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DESTITUTE CONDITION OF CHINESE. Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council,… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1886

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 49 "Vic. Destitute Condition of Chinese. 347
DESTITUTE CONDITION OF CHINESE.
Copy   of a Report   of a   Committee ofi the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor the 21st November, 1885.
The Committee of the Executive Council has had under consideration the destitute condition
of large numbers of Chinese recently discharged from the Canadian Pacific Railway works, and
left without any means of subsistence during the winter.
The Province, through its Legislature and Government, put forth earnest and continuous
efforts to prevent the influx of hordes of these coolies, and in doing so it was clearly pointed
out that, in addition to the extreme undesirableness of this class of labour being allowed to
come into competition with free Anglo-Saxon labour, upon the completion of the railway works
on which they were employed, large numbers of these coolies would inevitably be thrown
suddenly out of employment, and left without the means of earning a living,—a condition of
affairs now actually existing in its very worst form.
Thousands of these people, having been summarily discharged by the railway contractors,
and their earnings having been absorbed by their rapacious masters or owners, are now left in
a starving condition, and unless substantial relief be extended to them there is every prospect
of their perishing during the winter.
The Committee respectfully submit that, inasmuch as the Province has been prevented
from carrying out measures which would have averted the present deplorable condition, the
Dominion Government insisting that the exigencies of the Canadian Pacific Railway rendered
the presence of these Mongolian hordes indispensable, the duty of providing relief for these
starving people now fairly devolves upon that Government through whose intervention the
unhappy necessity has arisen.
The Committee advise that this Minute be approved, and that a copy thereof be forwarded
to the Honourable the Secretary of State.
Certified,
(Signed)        Jno. Robson,
Clerk Executive Council.
Receipt of the above was acknowledged by the Honourable the Secretary of State for
Canada in a despatch to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, dated 9th December, 1885.
Telegram.
Victoria, January 23rd, 1886.
Secretary of State,  Ottawa:—
My Ministers desire me to refer you to their Minute of the 21st November last respecting
destitution among Chinese recently dismissed from Dominion Railway works, and to request
I may be informed by telegraph how far Dominion Government will be prepared to assist in
extending immediate relief, as considerable numbers of these wretched creatures are now
reduced to actual starvation.
(Signed)       C. F. Cornwall.

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