The 1885 Canadian Government Report on Chinese Immigration The Value of the Document for an Historian The 1885 Canadian government Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration and, in particular, oral transcripts of testimony given in the sitting of the Commission at Victoria in August of 1884, will be discussed in this essay in order to evaluate the Report as an historical document with particular attention to its strengths and weaknesses. It will be shown that the strengths of this document as an historical source lie in how it reveals the subtle reality of anti-Chinese discrimination in British Columbia in the late nineteenth century, and how economic concerns – especially the competition that Chinese immigrants presented to...The end:
.....: that Chinese immigration must be stopped as the Chinese are competing with White labour. In sum, we can see in the conflicting testimonies of the various witnesses – in the 3 general themes noted above – how prejudice and bigotry against the Chinese is being fuelled by irrational and unsubstantiated slurs to support an economic argument: the industriousness of the Chinese immigrants, while beneficial to British Columbia in general, is undercutting the unskilled White labour force. While these arguments may be distasteful to us today, for an historian the analysis of this testimony would be of great value in understanding the different, interrelated factors that informed anti-Chinese immigrant movements in Canada in the nineteenth century.