Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894-1914 0198837399, 9780198837398

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Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894-1914
 0198837399, 9780198837398

Table of contents :
Cover
Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914
Copyright
Acknowledgements
Contents
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Note on Names and Style
Introduction
1: ‘The Englands of East and West’: Britain and Japan, Empire and Race, 1894–1904
Britain, Japan, and the ‘Far Eastern Question’
‘Outside the White Comity’: Race and Anglo-Japanese Relations
Imperial Entanglements: Japanese Expansion and the ‘Pacific Question’
‘As a colony, we cannot keep the Japanese out’: Australian Federation and Global Competition
Japan, Britain, and a ‘White Australia’
Conclusion: ‘The “Jap” is a very great deal more’
2: A War for Civilization: The Russo-Japanese War, 1904–5
‘A force of civilising progress’
‘The danger of the Yellow Peril depends on what we make of it’
‘Placing her at once in the position of a Great Power’: The Renewal of the Alliance
‘The only tolerated subject of conversation’: The War in the British Pacific
‘To swallow this race prejudice against the Japanese’: ‘White Australia’ Revisited
3: ‘The Inalienable Right of the White Man’: Contact and Competition in China
China after the Russo-Japanese War
Drawing the Local Colour Line: Britons and Japanese in China
‘These fiercely Asiatic Asiatics’
4: Empire and Exclusion: The Japanese ‘Immigration Crisis’
‘A civilisation more efficient than their own’
‘The fires of race hatred’: The Vancouver Riots
‘To brand their own race as inferior in the eyes of the world’: Canada’s Immigration Crisis
‘Fleeing the Star-Spangled Banner’: American Overtures
‘The danger of it is obvious’: British Imperialism and the Immigration Crisis
‘Great Britain would stand with the white peoples’: Mackenzie King in London
5: The Pacific Problem: Race, Nationalism, and Imperial Defence
Nationalism, Imperialism, and the Japanese ‘Threat’
‘One cannot draw the colour-line without a decent fleet’
The Arms Race and the ‘Race in Arms’: The 1909 Dreadnought Scare
‘It is the dread of the Japanese that is at the bottom of the matter’
6: Alliance and Empire: British Policy and the ‘Japanese Question’, 1911–14
The Alliance and Edwardian Geopolitics
‘Every colour to its own zone’
Selling the Alliance: The 1911 Imperial Conference
‘A movement which may dismember the empire’
‘The only thing for which Australia would throw over the Empire’
‘The immense service rendered by Japan . . . will have to be recognised’
Conclusion
Bibliography
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
Index

Citation preview

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Empire Ascendant

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Empire Ascendant The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914 CEES HEERE

1

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1 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Cees Heere 2020 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2020 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2019945423 ISBN 978–0–19–883739–8 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

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Acknowledgements A great number of people and institutions contributed to the conception, ­prep­ar­ation, and writing of this book. Much of the original research was made possible through the generous financial support of the British Association for Canadian Studies, the Dr Hendrik Muller Fund, the Fundatie Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude, the London School of Economics, the Royal Historical Society, the Japanese Studies programme at the Suntory and Toyota Centre for Economic Research and Development, and the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, which also offset the costs of image reproductions. I have incurred debts of a dif­ ferent kind to the archivists and librarians without whom little historical research of any kind would be possible, least of all a project such as this, which builds on archival materials spread out across three continents. Full acknowledgements are given in the bibliography, but special thanks are due to Jennifer Toews at the Fisher Library in Toronto and to Paul Horsler, my subject librarian at the London School of Economics. I am also grateful to those institutions that have made historical materials freely accessible to distant researchers in digital format. Australia’s Trove and New Zealand’s Papers Past were indispensable resources, as were the various iterations of Hansard cited in the bibliography. I also made extensive use of the digital repositories of Cornell University Library, the Library and Archives of Canada, and the Australian National Archives. I am grateful to my fellow travel­ lers, Benjamin Mountford, Jesse Tumblin, John Mitcham, and Graeme Thompson, whose insights sharpened my own throughout the writing of this book. Many colleagues and friends offered advice on the book or commented on the manuscript in its various incarnations. The greatest thanks are due to my doctoral supervisor, Antony Best, who saw potential in this project and helped nurture it to fruition. I have benefited from his support and insight in more ways than I can acknowledge. I am especially grateful to Tom Doherty, Justin Hart, Joanna Lewis, Graeme Thompson, Naoko Shimazu, Takahiro Yamamoto, and the three an­onym­ ous reviewers for Oxford University Press for their comments and ideas. My doc­ toral examiners, Carl Bridge and John Darwin, brought a kind but discerning eye to the book in an earlier stage. Jesse Tumblin and John Mitcham advised on its completion. I remain, as ever, grateful to Chai Lieven for his wisdom and support. My colleagues at the Roosevelt Institute, Dario Fazzi, Leontien Joosse, Damian Pargas, Giles Scott-Smith, Paul Brennan, Celia Nijdam, Nanka de Vries, Debby Esmée de Vlugt, and the interns who have presided over its magnificent library all provided moral and intellectual support during the final stages of writing.

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vi Acknowledgements Finally, I am indebted to the staff of Oxford University Press and its partners, and especially to Cathryn Steele for her patience and encouragement. Writing can be a lonely process, and it would have been still more so but for the company and forbearance of friends in London, the Netherlands, and further afield. I am especially grateful to Ece Aygün, Bastiaan Bouwman, Alexandre Dab, Elif Durmus, Oliver Eliot, Marianna Ferro, Dominika Gamalczyk, Scott Gilfillan, Jonas Fossli Gjersø, Anne Irfan, Jin Lim, Tommaso Milani, Anika Mashru, Arne Muis, Eline van Ommen, Nilofar Sarwar and Morten Fausbøll, Simon Toner, Max Skjönsberg, Wesley Stuurman, Yu Suzuki, and Takahiro Yamamoto. Above all, I have relied on the love and support of my family, Thijs, Albert, and Sophia Heere. This book is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Elze Heere-Bijlsma, who fostered my love for history in more ways than she ever knew.

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Contents List of Figures List of Abbreviations Note on Names and Style

ix xi xiii

Introduction1 1. ‘The Englands of East and West’: Britain and Japan, Empire and Race, 1894–1904

8

2. A War for Civilization: The Russo-Japanese War, 1904–5

46

3. ‘The Inalienable Right of the White Man’: Contact and Competition in China

78

4. Empire and Exclusion: The Japanese ‘Immigration Crisis’

100

5. The Pacific Problem: Race, Nationalism, and Imperial Defence

130

6. Alliance and Empire: British Policy and the ‘Japanese Question’, 1911–14

158

Conclusion194 Bibliography Index

199 217

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List of Figures 1.1. ‘Those Links of Kinship’, The Bulletin, 5 October 1901

40

1.2. ‘The Motherland’s Misalliance’, The Bulletin, 1 March 1902

44

2.1. ‘Regained!’, Punch, or the London Charivari, 11 January 1905

47

2.2. ‘Vote for the Conservatives, Who Gave You the Alliance’, 1905, BLPES, Coll Misc 0519-22

65

5.1. ‘The Audience on the Japanese Night at the Princess’ Theatre’, Punch [Melbourne], 24 May 1906

131

6.1. ‘That Alliance’, Punch [Melbourne], 20 July 1911. NLA Newspaper Collection

176

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List of Abbreviations AWM BL BLO BLPES CAPD CCAC CGEM CID CL/WDS CPD CRL CUL DUL/AG FRBL/JOPB ICS LAC LAC/WL LAC/WLMK LHC LTR ML NAA NCH NI NLA NMM NSWPD NZH NZPD PA SOAS SMH SPG TNA

