ellen Smith introduced in the legislature a bill to prevent white girls from being employed by Orientals. The bill was not defeated. Oh, no; politicians have more artistic methods of handling the rapier than that. It was "amended." The word "Oriental" was struck out of the bill. It was "broadened" to apply to any employer against whom allegations of wrong-doing could be laid and proved. Before they went to their comfortable beds in the Empress Hotel the politicians saw to it that the bill was altered so that it stopped nothing. Then it became law, and as law it has done nothing. A contemporary has just made disclosures about the debauching of a 17-year old white girl by Chinese patrons of a Granville Street Chinese restaurant. Enquiries [sic] indicate that the facts are too unpleasant for public print. But white girls continue to serve under these vile conditions of near-intimacy with Chinese employers and patrons. The tragedy of Janet K. Smith, the lone Scotch girl who appears for some time before her tragic death in a Shaughnessy Heights home to have lived in terror of her Chinese fellow domestic, forces the question as to whether or not white girls and Orientals shall be allowed to share common employment. There are those who will rise in fury at the suggestion. Mixing of the races in the kitchen and in the basement has no terrors for some drawing-rooms. Let those who think that Chinese coolies are good enough companions for white girls in the kitchen surround themselves with their favored Orientals if they wish. But Janet K. Smith and her like deserve the protection that right thinking people and an intelligent Legislature can prescribe. 4 7 0 d l , l j m f C x ' a i m e d 1 . t 0 s y m P a t h i z e w i t h ^ P 3 " ' 5 i n t e r n a l P«*>ems but suggested that the Mikado locate his surplus population to the "great open spaces of Mongolia, not British Columbia. See Odium, "Canada and Japan: The Only Way," Vancouver Star, 19 December 1924, p. 4. 22 The moral ruin of the little 17-year old girl waitress can be laid directly at the door of the solons who "amended" the bill to prevent the employment of white girls by Oriental employers. Does it need any more such tales, or any more such tragedies as that of Janet K. Smith to force protective legislation? We pass laws to protect deer, and grouse, and young crabs. Isn't it time we passed some laws to protect our young womanhood?48 As the investigation into the young nanny's death continued unabated, the United Council (and Victor Odium) began to press for legislation that would become the Janet Smith Bi l l . At the beginning of October, United Council president David Paterson notified the Point Grey Gazette that his organization was beginning a campaign to "prohibit the working of Orientals with white girls." 4 9 Five women in the Scottish Societies' elite formed a committee that would present a petition to the government. Jessica Victoria Stratton, a mother of six children who acted as the committee's leader, stated that we would have liked to include every place of business where white girls and Orientals are employed, but our chief concern is to eliminate working girls being compelled to work with Orientals in private homes and the intimacy which such a condition brings about.50 During the first weekend of October, this committee met with several M L A ' s from the Lower Mainland, including Mary Ellen Smith and Victor Odium, to press for the introduction of such a bill during the upcoming session. Before the Legislature opened on November 3, a large group of Scottish women led by Jessica Stratton travelled by ferry to Victoria to lobby for the bill. Once again, they sought the ear of popular Vancouver M L A Mary Ellen Smith, whom they wanted to introduce their bill in the Legislature. Mary Ellen was well aware of the events of the Janet Smith murder case and the Point Grey Police's apparent bungling of it. Later in the month, she would advocate calling in 4 9 Victor W. Odium, "Should Chinese Work With White Girls?," Vancouver Star, 8 August 1924 p 4 j Q "Janet Smith Case Wi l l be Pressed," Point Grey Gazette, 4 October 1924 p 1 R Z ^ O 1 ^ , ^ Z S , p . ? ^ 1 9 2 4 > " ™ n U y ° " g U S W b l " [ W h i [ e W O m e " ' S E m ^ m - * » A b o - » be 23 Scotland Yard to investigate Janet's murder "so that desperadoes might imbibe a healthy respect for the law" in British Columbia. However, Mary Ellen was reluctant to introduce the Scots' proposed legislation claiming that such a measure would not be "practicable."51 Her hesitation was warranted since she had first-hand experience of the difficulties of getting race-specific legislation through the House. Only twelve months before, Mary Ellen had introduced the Women's and Girl's Protection Act to prohibit 'Oriental'-owned restaurants and laundries from hiring 'white' and First Nations women and girls. The bill had sparked a large protest from the Chinese Benevolent Association and the Chinese Consul who called it an "insult to national pride and character defamation." Despite Mary Ellen's plea that "surely we have the right to pro-tect our own race," the bill was amended (as Victor Odium later lamented) to remove the term "Oriental." 5 2 Attorney-General Alexander Manson stated that the wording of the original bill was ultra vires since it contravened the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911 barring any legal discrimination to Japanese subjects. The change to the bill outraged women's groups and others who could not understand why Mary Ellen accepted "an amendment purposely framed to kill the bi l l . " 5 3 The "hearty and motherly" Mary Ellen Smith [Figure 6] was the Scottish Societies' logical choice to introduce their proposed legislation. Since her first election to the legislature in 1918, Mary Ellen had proved to be a tireless reformer, piloting several 'sadly-needed' social 5 1 "Reorganization of Police Demanded by Lady Member," Victoria Daily Times, 15 November 1924, p. 1; "Would Put Boys Under Wage Act," Vancouver Province, 5 November 1924, p. 1; "Janet Smith Case May Be Brought Before Legislature," Vancouver Province, 4 November 1924, p. 1. Although Victor Odium was an M L A , he was not an obvious candidate to introduce this "women's bi l l ." Also, Odium was preoccupied with piloting the Church Union Bi l l through the House. * The convoluted wording of the amended Women's and Girl's Protection Act made it unlawful for white girls and women to work in places of businesses that the local police, "in the interest of morals," finds it "advisable" that they not do so. See Province of British Columbia, Statutes, Chapter 76. The 1923 Act replaced Section 13 of the Municipal Act of 1919 which specifically read 'Chinese.' The bill was about to be found ultra vires, like a similar law in Saskatchewan. On the debate over the 1923 bill , see "Zhonghua Huiguan yikang nuyong'an" [Chinese Benevolent Association Protests Women's Employment Bill] , Dahan gongbao, 28 November 1923, p. 3; "Chinese Coming Here to Protest New Race 'Slur,'" Victoria Daily Times, 27 November 1923, p. 9. 5 3 "New Law Protects A l l Women," Victoria Daily Times, 20 December 1920, p. 9; " B i l l Practically Ineffective," Western Women's Weekly, 22 December 1923, p. 5. 24 Figure 6 Mary Ellen Smith (1862-1933): Prior to her election to B.C.'s Legislature in January 1918, the Western Women's Weekly praised Mary Ellen as "first, last and always a woman." As this photograph indicates, Mary Ellen did not think that the 'male' world of professional politics should take away from her unique, feminine style. She told English reporters in 1923 that "All through my public life I have endeavored to retain my femininity, and I think I have succeeded ... I do not believe in the adoption of the masculine air by women who are in public life." She served as an M L A from 1918 to 1928. See Western Women's Weekly, 3 January 1918, p. 1; City of Vancouver Archives, clippings, M8710; Norcross "Mary Ellen Smith," pp. 360-363. (Source: BCARS B-01563) 25 reforms through the House. In 1920, she was re-elected in her riding of Vancouver South with the largest electoral victory in Canadian history to that date. After this resounding victory, Premier John Oliver offered her the coveted post of Speaker of the House. Mary Ellen declined, telling fellow reformer Helen Gregory MacGil l that "it is a temptation, of course, but I should stay on the floor of the House to help push through our Bil ls." Although the 'lady Member' was appointed to the Cabinet, Premier John Oliver disappointed both Mary Ellen and her supporters by giving her the title Minister Without Portfolio rather than the expected position of Minister of Women and Children. In late 1921, a frustrated Mary Ellen resigned from the Cabinet declaring that she did not wish to be "so prettily muzzled" as that post left her.54 Unlike her husband Ralph Smith, whose riding of Vancouver South she successfully won after his death in 1917, Mary Ellen did not make anti-Asian sentiment a major plank in her political platform.55 Nevertheless, the 'lady Member' believed that racial issues were a vital political concern. During her decade in the House, Mary Ellen devoted her time to creating laws that were meant to strengthen and purify the 'white race' in British Columbia. Her racial politics focused on the production of 'clean' children, targeting the bodies of young 'white' women as the "mothers of the race." In her first election campaign in January 1918, she promised to do "my utmost to secure the best possible legislation for women and children." The numerous reforms to which she served the role of "stepmother" included new laws regarding infancy, mothers' 5 4 Elsie Gregory MacGill , My Mother the Judge: A Biography of Justice Helen Gregory MacGill (Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1955), pp. 151, 172; A Standard Dictionary of Canadian Biography, ed. Sir Charles G. D. Roberts and Arthur L. Tunnell (Toronto: Trans-Canada Press, 1938), pp. 421-23; Elizabeth Norcross, "Mary Ellen Smith: The Right Woman at the Right Place at the Right Time," in Not Just Pin Money, ed. Barbara Latham and Roberta J. Pazdra (Victoria: Camosun College, 1984), pp. 360-363; Diane Crossley, "The B.C. Liberal Party and Women's Reforms, 1916-1928," in In Her Own Right: Selected Essays on Women's History in B.C., ed. Barbara Latham and Cathy Kess (Victoria: Camosun College, 1980), p. 235. 5 5 On Ralph Smith, see Roy, A White Man's Province, pp. 96-97, 112; Mary Ellen did proudly proclaim to the House that she had never spent a "five-cent piece" in an Asian-run store. See "Mrs. Smith Asks Asiatic Boycott," Victoria Daily Colonist, 21 January 1927, p. 15. 