Report to the Honorable Luo, the Chinese Ambassador to England
The Honorable Luo,
We are Chinese merchants and Directors of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We report to Your Honor for protection 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 homeland. 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 coalmines. 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. 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 Foreign Office, and the next day inquired again to the office of Your Honor. 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 Your Honor have too much to do as not to pay enough attention to our request. It is not that Your Honor 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 Honor please 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 Honor’s fame of competence, loyalty, sympathy, and especially experience in diplomatic affairs. If it could be successfully done, we shall be eternally indebted. Your Honor 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 Honor, being so patriotic, would not reject us as to leave us to the tyranny of a foreign country.
We beg Your Honor, the Imperial Commissioner, to bestow favors
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Victoria and Vancouver