Australian War Memorial, Canberra British Library, London Bodleian Library, Oxford British Library of Political and Economic Science Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates Churchill College Archives Centre, Cambridge The Correspondence of G. E. Morrison, Vol. I: 1895–1912, ed. Lo H.-M. (Cambridge, 1976) Committee of Imperial Defence W. D. Straight Papers, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY Canadian Parliamentary Debates Cadbury Research Library, Birmingham Cambridge University Library Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey Papers, Durham University Library J. O. P. Bland Papers, Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto Institute for Commonwealth Studies Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa Wilfrid Laurier Papers, Library and Archives Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King Papers, Library and Archives Canada Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, London The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, 8 vols, ed. E. E. Morison (Cambridge, MA, 1951–4) Mitchell Library, Sydney National Archives of Australia, Canberra North China Herald News International Archive, London National Library of Australia, Canberra National Maritime Museum, Greenwich New South Wales Parliamentary Debates New Zealand Herald New Zealand Parliamentary Debates Parliamentary Archives School of Oriental and African Studies Sydney Morning Herald Society for the Propagation of the Gospel The National Archives, Kew

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Note on Names and Style I have tried to render terms, names, and places from non-European languages into English using the transliteration systems most commonly in use today. Chinese names are given in Pinyin throughout, with the exception of Manchurian place names that feature in the original sources, and whose modern rendering often differs significantly. Here I use the contemporary name, followed by the modern one in brackets, e.g. Mukden [Shenyang], Port Arthur [Lüshun], and Newchwang [Yinkou]. Japanese names and terms have been rendered with macrons (e.g. ō, ū) retained as a pronunciation aide, except in case of well-known place names such as Tokyo (not Tōkyō). In keeping with regional custom, Japanese and Chinese names are given with the family name followed by the given name. This book deals extensively with late nineteenth and early twentieth century perceptions of Japanese ‘race’, and thus it reproduces terminology from its source material that may strike modern audiences as coarse or offensive. A work such as this, which highlights the centrality of racial ideology to British perspectives on their imperial system and the world it inhabited, must use the terms in which these ideas were expressed. For this, I ask the reader’s understanding. The late nineteenth century saw a shift in the mental geography of the British Empire, as India declined and the settler colonies rose to prominence in imperial­ ist discourse. As the English radical J. A. Hobson famously observed in 1902, a ‘curious blindness’ had descended on ‘the average educated Briton when asked to picture to himself our colonial Empire. Almost instinctively he visualises Canada, Australia, and only quite recently South Africa—the rest he virtually ignores’.1 It is with this caveat in mind that the book often uses the terms ‘colonies’ and ‘colonial’ to refer to the larger settler colonies, until 1907, when the more appropriate term ‘dominions’ becomes available. Similarly, it should be noted that con­tem­por­ary phrases such as ‘white Australia’, ‘the white colonies’, or even the ‘white empire’, denoted an aspirational self-identification rather than a material reality: all five of the post-1907 dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Newfoundland) contained large indigenous and immigrant populations that were to varying degrees excluded from membership of the colonial nation.

1 Hobson, Imperialism, p. 124.

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N RUSSIA

Sakhalin Harbin

Newchwang Peking

Mukden

Vladivostok

Port Arthur KOREA

JAPAN Osaka

CHINA

Tokyo

Shanghai

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Philippines

East Asia, 1895–1914

0 0

500 miles 500 kilometres

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Introduction Hurrah the day! hurrah the day! The East and West stand side by side. The land where shines the rising sun, And the land that knows no setting sun, In alliance their hands have joined. The alliance this day we celebrate, ’Tis a flag of peace raised for the world. ‘The Students’ Song’, Japan Times, 16 February 1902 On the evening of 14 February 1902, the staff of the British legation in Tokyo witnessed a great movement of lights coming towards them through the winter darkness. There were over a thousand of them: small oil-lanterns, carried by students of the Keio Gijuku, the capital’s oldest and most prestigious school of ‘Western learning’, who held them aloft in celebration of the Anglo-Japanese alliance that had been announced two days before. The parade had started at dusk, and proceeded through the streets of Tokyo to the applause of a growing crowd of spectators. First came a man-sized lantern, emblazoned with large kanji proclaiming eternal Anglo-Japanese friendship. Then followed the headmaster, Fukuzawa Ichitarō, whose father, Fukuzawa Yukichi, had founded the school in 1858 as an incubator for a modern Japanese elite. He rode on horseback and in uniform, ‘as commander-in-chief of the procession’, leading the student band as it played ‘Rule Britannia’ and a specially composed ‘Song of the Anglo-Japanese alliance’. Then followed the school’s ‘rank and file’: fifteen hundred boys, each carrying a lantern on a stick, marching and singing. ‘As they passed along the streets, the sky was fairly illuminated’, noted a correspondent for the Japan Times. ‘The effect was splendid.’1 At the entrance to the legation, the band launched into ‘God Save the King’, and the students let up a chorus of ‘banzai’ (or ‘ten thousand years’), while the British minister, Sir Claude Macdonald, looked down from the balcony with a look of ‘great satisfaction’. In the weeks that followed, further celebrations were staged all across the empire, from the southern port of Nagasaki (long Japan’s sole window on the West), to Shimonoseki, Osaka, Nagoya, and Kyoto, where thousands attended a ceremony in honour of the alliance at the

1  ‘Torchlight Procession of the Keio-Gijuku Students’, Japan Times, 16 February 1902. Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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2  Empire Ascendant Heian shrine. ‘The Japanese can hardly contain their delight at the new alliance’, one foreign observer noted. ‘It is unquestionably a triumph for them that the one power which on principle has abstained from alliances should now enter into an alliance, on terms of perfect equality, with the Japanese, who are of an utterly different race.’2 Japan could celebrate its alliance with Great Britain, the world’s leading im­per­ial power, as a moment of initiation—a sign that four decades after the country’s forceful ‘opening’ to foreign trade it had at last been admitted to the society of ‘civilized’ states. But for the British, the formation of the alliance represented an altogether more ambiguous reckoning with the altered circumstances of their ‘world-system’.3 The British nineteenth century had been an era of optimism, bolstered by imperial expansion, economic growth, and a borderline utopian belief in the transformative power of industrial modernity. The twentieth, by contrast, seemed poised to bring with it rivalry, conflict, and decline. The war in South Africa (1899–1902) had shaken confidence in Britain’s ability to compete in a worldwide struggle for ‘efficiency’ against an expanding cast of imperial rivals.4 Economically, Britain had ceded its manufacturing edge to the United States and Germany. In the Middle East, India, and China, its strategic position was under pressure from an expanding Russia. The ‘imperial union’ with the settler col­onies—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a unified South Africa— on which British imperialists had pinned their hopes for geopolitical survival, had failed to materialize. The Empire and the Century, a collection of essays published to mark the centenary of Trafalgar in 1905, struck a recessional note. ‘Will the empire last?’, one writer wondered. ‘Does it rest on permanent foundations, or is it only a political organism in a certain stage of decomposition?’5 Set against this gloomy picture, the rise of Japan offered a striking contrast. The speed and efficacy with which the Meiji state had adopted the hallmarks of modernity, ranging from telegraphs and railways to a centralized administration, a parliamentary constitution (1889), an industrializing economy, and a Westernstyle army, was without parallel in nineteenth-century Asia, though many sought to emulate its example.6 Following its successive military triumphs over China (1894–5) and Russia (1904–5), Japan became the first Asian state to re-join the society of ‘civilized nations’, whose membership had been practically confined to 2 Baelz, Awakening Japan, p. 154. 3  I borrow the term from John Darwin, The Empire Project, pp. 1–12; see also Howe, ‘British Worlds, Settler Worlds’, pp. 697–9. 4  For a contemporary example, see Anon., Decline and Fall of the British Empire; on the Edwardian ‘cult’ of ‘National Efficiency’, see Searle, The Quest for National Efficiency; Tonooka, ‘Reverse Emulation and the Cult of Japanese Efficiency’. 5  Moneypenny, ‘The Imperial Ideal’, p. 23; on ‘declinism’ see also Darwin, ‘The Fear of Falling’. 6  On Japan’s ‘Meiji revolution’, see Jansen, Making of Modern Japan; Ravina, To Stand with the Nations of the World; Tsuzuki, The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan; for a global contextualization see Darwin, After Tamerlane, pp. 219–94.

