Ottawa Was Justified in Sending the Komagata Maru Back to India
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 21:24
Ottawa Was Justified in Sending the Komagata Maru Back to India

(IMMIGRATION WATCH, Posted onJuly 31, 2012 )


This year is the 98th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident in which
several hundred East Indians who had arrived by ship in Vancouver were
denied access to Canada.

Although some Sikhs like to portray the KM incident as an incident in which
they were victimized, the truth is much different. Here are two reasons why
the federal gov’t was justified in sending the KM back to India.


Low-wage labourers had precipitated an enormous amount of anger, resentment
and worker-displacement in British Columbia for decades. The Sikhs on board
the Komagata Maru (as well as the ones who had come a decade or so earlier)
belonged to this group. The Chinese and Japanese labourers, who had arrived
earlier, had earned in their countries one-twentieth and one tenth
respectively of what Canadian workers earned. The East Indians were even
cheaper labour. Most had worked in India at wages as low as one-fiftieth of
Canadian wages. Canadian workers and Canada’s gov’t believed the East
Indians’ low wage tolerance would cause the same worker-displacement
problems that the Chinese and Japanese had caused.

How did displacement occur? Chinese labour contractors set the precedent
for cheap labourers in B.C. They underbid other contractors or arranged to
hire out individual Chinese labourers they imported. To obtain contracts
with employers, some of these Chinese contractors bid so low that they lost
money on the contracts they signed. To compensate, these contractors
required the Chinese labourers to buy food and supplies from them at prices
which ensured that the contractors would re-gain the money they had lost on
the labour part of their contracts. Some of these contractors became the
wealthiest people in B.C.’s Chinatowns.

Like modern snakeheads, Chinese labour contractors virtually owned their
labourers. The labourers who came to B.C. could never have afforded to pay
their fare from China to Canada and the Head Tax. The Chinese contractor
bought steamship tickets and paid the Head Tax for labourers on the
condition that the labourers would work for them. To make sure the
contractors got repaid, the contractors arranged with employers to have
Chinese labourers’ wages paid directly to the contractors every payday
until the Chinese labourers had paid off their debts. In the early years of
this system, it often took two years for the labourers to pay back what
they owed.
Many white labourers complained to both Royal Commissioners and to
individual politicians that this arrangement meant that Chinese labourers
were virtual slave labourers and unfair competitors. They said that these
imported workers were displacing them from their jobs or keeping wages low.
Many told of white workers who had had to leave the country because of
cheap labour. Others complained that the practice of importing contract
labourers had discouraged many real settler families (in contrast to single
male temporary workers from Asia) from ever coming to Canada. Many modern
historians have ignored these complaints and given their sympathy to the
Chinese, Japanese and East Indians.

The most dramatic example of potential displacement occurred in 1907.
Canada’s Deputy Minister of Labour, Mackenzie King, uncovered a Japanese
labour contractor’s plan to import up to 2000 Japanese labourers probably
to displace a large part of the CPR workforce of 5000 in western Canada.
Rumours about this plan (and another to displace five hundred coal miners
at a Dunsmuir-owned mine on Vancouver Island) had circulated in the
Vancouver area prior to the Sept. 7, 1907 Vancouver Riot. Contrary to what
the politically correct like to preach today about the cause of the riot,
these displacement contracts contributed significantly to that riot.

Also contrary to what some Sikhs contend today, it was not Sikh devotion to
the British Empire that resulted in Sikh interest in Canada. Instead, it
was a decline in steamship ticket sales to the Chinese (especially after
the $500 head tax in 1904) that caused the steamship companies to look to
India for replacement passengers. This is a clear example of the connection
between the KM incident and earlier cheap labourer incidents. Mackenzie
King discovered this when he conducted a Royal Commission in 1907 to find
out why about 12,000 Japanese, East Indians and Chinese had arrived in B.C.
in the first 10 months of 1907. At this time, the population of Vancouver
was about 60,000. Mackenzie King stated that such an influx caused
“consternation” in the Vancouver population.
The Royal Commissioners of the 1901 inquiry into Japanese and Chinese
immigration to Canada summed up their concern (and probable Canadian
concerns in 1907 and with the KM in 1914) in one major question: Does
Canada need these cheap labourers? The answer was a resounding “NO !”


The Komagata Maru (KM) incident was preceded by the Panama Maru incident of
late 1913. That incident helps to explain much of what happened in the Komagata
Maru incident 7 months later. The Panama Maru had docked In Canada with 56
East Indians on October 17, 1913. Most of the passengers had not lived in
Canada previously, but claimed that they had. They produced fraudulent
money order receipts, time cards, etc. to substantiate their claims.
Immigration authorities allowed 17 (those physically recognized to have
been here before) to land, but they detained 39 of the 56.

