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    XENOPHOBIA 04: Keep Chinese off the farms

    A suggestion that more workers be brought from China to help meet a shortage of farm labourers during the First World War met strong opposition from a farm newspaper, the Toronto Weekly Sun, December 19, 1917.

    “If the door is opened to admit the yellow man for the purpose of tilling the land, there will arise an irresistible demand for admission of the same sort of labourers for service in building sewers, work on railways and docks and in factories,” the paper claimed.

    Head_Tax_Recipt 1918.08.02 wikimedia

    A 1918 receipt issued for payment of $500 for the head tax required by Chinese to immigrate to Canada.

    Alarm was expressed over a report “that 400 Chinese had been brought in to work in one factory” in Windsor, while “In British Columbia, there is fear that, following upon the draining of the Anglo Saxon manpower for war, the whole coast may pass into possession of the Orientals.” The report warned that “yellow women will follow” any continuing invasion of yellow men.

    The Weekly Sun was also alarmed at the growing number of Ontario’s “people of alien speech, mostly Greeks, Italians and natives of the Balkan states.”

    “It is going to be a tremendous task to assimilate this alien mass even under the best of circumstances; it is going to be an almost impossible task if the whole of our young Anglo-Saxon manhood is to be sacrificed in European war.

    Fourth of five brief items about how the treatment of Chinese left a dark stain on the pages of Canadian history. Next: Deported ex-slave girl must abandon husband and baby.

    About Canada, my latest book, is crammed with more “Amazing stuff” about our great nation, says popular historian Christopher Moore. “I’m a fan,” he adds. For a free sampler copy, more information and accolades, or to order your copy, click here.

    TAGS Race and ethnic relations,Chinese,Labour,Workers, Agricuture,Yukon gold rush,Immigrants,Immigration,First World War,xenophobia.

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