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Introduction  3 white Europeans. Even after 1900, Japan’s racial identity made it an international outlier. Thus as one observer wrote of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, London had been bold ‘to disregard all social, political and religious prejudice to the point of allying themselves with the youngest nation, really only half-civilised, heathen, and of the Yellow race’.7 Across much of the empire, the conclusion of the AngloJapanese alliance ‘had come as an immense surprise’, noted the British governorgeneral in Australia, ‘as there has always been a feeling that the electors would look upon a “yellow alliance” as something unnatural and distasteful’.8 The implications for global race relations, first signalled by the alliance, would be further clarified with the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War two years later. Japan’s ascendancy, as one British commentator put it in 1904, heralded the end of the ‘era of inequality of the races’, and the coming of a world where ‘white and yellow man must meet on an equal footing’.9 But there was the rub: would that world still accommodate British rule in India, the economic exploitation of China, or the exclusion of Asian immigrants from the self-declared ‘white men’s countries’ of the Pacific? Empire Ascendant explores the British encounter with Meiji Japan from the Sino-Japanese War (1894–5) until the outbreak of the First World War. In particular, it attempts to understand how contemporary perceptions of Japan’s Asian identity structured and complicated its integration into an international order undergirded by cultural and racial hierarchies. It is thus, in part, a history of the role of race in international relations. But it is also an imperial history, which explores how Japan’s rapid rise to ‘great power’ status resonated across a British imperial system that was itself in a state of profound flux. Historians have typ­ic­al­ly treated the metropolitan and colonial dimensions of the Anglo-Japanese relationship in separate compartments. By contrast, this book brings both together to reveal an interconnected story, in which settler-colonial dynamics in Australasia, Canada, or the China coast, where racial visions of Japan were formed and mobilized in their sharpest form, could interact, challenge, and conflict with diplomatic and strategic decision-making processes in London. In the process, it portrays an imperial system struggling to redefine its organization and purpose as it negotiated the geopolitical upheavals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this book, I explore the story of British engagement with Japan along the twinned arcs of race and empire to develop two distinct (though related) arguments. The first concerns the ambiguity of Japan’s international status as an Asian power in a world order dominated by white Europeans and their transatlantic progeny. Studies of Anglo-Japanese diplomacy have typically started from the assumption that both powers engaged one another on the basis of rational 7  Hippisley to Morrison, 9 March 1902, ML, Morrison Papers, 312/160. 8  Hopetoun to Barton, 14 February 1902, NLA, Barton Papers, MS 51/9/918. 9  Wilson, ‘Japan’s Trafalgar’, pp. 782–3.

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4  Empire Ascendant geo­pol­it­ical calculations, insulated from racial discourse: here, Japan and Britain are presented as equivalent strategic actors, enclosed within the universe of realpolitik.10 Yet such an analysis sits uncomfortably alongside the work of historians of Japanese foreign relations, who have long drawn attention to the Meiji elite’s growing disillusionment with the racial standards of the supposedly universal ‘civilization’ it was attempting to join.11 Recent studies on transnational formation of ‘whiteness’, moreover, have placed the Japanese experience in a broader setting by demonstrating how American, Australian, and South African politicians employed the spectre of Asian nationalism to construct an alternative vision of global order, structured by the imperatives of white supremacy.12 This book, by contrast, seeks to integrate these apparently conflicting perspectives by drawing attention to the ways in which Japan’s inclusion in the diplomatic world of the early twentieth century was complicated by perceptions of racial difference. British officials and commentators were acutely aware that their partnership with Japan crossed the international ‘colour line’. They understood (and often shared) the concerns voiced in foreign, domestic, and colonial quarters over entering into what its detractors called a ‘yellow alliance’. But they also came to appreciate their Japanese diplomacy as a means to manage these tensions, and ultimately, to keep the world’s leading Asian power safely tethered to the colonial order.13 Second, I argue that these tensions need to be understood in an imperial as opposed to a strictly bilateral frame. Here, the present work draws on an expansive literature that has highlighted the cultural, economic, and political interconnectedness of the so-called ‘British world’ that united Britain with its imperial diaspora. After a long period of neglect, historians have now begun to reintegrate the histories of the British settler colonies (notably Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) with the history of the British Empire.14 But what often remains missing from these accounts is an exploration of how these variegated connections could themselves act as independent channels for interaction

10  See here Nish’s two volume-study The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and Alliance in Decline; but also Lowe, Great Britain and Japan. Subsequent works have also highlighted the relationship’s cultural dynamics, see e.g. Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’; Iikura, ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Question of Race’; Hotta-Lister, The Japan-British Exhibition of 1910; Otte, ‘ “A Very Great Gulf ” ’. 11 See, for instance, Aydin, The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia; Hirobe, Japanese Pride, American Prejudice; Klotz, ‘Racial Inequality’; Shimazu, Japan, Race, and Equality; Suzuki, ‘Japan’s Socialization’. 12  A pivotal study here has been Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, but see also Atkinson, Burden of White Supremacy; Bright, Chinese Labour in South Africa; Schwarz, White Man’s World. 13  I draw inspiration here from the extensive literature on race in American foreign relations: see, for instance, Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line; Dower, War Without Mercy; Krenn, The Color of Empire; Vitalis, White World Order. 14  For the original rallying cry, see Bridge and Fedorowich, ‘Mapping the British World’. Key studies in the ‘new’ imperial history include Belich, Replenishing the Earth; Bell, Greater Britain; Darwin, The Empire Project; Magee and Thompson, Empire and Globalisation; Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence; Potter, News and the British World; Thompson, Imperial Britain.

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Introduction  5 between the British imperial system and the world beyond it.15 Significantly, the scholarly field that explicitly devotes itself to the study of Britain in a global context—diplomatic history—has been notably reluctant to take the ‘new’ imperial history in its stride. And the need for a broader conceptualization of British international relations is especially pressing in the case of Japan. Britain’s new ally stood apart from the European arena of ‘great-power’ politics—the traditional focus for diplomatic historians of the pre-First World War era. But it enjoyed direct and dense connections to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, for whom the expansion of Japanese trade, shipping, and emigration heightened awareness of Asia’s sudden proximity, while clarifying their own sense of themselves as international actors in ‘the main current of world politics’.16 The effects resonated throughout the imperial politics of the Edwardian era, as anxieties over a rising Japan inspired a surge of new demands for national self-assertion, from the cre­ation of a ‘white Australia’ to the parallel debates over the future political and economic orientation of a Canadian nation.17 Historians have typically narrated this process as a clash between the demands of the imperial connection on the one hand, and of white colonial nationalism on the other. It was certainly true that colonial anxieties over ‘Asiatic’ encroachment could generate a great deal of friction with the imperial bureaucracy in Whitehall. But at the same time, the growth of Japanese power underlined the colonies’ need for external protection—their ‘position of dependence on the strong arm of Great Britain’, as a future Canadian prime minister put it in the aftermath of the anti-Asian riots that convulsed Vancouver in September 1907.18 This awareness de­cisive­ly shaped the evolution of imperial politics during the long Edwardian decade that separated the South African War from the First World War. It heightened the urgency of dominion demands for a role in ‘imperial’ decision-making processes, particularly in the realms of immigration, defence, and foreign relations. More fundamentally, it moved colonial leaders to insist that their racial security be recognized as a legitimate imperial interest. Empire, they argued, had to be pressed into the service of whiteness. An analogous dynamic emerged among the British expatriate communities in China, where Japan’s rise similarly generated new claims on the deployment of imperial power. Taken together, these developments placed Japan at the centre of a set of wide-ranging debates on the prospects and purpose of an evolving imperial system.

