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RETURN Of correspondence relating to fraudulent naturalization Japanese. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1901

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 1 Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 529
Of correspondence relating to fraudulent naturalization of Japanese.
A ttorney -General.
Attorney-General's Office,
March 14th, 1901.
Vancouver, B. C, September 5th, 1900.
The Honourable the Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. C.
Dear Sir,—I beg to enclose you a clipping from the World of yesterday with reference
to the evasion of the naturalization laws by Japanese immigrants desirous of obtaining licences
to fish. As this is a matter of great importance, especially to this constituency, I would ask
you to give the matter your consideration. I believe Mr. Beck could supply the names of the
notaries in question, in which case it would be very desirable that a full inquiry be made with
a view to preventing a repetition of what appears to be a violation of the statutes.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)        Rob. G Tatlow.
"Many Flagrant Violations of the Statutes.
" Alien Immigrants Make Laws to Suit Themselves Aided by Notaries Public Who Are Reaping
" a Rich Harvest in Ill-Gotten Fees.
" The laws of the land are being openly set at naught. The manner in which they have
been defied is as impudent as flagrant. The culprits simply shrug their shoulders and ask
nonchalantly: What are you going to do about it?
" There is little question about the proofs. They are seemingly ample to show that the
naturalization laws of Canada have been outrageously violated in British Columbia, and that,
too, in the most wholesale manner.
" It was well known, during the fishing season, that many Japanese fishing on the Fraser
had sworn that they had been residents of Canada for four years, when as a matter of fact
they had not been in this country during as many months. It was not known, however, that
Japanese were actually having their naturalization papers mailed to them a month or so after
arrival. That this very bad state of affairs, however, appears to exist is borne out by documentary evidence, which it will be hard to explain away.
" On Labour Day, around the Japanese boarding houses in the city, there were large
crowds of returning Japanese fishermen, who were manifestly excited over something. On
enquiry, the cause of their perturbation was stated to be the arrival of many deported Japanese from the United States. 530 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
" These had entered the United States from Canada after the fishing season was over, and
had been sent back to this country as pauper immigrants. Five of these men were induced to
show their papers. None of them could speak English, but there were several Japanese who
consented to interpret their remarks.
"On being plied with questions, these Japanese-Canadians—for they claim citizenship —
without realizing it, revealed an apparent irregularity in the application for naturalization in
Vancouver, which seems rather serious.
"This is what the Japanese had to say about naturalization papers as well as poll-tax
receipts, and as to the latter, it would be interesting to know how the contract labourers made
out with these receipts, so very promptly collected.
" Shibata Hanichi said: I reached Victoria 24th of March, 1900 (this is shown by the
landing papers). I went to Cassiar and I fished on the Skeena first, and then on the Fraser
river. I paid my poll tax on May 21st. I am a British subject. I hold my certificate of
" The certificate was then produced.    It was signed, properly sealed and stamped.
" Shibata, on being further questioned, said that the naturalization certificate had been
sent through the mail to him from Vancouver to Cassiar by a man named Nagoa, of Vancouver. When he was shown the certificate that he had resided in Canada for four years,
Shibata innocently remarked: About four months when I got the naturalization paper.
" I. Kintora said he arrived in Victoria on the 14th of March; paid revenue tax on June
2nd; went to Cassiar, and while there received through the mail his naturalization papers.
These papers were also produced. The naturalization certificate was signed and sealed in the
usual way.
" Yosyimi Goshohichi said he arrived in Victoria on April 17th and had worked along
the Skeena river in May and July. When in Cassiar he paid his poll tax, receipt dated July
26th. His naturalization papers arrived on June 7th; he said they were given him by a man
named Aikwa, and were sent to Aikwa through the mail from Vancouver to Cassiar by a man
named Nagoa.
"When Yosyima was asked if he had been in Canada four years, as the paper stated, he
replied, through the interpreter: 'I have been in Canada about five months and a half
"Three other Japanese produced poll-tax receipts for money paid from three to four
months after their arrival; Ishi Wasabura, Kinoshita, and I. Jinzabura.
" Registrar Beck states that when a Japanese desires to become naturalized he takes the
usual oaths before a notary and the matter is then passed over to his office. After a certain
time has elapsed to give an opportunity for objections to be raised, the naturalization certificate is issued. So.far as the Registrar's office is concerned, Mr. Beck stated that no blame
could be attached in regard to the issuance of alleged bogus certificates."
Vancouver, B. O, September 7th, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B. C.
United States Immigration Officer here has fraudulent naturalization papers and passports
belonging to Japanese men; can be secured; will you investigate?
(Signed)        R. G Tatlow.
R. G. Tatlow, Vancouver, B. C.
Yes.    Most anxious to get at the bottom of it.
Victoria, 7th September, 1900.
(Signed)        D. M. Eberts.
Vancouver, B. C, September 7th, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts, Victoria, B. C.
Please instruct some one to act now while men and papers available.
(Signed)        R. G. Tatlow. 1 Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 531
Victoria, 7th September, 1900.
R. G. Tatlow, Vancouver.
Constable   Campbell  has   been   instructed   to confer immediately  with you  respecting
naturalization frauds.
(Signed)        D. M. Eberts.
Victoria, 7th September, 1900.
Constable Colin S. Campbell, Vancouver.
See Captain Tatlow immediately respecting naturalization frauds.
(Signed)        D. M.  Eberts.
Vancouver, B. O, September 12th, 1900.
II. A. Maclean, Esq.,
Deputy Attorney-General, Victoria, B. C.    '
Re Fraudulent Naturalization.
