Title: Letter from Captain V.C. Best to Hugh Keenleyside.

Subject: Japanese-Canadian education, military service and internment.

Creator: Captain V.C. Best and unknown newspapers.

Date: February 7, 1943.

Citation: Library and Archives Canada, RG25, vol. 3037, file 4166-40, Captain V.C. Best to Hugh Keenleyside, 7 February, 1943.

Resource cited in:

Transcription:

The Alders,

Ganges,

B.C.

Feb. 7/’43

Dear Dr. Keenleyside,

Herewith cuttings from papers dealing with the B.C. Minister of Education’s proposal to deny the Japanese and Canadian-Japanese children the right to education.

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It is quite evident that no municipality can carry an influx of children without having to meet the taxes locally – and that if the parents are not taxed, the resident taxpayers must pay more than their share. It would seem right that the Dominion Government should take a fair share of the costs of evacuees education – but to attempt to outlaw the children is very cowardly, to say the least, and it also opens the door to the future outlawry of Chinese, Indians, Negroes, Jews or any other minority that happens to displease the “powers that be” in the Legislature of the moment.

I am sure that the Dominion Government can be relied upon to use sufficient pressure on the B.C. Legislature to prevent action that can only be construed as pandering to Nazism. I hope it will.

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Please note that 28,000 American-Japanese have been enlisted to fight for U.S.A. It is time that Canada took the same action.

It is manifestly unfair that our sons should take the risk of death, disablement, sickness and that the wives of these soldiers should be denied the right of motherhood through death etc and that Canadian-Japanese should be granted the privilege of absolute personal safety, when rightly they should share the common danger. It is time that the opinions of political leaders suffering from mass hysteria should be firmly discarded. I refer to B.C.

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I have had many letters from the Can-Japanese, and many of them are quite happy in their new environment, albeit homesick for their homes in B.C. In many of the letters were references to the courtesy and consideration shown to them by the R.C.M.P. covering Hastings Park, escort duty and camp life. They speak very highly of the R.C.M.P. and consider them good friends to have.

Yours truly,

V.C. Best

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