A Board of Inquiry looked into the case and ordered the 39 to be deported,
but litigious East Indians in Canada determined to make the Panama
Marucase a test case. Their lawyer, J. Edward Bird, appeared before
Dennis Murphy, but Murphy denied their claim. Bird then went to Chief
Justice Gordon Hunter, notorious for appearing drunk in court and a clear
embarrassment to the government. Hunter upheld their appeal on a
technicality, so most of the 39 were released. The remaining 4, who had
previously been ordered deported for medical reasons, escaped from
detention and could not be found.

The Panama Maru incident was a big embarrassment to the federal government.
It showed British Columbia that immigration bungling continued and that
much stronger measures had to be taken. Immigration authorities became
determined, if possible, to avoid the courts and the threat of escape from

Gurdit Singh, the man who organized the KM voyage, had enjoyed litigation
success in Singapore and was confident that he could repeat the success in
Canada. In fact, despite the warnings of British officials, he boasted to
authorities in Hong Kong (the port from which the KM departed for Canada)
that he would challenge the Canadian government in court and that after he
had succeeded, he would bring up to 25,000 labourers from India to Canada,
particularly to B.C. This was not just an economic threat, but also a
cultural one. (As a result of Canadian weakness in dealing with these
threats today, both have been realized in parts of B.C.) Later in Japan,
Singh boasted that 10,000 Indian troops (mostly Sikhs) would rebel if
the KMwere stopped from landing.
Significantly, in May of 1914, Canada was in the midst of a recession, with
very high unemployment. As Gurdit Singh would quickly discover, 1914 was
not a wise time to launch a test case for Sikh labourers.

In addition, both the Panama Maru and KM incidents had been preceded by
extensive Chinese and Japanese fraud:

A. The Chinese committed extensive fraud to avoid the Head Tax.
Essentially, the Head Tax was like a tariff. It tried to discourage cheap
Chinese labour from entering Canada. In cases where Chinese still wanted to
come, the Head Tax tried to neutralize the wage advantage Chinese labourers
had. However, in response to Ottawa’s generosity in giving re-entry
certificates to Chinese labourers who wanted to return to China for a
visit, many sold or loaned these certificates to Chinese in China who
evaded the Head Tax when they came to Canada.

Chinese fraud reached epidemic levels after the $500 Head Tax in 1904. In
1910-11, Justice Dennis Murphy conducted a Royal Commission into “Chinese
Frauds” . He found many: Chinese had stowed away aboard ships coming to
British Columbia; they claimed that they were businessmen (at that time
exempt from the Head Tax); they pretended to be sons of businessmen (also
exempt from the Head Tax); they impersonated others, etc. He also found
that the Chinese interpreter, who was employed to interview incoming
Chinese, was involved in the fraud and that he had abetted many to enter
Canada illegally. For details see

B. The Japanese also committed much fraud. In order for Japanese to receive
naturalization papers which were required to obtain fishing boat licences.
In the late 1890′s and early 1900′s, many Japanese had committed perjury
when asked to declare how long they had spent in Canada. (A minimum number
of years was required.) By 1900, this had resulted in Japanese fishermen
owning 45% of all gill-net fishing licences. By committing fraud, they had
become an economic force completely disproportionate to their numbers.
Their willingness to accept low fish prices caused considerable anger and
conflict with other fishermen.

In contrast to chaotic China, Japan had firm control of emigration from
Japan. (NOTE: Emigration from China and Japan was a Chinese and Japanese
labourer issue. Other Chinese and Japanese were exempt.) In the early
1900′s, Canada was able to negotiate agreements in which Japan either
forbade or severely limited Japanese labourers going to Canada. But, in
1907, a Japanese labour contractor company from Vancouver used its corrupt
influence to convince the Japanese government to give passports to Japanese
labourers to go to Canada.
When this fraud (and other illegal Japanese immigration from Hawaii) was
exposed, the Japanese government was so embarrassed that it was eager to
make amends. It responded by agreeing to continuous passage legislation
which required cheap labourers from Japan to start their trip to Canada
from Japan, their home country, not Hawaii. This legislation was applied to
India also. The Sikhs like to say they were singled out unjustly, but the
truth is that continuous passage legislation was a clear attempt to curb
cheap labour, reduce economic hardship for Canadian labourers, and to stop
immigration fraud.