26 pensions, adoption, venereal diseases, and minimum wages for women and children.56 During these years, according to Judge MacGill, British Columbia went from being encumbered by laws "unchanged from the time of Justinian or passed in the reign of long dead British sovereigns" to having "the highest and noblest type" of social legislation "in accord with a newer, higher civilization."5 7 Mary Ellen Smith, like many in her generation, believed that women were "responsible for the future of the race" from their own "womanly, motherly standpoint." In 1918, professing almost Lamarckian views of heredity, she claimed that if harsh working conditions which "undermine [women's] health" continue, it will "injure the health of the nation."58 Mary Ellen's concerns about the link between sexual reproduction and the 'health' of the nation would eventually make her a whole-hearted supporter of Mendelian eugenics and, particularly, sterilization. In December 1925, she learnt of a "feeble-minded couple" in the Victoria area that produced a family of fourteen "feeble-minded" children. She told the Legislature that: The matter must be dealt with in a most scientific way. They should be prevented from reproducing the species by sterilization. Fifteen years ago, no one dared stand up and advocate such a policy, but today we look at things through different eyes, owing to the conditions that have evolved. We cannot afford to wink at it, or joke about it, because the nation must always pay the cost in the end. 5 9 5 6 "Editorial," Western Women's Weekly, 3 January 1918, p. 1; Elizabeth Norcross, "1918-1928: The Decade of Social Legislation," British Columbia Historical News 17, no. 1 (1983), pp. 12-16; Norcross, "Mary Ellen Smith," pp. 360-363; Crossley, "The B.C. Liberal Party and Women's Reforms, 1916-1928," pp. 234-5, 242-4; "Our Business," Western Women's Weekly, 10 May 1919, p. 5; "Government Behind Many Good Reforms Says Mrs. M . E. Smith," Vancouver Sun, 11 June 1924, pp. 1, 5. 5 7 Helen Gregory MacGill , Laws For Women and Children in British Columbia (Vancouver, no publisher, 1928), pp. 6, 10. 5 8 Mrs. Ralph Smith, "Women and Economics," Vancouver Sun, 6 October 1918, p. 4; Gillian Weiss, ' "As Women and as Citizens': Clubwomen in Vancouver 1910-1928," pp. 117, 128. Mariana Valverde examines similar views in Ontario (although she claims her essay is about 'English Canada') in '"When the Mother of the Race is Free': Race, Reproduction, and Sexuality in First-Wave Feminism," in Gender Conflicts, ed. Franca Iacovetta and Mariana Valverde (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), p. 3-28. 5 9 "Mrs. M . E. Smith Urges Members to be Optimistic," Victoria Daily Colonist, 2 December 1925, p. 13; McLaren, Our Own Master Race, pp. 95, 110. Eugenics, the "well-born science" popularized in Victorian England by Francis Galton (cousin to Charles Darwin), proposed that the scientific management of child-rearing could cure the social ills of the modern world. Eugenic thought was not 'received' well in Great Britain until 1900, when the British Army's lackluster performance in the South African War suggested that something was wrong with the British 'race.' For a good introduction to Anglo-American eugenics, see Daniel J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (New York: Alfred A . Knopf, 1985). 27 Sterilizing 'feeble-minded' whites, according to the apostles of eugenics, would purify the race and strengthen the 'body' of British Columbia. The genealogy of Mary Ellen Smith's ideas about race and reproduction can be traced to a larger feminist movement, first conceived in England, and reproduced in North America. In Anna Davin's words, A powerful ideology of motherhood emerged in relation to [the] problems of the early 20th century ... Motherhood was to be given new dignity: it was the duty and destiny of women to be 'mothers of the race,' but also their great reward.6 0 The discourses of Social Darwinism and particularly eugenics gave these ideas a powerful, pol-itical resonance. In the Northeastern United States, such ideas shaped how 'Anglo' leaders interpreted demographic and ethnic changes in that country's population. By 1904, Teddy Roos-evelt would claim that the country was committing "race suicide" because Anglo-Saxon women were not having enough children. In the United States, like most of the western world, the greater burden was always placed on women to preserve and strengthen the race. According to one study, "it was America's potential mothers, not its fathers, who were primarily responsible for the impending social cataclysm. Race suicide seemed a problem in social gynecology."61 The cult of motherhood had many followers in British Columbia. In a remarkable column published in 1920 in the Victoria Daily Colonist, an anonymous feminist wrote: Woman is the guardian of the race's chastity, and as Anglo-Saxons today there is a duty devolving upon [us] that we cannot afford to neglect or to pass by. Three things we stand for, as the mothers of this generation and of the generations yet unborn - The purity of the white race, the standards of Anglo-Saxon civilization and the ethics of Christianity.62 Anna Davin, "Imperialism and Motherhood," History Workshon I«np s r<Jnrin» iQ7S\ „ n r. • . •„• Charles E. Rosenberg and Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, "The Female Animal: Medical and Biological Views of Women " in No Other r w c n Science and American Social Thought (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University P r e « „, «s 7 . c ,' • ° " about Dutch women in colonial Indonesia in Race and the EducalT^Z^ * ' ^ ST°'ER 8 ^ P°'M "Japanese and Enfranchisement - Why Many Women are Opposed," Victoria Daily Colonist, 4 April 1920, p. 21. 28 Moral reformers and 'white' nationalists in British Columbia became fixated upon the production of children. Such concerns explain the introduction of new legislation after the Great War to monitor venereal diseases and restrict marriage. According to a leading Vancouver feminist, Tursa Morwood-Clark: This country will not base its ultimate prosperity on the quality of its herds but on the quality of its children, and there is no other way of raising the standard among children than by prohibiting marriage between those whose offspring will endanger the public health, morals and safety.63 Numerous organizations devoted to the question of children also made child-rearing a vital public concern. The first president of the Children's Welfare Association of British Columbia, David Brankin, believed that children had a right to be "well-born" and advocated declaring "war on any custom, practises [sic], tradition, or false modesty that interferes in any way with the production of clean, healthy children ... [such] conditions will have a far-reaching effect upon our future race unless something is done."64 This impetus to produce "clean, healthy children" should be located within a larger process of nation-building. Biopolitical discourses such as eugenics target women as being "pregnant with the destiny of races" and being, at the most intimate level, the producer of the nation. According to historian Nancy Leys Stepan, The desire to 'imagine' the nation in biological terms, to 'purify' the reproduction of populations to fit hereditary norms, to regulate the flow of peoples across national boundaries, to define in novel terms who could belong to the nation and who could not - all these aspects of eugenics turned on issues of gender and race, and produced intrusive proposals or prescriptions for new state policies toward individuals. Through eugenics, in short, gender and race were tied to the politics of national identity.65 ^ "Urge Clean Bi l l of Health as Aid to Civilization," Victoria Daily Times, 5 December 1923 p 9 David Brankin "Please Mind Your Own Business," Western Women's Weekly, 18 October 1919, p. 3, 18. The word "eugenic" is based on the Greek words for well-born . 6 5 Lucy Bland "'Guardians of the Race' or 'Vampires upon the nation's health'? : Female Sexuality and its Regulation in Early Twentieth-Century Bntain in The Changmg Experience of Women, ed. Elizabeth Whitelegg et al. (Oxford: Martin Robinson and Company Ltd 1982) p 375 Nancy Leys Stepan, "The Hour of Eugenics": Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press 1991) p 105 ' 29 Nationalist thinkers had long been obsessed with the question of who 'could belong' to British Columbia and who 'could not.' Students of B.C. history will readily identify that early nationalists believed that 'white,' preferably Anglo-Saxon, people formed the 'proper' population of B.C. 6 6 However, material forces and the accidents of historical development interacted with nationalist ideology to shape how these ideas played out. British Columbia's geopolitical position on the Pacific Coast and its perceived 'small' white population created an overwhelming concern with the quantity of the 'white' population. Nationalists 'imagined' British Columbia as still being an 'empty land' which would inevitably be filled by 'nearby' Asians if the 'white' population did not increase. The "greatest need of the Province today is white population," declared the Saturday Sunset in 1907, and the best means of keeping out Orientals is to bring whites here ... What British Columbia wants is settlers ... white girls to take the place of Oriental house servants, to come here, and afterwards marry, if they will, and set up new homes and populate the country with white children.6 7 Due to the influence of Social Darwinist and eugenic ideas, nationalists were also concerned with the quality of the population. During the debate prior to the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, former Vancouver Daily World editor John Nelson imagined B.C. as the land where an original British stock has been vitalized by the young life of eastern Canada, and broadened and energized by a liberal infusion of western American blood. They have all mingled in proportions which, while increasing the vigor, have not imperiled the maintenance of the original type.68 Whereas American and Canadian immigration proved beneficial, Nelson feared the consequences of continued Asian immigration. A massive influx of Asian settlers to "an Roy, A White Man's Province, p. 91. "In the Sunset Glow," Saturday Sunset, 6 July 1907, 1, no. 4, p. 1. John Nelson, "Shall We Bar the Yellow Race?," MacLean's, 15 May 1922, p. 13; also, see Nelson, "Wi l l Canada Go Yellow'' " MacLean s 1 November, 1921. 30 attractive land held by sparse thousands of whites" would dilute the bloodstream of B.C. and breed social chaos.69 Such conclusions reveal the powerful force of 'science' and organic metaphors on nationalist thought. The entrance of "allied races" such as 'Anglo' Americans was advantageous but the settlement of Asians was a biological threat. The mere presence of Asians meant the mixing of 'foreign' blood into the body of British Columbia, 'imperiling' its health.70 Nationalist obsessions about the biological health of the population became particularly acute in the 1920's due to a perceived "fertility crisis." The loss of so many men in the Great War put birth rates into a serious decline: British Columbia's fertility rate, as Jean Barman recently noted, went from being one of the highest in Canada to the lowest by 1921.71 While the birth rate among 'whites' in the province was plummeting, the opposite trend was occurring in B.C.'s 'Oriental' communities. According to contemporary observers, the Japanese birthrate in the province was "pyramiding at an alarming rate," becoming almost double that of the 'white' communities. In Peter Ward's words, this demographic trend "seriously threatened the whiteness of white British Columbia. The Japanese were breeding so quickly, it seemed, that their growth rate was outstripping that of provincial whites."72 The "fertility crisis" of the 1920's coupled with the soaring birth rates of 'Orientals' became focal points of political discussion [Figure 7]. Tom Machines, writing in his provocative Oriental Occupation of British Columbia, frequently referred to the Oriental's "almost guinea-6 9 John Nelson, "The Problems of British Columbia," in The Canadian Provinces: Their Problems and Policies (Toronto: The Musson Book Company, 1924), p. 171. On the "Yellow Peril," see H. H. Stevens, "The Oriental Problem: Dealing With Canada As Affected By the Immigration of Japanese, Hindu, Chinese" (Victoria: Provincial Library, 1912), pp. 17-19; Ward, White Canada Forever, p. 6. 