维多利亚中华会馆致驻英大使的信(草稿):要求向英政府抗议加拿大增加华人人头税

Public

A draft letter to the Chinese Ambassador to England discussing the CCBA's fight against discriminatory laws against Chinese people in British Columbia and repeating requests that the diplomatic protests and negotiations be continued. April 1889 (光绪二十五年四月)

In Collection:
Creator Subject Language Date created Resource type Rights statement Extent
  • 2 pages
Alternative title
  • Draft letter to the Chinese Ambassador to England
Geographic coverage Coordinates
  • 53.99983, -125.0032
Chronological coverage
  • 1889
Physical repository Collection
  • Chinese Canadian Collection
Provenance
  • Donor: Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (Victoria, B.C.)
Provider Genre Archival item identifier
  • Acc. No.: 1977-084, 1.2, 1.2.06
Fonds title Fonds identifier Is referenced by Date digitized
  • July 30, 2007
Transcript
  • April ,1889 Your Excellency, We are Chinese merchants and Directors of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We report to Your Excellency for protection to fight against the discriminating laws. We have been residing in British Columbia as merchants for dozens of years, but we never forget we are Chinese, and we cherish a deep love for our home land. We regard China as our nation, and we worship Confucianism. We dress as Chinese, and we are not naturalized in Canada. If we made some money we send back to China. These are the reasons out of which the local people hate us, treat us harshly, and even forbid Chinese workers to enter their territory. China is very poor, having deficit by million dollars every year. It is overseas Chinese who try to aid relief. There has been famine in the provinces recent years, and overseas Chinese contributed a great deal to help relieve the distress. Now that the overseas Chinese are suffering from the discriminating treatment, the Chinese government should protect and help us. Otherwise we would be left stranded in foreign countries and can not in turn help our home land when there is need. The United States initiated these discriminating laws, and England followed suit. Our living conditions become worse and worse. Same as Chinese, Japanese were previously not allowed to work in coal mines. After the Japanese Consul asked their government to deliver a protest to the British Government, situation changes---Japanese are allowed to work in coal mines, Chinese alone are not allowed. The Japanese Consul advised us that if our government had tried to fight against it, the result would be different. What makes worse is that the rate of head tax is to be increased. Since the United States forbad Chinese to enter, the British Government levied a $50 head tax on every Chinese, women and Children included. The Chinese who would leave for some time must return in six months, those overdue have to pay the head tax a second time. The worst thing is that the head tax rate is proposed to be increased to $500, being $1,000 calculated in United States Dollars. If this law enters in force, Chinese in Canada would not be able to do any business, and our lifeline is in danger, and the overseas Chinese would have no ability to help our homeland. We overseas Chinese have been without caring from our government, and we cry in vain for maternal love like abandoned infants. On 11th last month we inquired by telegraph to the Office of the Chinese Ambassador to England, and the next day inquired again to the Foreign Office. We failed to get reply from both. We are extremely worried: what shall we do next? We look forward to protection from our government, who refuses to hear from us. We are, therefore, forced to turn our back, but how can we cut off the deep love for our homeland? Upon further consideration, we understand that the offices have too much to do as not to pay enough attention to our request. It is not that they really reject us. We know that our request might be minor, but will be put on the agenda. The local people in British Columbia tried to force the parliament to pass the discriminating laws against Chinese. The British Government has no such intention. As the case shows that Japanese is treated differently after the Japanese Government protested to the British Government. Could Your Excellency please order a commissioner to protest to the British Government, citing the Japanese case, to require for the abolition of the two laws: firstly, Chinese are not allowed to work in coal mines; secondly, the rate of head tax is increased to $500. Your single effort could have saved thousands of lives, a boundless beneficence. We have long heard about Your Excellency’s fame of diligence in managing the country, and of great care for the overseas Chinese. If it could be successfully done, we shall be eternally indebted. Your Excellency will win immortal fame for your brilliant achievements to challenge the foreign power at a time when foreign countries ran wild. We assume that Your Excellency, being so patriotic, would not reject us as to leave us to the tyranny of a foreign country. We beg Your Excellency, the Prime Minister, to bestow favors The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Victoria and Vancouver
Technical note
  • 600 dpi TIFF, no colour correction, archived in Cataloguing on DVD, digitized by CDW. Metadata by MH and KD.
DOI
Rights
  • Contact Special Collections and University Archives for access to the original manuscript and for reproduction requests (speccoll@uvic.ca). This material is made available on this site for research and private study only.

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