15 An important exception is Mountford, Britain, China, and Colonial Australia, which posits Australia as a site of interaction between the British and Chinese empires. 16 Mahan, Interest of America in Sea Power, p. 162; ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, SMH, 14 February 1902. 17  On Australasia, see inter alia McGibbon, Path to Gallipoli; Meaney, Search for Security; Yarwood, Asian Migration to Australia; Walker, Anxious Nation. On Canada’s repeated ‘discoveries’ of the Pacific, see Chang, Pacific Connections; Price, Orienting Canada; Thompson, ‘Ontario’s Empire’. 18  King Diary, 18 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mf. 98.

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6  Empire Ascendant The Sino-Japanese War (1894–5), which opens Chapter  1, redefined the Anglo-Japanese relationship in three key ways. First, victory over China decisively reframed contemporary British estimations of Japan’s ‘civilization’, and highlighted its growing importance as a geopolitical actor. Second, the political in­stabil­ity that the war left in its wake (and which Britain’s European rivals quickly moved to exploit) greatly amplified the significance of Japan’s position, and lent further urgency to its incorporation into ‘international society’ on terms ­favourable to London. Third, the war also witnessed Japan’s coming-of-age as a maritime power, exemplified by the growth of trade and emigration after 1895, generating new connections to Britain’s colonies in the Pacific. These more intensive interactions between the two ‘island empires’ framed the context in which Britons began to reassess Japan’s capacity for modernity, a process out of which several rival discursive strategies emerged. At their most optimistic, British commentators reinvented Japan as the ‘England of the East’: a conduit for the spread of Western-style modernity in Asia and a natural partner in the defence of the regional order. But others came to emphasize its racial difference, evoking the spectre of a ‘yellow peril’ looming over European rule in Asia. In the British Pacific, in particular, the rise of Japan came to lend new urgency to the formation of a federated ‘white Australia’. The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) threw these contrasts into sharper relief. Japan’s spectacular victory over a European great power catapulted it into the upper tiers of the international system. The war was celebrated in much of the British Empire as a blow against its Russian rival. But it also aroused reinforced anxieties over the future of Europe’s collective hegemony in Asia. Chapter  2 explores these complications along three main vectors. First, it conducts a close study into the war’s portrayal in British public opinion, focusing on the efforts of pro-Japanese journalists to manage Japan’s public image and contain the spread of ‘yellow peril’ rhetoric. Second, it considers the conflicted perspective of the British government: while London was keen to display its willingness to ac­know­ledge Japan as an equal, officials were nonetheless anxious that the war was undermining Britain’s own racial prestige in Asia. Finally, the chapter again widens its scope to the wider British world, by showing how the war forced a recasting of the issue of Japanese immigration to Australia and Canada in light of Japan’s arrival on the main stage of global politics. The chapters that follow trace out the political and ideological ramifications of Japan’s rise across three distinct imperial settings. Chapter  3 focuses on China, where the impact of Japan’s growing military and economic heft was most immediately felt. For the British residents of the treaty ports along the China coast, Japan came to represent both an existential challenge to Britain’s regional hegemony and, in a more intimate sense, to the privileges of their own position. But it was the question of immigration that brought out the most glaring contrasts between Japan’s international status and the racial identity projected onto it. Chapter  4

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Introduction  7 hones in on the nativist backlash against Japanese immigration on the Pacific coast of North America in 1906–8. Its central focus is on the Vancouver race riots of September 1907, when a white mob attempted to expel Japanese and Chinese residents from the city. These clamours for a ‘white Canada’ forced the Canadian government into a careful balancing act as it attempted to reconcile the demands of the exclusion movement with its diplomatic and imperial obligations to Tokyo and London. In a broader sense, the chapter explores how the ensuing ‘immigration crisis’ forced the British and Canadian governments to confront the implications of a world divided by race. Chapter 5 shows how these ideas in turn came to inflect thinking on imperial defence in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. It explores how fears of a rising Japan were invoked and mobilized to reshape Australasian ideas of nationhood and empire. In particular, it examines several key episodes in which these efforts intersected with Britain’s own strategic priorities: the visit of the American ‘Great White Fleet’ to New Zealand and Australia; the ‘dreadnought scare’; and the subsequent Imperial Defence Conference of 1909. In the final chapter, these strands come together to form the imperial context for the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese alliance at the 1911 Imperial Conference. By this point, friction over China, immigration, and naval security had cast significant doubts over the future of Britain’s partnership with Japan, while also revealing the challenges of maintaining a unified foreign policy across a decentralizing imperial system. The result was a subtle but important shift in the alliance’s stra­tegic rationale: in an effort to win over the dominions, London now presented the treaty as a diplomatic guarantee for their racial security. Yet hopes that this would settle the ‘Japanese question’ as an imperial issue quickly proved elusive. In the years that followed, Canada further tightened its restrictions on Japanese immigration, while Australia and New Zealand confronted London over the insufficiency of the imperial naval presence in the Pacific. Once again, British ties to Japan became the subject of a broader conflict between metropolitan and colonial perspectives on empire, race, and the future of global politics.

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1

‘The Englands of East and West’ Britain and Japan, Empire and Race, 1894–1904

George Nathaniel Curzon began his Problems of the Far East (1894), the book that would establish him as an authority on foreign affairs, with a stern warning. ‘There will be found nothing in these pages’, he wrote, ‘of the Japan of temples, of tea-houses, and bric-à-brac—that infinitesimal segment of the national existence which the traveller is so prone to mistake for the whole.’ His would be a serious work of political analysis, undiluted by ‘aesthetic impressions’: a sober assessment of Japan’s industrial modernization, its constitutional development, its relations with foreign powers, ‘and the future that awaits her immense ambitions’.1 Already, Curzon noted, these were matters of vital concern to a British Empire whose prospects were intimately tied to the ‘prestige and wealth arising from her Asiatic position’.2 And they were bound to become more so in the century to come, as politics and technology drew ‘West’ and ‘East’ still closer together. Across the United States, Canada, and soon Russia, great transcontinental railways were reducing the travel distances between the Atlantic and the Pacific from weeks to days. The impending construction of an interoceanic canal across either Panama or Nicaragua would shrink the world still further. As the axis of world politics tilted towards the Pacific, Japan’s geopolitical role would expand accordingly. Its  ‘supreme ambition’, Curzon informed his readers, was nothing less than to become ‘on a smaller scale, the Britain of the Far East’.3 Curzon was not the first commentator to pair Britain and Japan together: as early as 1851, the writer Henry Morley had described the country—at that point, still closed off to most Europeans—as an ‘England in the Pacific Ocean’.4 Geography invited the comparison. Looking to Japan, Britons saw another archipelagic state, similar in size and population, that sat at roughly the same latitude on the other end of the Eurasian landmass. But by the early 1900s, they had come to see something else as well: a fellow ‘island empire’, industrious and progressive, whose rivalry with Russia mirrored their own struggles against Europe’s Continental monarchies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. While Curzon might not have taken the analogy quite so far, many others did. The Times effusively welcomed the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese alliance in February 1902 as the 1 Curzon, Problems, p. ix. 2 Curzon, Problems, p. 387. 3 Curzon, Problems, pp. 396–7. 4 Yokoyama, Japan in the Victorian Mind, p. 15. Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   9 combination of ‘the two Island Empires of East and West’ in a ­common cause.5 The North China Herald, the principal voice of the British trading communities on the China coast, listed the traits that bound the new allies together: Island empires both; born, bred, and nurtured within sound and sight of the ocean wave; blessed with a long and glorious history on each side; tenacious of right, and impatient of wrong; threatened by the same aggressor, and in many ways complementary to one another, was it not in the nature of things that these two should easily come to an understanding based on mutual need and mutual admiration?6

