Title: Letter from Captain V.C. Best to Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Subject: Japanese-Canadian military service and loyalty; the ‘Oriental Problem.’

Creator: Captain V.C. Best.

Date: October 26, 1941.

Citation: Library and Archives Canada, RG25, vol. 3037, file 4166-40, Captain V.C. Best to Rt. Hon. Mackenzie King, 26 October, 1941.

Resource cited in:


The Alders,

Ganges, B.C.

Oct 26/41

To: The Rt. Hon. Mackenzie King

Dear Sir,

The time appears to be ripe when the question of enlistment of Canadian-Japanese should be taken into account.


I wish to offer my services to organize the enlistment of Canadian-Japanese in B.C. – these men to be trained in some other Province than BC – and sent overseas.


The effect upon the public of transferring men of military age would be beneficial; it would assuage the fears of the residents and leave the field clear for action in the event of War in the Pacific – with a “hit and run” programme. The parents and relations would remain quiescent.


The U.S.A. has led the way – the problems of USA and Canada are identical in this matter.


I am convinced that the Canadian-Japanese would be loyal if enlisted – their monetary donations, Red Cross work, subscriptions to the War Loan, etc – attest to this fact – and I can do no more than offer my services in any military capacity with them. I have their confidence, and can lay my hands upon others who also enjoy their confidence.


Since the outbreak of War, I have been in practically constant communication with the Deputy Minister – Lt. Col. H. de Rosiers – (Intelligence Branch) and I should esteem it a favour if you would make contact with him for any reference as to my knowledge of the Canadian-Japanese problem.

Being on the Reserve of Officers, it would be a simple matter to transfer me to the Active List and send me about this business without delay. I have studied the Oriental Problem for twenty years against the day when my services would be needed. I think the time has come.

Yours faithfully,

V.C. Best (Capt. R.O.)