7 0 H . H . Stevens called such a situation an "inundation of Orientalism." See Stevens, "The Oriental Problem," p. 17. 7 1 McLaren, Our Own Master Race, p. 43; Barman, The West Beyond the West, pp. 229-30. 7 2 "Br i t i sh Columbia Sees Oriental Population Grow," Christian Science Monitor, 2 April 1924 (University of British Columbia Library, Special Collections and University Archives Division, Alexander Manson Scrapbooks); Ward, White Canada Forever, p. 105. As has been discussed elsewhere, the Japanese community's high birth-rate can be accounted by the 'fact' that most Japanese women in B.C . were of child-bearing age. See Ken Adachi, The Enemy That Never Was: A History of the Japanese Canadians (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Inc., 1991), pp. 154-55. Politicians emphatically objected to allowing Chinese and South Asian women to join their husbands in B.C. for fear of creating a problem that will not go away, like the "Negro problem" in the United States. See H . H . Stevens, "The Oriental Problem," pp. 7-8, 10; Tamara Adilman, " A Preliminary Sketch of Chinese Women and Work in British Columbia, 1858-1950," in Not Just Pin Money, pp. 66-67. 31 pig fecundity" that was quickly mixing 'alien bloods' into the province's 'veins.' Machines wrote: War begins and is waged in queer ways these days. It is war now as between [sic] the Oriental and the European for possession of British Columbia- the one prize region of the whole Pacific ... The very integrity of our race, and its hold on this land of British Columbia, is at stake.73 , ' i -. - - - - - -; The Lonely White ; A R E A L Problem for the Birth Control Enthusiasts. Figure 7 "The Lonely White": 'White' British Columbian nationalists feared that the soaring birth rates of the Asian community in the 1920's showed that the 'Orientals' were "breeding themselves" into possession of the province. This cartoon denotes a pressing concern for eugenists and first-wave feminists - would advocacy of birth control and other feminist rights among white women inevitably bring about the "fall" of the race? Concerns about race suicide and the need for a new "cult of race motherhood" preoccupied early twentieth century thinkers in the Western world. On similar ideas in the United States and England, see Gordon, "The Politics lof Population: Birth Control and the Eugenics Movement" and Soloway, "Feminism, Fertility 'and Eugenics in Victorian and Edwardian England." (Source: Danger: The Anti-Asiatic Weekly, 1 December 1921, p. 20) 73 Tom Maclnnes, Oriental Occupation of British Columbia (Vancouver: Sun Publishing Company Limited, 1927), pp 57 66 70 82- see also Little, "Claiming a Unique Place," pp. 84-85. ' ' ' ' 32 This war was not to be fought on the battlefields but in the bedrooms and maternity wards of the province. "Population was power" in British Columbia and the reproductive capabilities of young 'white' women needed to be mobilized to wage this 'queer war.' Margaret Little has recently analysed how this concern with birth rates and fertility produced the Mothers' Pensions Act of 1920. The Act (which was piloted through the House by Mary Ellen Smith) was designed to allow 'white' women to pursue their sacred role of motherhood or else "you are going to find in B.C. inside of thirty years that you will have nothing but Orientals."74 It was no longer a question of white girls marrying and having white children "if they wil l," as the Saturday Sunset said in 1907; it was their duty if British Columbia was to remain 'white.' In the 1920's, political leaders such as Mary Ellen Smith and Alexander Manson worked within the constraints of these nationalist and racial discourses. They shared the concern that British Columbia would soon be inundated by the 'Yellow Peril' if the 'white' population did not quickly increase. Attorney-General Manson, alarmed by the Japanese birthrate in B.C., told a Victoria audience in 1923 that It is only a matter of time when the white man wil l have to give way unless something more than exclusion is done ... [one] solution but, alas, I am afraid only a theoretical one is suggested. We can urge our white people to beget children, in other words to buck up the birthrate, but I am afraid that in that we shall fail. 7 5 Mary Ellen Smith was another leading advocate of creating a strong, 'white B.C.' by filling the land with 'white' settlers. She believed that the most pressing problem for the province was that Quote of F. L. Welsh (President, Vancouver Trades and Labour Council) in Little, "Claiming a Unique Place" p 91 On the notion of population is power", see AnnaDavin, "Imperialism and Motherhood " pp 10 49 P ' "Exclusion Not Enough to Keep Province White," Victoria Daily Times, 14 September 1923, p. 4 (my italics). 33 it was underpopulated. Once this problem was solved and British Columbians developed a pride in themselves, [then] we wil l get somewhere. Industries wil l grow, employment will be steady, payrolls will be stable, homes will be happier, hearts will be lighter, and British Columbia the desire of all people to flock to because of her climate, her permanency and her development; also, her prosperity [which] will usher in an era undreamed of hitherto.76 Mary Ellen, who advocated "less croaking and more joking," foresaw a grand future for B.C. (which she called the "greatest country in the world") where courage, industry, and optimism would "create a veritable empire." Indeed, Mary Ellen Smith's imagined "British Columbia" was very much a jewel of the larger British Empire. Born in small coal-mining town in Devonshire, Mary Ellen was an unabashed imperialist throughout her early life in England and later in British Columbia. During the 1920's, she was the most vocal advocate among politicians of increasing immigration to the province from Great Britain, calling on British Columbians to "get an Imperial viewpoint." In the fall of 1923, she led a federal delegation to Great Britain to promote immigration to the whole of Canada. She told reporters that the Dominion had a preference for "Britons," since "being of the same race, and living under the same flag, they are not immigrants, but migrants from one part of the Empire to another." A perfect arrangement was at hand, according to Mary Ellen, because "the real trouble with [our] country is that we are underpopulated, while in England it is the reverse."77 Mary Ellen Smith also advocated solving British Columbia's population 'problem' through natural increase. Her enthusiasm for such reforms as the Mothers' Pensions Act of 1920, 7 7 Mrs. Ralph Smith, M . L . A . , "No Place Like Home," Western Women's Weekly, 19 April 1919, p 1 "Mary Ellen Smith Defends Policy of Immigration," Vancouver Sun, 15 January 1924, p. 7;'"No Apology to Offer for Absentees," Vancouver Province, 15 November 1924, p. 3; "Canada for Britons Says Woman Member," Victoria Daily Colonist, 28 September 1923 p 7 34 which were designed to allow 'white' women to pursue their sacred duty of motherhood, was part of her nationalist desire to create a strong 'white British Columbia.' Mary Ellen's views on increasing the 'white' birth rate and her support for sterilization laws seem to contradict each other; yet, when placed within the context of nationalism and biopolitics, the paradox is easily explained. Mary Ellen was concerned with both the quantity and the quality of the 'white' population of British Columbia. She believed that "it means so much" for a nation to breed "a race of sturdy virile men and women." While in England promoting immigration, she made clear that her 'country' only wanted people of the "proper class" - surely not those on the 'dole' who were "fast losing their manhood."78 Yet, Mary Ellen knew that her grand vision of a 'prosperous' and 'permanent' British Columbia would not be produced naturally. Like many others in her generation, she gave special significance to the role of law-making to shape and mould society. During her ten years in public office, the 'lady Member' introduced a series of bills designed to produce the "British Columbia" that she imagined. Her bubbling optimism (which many contemporaries noted) always contained dark undercurrents. Mary Ellen believed that any method must be taken, even sterilization, for "the English speaking people [to] maintain their position of supremacy on which the peace and prosperity of the world depend."79 It was the significance of these complex biopolitical ideas that Mary Ellen, among others, gave to the Janet Smith Bi l l . Protecting 'white' women meant protecting their opportunity and ability to produce healthy, 'white' babies. It was the opinion of many moral reformers, most famously Emily F. Murphy, that the real threat of 'Orientals' was not murder (as supposedly 78 J££P t ^ u ^ r s t Jto^ff'f-lS E ' S DTJ A N 0 V E RT 1 9 1 9'P- ^ E1,E" S M K H D£FENDS P0'IC> °F 2 . ^ ' P ' M r s - M - E S m i t h Defends Action on Immigration," Vancoaver Sun, 26 February 1924, p. 79 Mary Ellen Smith quoted in McLaren, Our Own Master Race, p. 95. 