It was a remarkable reinvention. As Curzon’s own disavowal of ‘temples and teahouses’ attested, for much of the nineteenth century British images of Japan had tended towards the picturesque rather than the heroic.7 Visiting Japan at the height of the Meiji reforms in 1876, the Victorian writer-politician Charles Dilke had bracketed his approval for the spread of modern ‘English’ influences’ with an orientalist paean to the ‘elf-land’ that awaited him in the Japanese countryside.8 Dilke, at least, had taken an interest in Japan’s modernization—he already foresaw a day when the country would ‘be a useful ally. . . in the North Pacific’.9 But other visitors regarded Japan’s ‘imported’ civilization with barely veiled disdain. To the poet Rudyard Kipling, Japan was a ‘babu country’, ‘drunk on Western liquor’, that had ‘swapped its soul for a constitution’.10 It might be best, he half-jokingly proposed, to declare an ‘international suzerainty over Japan’, so as to remove the ‘fear of invasion’ and ensure that it ‘simply sat still and went on making beautiful things’.11 If modern Japan horrified Kipling, others (perhaps taking their cue from Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1882 operetta The Mikado) found it merely ridiculous. ‘The idea that Japan would ever be a factor in world politics was too absurd to contemplate’, one writer reflected in 1904. ‘Their role was to be absurd, and supply the suburbs with cheap decorations.’12 The outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in July 1894 marked a sharp departure in British policy as well as attitudes. Japan’s successive victories over its larger Chinese neighbour decisively altered contemporary estimations of its capacity for modernity. ‘[A]s if by magic’, wrote the president of London’s Japan Society, the war had revealed ‘a nation no longer in leading-strings’, but a rising world power, 5 [Editorial], The Times, 12 February 1902. 6  ‘Sympathy as Political Power’, NCH, 13 January 1905. 7 On Western images of Japan in the nineteenth century, see Lehmann, The Image of Japan; Yokoyama, Japan in the Victorian Mind; Henning, Outposts of Civilization; Pham, ‘On the Edge of the Orient’. 8  Dilke, ‘English Influence in Japan’, p. 443. 9  Dilke, ‘English Influence in Japan’, p. 432. 10  Cortazzi and Webb (eds), Kipling’s Japan, p. 179. 11  Cortazzi and Webb (eds), Kipling’s Japan, p. 56. 12 Sladen, Queer Things about Japan, p. xiii.

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10  Empire Ascendant confident in its claim to ‘civilization’.13 Curzon, who issued an updated edition of Problems of the Far East in 1896, agreed that that the war had been ‘seismic in its character and conclusions’. Defeat had exposed the ‘utter rottenness of the Chinese administration’.14 It had invited Britain’s Continental rivals—France, Germany, Russia— to challenge London’s political and commercial primacy by staking out  their own spheres of influence in China. Throughout the next decade, the ­instability of the Qing empire would overshadow ‘all other international issues’.15 In this volatile geopolitical context, the cultural condescension that had been so marked a feature of British commentary on Japan in an earlier era seemed increasingly out of place, and Curzon’s call for a more serious assessment of things Japanese was soon taken up by a range of other imperialist commentators. The patterns of engagement between the ‘two island empires’ grew wider as well as denser. The late 1890s saw a marked expansion of Japanese trade, shipping, migration, and diplomatic activity, bringing Japan in much closer contact with the British settler colonies in the Pacific. In western Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Japan’s rise reinforced a growing sense of geopolitical exposure, co­ales­cing with broader debates about the meaning and purpose of colonial nationalism in an age of imperial competition. But it also raised particular questions of diplomacy and race that sharply divided British as well as colonial commentators. Tested in war, Japan could now plausibly claim to be a ‘civilized’ state; but its racial difference remained to many an insurmountable obstacle to its inclusion in international society. It would be ‘wise and right’, one critic declared, for Europe to preserve its collective imperial project against the ambitions of the ‘Yellow races’.16 In the British Pacific, such anxieties came to cluster around older fears of Chinese immigration to organize a new racial geography of world politics, with at its centre, the perceived need to protect the white colonial nation from an encroaching Asia. This chapter traces how these civilizational and racial discourses intersected with political debate across two parallel but connected contexts: the conduct of British foreign relations in East Asia, and the construction of a federated ‘white Australia’ in the South Pacific.

Britain, Japan, and the ‘Far Eastern Question’ If Japan fascinated the Victorians for its aesthetic attractions, it was China that remained the focus of their commercial and political attentions. At the outset of the Sino-Japanese War, as Curzon later reflected, conventional wisdom had still favoured the Qing empire, whose ‘mighty millions’ were expected to ‘roll back 13 Diósy, New Far East, pp. 1–4. 14 Curzon, Problems (2nd edn), pp. vii–viii. 15 Otte, China Question, p. 2. 16  F. Greenwood, ‘The Immediate Future for Japan’, Pall Mall Gazette, 31 January 1898.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   11 [Japan’s] small island population into the sea’.17 To be sure, Britain had itself defeated the Qing with relative ease in 1839–42, and again (with French support) in 1856–60. But by the 1880s China had regained its footing to enter what appeared to be an era of national revival. Citing the urgent need for ‘self-strengthening’ in the face of foreign pressure, reform-minded officials had begun to overhaul the imperial bureaucracy, modernize the army, and reassert the Qing’s claim to regional pre-eminence. Under the stewardship of Li Hongzhang, the viceroy of Zhili and de facto foreign minister, China was able to outflank Japanese intrigues in Korea, hold off the Russian advance in the north, and resist French encroachments in Vietnam with a tenacity that surprised many European observers. These events seemed to confirm that, notwithstanding the internal problems of the Qing state, the axis of East Asian politics would continue to turn on Beijing. China’s sheer size and population, meanwhile, continued to invite speculation over its future role in global affairs. Writing in 1890, Dilke envisioned China as one of four potential ‘world-powers’ alongside Russia, the United States, and ‘Greater Britain’.18 Sir Robert Hart, the Ulsterman who had headed the Chinese maritime customs (a hybrid Qing institution entirely staffed by foreigners) was similarly preoccupied. ‘China will soon be a very powerful state’, he wrote to Lord Salisbury in 1885, and ‘the safety of England’s Indian Empire will eventually hinge upon England’s relationship with China’.19 The Sino-Japanese War ‘violently shattered’ these assumptions.20 Riven by problems of organization, discipline, and supply, China’s military power proved evanescent.21 Japan, by contrast, surprised Western onlookers by winning a series of striking victories. In the war’s first major battle on 15 September 1894, it routed a Chinese expeditionary force near Pyongyang. Two days later, in what Arthur Diósy later termed ‘the most significant naval action since Trafalgar’, it all but destroyed China’s Western-style navy near the mouth of the Yalu river.22 In the span of a week, one commentator declared, the Japanese military had burst China’s ‘reputation bubble’, laying bare what Curzon derided as the ‘stupendous and unimaginable ineptitude’ of Qing officialdom.23 Japan, by contrast, had revealed itself as a power capable of conducting an efficient, ‘civilised war’. At the war’s outset, the London Spectator had still professed itself unimpressed by Japan’s claim to represent the forces of progress against Chinese ‘barbarism’, noting that it would be a ‘mistake’ to ‘exaggerate the civilisation of the Japanese’ simply because they ‘wore top-hats’ and made ‘pretty fire-screens’.24 But following the victories at

17 Curzon, Problems (2nd edn), pp. 397–8; [Editorial], The Times, 24 July 1894. See also Paine, SinoJapanese War, pp. 138–9. 18 Bell, Greater Britain, p. 241. 19 Scott, China and the International System, p. 107. 20 Chirol, Far Eastern Question, p. 3. 21 Paine, Sino-Japanese War, pp. 165–96. 22 Diósy, New Far East, p. 1; see also Paine, Sino-Japanese War, pp. 192–5. 23  Knollys, ‘China’s Reputation-Bubble’, pp. 714–26; Curzon, Problems (2nd edn), p. 366. 24  ‘The War in the East’, Spectator, 4 August 1894.