Sir,—I beg to state that I have arrested two Japanese on a charge of perjury. One was
arrested yesterday and brought before the Police Magistrate, and remanded till the 17th instant
at 2 p. m., Mr. Bowser acting for the Crown. I have still a warrant for a third. This
evening I arrested the second one. They each had their naturalization papers on them when
arrested; also passports, with dates of departure from Japan, both being within this year, and
papers issued here by W. J. Thicke, Notary Public, June 7th, 1900. I have reason to believe
that the prisoners were fishing on the Skeena River when papers were issued at Vancouver.
I cannot explain the case any further at present. Mr. Tatlow no doubt has already given you
full details regarding the same.
I am, ifec,
(Signed)        Colin S. Campbell,
Provincial Constable.
Vancouver, September 16th, 1900.
//. A. Maclean, Esq.,
Deputy Attorney-General, Victoria.
Re Illegal Naturalization.
Sir,—I have now six Japanese arrested; three of these have taken the oath of allegiance
at Vancouver before Walter J. Thicke, Notary Public, and three before George S. MacTavish,
J. P., at Rivers Inlet, and then issued at New Westminster, 25th June, 1900. The six had
their naturalization papers on their persons when arrested; also passports, all passports dated
in Japan within this year, 1900. The three that took the oath in Vancouver have been
remanded until to-morrow at 2 p. m., when we expect to go on with their cases. The other
three were remanded yesterday evening by R. A. Anderson, S. M., until the 24th instant,
eight days, and are now in the Provincial Gaol at New Westminster. 1 am acting under
instructions from Mr. Bowser, attorney for the prosecution.
I have, &c,
(Signed)        Colin S. Campbell,       "
Provincial Constable.
Vancouver, B. O, September 17th, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B. C.
American Immigration Officers here necessary witnesses; require authority Washington
to testify; please obtain it by wire; case adjourned one week.
(Signed)        R. G. Tatlow. 532 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
Victoria, B. C, 18th September, 1900.
R. G. Tatlow, Vancouver, B. C.
Please write fully evidence required from and privilege claimed by American officers, that
I may communicate intelligently with Washington, if necessary.
(Signed)        D. M. Eberts.
Vancouver, B. C, September 18th, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B. C.
Regina v. Hanichi Shibato et al.
Sir,—On the 8th instant we were interviewed by R. G. Tatlow, M. P. P., and Mr. Campbell, Police Constable, and asked to advise on the question of certain prosecutions against Japs
for obtaining fraudulent naturalization papers in order to take part in the fishing on the
Fraser River and other parts of the Province this year.
As the question of getting evidence in cases of this kind is very difficult, the officer, of
course, had great difficulty in proceeding, and it was only through information received in a
roundabout way from the American Immigration Office that we were able to put our hands on
any Japs that had fraudulent naturalization papers. Mr. Campbell succeeded in arresting
three Japs who came to this Province from Japan in March of this year, and who had passports on them to that effect when arrested, who were also in possession of naturalization papers
issued in our County Court here in June last, three months after their arrival in this country.
The evidence being so difficult to get together and to bring the case home to the prisoners, we
have had to have several adjournments in the Police Court, and as all the Japs were arrested
at different times, we had all the cases adjourned to come up yesterday.
We find now that the only way of proving that the Japs arrived in this country on the
boat in March is through the officers of the boat, who probably could not identify them, and
who are at present not in the Province, or by admissions made by them to the interpreter in
the American Immigration Office.
Mr. Healey, the head of the American office here, does not wish to have his office connected
with the matter in any way, and they claim a certain amount of privilege as to giving evidence
of any matters which come through their office. He is perfectly willing to allow his interpreter
to give evidence, providing he has the consent of the authorities at Washington, and accordingly Mr. Tatlow wired you yesterday to obtain that consent, if possible. If we could not get
this, it might be possible that we could force the American officer to give testimony without
it, or, on the other hand, we could put one of the Japs, against whom there is a weak case, into
the box to prove that the other prisoner arrived on the same boat as he did in the month of
March. Mr. Corbould is acting for the defence in the matter, and we yesterday received an
inkling that his evidence will go to prove that these Japs were never ashore off the boat in
the City of Vancouver at all, and that they never went before Mr. Thicke, the Notary Public,
but apparently some of their friends did the swearing for them. If this evidence is substantiated on oath it will, of course, show that the grossest frauds have been committed in connection with naturalization, and as we understand from Captain Tatlow that your primary idea in
this investigation is not so much to punish ignorant Japs as it is to get at the bottom of who has
been committing these frauds, and to show clearly that frauds have been committed under the
provisions of the Naturalization Act, and that there should be some remedy for such matters.
When the case came up yesterday Mr. Corbould applied for an adjournment, in order to
get witnesses from up north to prove that on the date that the Japs are supposed to have taken
their oath before the Notary here they were up north at the time, and on this statement the
Magistrate adjourned the case for one week.
We wish further to report that Mr. Campbell also arrested last week three other Japanese
with passports on them, showing that they had left Japan this year, and also in possession of
naturalization papers. These men were brought up on Saturday, and were remanded until the
24th instant, till we saw what became of the other prosecutions of the local Japs here, and
they are now in the gaol at Westminster. They admitted at the time of the arrest that they
had only arrived in British Columbia this year. 1 Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 533
The affidavits or declarations in these cases were taken before George S. MacTavish, at
Rivers Inlet, and we presume that he is now there; whether he can remember these particular
Japs, and identify them or not, is another question, and we do not purpose going to the expense
of instructing the bringing down of Mr. MacTavish without direct instructions from your
Department. It is a matter for you to consider, whether you think it worth while to proceed
in these last three cases or not; because we feel confident that in the cases that we are now
prosecuting in the Police Court here, even if we are not successful in sending the prisoners up
for trial, we are certainly bringing out a lot of evidence to show that frauds have been committed in the way of naturalizing Japs in this wholesale manner.
