The Chung Collection

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The Chung Collection

Report of select committee Government of British Columbia 1879

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Your Committee appointed to draft a Report upon the Chinese Question, beg to
state that, in the absence of any statistical information on the subject, they have felt
some embarrassment in dealing with it.
There are various opinions as to the number of Chinese in the Province, but 6,000
is within the mark.
The acknowledged strong and growing antipathy to their presence in the community is attributable to several causes, of which the following would appear to be the
most prominent:—
1st. Their moral and social condition is degraded in the extreme. A large majority
of the men are in a state of semi-bondage, if not of absolute slavery, while all the
women are prostitutes and are daily bought and sold as such. A state of marriage is
unknown amongst them; hence the influence exerted upon society by such wholesale
vice cannot be otherwise than highly pernicious, as no attempt is even made at concealment.
2nd. They are also undesirable settlers as they are wholly opposed to any assimilation or amalgamation of races or to becoming a portion of the permanent population
of the country. The wealth gradually acquired by them is from time to time transmitted to China, and the Province is impoverished to the extent of and in an inverse
ratio to their gains.
3rd. Their system of Coolie labour defies competition, as the low rate of wages paid
is insufficient to support ordinary labouring classes, hence the Chinese are gradually
monopolizing and controlling many industries which have hitherto afforded employment
to the permanent population of the Province. This fact is not alone calculated to drive
many valuable settlers elsewhere, but is likely to seriously discourage desirable immigrants from coming to the Province.
4th. It is well known from experience that slave labour has a degrading effect
wherever it exists, as it causes an unconquerable and not unreasonable prejudice
on the part of the free members of a community against engaging in any work similar
to that performed by the Coolies in their midst.
The great groups of. Colonies constituting the Australias and New Zealand, are now
unitedly moving the Home Government to aid them in restricting, if not in stopping, the
further influx of Chinese to their shores. The Committee would recommend that
advantage be taken of this circumstance, and that the Dominion Government bo respectfully requested to co-operate with the other Colonies of Her Majesty's Empire, and add
its powerful influence with a view of securing the object mutually aimed at, namely the
restriction of further (Chinese immigration to British Columbia, as well as to the Colonies
referred to.
Geo. A. Walkem,
VICTORIA : Printed by Richard Wolfendkn, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office, James' Bay.


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