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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1920
(1920)

Japan,   pp. 1-48 PDF (16.5 MB)


Page 8

FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1920, VOLUME III
through the resort to certain legal subterfuges which have almost
frustrated the very purpose of the enactment. These evasions have
been accomplished through the medium of corporations, trustee stock
ownership, trustee land ownership, and the device of having native
infant children of Japanese parentage made grantees of agricul-
tural lands controlled and operated exclusively by their non-eligible
parents.
At the last session of the Legislature, held in the Spring of 1919,
further legislation against the Japanese was proposed. At that time
action was deferred mainly upon the advice of Secretary of State
Lansing, who cabled from Versailles explaining to our Legislature
that in view of the Peace Conference, then in session, at which Japan
was a participant, any Japanese legislation would be unfortunate
and strongly implying that it might seriously affect the result of the
Peace Conference. Again, California patriotically acceded for the
good of the whole country.
I took occasion at the same time to urge the Legislature of Cali-
fornia to defer drastic action until the State had acquired reliable
information on the subject through the medium of one of its impor-
tant commissions, the State Board of Control. My views, as ex-
pressed then, and from which I have had no occasion to recede,
were that the grave problem could not be effectually dealt with ex-
cept through the medium of the Federal Government, and action
by the Federal Government could only be secured by the presenta-
tion of reliable information.
I told the people of this State that upon the compilation of the
necessary information I should deem it my duty to urge such action
both by the State and Federal Government as the situation might
require and the facts warrant. The accompanying report is the
result of a painstaking search for the facts. In its cold, statistical
way, it tells graphically our story. The human side is untouched.
With this information officially presented to the people of our State,
we must seek relief.
In dealing with this problem, we cannot very well take precedent
out of the experience of the nation with the previous race question
which so bitterly aroused all the sectional feelings of our people
and led to the Civil War. There is one vital difference. The Jap-
anese, be it said to their credit, are not of servile or docile stock.
Proud of their traditions and history, exultant as they justly are
at the extraordinary career of their country, they brook no suggestion
of any dominant or superior race. Virile, progressive and aggressive,
they have all the race consciousness which is inseparable from race
quality.
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