We wish that you would notify us at once as to whether you think it wise to bring
MacTavish down to give evidence at the preliminary hearing or not. In the meantime we
will do nothing further with these cases until we hear from you.
We have, &c,
(Signed)        Bowser, Godfrey <fe Co.
Vancouver, B.C., September 19th, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B.C.
Regina v. Hanichi Shibato et al.
Sir,—Since reporting to you on this matter yesterday, Mr. Tatlow has shown us your
telegram inquiring for further particulars in reference to the American officers giving evidence.
From our last letter, you will see what we wish to prove, and the only thing further that we
can add is that the American officers first gave the information upon which Mr. Campbell acted.
It seems that a number of Japs, among them the three arrested, left their papers with
the American officers, including passports dated, in Japan, March of this year; also naturalization papers dated in June. The officers saw that they had not been the necessary three
years in the country, and they questioned them about it—or, at least, the interpreter connected
with the office did—and they admitted to him that they had come to Victoria in March on
the SS. Bremen. This evidence, of course, is necessary in order to prove that they perjured
themselves when they took a declaration before Mr. Thicke that they had been four years in
the country. As we wrote you, Mr. Healy, head of the American office here, although he is
willing to do everything to help us out, and has given a lot of information, still he is afraid of
complications arising through this case, should his officer give evidence, between himself and
the Japanese Consul here, and on that account he has declined, as well as the officer, to
voluntarily give evidence, claiming the right that, because they represent the American Government here, they are not subject to the Courts in the same way as our own subjects, and
that, further, this information having been given in a confidential way to the American
Government official, they would be entitled to a certain privilege in refusing to answer the
questions. Whether they would go to the extent of refusing to answer after having been
taken to the Police Court is another matter, and, as they have been so good as to give information, Mr. Tatlow thought it would be better to follow out the suggestions thrown out by Mr.
Healey and have the authorities at Washington, through you, request the officer to give
whatever evidence he could.
We think this information will place the matter sufficiently clear before you so that you
can intelligently communicate with Washington.
We have, etc.,
(Signed)        Bowser, Godfrey & Co.
Victoria, B.C., September 20th, 1900.
The Honourable the Secretary of State, Washington.
Certain Japanese are being prosecuted at Vancouver for fraudulently obtaining naturalization. Mr. Healy, your immigration agent at Vancouver, can give material evidence, but
before doing so wishes to have the authority of your Government. Will you kindly authorise
him by wire to give this evidence ?
(Signed)        D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General. 534 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
Victoria, B. C, September 20th, 1900.
Bowser, Godfrey & Co.,
Vancouver, B C.
Discontinue  proceedings  against Japanese in  cases  that  would   require attendance of
MacTavish of Rivers Inlet.    Am wiring Washington re Healy.
(Signed)        D. M. Eberts.
Vancouver, September 21st, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria.
Sir,— Your wire of the 20th instant at hand, instructing us to withdraw proceedings
against Japanese in cases that would require Mr. MacTavish's attendance, and we have
accordingly notified the Provincial Constable, and when these cases come up on Monday on
remand the proceedings will be discharged.
We might say that we have succeeded in getting Mr. Healy here to write Washington on
the same lines as you have wired, and it is likely now that the difficulty of his interpreter
giving evidence will be overcome.
[Note.—The remainder of this letter deals with the then approaching Vancouver Fall
We have, etc.,
(Signed)        Bowser, Godfrey & Co.
Messrs. Bowser, Godfrey & Co.,
Vancouver, B.C.
Victoria, B.C., 22nd September, 1900.
Sirs,—I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 21st
instant with reference to the proceedings in connection with the alleged fraudulent naturalization of Japanese.
Your remarks concerning the cases at the Vancouver Fall Assizes are receiving consideration.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        D. M. Eberts,
Vancouver, September 26th, 1900.
The Hon. the Attorney-General,
Victoria, B.C.
Dear Sir,—You will no doubt have been informed that the case against the Japanese has
been dismissed. At the same time, it has been proved that frauds have been perpetrated in
connection with the filing of certificates, and the evidence points at least to gross carelessness
on the part of those connected with it. I would request that your Department make inquiry
into the matter, with a view to concelling the commissions of such notaries as may be shown
to be guilty of same.
Yours very truly,
(Signed)        R. G. Tatlow. 1 Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 535
Vancouver, B.C., September 28th, 1900.
Hon. D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B.C.
B,egina v. Hanichi Shibato et al.
Sir,—We beg to report that, on the 24th inst., the above cases came up for preliminary
hearing before the Police Magistrate, and we took the course suggested in our last letter and
put one of the other Japanese in the box to prove that Shibato arrived in this Province in
March last on the same steamer that he did himself. This, of course, did away with the
necessity of calling upon the American officer. The Magistrate considered that we had made
out a prima facie case, and called upon Mr. Corbould to put in his defence. He put the
prisoner in the box, and upon cross-examination we proved that he arrived in the country in
March, and was shipped by a Japanese labour contractor from Victoria to Rivers Inlet to
work in the cannery there; that he was not ashore at all in Vancouver, as the boat was only
there an hour; that he, apparently, was very ignorant and had no ideas about naturalization
papers, or that he had to have even a fishing licence, although be fished this year. He stated
that while fishing, some time in June, another Jap came to him and handed him his naturalization paper and told him to keep it. The Magistrate decided, after hearing his evidence, to
dismiss the case, as our case was of course necessarily weak ; but we have proved conclusively,
by evidence on oath, that great frauds have been perpetrated under the "Naturalization Act."