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12  Empire Ascendant Pyongyang and the Yalu, it quickly changed its stance, now writing that Japan had ‘completely overturned’ all conventional ideas about the ‘immobility’ of the ‘yellow races’, demonstrating that it possessed ‘not only all the strength, but all the energy of a European Power’. Henceforth, ‘it must be reckoned with as if its ­people were white men’.25 Japan’s martial prowess, then, did not merely help to establish its status as a ‘civilized’ nation. For many observers, it also severed an oft-presumed connection between modernity and racial capacity. Its ascent ‘out of the dark ages to the forefront of civilisation’, wrote Reginald Brett (soon to become Lord Esher) had been a rendered all the more ‘marvellous’ by the fact ‘that the people of Japan are Asiatics, and closely allied by blood to some of the most backward races on the earth’s surface’.26 The revelation of the ‘new’ Japan unsettled geopolitical as well as cultural ­certainties. By the spring of 1895, its victories had cleared the way for a major re­order­ing of East Asian politics. The peace terms that it submitted to the Chinese negotiators at Shimonoseki (where the Meiji emperor resided for the duration of the war) showed just how well the Meiji elite had imbibed the lessons of imperial diplomacy. The treaty specified that China would agree to recognize the independence of Korea (the war’s nominal casus belli), compensate Japan for its expenses, and admit it to the trading privileges enjoyed by the European ‘treaty powers’. But it would also cede Taiwan, the Pescadores, and the Liaotung peninsula in southern Manchuria, along with its naval base at Port Arthur, to Japan in perpetuity.27 Such a drastic reorganization of East Asia’s political map would have unnerved European diplomats even if still more drastic changes had not loomed on the horizon. China might well decide it had no choice but to reject the terms, warned Britain’s envoy at Beijing, at which point Japan would likely attempt to force the question by marching on the Chinese capital.28 ‘What seems to me we have most to dread is the rapid & unimpeded success of the Japanese followed by the capture of Peking. The overthrow of the Dynasty, revolt in Manchuria & Mongolia & civil war in the Central Provinces . . . might well ensue.’29 In the event, it was Russia, supported by France and Germany, that moved first. On 23 April 1895, the three powers deposited an ultimatum to Tokyo: Japan was to relinquish some of its territorial claims, or risk war.30

25  ‘The War in the East’, Spectator, 29 September 1894. 26  Brett, ‘Far Eastern Question’, pp. 818–19. 27  See Beasley, Japanese Imperialism, pp. 55–68, for the formulation of Japanese war aims. ‘Port Arthur’ [Lüshun], was named after a British naval officer, Lt. William Arthur, who occupied the town in 1860 during the Second Anglo-Chinese War. 28  A course advocated by Yamagata Aritomo, Japan’s field commander. See Paine, Sino-Japanese War, pp. 247–9. 29  O’Conor to Kimberley, 22 November 1894, BLO, Kimberley Papers, MS Eng. c. 4396. 30  For the afterlife of the Triple Intervention in Japanese politics, see Shimazu, Japan, Race, and Equality, pp. 97–9.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   13 What passed into diplomatic history as the ‘Triple Intervention’ sounded the starting-gun for an escalating scramble over Chinese trading rights, naval bases, and railway concessions, as each of the major European powers staked its claim to the inheritance of the ‘sick man of Asia’. By 1898, all three of the intervening ­powers had laid out zones of commercial primacy: Russia in Manchuria, France in the south, and Germany in Shandong. Britain, meanwhile, expanded its lease on Hong Kong (into the ‘New Territories’), acquired the northern port of Weihaiwei, and declared its own sphere of influence in the Yangzi valley, the hinterland of Shanghai. Internal weakness and external rivalry had, practically overnight, made China’s future into a pressing international issue. Here were the makings of a new and ‘infinitely larger Eastern Question’, brooded Lord Rosebery, the Liberal prime minister (1894–5), ‘pregnant with possibilities of a disastrous kind’ that ‘might result in an Armageddon between the European Powers struggling for the ruins of the Chinese Empire’.31 In Beijing, Robert Hart saw his vision of an AngloChinese alliance disintegrate before his eyes. ‘China is paralysed’, he now lamented, ‘the Western powers are watching each other, half-afraid to move lest motion should bring on a general scrimmage . . . and Japan is developing her might and pushing on with growing plans, increasing ambition, and wonderful vigour’.32 Against the background of the ‘China question’, British policymakers also turned to reconsider their relations with Japan. Already before the war, a growing body of officials had argued that Japan’s achievements in the arts of commerce, industry, and government merited its recognition as a ‘civilized’ state.33 After stalling throughout the 1880s, Britain had, by 1892, agreed to consider Japan’s appeals to end the humiliating extraterritorial privileges imposed under the ­‘unequal’ treaty of 1858. By any objective measure, noted the long-serving Belgian envoy in Tokyo to his British colleague, Japan had clearly met the ‘standard of civilization’ as the term held meaning in international law. ‘Can one deny, that [Japan has] progressed since thirty years as no other country has done in so short a period?’ Its army was a match for most European nations. Its trade and industry were flourishing. It had adopted a parliamentary constitution, abolished torture, and it guaranteed freedom of the press and of religion. ‘Japan’s position is unique in Asia’, Albert d’Anethan concluded, ‘and many states in Europe, such as Spain, Portugal, les Balkaniks, Greece, and poor Turkey may justly envy it’.34 While many  officials continued to have reservations about Japan’s claim to ‘civilization’, Whitehall recognized that British interests were better served by facilitating Japan’s entry into the ‘comity of nations’ than opposing it.35 Britain now had to take account of the fact that Japan was now ‘the rising Power in the 31 Otte, China Question, p. 1. 32 Otte, China Question p. 49. 33  On the evolving definition of the term, see Gong, Standard of Civilization, pp. 14–15. 34  D’Anethan to Haggard, 9 February 1894, TNA, FO 46/445. 35  Gubbins to Bertie, 26 February 1894, TNA, FO 46/445. On the process of treaty revision, see Perez, Japan Comes of Age.

