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A cause worth fighting for : Chinese Canadians debate their participation in the Second World War Maxwell, Judy 2005

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A CAUSE WORTH FIGHTING FOR: C h i n e s e C a n a d i a n s D e b a t e T h e i r P a r t i c i p a t i o n in t h e S e c o n d W o r l d W a r by J U D Y M A X W E L L B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a , 2 0 0 2 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S (H is to ry ) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 5 © Judy Maxwe l l , 2005 A B S T R A C T This paper uses the col lect ive oral h is tor ies of the Ch inese C a n a d i a n ve te rans , s ix ty years after the i r serv ice in the Second Wor ld War , to exp lore the l i t t le -known deba tes that ensued in the V a n c o u v e r and V ic tor ia Ch inese Canad ian c o m m u n i t i e s w h e n the m e n were cal led up in 1944 for compu lso ry mi l i tary serv ice . These deba tes uncover how Ch inese Canad ians unders tood the i r posi t ion in the c o m m u n i t y and the re la t ionsh ip that they s a w exist ing be tween mi l i ta ry serv ice and c i t i zensh ip . W h e n C a n a d a entered the Second Wor ld W a r on 10 S e p t e m b e r 1939 , tens of thousands of wh i te C a n a d i a n s en l is ted for mi l i tary du ty , whi le " O r i e n t a l s " were bar red f rom serv ing . A s mi l i tary serv ice had long been seen as the u l t imate test of c i t i zensh ip , the government an t ic ipa ted that d isen f ranch ised people who served C a n a d a dur ing the wa r would return home and m a k e c la ims for equa l i ty and for al l the pr iv i leges of c i t i zensh ip , including the r ight to vo te . T h u s , by deny ing t hem the oppor tun i ty to se rve , the g o v e r n m e n t would save i tself the humi l ia t ing task of de fend ing its undemocra t i c pos i t ion . Th is a l l c h a n g e d in A u g u s t 1944 w h e n Paci f ic C o m m a n d ca l led up the C h i n e s e in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a under the Nat iona l Resources Mobi l iza t ion Act . The Br i t ish W a r Off ice had pressured O t tawa to recrui t Ch inese Canad ians for e m p l o y m e n t in Spec ia l Opera t ions Execut ive (SOE) th roughou t Sou theas t As ia in terr i tor ies under Japanese con t ro l . Th is w a s the oppor tun i ty that m a n y Ch inese Canad ians had been anx ious ly wa i t ing for ; for o thers , however , c o m p u l s o r y mi l i ta ry serv ice was resen ted . W h e n the 1944 d i rec t ive c a m e down f rom Ot tawa for the Ch inese c o m m u n i t y to mobi l ize , hundreds a s s e m b l e d in both Vancouve r and V ic tor ia to d i scuss whe the r they should accept or reject the cal l to compu lso ry mi l i tary se rv ice . A l t hough the Ch inese populat ion in B C w a s re la t ive ly s m a l l , there was , in fact , a cons ide rab le c lash of op in ions . Ul t imate ly , it w a s ag reed that the i r ob jec t ive shou ld be to obta in ful l c i t i zensh ip r ights by serv ing in the a r m e d forces. Exp lor ing the 1944 conscr ip t ion deba tes uncovers va luab le insights into reasons both for and aga ins t mi l i tary war t ime serv ice , peop les ' loya l t ies , as wel l as how they saw c i t i zensh ip , c o m m u n i t y , and how they ident i f ied t h e m s e l v e s . The mil i tary serv ice of C h i n e s e Canad ians would prove the i r wor th iness and wou ld secure the government ' s comp le te suppor t for the i r goa l , as wel l as the co l lec t ive g ran t ing of ful l c i t izenship r ights to a l l A s i a n C a n a d i a n s , regard less of whe the r o r not t hey fought in the Second Wor ld War . These vangua rds unders tood that mi l i tary serv ice w o u l d , u l t imate ly , bring about equa l i ty . ii T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S C H A P T E R P A G E Abs t rac t ii Tab le of Con ten ts iii A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s iv-v I In t roduct ion 1-4 II C a n a d a ' s W a r 5-9 III Bound by In just ice 1 0 - 2 3 IV Evo lu t ion of the Debates 2 4 - 3 9 V Conc lus ion 4 0 - 4 1 B ib l iography 4 2 - 5 6 Append i x ( B R E B form) 57 A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S The following people have had a great influence on my life and my research, at different times and in varying degrees. I want to acknowledge each of them with thanks and appreciation. For years, I had taken courses in pursuit of my undergraduate degree, without finding any particular niche of interest. Then I took History 482: Chinese Migration, with Prof. Diana Lary, and I found my calling. Throughout that exciting and inspiring course I received constant encouragement and support from Prof. Lary. She was the person that first planted the seed in my mind to do postgraduate studies. Prof. Lary has had an incredible influence on my research, has shared her profound insights, and has looked out for my best interest throughout my Master's degree and beyond. I am forever grateful to her for this and for giving me the confidence in my academic abilities that I formerly lacked. My other graduate supervisor, Prof. Peter Moogk, has also been a very important person throughout my Master's research on the Chinese Canadian veterans, as his expertise in oral and Canadian history and his military experience have helped me tremendously in areas that were previously unfamiliar. His course History 547: Oral Interviewing Techniques was pivotal in helping me to understand how to ask compelling questions and how to draw out the essential answers for the core of my thesis on the Chinese Canadian veterans from the Second World War. Without this course, I would not have been able to capture and reclajm this historic part of the Chinese Canadian experience. Prof. Moogk has also spent a lot of time scrutinizing my drafts for corrections, clarifications, and improvements. His attention to detail, in addition to his support and encouragement, has been greatly appreciated. Hayne Wai, a speaker whom I met at a Round Table discussion- on the intergenerational perspectives of Chinese Canadians at UBC's Faculty of Education, has been a big supporter of me from even before I began my M.A. When I approached him about possible topics for graduate research, he made time to talk to me even though we barely knew each other. He has always been a proud advocate of Chinese Canadian history and he was the first one to suggest that I pursue research on the Chinese Canadian veterans. Throughout my program, he has made time for coffee with me, he offered assistance and encouragement, and has sent me supportive and humourous e-mails. Thanks, Hayne. Honourary Lt. Col. Howe Lee, the President of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum of Vancouver, has been a devoted supporter of me through my research. Howe has been iv encou rag ing , c o m p l i m e n t a r y , ins ight fu l , cand id yet d ip lomat i c , re l iab le , inc lus ive, and has become a good f r iend . I can ' t thank h im enough ! I wan t to spec ia l l y thank all the Ch inese Canad ian ve te rans who a l lowed me into their l ives and shared the i r prec ious histor ies wi th me . In a lphabet ica l order , I wou ld l ike to acknowledge t ime spen t wi th Neil l C h a n , Bill C h o n g , Bil l C h o w , Lewis C h o w , Marsha l l C h o w , Chong Joe , John Ko B o n g , Danie l Lee, Ed Lee, A lex Lou ie , b ro thers A lber t and Cedr ic M a h , Roy M a h , Go rdon Q u a n , bro thers Bing and Frank W o n g , G i m W o n g , G len W o n g , No rman W o n g , Peggy W o n g Lee , and V ic to r W o n g . Richard Kwong and T revo r S a m also deserve thanks for shar ing the s igni f icant records and s tor ies of the i r deceased fa thers , George Kwong and Doug las S a m . I a lso want to thank the o ther ve te rans who shared the i r Thursday even ings wi th m e , once a mon th , at Foo's Ho Ho res taurant . They know me and apprec ia te me as the i r T rave l ing A m b a s s a d o r , and they have fo rever in f luenced my life and Canad ian h is tory. Var ious a c a d e m i c s , Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , and people in the V a n c o u v e r and Ot tawa commun i t i es have a lso prov ided me wi th the i r suppor t , ins igh ts , and gu idance . They inc lude Ed W ickbe rg , Larry W o n g , Wing Chung N g , Patr ic ia Roy , Jean B a r m a n , Joe W a i , K. Scot t W o n g , Dav id C Y . La i , Dav id B r e e n , Henry Y u , Phi l ip S t a m p , W e s K n a p p , Mar ie -Lou ise Per ron , Rober t Y ip , and S e n a t o r V iv ienne Poy. I a m a lso b lessed wi th such wonder fu l , suppor t i ve , and unders tand ing f r iends: Pat and Cor inne Dunn of the Island Inn, Barb Schobe r , Rebeca L a u , L o m e Madget t , Florie S i a , my cous ins D iane G o n g and A n d r e a Young in S a n Franc isco , and two spec ia l people w h o , thankfu l ly , he lped me on the last leg on this jou rney — Miche le T i t combe and Zoha r G e v a . God b less you two for you r encourag ing words ! F ina l ly , I ded ica te my thes is to two spec ia l peop le . I ded ica te th is to the m e m o r y of A lber t Mah — the only ve te ran I knew personal ly that passed a w a y dur ing the per iod of my graduate research . In his last few days in the hosp i ta l , A lber t took the t ime to fill out a quest ionna i re that I had sent h im and asked the hospi ta l order ly to mai l it to me r ight away . I was c rushed to learn of his dea th , because he never forgot about me th roughout his s ickness and a lso because I rece ived the answers to m y ques t ionna i re j us t days before his pass ing . I wi l l a lways keep the hand-scr ibb led note that he sen t m e , comp l imen t ing me on my hard work and ded ica t i on . Just when I thought he wou ld get bet ter , A lber t passed away on 6 May 2 0 0 5 . He has such a spec ia l p lace in my hear t . I a lso wan t to ded ica te this to Jade — It is you and I walking along a path, and it is the journey together that is what is important; the reaching of the goal is simply the acknowledgement of the integrity of the journey. I look forward to shar ing my life with you in Melbourne. v Chap te r 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N When the Second Wor ld War began in S e p t e m b e r 1939 , tens of t housands of Canad ians vo lun teered for the war effort, but O r i en ta l s 1 were barred f rom serv ing in the armed forces. The C h i n e s e , in par t icu lar , had long been regarded as soc ia l ly infer ior to whi te Canad ians and the i r se rv ice in the mi l i ta ry was re jected by al l leve ls of the C a n a d i a n government . Th is pred ispos i t ion was based on the bel ief that if Ch inese C a n a d i a n s performed the dut ies of c i t izens in the C a n a d i a n a r m e d forces, it wou ld be a lmos t impossib le to deny t h e m the v o t e . 2 Pol i t ical ly d isen f ranch ised and labeled ' a l i ens ' , legal obstacles were se t -up to exc lude t h e m f rom mi l i tary se rv ice . Acco rd ing to the Nat iona l Select ive Serv i ce ( N S S ) Regu la t ions , the off icial reason that the Ch inese were bar red f rom serving was because they were not of "pu re European descen t " . None the less , racia l restr ict ions did not p revent numerous young C a n a d i a n - b o r n and C a n a d i a n - r a i s e d e thn ic Ch inese f rom enl is t ing for wa r serv ice . They wan ted the oppor tun i ty to prove the i r a l legiance by serv ing C a n a d a — " the i r home and nat ive l a n d " — as th is paper wi l l show . As the wa r con t inued a n d , even tua l l y , as m a n p o w e r sho r tages b e c a m e a ser ious concern, rest r ic t ions were re luctant ly l oosened . The tu rn ing point was in Augus t 1944 , w h e n the a rmy ' s Paci f ic C o m m a n d 3 ca l led up Ch inese reg is tered in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a . Th is reversa l was based on pressure f rom across the At lan t ic . Grea t Br i ta in needed Br i t ish Sub jec ts who cou ld b lend into the popu la t ions of Japanese-occup ied Br i t ish terr i tor ies in Sou theas t A s i a , beh ind e n e m y l ines. Ch inese C a n a d i a n s 4 were ideal cand ida tes for the job because mos t Sou theas t A s i a n count r ies had 1 By definition, the word "Oriental" is Eurocentric, referring to things east of Europe. Formerly, Oriental was the common term used to classify Chinese, Japanese, and East Indians together. The common, more a term is now "As ian , " which is more accurate, less Eurocentric, and less loaded with connotations. I have chosen to use the word appropriate to the time periods described. 2 Attorney-General Gordon Wismer told Colonel L.R. LaFleche, the Associate Deputy Minister of National War Services, that "... if these men are called upon to perform the duties of citizens and bear arms for Canada, it will be impossible to resist the argument that they are entitled to the franchise." (G.S. Wismer to Col. L.R. LaFleche, 8 October 1940.) He also said to Defence Minister J.L. Ralston that the Oriental vote might eventually lead to Orientals in the Parliament. (Wismer to J.L. Ralston, 23 September 1940, in NAC, RG 25 G l , File 263-38.) 3 Pacific Command included British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, and adjacent parts of the Northwest Territories. This Command was formed at the time the Special Committee on Orientals in British Columbia was appointed by the Cabinet War Committee (CWC) in October 1940 to investigate the Chinese and Japanese in that province. 4 Dan Lee, a Chinese Canadian veteran from the Second World War, explained to me that the term "Chinese Canadian" was not used to describe the Chinese in Canada until they had attained Canadian citizenship, after the Second World War. For the sake of simplicity, I will utilize it, along with other terms, to describe the Chinese in Canada both before and after the war. (Lee, Daniel. Interview with Author, 7 March 2005.) 1 Chinese res idents . Th is change of heart angered m a n y Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , young and o ld , male and fema le . For so long they had been t reated as par iahs , then sudden ly , af ter yea rs of d iscr iminat ion and m is t rea tmen t , they were cons ide red va lued Br i t ish Sub jec ts and were conscr ip ted. The 1944 s u m m o n s to C h i n e s e - C a n a d i a n men for act ive, mi l i tary serv ice duty provoked deba tes wi th in the Ch inese popu la t ions of Vancouve r and V ic to r ia , Br i t ish Co lumbia where the largest Ch inese popu la t ions res ided . Whi le one might expec t consensus in a re lat ive ly s m a l l g roup of abou t 11,0005 peop le , there was , in fact , a c lash of op in ions that ref lected the hard exper iences and f rust rated hopes of the Ch inese in C a n a d a . Th is d isen f ranch ised g roup pass ionate ly deba ted the reasons for and aga ins t its par t ic ipat ion: W h y shou ld they f ight and poss ib ly die for a country that wou ld not recogn ize them as ful l c i t i zens? S h o u l d en l i s tmen t be used to p rove that they were dese rv ing of the vote and c i t i zensh ip? Wou ld they ga in equa l i ty and grea ter r ights for the i r mi l i tary serv ice as some Japanese had done in the First Wor ld W a r ? 6 S h o u l d the i r serv ice precede or fo l low the f ranchise? Were there o ther reasons to cons ider? Af ter return ing home wi th the i r record of mi l i tary se rv i ce , ve te rans d id pet i t ion the g o v e r n m e n t for the f ranch ise a n d d e m a n d e d equa l soc ia l , economic , and pol i t ical r ights for t h e m s e l v e s and the i r commun i t i es , as wel l as for other minor i t ies in C a n a d a . For tunate ly , m a n y of these Ch inese Canad ian ve te rans are st i l l a l ive to see the i r serv ice f inal ly acknow ledged and ce lebra ted by the g o v e r n m e n t of C a n a d a . 7 Unti l qu i te recent ly , few people rea l ized that at the t ime of the S e c o n d Wor ld War , Canada 's ' democ ra t i c ' g o v e r n m e n t hand icapped s o m e racial minor i t ies wh i le s imu l taneous l y 5 According to the Census of Canada 1941, the total Chinese Canadian population was 18,619, with 7,880 in Metropolitan Vancouver (42.3%), 3,435 in Metropolitan Victoria (18.4%) and the remainder comprising 7,304 (39.3%) in New Westminster, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Duncan City, Port Alberni, Vernon, Nelson, and various other places. Only cities with 100 Chinese residents or more were recorded. 6 "The franchise argument was based on precedent. During the First World War, at least one hundred and sixty-six Japanese (most of whom were not Canadian-born) managed, with difficulty, to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After returning to British Columbia, the survivors persevered in a campaign for the right to vote. In 1931, by a one-vote margin, the provincial legislature enfranchised approximately eighty Japanese veterans who still lived in the province. (Roy, Patricia E. The Soldiers Canada Didn't Want: Her Chinese and Japanese Citizens, The Canadian Historical Review, LIX, 3, 1978, p. 343.) Conversely, Chinese Canadians veterans from the First World War also sought to obtain the franchise, but they were unsuccessful. Author Marjorie Wong records that, "As early as 1919 over 500 Chinese Canadians in Victoria petitioned the federal government with respect to the franchise." This group of 500 included veterans and others from the Chinese community. (Wong, Marjorie. The Dragon and the Maple Leaf. Toronto: Pirie Publishing, 1994, p. 7.) 7 Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) has partnered with the Chinese Canadian Military Museum of Vancouver to video-interview the surviving Chinese Canadian veterans for posterity and for educational purposes. This project is one of the VAC's initiatives for 2005, the Year of the Veteran. 2 f ighting the wa r aga ins t Fasc ism — a b latant cont rad ic t ion in the A l l ied c a u s e . 8 Even fewer people are aware that Ch inese Canad ians served in al l se rv ices and theat res dur ing the Second Wor ld War , and that thei r war serv ice prov ided t h e m wi th the mora l a r g u m e n t for an en la rgement in Canad ian human r ights and immig ra t ion pol ic ies. Even tua l l y , these changes made poss ib le Canada ' s t rans format ion f rom a once p redominan t l y Br i t ish and French nat ion into today 's mul t icu l tura l m o s a i c . 9 This paper exp lo res the debates in the Ch inese C a n a d i a n c o m m u n i t i e s of V a n c o u v e r and Victor ia regard ing the men 's 1944 conscr ip t ion into the S e c o n d Wor ld War . Th rough oral interv iews wi th m a n y of the remain ing Ch inese C a n a d i a n ve te rans , I exp lore the i r d iverse opinions on conscr ip t ion at the t ime and f ind out wha t w a s at s t ake : W h a t were the i r feel ings about C a n a d a , C h i n a , and the war? How did they unders tand patr iot ic ob l iga t ion , thei r soc ia l r ights a n d respons ib i l i t ies as a hybr id c o m m u n i t y of both Ch inese a n d C a n a d i a n cul ture? Did they see mat te rs s t ra teg ica l ly , wi th en l i s tment as part of a consc ious p lan to show that they were deserv ing of full c i t i zensh ip? How did the i r fami l ies feel abou t the i r war t ime serv ice? Wha t were the barr iers that they had to ove rcome in o rder to be accep ted by both the C a n a d i a n A r m e d Forces and by whi te C a n a d i a n soc ie ty? F rom exc lus ion to inc lus ion, Ch inese C a n a d i a n s u l t imate ly agreed that the i r ob jec t ive shou ld be to obta in ful l c i t izenship r ights , and that mi l i tary serv ice wou ld prove the i r wor th iness and secu re the government ' s comp le te suppor t for the i r goa l . To set the s tage for the deba tes , chrono log ica l l y , I weave toge ther s ign i f icant historical da tes and even ts that lead up to the federa l gove rnmen t ' s 1944 compu l so ry ca l l -up of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s . Af ter th is brief In t roduct ion , Chap te r Two fo l lows w i th a rev iew of Canada 's role in the war , both at home and ab road , exp lo r ing how the Mackenz ie K ing government reso lved the issue of conscr ip t ion . C h a p t e r Three su rveys the ma jo r d iscr iminatory l im i ta t ions on the Ch inese l iv ing in C a n a d a , f rom the i r f i rst se t t l emen t up unti l thei r conscr ip t ion , and shows how the wa r wi th Japan t rans fo rmed whi te a t t i tudes of toward the C h i n e s e . Chap te r Four covers the evo lu t ion of the Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s ' deba tes through reco l lec t ions of s o m e of the Ch inese C a n a d i a n ve te rans f rom the S e c o n d Wor ld War. Th is chapte r looks at the ve te rans ' fo rmat ive years g row ing up in C a n a d a , the i r Ch inese cu l tura l in f luences, how d isc r im ina t ion af fected t h e m , and the i r v i ews on the 8 B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t w a s m o s t c u l p a b l e a n d t h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t w a s e n c o u r a g e d t o t a k e d i s c r i m i n a t o r y m e a s u r e s b y B . C . p o l i t i c i a n s , w h o s u p p l i e d t h e i n i t i a t i v e a n d t h e e x a m p l e . 