The evidence we are having extended as soon as the stenographer has time to get it out, and
we will forward it to you in due course.
We, of course, had to depend for the main part of our evidence on Nakow, the Japanese
interpreter, who seems to have been in partnership, in connection with the taking of naturalization papers, with the notary, Mr. Thicke, who claims that a Jap came to him, calling himself Shibato, and that he took him up before Mr. Thicke and took the necessary oath, and
after the certificate was received he forwarded it to Shibato at Rivers Inlet. There is no
doubt, to my mind, that this man Nagow and Mr. Thicke have been doing a wholesale business
in naturalizing people that were not in the city at all, through using some other Japanese to
make the necessary declarations; and we have been further advised, on good authority, that
Mr. Thicke and Nagow took trips out to Steveston on Sunday to take affidavits there.
Although Nagow appears to be at the bottom of this whole business, still, as we are advised
at present, we do not see that it would be any use to lay a charge against him of subornation
of perjury, as he would simply get out of it by saying that he thought the Japanese he took
before the Notary Public were really the people they pretended to be, and in whose names the
naturalization papers were made out; and, of course, as we cannot get at the particular
Japanese who took these affidavits, there is no way of bringing a case home to Nagow.
We have had a long interview with Mr. Bremner, the Dominion Labour Commissioner,
and he tells us that he knows of one case in which the Jap actually took the oath himself of
three years' residence, whereas he only arrived in the country this year; and he is now trying
to locate the Jap, although it is two or three months since he saw him, and if he can find him
we will lay information in this case, and perhaps have more success than we had in the others.
We might say that of the 613 naturalization papers issued this year, 307 were sworn
before Mr. Thicke and 209 before Mr. McLean; and Mr. Thicke, apparently, for some reason
or other, had 178 of these issued at Chilliwack, and the way he accounts for it is that the first
sitting of the Court was there, and they wished them to be taken out in a hurry. We have
also been informed by the Health Inspector here that Mr. Thicke, early in the year, went to
him and wanted to get all the particulars of the Japanese boarding-houses in the city which
were registered in his office, as he wanted to see them in connection with getting naturalization papers. This information the Health Inspector did not give him. This points out most
clearly that, besides being most careless in the way of taking these affidavits, he has been, as
we have suspected all along, drumming up a business in the way of naturalizing Japs, and that
Nagow participated, no doubt, in the fees which Mr. Thicke got.
We might say that Mr. E. W. McLean lives among the Japs and Chinamen here, and
acts as interpreter very often for them, and we think that a man like that having a commission
of Notary Public might do considerable harm ; and we would suggest that, if the Government
do not feel like cancelling the commissions of these two men, it should at least have some sort
of an investigation into their mode of procedure as to taking naturalization affidavits, as the
public here feel very strongly on the matter, and think the commissions should be cancelled,
or at least something further done. 536 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
We also beg to report that, as the other Japanese cases stood exactly on the same basis as
Shibato's, we thought there was nothing else for us to do but withdraw these cases without
going to any further expense, which we accordingly did ; and in each case we took from the
prisoners their naturalization certificates, which were admitted to be bad by their own consul,
and they are now in the possession of the Provincial Constable, Mr. Campbell.
We have, etc.,
(Signed)        Bowser, Godfrey & Co.
Victoria, B. C, October 22nd, 1900.
The Hon. the Attorney-General.
Sir,—Will you kindly cause me to be provided with a copy of the depositions and proceedings in the alleged fraudulent Japanese naturalization at Vancouver, for the use of the
Royal Commission to inquire into the immigration of Chinese and Japanese into British
Yours truly,
(Signed)        F. J. Deane,
Vancouver, B. C, 23rd October, 1900.
The Hon. the Attorney-General,  Victoria.
Sir,—I have the honour, in reply to your communication of the 22nd instant, to advise
you that I have requested Mr. F. Evans, official stenographer, who was the stenographer
engaged at the proceedings mentioned, to send a copy of the proceedings to Mr. Deane, at
Kamloops. I may add that, owing to no conviction, no papers whatever were forwarded to
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        A. E. Beck,
District Registrar.
Vancouver, B. C, November 30th, 1900.
The lion, the Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. C.
Dear Sir,—On September 5th I addressed your department requesting that a full
inquiry be made into the alleged evasion of the naturalization laws by Japanese, for the
purpose of obtaining licences to fish : and on September 26th I called the attention of the
department to the fact that these frauds had been proved in connection with filing of certificates, showing, at least, gross carelessness on the part of persons connected therewith, and
requesting the cancellation of the commissions of the Notaries implicated. I further
addressed you on this matter on November 21st.
In view of the recent decision of the Chief Justice, granting the right to exercise the
franchise to these fraudulently naturalized Mongolians, I would again urge the necessity of
taking stringent measures to stop a repetition of these frauds, and would suggest that all
Notaries Public implicated lose their commissions, and such officials as have been guilty of
connivance, or even gross carelessness, be dismissed from the public service, a suggestion,
which, in my constituency at least, I hope you will carry out at the earliest possible moment.
I am, Sir, etc.,
(Signed)        Robt. G. Tati.ow.
21st September, 1900.
G.   W.  Chadsey,  Chilliwack.
Kindly send number of Japanese and Chinese, respectively, naturalized this year;   give
names of Notaries and number of certificates filed by each.
