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

Subject: Japanese-Canadian military service; politicians; news clippings.

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

Date: January 20, 1942.

Citation: Library and Archives Canada, RG25, vol. 3037, file 4166-40, Captain V.C. Best to Hugh Keenleyside, 20 January, 1942.

Additional comments: The Library and Archives Canada file included news clippings from a January 5, 1942 letter with this letter set. The January 5 news clippings are included in that letter file.

Resource cited in:


The Alders, Ganges, B.C.

Jan 20/’42

Dear Dr. Keenleyside,

I have tried to get a reflection of the Japanese views of the “Defense Work Programme”

Note clipping (A) – Anscombe on road maintenance and clearing of bush

Compare (B) New Canadian

I. There can be no question that the Federal view and the Provincial will clash.

The Canadian-Japanese do not see corvée or roads as an answer to the problem – and are not likely to be such fools as to volunteer for work that for years past has been the sanctuary for Relief seekers – a method of living that the Japanese consider degrading and one which they have studiously avoided.

They can see through the veneer of “Defence” just as clearly as you or I, or anybody else.


Unfortunately, many Japanese and Canadian-born were asked to subscribe to War Loan, War Certificates, etc. Now they cannot realise their assets except as a discount. This is manifestly unjust. They will need that cash to establish themselves if removed. Therefore the Government should be ready to take up these Loans etc at par.


I have again been asked to sell the new War Loan to the Japanese residents. I have not the heart for it – and will not do so. The manager tells me “They can sell the Loan again next week!” Honest, is it not? So long as the commission agents get their commission, honesty is out of the picture.


II. Clippings begin to show the real public opinion on enlistment (C)(D)(E)

If the Government took a Gallup Poll from the Troops on the question of enlistment in a separate unit – the answer would be in the affirmative by a great majority. Their view is that they will come back to a land populated by aliens in their jobs, and they will not be able to get work. The Troops will get the [mutilation?] and the pensions, whilst the alien sits in safety. This feeling I give from first hand knowledge and it is true.


III. Alderman Wilson will hold mass meetings if the Japanese are not all out of B.C. (clipping) Watch him!

If you can find time to read: “The Bridge” – by Ernest Poole

You will get the structure of the Fifth Column. Compare the programme being carried on in Vancouver and draw your own conclusions. My view is that the Japanese is a “Red Herring” drawn across the trail to cover other machinations in lieu of [Jews?] to focus attention. Letter enclosed shows that I considered this of sufficient important to bring to the attention of D.I.O. MD11 last June.

Axel Wenner-Grew was out here on the Coast in the Southern Cross – and has many friends who are still here – (clipping G) so I am told.

Clipping (H). This man, Rev. Williams, could probably be a fund of accurate information for you.


Tense anxiety is still the keynote of the Japanese – especially farmers, poultrymen etc who see a complete loss of their all in the near future.


Many thanks for your last letter. I am more than glad that it was my lot to be able to add a little aid in the stemming of the a current that may become a flood – if not handled courageously and with a disregard of political interested.

Yours sincerely,

V.C. Best


Can a Pincer movement of 5th columns be in the air?