9 T o d a y , C a n a d a r e p r e s e n t s a t r u l y m u l t i c u l t u r a l m o s a i c , a c o u n t r y w h e r e d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l g r o u p s a n d v a l u e s a r e n o t o n l y c e l e b r a t e d , b u t h a v e b e c o m e p a r t o f o u r l a r g e r C a n a d i a n c u l t u r e a n d i d e n t i t y . T h i s h a s b e e n t h e o f f i c i a l p o l i c y o f C a n a d a s i n c e 1 9 7 1 . ( S t a t i s t i c s C a n a d a . Canada's Ethnocultural Portrait: The Changing Mosaic. 1 4 J u n e 2 0 0 5 . < h t t p : / / w w w l 2 . s t a t c a n . c a / e n q l i s h / c e n s u s 0 1 / p r o d u c t s / a n a l v t i c / c o m p a n i o n / e t o i m m / c o n t e n t s . c f m > ' ) 3 confl ict ing pol ic ies regard ing the i r en l i s tment . Th is f ramework wil l a l low a deepe r understanding of the c i r cums tances that shaped the i r va lues and bel iefs, in order to help us understand the i r loya l t ies , mo t i ves , and the evo lu t ion of the deba tes . The f inal chap te r t ies together A l though s ix ty yea rs have passed s ince the end of the Second Wor ld War , the memor ies of these ve te rans are a m a z i n g l y c lear . Th is is not to say that these ve te rans have been able to reta in the i r m e m o r i e s perfect ly or tha t the i r percept ions have not been a l tered with the pass ing of t ime or by ou ts ide in f luences, but these deba tes took p lace at a p ivota l t ime in the i r l ives — in the i r late teens and ear l y twent ies — w h e n they were o ld e n o u g h to make in formed dec is ions . To ensure accuracy , the i r s tor ies are compared wi th each o ther for d iscrepanc ies and ver i f ied aga ins t o ther sou rces . Young Ch inese C a n a d i a n s never forgot the big deba tes in the i r c o m m u n i t i e s that a l lowed t h e m to exper iences of mi l i tary se rv ice , training ove rseas , or being t reated as equa ls to the i r wh i te counterpar ts — all f i rs t - t ime exper iences. These even ts were where the i r fu tures s tar ted and how doors opened for t h e m as ind iv iduals and as Ch inese C a n a d i a n s . To appropr ia te ly cap ture the ' m o o d ' the e r a , I have used an t iquated t e rm ino logy : Oriental ins tead of A s i a n , Nat ive Ind ian versus of First Nat ions Peop le , East Ind ian as opposed to Indo C a n a d i a n , and old n a m e s for fo rmer co lon ies — i.e. Ma laya (Ma lays ia ) , Ceylon (Sr i Lanka ) , Indoch ina (V ie tnam) , and o thers . A l t hough these c o m m u n i t y deba tes p rov ide on l y a ' snapsho t ' of the fee l ings that these ve te rans reca l l , the i r s tor ies wil l prov ide an unders tand ing of how they conce ived of their ident i t ies and how mi l i tary serv ice he lped to l iberate and t rans fo rm t h e m ind iv idua l ly and co l lec t ive ly . Th is inves t iga t ion wil l s ign i f icant ly enr ich our unders tand ing of the compl icated re la t ionsh ip be tween r ights , du t i es , ob l iga t ions , and respons ib i l i t ies in c iv i l society. It wi l l a lso prov ide ins ight into mu l t i cu l tu ra l i sm 's emergence and rac ism 's dec l ine . This s tudy wil l he lp to rec la im a largely unchar ted part of Canad ian h is tory to mark the beginning of ma jo r changes in C a n a d i a n pos t -war soc ia l po l icy and to record vo ices unheard for future genera t ions . 4 Chap te r 2 C A N A D A ' S W A R Pr ime Min is ter Mackenz ie K ing led C a n a d a th roughout the S e c o n d Wor ld War . A t the outset , C a n a d a was i l l -p repared wi th a regu lar a rmy of on ly 5 0 0 0 and a mi l i t ia of 4 6 , 2 5 1 , but wi th in the f irst mon th of the war , the s tand ing a rmy ' s ranks swe l led to 7 0 , 0 0 0 . 1 0 Canad ian m a n p o w e r po l ic ies , and the v iews of pol i t ic ians and the publ ic upon it, were deeply af fected by the course of the war ab road . Success i ve mi l i tary and pol i t ical c r ises shaped the pol ic ies of conscr ip t ion . In 1 9 3 9 , f ight ing a l imi ted war s e e m e d p o s s i b l e . 1 1 A t the onset , en l i s tmen t was vo luntary and on ly those vo lun teer ing for ac t ive serv ice were sent a b r o a d . 1 2 The f irst of several c r ises wh ich changed the s i tuat ion were the A l l ied d isas te rs in Europe in the spr ing and ear ly s u m m e r of 1940 . The co l lapse of France and the Dunk i rk evacua t ion of the Br i t ish A rmy led both the K ing 's gove rnmen t and the Oppos i t ion par t ies in C a n a d a to the conc lus ion that the sca le of C a n a d a ' s cont r ibut ions wou ld have to increase — that is, universal mi l i ta ry serv ice for home defence was now necessary . K ing faced an agon iz ing d i l e m m a : a l though he had p romised not to impose consc r i p t i on 1 3 in the 1940 e l e c t i o n 1 4 , he needed to mob i l i ze the nat ion for an a l l -ou t war . His reputed pol i t ical d i c tum "No t necessar i ly conscr ip t ion , but conscr ip t ion if n e c e s s a r y " 1 5 w a s intended to reassure the count ry that mi l i tary conscr ip ts wou ld be e m p l o y e d in home defence on ly . Many people r ight ly suspec ted that th is w a s j us t the f irst s tep towards ful l conscr ipt ion for ove rseas serv ice . The Pr ime Min is ter and his co l leagues fo rmu la ted the Nat ional Resources Mobi l i za t ion Ac t ( N R M A ) , enac ted on 21 June 1 9 4 0 , wh ich gave the government sweep ing powers j us t shor t of conscr ip t ion for ove rseas se rv ice . The effect of 1 0 By the end of the war, Canada had become a significant military power, with the third largest navy, the fourth largest air force, and an army of six divisions. (Byers, Daniel. "Mobilizing Canada: The National Resources Mobilization Act, the Department of National Defence, and Compulsory Military Service in Canada, 1940-1945," in Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, New Series, Vol . 7, 1996, p. 78.) 1 1 Canadian politicians planned for a limited war with the Nation's primary contribution being the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP). 1 2 "During the First World War, the issue of conscription had caused a bitter division in the country and in the Liberal Party. King hoped to avoid another confrontation on this question, so even before the Second World War began, the Liberals and Conservatives had agreed to avoid conscription for overseas service." ("Mackenzie King and the Second World War," The Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King. National Archives of Canada. 30 June 2005. <http://www.collectionscanada.ca/kinq/053201/053201130207 e . h t m M 1 3 Conscription can generally be defined as forced enrolment of persons for military service. 1 4 This promise largely contributed to the Liberals' re-election in March 1940, their second consecutive majority government and King's third term as Prime Minister. 1 5 This phrase was suggested by a reporter in an interview; it did not originate with King. 5 this statute was to legal ize compu lso ry serv ice at h o m e , whi le st i l l ma in ta in ing the posi t ion that no Canad ian could be compe l l ed to serve abroad Wi th that p romise m a d e , the Pr ime Minister conv inced his cab inet and Par l iament to take measu red prepara tory s teps toward National War t ime S e r v i c e . 1 6 From S e p t e m b e r 1940 onwards , under the new law, men were being ca l led up for home defence. Many of these men chose to " g o ac t i ve : and vo lun teer for genera l se rv i ce ; throughout the war men cal led up under N R M A vo lun tee red in th is m a n n e r for the A r m y , ei ther on rece iv ing the i r ca l l -up orders or af ter a per iod of serv ice . By the spr ing of 1 9 4 1 , however, s o m e di f f icul ty w a s encoun te red in ob ta in ing the necessary numbers of m e n . In Apr i l , Min is ters f rom the three serv ices b roadcas ted the i r m a n p o w e r needs'. A s recru i t ing for the army b e c a m e an urgent mat te r , spec ia l publ ic i ty tac t ics were cons tan t ly be ing dev i sed to encourage m e n to enl is t . Th is nat ional c a m p a i g n to recrui t vo lun teers was a lso K ing 's way of avo id ing the conscr ip t ion i ssue . A l t hough these measu res were adequa te ly ef fect ive, they were on ly ach ieved by s tead i l y w iden ing the f ie ld of ca l l -up unde r the N R M A . The second of the wa r c r i ses , wh ich f undamen ta l l y af fected m a n p o w e r po l icy , began in December 1941 wi th the a t tack on Pearl Harbor by J a p a n . However , even before Japan entered the war , the leadersh ip o f the C a n a d i a n Oppos i t i on had changed i ts po l icy on conscr ipt ion. At the s a m e t i m e , the Min is ters w i th in K ing ' s Cab ine t w h o , un l ike the Pr ime Minister, had s o m e d ispos i t ion towards ove rseas conscr ip t ion and af ter much cons ide ra t i on , K ing came to the conc lus ion that the so lu t ion for the immed ia te p rob lem was a nat iona l plebiscite in wh ich the count ry m igh t re lease the g o v e r n m e n t f rom its c o m m i t m e n t aga ins t compulsory serv ice ove rseas . The m a n p o w e r ques t ion en tered a new phase . By Apr i l 1942 , w h e n the A r m y and the Conse rva t i ve Party put p ressure on the L iberal government to prov ide add i t iona l in fantry re in fo rcements for the wa r in Europe , a nat iona l plebiscite w a s i m p l e m e n t e d . W h e n vo tes were counted on then ques t ion " A r e you in favour of re leasing the g o v e r n m e n t f rom any ob l iga t ion ar is ing out of any past c o m m i t m e n t restrict ing the me thods of ra is ing men for mi l i ta ry se r v i ce? " , it showed that the p leb isc i te had backf i red and left the count ry d i v ided . A l t hough the major i ty of C a n a d i a n s approved of compulsory ove rseas se rv ice , F rench -speak ing Quebeco i s , Canad ian fa rmers , and disenfranchised minor i t ies s t rong ly opposed i t . 1 7 C a n a d a was only a sma l l nat ion w i th 11 1 6 The Act r e q u i r e d t h a t a l l m e n a n d w o m e n r e g i s t e r f o r e s s e n t i a l w a r - r e l a t e d w o r k , s o t h a t a c a l l - u p l i s t c o u l d b e c r e a t e d . 1 7 C o n s c r i p t i o n t h r e a t e n e d n a t i o n a l u n i t y w i t h 7 2 . 9 % o f Q u e b e c v o t i n g a g a i n s t it a n d o v e r w h e l m i n g s u p p o r t e l s e w h e r e . ( S t a c e y , C P . " M a n p o w e r a n d C o n s c r i p t i o n , " Arms, Men and Governments: The War Policies of Canada, 1939-1945. O t t a w a , O N : Q u e e n ' s P r i n t e r , 1 9 7 0 , p. 4 0 0 . ) 6 mil l ion i n h a b i t a n t s 1 8 — people began to wonder how m a n y more m e n the g o v e r n m e n t intended to send ove rseas . W h e n the gove rnmen t p roceeded to fol low up the resul t of the plebiscite by in t roduc ing Bill 80 — in tended to r emove f rom the N R M A the proh ib i t ion against compe l l i ng m e n to serve overseas — the Pr ime Min is ter had di f f icul t ies wi th both sides of his C a b i n e t . 1 9 The conscr ip t ion quest ion ef fect ively d iv ided the count ry . Af ter the re fe rendum cr is is of 1942 , there was a per iod of quiet . The new powers that had been g ran ted to the gove rnmen t were largely held in reserve for the t ime be ing ; the f inal cr is is over conscr ip t ion had , as it tu rned out , been mere ly pos tponed . The issues of providing an adequa te pool of " r e i n f o r c e m e n t s " 2 0 for the f ight ing fo rmat ion and the " ra tes of w a s t a g e " 2 1 were urgent and f undamen ta l , yet dif f icult for a rmy p lanners to ca lcu la te pr ior to Canad ian so ld ie rs en ter ing the i r f i rst protracted c a m p a i g n . However , af ter losses in the I ta ly Campa ign in Ju ly 1 9 4 3 , the Pr ime Min is ter cou ld no longer avo id the a r m y ' s need for rep lacements . K ing 's g o v e r n m e n t was anx ious ly look ing for new, innovat ive w a y s to f ind more infantry recru i ts . Seve ra l p roposa ls were sugges ted to the Cab ine t to induce N R M A m e n to " g o ac t i ve " . Adjutant Genera l Le tson — as chron ic led in Arms, Men and Governments — p roposed " to ship some of the bat ta l ions in C a n a d a , now composed largely of N R M A m e n , ove rseas as units and use t h e m as bat ta l ions in reserve or as r e i n f o r c e m e n t s . " 2 2 Res is tance to " g o i n g ac t ive" had long been fami l ia r to a rmy off icers who had been pressur ing conscr ip ts to volunteer. The Pr ime Min is ter h imse l f sugges ted that cons idera t ion be g i ven to inc reas ing the financial incen t ives , such as " f ight ing pay " for genera l duty in fan t rymen in opera t ion emp loymen t . Desp i te al l efforts to counterac t sho r t ages , there we re st i l l ch ron ic de f i c ienc ies . 2 3 Fo l lowing in accordance wi th the genera l t rend of en l i s tmen t , the n u m b e r s of NRMA so ld iers conver t ing to genera l serv ice cont inued to dec l ine . In the mon th of D e c e m b e r 1 8 According to government census records mid-1939, Great Britain had a population of 41.5 million and the United States 131 million..Canada's population was very small in comparison. 1 9 There is a long list of reasons why there was little agreement amongst the Cabinet members: some disapproved of and were hostile to the amendment; others argued that war industry and production took priority over a large army; stil l, some disputed changed to "compassionate" or "agricultural" leaves. For a more detailed examination of the disagreements, please consult pp. 404-414 in Stacey's, Arms, Men and Governments. 2 0 "Reinforcements" is another word for replacing of casualties. 2 1 Nevertheless, from August 1940 onward, the Canadian army overseas estimated its rates of wastage to be a slightly higher figure than those accepted for the British forces, as there was a time lag involved in shipping men from Canada. 2 2 Stacey, C P . "Manpower and Conscription," Arms, Men and Governments, pp. 428-9. 2 3 Colonel J .L . Ralston, King's Minister of Defence, complained of chronic deficiencies in the infantry. (Stacey, p. 429.) 7 1943, only 295 N R M A so ld iers conve r ted . T h e n , af ter the N o r m a n d y Invas ion of June 1944, when casua l ty rates proved to be far h igher than an t i c ipa ted , the mi l i tary staff and the Cabinet War C o m m i t t e e ins is ted that the Pr ime Min is ter shou ld now send N R M A men to the batt lefronts. Th is produced fur ther conf l ic t w i th in and between the pol i t ical par t ies. Mackenz ie K ing had long opposed conscr ip t ion for ac t ive duty . K ing 's a r g u m e n t s , as noted by C P . S t a c e y , inc luded "... the threat to nat iona l un i ty , invo lv ing even a danger of civil conf l ict ; and the pol i t ical consequences of the L iberal Party ... [and] that conscr ip t ion in Canada might ruin the prospect for a wor ld o rgan iza t ion wh ich was to ma in ta in peace . . . " 2 5 His Cabinet was spl i t into two c a m p s : one w ing that suppor ted vo lun tary en l i s tmen t and the other wing that was p ro -conscr ip t ion . S tacey s ta tes that dur ing the cr is is , K ing sought the advice of Church i l l on the necess i ty and r isks of ra is ing the ove rseas conscr ip t ion issue at this s tage of the war . On 27 October 1944 , Church i l l repor ted that his Ch ie fs of Staf f adv ised h im that the wa r in Europe could go on unt i l the s u m m e r of 1945 and that "it mus t be ant ic ipated that the C a n a d i a n A r m y wi l l be engaged in large sca le opera t ions for the f inal defeat of G e r m a n y , . . " . 2 6 K ing 's d iary logs his react ion as "g rea t l y surpr ised that Church i l l had not ind icated his des i re to meet the s i t u a t i o n , " 2 7 however , he w a s sti l l unconv inced that Canada 's N R M A men shou ld not be ordered ove rseas . On 20 N o v e m b e r 1944 , s o m e sen io r off icers under Genera l Pearkes — area C o m m a n d e r of Paci f ic C o m m a n d (Vancouver ) — met m e m b e r s of the press at a C o m m a n d conference at Vancouve r . Accord ing to S t a c e y , the sen io r off icers bold ly s ta ted that " T h e y are wai t ing for the gove rnmen t to g ive the order and they are ready to o b e y " and " N . R . M . A . soldiers were wa i t ing to be ordered o v e r s e a s . " 2 8 Tha t even ing in the news , K ing l is tened to the senior of f icers ' f rank c o m m e n t s and gauged the i r op in ion . Even Nat iona l Defence Headquar ters , as K ing shor t ly d i scove red , had dec ided that the t ime had come to exp ress a strong op in ion . Genera l And rew M c N a u g h t o n , f o rmer C o m m a n d e r in Ch ie f of the First Canad ian A r m y , p roposed that " a l imi ted n u m b e r of m e n be taken and t ra ined to meet the s i t ua t i on . " 2 9 The Pr ime Min is ter carefu l ly cons idered McNaugh ton ' s sugges t i on , and by 21 November the Pr ime Min is ter de te rm ined that ove rseas conscr ip t ion was now a necess i ty . He cal led an emergency Cab ine t meet ing on the even ing of 22 N o v e m b e r and announced " Stacey, p. 429. 2 5 Stacey, p. 447. 2 6 Stacey, p. 450. 2 7 King, William Lyon Mackenzie. The Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King. National Archives of Canada. 30 June 2005. < http://kinq.collectionscanada.ca/EN/PaqeView.asp> p. 7 (1059). 2 8 Stacey, p. 471. 2 9 Stacey, p. 473. 8 that he wou ld be us ing conscr ip ts as re in fo rcements . The next a f te rnoon, K ing read the Order in Council, wh ich au thor i zed and di rected the Min is ter of Nat iona l Defence to d ispa tch forces to the Un i ted K i n g d o m and to opera t iona l thea t res . A s recorded in Arms, Men and Governments: "... such pe rsonne l , in such numbers as may be approved by the Gove rno r in Counc i l ( the n u m b e r hereby approved being s ix teen t h o u s a n d , who are serv ing by reason of the i r hav ing been cal led out for t ra in ing , serv ice or du ty pursuan t to the prov is ions of the Nat iona l Resources Mobi l i za t ion Ac t , 1940 ... [p lac ing] al l such personnel on act ive serv ice beyond C a n a d a for the defence thereof . . . " 3 0 The news that 16 ,000 N R M A so ld iers wou ld be sent ove rseas produced a la rm ing repercuss ions in Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . Th is news a lso spa rked pass ionate debates a m o n g s t va r ious minor i ty g roups w h o had exper ienced d isc r im ina t ion by the federal gove rnmen t . A l though the C h i n e s e had exper ienced the harshes t immig ra t ion rest r ic t ions, it was doub ly - i ron ic that not on ly were they s u m m o n e d by the g o v e r n m e n t to f ight ove rseas for C a n a d a , but Ch inese C a n a d i a n s were a lso conscr ip ted for ove rseas duty more than three mon ths before the nat iona l compu lso ry c a l l - u p . 