(Signed)        A. E. Beck. 1 Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 537
September 22nd, 1900.
To A. E. Beck, Vancouver.
178 Japanese naturalized in 1900 and 178 certificates filed.    Walter J. Thicke, Notary
(Signed)        G. W. Chadsey.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
17th January, 1901.
Sir,—I have to inform you that His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has
thought fit to revoke your commission as a Notary Public for the Province of British Columbia.
I am, Sir, etc.,
(Signed)        J. D. Prentice,
Provincial Secretary.
Walter J. Thicke, Esq., Vancouver.
1138, Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C.  19th January, 1901.
The Hon. J. D. Prentice, Provincial Secretary,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 17th
instant, informing me that His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has thought fit to
revoke my commission as a Notary Public for the Province of British Columbia, and would
respectfully request that I may be informed of the reason for such revocation.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        Walter J. Thicke.
1138, Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C., 26th January, 1901.
The Hon. J. D. Prentice, Provincial Secretary,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—May I ask the favour of a reply to my letter of the 19th instant, requesting to be
informed of the reason for the revocation of my commission as a Notary Public for the
Province of British Columbia.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        Walter J. Thicke.
1138, Robson Street, Vancouver, 4th February, 1901.
The Hon. J. D. Prentice, Provincial Secretary,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I beg to remind you that I have not yet received an answer to my letters of the
19th and 26th January last.
As I am unaware of my having done any act as a Notary Public which would in any
way justify the Government in cancelling my commission (which is dated so far back as 28th
February, 1896), I must now presume that the Government is either unable or unwilling to
give a reason for such action; but at the same time I would ask that the usual courtesy of an
acknowledgment of the receipt of my letters should be accorded to me.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        Walter J. Thicke. 538 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
Provincial Secretary's Office,
7th February, 1901.
Sir,—You will please accept this as an acknowledgment of the receipt of your communications dated  the   19th and  26th January,  and 4th instant, pending a reply to the question
you ask in the first mentioned letter.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        J. D. Prentice,
Walter J. Thicke, Esq.,
1188, Robson Street, Vancouver.
Provincial Secretary.
(Before F. R. McD. Russell, Esq., P. M.)
Vancouver, September 24th, 1900.
Hanachi Shibato, a Japanese, charged, on the information of Provincial Constable
Colin Campbell, with perjury.
Mr. W. J. Bowser for the prosecution; Mr. G. E. Corbould for the accused.
F. Evans, sworn as Stenographer.
Goro Kaburagl, sworn as Interpreter.
Case for the Prosecution.
A. E. Beck called and sworn.    Examined by Mr. Bowser.
Q.—You are Clerk of the County Court of Vancouver ?    A.—Registrar.
Q.—And as Clerk of such County Court you have control of naturalization papers ?
A.—I have.
Q.—Have you got a record of Hanachi Shibato being naturalized ?    A.—I have.
Q.—On what date 1 A.—I have the certificate of the notary; that is the date it was
delivered at the office.
Q.—That is your signature with the certificate of naturalization? A.—Yes, that is my
signature.    That is the naturalization; that is my signature with the Seal of the Court.
Q.—With the Seal of the County Court of Vancouver.    (Document marked Exhibit "A.")
Q.—And that naturalization was issued in due course by the County Court of Vancouver?    A.—It was.
Q.—Have you in your possession the original declaration taken by Hanachi Shibato ?
A.—I have the declaration of the oaths of residence and allegiance handed into my office, and
the certificate of the notary.
Q.—This is the original oath of residence as sworn before Mr. Thicke, the Notary Public?
A.—That is the one that was handed in to my office.
Q.—And this is a true copy of it ?    A.—Yes, certified to by the proper officer.
Mr. Bowser : I put in a copy under the " Canada Evidence Act," as the originals have
to go back to the Court.    (Documents marked Exhibits "B." and "C")
Q.—And what purports to be the original declaration taken by the prisoner is now in
your custody as Registrar of the Court ?    A.—It is, now, yes.
(Not cross-examined.)
W. J. Thicke called and sworn.    Examined by Mr. Bowser.
Q.—What is your name ?    A.—Walter J. Thicke.
Q.—You are a Notary Public for the Province of British Columbia ?    A.—I am.
Q.—Residing and practising in the City of Vancouver ?    A.—Yes, sir.
Q.—As such Notary you have from time to time taken declarations by aliens to become
naturalized?    A.—Yes. 1 Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 539
Q.—Is that (exhibiting document) your signature and seal as Notary ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And this declaration is taken in your capacity as Notary? A.—I did not see the
dec! aration—yes.
Q.—And witnessed by— ?    A.—Nagal.
Q.—Who is Nagal? A.—I don't know what his occupation is, but he always translated
the Japanese oaths when he brought them to me.
Q.—And he translated this oath ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—The oath of residence in this particular case ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And the Japanese made his mark, did he ?    A.—Yes, that (indicating) is the mark.
Q.—After the oath having been explained through Nagal ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And sworn to in your presence ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And what became of these certificates? What became of thern after taking the
necessary oaths ?    A.—I left them with the Registrar of the County Court.
Q.—You received the naturalizations in due course ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—What did you do with the certificates of naturalization ? A.—Handed them to Mr.
Cross-examined by Mr. Corbould.
Q.—Could you identify this man again, Mr. Thicke?    A.—No.
Q.—You have taken the necessary oath from a great many, have you not ? A.—Yes, a
great many.
Q.—Nagal has acted as interpreter for you, always?    A.—In certain cases, not always.
Q.—Quite a number?    A.—Yes, those that he brought himself to me.