35 befell Janet Smith) but drugs. In her widely read 'expose' The Black Candle, Judge Murphy documented white girls 'falling' into opium dens and becoming wastrels of mankind, thereby forsaking their sacred duty of motherhood. Contemporary fears about "white slavery" and the state of morals in the country reinforced these concerns about the close association of white girls and 'Orientals.' In 1908, the Saturday Sunset reported that "a regular traffic of women is conducted by the Chinese in Vancouver. The Chinese are the most persistent criminals against the person of any woman of any class in this country."80 The lurid journal Danger: The Anti-Asiatic Weekly confidently claimed in 1921 that in "the Pacific Coast cities of British Columbia the enslavement of white girls by Chinese has become too common a practice to escape the notice of anyone." These images shaped how both politicians and moral reformers confronted the 'Oriental menace.' In 1921, Vancouver M P H. H. Stevens told the federal Parliament that there are almost innumerable cases of clean, decent, respectable young women from some of the best homes [in Vancouver] dragged down by the dope traffic, and very, very largely through the medium of the opium dens in the Chinese quarter. The Vancouver Province reported a story in the spring of 1924 of a Victoria clergyman who went to Vancouver's Chinatown and was horrified to find a pretty white girl from Shaughnessy Heights, looking "quite cultured and aristocratic in her bearing," that had been "dragged down" to these depths due to her craving for drugs. The Reverend found another white girl, now a drug addict, being "used as a machine of debauchery by the Chinese."8 1 80 k fr^' yAFHM U r P hv B l a c k C " n d , e ( I 9 2 2 ; rePrint e d - T o r o n t ° : Coles Publishing Company, 1973) pp. 17, 70, 233; the Saturday Sunset quote is from Anderson, Vancouver s Chinatown, p. 98. • 1 l 7 m n t % G i r l S r d f C M i n e u u D f l c ^ A n , i - A s i a , i c Week'y' D e c e m b e r '921. P. 19; Valverde, The Age of Light, Soap and Water, pp. 86, 111-11., Speech of Mr. H . H . Stevens on Immigration," House of Commons, Official Report, 26 April 1921, p. 4; "Saw Vice Dives in Vancouver," Vancouver Province, 12 May 1924, pp. 1, 15. uivcs in 36 A constant assumption in these 'seduction narratives' was that there was something special about the adolescent stage in life that left young women vulnerable to evil-doings. Vancouver judge and prominent moral reformer Helen Gregory MacGil l stated that the "gravest of all menaces ... is the girl, the victim of any and every evil man or woman."8 2 Most narratives of 'white' girls being lured into opium dens begin with the assumption that they were of 'impressionable youth' who, without knowing any better, began experimenting with drugs out of curiosity. However, their "fun" soon proved tragic as they became 'deteriorated' and unable to remove themselves from their plight.83 In The Black Candle, Judge Murphy documented several cases of young women who thought that they were playing a "game," and went to Chinese restaurants "on their own accord" to experiment with drugs. Despite such innocent beginnings, once a young woman becomes a drug addict, she loses control of herself; her moral senses are blunted, and she becomes "a victim" in more senses than one. When she acquires the [drug] habit, she does not know what lies before her; later, she does not care. She is a young woman who is years upon years old. Very often, drugs like opium led to sterility which "in [the] face of persistently falling birthrates" was nothing short of alarming. If these young 'white' women did become mothers, they produced wretched "half-caste infants" whom they often "farmfed] out" and then went back to the opium ° z Helen Gregory MacGill , "The Relation of the Juvenile Court to the Community," Canadian Journal of Mental Hygiene 1, no. 3 (October 1919), p. 235. Hugh Dobson, in a letter to David Brankin in Vancouver, made the 'obvious' remark that "it is well recognized that the problem of the feeble-minded girl is more serious and difficult than that of the feeble-minded boy." See Dobson to Brankin, 12 December 1919, Hugh Dobson papers, V S T , Box A5 (1), File B (1). On similar concerns elsewhere, see Lucy Bland, '"Guardians of the Race' or 'Vampires upon the nation's health'?," p. 374; Mary E. Odem, Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920. (Chapel Hi l l : University of North Carolina Press, 1995), pp. 99-102. Vincent Wray, "How Dope Makes Maniacs," The Beacon 1, no. 2 (January 1925), p. 2; Murphy, The Black Candle, p. 70; "Toronto Girls and Chinese," Danger: The Anti-Asiatic Weekly, I December 1921, pp. 22, 30; Odium, "Should Chinese Work With White Girls?," Vancouver Star. 8 August 1924, p. 4. 37 den. According to Murphy, "As one looks upon these wrecks of humanity [women addicts], one is appalled by the sight and fearful for the future of the race."8 4 * * * ^ i t h such moral and racial concerns, Mary Ellen Smith overcame her initial reluctance, listened to her political instincts, and agreed to introduce the United Council's proposal. During Bi l l 24's second reading on 27 November 1924, Mary Ellen made only a brief speech to the House. She reportedly stated that "it may be argued that it is a discriminatory measure and a subject on which this house has no right to legislate ... but if there is any discrimination to be shown in British Columbia it should be in favour of our own British race."85 The notably defensive tone of Mary Ellen's words indicates the political controversy that her bill had created. Although a majority supported the bill - Victoria mayor Reginald Hayward wanted Bi l l 24 to go even further - there were dissenting voices. One Conservative M L A , in decidedly 'British' fashion, ridiculed Bi l l 24 as a "tempest in a teacup." Several Members received complaints from their constituents protesting such an infringement upon their "private" sphere. Other reports indicated that many female servants feared that the bill would only harm them since their employers would opt for the cheaper, more efficient, 'Oriental' servant.86 Most criticism of Bi l l 24 among 'white' British Columbians concerned its fairness. A prominent women's group in Victoria, the Kumtuk society, publicly stated that the bill's M Murphy, The Black Candle, pp. 17, 46-47, 306; a more scathing portrait, set in England, about "these perverted Asiatics [who] remain with us although openly convicted as polluters of child-purity" can be found in Reverend Duncan McDougall's magazine 77ie Beacon. See "Ogres From the Orient; White Girls and Chinese Brutes," The Beacon 2, no. 1 (December 1925), pp. 30-32. 8 5 "Strong Lobby is Supporting Oriental B i l l , " Vancouver Star, 28 November 1924, p. 1. The Daily Colonist reported Mary Ellen as merely saying "our own race" whereas the Province claims she said "white race." See "Attorney-General to Join Debate Upon Mrs. Smith's Oriental Employment B i l l , " Vancouver Province, 28 November 1924, p. 7; "The Session," Victoria Daily Colonist, 28 November 1924, p. 3. 8 6 Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, p. 123; "Says Chinese Have Right in Homes," Vancouver Province, 26 November 1924, p. 1; " B i l l Likely to be Killed," Vancouver Sun, 25 November 1924, p. 6; "Housemaids Opposed to Oriental Ban Act," Vancouver Star, 29 November 1924, p. 1. 38 implication that Wong Foon Sing was guilty was not true to British ideals of justice.87 The Vancouver Province printed a more comprehensive criticism of the Janet Smith Bi l l on 29 November. In the editorial "Playing Politics," the author noted that the bill clearly violated the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911 and chastised Mary Ellen Smith and other politicians for _ debating a bill that would never be passed into law. The bulk of the editorial, however, focused on how the bill condemns all 'Oriental' men for what Wong Foon Sing may have done. While careful to note that his newspaper "holds no brief for the Orientals" and "would not shed a tear if the whole crowd of them were shipped back to Asia bag and baggage," the author wrote: it holds that while the Orientals are with us, it is our duty to be fair to them; and the Janet Smith bill is not fair. It is based on an illogicality. It assumes that some Oriental was, in some way, to blame for the Janet Smith murder. That has not been proven. No Oriental has been convicted or even accused. Yet this bil l, without advancing a jot of evidence, or allowing those interested to say a word in their own defense, undertakes to try, convict and sentence all the Orientals in the province. That is not British justice. If the bill were advanced on its merits it would be an obnoxious measure. But when it is being debated without any likelihood that ;t wil l ever become effective, and simply to take advantage of the inflamed stare of public opinion, one can only regard it as an attempt to humbug the public. It is time the Legislature dropped it and went on with the real work of the session.88 The most vocal critics of the Janet Smith Bi l l , not surprisingly, were to be found in B.C.'s Chinese communities. The Chinese Consul to Vancouver, Dr. Lin Pao Heng, immediately denounced the bill as unfair and discriminatory. As in the previous year's fight over the Women's and Girls' Protection Act, the Chinese Consul along with the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver would not simply acquiesce to perceived injustices but would mobilize every tactic possible to defeat the bill. Material concerns were an obvious factor in this decision to counter the Janet Smith Bi l l . As Paul Yee and others have documented, many men in the Chinese 88 ^ K u m t u k s D i s c u s s J a n e t S m ' t h B i l l , " Victoria Daily Times, 2 December 1924, p 6 "Playing Politics," Vancouver Province, 29 November 1924, p. 6. 39 community found work as domestic servants ("houseboys") for their means of sustenance [Figure 8]. Many Chinese leaders were concerned that other provinces in Canada might enact similar legislation. This scenario coupled with the "unlimited scope" of the bill made the "situation dangerous," potentially leaving the Chinese community "with no leg to stand on" throughout Canada.89 The most pressing concern for Lin Pao Heng and other Chinese leaders, however, may be called "the politics of recognition." The meanings of the bill that made "criminal suspects" of all Chinese men caused the most outrage among the community's leaders.90 Lin travelled to Victoria on 24 November to consult with Premier John Oliver, Attorney-General Manson and Mary Ellen Smith. Although Mary Ellen declined to speak with him, Lin was able to have meetings with Oliver and Manson. The Chinese Consul told "Honest John" that not only was the bill discriminatory but it did not "correspond with reality." Premier Oliver was unsure about his position on the bill but he undoubtedly repeated his concern about the evil influence that Chinese men had on young 'white' girls. A year earlier, when Lin arrived in Victoria to complain about Mary Ellen's restaurant bill, Oliver told Lin that it was the danger of narcotics - so "poisonous" to young girls - that makes such legislation necessary.91 The Chinese-language newspaper in Vancouver, Tai Hon Hong Bo [Dahan gongbao], featured a front-page editorial on November 27 denouncing the Janet Smith Bi l l and calling upon " v Paul Yee, Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese in Vancouver (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 1988), pp. 54-57; "Lin kangyi nuyong'an" [Lin Protests Women Servants' Bil l] , Dahan gongbao, 27 November 1924, p. 3. 9 0 Charles Taylor, "The Politics of Recognition," in Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition": An Essay By Charles Taylor, ed. Amy Gutman (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), pp. 25-26; Lee, Disappearing Moon Cafe, p. 224. 9 1 "L in kangyi nuyong'an" [Lin Protests Women Servants' Bil l] , Dahan gongbao, 27 November 1924, p. 3; "Yejian sheng dangzhu bo nuyongli j i " [Report on Delegation to Legislature to Refute Women's Employment Bil l] , Dahan gongbao, 5 December 1923, p. 5. After repeated protests by the Chinese Consul about the Municipal Act of 1919 (see note 52), M L A George Bell advised Premier Oliver that it "is to safeguard our women and girls that these acts are passed [,] please say this when explaining this matter to Chinese Consul." Bell noted that recent legislation affecting liquor houses, which were also meant to protect women, were directed at predominantly white-owned businesses. See Bell to Oliver, 19 April 1920, Box 9, File 23, Premier's Correspondence, Chinese Canadian Research Collection (University of British Columbia Library, Special Collections and University Archives Division). 