Report to the Governor of Guangdong and Guangxi
We are Chinese merchants from Guangdong Province, and Directors of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. For the severe head tax levied on Chinese, we venture to ask Your Honor to send a telegram to help abolish it so that the Chinese merchants and workers here could continue to earn a living. We have been residing in British Columbia since the establishment of trade relations between China and England. We have been doing our business here according to terms of Sino-British treaties, benefiting each other, and living in peace with each other. However, in 1885 the British broke the agreement out of jealousy. They passed a law to compel every Chinese entering British Columbia to pay a $50 head tax. We were angry and astonished, we could do nothing but yielding. We thought it was accidental, and there would be no more such discriminating treatment. In 1896 the Parliament of British Columbia tried to pass a law to increase the rate of head tax to $500, ten times than the previous. We were fortunate to get help from the Chinese Ambassador to England, who delivered a protest to the British Government. It was eventually abolished. We could then live and work in peace and contentment. It is an election year in Canada this year. The Parliament is arguing about reviving the law to increase head tax rate. We assume that the Parliament would try to forbid Chinese workers from entering Canada. We understand that the relationship of merchants and workers is like that of lips and teeth. If workers are not coming, merchants will have no business to do. We cannot imagine how it would be if the law comes into effect. We were told that the British Prime Minister has approved the law, and given it to the Parliament for debate. Our lifeline is in imminent danger. We are extremely worried. We requested help by telegram from the Chinese Ambassador to England. We are here begging Your Honor to send a telegram to the British Government to persuade them to abolish it. We are very grateful to Your Honor if we could avoid this disaster and continue our life in peace.
We beg Your Honor to bestow favors
Dong Qian Tai, Li Meng Jiu, Chen Yun Xiu, Ye Si
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in Victoria