Q.—He came with them to your office ? A.—Yes, or elsewhere by appointment, and he
always acted as interpreter.
Q.—There were generally more than one at a time—a large number ? A.—Yes, five or
six at a time.
Re-direct by Mr. Bowser : Q.—You told my learned friend that you had got quite a
number. How many did you put through this year ? A.—Three hundred and twenty-nine,
the whole year.
Q.—Japs ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And did Nagal bring all those to you ?    A.—Oh, no.
Q.—The great majority ? A.—No ; other persons brought them to me. I don't know
how many Nagal brought, himself.    There were 340 the whole year.
Q.—And you don't know how many of those Nagal brought to you ? A.—No, I did not
take count.
Q.—Were they all taken in Vancouver ?   A.—Yes.
Q.—All the oaths ?    A.—All Nagal's, not the others.
Q.—But some of those 324 you took outside of the city ?    A.—Steveston.
Q.—How many ?    A.—No, I did not take that out; it could be easily done, though.
Mr. Corbould :    Q.—Were those taken at Vancouver or Steveston ?    A.—Vancouver.
Q.—I understand this is made by mark, not signed his name? A.—No, I signed his
Q.—And you could not tell whether it was the proper one, or the man it was represented
to be ?    A.—Oh, no.
Mr. Bowser : Q.—You naturalized some in Chilliwack ? A.—No ; what do you mean
by "naturalized " ?
Q.—You sent them up there ? A.—I could not tell you. It was an accumulation, and
that being the nearest sittings of the Court, there was a rush for the papers.
Nagao (Japanese previously called Nagal) called and sworn.    Examined by Mr. Bowser.
Q.—What is your name?    A.—Nagao.
You live in the City of Vancouver ?    A.—Yes.
—You have taken a number of naturalizations to Mr. Thicke?    A.—Yes.
—Japs to be naturalized ?    A.—Yes.
—Do you know how many this year?    A.—Well, I think between 40 and 50.
—In Vancouver?    A.—Yes.
—And how many in Steveston ?    A.—I was never there.
—Never there with Mr. Thicke ?    A.—No.
—Never had anything to do with naturalization papers in Steveston ?    A.—No. 540 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
Q.—And when you took these men to Mr. Thicke you interpreted the oath to them, did
you ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Is that (exhibiting document) your signature ?    A.—Yes, that is mine.
Q.—And you were the interpreter in this case ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And did you explain to Hanachi Shibato the oath of residence ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—You explained the whole thing ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And he understood it ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And he took the oath ?    A.—Yes.
Cross-examined by Mr. Corbould.
Q.—Do you recognize this man here now as Shibato ?    A.—No, I do not.
Q.—Just explain to the Court how this man went to you and you went to Mr. Thicke ?
A.—I keep my office on Columbia Avenue and I am there all the time, and the man came into
my office and asked me to act as interpreter.
Q.—That is part of your business ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And Japanese come into your office ? A.—Yes, and I take them to Mr. Thicke and
explain everything on the paper, and whatever Mr. Thicke asks I ask of him; that is all.
Q.—Do you remember this man who came to you on this occasion—this Shibato ? A.—
I do not.
Q.—Do you know him at all, personally ?    A.—I don't know him.
Q.—When he came to you were you personally acquainted with him ? A.—No, I am
not acquainted with him at all.
Q.—Then you could not tell whether the right man was there or not?    A.—No, I cannot.
Q.—It was simply because he informed you that was his name ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Did you ever see any of these men to your knowledge before they were arrested ?
A.—Yes, I met one of them.
Court:    Stand up, Shibato.
"Witness : Yes, I saw that man just over two or three days before he was arrested, in
my office.
Q.—You don't know his name ?    A.—I don't know his name.
Q.—You think there is no doubt? A.—Before that, I didn't see him at all. I may have
seen him, but I don't remember.
Q.—You had no acquaintance with him before that?    A.—No, I had not.
Court (to witness): Q.—Do you remember taking this man to Mr. Thicke's office ?
A.—No, I don't remember their faces at all. I met Shibato two or three days before he was
arrested this time.
Mr. Corbould :    Q.—Not three or four days before he went to Mr. Thicke's?    A.—No.
Court: You do not recollect taking him there at all?    A.—No, I don't—no.
Q.—How is it you recollect him so well now? A.—Well, he came to my office and sat
there for so many hours, wanted a job to give him; that is the reason I remember his face.
Q.—You don't recognize him as one of the men you took to Mr. Thicke's office to
naturalize? A.—No, I didn't know at that time his name. I keep my employment office on
Columbia avenue, and men sometimes come in and hang round there for many hours. Men
come in and ask me for a job, and if not go away, but he was standing there quite a great
many hours; that is the reason I remember him.
Q.—How many did you take to Mr. Thicke's office on the 5th June? I don't remember;
altogether between forty and fifty.
Q.—Did you take them in batches of four or five? How many on the 5th June? A.—
Well, the biggest at a time I think was twenty;
Q.—Was that on the 5th June? A.—I don't remember, but the biggest batch was 20;
the others very small—two, sometimes one, sometimes three.
Q.—Did you have any conversation with these men before arranging to take them to the
Notary?    No, I didn't.
C. Campbell, called and sworn.    Examined by Mr. Bowser.
Q.—What is your name?    A. — Colin Campbell.
Q.—You are a Provincial Constable?    A.—Yes.
Q.—You arrested the prisoner?    A.—Yes, sir.
Q.—On what date?    On the 12th September. Q.—Have you ever seen these papers before?    A.—Yes, sir.