3 1 For y e a r s , the Canad ian gove rnmen t and the off icial oppos i t ion had been amb iva len t about the par t ic ipat ion of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s in the A r m e d Forces . Then in 'one fell swoop ' , the Br i t ish reso lved the Canad ian gove rnmen t ' s confus ion by m a k i n g the decis ion for it. F ina l ly , a dec is ion had been made to conscr ip t Ch inese Canad ians for ove rseas serv ice . Th is w a s grea t news for those young Ch inese C a n a d i a n s w h o wan ted to p rove the i r loyal ty to C a n a d a . For o the rs , however , it was an out rage to be ordered to r isk dy ing for a country tha t wou ld not even recognize t hem as ful l c i t i zens . To de te rm ine whe the r the governmen t ' s d e m a n d w a s fai r or un just , and to unders tand the comp lex i t y of be ing Ch inese in C a n a d a at tha t t i m e , it is necessary to rev iew s o m e of the a n t i - C h i n e s e laws and tragic exper iences that c i r cumscr ibed the i r ex is tence and affected the i r a t t i tudes. On ly then can their m i xed fee l ings of accep tance , re ject ion, and out rage be ful ly app rec ia ted . J U Stacey, p. 474. 3 1 Ottawa advised Pacific Command on 24 March 1944 that the British government was setting up a special training school in that command to be operated by British Security Coordination, an agency of the War Office. Chinese Canadians received the call-up by Pacific Command in mid-August 1944. (Pearkes to Gibson, "The Disposal of Men of Chinese Racial Origin called up for Service under NRMA," DHH 322.009, D478.) •9 Chap te r 3 B O U N D B Y I N J U S T I C E Whi le Ch inese ra i lway workers cont r ibu ted to the economic deve lopmen t of C a n a d a 3 2 , they endured incredib le hardsh ips . From the t ime of the Gold Rush up unti l the Second Wor ld War , the Ch inese had conf ronted d i sc r im ina to ry rest r ic t ions set by those wi th polit ical power . At the s a m e t ime , m a n y Ch inese bore the pain of separa t ion f rom thei r fami l ies and cu l ture in C h i n a . These c i r cums tances shaped the i r a t t i tudes, as wel l as the i r abi l i ty to cope and persevere . A n examina t i on of m a n y opp ress i ve , an t i -Ch inese laws and some cr i t ical h is tor ic even ts wil l p rov ide ins ight into the s t rugg les , de te rm ina t i on , and perspect ives of the Ch inese in C a n a d a . Pr ior to the d iscovery of gold in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a in the late 1850s , there were few Chinese immig ran ts in C a n a d a . T h e n , the 1858 Go ld Rush brought t housands of Ch inese north to V ic to r ia , f rom Cal i fo rn ia and o v e r s e a s . 3 3 The s u d d e n inf lux set off an t i -Ch inese agitat ion by wh i tes . Af ter the a l luv ia l (or p lacer) go ld petered out , Ch inese worke rs were employed as labourers for the Canad ian Paci f ic Ra i lway ( C P R ) . A l t hough the i r l ow -pa id , backbreak ing labour was the bas is of l ink ing Br i t ish C o l u m b i a to the pra i r ies , B C s whi te manual w o r k e r s 3 4 cons idered the Ch inese an e c o n o m i c th reat and were eager to get rid of t h e m . " 3 5 An imos i t y toward the Ch inese progress ive ly in tensi f ied a n d , in t ime , the federa l government y ie lded to pressure f rom Br i t ish C o l u m b i a by enac t ing an t i -Ch inese leg is la t ion . The h is tory of racia l d isc r im ina t ion in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a can be t raced back to the province's beg inn ings . W h e n it en tered Con federa t ion in 1 8 7 1 , people of Br i t ish or ig in accounted for 29 .6 per cent of res idents , wh i le 61 .7 per cent of the prov ince 's popu la t ion 3 2 When the colony of British Columbia agreed to join Confederation in 1871, one of the conditions was that the Dominion government would build a railway linking BC with Eastern Canada within ten years. Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first Prime Minister, wanted to reduce costs by employing Chinese to build the railway. Notably, he said "No Chinese, no railway"; more precisely, he declared "Either you must have this labour or you cannot have the railway." (Ward, Peter. A White Man's Province: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy Toward Orientals in British Columbia. Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1978, p. 24.) 3 3 Victoria was the first major Canadian Pacific port of entry, only to be eclipsed by Vancouver in 1887. 3 4 Employers preferred Chinese workers. 3 5 Although the white majority agreed that the Chinese were socially inferior, it was divided when it came to economic advantage. To build the railway and work the mines, white capitalists wanted cheap Chinese labour. Chinese middlemen played a significant role that was simultaneously self-defeating: setting up Chinese immigrants in jobs that undercut white workers created animosity, prejudice, and marginalization of the Chinese in the host societies. In the end, middlemen suffered equally from these same prejudices — they, too, became outcasts. White capitalists removed themselves from any business connection to the Chinese by hiring Chinese middlemen to be responsible for organizing the cheap Chinese labour. In the end, it was only the Chinese who were viewed as the enemy, not the capitalist employers. 10 was Abor ig ina l or C h i n e s e . In an a t tempt to c reate their "wh i te ou tpos t " of Emp i re , the munic ipal and prov inc ia l g o v e r n m e n t s of Br i t ish C o l u m b i a se lec t ive ly d isc r im ina ted a m o n g residents, based on r a c e . 3 7 In 1 8 7 2 , the BC Legis la ture a m e n d e d the Qualification and Registration of Voters Act to bar the Ch inese f rom v o t i n g . 3 8 Later, af ter the t ranscon t inen ta l rai lroad w a s comp le ted in 1 8 8 5 , C a n a d a ' s f irst an t i -Ch inese immig ra t ion laws were in t roduced: every person of Ch inese ances t ry w a s requi red to pay a head tax to en te r the coun t r y . 3 9 A few years later , in 1 8 8 7 , d i sg run t led , unemp loyed whi te workers s tar ted a riot in Coal Harbour aga ins t severa l hundred C h i n e s e , who undercut the i r wages by half. It w a s not unti l 1 9 0 7 , wh i le V a n c o u v e r was exper ienc ing an economic s l u m p , that the next ma jo r assaul t on the Ch inese occu r red . A ral ly to protest Or ienta l Immigra t ion ended wi th ang ry mobs vanda l i z ing and loot ing bu i ld ings in Ch ina town and ne ighbour ing Litt le T o k y o . 4 0 Wh i te Bri t ish C o l u m b i a n s were in f luenced by a comb ina t ion of the i r own ignorance of Or ien ta l s , a belief in A n g l o - S a x o n super io r i t y , m isconcep t ions of the Or ienta l charac ter , r umou r of economic threat , fa l lac ies , and whi te na t i v i sm t ransp lan ted f rom Cal i forn ia and beyond — al l of which conv inced the C h i n e s e that they were not we l come . In the s u m m e r of 1914 , w h e n Grea t Br i ta in 's gove rnmen t dec lared wa r on G e r m a n y and Aust r ia on behal f of the Br i t ish Emp i re , s o m e C a n a d i a n - b o r n and na tura l i zed C h i n e s e Canad ians were wi l l ing to f ight to prove the i r loyal ty to C a n a d a , regard less of the $ 5 0 0 d iscr iminatory Head Tax . In 1 9 1 7 , the Military Service Act emp loyed consc r ip t i on , however , 3 6 These figures are approximate because the Native Indians were estimated rather than enumerated. (Ward, p. 27.) 3 7 Discrimination against the Chinese was a common feature in many countries that had a white majority. For example, Chinese in the United States and Australia experienced similar anti-Chinese legislation as their counterparts in Canada, whether it was disenfranchisement or exclusion. 3 8 In British Columbia, Aboriginals, people of Chinese and Japanese origin, and "Hindus" — a description applied to anyone from the Indian subcontinent, regardless of whether their religious affiliation was Hindu, Muslim, or any other — were all disenfranchised. Saskatchewan also disenfranchised people of Chinese origin, but due to the small Oriental population there far fewer were affected than in British Columbia. 3 9 In 1885, the Chinese Immigration Act or Head Tax was legislated, with an initial charge of $50 per Chinese person; this increased to $100 in 1900 and further increased to $500 from 1903 until 1923, when another restrictive law replaced this tax. For sake of comparison and relative value of Canadian currency, properties in Strathcona could be purchased for $100 in the early 1900s. (Nicolls, J.P. Real Estate Values in Vancouver: A Reminiscence. City of Vancouver Archives, 1954, p. 3.) 4 0 "When news of the Vancouver riots reached Ottawa, Governor-General Earl Grey was furious and requested a report on the riots. He later appointed W.L. Mackenzie King as a commissioner to go to British Columbia and investigated the losses sustained by the Chinese. After his inquiry, King recommended compensation for them totaling $26,900 ... The compensation was later paid by the federal government." (Lai, David C.Y. Chinatowns: Towns Within Cities in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1988, p. 84; Canada, Report on Losses Sustained by the Chinese Population of Vancouver B.C. on the Occasion of the Riots in that City in September, 1907. Royal Commission: W.L. Mackenzie King Sessional Papers, in NAC, No. 74f, 1908, p. 18.) 11 this did not app ly to the Ch inese . As au thor Marjor ie W o n g exp la ins , recru i t ing off icers in "Br i t ish C o l u m b i a refused all such recrui ts and it was necessary for t h e m to t rave l ou ts ide of their home prov ince to e n l i s t . " 4 1 Records are ske tchy , but at least one p la toon of s ix ty men in the 5 2 n d [New Ontar io ] Bat ta l ion was p redominan t l y Ch inese C a n a d i a n . 4 2 In to ta l , no more than three hundred Ch inese Canad ians en l is ted in the Canad ian A r m y for the First World War . A lso in 1 9 1 7 , the Wartime Elections Ac t s t ipu la ted that on ly those w h o qual i f ied for provincial f ranch ise could vote in federal e lec t ions . S i n c e the Ch inese cou ld not vo te in provincial e lec t ions in Br i t ish Co lumb ia and S a s k a t c h e w a n , they we re , in effect, d isenf ranchised in federal e lec t ions . Desp i te the i r wa r t ime serv ice , the g o v e r n m e n t did not grant Ch inese ve te rans the f ranch ise as it had done for Japanese First Wor ld W a r ve te rans . Legal rest r ic t ions on the Ch inese were un remi t t i ng . Shor t l y after the Grea t W a r , the new Dominion Elections Act of 1920 was p a s s e d , wh ich s ta ted that those prov inc ia l ly d isenf ranchised for " r e a s o n s of r ace " wou ld a lso be exc luded f rom the federa l f r a n c h i s e . 4 3 This was a m e n d e d in 1929 to inc lude a c lause that requ i red al l prov inc ia l vo te rs to be Br i t ish S u b j e c t s 4 4 — th is even exc luded Ch inese born in C a n a d a , as they were cons ide red ' a l i ens ' , not Br i t ish S u b j e c t s . 4 5 These laws were in add i t ion to the a l ready- res t r i c t i ve head tax , a l though its e f fec t iveness was under rev iew — the mone ta ry deter rent w a s not cur ta i l ing Chinese immigra t ion into Br i t ish C o l u m b i a , as h o p e d ; in fact , the n u m b e r en ter ing the province was on the r i s e . 4 6 Consequen t l y , in 1 9 2 3 , al l cap i ta t ion taxes were s u s p e n d e d and 4 1 Recruiters in Alberta and Ontario accepted Chinese into the Canadian Army. (Wong, p. 3.) 4 2 This group fought at Ypres in 1917, as communicated to James Morton by General George Pearkes. (Morton, James. In the Sea of Sterile Mountains: The Chinese in British Columbia. Vancouver: J .J . Douglas Ltd., 1977, p. 229.) 4 3 Statutes of Canada 1923, Vol. I and II, c. 46. 4 4 Statutes of Canada 1923, Vol. I and II, c. 40. 4 5 As late as 5 August 1944, the Honourable Mr. Justice A .M. Manson — Chairman of the Vancouver Mobilization Board and sympathetic towards Chinese Canadian enrollment — questioned use of the word 'al ien' because "about 6 0 % of the men who are shown as aliens on their registration cards are not aliens at a l l . " (Manson to Assistant Director, Mobilization, in NAC, RG 27, Vol . 997, File 2-114, pt. 5.) 4 6 Under the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, only four classes of immigrants were allowed to enter Canada: (a) merchants, (b) university students granted entry for the period of their degree program, (c) native-born Chinese returning after several years of education in China, and (d) diplomatic personnel of the Chinese government. Terms were carefully defined: "Merchant" excluded operators of laundries, restaurants, retail produce dealers, and the like; "Students" were required to show proof of registration at a university. Some Chinese had entered Canada by purchasing real or forged birth certificates of Chinese Canadian children, bought and sold in Hong Kong. These children carrying false identity papers were referred to as "Paper Sons." Others claimed (and had documents to prove) that they were relatives of those Chinese who qualified as exempt. The Act was intentionally and legally designed to prevent all of these categories from meeting the qualifications, whose interpretation was left to the discretion of immigration officers, rather than the statute. (Roy, p. 32.) 12 replaced wi th the Chinese Immigration Act, bet ter known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, which rema ined in effect t h roughou t the S e c o n d Wor ld War . Th is Act b rought abou t near -total restr ict ion on Ch inese immig ra t ion to C a n a d a and m a n y separa ted fami l ies were never reuni ted. Never the less , the prov inc ia l gove rnmen t of Br i t ish Co lumb ia and mun ic ipa l i t i es cont inued wi th the i r leg is la t ive rest r ic t ions on the Ch inese . There were o ther an t i -Ch inese laws enac ted by every level of gove rnmen t in B C : Chinese were prohib i ted f rom l iv ing outs ide of C h i n a t o w n , den ied gove rnmen t e m p l o y m e n t , barred f rom work ing in the pro fess ions , banned f rom c i t y -owned publ ic s w i m m i n g p o o l s , 4 7 relegated to s i t t ing in C h i n e s e - o n l y sec t ions in mov ie theat res , and so o n . 4 8 Wi th few Chinese w o m e n of ch i l dbea r i ng -age in C a n a d a and an economic depress ion in Nor th Amer i ca , the Ch inese popu la t ion s lowly dec l ined and Ch ina towns began to w i ther a w a y . 4 9 A s Jean Ba rman notes , " B y 1931 jus t twen t y - seven thousand Br i t ish C o l u m b i a n s , to ta l l ing under 4 per cent of the popu la t ion , were Ch inese by e thn ic o r i g i n . " 5 0 The dwind l ing Ch inese populat ion, to s o m e ex ten t , eased the fears of the dom inan t wh i te soc ie ty . However , an t i -Chinese regula t ions rema ined in force and hardsh ips in C a n a d a were c o m p o u n d e d by t rag ic , internat ional even ts . A s t ime p a s s e d , life b e c a m e even more cha l leng ing for the overseas C h i n e s e . Wh i le the Exclusion Act eased an t i -Ch inese ag i ta t ion , it bound most Ch inese men to a lone ly , miserable ex i s tence . Meanwh i l e , in C h i n a , fac t iona l i sm wi th in the Guomindang Na t iona l i s t Party created rifts w i th in the ove rseas Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s , a long pol i t ical l i n e s . 5 1 T h e n in 4 7 The Crystal Swimming Pool had separate hours for Orientals and European Canadians. Originally located on Beach Avenue, it was acquired by the Vancouver Parks Board from a private club in 1940, renovated and reopened in 1941. In November 1945, the Parks Board was petitioned by the Vancouver School Board for segregation and, ultimately, resolved to no longer segregate the public on the basis of "race, colour or creed." The Crystal Pool was later demolished in 1975. (E-mail correspondence with Terri Clarke, Communication Coordinator of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, 2 August 2005.) 4 8 There were endless restrictions on the Chinese in Canada, extensively listed in the following books: Peter Ward's White Canada Forever, James Morton's In the Sea of Sterile Mountains, Wickberg et al. From China to Canada, David Lai's Chinatowns, Kay Anderson's Vancouver's Chinatown, and Patricia Roy's books, to name a few sources. 4 9 In those days, most Chinese that immigrated to Canada were men. Thus, with the Act in place, much of the Chinese population remained a "bachelor society." 5 0 Barman, Jean. The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia - Revised Edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996, p. 233; Statistics Canada. Consensus of Canada, 1881-1981. 5 1 Until 1927 the Guomidang Nationalist party was split between leftists, who supported cooperation with Communists, and rightists, who opposed it; In places dominated by radicals, relations between the GMD and local elites were characterized by mutual hostility, culminating in campaigns against local elite. After 1927 factions, no longer based on their approach to Communism, became a main component of politics at all levels. Until 1937, the Jiangsu GMD remained the private preserve of the central party headquarters. Factionalism resulted in rapid personnel changes and diminished power. The GMD became a meek, quiet and unassertive adjunct of the government, unable to mobilize people and resources. 13 September 1 9 3 1 , Japanese t roops se ized Ch ina ' s indust r ia l ized prov ince of M a n c h u r i a . " Chinese C a n a d i a n s c lose ly fo l lowed the pol i t ical deve lopmen ts in A s i a , concerned abou t the i r re lat ives ' we l l - be ing . In 1937 , the Japanese invaded the rest of C h i n a ; by 1 9 3 8 , J apan control led a large part of eas tern C h i n a . 5 3 A l though the Japanese g o v e r n m e n t jus t i f ied expans ion ism on the pretext of populat ion pressure and Japan ' s need for raw mate r ia l s , few had any i l lus ions about Japan ' s imper ia l is t and economic des igns on C h i n a . 5 4 Th is invas ion was the f i rst s tep on the pa th lead ing to the S e c o n d Wor ld W a r in the Paci f ic O c e a n . 5 5 The wa r in Ch ina p romoted sol idar i ty w i th in the Ch inese Canad ian c o m m u n i t i e s and every effort was devo ted to help ing the mo the r count ry . In 2 0 0 4 , S e c o n d Wor ld W a r veteran Roy Mah recal led " T h e Ch inese c o m m u n i t y — not jus t in V a n c o u v e r , but th roughou t Canada in V ic to r ia , Ca lga ry , E d m o n t o n , W i n n i p e g , Toron to , Montrea l ... eve rywhere there was a Ch inese c o m m u n i t y — ral l ied to the suppor t of the Ch inese wa r effort to resist the Japanese a g g r e s s i o n . " 5 6 The local Ch inese fo rmed a l l iance ne tworks — l ike Mah ' s Chinese Youth Association of Victoria — to protest aga ins t sh i pmen ts of sc rap meta l to Japan and urge the boycot t ing of Japanese g o o d s . 5 7 The J a p a n e s e invas ion of Ch ina prov ided an impetus to fo rm m a n y Ch inese c o m m u n i t y - w i d e [an t i - Japanese • un i t ed -Ch inese • na t i ona l -salvat ion] wa r rel ief assoc ia t ions . For the course of the war , be tween 1937 and 1 9 4 5 , overseas Ch inese responded by es tab l ish ing fund dr ives for a lmos t eve ry mi l i ta ry p u r p o s e . 5 8 Al together , the Ch inese Canad ian c o m m u n i t i e s ' con t r ibu t ions went wel l beyond prov id ing manpower . Ove rseas Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s in the Un i ted S ta tes and Aus t ra l i a had c o m p a r a b l e exper iences. Munson Kwok and Sue l len Cheng render the A m e r i c a n exper ience in Duty & Honour, "Ac t i v i t i es ranged f rom fundra isers and Ch inese bond d r i ves , to sh ipp ing supp l i es , 5 2 Japan's path of aggression began when it forcibly encroached on Korea. By 1907, Korea was completely under Japanese control — its annexation in August 1910 was simply a formality. Korea became Japan's stepping stone to the Asian mainland, where it subsequently targetted Manchuria. 5 3 Unfortunately, the Nationalist (or Guomindang) government was more preoccupied with anti-Communist extermination campaigns than with resisting the Japanese invaders and protecting their people. It was not until 1937 that the Nationalist formed a united front with the Communists. By this time, it was too late to block the Japanese. 5 4 With every aggression, the rationale for Japan was the removal of European colonialism and the creation of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere under Japanese leadership. 