HC Deb 22 November 1906 vol 165 cc995-6
MR. BOULTON (Huntingdonshire, Ramsey)

I beg to ask the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies if a celibate camp of 16,000 Chinese exists in British Columbia, or has existed since the country was a British Colony; and, if so, whether the Chinese in such camp are free 1o come and go like any ordinary inhabitant within the Empire, and if there are any restrictions upon the movements of the Chinese in Canada other than such as are imposed by the ordinary law upon all citizens; whether a poll tax of £100 is imposed upon every Chinaman entering Canada, and whether this has the effect of excluding the more undesirable class of Chinese from the country; whether, apart from the poll tax, there is any law in Canada under which Chinese are treated in a different way from the other inhabitants of the Dominion.

I beg further to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration into British Columbia reported unfavourably towards such immigration, and if the Report made any reference to the value of Chinese labour in the mines and other industries of the country, and the effect such labour would have upon the social condition of the people and the development of the industrial life of the province; and what steps, if any, have been taken by the Canadian Government to give effect to the recommendations in the Report.


According to the last census and other returns, there are about 16,000 Chinese in British Columbia. They do not live in a celibate camp, but are scattered over various parts of the province. I am not aware that they are subject to any special restrictions in Canada, but there is a capitation tax on every Chinese immigrant, which was, in 1903, raised from 100 to 500 dollars, in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission referred to by the hon. Member, but I have no definite information as to the effect of this increase in the capitation tax. The Report of the Committee, which very fully discussed the social and economic effects of Chinese immigration, recommended the total prohibition of further immigration if practicable, and that in the meantime the capitation tax should be raised to 500 dollars.