Q.—Where did you get them? A.—I got this on his person; got that on him when he
was arrested.
Mr. Bowser: That is "A"
Goro Kaburagi, sworn.    Examined by Mr. Bowser.
Q.—You are a Japanese?    A.—I am.
Q.—And understand that language?    A.—I do.
Q.—Interpreting in this case?    A.—Yes sir.
Q.—What is this paper I am now handing to you?    A.—A passport, sir.
Q.—Where is it issued?    A.—In Japan.
Q.—What are these passports issued for? A.—Well, in order to give a grant to leave the
Q.—And every Japanese leaving Japan has to have one of these?    A.—Certainly.
Q.—Tell us what is the date of that passport first? A.—The ninth day of the third
month of Meiji, the 33rd year of Mah (?).
Q.—What is that in our language?    A.—Corresponding with the 3rd March, 1900.
Q.—Then the man having that passport would have to leave Japan after the 3rd March,
1900?    A.—After.
Cross-examined by Mr. Corbould.
Q.—Who is this passport to?    A.—Well, I didn't notice—Shibato.
Q.—Isn't it the case that every time a Jap goes back to Japan he has to get a new passport before leaving?    A.—I think that is the regulation of the empire.
Q.—A man might go back every year and still have to get a new passport? A.—That is
the experience I had when I went back home. We have to surrender the paper within ten
days after arriving home.
Q.—The last one that you held?    A.—After we get back.
Court: And then you get a new passport on leaving?    A.—Every time, yes sir.
(Admitted by Mr. Corbould that the prisoner arrived in Canada on the 25th March,
Mr. Bowser:  That is the case.
Case for the Defence.
Hanachi Shibato, called and sworn.    Examined by Mr. Corbould.
Q.—Ask him when he arrived in Victoria from Japan?    A.—April 24th, 1900.
Court: You had better take that in place of the admission. You are satisfied to change
that other date?    Mr. Bowser: Yes.
Mr. Corbould: Is there any difference between our months and the Japanese months?
A.—I think about the same; just the same.
Q.—Because there is in the Chinese? A.—Sometimes the change,—well, we use the
lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar, and uneducated people sometimes use these so-
called lunar months—about a month's difference.
Q.—How long did he stay in Victoria?    A.—About twenty days.
Q.—And where did he go from Victoria? Did he go to Vancouver? A.—Yes, he came
to Vancouver.
Q.—Does he remember on what vessel?    A.—He doesn't remember; he doesn't know.
Q.—Does he remember when he came to Vancouver? A.—He remembers the date, or
the time when he arrived in Vancouver Harbour.
Qj.—I understood him to say that he was in Victoria about twenty days.
Q. —Did he say that?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Well, did he come straight from Victoria here ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—How long was he in Vancouver?    A.—Just about one hour.
Q.—What time of day did he get here ?    A.—Afternoon.
Q.—And left the same day, where for ?    A.—Wharnock cannery.
Q.—Where is that?    Up at the Skeena?    A.—Yes, Skeena River Inlet.
Court:    Q.—Is it Skeena River, or Rivers' Inlet ?    A.—No, Skeena River's Inlet. 542 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
Mr. Corbould :   Q.—When he was in Vancouver did he leave the boat?   A.—He did not.
Q.—Never left the steamer?    A.—No, sir.
Q.—Did he go before any Notary Public, or white man, and sign his name or make a
mark ? A.—He never appeared before anybody, any white people, that is, any officer or
Q.—He never made his mark to any name ?    A.—He did not.
Q.—Where did he get the naturalization papers? A.—The place where he was working,
in the cannery.
Q.—When did he get them ?    A.—The fishing season.
Q.—Before the fishing season was over, or after it was over, or before it commenced ?
Cross-examined by Mr. Bowser.
Just put the questions as I put them to you : Q.—He was never in this country before
this year ?    A.—No.
Q.—He was never out of Japan until March of this year ?    A.—No.
Q.—And he got this passport just before he left Japan?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Who wired him to go north, fishing?    A.—Sakuragi.
Q.—Where does he live ?    A.—He doesn't know.
Q.—Where did he meet him ?    A.—At Victoria.
Q.—What does he do there?    A.—He doesn't know.
Q.—Where did he meet him first?    A.—-On the road.
Q.—In Victoria : and he hired him to go up north, did he ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Who paid him his wages for fishing ?    A.—From the Company.
Q.—Up there?    A.—Yes.
Q.—What cannery did he work at ?    A.—Wharnock cannery.
Q.—Ask him who is the " boss " man ?    A.—He doesn't know—never asked.
Q.—Ask him if he got a fishing licence ?    A.—He doesn't know that name.
Q.—Well, the right to fish ; explain to him. A.—Yes, I know ; of course I did. He
says he got a good many papers, but he could not read the English, or could not tell anything.
Q.—Whom did he get these papers from ? A.—He can't tell; simply a man brought
them to him.
Q.—The manager of the cannery, or who ? A.—Some Japanese came by, the manager,
or somebody ; a certain party sent a Japanese boy to him, but he doesn't remember the name.
Q.—Ask him if he fished through this season up there ?    A.—Yes, he did.
Q.—Ask him if anybody told him he had to get naturalization papers before he could
fish ?    A.—No, nobody told him anything about regulations.
Q.—Didn't they tell him he had to get some papers before he could go and throw his net
out ?    A.—Never.
Q.—And he was not ashore here at all ?    A.—No ; that is what he said.    No, never.
Q.—What did he do? Was he boat puller, or handled the net in the boat ? A.—Yes,
boat puller.
Q.—And who was the net man?    A.—G. Ike.