5 5 Japan's invasion of China occurred long before the Second World War started in Europe. 5 6 Interview with Roy Mah, 15 November 2004, Vancouver. 5 7 Roy Mah was one of the founding members of the Chinese Youth Association of Victoria. During this time period, Roy sought to block shipments of scrap metal [for making weapons] to Japan and to have the government enforce sanctions on imported Japanese goods. (Interview with Roy Mah, 15 November 2004, Vancouver.) 5 8 Money was raised for hospital beds, to pay for labour, to equip field clinics and provide clinical care, for Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists. 14 to roll ing bandages , to even protest ing the sh i pmen t of iron to J a p a n . " 5 9 Fundra is ing for the war effort w a s a lso a feature of m a n y Ch inese Aus t ra l i an commun i t i es . Regard ing Ch inese Aust ra l ians , Morag Loh and Jud i th Win te rn i tz descr ibe s o m e of the cont r ibut ions made in Dinky-Di: " ra is ing m o n e y , mak ing gif ts for t roops , ho ld ing funct ions to boost mora le , work ing as p lane spot ters ... s o m e were qui te exper ienced at o rgan iz ing suppor t se rv i ces , having s ince 1937 ra ised funds to help Ch ina resist the Japanese i n v a s i o n . " 6 0 The responses and exper iences of m a n y ove rseas Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s were very s imi la r to each other . Suppor t of the an t i - Japanese wa r effort a lso c reated oppor tun i t ies to co l labora te wi th white Canad ians across the count ry . Bes ides par t ic ipat ing in the Red Cross c a m p a i g n s and other serv ice work , Ch inese C a n a d i a n s in BC a lso cont r ibu ted $5 mi l l ion to C a n a d a ' s V ic tory Loan Dr ive — more , per cap i t a , than any o ther g roup in C a n a d a , accord ing to Ed Wickbe rg ' s r e s e a r c h . 6 1 A s terr ib le as the S i n o - J a p a n e s e W a r w a s , it d id have the benefi t of un i fy ing the Ch inese Canad ian c o m m u n i t i e s , at least temporar i l y . It a l so helped to win s y m p a t h y a m o n g other Canad ians for Ch ina and for Ch inese C a n a d i a n s . 6 2 White Br i t ish C o l u m b i a n s fo l lowed the S i n o - J a p a n e s e W a r wi th interest and genera l l y took the s ide of C h i n a . S y m p a t h y for Ch ina led to coopera t ion between whi te Br i t ish Co lumb ians a n d local C h i n e s e . The w a r a lso he lped wh i tes di f ferent iate be tween the two As ian peop les . A s Patr ic ia Roy descr ibes in her recent book, The Oriental Question: 5 9 Kwok, Munson and Suellen Cheng, "Americanization of the Chinese Angelenos," in Duty & Honor: A Tribute to Chinese American World War II Veterans of Southern California, edited by Marjorie Lee. Los Angeles: Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 1998. 6 0 Loh, Morag and Judith Winternitz. Dinky-Di: The Contributions of Chinese immigrants and Australians of Chinese descent to Australia's defence forces and war efforts, 1899-1988. Canberra: AGPS Press publication for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Government Publishing Service, 1989, p. 33. 6 1 In Ed Wickberg's From China to Canada, he records the success of Chinese Canadian fundraising efforts: "Adding together all sums of monetary aid, Vancouver Chinese contributed an estimated C$1 million to China between 1937 and 1945" and "How much did the Chinese in Canada contribute? Taking into account all kinds of financial contributions, the usual figure given is Can $10 million — or about $125 per capita." (Con, Harry and Ronald J . Con, Graham Johnson, Edgar Wickberg, William W. Willmott. Edgar Wickberg, Ed. From China to Canada: A History of the Chinese Communities in Canada. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd. in association with the Multiculturalism Directorate, Dept. of the Secretary of State and the Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Supply and Services Canada, 1988, p. 191 and 189.) This was an incredible feat, considering that Chinese Canadians made approximately half the wages of white people, had some of the worst jobs, there was high unemployment because of the Depression, and many supported a family in Canada as well as relatives in China. 6 2 The reaction in the United States was similar, however, the U.S. took this sympathy one step further. On 7 July 1942, the U.S. issued a postage stamp to commemorated China's five-year resistance against Japansese aggression. On the stamp is a map of China in the background, shown with U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on the left and Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Chinese Revolution,on the right. (Lee, Marjorie, Ed. Duty & Honor: A Tribute to Chinese American World War II Veterans of Southern California. Los Angeles: Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 1998, p. 9) 15 Consolidating a White Man's Province, "Wh i tes a t tended wa r f i lms , concer ts and bazaa rs arranged by local Ch inese to raise money for wa r re l ie f . " 6 3 The Coopera t i ve C o m m o n w e a l t h Federat ion ( C C F ) , a nat ional pol i t ical party, suppor ted the e m b a r g o e s on sh i pmen ts to and f rom J a p a n . Whi te C a n a d i a n s a lso provided aid in o ther w a y s : such as the Chinese War Relief Fund, ano the r wh i te in i t ia t ive, wh ich prov ided medica l and o ther a id to the home less in C h i n a 6 4 ; and V ic tor ia 's Rice Bowl Festival, wh ich was a t tended by the c i ty 's Mayo r A n d r e w McGavin and a Br igad ie r Genera l J . G . Aus t i n , who represented the C a n a d i a n Red C ross S o c i e t y . 6 5 Japan ' s mi l i tary aggress ion helped people d is t ingu ish be tween Ch inese a l l ies and Japanese e n e m i e s . A s the S ino - Japanese W a r p rog ressed , wh i te ag i ta t ion aga ins t the Chinese d i m i n i s h e d 6 6 and an t i - Japanese sen t imen t in tens i f ied. By the end of the 1 9 3 0 s , it was l ikely that C a n a d a wou ld be d rawn into ano the r global conf l ict . Under the banners of democracy and a n t i - f a s c i s m 6 7 , Br i t ish C o m m o n w e a l t h forces marched to war in S e p t e m b e r 1939 . Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , l ike m a n y o ther C a n a d i a n s , were eager to de fend Br i ta in and rushed to e n l i s t . 6 8 However , they were exc luded f rom serv ing in the a r m e d forces whi le o ther Canad ians were a c c e p t e d . 6 9 Ch inese C a n a d i a n s d id not pose a d e m o g r a p h i c th reat : immigra t ion had ceased a n d , accord ing to one newspape r , those of f i gh t ing-age in Br i t ish Co lumb ia numbered jus t over one t h o u s a n d . 7 0 Fur ther , 6 3 Roy, Patricia E. The Oriental Question: Consolidating a White Man's Province. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2004, p. 96. 6 4 The Chinese War Relief Fund was estimated to have raised over $4 mill ion, mostly because of the efforts of white Canadians, in the five-year period from December 1941 to December 1946. (Wickberg etal, p. 192.) 6 5 "Huge Crowd Attends Elaborate Festival Given to Aid China," Victoria Daily Colonist, 27 October 1939, p. 8. 6 6 The Chinese continued to experience racial discrimination right into the 1930s: a 1920 law forbade white and aboriginal women from working in Chinese restaurants, in 1926, the British Columbia legislature proposed that Chinese be forbidden to own real estate; in 1935, the Vancouver City Health Department proposed that Chinese cooks working in Western-style restaurants be required to pass a physical examination; the idea of school segregation was revived from time to t ime, but without success in Vancouver. 6 7 And communism, after 1941. 6 8 In the first month alone, over 58,000 Canadians enlisted. (Byers, p. 78.) 6 9 Some political screening excluded leftists. However, almost all Chinese in British Columbia experienced the beginning year of the war as civilians. Then again, the University of British Columbia "decided that all able-bodied male students should take military training." (Roy, The Soldiers Canada Didn't Want, p. 344.) Chinese Australians experienced a similar di lemma. The Defence Act 1909 exempted those not of 'substantially European descent or origin' from combatant duties, nevertheless, many Chinese Australians joined up as soon as they could. (Giese, Diana. Courage & Service: Chinese Australians and World War II. Marrickville, NSW: Courage and Service Project, 1999.) 7 0 At the beginning of the Second World War, there were only a little over one thousand Chinese of military-age living in British Columbia. "Vancouver Chinese are facing racial extinction, while Japanese 16 Japanese at roc i t ies in Ch ina had made the Ch inese v i c t ims of the J a p a n e s e . 7 1 S t i l l , BC pol i t ic ians did not want the federa l gove rnmen t to s u m m o n Ch inese Canad ians for mi l i tary duty. They urged the Pr ime Min is ter and his wa r min is te rs to cancel any orders to cal l up Chinese for compu lso ry mi l i tary t r a i n i n g . 7 2 In m id -Februa ry 1 9 4 0 , the Cab ine t W a r C o m m i t t e e ( C W C ) approved the pr inc ip le of compulsory mi l i tary serv ice for al l C a n a d i a n s , but spec i f ica l ly exc luded Or ien ta ls and e n e m y a l i ens . 7 3 By June , the g o v e r n m e n t had adopted conscr ip t ion for home serv ice under the National Resources Mobi l i za t ion Act ( N R M A ) , wh ich a l lowed the gove rnmen t to reg is ter men and w o m e n and to m o v e t h e m into j o b s cons ide red necessa ry for wa r t ime p roduc t ion , but d id not compe l t h e m to per form overseas mi l i tary se rv ice . Ch inese Canad ians cou ld enl is t voluntar i ly in any of the p r o v i n c e s , 7 4 but of f ic ia l ly , at th is t ime , they were not ca l led up under N R M A . 7 5 Th is rule was con f i rmed by S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 0 , but it on ly app l ied to B C . Tha t same mon th , a numbe r of Or ien ta ls were s u m m o n e d for med ica l examina t i ons — " the f irst s tage in the genera l ca l l -up for compu lso ry t ra in ing for home defence under the N R M A , " according to h is tor ian Patr ic ia R o y 7 6 — but they were never sent to mi l i tary t ra in ing cen t res . One Ch inese m a n in B .C . comp la ined in a newspaper let ter, "The major i ty of pr ivate c i t i zens are ready to accept us as their e q u a l ; but off icial BC sti l l cons is ten t l y , for many pre jud iced reasons , refuses to g ran t us equal r ights and pr iv i leges as are to be expec ted of our God-w i l l ed bi r th in th is land ... Br i t ish fa i rp lay is p roverb ia l . Many of us are g lad to se rve the count ry in any w a y most benef ic ia l to her ... but where is our vo ice and where our e n c o u r a g e m e n t ? " 7 7 are increasing in number twice as fast as other races in Vancouver." (Chinese Face 'Racial Extinction', Vancouver Province, 15 October 1941, p. 17.) 7 1 "During the late 1930s and early 1940s, British Columbians had increasingly fretted about the possibility of Japan attacking their undefended coast and about the true loyalties of the Canadian Japanese." Consequently, Japanese civilians on the west coast were monitored closely by the Canadian government. (Roy, Patricia E. A White Man's Province, p. 266.) 7 2 Similarly, Australians of Chinese descent and Chinese Americans were barred from the armed forces. They were not allowed to enlist because all three countries considered the Chinese 'aliens'. However, the U.S. was the first to change this designation in late 1942, and by 1943 Congress repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to strengthen the alliance between China and the United States. This legal amendment allowed American Chinese to become naturalized citizens. 7 3 From Sept 1939, Chinese Canadians could usually enlist voluntarily in any of the provinces, but officially they were not called up under NRMA until September 1944. (Cabinet War Committee Records, 13 February 1942.) 7 4 Application of the government policy allowing Chinese to enlist in the Canadian army varied across Canada. 7 5 The CWC made this decision on 1 October 1940. (Wong, p. 71.) 7 6 Roy, Patricia E. The Soldiers Canada Didn't Want: Her Chinese and Japanese Citizens, The Canadian Historical Review, LIX, 3, 1978, p. 342. 7 7 Lin Yu Yong. A Chinese Speaks, Vancouver Sun, 23 November 1940, Editorial Section. 17 By the end of 1 9 4 0 , Canada needed to increase its war effort — inc lud ing the expans ion of its ove rseas forces — as , by th is t ime , France and most of wes te rn Europe had fal len to Nazi G e r m a n y , the Ax i s a l l iance had been fo rma l i zed , and Br i t ish forces had been dr iven off the cont inent . Wi th most wes t European democrac ies under Nazi d o m i n a t i o n , Canada rema ined Br i ta in 's chief al ly in the s t rugg le aga ins t t y ranny . Yet , the C a n a d i a n federal gove rnmen t con t inued to make excuses for its d isc r im ina to ry po l ic ies a imed at Or ien ta l s . 7 8 The issue of conscr ip t ion cont inued to d iv ide the count ry . In Janua ry 1 9 4 1 , the C W C ban on compu lso ry mi l i ta ry serv ice for Or ienta ls in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a was ex tended na t ion -wide. Concur ren t l y , Pr ime Min is ter K ing was being pressed by the Conse rva t i ves and the A rmed Forces to in t roduce conscr ip t ion for ove rseas serv ice . By th is t ime , the federa l government rea l ized that its p lan for wag ing a wa r of " l im i ted l iab i l i ty" w a s unrea l is t ic . Meanwhi le , U .S . Pres ident Rooseve l t h indered the f low of war mater ia ls to J a p a n e s e , and in an effort to d i scourage J a p a n ' s a t tacks on C h i n a , the Uni ted S ta tes , Grea t B r i t a in , and the Nether lands imposed a se lec t ive t rade emba rgo aga ins t J a p a n . 7 9 Th is later induced Japan to retal iate by a t tack ing the Br i t ish co lony of Hong K o n g 8 0 , the In ternat iona l S e t t l e m e n t in Shangha i , the Br i t ish co lony of M a l a y a , and the U .S . protectorate of the Ph i l i pp ines . Not long after that , on 7 D e c e m b e r 1 9 4 1 , Japanese forces launched a mass i ve a i r s t r ike on the Amer ican f leet at Pear l Harbor . That day , C a n a d a prompt ly dec lared wa r aga ins t J a p a n — one day before both the Uni ted S ta tes and Great Br i ta in . Th is a t tack brought the U S into the war and a lso es tab l i shed Ch ina as one of the A l l i es . Moreover , it p rov ided the C a n a d i a n federal g o v e r n m e n t w i th the jus t i f i ca t ion it needed to remove al l Japanese in C a n a d a f rom the western coasta l reg ion and into in te rnment c a m p s fur ther in land . Japanese C a n a d i a n s were off ic ial ly b randed as " E n e m y A l i e n s . " 8 1 In cont ras t , Ch inese C a n a d i a n s were now recognized as "Reg i s te red A l i e n s , " 8 2 however , they sti l l r ema ined legal ly h a n d i c a p p e d . 7 8 Reported excuses for barring the Chinese from military service ranged from "not of pure European descent" and "difficulties of mixing races" (Wong, pp. 19 and 70) to "the harmful effect on the moral of white soldiers" (Roy, The Soldiers Canada Didn't Want, p. 345); for Indo Canadians, excuses for rejection included "not able to accommodate their special diets" and customs. (Wong, p. 80). 7 9 This included a ban on oil and steel, both vital war staples. Without these resources, Japan's military machine would grind to a halt. 80 In November 1941, Canada sent approximately 2000 soldiers to help garrison the British colony of Hong Kong: the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Quebec Royal Rifles of Canada. Most of the soldiers were in need of training and were not combat-ready, but they fought hard and suffered high casualties. 8 1 In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, some Chinese wore badges or displayed signs in shop windows asserting that they were Chinese, not Japanese. 8 2 German and Italian Canadians were also branded as "enemy aliens" because they were from a country hostile to Canada. 18 Nonethe less, fo l lowing the dec lara t ion of wa r aga ins t J a p a n , the C a n a d i a n gove rnmen t at tempted to dea l wi th the issue of racial equa l i ty in the serv ices . The three a r m e d serv ices had di f f icul ty coord ina t ing the i r own war pol ic ies into one coherent nat ional pol icy. Shor t l y af ter the at tack on Pearl Harbor , the Depar tmen t of Nat ional Defence ( D N D ) , the Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s , the Depa r tmen t of Ex te rna l Af fa i rs , and the Royal Canad ian Mounted Pol ice (RCMP) unan imous l y r e c o m m e n d e d revers ing the C W C policy of 1940 by ca l l ing up Or ien ta ls . Pat Roy exp la ins that the R C M P bel ieved that , "... th is would prevent a sense of racial d isc r im ina t ion a m o n g A s i a n - C a n a d i a n s and forestal l any whi te Canad ian j ea lousy of rel ief (sic) f rom mi l i tary o b l i g a t i o n s . " 8 3 D is regard ing the recommenda t ion , one mon th later in ear ly 1942 , the C W C conf i rmed its pol icy of racia l separat ion. By sp r i ng , th is rule was cha l lenged by the proposa l for an a l l -Ch inese C a n a d i a n bat ta l ion; in add i t i on , an of f icer in the C a n a d i a n C o r p s of S i gna l s sugges ted the fo rmat ion of a Ch inese S igna l Uni t . Never the less , app rox ima te l y e ight mon ths later , the Toron to Cha i rman of the Nat iona l W a r Serv i ces C o m m i t t e e could not unders tand w h y the Roya l Canad ian A i r Force (RCAF) wou ld not accept any qual i f ied Ch inese pi lots in any ca tegory — he was not aware that Ch inese C a n a d i a n s were not be ing ca l led up under the N R M A ; on ly then was the cha i rman be ing in fo rmed that Japanese C a n a d i a n s and Ch inese C a n a d i a n s were present ly not be ing ca l led for mi l i tary t ra in ing ac ross C a n a d a — not j us t in B C . End less arguments about race, m isunde rs tand ings , and con fus ion underm ined every poss ib le ini t iat ive. A l though the g o v e r n m e n t c la imed to be in favour of racial equa l i t y , no one off icial was wi l l ing to take the lead and g ive pract ical effect. In Apr i l 1 9 4 2 , P r ime Min is te r Mackenz ie K ing ' s g o v e r n m e n t he ld a na t iona l p leb isc i te , which asked the popu la t ion to re lease the g o v e r n m e n t f rom its p romise not to send conscr ipts ove rseas . K ing 's reputed s tance made dur ing the 1940 e lec t ion , "Consc r ip t ion if necessary , but not necessar i l y consc r ip t ion , " ref lected the a m b i g u o u s nature of the plebisci te. A s expec ted , the p lebisc i te was suppor ted by mos t Eng l i sh -speak ing C a n a d i a n s , who voted 8 0 % in favour , but hard ly at al l by French C a n a d i a n s , espec ia l l y in Q u e b e c . 8 4 Subsequen t l y , the sec t ions of the N R M A that did not a l low the use of conscr ip ts for ove rseas service were re t rac ted . Desp i te the lack of suppor t f rom m a n y C a n a d i a n s on th is i ssue , changes in pol ic ies were under way . The R C A F was the f irst of the Canad ian serv ices to accept Ch inese on an ' e q u a l ' basis , a l though they were restr ic ted to g round dut ies unti l the racial requ i rement that aircrew be whi te was off ic ial ly d ropped . C h a n g e s to the racial requ i rement had been 5 Roy. The Soldiers Canada Didn't Want, p. 348 . 1 S tacey , p. 257 . 19 proposed as ear ly as 1 9 4 1 , but it was not unt i l Oc tober 1942 that The King's Regulations and Orders for the Royal Canadian Air Force were a m e n d e d to a l low Ch inese C a n a d i a n s to enl ist for a i r c r e w . 