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

Subject: News clippings; Japanese-Canadian military service, loyalty and internment.

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

Date: January 5, 1942.

Citation: Library and Archives Canada, RG25, vol. 3037, file 4166-40, Captain V.C. Best to Hugh Keenleyside, 5 January, 1942.

Additional comments: The Library and Archives Canada file included the news clippings that originally accompanied this letter with a letter set from January 20, 1942. The news clippings intended for this letter are presented below.

Resource cited in:


Personal and confidential

The Alders, Ganges, B.C.

Jan 5/’41 [42]

Dear Dr. Keenleyside,

For your information the attached clippings – demonstrating the confusion of thought upon the Japanese Problem in B.C.

(A) The resignation of leaders of the political pogrom of recent date would be no loss to B.C. Churchill stated how grateful he was that war did not break out on the Pacific until after the summer of 1941. No thanks to the politicians in B.C.

(B) “Must and will be prevented” (Chambers) What dictator is this come to judgement? Would it be unkind to suggest that since his regiment is Overseas that it would inspire more confidence in his constituency if he were there as well. (See E)

(C) Wilson recently recommended the Ghetto for all Japanese, naturalized Japanese and Canadian-born Japanese.

Now the Committee is apparently suggesting placing 24.000 people of alien origin etc in concentration camps.

(D) Mayhew suggests enlistment – the weak point in his argument lies in the fact that no soldier serving his country would be content to see his home left to wrack and ruin, and his parents shuffled around as Hitler shuffles the Poles, Jews etc.

(E) No comment.

The closer the Problem is scrutinized, the more apparent it becomes that enlistment is the sieve through which all Japanese, naturalized and Canadian-born should pass. Those who do not pass this [refining?] process can, and should, be accommodated in Internment Camps. This also applies to all other nationalities with whom the ABCD are at War. 5000 Germans to be enlisted in Montreal, says Otto Stresser, within the next three months.

In preference to Canadian-born who have already their services?

Hostages are needed to handle the Japanese. Family ties and property involved are powerful deterrents to misbehavior. All Japanese and Canadian-born should be given the opportunity to enlist (18-45) and a separate test for physical requirements is essential.

A Ghurka could not [pass?] the standard for the British army – neither can the average Japanese pass the Canadian test. Every man, short of cripples, should be accepted.

Loyalty must come hard after the discrimination against them in which no other enemy alien are involved – but I still have faith in them. The highest compliment paid to their loyalty to Canada was paid by the Japanese Consul on Dec 8th. An admission of complete defeat of the various Consuls efforts to [wean?] the Can-Jap to the 5th column (Dual citizenship)

My eyes are not closed to the danger on this coast – and neither am I in a panic.

Yours truly,

V.C. Best