All of this fraud, the displacement of Canadian workers and the apparent
inability of the federal government to end it combined in the decision to
refuse entry to most of the Komagata Maru passengers.
As one Vancouver Sun columnist (Daphne Bramham) has put it, there was
little difference between the Komagata Maru incident and the landing of
several Chinese ships off the coast of Vancouver Island in 1999. Both were
illegal landings and government officials were right to stop them. It is
absurd now for Canada to be apologizing to the Sikhs—just as it would be
for Canada to apologize to China 100 years from now for sending back most
of the Chinese aboard the ships that landed on Vancouver Island.

If some Sikhs want to play the apology game, let’s remind them of all the
refugee and immigration fraud some of them have recently committed (so well
demonstrated by the Laibar Singh case). Let’s also remember the turmoil
some of them have caused in Canada’s labour market as a result of
immigration, in our refugee system as a result of the notorious Singh
Decision, and in our legal system with the Air India bombing.

The major purpose of the demands of some Sikhs for a Komagata Maru apology
is to make Canadians feel that Canada is guilty of a crime. According to
these Sikhs, the only way Canada can compensate is to maintain or increase
current senselessly-high immigration levels.

The truth is that many Canadians think that if someone should be
apologizing, these people should be the ones to apologize to Canada. And
the best way they can do that is to stop making demands that Canada cater
to them.

The more sensible Sikhs should help them and Canada to achieve this goal.

[image: Ottawa Was Justified in Sending the Komagata Maru Back to
Ottawa Was Justified in Sending the Komagata Maru Back to

Tou may wish to order two booklets published by C-FAR Books on this matter:

__ The Komagata Maru Incident: A Canadian Immigration Incident
Re-visitedby Robert Jarvis. In depth study of Sikh conspiracy to sneak
illegals into
Canada and the brave Canadians who led the successful resistance, including
under cover agent William Hopkinson. $6.00 postpaid

__ H.H. Stevens: Canadian Immigration Reformer, Reconstructionist and
Canada Firster by Robert Jarvis. A young Conservative MP from Vancouver at
the time of the Komagata Maru incident, Stevens helped organize resistance
to the illegals. He later succeeded in pushing for legislation to severely
restrict Asiatic immigration which was swamping the tiny population of
British Columbia, He enjoyed a long political career and died in the 1970s
"an Asiatic exclusionist to the last." $7.00 postpaid.

__ The Workingman's Revolt and the Vancouver Rally of 1907 by Robert
Jarvis. More suppressed and forgotten history. A coalition of labour
leaders, conservatives and clergy held a huge rally of 20,000 people -- a
third of the population of the city - to protest the flood of cheap Asian
labour. The origins of the protest and its aftermath. $6.00 postpaid

You can order these booklets by mail and pay by cheque, VISA or money
order: C-FAR Books, P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3. CANADA. You may
also order by e-mail and send us your VISA number and expiry date.

Asia's Tainted Food
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 05:40
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Asia's Tainted Food
One of the costs of massive overpopulation would appear to be
widespread food adulteration - even where the source of that food is
considered a "sacred" animal: "Indians may think twice before gulping
down a glass of milk after the country’s food safety regulator found
most samples collected in a survey were either diluted or adulterated
with products including fertilizer, bleach and detergent. The study,
conducted this month by the food safety and standards authority of
India, found milk was adulterated with skimmed milk powder and
glucose, or, more shockingly, hydrogen peroxide, urea and detergent.
Hydrogen peroxide is used in bleach, while urea is commonly used in

'Consumption of milk with detergent may cause health hazards and
indicates lack of hygiene and sanitation in the milk handling,' the
regulator said in a report. 'Addition of water not only reduces the
nutritional value of milk but contaminated water may also pose health
risks.' A health ministry official declined to comment on the report.
India has long struggled with adulteration of food and milk by
unscrupulous traders. Almost 70 per cent of the 1,791 samples taken
nationwide were contaminated or watered down, according to the report.
Out of 33 Indian states, non-fat adulterants were found in all the
milk samples from West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. This adds to
concern about West Bengal’s faltering health and safety standards.
In December, an adulterated batch of bootleg liquor killed at least
125 drinkers in the eastern state. The deaths came a few days after a
hospital fire killed 93 people in the state’s capital Kolkata. New
Delhi fared worse than most states, with as many as 70 per cent of the
samples tainted. The western state of Goa and eastern state of
Puducherry conformed to the standards, with no indication of
adulteration in their milk." (Reuters, January 10, 2012)