8 5 Not eve ryone in the R C A F was in formed of these c h a n g e s : an R C A F spokesman announced at a meet ing in Apr i l 1943 that the ai r force 's pol icy shou ld be amended " to accept a l iens after vet t ing but not enemy a l iens. Spec ia l regu la t ions , however , apply to Or ien ta ls ... [but] the genera l pol icy is to d iscourage the i r e n l i s t m e n t . " 8 6 C lea r l y , he did not know that severa l Ch inese Canad ians were a l ready serv ing in the R C A F . Rest r ic t ions did not prevent s o m e Ch inese f rom a t tempt ing to enl is t ear ly o n . In 1 9 4 3 , O t tawa set up the Bureau of Publ ic In format ion to p romote pa t r io t i sm and ' C a n a d i a n i s m ' a m o n g al l e thn ic g roups in Eng l i sh -speak ing C a n a d a . The federa l g o v e r n m e n t also es tab l ished the Nat iona l i t ies Branch of the Depar tmen t of Nat iona l W a r Se rv i ces to at tempt to comba t w idesp read an t i - immig ran t a t t i t udes , 8 7 ev ident dur ing the 1930s . Wi th its staff of two , the b ranch w a s a token response to a very ser ious p rob lem. A s the W a r t i m e Informat ion Board repor ted , "It is obv ious that pre judice aga ins t ' fo re igners ' in genera l and Jews in par t icu lar has g r o w n . " 8 8 The gove rnmen t ' s fa in t -hear ted ges ture to rac ia l equa l i t y combined wi th its to le rance for unequa l , d isc r im ina to ry pol ic ies sabo taged in i t ia t ives to end racial an tagon i sms . A s wi th the R C A F , the Roya l Canad ian Navy (RCN) a lso had a 'wh i tes on ly ' po l icy . Blacks who were Br i t ish Sub jec t s and Ind ians (nat ive and As ian ) f rom Br i t ish C o l u m b i a were not a l lowed to en l is t in the R C N unt i l the King's Regulations c h a n g e d ; even if a C h i n e s e was Canad ian -bo rn , he cou ld t ry to en l is t in the R C N , but wou ld be refused on the g rounds that he was not w h i t e . " 8 9 A t an in te r -depar tmenta l meet ing in Apr i l 1 9 4 3 , the Navy had s ta ted that its pol icy was to accept " a n y Br i t ish sub jec ts , but not a l iens . Consequen t l y , C a n a d i a n Chinese or Ch inese born in Hong Kong m a y enl is t in the Navy if t hey w ish and are a c c e p t a b l e . " 9 0 A l l racia l rest r ic t ions were removed in March 1 9 4 3 ; the on ly spec i f ica t ion that remained was that a recrui t mus t be a Br i t ish s u b j e c t . 9 1 However , no s im i l a r re laxat ion of 8 5 Order signed by AM L.S. Breadner, CAS, 1 October 1942, in NAC RG 24, Vol 17. 17.800, File 828-21, Vol. 14; and Order in Council PC 79/11160, in NAC RG 2, Vol. 1784, approved 9 December 1942. Paragraph 227(1) of 77?e King's Regulations and Orders for the Royal Canadian Air Force, 1924. 8 6 Note for External Files, 27 April 1943, in NAC RG 25, Vol. 2818, File 1154-40. 8 7 Anti-immigrant attitudes were usually whites against visible minorities. 8 8 Pal, Leslie A. "Identity, Citizenship, and Mobilization: the Nationalities Branch and World War Two," Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 32, No.3 (1989), p. 46. 8 9 Wong, p. 60. 9 0 Note for External Files, 27 April 1943, in NAC RG 25, Vol. 2818, File 1154-40. 9 1 NAC, RG 2, Vol. 178, File 12 March 1943, Reel T5152. 20 regulat ions app l ied to the merchan t navy . It w a s not unt i l af ter the wa r that the R C N made a concerted effort to we lcome v is ib le minor i t ies . The co lour bar in the Canad ian A r m y was m u c h more subt le and more comp l i ca ted than the other two serv ices . Wi th in the a rmy , Ch inese could enl is t vo lun tar i l y in any of the provinces east of the Rock ies , but they were not ca l led up under N R M A unti l 1944 . Marjor ie Wong wr i tes, " In i t ia l ly , ... [the] Pr ime Min is ter Mackenz ie K ing had ac ted on the request of B C Premier T .D . Pat tu l lo not to cal l up C h i n e s e and J a p a n e s e C a n a d i a n s [in Br i t ish Co lumb ia ] . If, sa id Pat tu l lo , the Ch inese and Japanese are 'ca l led up for se rv i ce , there wi l l be a d e m a n d that they be g iven the f ranch ise , wh ich we in th is Prov ince can never to le ra te . ' " 9 2 The Ch inese were wel l aware of the connec t ion be tween compu lso ry mi l i tary service and the f ranch ise , and they pet i t ioned the Min is ter of Nat iona l W a r Se rv i ces in Ot tawa ind icat ing that Ch inese Canad ians wou ld be eager " to g ive wha teve r serv ice shou ld be expected of Canad ian c i t i zens in connect ion w i th compu lso ry mi l i tary t ra in ing , but that in turn they shou ld receive comp le te recogni t ion as C a n a d i a n c i t i zens and shou ld have al l the pr iv i leges of c i t i zensh ip , par t icu lar ly the r ight to v o t e . " 9 3 Ignor ing the pet i t ion , one mon th later, the federa l gove rnmen t con f i rmed the ban on Ch inese f rom the a r m y ; th is on ly appl ied to B C , as of October 1940 . Ch inese young men who wan ted to serve exp ressed the i r d isappo in tment , however , recru i ters east of the Rock ies were accep t ing C h i n e s e as they were more equa l s tand ing wi th the whi te ma jor i t y there . In Daphne Mar la t t 's Opening Doors, Dr. S o Won Leung proudly s ta ted , "I j o ined up back e a s t . " 9 4 F rom Janua ry 1941 onward , however , the C W C ex tended th is ban to a l l of C a n a d a . 9 5 Not eve ryone in the federa l gove rnmen t agreed wi th th is dec i s i on , but the major i ty were behind Pat tu l lo and K ing . Th roughou t the war , numerous t i m e - c o n s u m i n g mee t ings at al l levels of gove rnmen t , in both Ot tawa and V ic to r i a , focused on ' the Or ienta l p rob lem ' . Governmen t depa r tmen ts and civ i l se rvan ts were shuf f l ing off respons ib i l i t ies and m a k i n g excuses to keep the Ch inese out of the a rmy . A t th is ear ly s tage of the war , it w a s st i l l qu i te easy to be se lec t ive about recru i ts , when s o m e st i l l be l ieved that a l imi ted wa r w a s feas ib le . 9 2 Wong, p. 70. 9 3 Since jobs in the professions of law, pharmacy, accounting hinged on being on the voters' lists, the right to vote was far more significant than merely casting one's ballot. (NAC, RG 25, Vol . 2818, File 1154-40, 20 September 1940.) 9 4 Marlatt, Daphne. Opening Doors: Vancouver's East End, compiled and edited by Daphne Marlatt and Carol Itter. Victoria, BC: Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Government Services, Provincial Archives, 1979, p. 162. 9 5 "The CWC on 22 November 1941 included a ban on compulsory military service for Chinese as well as Japanese Canadians all across Canada not just in British Columbia." (The Report and Recommendations of the Special Committee on Orientals in British Columbia December 1940, in NAC RG 27, Vol. 1500, File 2-K-184, N.W.S. Oriental BC. 21 A great dea l of sec recy was invo lved in the C W C dec is ion to exc lude the Ch inese f rom the a r m y , so m u c h that va r ious leve ls of g o v e r n m e n t were not rece iv ing th is in format ion. People were m is in fo rmed and there was t remendous d isorder . Nine mon ths after the C W C had c o m e to its dec is ion , the Toronto cha i rman of Nat iona l W a r Se rv i ces (NWS) was not aware that Ch inese Canad ians were not to be ca l led up under N R M A . For some reason , there was a lso a de lay in get t ing th is v i ta l in format ion to the mob i l i za t ion boards. Desp i te the C W C dec is ion , Ch inese cont inued to be ca l led up under N R M A , especial ly in Ontar io and Q u e b e c . 9 6 Discr im ina t ion and se lect iv i ty went out the door when the need for re in fo rcements became urgent . The co l lec t ive and subs tan t ia l losses in the i l l - fated D ieppe Raid in 1 9 4 2 , the campa igns of I taly in 1 9 4 3 , and the Bat t le of No rmandy in 1944 , as wel l as the shor tage of vo lun teers , forced C a n a d a ' s g o v e r n m e n t to real is t ica l ly confront its severe in fantry shor tage. A t th is point , the a r m y cou ld no longer afford to forego any va luab le reservo i r of much-needed m a n p o w e r . Because the gove rnmen t had refused to a l low Ch inese into the a rmy, many whi te s e r v i c e m e n who had been r isk ing the i r l ives for f ive long yea rs migh t see the Ch inese as coward l y w a r dodgers . A n d to fur ther comp l i ca te the s i tua t ion , m a n y Chinese C a n a d i a n s sough t pe rm iss ion to leave C a n a d a to jo in the A m e r i c a n a r m e d forces whi le the Mobi l i za t ion Board in V a n c o u v e r , despera te ly in need of m e n , and " w a s sc rap ing the bot tom of the ba r re l , " as pr inted in the Victoria Daily Times.97 It d id not s e e m to even matter to K ing 's g o v e r n m e n t that C a n a d a was a l l ied wi th C h i n a . M a n s o n , the C a n a d i a n A rmy , the N S S , and the C W C cont inued to press the gove rnmen t for changes in m a n p o w e r pol icy. Change c a m e abou t w h e n the Br i t ish W a r Off ice contacted Ot tawa in the spr ing of 1944 regard ing " f i f teen C a n a d i a n Ch inese [who are] wan ted for dangerous d u t i e s . " 9 8 Br i t ish subjects were needed for esp ionage opera t ions in Br i t ish terr i tor ies occup ied by the Japanese — C a n a d a w a s now ob l iged to he lp Br i ta in aga ins t the i r c o m m o n , and rea l , enemy. Th is impor tan t c h a n g e — a change only made under ob l igat ion to the mo the r land — demons t ra tes the K ing gove rnmen t ' s fear of exacerba t ing racial tens ions in Br i t ish Co lumbia and in the a r m y , whose m e m b e r s were d rawn f rom the ent i re count ry . Ch inese Canad ians were now permi t ted act ive duty in al l of the se rv ices . S ince the i r a r r iva l to C a n a d a , d isc r im ina t ion aga ins t the Ch inese had been based on their phys ica l a p p e a r a n c e , the i r l anguage , and the i r cu l ture — all of wh ich were s t r ik ing ly 9 6 L.R. LaFleche, Associate Deputy Minister, NWS, to External Affairs, 6 October; Keenlyside reply, 9 October; LaFleche to The Honourable Mr. Justice J .G. Gillanders, Toronto, 10 October 1941, in NAC RG 27, Vol. 1489, File 2-184, NWS Orientals. 97 Victoria Daily Times, 22 Aug 44; A.M. Manson to Arthur MacNamara, 3 May 44, PAC, DLR vol. 127A. 9 8 Chinese Canadians were wanted for special duties with Special Operations Executive (SOE). 22 different f rom European Canad ians . However , now that Br i t ish terr i tor ies were under Japanese con t ro l , the C a n a d i a n and Br i t ish g o v e r n m e n t s found C h i n e s e C a n a d i a n s to be ind ispensab le to w inn ing the war : Br i t ish sub jec ts who could eas i ly b lend into Sou theas t As ia wi th local Ch inese immig ran ts and s ign i f icant ly change the course of the Paci f ic war . The phys ica l appea rance of the Ch inese was no longer cons ide red an imped imen t , but an advan tage . Know ing th is , many Ch inese Canad ians saw thei r par t ic ipat ion in the S e c o n d World War as a way to redef ine their s ta tus . How they shou ld proceed wi th th is m o n u m e n t a l task? The fo l lowing chapte r exp lores the 1944 deba tes regard ing compu lso ry ove rseas serv ice , in the Ch inese Canad ian commun i t i es of V a n c o u v e r and V ic to r ia . Th rough oral in terv iews wi th m a n y of the remain ing Ch inese C a n a d i a n ve te rans , the i r m e m o r i e s of the deba tes wi l l uncover ins igh ts into the i r mot i ves both for and aga ins t ac t ive du ty . These in terv iews wi l l a lso reveal how they ident i f ied t h e m s e l v e s wi th in the i r hybr id c o m m u n i t i e s of both Ch inese and C a n a d i a n cu l tures and how they unders tood wha t the i r respons ib i l i t ies were . The deba tes — evo lv ing f rom a c lash of op in ions to a s ingu la r reso lu t ion — wi l l exp la in much about the i r fee l ings for C a n a d a , C h i n a , J a p a n , and the S e c o n d Wor ld War . 23 Chapter 4 E V O L U T I O N of the D E B A T E S When the f irst genera l mob i l i za t ion cal l c a m e in 1939 , many Ch inese Canad ians tr ied to enl ist in the a r m e d fo rces , but were re jec ted . In Br i t ish C o l u m b i a , a lmos t al l of t h e m exper ienced the beg inn ing years of the wa r as c iv i l ians . It was not unti l m i d - A u g u s t 1944 when Ch inese C a n a d i a n s were conscr ip ted for compu lso ry overseas dut ies — three mon ths before the nat ional ove rseas ca l l -up — that they were g iven the oppor tun i ty to f ight a longside o ther C a n a d i a n s . However , ove rseas conscr ip t ion deeply d iv ided the i r m u c h -persecuted e thn ic c o m m u n i t i e s : s o m e young Ch inese Canad ians were thr i l led that the i r opportuni ty had c o m e ; o thers , however , d id not suppor t mi l i tary se rv i ce ; and the o lder generat ion was spl i t on its v iews . To fur ther comp l i ca te th ings , reasons for a n d aga ins t service were not cons is ten t , nor d id s o m e ind iv idua ls l imit t hemse l ves to jus t one standpoint . In order to unders tand al l the in t r icac ies of the deba tes , I wi l l beg in by look ing at the upbr ing ing of and in f luences upon these mi l i t a ry -age Ch inese C a n a d i a n s to see what they felt was at s take . O the r cons idera t ions that shou ld be taken into accoun t a re the confl ict ing wa r pol ic ies of the g o v e r n m e n t and a r m e d forces, fami ly and peer in f luences, plus a number of o ther de ta i l s , to apprec ia te the i r unden iab ly comp lex s i tua t ion . Wi th the onset of the S e c o n d Wor ld W a r , m a n y Ch inese Canad ians in B C j o i ned the rush to enl is t but, due to the i r race, they were not ca l led to act ive duty . The B C g o v e r n m e n t did not favour the en l i s tmen t of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s in the a rmed fo rces ; later , th is ban w a s extended nat ionwide as the federa l g o v e r n m e n t gave way to pressure f rom the wes te rn province. His tor ian Pat Roy ind icates that the pr imary reason for th is ban on Or ien ta ls in the forces was that , "A t t o rney -Gene ra l Go rdon W i s m e r of Br i t ish C o l u m b i a ... told Co lone l L.R. LaF leche , Assoc ia te Depu ty Min is te r o f Nat iona l W a r Se rv i ces , ' i f t hese men are ca l led upon to per form the dut ies of c i t i zens and bear a r m s for C a n a d a , it wi l l be imposs ib le to resist the a r g u m e n t that they are ent i t led to the f ranch ise ' ... and ... P remie r T . D . Pat t tu lo dec lared that Br i t ish C o l u m b i a wou ld ' neve r to le ra te ' a d e m a n d for the f r a n c h i s e . " 9 9 The par t ic ipat ion of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s in the mi l i tary was unwanted by al l levels of government — f rom the Defence Min is ter and Pr ime Min is ter to the A t to rney Genera l and the Premier of Br i t ish C o l u m b i a — and rest r ic t ions were leg is la ted to prohib i t the i r invo lvement because mi l i ta ry serv ice had long been seen as the u l t imate tes t o f c i t i zensh ip . By keeping t h e m out of the se rv i ces , the g o v e r n m e n t wou ld be able to preserve the status 9 9 Roy. The Soldiers Canada Didn't Want, p. 342. 24 quo on the C h i n e s e : d isenf ranch ised 'a l iens ' , as they were legal ly d e f i n e d . 1 0 0 Wha t the government fa i led to rea l ize was that young Ch inese m e n a n d w o m e n of m i l i t a r y -age were far more Canad ian than they appeared to be. Many young Ch inese Canad ians were f irst or second-genera t i on C a n a d i a n - b o r n , a n d , as such , they had g rown up highly ass imi la ted to E u r o p e a n - C a n a d i a n cu l ture and w i th whi te Canad ian f r i e n d s . 1 0 1 They were not only Ch inese , but a b icul tura l b lend of Wes te rn and Chinese her i tages. Prof. L isa Mar exp la ins , "They a t tended Canad ian publ ic schoo ls that extol led the super ior i ty of the Br i t ish way of l i fe, the Emp i re and the a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s of Br i t ish c i v i l i z a t i o n . " 1 0 2 A n d because the i r parents wan ted t h e m to retain the i r C h i n e s e n e s s , most had a Ch inese educa t ion as we l l . Many were sent to Ch inese schoo l , Monday to Fr iday , after the i r regu lar publ ic school educa t ion . S o m e even had the oppor tun i ty to s tudy overseas in C h i n a . Ve te ran Harry Con told Daphne Mar lat t tha t he had such an upb r i ng ing : " In those days m y parents , or any o ther paren ts , wou ld l ike the i r ch i ld ren to learn s o m e Ch inese cul ture ... so they took me and m y s is ter back to Ch ina to s tudy C h i n e s e . I l ived in Ch ina about n ine yea rs , and I c a m e back a round 1 9 3 4 . " 1 0 3 Roy Mah a lso had a s im i la r exper ience : "I w a s born in Edmon ton and I was ra ised , par t ly , in C h i n a . The ent i re fami ly m o v e d back to Ch ina when I was t h r e e - y e a r s - o l d , then I c a m e back to C a n a d a w h e n I was e leven and set t led wi th my fa ther in V i c t o r i a . " 1 0 4 More than fifty percent of the Ch inese Canad ian ve te rans spen t t ime in C h i n a . O the rs , l ike s ib l ings Frank and Bing W o n g , who grew up in A ler t Bay , or bro thers A lber t and Cedr i c Mah and Peggy Lee, who grew up in Pr ince Ruper t , never d id l ive in C h i n a nor d id they exper ience d isc r im ina t ion in the i r p redominant ly Nat ive Ind ian f ish ing c o m m u n i t i e s . Whe the r or not young Ch inese Canad ians spen t any t ime in C h i n a , a lmos t al l of t h e m felt a dual loyal ty to both count r ies . Thei r c o m m i t m e n t to C h i n a was p redominan t l y based on the her i tage that the i r parents had inst i l led in t h e m , w a s con f i rmed by the i r phys ica l appearance wh ich separa ted t hem f rom n o n - C h i n e s e , w a s re inforced by the i r res ident ia l 1 0 0 The Chinese had to register under the Exclusion Act of 1923 and were, thus, categorized as 'registered aliens.' 1 0 1 Marjorie Wong notes that, "Chinese of callable years in British Columbia were nearly all born in Canada — 9 3 % were Canadian-born." (Wong, 7 6 . ) 1 0 2 Mar, Lisa R. From Diaspora to North American Civil Rights: Chinese Canadian ideas, identities and brokers in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1924-1960. PhD Thesis, University of Toronto, August 2002, p. 142. 1 0 3 Harry Con was a member of a secret British commando group, Force 1 3 6 , which specialized in sabotage and reconnaissance behind Japanese enemy lines. (Marlatt, Daphne. Opening Doors, p. 1 5 7 . ) 1 0 4 Roy Mah. Interview with Author, 15 November 2002. 25 segregation to Chinatown, 1 0 5 and was due to discriminatory experiences. As a result, when the war first broke out in China in 1937, Chinese communities across Canada rallied to the support of the Chinese War effort to resist Japanese aggression. 1 0 6 Then again, many having been born and raised in Canada — and most knowing no other homeland — were instilled with a strong sense of duty and the desire to defend Canada. In the case of John Ko Bong, his father had always encouraged his children to be loyal to both China and Canada. 1 0 7 Many young Chinese Canadians were eager to do their share for Canada's war effort, despite their second-class citizenship. Discrimination did not restrain them from attempting to gain entry into the forces. Brothers Albert and Cedric Mah, born in Prince Rupert, already had their pilot's licences when they tried to enlist in the RCAF in 1939 — they were both rejected. Walter Joe of Vernon, made two attempts to enlist in the air force but was rejected on both occasions. 1 0 8 Douglas Sam, of Victoria, tried to enlist in the RCAF in 1940 but was advised that volunteers must be of European descent. When I interviewed Dan Lee concerning his effort to join the forces, he said: "Friends I went to school with joined. So when I went to enlist in 1940 and was rejected, I couldn't understand why. I thought that maybe my marks weren't good enough." 1 0 9 In 1940, the Vancouver Sun published a letter from a young Chinese Canadian who was frustrated with the hypocrisy of the system: "Sir: I am one of the hundreds of Canadian-born Chinese, of military age, and glad of the privilege of fighting and dying for Canada. Here are the facts that I would like to place before the Canadian public to get their opinion on whether it does or does not constitute British fair play. First — Although my parents are naturalized British subjects for 35 years and myself born in Vancouver, I am not allowed to vote. The government's reason, I am an alien. Second — Although I possess registered firearms for hunting, I must surrender them by September 30, 1940. The government's reason, I am an alien." 