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

Subject: Japanese-Canadian loyalty, citizenship and repatriation; politicians; British justice.

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

Date: October 10, 1941.

Citation: Library and Archives Canada, RG25, vol. 3037, file 4166-40, Captain V.C. Best to Hugh Keenleyside, 10 October, 1941.

Resource cited in:

Transcription (of second letter):


The Alders,

Ganges, BC

Oct 10/41

Dr. Hugh Keenleyside

Dear Sir,

Herewith cutting from the Victoria Daily Colonist, carrying the speech made by Col. M.F. Macintosh.

I would draw your attention to his [implication?] that as a member of the Commission, he can now dominate the Conservative Provincial Party should that Party be returned to power – and that they will do what he chooses.


In times of danger in the Pacific such as this, such assertions are, in my opinion, dangerous to the public interest and well calculated to be a match applied to the magazine. Apart from this [?] it is very surprising to find that the Commission, ostensibly an impartial Board of Investigation is – a hidden club to be used upon the Japanese and Canadian Japanese without discrimination.


This is not just – neither is it fair – and neither is it British.


The effect upon the loyalty of Canadian Japanese will be very great – and it is to be hoped that the Party will meet defeat.


I spoke to Mr. Harrison – Conservative candidate in the Nanaimo and Gulf Islands Riding. He informs me that the Provincial Government has the right to legislate to deport all Japanese and Canadian Japanese at will, and cites what Hitler has done as an example of how to shift a population. He seems to agree with these methods and advocates such a plan as one that should be carried out in B.C.


I have four sons fighting Hitler – and his high-handed methods do no appeal to us. Still [lies?] do we appreciate the advication of Hitler’s methods in B.C.

This, in my opinion, is damnably dangerous political propaganda at a critical moment such as this when a flare-up in the Pacific appears to be inevitable, yet one that the U.S.A. and the British Govts are trying to head off.


I would also draw your attention to the fact that the Japanese and Nisei bought $350.000 of War Loan, and that Woodfibre buys $2,500 per month.

In addition, more than $4,000 has been voluntarily sent to the H.Q. to buy a Spitfire. Also every Japanese community is working for the Red Cross.

Finally – 1400 Canadian Japanese have offered their services in the armed forces of Canada, and would fight loyally.


Would it be possible to draw the attention of Prime Minister Mackenzie King to these facts in order that this harrying of a Canadian minority may cease? Surely he will heed a call for British justice!


My eyes are not closed to the dual-citizenship question, or the dangers thereof – but I am convinced that the efforts of the Japanese gov’t has fallen upon very barren ground here in Canada – [due?] in great measure to the foresight of Mackenzie King in the handling of the question.

Apologizing for troubling you with this matter, and convinced that it is a matter of public interest and for the welfare of the public  – and apart from all party political interests,

I am,

Yours truly,

V.C. Best