[This article appears in the July, 2012 issue of the CANADIAN
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Married For A Minute
Written by Paul Fromm
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 05:17
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Married For A Minute

Over the "Canada" Day long weekend, a Calgary group is holding a
conference called The Power of Unity: Islam in a MultiCultural Canada.
"Abraham Ayache, chairman of the Muslim Council of Calgary, said the
conference is being organized to celebrate 50 years of Islam in
Calgary and is all about unity and celebrating multiculturalism. ... A
recent posting on the MCC website under the heading 'Ask the Imam'
seems to indicate that some of the organization's hired imams haven't
read the memo about cultural tolerance and unity. In answer to a
question by a single mother concerned about her children no longer
being obedient to her, an imam on the site wrote: 'You should instil a
hatred for this culture and its ways in the hearts of your children.'
He also wrote: 'It is haraam (forbidden) for you to give your children
free rein in forming friendships with the children of the
kuffaar.'Kuffaar, or kufir, is synonymous with infidel or nonbeliever.
Translation: the vast majority of Canadian society." (Calgary Herald,
June 7, 2012)

This recoiling from the dirty ways of the immoral infidel is a
trademark response wherever Islam encounters the wider world. But
apart from veiling and refusing to shake hands with women, what's it
like to be morally irreproachable? "In the Islamic Republic of Iran,
sex outside of marriage is a crime, punishable by up to 100 lashes or,
in the case of adultery, death by stoning. Yet, the purpose of a
temporary marriage is clear from its name in Arabic—mut'a, pleasure.
A man and a woman may contract a mut'a for a finite period of
time—from minutes to 99 years or more—and for a specific mehr
[payment, in the Farsi language], which the man owes the woman. ...
Remarkably, Iran's Shiite clerics not only tolerate sigheh [the Farsi
name for the contractual, um, union], but actively promote it as an
important element of the country's official religion. 'Temporary
marriages must be bravely promoted,' the interior minister said at a
clerical conference in [the holy city of] Qom in 2007. 'Islam is in no
way indifferent to the needs of a 15-year-old youth in whom God has
placed the sex drive.' Yet, the Iranian mullahs' efforts to
rehabilitate sigheh have met a stubborn core of
resistance—particularly from feminists, who decry the practice as a
kind of 'Islamic prostitution.' ... At the time of the prophet
Muhammad, in the late sixth and early seventh centuries, temporary
marriage was already common in Arabia, and many Islamic scholars
believe he recommended it in circumstances such as pilgrimage, travel,
and war. Most Shiites go a step further, maintaining that the practice
is endorsed by the Koran. The second caliph, Umar, banned temporary
marriage, but Shiites reject his authority because they believe he
usurped Muhammad's rightful heir, his son-in-law Ali. The Pahlavi
shahs, who ruled Iran until 1979, sought to delegitimize temporary
unions as backward, but after the revolution, the Islamic authorities
moved to reclaim the tradition.

In 1990, President Hashemi Rafsanjani offered a widely noted sermon on
the practice, emphasizing that sexual relations aren't shameful. He
encouraged young couples to contract marriages 'for a month or
two'—and to do it entirely on their own if they felt shy about going
to a mullah to register the union. Two decades later, Iran's Shiite
clerics continue to endorse temporary marriage as a sexual escape
valve. (Sunni variations on the theme are also on the rise throughout
the Middle East.) In an interview at his home in Qom, the conservative
ayatollah Sayyid Reza Borghei Mudaris offered a list of who might
benefit from temporary marriage: a financially strapped widow; a young
widow—'She answers her needs because if she doesn't, she will have
psychological problems'; a man who cannot afford a permanent marriage;
and a married man with domestic problems who needs 'a kind of
medicine.' ... While the ayatollahs see temporary marriage as good for
both sexes, feminists point out its lopsided nature: It is largely the
prerogative of wealthy married men, and the majority of women in
sighehs are divorced, widowed, or poor. Only a man has the right to
renew a sigheh when it expires—for another mehr [payment]—or to
terminate it early. While women may have only one husband at a time,
men may have four wives and are permitted unlimited temporary wives.
... Yet, women do derive some benefits from sigheh. Children born of
sighehs are considered legitimate, and entitled to a share of their
father's inheritance. In a permanent marriage, the family usually
negotiates a dowry on the bride's behalf; a woman entering a temporary
marriage sets her own terms. A temporary wife has no right to
maintenance or inheritance, but she also has fewer obligations than
her permanent counterpart—her duty to obey her husband encompasses
only sex." (Mother Jones, March/April 2010)

[This article appears in the August, 2012 issue of the CANADIAN
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