1 0 5 Usually, only bigger BC cities like Vancouver and Victoria confined their Chinese populations to Chinatowns. 1 0 6 War-related activities brought them into integrated settings with other non-Chinese Canadians. 1 0 7 Ko Bong, John (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 7 April 2004. 1 0 8 Instead, Walter joined the BC Dragoons in 1939. Then in 1942, Walter made one last attempt to join the RCAF. This time he was accepted as the rules had changed. 1 0 9 'Friends' that Dan is referring to here are his non-Chinese friends who had no problem enlisting. (Lee, Daniel. Interview with Author, 10 November 2004.) 26 Thi rd — C a n a d a adop ts conscr ip t ion [under N R M A ] , therefore I a m draf ted into the C a n a d i a n a r m y . The gove rnmen t ' s reason , I a m a Br i t ish S u b j e c t . " 1 1 0 W h e n Ch inese Canad ians vo lun teered for the forces they were re jec ted , but as of June 1940 , when the gove rnmen t enacted the Nat iona l Resources Mobi l i za t ion Ac t , they were legal ly ob l iged to regis ter for the war e f fo r t . 1 1 1 Many thought that th is re jec t ion , then a comple te reve rsa l , was ou t rageous . Consequen t l y , th is incons is tency led s o m e to cha l lenge the gove rnmen t ' s author i ty . Many Ch inese you ths who wanted to ac t ive ly par t ic ipate in C a n a d i a n soc ie ty , took this oppor tun i ty to protest aga ins t the gove rnmen t ' s doub le s tanda rd . One young Ch inese Canad ian publ ic ly ra ised the issue of c i t i zensh ip in V ic tor ia 's Daily Co lon is t : " C h i n e s e - C a n a d i a n s , at th is cr i t ical hour of C a n a d a ' s h is tory, are not a t tempt ing to ra ise an issue for equa l c i t izen r ights. However , they wil l f ight wi th happy hear ts and heads held h igh if they know for cer ta in tha t the land whose l iber ty they are defend ing can t ru ly be ca l led the i r o w n , that the stabi l i ty (sic) as fu l l - f ledged C a n a d i a n s is in no way lower than the i r compat r i o t s . They wi l l thus f ight wi th a spir i t unconquerab le , and can real ly s ing w i th ful l pr ide and joy ' O h C a n a d a ! We s tand on guard for t h e e ! ' " 1 1 2 Others , such as Roy Mah and John Ko B o n g , founders of the pol i t ica l ly ac t ive Ch inese You th Assoc ia t ion of V i c to r i a , began send ing pet i t ions to BC Premie r John Hart abou t the cont rad ic t ion of Br i t ish C o l u m b i a ' s democra t i c v a l u e s . 1 1 3 " W e sugges t that y o u , as the leader of the Br i t ish C o l u m b i a g o v e r n m e n t , exer t you r power in he lp ing to abrogate these an t iqua ted and unnecessa ry legal i t ies wh ich are bas ica l ly cont rary to the t rue democra t i c pr inc ip les for wh ich we a re now f i g h t i n g . " 1 1 4 Only a few Ch inese you ths unders tood the connect ion be tween compu lso ry mi l i ta ry serv ice and the f ranch ise , but ac t iv is ts l ike Mah and Ko Bong were s lowly ra l ly ing suppor t to lobby for a change . However , the i rony regard ing the 1940 mi l i tary reg is t ra t ion w a s that the federal g o v e r n m e n t had ye t to reso lve the d isc r im ina to ry Regulations — wh i ch exc luded B lacks , C h i n e s e , J a p a n e s e , and Nat ive and East Ind ians f rom mi l i ta ry serv ice ac ross the country — and to coord ina te a nat ional pol icy that app l ied to al l of the serv ices and in each 1 1 0 "Case for B.C. Chinese," Vancouver Sun, 2 October 1940. 1 1 1 Men and women could be enlisted into military service, government service, or as part of companies supplying the war effort. 1 1 2 Lee, Daniel. Interview with Author, 10 November 2004. 1 1 3 Roy Mah and John Ko Bong joined the 16 t h Scottish Battalion (Reserve) in 1939, when they were rejected from active service due to their race. 1 1 4 "Canadian-born Chinese," Daily Colonist, 18 October 1940, p. 4. 27 of the prov inces . Th is presented qu i te a cha l lenge to the civi l se rvan ts and a r m y off icers who were at odds wi th one another . Desp i te al l the comp l i ca t i ons , change began to take place in 1942 . The Roya l Canad ian A i r Force a l lowed Ch inese C a n a d i a n s to en l is t for a i rc rew that October , a l though RCAF Regulations were not off ic ial ly a m e n d e d unt i l December . Th is was the f irst of the services to make these changes . Those that had en l is ted pr ior to Oc tober 1 9 4 2 , and were consigned to ground du t ies , l ike A lber t and Cedr i c M a h , 1 1 5 now qual i f ied for ac t ive s ta tus . Douglas S a m , 1 1 6 Wa l te r Joe , Dan ie l Lee and m a n y o thers were now el ig ib le to be in the RCAF. There was one c a t c h : Paci f ic C o m m a n d did not cal l up Ch inese C a n a d i a n s under the NRMA, a l though they were ca l led up in the eas te rn p rov inces . Not exemp t f rom mi l i tary service under the Regulations, but not ca l led up for mi l i ta ry du ty represented the preva i l ing no-win s i tuat ion of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s . The next ma jo r change was in March 1 9 4 3 , w h e n the Roya l Canad ian Navy removed its racial rest r ic t ions. Ch inese cou ld now enl is t in th is se rv i ce , however , no s im i la r d i rec t ive appl ied to the merchan t navy . In to ta l , not more than ten Ch inese C a n a d i a n s en l is ted in the R C N , wi th Wi l l i am Lore — an except iona l case — preced ing the Order in Counc i l by a mon th or s o . 1 1 7 A s men t ioned ear l ier , a l though the change in the Navy ' s Regulations d id a l low Chinese C a n a d i a n s to en l is t , it d id not improve the N a v y ' s recep t i veness toward minor i t ies . Imp lemen t i ng changes to the C a n a d i a n A r m y Regulations w a s not as s imp le as in the RCAF and R C N . The re were a lways unreso lved conf l ic ts be tween the C W C dec is ion and the 1 1 5 Although they were rejected by the air force, they were accepted as civilian instructors for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). Both brothers went on to have distinguished careers as pilots. Albert and Cedric were contracted by Pan Am in 1942 to fly for the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), over the Himalayas between China and India; subsequently, Albert became a NATO instructor and pilot for Canadian Pacific Airlines and Cedric continued as a commercial pilot. A mountain in the BC coastal range was named Mount Ced Mah in 1953 for his "outstanding service transporting and supplying a government survey party under difficult flying conditions." (Vancouver Sun, 15 February 1946; and The Star Weekly, Toronto, 11 September 1954, p.6.) lie / _ M a r jo r ie Wong describes, "Douglas Sam was advised that a request had been made to Ottawa for removal of this restriction. When the new Regulations were issued in 1942, he was informed by Ottawa." Doug Sam became a bomber pilot for No. 426 Thunderbird Squadron of No. 6 Bomber Group that bombed key enemy targets in German-occupied France to clear the way for infantry in the Normandy Campaign. On his last bombing mission, his aircraft was hit, but he survived and managed to link up with the French Resistance under the direction of MI 9. He worked with the French Resistance to liberate Paris from the Nazis. In later years, he became the Chief Intelligence Officer for Immigration Canada. (Wong, pp. 36-9.) 1 1 7 In 1939, Bill was employed as a radio operator with the Department of Transport, Radio Division, Marine Branch and Air Services Branch. In January 1943, however, Bill joined the RCN at the request of Vice-Admiral Percy F. Nelles, Chief of Naval Staff, and was assigned to the Operational Intelligence Centre, Naval Service Headquarters in Ottawa. Bill served in Canada, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. Also noteworthy was his work with General Douglas MacArthur. William Lore remained with the Canadian Civil Service until 1957, when he resigned to study law in Hong Kong and London, England. He practiced law in Hong Kong from 1962 until at least the mid-1990s, and introduced legal aid in Hong Kong. At 96, Bill is still living in Hong Kong. (Wong, p. 61) 28 Regulations. There were conf l ic ts between federal r ecommenda t i ons and what Br i t ish Co lumb ia ' s g o v e r n m e n t w a n t e d , and responsib i l i t ies were shuf f led a round and dec is ions deferred. There were a lso end less excuses to exc lude Ch inese , and o ther minor i t ies , for reasons of phys ica l a p p e a r a n c e , cu l ture , and so o n . Marjor ie Wong desc r ibes the added compl ica t ions : " T h e R C A F ... never became en tang led in def in i t ions as to whe the r they were Bri t ish sub jec ts or Ch inese nat iona ls , un l ike the Canad ian A r m y . " 1 1 8 There were a lways d isagreements abou t ca tegor ies : C a n a d i a n - b o r n versus Canad ian na t iona ls , def in ing who was a Ch inese C a n a d i a n , wha t the Br i t ish Sub jec t c lass i f icat ion cons is ted of, who compr i sed an Al l ied A l ien and whe the r there shou ld be separa te a n d / o r spec ia l g roup ings for t h e m . The colour bar in the a r m y w a s very subt le , but the genera l pol icy was to d i scourage C h i n e s e Canad ian en l i s tmen t . B e c a u s e Ch inese had great di f f icul t ies en l i s t i ng , m a n y reques ted permi ts to enl is t into the Un i ted S ta tes a r m e d forces. Wong s u m m a r i z e s , " T h e di f f icul ty of enrol l ing ind iv idua ls for compu lso ry mi l i tary t ra in ing who were den ied the f ranch ise appeared to be an i nsu rmoun tab le h u r d l e . " 1 1 9 A l l th is b icker ing , u l t imate ly , ra ised a ma jo r p rob lem: that there was no off icial def in i t ion of what a Canad ian c i t izen w a s . A n d , to m a k e mat ters wo rse , in the s u m m e r of 1943 the a rmy began to fo rmu la te its own ru les for 'a l iens ' , i r respect ive of wha t the federal gove rnmen t dec ided . Desp i te al l t hese obs tac les , some Ch inese C a n a d i a n s st i l l wan ted to be a part of C a n a d a ' s war effort. Cha l l enges to en l i s tmen t s e e m e d insu rmoun tab le , yet many Ch inese you th st i l l wanted to f ight for C a n a d a . In 1942 , Frank Wong c a m e to V a n c o u v e r w i th s o m e of his f r iends f rom A ler t Bay — he had no p rob lem jo in ing u p . 1 2 0 F rank 's s i tua t ion was qu i te unusua l , but not an iso la ted ease. It p roves there were ser ious c o m m u n i c a t i o n p rob lems , not only be tween the g o v e r n m e n t and the a r m y , but a lso wi th in the a r m y ' s s t ruc ture — between Mobi l i za t ion Boa rds , Se lec t i ve Se rv i ces , Recru i tment , Recept ion and Tra in ing Cent res — and m a n y C h i n e s e ' fel l th rough the c r a c k s . ' 1 2 1 In 1 9 4 3 , G len W o n g en l i s ted in the a rmy in V a n c o u v e r . 1 2 2 Geo rge Kwong was a lso ab le to bypass rest r ic t ions and jo in the a r m y 1 1 8 Wong, p. 59. 1 1 9 Wong, p. 75. 1 2 0 In February 1943, Frank Wong was shipped to England where he joined the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was being trained for the Normandy Invasion. 1 2 1 Many Chinese Canadians 'fell through the cracks" because "A great deal of secrecy was involved in the CWC decision to exclude the Chinese from the army, so much that various levels of government were not receiving this information" (as written on page 26). Recruiting Centers wanted all able-bodied men to report for duty, so unless Centres were given instructions to restrict certain people from the armed forces, no one was rejected. 1 2 2 Glen started with the Seaforth Scottish Highlanders for 10 days, then he was transferred into the Air Force. Glen served from the fall of 1943 to August 1945. He did not go overseas for active duties. 29 in 1 9 4 3 . 1 2 3 His brothers , however , refused to se rve a count ry that den ied C h i n e s e -Canad ians the vote . They s a i d , "If C a n a d a won ' t g ive us the r ight [to vo te ] , the hell w i th t h e m . " 1 2 4 Ev ident ly , the appea l for vo t ing r ights was ga in ing popu lar i ty , but it a lso c rea ted a lot of unrest in the Ch inese and non -Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s . Many Ch inese e lders d id not want to cha l lenge Canada ' s laws, whi le m a n y young Ch inese did not hes i ta te to contest inequal i ty . In the non -Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s , a l though m a n y whi te C a n a d i a n s were not ready to accept Ch inese as equa ls , many o thers advoca ted for the fair t rea tmen t of Or ienta ls . En l i s tment in the a rmed forces ra ised m a n y concerns and revea led the commun i t i es ' conf l ic t ing op in ions . Pol i t ical c a m p a i g n s for equa l c iv i l r ights were a t t rac t ing the y o u n g e r genera t i on . A l though the Ch inese You th Assoc ia t ion (CYA) publ ic ly focused on aid and suppor t to C h i n a , it also had a local ob jec t ive of bu i ld ing publ ic suppor t for racia l equa l i t y . Roy Mah exp la ined the CYA 's c a u s e : "I was a f i rebrand w h e n I was younger . I fought for jus t i ce when I saw in just ice. The Ch inese Youth Assoc ia t ion w a s a veh ic le for th is . We wan ted to raise our s ta tus in C a n a d a , so we fought for equa l oppor tun i t ies . It w a s more than jus t the act of cas t ing one 's bal lot . It was the r ight to pract ice in the profess ions - such as law, p h a r m a c y , accoun tancy - to f ight in the Canad ian forces, and in m a n y other a reas of C a n a d i a n l i f e . " 1 2 5 Roy M a h , John Ko B o n g , and the i r C Y A peers wan ted o ther young Ch inese C a n a d i a n s to unders tand that they were j us t as Canad ian as the i r n o n - C h i n e s e counterpar ts and that they had the r ight to en l is t in the forces l ike a n y o n e e lse . J o h n Ko Bong urged C h i n e s e to as soon as they were e l ig ib le , be l iev ing that they shou ld m a k e every effort to help w in the war . Members of the CYA insp i red young Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , mak ing t h e m aware that pol i t ical equal i ty w a s poss ib le for al l Ch inese C a n a d i a n s . L isa Mar wr i tes , "These hybr id W e s t e r n -Chinese ident i t ies served as an impor tan t m e a n s of pro ject ing the i r read iness for democ racy ... Even though BC voters had re jected any hint of As ian C a n a d i a n en f ranch i semen t in 1 9 3 7 , dur ing the f irst few years of the Second Wor ld War , subt le s y m p a t h y and jo in t s t rugg le against a c o m m o n e n e m y he lped bui ld toward more d i rec t cha l l enges to c o m e . " 1 2 6 F igh t ing against a c o m m o n e n e m y created oppor tun i t ies for Ch inese and whi te C a n a d i a n s to work together and deve lop connec t ions of mutua l unders tand ing and e m p a t h y . Th is gene ra t i on , 1 2 3 George fought with the First Canadian Army in France, Belgium, and Holland in the July 1944 D-Day landings. 1 2 4 Smedman, Lisa. "Moving Pictures," The Vancouver Courier, 23 May 2001, Vol. 92 No. 41 , pp. 1, 4-5. 1 2 5 "Canadian-born Chinese," Daily Colonist, 18 October 1940, p. 4. 1 2 6 Mar, p. 207. 30 having been ra ised in C a n a d a , had a more opt imis t ic and more Wes te rn out look than the i r parents. Ch inese you th were s lowly real iz ing that the key to the i r des i re to be long was the i r need to be va l ida ted as C a n a d i a n s , and many , now, had fai th that th is change and wou ld come. They be l ieved that it was jus t a mat te r of t ime and dependen t upon the i r de terminat ion . Then the unexpec ted happened in the spr ing of 1944 : the C W C reversed its decis ion and cal led up Ch inese Canad ians under the N R M A . 1 2 7 Th is was the oppor tun i ty that they had been wa i t ing for. The change in the Canad ian A r m y ' s Regulations was based on pressure f rom across the At lant ic . The Br i t ish W a r Off ice needed Ch inese for spec ia l du t ies , so Ot tawa ins t ruc ted the a rmy to accept Ch inese C a n a d i a n s for th is serv ice . Br i t ish Secur i t y Coord ina t ion knew that Ch inese C a n a d i a n s cou ld pass as ' l oca ls ' in Japanese -occup ied Br i t ish ter r i tor ies , whereas Eu ropeans wou ld be eas i ly de tec ted . Ch inese C a n a d i a n s were a lso h igh ly va lued because — accord ing to the Br i t ish gove rnmen t — they were Br i t ish Sub jec t s . Br i ta in wanted to e m p l o y t h e m in the Spec ia l Opera t ions Execut ive (SOE) to work beh ind e n e m y l ines in occup ied t e r r i t o r i e s . 1 2 8 Regard less of, the Canad ian A r m y ' s shor tage of m e n , Paci f ic C o m m a n d wou ld not have changed its pol ic ies had it not been for Br i ta in 's in te rven t ion . Th is po l icy- reversa l d id not resul t in unan imous jub i la t ion or relief, but w a s , i ns tead , ve ry d isrupt ive to the Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s . W h e n the C a n a d i a n gove rnmen t announced compu lso ry overseas serv ice in the 1944 ca l l -up , the Ch inese in V a n c o u v e r and V ic tor ia — wh i ch , at the t ime , had the largest C h i n e s e commun i t ies in C a n a d a — were d iv ided on how this d e m a n d shou ld be h a n d l e d . 1 2 9 The mobi l izat ion cal l af fected Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s local ly as wel l as every Ch inese person in 1 This decision only applied to Chinese who were Canadian-born or naturalized. (Meeting 24 May 1944 in office of Brig. J.A. de LaLanne, in NAC RG 27, Vol . 3004.) 1 2 8 Japan was a major Axis power in the Second World War. After occupying French Indochina in 1940, Japan expanded rapidly across Asia. On 25 December, the Crown Colony of Hong Kong fell. January 1942 saw the invasion of Burma, the Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the capture of Manila and Kuala Lumpur. After being driven out of Malaya, Allied forces in Singapore surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Bali and Timor also fell in February, and, soon after Japan, attacked Darwin, Australia. By March, Java surrendered; the British had also been driven out of Ceylon. Under intense pressure, the British made a fighting retreat from Rangoon to the Indo-Burmese border. This cut off the Burma Road, which was the western Allies' supply line to Chinese National Army (commanded by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek). In the Philippines, Filipino and US forces put up a fierce resistance to the Japanese until 8 May 1942 when more than 80,000 of them surrendered. In October 1943, Churchill appointed Lord Mountbatten as the Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command (SEAC) of the South East Asia Theatre. Realizing the value of Chinese-looking British subjects, SEAC employed Chinese Canadians in SOE's Force 136 and in Operation Oblivion. 1 2 9 There was a common misconception that the Chinese in Canada only lived in British Columbia. Although BC had the largest Chinese population, there was a substantial number of Chinese living in Ontario. They resided across Canada. 31 Canada . Wi th in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a , there were n u m e r o u s ga ther ings before two key genera l publ ic mee t ings took p lace. In Vancouve r , th is mee t i ng w a s held in A u g u s t 1944 at the Chinese Uni ted Chu rch in C h i n a t o w n , at Dun levy and Pender St reet . There was a lso a town meet ing at the Ch inese Uni ted Church in V i c t o r i a . 