40 Figure 8 A Chinese 'Houseboy': Like the Chinese servant in this photograph, 'houseboys' were central to the everyday life of many 'white' British Columbian families. Painter and novelist Emily Carr remembered: "Victoria ladies made do with raw, neat pigtailed, homesick China boys ... The Chinese all wore clothes cut from exactly the same pattern - long black pants, loose white shirts worn outside the pants, white socks and aprons, cloth shoes with soles an inch thick and no heels. They scuffed along with a little dragging slip-slop sound... The Chinese kept themselves entirely to themselves like rain drops rolling down new paint - learning our ways, keeping their own. When their work was done they put on black cloth coats made the same shape as their white shirts, let the pigtail which had been wound round their heads all day drop down their backs, and off they went to Chinatown to be completely Chinese till the next morning. They learned just enough of our Canadian ways to earn Canadian money - no more." See Emily Carr, "Servants," The Book of Small, p. 104-105. (Source: Vancouver Public Library, 35474) 41 all members of the community to help defeat it. In the editorial entitled "Plan to Protest Harsh Women Servants' B i l l , " the author calls the bill under consideration "discriminatory and unreasonable" and "even more harsh" than previous laws. The Janet Smith B i l l , according to this editorial, depicts Chinese men as "poisonous snakes, scorpions and wild animals." The -editorialist contests these images by declaring, in very 'Orientalist' language, that China's 4000-year history makes all Chinese men born polite, moral and not a threat to "shame" white women. Then, in a sentiment characteristic of this "May Fourth" period of Chinese nationalism, the author laments that it is only because China is a weak nation that such laws can even be conceived.92 The immediate and vociferous reaction of the Chinese community of the province suggests that they played a more important role in British Columbia's history than familiar 'nar-ratives' have conveyed. As Timothy Stanley has noted elsewhere, tie Chinese communities < f B.C. were not passive victims of "white racism" but deployed every tactic possible to improve their position in the province.93 Like the Chinese students' strike in Victoria in 1923, which Stanley examined elsewhere, the Chinese actors in the Janet Smith murder mystery were not content to play a non-speaking role. They tried to get their voices heard by talking to politicians, their employers and the local press. One Chinese 'voice,' which found its way into the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Vancouver Star conveys the dominant attitudes of this diverse ~" "Choukang nuyong ke l i " [Plan to Protest Harsh Women Servants' Law], Dahan gongbao, 27 November 1924, p. 1. The 'essentializing' statements in the editorial are similar to Edward Said's criticism of European scholars' accounts of the Orient: "the tense they employ is the timeless eternal ... it is frequently enough to use the simple copula is." Said notes the irony of modern 'Arab' scholars using the same vocabulary and ideas that European scholars used to 'essentialize' Arab culture during the nineteenth century. See Said, Orientalism, pp. 72, 322-23. 9 3 Stanley, "Defining the Chinese Other," pp. 3, 104; Timothy J. Stanley, "White Supremacy, Chinese Schooling, and School Segregation in Victoria: The Case of the Chinese Students' Strike, 1922-1923," Historical Studies in Education 2, no. 1 (Autumn 1990). The Japanese Consul in Vancouver was ambivalent about the bill because so few Japanese nationals worked as domestic servants. In the end, however, Japanese officials made protests to the governments in Victoria and Ottawa. "Few Japanese are Affected by B i l l , " Vancouver Province, 29 November 1924, p. 12; "Riben jiang kangyi nuyongli" [Japanese Shall Support Protest of Women Servants' Law], Dahan gongbao, 29 November 1924, pp. 2-3. 42 community. In his letter, "Pertinax" (whom the Star recognized being as a "well-known Chinaman in Vic tor ia") , states that if such a b i l l were to become law, it surely would be a disgrace to the August law-making body of this fair province of British Columbia ... I do not believe that there are more than a very few families of this province who can afford to employ an Occidental g i r l in addition to an Oriental man (who is generally preferable). Then why all this fuss? 9 4 What the "fuss" was all about was nothing less than the future of British Columbia. The Janet Smith B i l l can only be understood as a product of the prevailing discourses of nationalism which 'imagined' B . C . in biological terms. This paradigm viewed Asian immigrants as a biological threat to British Columbia in both a metaphorical and literal sense. Asians were "unassimilable" because they could not intermarry with the European population and thereby become "a part of ourselves." Furthermore, large numbers of Asian immigrants would symbolically 'dilute' the 'blood' of B . C . , 'mongrelizing' the province. Federal politician H . H . Stevens was emphatic about this issue, frequently making blunt assertions that "assimilation means intermarriage" and questioning whether immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as wel l as Asians, could effectively "fuse" with the biological whole. It was scientific knowledge that 'confusing' such widely separated races would only produce weak, deteriorated offspring. A child born of European and Asian parents, according to one observer, "is a type of humanity that loathes itself as much as it is loathed by others. Why permit the creation of that race here in our white British Columbia?" 9 5 The concern for maintaining British Columbia's racial boundaries - producing and reproducing a "white British Columbia" - is at the heart of the Janet Smith B i l l . It was designed 9 4 "Chinese View Expressed," Vancouver Star, 26 November 1924, p. 4. 9 5 On Stevens' views, see "Minister Deals With Orientals," Victoria Daily Colonist, 2 December 1921, p. 1; "Xianzhi yiminli zhi yu" [Extremist Speech on Immigration Restriction], Dahan gongbao, 15 April 1922, p. 3. On Eurasians, see L. M . F. Beytagh, "British Columbia's Racial Problem," MacLean's, 1 June 1930, p. 30. 43 to prevent miscegenation in the province by keeping young 'white' women and Chinese men apart. As Victor Odium wrote in one of his editorials, the matter under consideration is a psychological one. There can be no question that the intimacy which such a condition as the employment of white girls and Chinamen in the same home brings about leaves the door open to all sorts of possibilities. It is a racial as well as a moral question.96 The "possibilities" that Odium hints at are, of course, the dangers of interracial sex and the production of Eurasian children. Miscegenation, the literal 'mixing of blood,' was a threat to the defined racial boundaries of the province. The production of Eurasian children created a "tension between a belief in the immutability and fixity of racial essence and a discomforting awareness that these racial categories are porous and protean at the same time."9 7 Recent theories by legal anthropologists and historians state that modern nationalism "demands a congruence between culture and law"; that there must be a symmetry between a nation's 'imagined' identity and its legal order. Tina Loo recently suggested that "it might be possible that the law - or perhaps the act of making law - played a central role in adumbrating the social and ethical boundaries of white British Columbia." It may be added that making laws protecting the morals (and bodies) of 'white' women, such as the Janet Smith Bi l l , were meant to 'adumbrate' the racial boundaries of B .C . 9 8 Such concerns about British Columbia's racial identity preoccupied the man who would ultimately have the last word on the Janet Smith Bi l l , Attorney-General Alexander Manson [Figure 9]. The "cool, detached member from Omineca," whom Peter Ward identified as the Victor W. Odium, "Chinese and White Girls," Vancouver Star, 9 October 1924, p. 4. Ann Laura Stoler, "Sexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers," Comparative Studies in Society and History 24, no. 3 (July 1992) p 536- see also Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire, p. 46; Young, Colonial Desire, p. 180. Collier and Starr, "Introduction," p. 11; Tina Loo, "Dan Cranmer's Potlatch: Law as Coercion, Symbol, and Rhetoric in British Columbia, 1884-1951, Canadian Historical Review 73, no. 2 (June 1992), p. 151. Sarah Deutsch makes a similar point about the meaning of anti-miscegenation laws in the history of the American West. See Deutsch, "Landscape of Enclaves: Race Relations in the West, 1865-1990 " in Under an Open Sky Rethinking America's Western Past, ed. William Cronon, George Miles, and Jay Gitlin (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992), p. 117. 44 Figure 9 Alexander Malcolm Manson (1883-1964) Born in Missouri, 'Alex' was raised by grandparents in Ontario on "poverty, porridge and Presbyterianism." After graduating from Osgoode Hall in 1908, Manson and his family moved to Prince Rupert, setting up that town's first law office. In 1916, Manson became the M L A for the northern riding of Omineca and began a mercurial climb to the powerful post of Attorney-General. Although this official portrait (taken in 1922) shows a rather dignified, regal presence, other photos portray Manson as a dour-faced, sullen personality. During his long career on the Supreme Court, he found the title of 'the hanging judge' to be a compliment. See Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, pp. 51-53; Moore, Angelo Branca, pp. 81-84. (Source: BCARS F-05907) 45 "leading nativist" among politicians of the day, had a markedly different political style than the energetic and feisty Mary Ellen Smith. Manson advocated a "clear and dispassionate" brand of politics, claiming that there was "no more reason why we should become excited and lose our poise in a discussion about public questions than there is in discussing with our wives the purchase of a piece of household furniture." Observers of the rising star of British Columbian politics, who at age 41 seemed destined to become Premier, noted that he "delved for knowledge and was never satisfied until he had obtained all the information available on every problem."99 A proud Scotsman, 'Alex' Manson repeatedly assured the United Council that "every possible clue that can lead to the disclosure of the real truth in regard to the death of Janet Smith will be minutely investigated." He condemned the "inexcusable mistakes" of the Point Grey Police and hired a special investigator to personally investigate what happened to the "girl from the Old Country." 