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14  Empire Ascendant East’, noted the prime minister, Lord Rosebery.36 Lord Kimberley, his foreign secretary, was prepared to go further: Japan would soon likely possess a ‘powerful fleet’ that would allow it to act as ‘a counterpoint to Russia’. A partnership with  Tokyo, Kimberley concluded, was the logical way to counterbalance the Franco-Russo-German bid for influence in China. ‘Our policy must be to make her our ally.’37 Not all were equally sanguine about the prospects for Anglo-Japanese co­oper­ ation. One notable sceptic was Ernest Satow, the British minister plenipotentiary in Tokyo. Satow cut a rare figure among the Victorian diplomatic corps: the son of a Swedish-German immigrant, he was originally recruited to the consular service as an interpreter, serving as a junior official in Tokyo for thirteen years and eventually becoming a noted Japanologist in his own right. Around 1870, unbeknownst to his superiors in London, he entered into a ‘common-law marriage’ with the then seventeen-year old Takeda Kane, with whom he fathered two sons, neither of whom he acknowledged publicly.38 If Satow’s personal relationship to Japan was complex and ambivalent, much the same was true of his views of the country’s international role. He was a sincere advocate of Anglo-Japanese friendship. But he entertained major reservations as to whether Japan’s politics (or indeed, its racial character) were suited to the role of a diplomatic ally. It was an open question, he wrote to a fellow orientalist, whether the country possessed ‘sufficient stock of physical strength’ to elevate it ‘beyond a third or fourth rate position’. The Sino-Japanese War, fought between two ‘Asiatic races’, could hardly be taken as its true measure, since defeating China was like ‘cutting through a mouldy cheese’.39 As for the notion of an Anglo-Japanese partnership, Satow plainly thought that ‘the days of alliances of European powers with the yellow race had gone by’.40 These views chimed with those of the new Conservative prime minister, Lord Salisbury, who during an earlier stint at the Foreign Office had derided Japan as a ‘mushroom civilization’, likely to ‘decay as rapidly as it has grown’.41 As Salisbury once again acceded to the premiership in June 1895, his views appeared to have changed little. Under his new instructions, Satow was told not to pursue a diplomatic arrangement with Tokyo (‘our strategic or military interests in Japan can easily be over-estimated’, Salisbury noted), and to concentrate on expanding British trade instead.42 Such remarks offered a testy reminder of the residual ambiguities that surrounded Japan’s international status. Many within the Foreign

36 Otte, China Question, p. 58. 37  Kimberley to Cavendish, 30 May 1895, BLO, Kimberley Papers, MS. Eng. c. 4396. 38  On Satow’s career, see Brailey, ‘Sir Ernest Satow’, pp. 115–19; Otte, ‘ “Not Proficient in TableThumping” ’, pp. 189–92. 39  Satow to Dickins, 18 April 1895, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/11/6. 40  Satow Diary, 6 January 1898, in Ruxton (ed.), Diaries, p. 227. 41  Otte, ‘ “A Very Great Gulf ” ’, p. 130. 42  Salisbury to Satow, 3 October 1895, TNA, Satow Papers. PRO 30/33/5/2.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   15 Office still baulked at the notion that British policy might have to reckon with the whims on an ‘Asiatic’ power, however ‘civilized’ it might think itself.43 But in the suddenly febrile atmosphere of East Asian diplomacy, other considerations loomed larger. The threat of Russian expansion in Asia had been constant factor in British imperial strategy throughout the nineteenth century. By the 1890s, the imminent completion of the trans-Siberian railway and its southern branch through Manchuria (the price Russia exacted for its diplomatic intervention in 1895) added new urgency to the new ‘Great Game’ in East Asia. Once the lines were completed, the Foreign Office warned, Beijing would ‘lie at the mercy of a trainful of soldiers’, and St Petersburg would be in a position to back up its Chinese diplomacy by ‘overwhelming military force’.44 Russia entrenched in northern China, its French ally in the south, and the Qing a virtual protectorate, poised on the flanks of India—this was the nightmare scenario that London was determined to avert. It was in this context that members of the Salisbury government began, tentatively, to entertain the idea of incorporating a partnership with Tokyo into a broader strategy of containment. When the German occupation of Qingdao in 1898, and the subsequent Russian seizure of Port Arthur, spurred Britain to acquire its  own lease on the nearby port of Weihaiwei, it took care to coordinate its move with Japan, which had occupied the port since the end of the Sino-Japanese War. Faced with the prospect that Russia might seize the pretext of the Boxer Rising in 1900 to occupy Beijing, London repeatedly pressed Japan to send its own expeditionary force to China, pledging up to a million pounds to cover the costs.45 In the spring of 1901, following the revelation that Russia had pressed China into further concessions in Manchuria, Salisbury himself contemplated an Anglo-Japanese naval pact to cover the northern Chinese littoral.46 London’s eventual decision to pursue an alliance with Japan emerged out of a constellation of strategic, financial, and political factors: the need to contain Russian expansion in northern China; the fiscal burdens of the South African War; the escalating naval competition with France and Russia; and the reluctance of the Salisbury government to commit itself to a European alternative (Arthur Balfour, Salisbury’s nephew and his anointed successor, had advocated joining the Triple Alliance instead).47 Yet it also reflected a subtler shift in British attitudes towards Japan’s place in the international system. Foreign Office mandarins still waxed sceptical about whether an ‘Oriental’ power could be regarded as a reliable partner.48 But on the whole, the Far Eastern crises had accustomed London to the

43  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, pp. 172–4; Otte, ‘ “A Very Great Gulf ” ’, pp. 130–42. 44 ‘Note on Affairs in China’, H.  Bower, 18 July 1898, TNA, FO 405/341. See also Otte, China Question, pp. 74–132; Darwin, Empire Project, pp. 80–3; 45 Nish, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, p. 91. 46 Otte, China Question, p. 243. 47  On the British rationale, see Nish, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, pp. 143–62; Otte, China Question, pp. 286–310. 48  Bertie to Lansdowne, 21 July 1901, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 88906/22/24.

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16  Empire Ascendant habit of thinking about Japan as a sovereign actor in the concert of powers. Curzon’s disavowal of ‘temples, tea-houses, and bric-á-brac’ echoed throughout the growing body of commentary on East Asian affairs after 1895. Thus in his Peoples and Politics of the Far East (1895), the journalist and Liberal MP Henry Norman scorned previous writers for failing to take Japan seriously, and drew his own readers’ attention to how the Meiji state had established itself as ‘a nation whose army and navy may meet those of contemporary Europe on equal terms’, and ‘whose colonising strength suggests more than one alteration to the map of Asia’.49 The writer Archibald Colquhoun similarly predicted Japan would be a ‘mediating factor of great influence’ in what he foresaw would be the climactic struggle between ‘Slav’ and ‘Anglo-Saxon’ for supremacy over China.50 And whereas before the Sino-Japanese War, the editor of The Times had doubted whether Japan was ‘sufficiently civilised to deserve our correspondents’, by 1897 the paper established a network of permanent East Asian correspondents in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing.51 Its new foreign editor, Valentine Chirol, was especially determined to expand the paper’s coverage of East Asian affairs. Journalism, he wrote to George Morrison, who would become his star correspondent, would render the ‘Far Eastern Question’ to the public in a ‘concrete shape’, and force the country to realize ‘it is one which we may have to fight for and is worth fighting for’.52 The emergence of East Asia as a new fulcrum for imperialist commentary stimulated a new appreciation for Japan’s potential as a proxy for British policy. ‘I believe that, so far as the interests of various countries can be the same, those of Great Britain, the United States, and Japan are, and must be, for many years to come, identical . . . for those three Powers are alone in disapproving of the dismemberment of China, and in respecting international law in that part of the world’, argued the Morning Post correspondent Stafford Ransome in his Japan in Transition (1899), a systematic deconstruction of various ‘popular misconceptions’ of things Japanese.53 In his own Far Eastern Question (1896) Chirol noted that the ‘Island Empires of East and West’ had a common interest in resisting Russia’s advance in north-east Asia, and would ‘travel along a parallel paths’ in their foreign affairs.54 Norman agreed that Japan’s ‘commercial’ (as opposed to territorial) interests in China made it a natural partner for Britain. ‘As an ally, Japan would be faithful, brave, and powerful; and the Anglo-Japanese alliance would impose peace and offer freedom of trade.’55 The Japanese, wrote the sailor-politician Admiral Charles Beresford, who conducted a tour of East Asia on behalf of the