1 3 0 The mee t ings in both c i t ies were comparab le , reveal ing the complex i t y and d ivers i ty of op in ions regard ing how mi l i t a ry -age Chinese shou ld answer the cal l to duty . A t tended by young men and w o m e n , fa thers , e lders, and c o m m u n i t y l e a d e r s , 1 3 1 these mee t ings inc i ted very emot iona l deba tes . There was no s ing le reason for or against compu l so ry mi l i tary se rv i ce , but ra ther numerous reasons for each s ide , wi th eve ryone hav ing the oppor tun i ty to a rgue the i r case . Some people , l ike Roy M a h , presented cr i t ical reasons to j o i n - u p : " W e thought that serv ing in the a rmed forces wou ld be an oppor tun i ty for us to prove to the genera l publ ic that we are loya l C a n a d i a n s , that in t ime of n e e d , they wou ld see that we have no hes i ta t ion to don the K ing 's un i form and go overseas to f ight for ou r coun t ry , f ight to p reserve d e m o c r a c y . " 1 3 2 Roy bel ieved that serv ing in the mi l i tary wou ld demons t ra te the loyal ty of Ch inese Canad ians and wou ld conv ince the publ ic that they dese rved the r ight to vo te . B ing W o n g suppor ted Roy 's v i ews , but f rom a di f ferent ang le : " W e were consc ious of not let t ing the Ch inese d o w n . We wan ted to prove to the wh i tes that we were good so ld ie rs , too . We knew that we 'd be j udged by our mi l i tary compe tency and o ther ab i l i t ies . Every so ld ier 's behav iour could effect o thers ' percept ion of the C h i n e s e . " 1 3 3 Bing sa id that at e i gh teen -yea rs -o l d , he d id not wan t to go beh ind e n e m y l ines in terr i tor ies under Japanese cont ro l . He sa id that he had heard wha t the Japanese were do ing to people in C h i n a , th rough his parents and f rom newspape r reports — " e v e r y o n e k n e w . " A l though B ing exp ressed fear of the J a p a n e s e , mos t of the ve te rans that I in te rv iewed sa id that they were not concerned about the possib i l i ty of be ing k i l led . S o m e of the V a n c o u v e r boys s a i d : " N o b o d y ' s prepared to d ie ... at 2 1 , you can ' t even conce ive of d e a t h . " 1 3 4 "D id g ive it s o m e thought , but d idn ' t dwel l on i t . " 1 3 5 1 3 0 The article "No Vote, No Fight!" (Vancouver Sun, 24 August 1944) verifies the Chinese United Church as the place of the Vancouver debates. In regards to Victoria, Roy Mah and John Ko Bong confirmed the Chinese United Church as the location of the Victoria debates. 1 3 1 There were a few non-Chinese people at the smaller gatherings, but not the bigger meetings. ("Meeting Endorses Votes for Chinese," Vancouver Sun, 2 September 1944). 1 3 2 Mah, Roy (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 15 November 2002. 1 3 3 Wong, Bing (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 4 January 2004. 1 3 4 Wong, Glen (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 3 December 2004. 1 3 5 Chow, Marshall (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 11 March 2005. 32 " T h e thought of dange r never entered my m i n d . " 1 3 6 " N o . " 1 3 7 S o m e of the V ic to r ia ve te rans reco l lec ted : " W h e n you ' re y o u n g , you th ink you are i m m o r t a l . " 1 3 8 "No t a f ra id , jus t accep ted that I m ight not be coming b a c k . " 1 3 9 " N o . " 1 4 0 Bing recal led peer pressure f rom f r iends, l ike fel low ve te ran , Danie l Lee, to upho ld the image of the Ch inese Canad ian so ld ier . Dan Lee remembered urg ing Bing to enl is t . He clari f ied the i r d i scuss ion regard ing jo in ing up : "I sa id to B ing that we ' re C h i n e s e and if we don ' t j o in up , then peop le are go ing to say that we ' re afra id to f ight the Japanese . It's a lso our duty to help C h i n a in its wa r of res is tance aga ins t J a p a n . " 1 4 1 A s Dan m e n t i o n e d , he be l ieved that Ch inese C a n a d i a n s needed to " m e a s u r e u p " and de fend the i r pub l ic repu ta t ion , as we l l as s h o w the i r suppor t for Ch ina ' s war . In m y in te rv iews , severa l ve te rans exp ressed a hatred for the Japanese and a need " to do someth ing abou t it" — such as Dan or G len Wong of V a n c o u v e r , and V ic to r Wong of V ic tor ia — wh i le s imu l taneous ly a rgu ing that they needed " to se rve the i r birth c o u n t r y " 1 4 2 or tha t they felt "patr io t ic reasons to de fend C a n a d a . " 1 4 3 Add i t iona l l y , many saw th is as the i r chance to comple te equa l l y w i th o ther C a n a d i a n s . A t the V ic tor ia mee t i ng , John Ko Bong e x p l a i n e d : " W e needed to f ight to represent ou r c o m m u n i t y , to f ight shou lde r - to -shou lder a long wi th o ther C a n a d i a n s ... to f ight for C a n a d a . " 1 4 4 Others opt imis t ica l l y be l ieved that the gove rnmen t recogn ized that th is was the i r f ight , too . Hardly anyone c la imed only one v iewpo in t on conscr ip t ion , but, rather , qui te a few reasons for and /o r against mi l i tary se rv ice . Ch inese A m e r i c a n s had s im i la r exper iences . H is tor ian Sco t t Wong in te rv iewed m a n y of these ve te rans w h o " fe l t more A m e r i c a n than C h i n e s e " or that they were " A m e r i c a n s f irst and Ch inese s e c o n d . " 1 4 5 They a lso wan ted to f ight the Japanese . A s J a m e s Jay told W o n g : Lee, Ed (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 18 March 2004. Mah, Cedric (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 7 November 2002. Wong, Victor (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 3 December 2004. Quan, Gordon (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 10 March 2005. Ko Bong, John (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 7 April 2004. Lee, Daniel (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 10 November 2004. Wong, Glen, 3 December 2004. Wong, Victor, 3 December 2004. Ko Bong, John. 7 April 2004. 33 "I th ink that I wan ted to f ight the Japanese because of al l tha t I read in the papers about the rape of Nank ing and al l t hese k i l l ings of c iv i l ians . I sa id that I wan ted to go to Ch ina and f ight J a p a n e s e . I was born in C h i n a so it 's part of my her i tage. I l ive in the Un i ted S ta tes . I don ' t wan t to see those two count r ies go to the Japanese . So they ' re sort of in ter l inked t o g e t h e r . " 1 4 6 Ch inese Aus t ra l i ans also saw the connect ion and wan ted to par t ic ipate in the war effort. Ms. Eunice Leong , who jo ined the forces wi th her brother and s is ter , descr ibed to Histor ian D iana G i e s e : " W e tr ied to ra ise people 's awareness of wha t was go ing on in C h i n a because people in Aust ra l ia d idn ' t know very m u c h and d idn ' t care very m u c h abou t wha t was go ing on in C h i n a a t the t ime . W h e n Aus t ra l i a c a m e into the War , we felt that we were on the s a m e s ide , and that wha t we were do ing for Aus t ra l ia was a lso doing some th ing for C h i n a . It was part of the s a m e f i g h t . " 1 4 7 S o m e young Ch inese Canad ians had c o m p l e m e n t a r y reasons for j o i n i ng the Canad ian wa r effort, whi le others had conf l ic t ing bel iefs. A s the Ch inese Cu l tu ra l Cen t re Arch ives records ind icate , Bevan Jangze did not wan t to f ight for C a n a d a af ter the R C A F had rejected h i m , but later he had a change of hear t : " O n c e I t r ied to s ign up for the A i r Force and they wou ldn ' t accep t m e . They sa id that I d idn ' t fit in . I d idn ' t have any r ights , so why shou ld I f ight for a count ry that I d idn ' t have any r ights in? Then there w a s a ral ly in Ch ina town and a Br igad ier f rom Eng land c a m e to ta lk to us and p romised that if we jo ined we could have the r ights of the regu lar [Canad ian ] c i t i zen . W e d idn ' t know wha t our j o b w a s , but we vo lun tee red to go o v e r s e a s . " 1 4 8 For o thers , the need to defend the i r reputa t ion , in add i t ion to f ight ing for C a n a d a and C h i n a , was comb ined wi th the des i re for bet ter a l te rnat ives to the i r conf ined ex is tence . Young Ch inese Canad ians hoped for a bet ter life than was of fered to the i r pa ren ts ' genera t ion . Hav ing g rown up in the conf ines of Ch ina town dur ing the Depress ion and unab le to env is ion any profess ional and soc ia l oppor tun i t ies g rea te r than the i r paren ts ' , m a n y potent ial recru i ts found the mys t ique of the mi l i ta ry appea l i ng to the i r asp i ra t i ons , and desire for adven tu re . It w a s a lso an amb i t i ous opt ion for those w i th few educa t iona l and emp loymen t p rospec ts , such as Ch inese C a n a d i a n s . For e x a m p l e , A lber t Mah sa id that 1 4 5 Wong, K. Scott. "The Meaning of Military Service to Chinese Americans During WWII," in Duty & Honor: A Tribute to Chinese American World War II Veterans of Southern California, edited by Marjorie Lee. Los Angeles: Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 1998, p. 9. 1 4 6 Wong, K. Scott. "The Meaning of Military Service to Chinese Americans During WWII," p. 8-9. 1 4 7 Giese, Diana. Courage & Service: The Australian Chinese Ex-Services National Reunion Monument Project. 30 August 2005. <http://www.caf.orq.au/autumn2003/qiese2.html> 1 4 8 Chinese Canadian Veterans Oral History Program Collection, Chinese Cultural Centre of Vancouver, Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives, Vancouver, BC, 1996. 34 compulsory overseas service was a way "to get a job and help my family." 1 4 9 Marshall Chow explained that he wanted to join "for adventure and to learn a trade ... everyone seemed to be joining." 1 5 0 Ed Lee simply stated that, "It was a way to travel for free." 1 5 1 Like Canadians, Chinese Australians were also interested in opportunities for travel and new experiences. Lionel Nomchong explained to Diana Giese: "We were country boys ... We'd have probably stopped there all our lives. The War opened up everything." 1 5 2 Even women found the armed forces appealing. Peggy Lee, a veteran of Canada's St. John's Women's Ambulance Corps, said that she hoped that military service would provide her with "comradeship, feeling a part of [something], and helping." 1 5 3 Peggy also wanted to do her part, as well as escape the routine of her daily life. Chinese Australian women felt similarly. Kathleen Quan Mane, who served in the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force said to Diana Giese that, "I came out of the RAAF still a young girl of 19, but my time there gave me the experience and courage to venture further afield. There I learned my capacity to live a collective life, I learned independence, new skills, both social and technical, and developed tolerance and understanding."1 5 4 Women found the armed forces to be a place where their abilities and intelligence were valued. The arguments for participation in the armed forces appealed to team spirit, manliness, and athletic ability. As Alex Louie succinctly described in an interview with Rosalie Sayer, "We were excited because we thought war was a big adventure. We were young and didn't think of the dangers at first. Besides, times were tough. It was hard to support yourself because there were no jobs." 1 5 5 1 4 9 Mah, Albert (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 21 March 2004. 1 5 0 Chow, Marshall, 11 March 21005. 1 5 1 Lee, Ed,. 18 March 2004. 1 5 2 Giese, Diana. Courage & Service: The Australian Chinese Ex-Services National Reunion Monument Project. 30 August 2005. <http://www.caf.orq.au/autumn2003/qiese2.html> 1 5 3 Women did not see active combat, therefore, their contribution to the war effort did not carry the weight that the men's active service did. (Lee, Peggy (WWII veteran). Interview with Author, 28 December 2004.) 1 5 4 Giese, Diana. Courage & Service: The Australian Chinese Ex-Services National Reunion Monument Project. 30 August 2005. <http://www.caf.orq.au/autumn2003/qiese2.html> 1 5 5 Sayer, Rosalie. "Chinese Conscripts: Setting Asia Ablaze," unpublished paper, History 304, University of British Columbia, 24 November 1999, p. 2. 35 Although there seemed to be unlimited reasons why Chinese Canadians should fight, conscription was fiercely resented by others. One simple reason not to fight was highlighted by Harry Con: "Because after all, even though we were born here, we didn't have full rights as Canadian citizens." 1 5 6 Not only did Chinese Canadians lack social, economic, and political rights, but many had parents who had paid the Head Tax and many had been cut off from their families as a result of the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923. A large segment of the Chinese community, whether Canadian-born or not, believed that it was unjust for the government to demand military service from a group of people that had been treated so unfairly. Nevertheless, some Chinese elders had another view regarding the responsibilities of those eligible to serve. As noted in the Vancouver Sun 24 August 1944: "Chinese community elders attempted to persuade young men that they had citizenship duties even if they did not have citizenship rights." 1 5 7 Canadian-born Chinese youths disagreed with their traditional, more culturally Chinese elders. To the younger generation, these reasons seemed out-of-touch and unworthy of consideration. The Chinese were entitled to feel contempt for the discrimination that they had endured. However, is seems as though the greatest sense of injustice resulted from their rejection when attempting to enlist. Although Frank Wong never experienced rejection when he enlisted, he does explain how discrimination affected the younger generation: "When we were young, we just take it [discrimination] for granted; we were just raised that way, in that environment."1 5 8 Roy Mah also said that, "We accepted our situation because we didn't know any better... we were brainwashed into thinking that this is how it is and it's not going to change. 1 5 9 For some who experienced rejection, this insults was the breaking point. Lisa Mar recorded an interview with veteran Andrew Joe: "Earlier in the war, the air force rejected my brother twice on racial grounds, so when the army drafted him, he refused to report ... Perhaps out of sympathy the army didn't prosecute him." 1 6 0 Marlatt, 159. "No Vote, No Fight!" (Vancouver Sun, 24 August 1944). Wong, Frank (WWII). Interview with Author, 10 May 2004. Mah, Roy, 10 December 2004. Mar, p. 227. 36 Many men who were f irst exc luded f rom the forces were de te rmined not to f ight , whi le o thers — l ike Wal te r Joe , who was re jected twice before he was f inal ly accep ted into the R C A F , o r Roy Mah who s ta r ted in the Rese rves and advanced to c landes t ine work wi th Force 136 in Sou theas t As ia — pe rseve red . To m a n y , it made no sense to f ight in a wa r for democracy when the Canad ian government bet rayed the ideal of equa l oppor tun i ty by d isc r im ina t ing aga ins t the Ch inese and other minor i t ies . S o m e fa thers opposed the cal l up of thei r sons , say ing that they should not have to f ight w i thout the f r a n c h i s e . 1 6 1 The major i ty be l ieved that the f ranch ise would be a fair reward for the i r mi l i tary se rv ice . Harry C o n drew at tent ion to the fu ture. In Daphne Mart la t t 's in terv iew wi th h i m : " A t that t ime , m a n y of us were t h i nk ing , you know, of a bet ter fu ture, not only for us , but for fu ture genera t ions if we answered the cal l ... But if we d idn ' t , we l l , maybe the gove rnmen t wou ld have the r ight to say , 'You guys didn' t se rve in the war , d idn ' t answer the ca l l , and you don ' t deserve it. ' Maybe th is d i sc r im ina t ion wou ld therefore be p e r m a n e n t . " 1 6 2 Publ ic s h a m i n g occur red dur ing these deba tes . L isa Mar documen ted that those who suppor ted mi l i tary serv ice were ca l led " s u c k e r s " or , amongs t those that wan ted to vo lunteer , they j o k e d a round abou t how foo l ish it was that they wan ted to f i g h t . 1 6 3 Ed Lee pointed out that , " W h e n you ' re a teenager , you do dar ing th ings . It 's not l ike we thought it over ... you j us t do wi ld t h i n g s . " 1 6 4 Further, Roy Mah sa id that m a n y of those who re fused to jo in c a m e f rom more p rosperous fami l ies, so they cou ld present reasons why the Ch inese shou ld not f ight in the war . S t i l l , s o m e felt tha t they were go ing to be conscr ip ted a n y w a y — l ike Bi l l C h o w and Glen Wong — so they " m i g h t as beat t h e m to it by v o l u n t e e r i n g . " 1 6 5 The deba tes c a m e to a head when there w a s ag reemen t that the ca l l -up w a s not merely a pol i t ical i ssue , but a mora l conce rn , too. In V i c to r i a , Roy Mah put in his two -cen t s ' wor th : " T h e c o m m u n i t y w a s ve ry d iv ided abou t how they shou ld proceed wi th this ca l l -up . One s ide s a i d , 'We ' re second -c l ass c i t i zens . If you want us to 1 6 1 "No Vote, No Fight!" Vancouver Sun, 23 August 1944. 1 6 2 Marlatt, p. 159. 1 6 3 Mar, pp. 225-6. 1 6 4 Lee, Ed, p. 18 March 2004. 1 6 5 Although these were Glen's exact words, Bill Chow also said the same thing when I interviewed him. Glen and Bill know of each other, but have not interacted before. (Wong, Glen. 3 December 2004.) 37 serve for C a n a d a , then g ive us the r ight to vo te f i rst . ' I led the o ther s ide and sa id to eve ryone , 'Numer i ca l l y , we ' re too sma l l to p ressure the gove rnmen t . They wil l not submi t to our d e m a n d s for the f ranch ise . ' I s u g g e s t e d , ' S e r v e f irst, then when we come back wi th sol id c reden t ia l s , we can d e m a n d r ights l a t e r ! ' " 1 6 5 Roy said that , in the e n d , not eve ryone agreed wi th th is cho ice , but mos t dec ided that th is was the best s t ra tegy to get the f ranch ise and raise the i r s ta tus . S im i l a r l y , in V a n c o u v e r , Harry Con recal led that at the c o m m u n i t y m e e t i n g : " W e wan ted to get our f ranch ise back, so for that reason , we vo ted to answer the gove rnmen t ' s c a l l . " 1 6 7 The Ch inese Canad ian commun i t y was the only minor i ty c o m m u n i t y that was speci f ica l ly recru i ted by Br i ta in for the Al l ied war effort in A s i a , and upon rea l iz ing th is Ch inese C a n a d i a n s carefu l ly se lec ted the mos t advan tageous route to pursue for the i r commun i t y ' s fu ture. Regard ing Black Canad ians , there was no prohib i t ion aga ins t the i r en l i s tment , a l though most exper ienced isolated inc idents of d i sc r im ina t ion . The B lack commun i t y did not have to face legal ized d isc r im ina to ry pol ic ies l ike the C h i n e s e , and ev en if they d i d , it is doubt fu l tha t the b lacks ' m u c h s m a l l e r and less cohes i ve c o m m u n i t y wou ld be able to in f luence changes . For Japanese C a n a d i a n s , conscr ip t ion was not an issue as most had been in terned dur ing the w a r . 1 6 8 Nat ive Ind ians , l ike the C h i n e s e , had been d isc r im ina ted aga ins t , ye t were eager to serve C a n a d a . However , the d i f ferences were that Nat ive Ind ians were recogn ized as Br i t ish Sub jec t s , and instead of c o m m u n i t y deba tes , many Nat ive Ind ians Bands separa te ly responded to the gove rnmen t wi th protest m a r c h e s and pet i t ions. Because there was no unif ied response or spokespe rson or c o m m u n i t y representa t ive , Abor ig ina l d i sp leasure carr ied less negot ia t ing in f luence on the federa l g o v e r n m e n t . 1 6 9 East Ind ians were a lso cons idered Br i t ish Sub jec t s , but af ter rece iv ing the i r not ices to report for bas ic t ra in ing , the temp le in tervened and e m p l o y e d legal se rv ices to counsel t h e m . They were adv ised not to go to wa r unt i l t hey were g ran ted ful l f ranch ise r ights, and a l though they did not f ight in the S e c o n d Wor ld War , they rece ived the f ranch ise s o m e t ime af ter Ch inese Canad ian ve te rans . The mi l i tary serv ice of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s w a s the first s tep towards the end of d isen f ranch isement . N e w s p a p e r head l ines ac ross the count ry ref lected the ca l l - up con t rove rsy , the debates and the resu l ts : " A r m y Ca l l s Up 132 C h i n e s e , " "C i t y Ch inese Oppose Cal l U p , " "Ha l f 1 6 6 Mah, Roy, 15 November 2002. 1 6 7 Marlatt, p. 159. 168 Nevertheless, there were a handful of Japanese Canadians — such as Joe Takashima — who were employed as translators for Force 136. (Source: Chinese Canadian Military Museum.) 