Q.—That is another Japanese?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Where is he now ?    A.—He doesn't know where he is.
Q.—Did he come from Japan the same time as he did ? A.—Well, he came about the
same time, this time; that is, he came that same boat.
You might stand up, Mr. Thicke. (Mr. Thicke does so.) Mr. Bowser (to interpreter):
Q.—Ask him if he ever saw that man before ?    A.—He doesn't remember.
Q.—-Does he know Nagao?    A.—He doesn't know him.
Q.—Did he ever see him before?    A.—This is the first time.
Q.—The first time he ever saw him ? Did he get any Japanese to send him letters from
Vancouver when he was up there fishing; from Vancouver up to him ? A.—No, there wasn't
Q.—Did any come from Victoria ? A.—No friend send him anything from Victoria
Q.—Did the man, when he hired him in Victoria, tell him he would have to get papers
before he could fish ?    A.—No, he didn't tell him anything.
Q.—Did he tell him he would send him up papers ?    A.—No. 1  Ed. 7 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 543
Q.—Ask him if he knows what these papers are he had when he was arrested ? A.—He
doesn't know what that is for.
Q.—What has he been carrying it around for ? A.—Simply some Japanese manager
came to him and said, " keep that."
Q.—When was that?    Before he started to fish ?    A.—After.
Q.—While the fishing was going on ?    A.—After the fishing.
Q.—Ask him what he is now ? whether he is a Jap or English ? Ask him if he knows
what allegiance he bears ?   whether he is a British subject, or a Jap ?    A.—He is a Japanese.
Q.—Can you give any idea who the manager was who brought you these papers? A.—
He thinks that the name is—of course he was not sure, but he thinks the name was Aikwa.
Q.—Where does he live? A.—He .says the same cannery, but he does not know where
Q.—What did he do at that cannery ?    A.—Boy.
Q.—What did he do there ? A.—Well, he doing a good many—messenger and so on—
a good many things like that.
Q.—Looking after the Japanese ?    A.—I suppose so, yes—yes, sometimes he does.
Q.—He was a Japanese boy who could speak English ? A.—He understand a little bit,
he thinks.
Q.—And when he brought him these papers did he tell him what they were ?    A.—No.
Q.—Just told him to keep it ?    A.—That is what he say.
Court:    Q.—What papers did he give him at the time ?
Mr. Bowser:    Q.—It was this one, wasn't it?    (Exhibit "A.")    A.—Yes.
Q.—These others he had before?    A.—Yes.
Court: Q.—And he did not say anything to him when he handed him that paper ?
A.—Didn't say anything, simply told him to keep it.
Q.—Didn't he give any reason for telling him to keep it ?     A.—No, didn't say anything.
Q.—This was given to him at the cannery, up north?    A.—That is what he says.
Q.—Did I understand him to say he does not know Nagao before to-day ? A.—He says
he doesn't know.
Q.—Was he never in his office looking for employment ? A.—Well, he didn't go to his
Q.—At no time ?    A.—At no time.
Court (to Nagao): Q.—Did you say this man had been at your office? A.—Yes; I
suppose that man doesn't know what office means.
Court (to interpreter) : Ask him the question. A.—Yes; he remembers the house. I
described him the house.    He says he went there to that house.
Q.—What for?    A.—He went there to get some kind of job.
Q.—Did he see Nagao when he was there ? A.—Well, he forgot it all about, but when
he remember the house it seems to me he says that he saw that kind of man.
Q.—He is not clear whether he saw him or not ? A.—Well, he says he feel kind of he
saw him or not saw him; he is not very clear about his face, but it seems to me he says that
•he saw him.
Q.—Perhaps his memory is as bad as to Mr. Thicke? Did he not go to his office when
he was in town? A.—He is sure that he could remember that; he was not sure at that
man's house or that man's place.
Court (to Nagao) : Q.—You got this from Mr. Thicke (naturalization paper) ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—What did you do with it? A.—I generally keep them till called for; when I be
asked to mail them I mail them.
Q.—And you don't recollect about this particular one ?    A.—No ; I do not.
Q.—Did you mail any to the north ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—To whom did you mail them ?   A.—To Japanese at Rivers Inlet, Wadhams' Cannery.
Q.—What was his name? A.—I think—I ain't sure—I send three different persons;
what I remember, one his name is Aikwa.    I was asked to send it up there.
Q.—Who asked you to send it there?    A.—Those men.
Q.—These men ?    A.—Yes (indicating); these men.
Q.—Did you send any others up north?    A.—Yes; I send, altogether, 24 or 25.
Q.—And to any other parties than to Aikwa ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Who ?    A.—Kamimura.
Q.—Where?    A.—Same cannery. 544 Fraudulent Naturalization of Japanese. 1901
Q.—Rivers Inlet ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—And anyone else at Rivers Inlet ?    A.—Yes.
Q.—Who ?    A.—Kenosita.
Q.—Anyone else?    A.—That is all.
Q.— The three?    A.—Yes.
Q.—You sent different lots ?    A.—Different lots ; yes.
Q.—Do you remember the numbers that you sent to each of them ? A.—I remember
two for Kenosita, and three or four—I don't quite remember—to Kamimura, but the others
I don't remember how many; I just take and send, whenever I be asked, to such and such a
Case dismissed ; other cases withdrawn. Mr. Bowser gives notice that, on behalf of the
Crown, he will take possession of the three naturalization papers.
Court: You are certainly entitled to this one; it is clear that it does not belong to him.
I hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and accurate report of the said proceedings.
F. Evans,
Official Stenographer.
victoria, b. c. :
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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