British Columbia has immense tracts of arable land. Why not give India’s millions a chance on it as colonizers?
There is not so much sedition among the Hindus of British Columbia as among Canadian-born Socialists, who rant of the flag as “the bloody rag.”
The vices of the Hindu are no worse than the vices of the low whites.
They are British subjects and have a right to admission. Admission is not a privilege but a right.
How can we expect good morals among three to five thousand men who are forcibly separated from wives and children? Admit their wives to prevent deterioration. This argument was used by a Hindu addressing audiences in Toronto.
What right have Canadians to point the finger of scorn at the reproach of the child wife when the age of marriage in one province is twelve years?
In the days of the mutiny the Sikh proved his loyalty. To-day the Indian troops are proving their loyalty by fighting for the empire in Europe.
Many of the Canadians now denouncing the Hindu made money selling them real estate in Vancouver, and expropriation is behind the idea of exclusion.
The admission of the Hindu would relieve British Columbia’s great need for manual laborers.
Canadian missionaries to India are received as friends. Why are the Hindus not received as friends in Canada?
Why should a Sikh not marry a white woman as one did in Vancouver? This question was asked by the official publication of the Sikhs in Vancouver.
If Canada shuts her doors to the Hindus, let the Hindus shut doors to Canadians.
These are not my arguments. They are the arguments of the people advocating the free admission of people from India to Canada.
To these arguments the Pacific Coast makes answer. Likewise, the answer is not mine:
We know that you as a people need room for colonization; but if we admit you as colonists, will your presence drive out other colonists, as it has done in Australia and South Africa; as the presence of colored people prevents the coming of other colonists to the southern states? If we have to decide between having you and excluding Canadians, or excluding you and having Canadians, we can not afford to hesitate in our decision. We must keep our own land for our own people.
Australia and South Africa have excluded the Hindu—South Africa’s educational test amounts to that—and that has not imperiled British dominion in India. Why should it in Canada? The very fact there are millions ready to come is what alarms us. Morals are low—you acknowledge—and your people would be better if they had a chance; but would the chance not cost us too dearly, as the improvement of the blacks has cost the South in crime and contaminated blood? We are sorry for you, just as we are sorry for any plague-stricken region; but we do not welcome you among us because of that pity.