1 6 9 Status Indians also lacked the vote. 38 of Ch inese Pass A r m y E x a m , " " C h i n e s e Jo in Ac t i ve A r m y , " " C h i n e s e Lads ' G o A c t i v e ' , " and many s imi la r head l ines . The re lat ive ly u n a n i m o u s ag reemen t to par t ic ipate in the wa r a lso resulted in an ava lanche of conscr ip ts e i ther repor t ing for du ty or vo lun teer ing . A s noted in the Daily Province af ter the war ' s e n d , " 9 5 % of the so ld iers of Ch inese descent vo lun teered for this spec ia l work (post ing to Sou theas t A s i a ) . " 1 7 0 A s one young man proudly exp la ined to the press: "I feel that what I a m do ing is r ight , " sa id Maur ice Eugene J a n g , 122 Powel l . I know I a m f ight ing to protect ou r r ights. That inc ludes the r ight to vo te , even for those who do not jo in u p . ' " 1 7 1 A n d , in his in terv iew wi th Rosa l ie S a y e r , A lex Louie had a po ignant m e m o r y : "I r e m e m b e r wa lk ing down Granv i l l e S t ree t wi th my f r iends when we got our new un i fo rms. People jus t parted as we wa lked toward t h e m ! I felt p roud wear ing the un i fo rm, and I unders tood wha t it w a s l ike to be a m a n who was respected by wh i tes . It felt g o o d . " 1 7 2 In March 1 9 4 5 , app rox ima te l y four hundred Ch inese Canad ian se rv i cemen f rom Bri t ish Co lumb ia were gran ted the f ranch ise , w i th rema inde r of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s and other minor i t ies receiv ing en f ranch isemen t in 1947 . Ch inese Canad ian se rv i cemen were vanguards that publ ic ly cha l lenged racial barr iers and opened doors not on ly for t h e m s e l v e s and future genera t ions of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , but a lso for o ther v is ib le minor i t ies . "Troops Ignore Speeches in Hurry to Get Home," Daily Province, 21 December 1945. "Troops Ignore Speeches in Hurry to Get Home," Daily Province, 21 December 1945. Sayer, p. 2. 39 Chapte r 5 C O N C L U S I O N The 1944 deba tes regard ing compu lso ry overseas serv ice are a very s ign i f icant , ye t l i t t le-known part of Ch inese Canad ian history. The c o m m u n i t y - w i d e consu l ta t ions and d iscuss ions — conce rn ing whe the r o r not young m e n of mi l i ta ry a g e shou ld en l is t in the a rmed forces — demons t ra tes the s ign i f icance of the i r cu l tura l connec t ions and mul t igenera t iona l re la t ionsh ips . A n d the issues ra ised exposed the i rony of C a n a d i a n democracy , the doub le s tandards of gove rnmen ts and of the a rmed forces, and revea led who a real Canad ian was . A s the c o m m u n i t y deba tes uncovered op in ions both for and against consc r ip t i on , we saw how comp lex and layered these v iews we re : how ind iv idua ls ident i f ied and a l igned themse lves , beyond the i r phys ica l appearance and b i r thr ight ; how mot i ves for serv ice cou ld be cont rad ic tory , mu l t i face ted , a n d / o r s t ra teg ic ; how par t ic ipants saw civ i l r ights and c iv ic du ty ; and the i r v iews gave us fur ther ins ights into the i r mot i ves and asp i ra t ions . The debates a lso showed how w a r cou ld create so l idar i ty or d iv i s ions , s t reng then o r d i scou rage people, and e leva te s ta tus and confer oppor tun i ty where there was none prev ious ly . The decis ion for mos t to se rve marked the beg inn ings of posi t ive and progress ive change in Canada and for Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , resul ts that were far beyond the ve te rans ' and commun i t i es ' expec ta t ions . It is hard to say whe the r th is dec is ion could have been poss ib le w i thout Japanese aggress ion in the Paci f ic theat re . What we do know is that Japanese host i l i t ies did c reate ' spaces ' for in teract ion a n d fac i l i ta ted co l labora t ion be tween wh i tes and C h i n e s e , a p ivota l oppor tun i ty to get to learn abou t each o ther and work towards a c o m m o n cause — whe the r co l laborat ion were on the homef ron t , in the in tegrated a rmed forces, or the f ront l ines of batt le. These occas ions permi t ted whi tes to interact wi th Ch inese and c o m e to the real izat ion that the two g roups were , in fact, not that di f ferent f rom each other . They were both C a n a d i a n s . Out of the 4 1 , 0 0 0 Ch inese Canad ians ac ross C a n a d a at the t ime , app rox ima te l y 6 0 0 served in the S e c o n d Wor ld War . They were the on ly e thn ic minor i ty g roup that se rved in a l l serv ices and every theat re of the war . The i r mi l i tary serv ice demons t ra ted the i r wor th iness for full gove rnmen t suppor t , jus t i f ied the remova l of all d isc r im ina to ry leg is la t ion , and 4 0 al lowed t h e m to obta in full c i t i zensh ip r ights , inc lud ing the right to v o t e . 1 7 3 Ind iv idua l en f ranch isement af ter mi l i tary serv ice of Ch inese C a n a d i a n s w a s a l ikely precedent for the col lect ive grant ing of full c i t i zensh ip r ights to al l As ian C a n a d i a n s , regard less of whe the r or not they fought in the Second Wor ld War . Ch inese C a n a d i a n s are no longer second -c l ass c i t izens, but are on equa l foot ing wi th o ther C a n a d i a n s . Exp lor ing the 1944 conscr ip t ion deba tes uncovers the reasons both for and aga ins t mi l i tary war t ime serv ice , peop les ' loya l t ies, as wel l as how they saw c i t i zensh ip , c o m m u n i t y , and how Ch inese Canad ians ident i f ied t h e m s e l v e s . Fu r the rmore , the op in ions f rom A m e r i c a n and Aust ra l ian overseas Ch inese c o m m u n i t i e s con f i rm the i r s imi la r i t ies and connec t ions to Canad ian C h i n e s e , as ind icated by c la ims of dua l loya l t ies , by co l labora t ive and in tegrated exper iences wi th wh i tes , d i sc r im ina to ry leg is la t ion that exc luded t h e m f rom the fo rces , and many o thers . For tu i tous ly , the recovery of th is h is tory co inc ides wi th the C a n a d i a n government ' s des igna t ion of 2 0 0 5 as The Year of the Veteran, to mark the 6 0 t h ann ive rsa ry of the end of the S e c o n d Wor ld War . W e forever owe gra t i tude to these ve te rans for desp i te all the rebuffs they had expe r i enced , and for the i r fa i th that o ther C a n a d i a n s wou ld accept them as fe l low c i t i zens. It is a lso t ime ly that the i r h is tor ies are now preserved for poster i ty . 1 7 3 Although it is commonly believed that the military service of these veterans provided a compelling argument for extending the franchise to all citizens of Chinese ancestry, this argument was not made in the parliamentary debates on the 1947 bill. 41 B I B L I O G R A P H Y C o m m o n l y U s e d R e f e r e n c e s C W C R Cab ine t War Commi t t ee Records D H H D i rectorate of His tory N A C Nat iona l Arch ives of C a n a d a R G Record Group Vol V o l u m e P r i m a r y S o u r c e s A r c h i v a l Office for Nat iona l S ta t i s t i cs . " P e r s o n s Present 1 8 0 1 - 1 9 7 1 , Persons Res ident 1 9 8 1 - 2 0 0 1 , Eng land and W a l e s , " 1891 Census Historic Tables - Great Britain. 14 June 2 0 0 5 . < h t t p : / / w w w . q s i . q o v . u k / m a i n / n o t i c e s / i n f o r m a t i o n / q s i - 0 0 3 - 2 0 0 2 . p d f > Stat is t ics C a n a d a . 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Estimated Population of the United States, 1939 to 1946. 14 June 2 0 0 5 . < h t t p : / / w w w . c e n s u s . g o v / p o p e s t / a r c h i v e s / 1 9 9 0 s / p o p c l o c k e s t . t x t > Stat is t ics in N A C , RG 24 , Records of the Depar tmen t of Nat ional De fence , V o l . 1 8 7 1 5 , Fi le 1 3 3 . 0 6 5 ( D 3 6 0 ) , " N R M A S T A T S - 1 9 3 9 / 4 5 by DVA , War Serv i ce Records d / 1 0 J a n 5 0 , " and V o l . 1 8 8 2 9 , Fi le 1 3 3 . 0 6 5 ( D 7 4 0 ) , " S e c o n d Wor ld W a r stat is t ics rece ived f rom War Serv i ce Records , 26 Jan 1 9 6 6 : R C N war 1 9 3 9 - 4 5 Appo in tmen ts and En l i s tmen ts per iod 1 9 3 9 - 4 6 inc lus ive ; Canad ian A r m y Genera l S e r v i c e . " A lso C a n a d a Depa r tmen t of Nat iona l De fence , Nat iona l Defence Headquar te rs , O t tawa , D H H , File 111 .13 (D6) , "Re tu rn of N R M A on s t reng th by re l ig ion, p rov ince or p lace of res idence as of 11 Oct 4 4 . " 4 2 G . S . W i s m e r to C o l . L.R. LaF leche, 8 October 1 9 4 0 ; W i s m e r to J .L . Ra l s ton , 23 S e p t e m b e r 1940 , in N A C RG 25 G I , File 2 6 3 - 3 8 . Report and Recommenda t i ons of the Spec ia l C o m m i t t e e on Or ien ta ls in Br i t ish C o l u m b i a D e c e m b e r 1940 , in N A C RG 27 , V o l . 1500 , Fi le 2 - K - 1 8 4 , N . W . S . Or ienta l B C . Census of C a n a d a , 1 9 4 1 , Table 33 and Tab le 4 3 , 5 0 8 - 1 7 . G i l l anders , Jus t i ce . "Jus t i ce G i l l anders , C h a i r m a n of the Board (Dra f t /Mob i l i za t ion ) , To ron to to Ma j . G e n . L.R. LaF leche, Assoc . Deputy Min is ter , Dept . of Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s . " 2 Oc tober 1 9 4 1 , in N A C File 2 - 1 8 4 , "Or ien ta l s—Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s , " V o l . 1 4 8 9 . RG 27 . W o n g , T . S . (Sew Kwong W o n g ) . T . S . Wong to Toron to Draft B o a r d , Depa r tmen t of Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s , c i rca late Sep tembe r -ea r l y Oc tober 1 9 4 1 . Fi le 2 - 1 8 4 , . " O r i e n t a l s -Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s , " in N A C V o l . 1 4 8 9 , R G 27 L.R. LaF leche , Assoc ia te Deputy Min is ter , N W S , to Externa l Af fa i rs , 6 Oc tobe r ; Keen lys ide reply, 9 Oc tober ; LaFleche to The Honourab le Mr. Jus t ice J . G . G i l l ande rs , To ron to , 10 Oc tobe r 1 9 4 1 , in N A C R G 2 7 , V o l . 1 4 8 9 , Fi le 2 - 1 8 4 , N W S Or ien ta ls . Manson to Ass is tan t Di rector , Mob i l i za t ion , in N A C RG 27 V o l . 9 9 7 , Fi le 2 - 1 1 4 , pt. 5. " M e m o r a n d u m . Secre t No. 1, Dept . of Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s , " 20 N o v e m b e r 1941 in N A C File 2 - 1 8 4 , "Or ien ta ls—Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s . " V o l . 1489 RG 27 . C W C R , 13 February 1942 . Breadner , A M L .S . (s igned Order) C A S , 1 Oc tober 1 9 4 2 , in N A C RG 24 , Vo l 17 . 1 7 . 8 0 0 , Fi le 8 2 8 - 2 1 , V o l . 14 ; and Order in Counc i l PC 7 9 / 1 1 1 6 0 in R G 2 V o l . 1784 , app roved 9 D e c e m b e r 1942 . R i ley , Ma j . G e n . H J . to A . M a c N a m a r a , let ter, c i rca 1943 in N A C File 2 - 1 1 4 - 5 , "Na t i ona l Se lec t i ve S e r v i c e - A l i e n s - C h i n e s e , " V o l . 9 9 8 RG 27 . External F i les , 27 Apr i l 1 9 4 3 , in N A C RG 25 V o l . 2 8 1 8 , File 1 1 5 4 - 4 0 . Tache , A . de G a s p e . "Or ien ta ls - Nat iona l W a r S e r v i c e s , " Dept. of Labour, National Selective Service Mobilization Regulations, 30 January 1943 in N A C File 2 - 1 8 4 V o l . 1489 R G 27 . Henry, Char les . " C h a r l e s Henry to Ar thur M a c N a m a r a , Deputy Min is ter of Labour , 29 Ju ly 1 9 4 3 , " in N A C File 2 - 1 1 4 - 5 , "Na t iona l Se lec t i ve S e r v i c e — A l i e n s — C h i n e s e , " V o l . 998 RG 27 . 4 3 A . M . Manson to A r thu r M a c N a m a r a , 3 May 1944 in N A C DLR V o l . 127A. " B j a r n s o n , E .G . to Wr igh t , 12 Ju ly 1 9 4 4 , " in N A C File 2 - 1 1 4 - 5 , "Na t iona l Se lec t i ve Se rv i ce -A l i e n s - C h i n e s e , " V o l . 998 RG 27 . Fay, Char l ie . "Cha r l i e Woo Fay to Mobi l i za t ion Board of K i n g s t o n , " 13 January 1945 to 4 February 1 9 4 5 , in N A C File "Consc r ip t i on of Hong Wing S h u and o ther Ch inese C a n a d i a n s , " V o l . 3037 Ser ies G - 2 RG 2 5 . Co l l ins , R .E. Enc losure No. 1 D ispa tch No. 5 9 , 27 February 1 9 4 5 , " O v e r s e a s C h i n e s e , " in NAC File 9 8 2 0 - 4 0 V o l . 3 3 1 4 Ser ies G - 2 R G 25 . Pearkes to G i b s o n , " T h e D isposa l of Men of Ch inese Racia l Or ig in ca l led up for Se rv i ce under N R M S , " DHH 3 2 2 . 0 0 9 ( D 4 7 8 ) . Ch inese Canad ian Ve te rans Ora l His tory Program Co l lec t ion , Ch inese Cu l tu ra l Cen t re of Vancouve r , Ch inese Cu l tu ra l Cen t re M u s e u m and A rch i ves , V a n c o u v e r , B C , 1 9 9 6 . Stat is t ics C a n a d a . Canada's Ethnocultural Portrait: The Changing Mosaic. 14 June 2 0 0 5 . < h t t p ; / / w w w l 2 . s t a t c a n . c a / e n q l i s h / c e n s u s 0 1 / p r o d u c t s / a n a l y t i c / c o m p a n i o n / e t o i m m / c on ten ts .c fm> K ing , Wi l l i am Lyon Mackenz ie . The Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King. Nat iona l A rch ives of C a n a d a . 30 June 2 0 0 5 . < h t t p : / / k i n q . c o l l e c t i o n s c a n a d a . c a / E N / D e f a u l t . a s p > W o n g , Foon S i e n . Foon S ien W o n g Papers , Boxes 1-4. Un ivers i ty of Br i t ish C o l u m b i a L ibrary Spec ia l Co l lec t ions . P u b l i s h e d "Ch inese Here Dec la re Boycot t on Japanese G o o d s , " The Vancouver Sun, 28 S e p t e m b e r 1 9 3 1 , p .2 . " J a p Oranges Boycot ted by Ci ty C h i n e s e , " The Vancouver Daily Province, 20 N o v e m b e r 1 9 3 1 , p. 1. Hutch inson , Bruce . "Or ien ta l s in B . C . , " Vancouver Daily Province, 30 March 1936 . "Ch inese of V ic tor ia G i ve $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 at V ic tor ia Dock , " Vancouver Daily Province, 30 Augus t 1937 , p. 3. "C i t y Ch inese Donate $ 9 0 , 0 0 0 to War C a u s e , " Vancouver Daily Province, 30 Augus t 1937 , p. 1. 4 4 "Ch inese A t temp t to Halt S h i p m e n t s of Metal F rom Here , " Daily Colonist, 12 Augus t 1 9 3 9 , p. 1 , 8 . "Ch inese Star t Melee And Prevent Load ing Of Meta l S h i p m e n t s , " Daily Colonist, 13 A ugus t 1939 , pp. 1, 10. "Huge Crowd A t tends E laborate Fest iva l G iven to A id C h i n a , " Daily Colonist, 27 Oc tober 1939 , p. 8. Ch inese You th Assoc ia t i on of V ic to r ia , B C . Chinese Youth Association Annual 1939/40, U B C Library Rare Books and Spec ia l Co l lec t ions . L a m , Benton and Roy M a h . " C . Y . A . Annua l Repor t , " Chinese Youth Association Annual, 1939/1940, 7. " C a s e for B .C . C h i n e s e , " Vancouver Sun, 2 Oc tober 1940 . " C a n a d i a n - B o r n C h i n e s e , " Daily Colonist, 18 October 1 9 4 0 , p. 4 . " C a n a d i a n - B o r n C h i n e s e , " Daily Colonist, 27 Oc t 1 9 4 0 , p. 18 . Lin Yu Y o n g . A Chinese Speaks, V a n c o u v e r S u n , 23 N o v e m b e r 1 9 4 0 , Edi tor ia l Sec t i on . W o n g , Foon S i e n . "W i l l of the G o d s , " The Vancouver Sun, 1 February 1 9 4 1 . "Loca l -Bo rn Ch inese Jo ins A r m y , " Victoria Daily Times, 4 February 1 9 4 1 , p. 1 1 . " M o v e to B a r Ch inese in Res ident ia l A r e a s : C i v i c C o m m i t t e e T a k e s Ac t ion A s De lega t ion Protest Or ienta l Fami l y in Wes t Point G r e y . " New Herald, 4 February 1 9 4 1 . "Consu l Protests C i ty Plan to ' R o p e Off ' O r ien ta l s . " Sou rce u n k n o w n , V a n c o u v e r C i ty A rch ives Newsc l ipp ing Fi le. 5 February 1 9 4 1 . "Oppose Ban On Or ien ta l s , " The Vancouver Sun, 9 February 1 9 4 1 . " B a r Or ienta ls f rom Bet ter Res ident ia l A r e a s : Legal i ty of Proposed B y - L a w Ques t ioned by A l d e r m a n . " Pro vince, 14 February 1 9 4 1 . "Ch inese Wins a C o m m i s s i o n , " City of Vancouver Archives, 14 October 1 9 4 1 . 45 "Ch ina town Nois i ly Jub i lan t at U .S . W a r Aga ins t J a p a n e s e , " Vancouver Daily Province, 8 D e c e m b e r 1 9 4 1 , pp. 3 -4 . " C a n a d i a n Chu rch C a s h to A id C h i n a , " The Vancouver Sun, 17 March 1942 , p. 1. "Ch inese Ask Vo te and Bet ter D e a l , " Victoria Daily Times, 10 December 1942 , p. 5. "Ch inese Seek Right To V o t e , " Vancouver News Herald, 10 D e c e m b e r 1 9 4 2 , p. 12. " C a n a d i a n - C h i n e s e C i t i z e n s , " Victoria Daily Times, 15 D e c e m b e r 1942 , p. 3. "Ch inese S e n d Gif t of $ 1 , 6 7 7 to Red C r o s s , " Evening Telegram, 19 March 1 9 4 3 . "Tr ibute to C h i n e s e in C a n a d i a n Fo rces , " Victoria Daily Times, 17 Apr i l 1 9 4 3 , p. 16. "D id M a d a m e C h i a n g Ta lk of B .C . C h i n e s e ? " Vancouver Daily Province, 17 June 1 9 4 3 , p. 16 . " C a n a d a and the C h i n e s e , " Vancouver News Herald, 14 Ju ly 1943 . "Ha l f of Ch inese Pass A r m y E x a m , " Daily Colonist, 23 Augus t 1 9 4 3 , p. 3. "A l l Men A re E q u a l , " Vancouver Sun, 18 March 1944 , p. 4 . "C i t y Ch inese Launch 'A id to C h i n a ' C a m p a i g n , " Vancouver Daily Province, 9 June 1 9 4 3 , p. 27 . W o n g , Foon S i e n . " C h i n e s e C o o p e r a t i o n , " The Vancouver Sun, 29 Ju ly 1944 . "Ch inese Boys Ar r i ve For Serv i ce O v e r s e a s , " Daily Colonist, 1 A u g 1 9 4 3 , p. 5. "Loca l C h i n e s e , " Vancouver News Herald, 17 March 1944 , p. 4 . Joe , Mrs. H. " R a c i a l P re jud i ce , " The Vancouver Sun, 3 Augus t 1944 . Evans , Cha r les . " C h i n e s e in C i t y , " The Vancouver Sun, 4 Augus t 1944 . " B . C . Ch inese Rece ive A r m y Serv ice C a l l s , " Vancouver Daily Province, 14 Augus t 1944 , p. 1. "O t tawa C h a n g e s Pol icy - B .C . Ch inese Rece ive A r m y Serv ice C a l l s , " Vancouver Daily Province, 14 Au gu s t 1944 . "Ch inese in B .C . Ask Right to V o t e , " Evening Citizen, 15 Augus t 1944 . 4 6 "Draf t Cal ls for Al l Mi l i tary Age C h i n e s e , " The Vancouver Sun, 15 Augus t 1944 , p. 20 . Mah , Roy. " C h i n e s e in C a n a d a , " The Vancouver Sun, 15 Augus t 1944 . "Vo tes for C h i n e s e , " The Vancouver Sun, 15 Augus t 1944 . "Vot ing Pr iv i lege - Ch inese Appea l to Premie r Har t , " Vancouver Daily Province, 15 Augus t 1944 "C i t y Ch inese Seek Franch ise Af ter Draft Ru les En fo rced , " Vancouver Daily Province, 16 Au gu s t 1944 , p. 2 . " W h o is C a n a d i a n ? " Victoria Daily Times, 17 A u g u s t 1944 . "K ing Asked to A id Vote For C h i n e s e , " The Vancouver Sun, 18 Augus t 1944 , p. 17. "Young Ch inese Anx ious to Fight — A n d V o t e , " Vancouver Daily Province, 22 A u g u s t 1944 , p. 5. "C i t y Ch inese Oppose C a l l - u p , " Vancouver News Herald, 23 Augus t 1944 , p. 1. " N o Spec ia l Cab ine t Meet ing On Ch inese V o t e , " The Vancouver Sun, 24 Augus t 1944 . " N o Vote , No Fight ! S tand Den ied By Ci ty C h i n e s e , " Vancouver Sun, 24 Augus t 1944 . "C i t y Ch inese Rece ive Mi l i tary Cal l P a p e r s , " Daily Colonist, 25 Augus t 1944 , p. 5. "Meet ing Endorses Vo tes for C h i n e s e , " City of Vancouver A r c h i v e s , 2 S e p t e m b e r 1944 . "Ch inese O p i n i o n , " Vancouver Daily Province, 14 S e p t e m b e r 1944 , p. 4 . "Vo lun teer Af ter Ca l l -Up - Ch inese Jo in Ac t i ve A r m y , " The Vancouver Sun, 14 S e p t e m b e r 1944 . " B . C . At t i tude Toward Gran t ing Franch ise to Ch inese S c o r e d , " Vancouver News-Herald, 16 October 1944 , p. 5. "Ch inese Pastor Asks Vo tes for C o u n t r y m e n , " Vancouver Sun, 16 October 1944 , p. 13 . " A r m y Cal ls Up 132 C h i n e s e , " Vancouver Daily Province, 1 Nov 1944 , p. 22 . 47 " N e w At t i tude Needed - Rev . Lam Urges Franch ise For ' Y o u n g ' C h i n e s e , " The Vancouver Sun, 21 N o v e m b e r 1 9 4 4 . "Wi l l He Ge t the F ranch i se? " Vancouver Daily Province, 21 January 1945 . " F . O . Q . J . Louie L isted M i s s i n g , " Vancouver Daily Province, 1 February 1 9 4 5 . "Ch inese Socce r S ta r Miss ing Af ter Ra id—FO Quan Louie, Fur Other B .C . F lyers Fai l to Return F rom Night M i s s i o n , " Vancouver Daily Province, 23 February , 1 9 4 5 . "C i t y Ch inese A s k Ac t ion on Immigra t ion Act R e p e a l , " The Vancouver Sun, 30 Augus t 1 9 4 5 . "Ch inese C a n a d i a n s - P lease Take No t i ce , " Vancouver Province, 14 S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 5 . "C i t y Ch inese Ca l led To B a r , " Vancouver Daily Province, 20 S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 5 . "Un i ted Effort is Urged Be tween East and W e s t , " The Vancouver Sun, 22 N o v e m b e r 1 9 4 5 . "Troops Ignore S p e e c h e s in Hurry to Get H o m e , " Daily Province, 21 D e c e m b e r 1 9 4 5 . "Ch inese Ve ts Present A C a s e , " News Herald, 9 S e p t e m b e r 1946 . "Ch inese Fought For Us But He Can ' t Vo te H e r e , " Vancouver Sun, 26 S e p t e m b e r 1 9 4 6 , p. 11 . " G o v e r n m e n t to Rev ise Ch inese Exc lus ion A c t , " The Vancouver Sun, 23 Janua ry 1 9 4 7 . 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