1 0 0 He did not become directly involved in the deb ite over the Janet Smith Bi l l , however, until December 4. Perhaps it was Manson's habit of 'delving for knowledge' that explains his failure to comment on Mary Ellen's bill during its first two readings on the 24th and 27th of November. Yet, when the adjourned second reading resumed on the cold Thursday after-noon in December, it was Manson who took centre stage. In a style that observers lamented could be "almost boringly thorough," he spoke for over an hour about the bill and about the murder investigation as a whole.1 0 1 One aspect of Bi l l 24 that Manson objected to immediately was its implications for the Janet Smith murder case. He was well aware that many British Columbians, particularly those who read the Star or followed the inquest in September, believed Wong Foon 9 9 Alexander Malcolm Manson, "Notes from Mr. Manson's Speech on Progress of British Columbia," in Speaker's Handbook (Victoria: Diggon's Limited, 1928) p. 19; Ward, White Canada Forever, p. 130; MacGill , My Mother the Judge, p. 177; Russell R. Walker, Politicians of a Pioneering Province (Vancouver: Mitchell Press Limited, 1969), p. 38. 1 0 0 "Grand Jury is Held on Order from Victoria," Vancouver Star, 27 October 1924, p. 1; "Attorney-General Issues Statement," Point Grey Gazette, 1 November 1924, p. 1; "Plans Still to Solve Janet Smith Mystery," Vancouver Province, 27 November 1924, p. 1. 1 0 1 Walker, Politicians of a Pioneering Province, p. 38. 46 Sing to be Janet's murderer. However, Manson (who would eventually serve over two decades as a judge on British Columbia's Supreme Court) had a deep sense of honour and fair play. He often told the House "let us be British": a phrase which he believed encapsulated his ideas about justice. During his speech that Thursday afternoon, Manson emphatically stated that Wong's guilt had not been proved so "the bill therefore cannot rightly have any foundation in that case." 1 0 2 With those insinuations cleared up, Manson then proceeded. With the cool rationality deserved of one of Swift's Houyhnhnms, Manson carefully analysed both the merits and faults of Mary Ellen Smith's proposal. He "looked at the matter from various angles without indicating the government's attitude" towards Bi l l 24. The Attorney-General came to the House armed with statistics about sex crimes committed against women suggesting that men of "our own race" were more of a threat than 'Orientals.' His statistics that "English, Irish and Scottish" men had committed more than forty percent of the sex crimes in the province since 1919 (whereas no Asian had been arrested) challenged one meaning of the bill, which suggested that "Orientals had greater influence for evil upon white girls than did men of any other race." 1 0 3 The Attorney-General then provided the House with a short history of similar legislation passed in previous years. More energy has been given to passing these laws, Manson claimed, then there has been enforcing them. Despite efforts to combat 'Oriental' crime and its effects upon 'white' women, all attempts have proven futile. Although Manson could not cite any case of an 'Oriental' being l 0 2"Sidelights on Proceedings in Legislature of Province," Vancouver Province, 5 December 1924, p. 2; Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, p. 52. 1 0 3 Recent work by Karen Dubinsky on rape in Ontario seems to agree with Manson's point. In the case of domestic servants like Janet Smith, Dubinsky cites their white employers as being overwhelmingly the most likely perpetrator of sexual assault. See Dubinsky, Improper Advances: Rape and Heterosexual Conflict in Ontario, 1880-1929 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), p. 52. On the debate, see "Domestics Bi l l in House," Vancouver Province, 5 December 1924, p. 7; "Tells of White Girls' Danger From the Orientals," Victoria Daily Times, 5 December 1924, p. 6. There was a popular "narrative" that Janet Smith was pregnant with her employer F. L. Baker's child when she was murdered. The repeating of this rumour, along with the "wild party" story, in the periodical Saturday Tribune led to Baker filing a libel charge against its publisher, J. S. Cowper, in the spring of 1925. Baker eventually won the suit. See Starkins, Who Killed Janet Smith?, pp. 228-235. 47 charged with a sex crime since 1919, he was sure that such crimes were being committed. The Attorney-General urged M L A ' s to give "due regard" to just how effective the bill could be before passing it to the Lieutenant-Governor for royal assent.104 Although Manson was unsure about the physical danger of 'Oriental' men, he did discuss what he believed to be the most serious implication of 'white' women and 'Orientals' working closely together: drugs. Manson had an uncompromising attitude when it came to this subject, firmly believing that drugs such as opium "destroyed the soul" of a person. As a Supreme Court justice, he would wield equally harsh sentences to drug traffickers and rapists. In Manson's mind, the identification of Chinese men with the 'opium fiends' and 'white slavers' of popular literature was sound. Earlier in the fall, Manson told the House that there was evidence that "Chinese had control of high school [white] girls through their subjection to narcotics." Such beliefs led him to praise Bi l l 24 because it was not in the best moral interests that 'white' girls and Orientals work in "close proximity" out of fear that the drug habit "might be contracted by white girls through the influence of the Oriental."1 0 5 Manson's concerns about 'white' girls becoming drug addicts cannot be separated from his nationalist ideas. Manson believed that the 'enfeebling' effect of narcotics coupled with the intimacy of such a work situation - what Victor Odium mistakenly called "the problem of propinquinity"1 0 6 - could lead to race-mixing, and then social chaos for British Columbia. The Attorney-General was well-read in Victorian sources about the effects of race-mixing, often warning of the "distinct ethnological characteristics" of Asians compared to Europeans and the j " 4 "Tells of White Girls' Danger From the Orientals," Victoria Daily Times, 5 December 1924, p. 6. "Domestics Bi l l in House," Vancouver Province, 5 December 1924, p. 7; "Would Protect Girls From Dope," Victoria Daily Colonist 5 December 1924, p. 5; "Members Sink Politics in Unanimous Demand that Lash be Used on Drug Peddlers," Victoria Daily Times, 19 November 1924, p. 7; "High School Girls Taught Drug Habit," Vancouver Star, 19 November 1924, p. 1. On Manson's career as a judge, see Vincent Moore, Angela Branca: "Gladiator of the Courts" (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 1981), pp. 81-95. Moore calls Manson the worst judge he had ever seen. Victor Odium consistently used (and misspelled) the term "propinquity" (or nearness) to describe the problem at hand. 48 need to prevent racial deterioration. "I have no feeling against the Oriental," claimed Manson, "but there is an ethnological difference which cannot be overcome. The two races cannot mix, and I believe our first duty is to our own people."107 Manson objected to any notion of the races mixing either through immigration or the production of a Eurasian race. In 1922, the Attorney-General himself had tried to amend the Factories Act to bar 'white' women from working in Chinese stores and factories, thereby preventing the literal 'Orientalizing' of 'white' British Columbia. 1 0 8 Despite his obvious sympathies for its intents, Manson knew that Bi l l 24 could not be passed into law. A l l provinces in Canada had to comply with the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911, which protected Japanese nationals from discriminatory legislation. The use of the term 'Oriental' in Bi l l 24 - as Chinese Consul Lin Pao Heng and the 'white' lawyers hired by the Chinese Benevolent Association pointed out - discriminated against 'Japanese' as well as 'Chinese,' making it a clear violation of the treaty. Manson could not simply change the wording of the bill to read "Chinese" since, under the British North America Act of 1867, only the federal government in Ottawa had the power to enact legislation targeting specific nationality groups such as "Chinese." 1 0 9 By the end of his long speech, Attorney-General Manson made it clear that amendments were needed or else Bi l l 24 will be ultra vires. He declined to comment on a suggestion made the day before by Conservative M L A Thomas G. Coventry. The Member for Saanich had proposed placing a $500 annual tax on male servants (except those in country clubs) 1 0 7 "House Asks Industries to Oust A l l Orientals and Help to End Unemployment," Victoria Daily Times, 18 December 1924, p. 3 See also "Let Orientals Go Home, Says Manson," Victoria Daily Times, 3 June 1922, p. 28; Anderson, Vancouver's Chinatown, p. 113; Roy, " B . C ' s Fear of Asians," p. 666. 1 0 8 "Manson Urges Stop to Chinese Hiring White Girls in B.C. , " Victoria Daily Times, 23 November 1922, p. 7; "Domestics Bi l l in House," Vancouver Province, 5 December 1924, p. 7. 1 0 9 Provincial governments, however, could target races such as 'Oriental' or 'white.' See Henry F. Angus, "The Legal Status in British Columbia of Residents of Oriental Race and Their Descendants," in The Legal Status of Aliens in Pacific Countries, ed. Norman MacKenzie (Oxford. Oxford University Press, 1937), pp. 78-79. The text of the 1911 treaty (which Canada adhered to after 1913) can be found in Peter Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, 1911-15: A Study of British Far Eastern Policy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1969), pp. 49-50. 49 so that there would be no need for race-specific legislation. On the motion of the Liberal member for Delta, Alexander Paterson, the House then adjourned debate on Bi l l 24 . " ° * * * * ;4 few days after the Attorney-General's speech, Mary Ellen Smith became concerned that her bil l was doomed. Although she demanded an "immediate verdict" on its merits, she sensed that B i l l 24 would not be given a mandatory third reading before the Legislature's session was scheduled to end on December 19. She became philosophical about Bi l l 24's impending defeat, proudly declaring that the bill has already focused attention on the problem of Oriental servants in the home more than ever before and awakened the employers of servants to the danger of keeping Orientals who do not live up to proper standards. In addition; it has put the white servant girls on their guard. On the whole, whether it is endorsed or not, the bill wil l do a great deal of good. 1 1 1 Eight days later, on December 16, Attorney-General Manson instructed that Bi l l 24 be dropped from the Order Papei On consultation with Premier John Oliver, Mi-nson agreed that the bill WHS ultra vires in that it contravened the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911.1 1 2 Unlike the previous year, Manson saw no point in amending the bill. He feared that if the State were to interfere in any way, it would only be the 'white' girls of the province who would suffer. So, "without further comment, the House proceeded with other business and the famous Janet Smith Bi l l went by the board." Various M L A ' s (probably led by Victor Odium) grumbled in the hallways outside the legislature - some hoping that Coventry's suggestion of a male headtax be brought in at the next session - but there was no more discussion of B i l l 24 in the "°"Male House Servants May Be Taxed $500," Vancouver. Star, 4 December 1924, p. 1; "Xiugai nuyongli yu dula" [Amendments to Women Servants' Bi l l Becoming Sinister], Dahan gongbao, 5 December 1924, p. 3; JLAPBC, p. 103. | | 2 " A s k H o u s e t 0 Urge Repeal of Treaties Restricting Canada's Oriental Control," Victoria Daily Times, 9 December 1924, p. 1. JLAPBC, p. 151; "Domestics Bi l l is Dropped in House," Vancouver Province, 17 December 1924, p. 29. 50 House." 3 A political observer from the Vancouver Sun, in a stinging review of the 'do-nothing' Session, later singled out Mary Ellen's bill for scorn. He cruelly wrote: At no time in parliamentary history has a bunch of pseudo-public champions been so thoroughly revealed as plain four-flushers standing on a clay pedestal of cheap publicity. There was sobbing Mary Ellen with her Janet Smith bill, which she and everybody else knew perfectly well the Legislature had no power to pass. But it made a strong hit with the "poor working girl," and even the "poor working girls" have votes, my dear." 4 Although his image of Mary Ellen as a hysterical female does not stand up, the editorialist's criticism of the bill (in retrospect) seems accurate. Politicians like Manson and Mary Ellen Smith always knew that the bill was 'not practicable' (as Mary Ellen told Jessica Stratton on November 4) but they made political capital out of it anyway. Such a conclusion does not alter my interpretation of what the Janet Smith Bi l l meant. It is precisely because these politicians were playing to the gallery (where the Scottish ladies watched approvingly during these debates) that the events surrounding Bi l l 24 were so significant. The impetus to prevent miscegenation in the province and protect 'white' women was a product of the dominant discourses of nationalism, race and gender. Actors such as Victor Odium and Alexander Manson wanted the legal order of the province to be in congruence with their imagined community of 'white British Columbia.' In order to produce (and reproduce) this 'white British Columbia,' nationalist discourses targeted young women as 'mothers of the race,' carrying the destiny of the province in their wombs. Policing their behaviour - preventing them from becoming 'fallen women' in opium dens or producing 'half-caste' babies - was of critical importance. The lobbying for a law protecting young women and its introduction into the 1 1 3 "Janet Smith Bi l l Finally Dropped; Is Contrary to Canada's Pact With Japan," Victoria Daily Times, 17 December 1924, p. 18; "Janet K. Smith Bi l l is Dropped in Legislature," Vancouver Star, 17 December 1924, p. 7. ' 1 4 "Political Hokum," Vancouver Sun, 21 December 1924 (Alexander Manson Scrapbooks). 51 Legislature was not the work of racial bigots but was a product of mainstream culture in 1920's British Columbia." 5 It is of no small importance that on 19 December 1924, the B.C. legislature unanimously condemned the Anglo-Japanese treaty of 1911 for frustrating their attempt to produce a 'white British Columbia.' This treaty, of course, was the legal stumbling block that prevented Bi l l 24 from being passed into law. The meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l explain much about racial and nationalist thought in 1920's British Columbia. The organic metaphors deployed by reformers and politicians to "imagine" B.C. both reflected and produced their incessant drive to purify the body politic, and remove any 'foreign substances' from its bloodstream. Clearly, race was a central concern to political actors in early twentieth-century British Columbia. The popular reception of eugenic ideas among reformers and politicians, and their later attempts to rid the gene pool of 'feeble-minded' whites through sterilization laws, demonstrate their concern about the vigour of the 'white race' in B . C . " 6 In terms of interracial relations, this nationalist discourse perceived Asian immigration as a biological threat, imperiling the 'health' of British Columbia. Such concerns cannot be dismissed as "prejudice" or as an intellectual fraud. The scientific knowledge cited by actors like Victor Odium was genuinely the 'truth' as past actors understood it. The meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l also revealed how intertwined the categories of race, gender, nation, and sexuality were in dominant social thought. The nationalist project to produce a 'white British Columbia' was more precarious than familiar narratives have revealed. The imagined community of 'British Columbia' was never a fixed entity but always in the process of 'being made'; hence the elite's obsessions with monitoring the racial and social ' 1 5 Anthropologist Clifford Geertz makes a similar point about the relationship between politics and culture in "The Politics of Meaning " in The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), p. 312. McLaren, Our Own Master Race, p. 105. 52 'boundaries' of the province. As theorists have recently noted, the use of organic metaphors like the human body imply "a counter-sense of fragmentation and dispersion." For all the rhetoric about the British Columbian 'body,' the meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l reveals that nationalists were "at the same time obsessively fixed upon, and uncertain of, the boundaries of society.""7 In order to produce the 'white British Columbia' that they were imagining, reformers and nationalists wanted to police the imagined community's racial boundaries at the most intimate of levels, thereby making sexual choices a public, racial concern.118 Recent theories by Homi K. Bhabha provide a final way of interpreting the Janet Smith Bi l l and the larger question of how past British Columbians "imagined" themselves. Bhabha argued that the ambiguous term 'nation' can be understood as a "narrative strategy" - that "a people" is constructed through the performance of stories (and histories). These "national narratives" are never fixed entities but always change over the course of time: the plotline is constantly being re-written, the meanings of episodes in the story changing. Due to this inherent instability, national narratives always produce "counter-narratives" that "erase the totalizing boundaries" created by the dominant 'history,' making 'national identity' a "complex, on-going negotiation.""9 The debate surrounding the Janet Smith Bi l l gives insight into the 'national narratives' that were deployed to construct an identity for British Columbia during the 1920's. The dominant narrative, which actors like Manson and Odium used, imagined B.C. as a land populated by the 'whites' who pioneered it, who are themselves striving to retain it as a home for J j 7 Young, Colonial Desire, p. 4; Bhabha, "DissemiNation," p. 296. Due to the sex ratios of the Asian communities at the beginning of the twentieth century (in the Chinese population of B.C. , it was 10:1 in favour of men), there was little talk of the dangers of sexual relations between 'white' men and Asian women. By 1930, the sex ratio of the Japanese population had evened out enough to make some nationalists warn that 'white' men and Japanese women were becoming too "fam-iliar." See L. M . F. Beytagh, "British Columbia's Racial Problem," Maclean's, 1 June 1930, pp. 28, 30. Bhabha, "DissemiNation," pp. 292-320; Bhabha, "Introduction: narrating the nation," pp. 3-4; Bhabha. "Introduction: Locations of Cul-ture," p. 2. 53 the 'white race' in the face of rising tides of Asian immigration and an apathetic federal government in Ottawa. The 'Indians' of the province are left on the periphery of this story whereas 'Orientals' become opium fiends polluting "our Occidental atmosphere."120 While this potentially 'tragic' storyline seems to have been the dominant 'narrative' in the 1920's, there were certainly 'counter-narratives' at play during the debate over Bi l l 24. The Chinese community of B.C. challenged the meanings of the Janet Smith Bi l l by contesting the 1 dominant 'national narrative' itself. Foreshadowing modern 'immigration epics,' actors such as Dr. Lin Pao Heng asserted that the same Chinese characters which the dominant narrative portrayed as a "cancer" in the body politic, were actually pioneering "Chinese-Canadians."121 'Counter-narratives' also emerged from within the 'white' community of B.C. Critics who charged that Bi l l 24 was an "obnoxious measure" and questioned its fairness were imagining a 'British Columbia' as a land built as much on high ideals of justice as it was on archaic notions of blood and kin. These decidedly 'lit crit' theories remind us 9 that 'events' such as the death of Janet Kennedy Smith only acquire significance when placed within a larger narrative. What the Janet Smith case means within the 'national narrative' depends on whose story (or history) it is. According^he narrator of Sky Lee's Disappearing Moon Cafe, the defeat of Bi l l 24 in December 1924 was "Chinatown's first real success story." However, Wong's kidnapping the following spring quickly tarnished that 'dazzling victory,' turning the Janet Smith case into a familiar tale of racial 'oppression.' In the Scottish Societies' narrative of the case, the inability of the Point 1 2 0 See H . H . Stevens' remarks in "Whites Pioneered and Wil l Retain British Columbia," Vancouver Province, 1 March 1925, p. 15; "Saw Vice Dives in Vancouver," Vancouver Province, 12 May 1924, pp. 1, 15. 1 2 1 Bhabha, "DissemiNation," pp. 300, 307; see "Lin lingshi wei kangyi nuyong'an shi zhi sheng dushu" [Consul Lin Sends Letter of Protest Over Women Employment Bil l] , Dahan gongbao, 10 December 1923, p. 3. On the early Chinese settlers as pioneering 'Chinese-Canadians,' see Anthony B. Chan, "The Myth of the Chinese Sojourner in Canada," in Visible Minorities and Multiculturalism: Asians in Canada, ed. K. Victor Ujimoto and Gordon Hirabayashi (Toronto: Butterworths, 1980), pp. 33-42. These literary theories, of course, argue that neither characterization is necessarily 'Truthful,' but are both constructs. 54 Grey Police to find Janet's murder intimated that there was a tear in the social fabric of B.C., prompting them to take the law into their own hands. Other 'whites' interpreted such events, particularly the 'lynching' of Wong Foon Sing, as being very 'un-British' and implied the loss of 'law and order.'1 2 2 Alexander Manson, whose political star quickly fell in wake of the Janet Smith case, would have preferred that this story be edited from the British Columbian 'narrative' altogether. As the top law officer in the province, the Attorney-General paid the political cost for the perceived loss of 'law and order' in a British province. In 1925, Manson (with one eye on the history books) would sum up his role in the 'Janet Smith murder mystery' by sighing: "I have tried to maintain the administration of justice untarnished in the Province. I would with all my heart that these pages in our history had not been written."123 Lee, Disappearing Moon Cafe, p. 227; Yee, Saltwater City, pp. 76-77. Wong Foon Sing's personal name means "dazzling victory." On the reaction among 'whites' to the kidnapping of Wong, see The British Columbia Monthly (July 1925), p. 5. According to a popular columnist, the events surrounding Wong's kidnapping reveals what happens when "Klan methods take the place of properly enforced laws." • Manson quoted in The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs, 1925-6, ed. Rodolphe Lemieux et al. (Toronto: The Canadian Review Company Limited, 1926), p. 528. 55 Bibliography Primary Sources Anonymous Voices. Janet Smith Murder Case. British Columbia Archives and Records Service Audio-Visual Department (3837:1), 1985?. Beytagh, L. M. F. "British Columbia's Racial Problem." MacLean's, 1 June 1930: 28-30. Carr, Emily. The Book of Small. Toronto: Irwin Publishing Inc., 1942. Cheng Tien-fang. Oriental Immigration in Canada. Shanghai: The Commercial Press, Ltd., 1931 Dobson, Hugh. Papers. United Church Archives, Vancouver School of Theology. Fenwick, A. H. "For East is East...." MacLean's, 15 January 1928: 9, 43-45. 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"De-Constructing the Chinese Nation." The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 30 (July 1993): 1-26. Dubinsky, Karen. Improper Advances: Rape and Heterosexual Conflict in Ontario, 1880-1929. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. Ferguson, Ted. A White Man's Country: An Exercise in Canadian Prejudice. Toronto: Double-day Canada Limited, 1975. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Volume One: An Introduction. Translated by Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage Books, 1978. . "On Popular Justice: A Discussion With Maoists." Translated by John Mepham. In Power/ Knowledge: Selected Interviews & Other Writings, 1972-1977, edited by Colin Gordon, pp. 1-36. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. Frankenberg, Ruth. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. Min-neapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993. Geertz, Clifford. "The Politics of Meaning." In The Interpretation of Cultures, pp. 311-326. 59 New York: Basic Books, 1973. Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. London: Basil Blackwell, 1983. Greene, B. M., ed. Who's Who in Canada, 1925-26. Toronto: International Press Limited, 1925. Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Men. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1981. Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925. 1955. Re-print. New York: Atheneum, 1978. Jones, Frank. "Who Shot the Scottish Nightingale?" In Trail of Blood: A Canadian Murder Odyssey, pp. 207-218. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1981. Kealey, Linda, ed. A Not Unreasonable Claim: Women and Reform in Canada, 1880's-1920's. Toronto: The Women's Press, 1979. Kevles, Daniel J. In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2d rev. ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. Latham, Barbara and Roberta J. Pazdra, ed. Not Just Pin Money: Selected Essays on the History of Women's Work in British Columbia. Victoria: Camosun College, 1984. Lee, Sky. Disappearing Moon Cafe: A Novel. Vancouver: Douglas and Mclntyre, 1990. L i , Peter S. The Chinese in Canada. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1988. Little, Margaret Hillyard. "Claiming a Unique Place: The Introduction of Mothers' Pensions in B.C." BC Studies, nos. 105-106 (Spring/ Summer 1995): 80"-102. Loo, Tina. "Dan Cranmer's Potlatch: Law as Coercion, Symbol, and Rhetoric in British Colum-bia, 1884-1951", Canadian Historical Review 73, no. 2 (June 1992): 125-165. . Making Law, Order, and Authority in British Columbia, 1821-1871. Toronto: Univer-sity of Toronto Press, 1994. Lowe, Peter. Great Britain and Japan, 1911-15: A Study of British Far Eastern Policy. London: Macmillan and Co., 1969. Ludmerer, Kenneth M. Genetics and American Society: A Historical Appraisal. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972. 60 McDonald, Robert A. J. Making Vancouver: Class, Status, and Social Boundaries, 1863-1913. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1996. MacGil l , Elsie Gregory. My Mother the Judge: A Biography of Justice Helen Gregory MacGill. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1955. McLaren Angus. Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1885-1945. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1990. Moore, Vincent. Angelo Branca: "Gladiator of the Courts". Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 1981. Nicol, Eric. Vancouver. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, Limited, 1970. Norcross, Elizabeth. "1918-1928: The Decade of Social Legislation." British Columbia Historical News 17, no. 1 (1983): 12-16. . "Mary Ellen Smith: The Right Woman in the Right Place at the Right Time." In Not Just Pin Money: Selected Essays on the History of Women's Work in British Columbia, edited by Barbara Latham and Roberta J. Pazdra, pp. 357-364.Victoria: Camosun Col-lege, 1984. Odem, Mary E. Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920. Chapel Hi l l : University of North Carolina Press, 1995. Odium, Roger. Victor Odium, As I Saw Him and Knew Him and Some of His Letters: A Memoir. West Vancouver: Petrokle-Tor Publications, 1995. Palmer, Howard. Patterns of Prejudice: A History of Nativism in Alberta. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982. Provine, William B. "Geneticists and the Biology of Race Crossing." Science, 23 November 1973: 790-796. Roberts, Sir Charles G. D. and Arthur L. Tunnell, ed. A Standard Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto: Trans-Canada Press, 1938. Robin, Martin. "The Houseboy." In The Saga of Red Ryan and Other Tales of Violence From Canada's Past, pp. 127-151. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prarie Books, 1982. Rosenberg, Charles E. and Carroll Smith-Rosenberg. "The Female Animal: Medical and Bio-logical Views of Women." In No Other Gods: On Science and American Social Thought, pp. 54-70. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976. 61 Roy, Patricia E. "The Oriental 'Menace' in British Columbia." In Historical Essays on British Columbia, edited by J. Friesen and H.K. Ralston, pp. 241-255. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1976. . "British Columbia's Fear of Asians." In British Columbia: Historical Readings, edited by W. Peter Ward and Robert A. J. McDonald, pp. 657-670. Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre Ltd., 1981. A White Man's Province: British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Im-migrants, 1858-1914. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1989. Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1978. Schneider, William. Quality and Quantity: The Quest for Biological Regeneration in Twentieth-Century France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Scott, Joan Wallach. Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. Smith, Allan. "The Writing of British Columbia History." In British Columbia: Historical Readings, edited by W. Peter Ward and Robert A. J. McDonald, pp. 5-34. Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre Ltd., 1981. . "Metaphor and Nationality." In Canada: An American Nation? Essays on Continental-ism, Identity and the Canadian Frame of Mind, pp. 127-158. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Press, 1994. . "National Images and National Maintenance: The Ascendancy of the Ethnic Idea in North America." In Canada: An American Nation? Essays on Continentalism, Identity and the Canadian Frame of Mind, pp. 159-194. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Press, 1994. Stanley, Timothy J. "White Supremacy, Chinese Schooling, and School Segregation in Victoria. The Case of the Chinese Students' Strike, 1922-1923." Historical Studies in Education 2, no. 1 (Autumn 1990): 287-306. . "Defining the Chinese Other: White Supremacy, Schooling and Social Structure in British Columbia Before 1923". Ph.D. Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1991 Starkins, Edward. Who Killed Janet Smith?: The 1924 Vancouver Killing That Remains Can-ada 's Most Intriguing Unsolved Murder. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1984. Stepan, Nancy Leys. The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800-1960. London: Macmil-lan Press Ltd., 1982. . "The Hour of Eugenics": Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991. Stoler, Ann Laura. "Sexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers: European Identities and the Cultural 62 Politics of Exclusion in Colonial Southeast Asia." Comparative Studies in Society and History 24, no. 3 (July 1992): 514-551. .Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995. Sunahara, Ann Gomer. The Politics of Racism: The Uprooting of Japanese Canadians During the Second World War. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 1981. Taylor, Charles. "The Politics of Recognition." In Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Rec-ognition": An Essay By Charles Taylor, edited by Amy Gutman, pp. 25-73. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. Valverde, Mariana. The Age of Light, Soap and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1991 '"When the Mother of the Race is Free': Race, Reproduction, and Sexuality in First-Wave Feminism." In Gender Conflicts: New Essays in Women's History, edited by Franca Iacovetta and Mariana Valverde, pp. 3-26. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. Walker, Russell R. Politicians of a Pioneering Province. Vancouver: Mitchell Press Limited, 1969. Ward, W. Peter. White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy Towards Orien-tals in British Columbia. 2d ed. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's Press, 1990. Ward, W. Peter and Robert A. J. McDonald, ed. British Columbia: Historical Readings. Van-couver: Douglas & Mclntyre Ltd., 1981. Weiss, Gillian. ' "As Women and as Citizens': Clubwomen in Vancouver 1910-1928." Ph.D. Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1983. White, Hayden. "The Fictions of Factual Representation." In Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism, pp. 121-134. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978. Wickberg, Edgar, ed. From China to Canada: A History of the Chinese Communities in Can-ada. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1982. Yee, Paul. Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese in Vancouver. Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 1988. Young, Robert J. C. Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race. New York: Rout-ledge, 1995. 63 Newspapers and Journals The Beacon (December 1924- January 1926) The British Columbia Monthly (1911-1927) Canadian Journal of Mental Hygiene (1919-1922) Dahan gongbao [Although the Cantonese romanization of this newspaper's title (Tai Hon Hong Bo) is more historically correct due to the origins of Vancouver's Chinese population, I have used piny in and Putonghua ("Mandarin") in all of my translations because I was trained using this style.] Danger: The Anti-Asiatic Weekly (1921) Point Grey Gazette Vancouver Province Vancouver Star Vancouver Sun Victoria Daily Times The Daily Colonist Western Woman's Weekly (1917-1924) 64 


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