49 Norman, Peoples and Politics, pp. 375–6. 50 Colquhoun, China in Transformation, pp. vii–viii. 51  Best, ‘Alliance in Parallel’, pp. 1–2. 52  Chirol to Morrison, 24 February 1898, CGEM, p. 72; see also Pearl, Morrison of Peking. 53 Ransome, Japan in Transition, pp. xiv–xv, 238–49; for a parallel reappreciation unfolding in the United States, see Henning, Outposts of Civilization, pp. 137–64. 54 Chirol, Far Eastern Question, p. 151. 55 Norman, Peoples and Politics, p. 400.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   17 London chambers of commerce, were a ‘plucky and progressive race’, ‘the British of the Far East’, who ‘deserve all our sympathy and respect’.56 If the Japanese could be reinvented as ‘honourary Britons’, it was even possible to imagine the alliance as a link in a broader progressive coalition that also included the United States. British commentators had widely hailed the American annexations of Hawaii and the Philippines in 1898 as a welcome reinforcement of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ power in the Asia-Pacific.57 Many hoped that the ‘China question’, in which British and American interests were deemed to be similar, might now serve as forcing-house for further cooperation. China, Colquhoun wrote, was the ‘great undeveloped estate’ that the ‘Anglo-Saxons’ would ‘leave to their everincreasing offspring’.58 Charles Dilke similarly hoped to see great ‘Anglo-American interests . . . entwined together in the heart of China’.59 These hopes drew deeply from a racialized moralism that portrayed Britain and the United States as the natural guardians of liberty, modernity, and international order. In East Asia, this implied a joint commitment to the ‘territorial integrity’ of China and Korea, and the preservation of an ‘open door’ for commerce, Christianity, and civilization.60 Japan could be tentatively incorporated into this discourse, both as a product of Anglo-Saxon modernity (it had been an American squadron, after all, which had ‘opened’ the country in 1853) and its converted missionary in Asia. ‘Implicit in the reception given by the people of this country to the Anglo-Japanese alliance’, the journalist Sydney Brooks perceptively observed in 1902, ‘there has lain the assumption that the United States is, in some sort, a third party to it’.61 As he introduced the treaty in the House of Commons, Lord Cranborne, the undersecretary for foreign affairs, pointedly noted that the alliance embodied ‘the two ­elements of English policy in the East’ that most aligned with American interests: ‘the maintenance of the open door and the territorial integrity of China’. It enjoyed the ‘full approval’ and the support of the United States.62 To be sure, reimagining the alliance as an ‘Anglo-Japanese-American entente’ (as the New York Times put it) far outstripped the true extent of Washington’s cooperation.63 Official hopes that the United States might ‘attach’ itself to the treaty as a ‘sleeping partner’ proved elusive.64 But these furtive glances across the Atlantic also served another purpose. By presenting the treaty as an expression of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ pol­icies in East Asia,

56  Cited in Otte, ‘ “A Very Great Gulf ” ’, p. 140. 57  On ‘Anglo-Saxonism’, see Anderson, Race and Rapprochement; Kramer, ‘Empires, Exceptions, and Anglo-Saxons’; Bell, ‘Project for a New Anglo Century’. 58  Colquhoun, ‘The Far Eastern Crisis’, p. 524. 59  Dilke, ‘America and England in the Far East’, p. 562. 60  The phrase itself, though commonly associated with American policy, was coined by Salisbury’s chancellor, Michael Hicks-Beach. See Cullinane and Goodall, The Open Door Era, pp. 18–19. 61  Brooks, ‘America and the Alliance’, p. 555. 62  Cranborne, 13 February 1902, Hansard, 4th Series, HC, vol. 102, c. 1287. 63  ‘Russia’s Defiance’, New York Times, 9 May 1903. 64  Memorandum by Bertie, 27 December 1900, TNA, FO 405/346.

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18  Empire Ascendant the alliance’s advocates could turn racial ideology to their own advantage. Even in Australia, one party leader could memorably welcome the alliance as ‘another great advance and an important stride towards . . . the ultimate fusion of the Anglo-Saxon race’.65

‘Outside the White Comity’: Race and Anglo-Japanese Relations International relationships can acquire their own mythologies, giving them a sense of historical rootedness amid the flux of political events. The AngloJapanese alliance was no different. Once created, it needed a history, and British commentators readily supplied one by presenting the union of the ‘two Island Empires’ as the ‘natural fruit’ of decades of engagement and tutelage.66 In this interpretation, Britain appeared as the stern but benevolent teacher that had ‘opened’ Japan to the blessings of commerce and civilization, shepherding it into the ‘comity of civilized states’.67 But this reinterpretation, designed to smooth over the cultural and racial differences in the alliance, did not go uncontested. Many still remembered the mutual distrust that had marred Britain’s relationship to the Tokugawa bakufu in the 1850s, or the anti-foreign outbursts (the so-called sonnō jōi, or ‘revere the emperor, expel the foreigner’, movement) that had preceded the fall of the shogunate in 1868. British merchants in the Japanese treaty-ports ­continued to argue well into the 1890s that their extraterritorial rights were a ­necessary protection against a potentail relapse into ‘Asiatic barbarism’. Japan’s ‘Oriental’ qualities continued to fascinate British writers, many of whom encouraged their readers to think of its modernity as transplanted and alien: a ‘mask’ or ‘veneer’ of civilization that overlay an ‘Asiatic’ essence.68 The Sino-Japanese War imposed a new political logic on these ideas: whereas to some, Japan’s military efficiency proved its civilized status, an equally vocal body of opinion argued for the dur­abil­ity of racial and cultural barriers, and stressed the dangers that a rising Japan might pose to European supremacy in Asia. One event in particular served to focus European minds. On 21 November 1894, Japanese forces had captured Port Arthur, the Chinese naval fortress on the Liaotung peninsula, after a siege of less than a day. As the Japanese entered to obtain the surrender of the estimated 12,000 Chinese soldiers remaining in the fort, they came upon the sight of the mutilated bodies of Japanese prisonersof-war. They retaliated by setting on the Chinese soldiers, as well as the town’s civilian population, with rifles and bayonets. ‘The massacre at Port Arthur’ went 65 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 117. 66 [Editorial], The Times, 13 February 1902. 67  Note, for example, ‘The Situation’, NCH, 15 January 1904. 68  Pham, ‘On the Edge of the Orient’.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   19 on for four days, in full view of several British and American war correspondents, who relayed the ‘epidemic of brutality’ in graphic detail. ‘I saw scores of Chinese hunted out of cover, shot down, and hacked to pieces’, Thomas Cowen, the war correspondent for The Times, testified after leaving the city.69 Cowen, who had been was hitherto impressed by the Japanese army’s regard for the mores of ­‘civilized’ warfare, was shocked to his core: I could hardly believe my eyes, for, as my letters have shown, the indisputable evidence of previous proceedings had filled me with admiration of the gentle Japanese. So I watched intensely for the slightest sign of cause, confident that there must be some, but I saw none whatever. If my eyes deceived me, others were in the same plight; the military attaches of England and America . . . were equally amazed and horrified. It was a gratuitous ebullition of barbarism, they declared, a revolting repudiation of pretended humanity.70

Cowen was uncertain of the total death toll, but convinced it ran well into thousands.71 The Japanese foreign ministry hurried to contain the reputational damage: on his return to Japan, Cowen was received by the foreign minister, Mutsu Munemitsu, who ascribed the events at Port Arthur to a breakdown in military discipline, and assured him that the army would conduct a full inquiry. The intervention appeared to have had its desired effect: two weeks later, after ‘mature reflection’, Cowen made allowances for the psychological strains of the war, and concluded the Japanese troops could ‘hardly be blamed very much if they do allow revenge to reach extreme lengths’.72 Other papers omitted the episode al­together: The Speaker hailed the capture of Port Arthur as a victory, ‘carried out in fine style’, and even wrote that the Japanese army had ‘most judiciously’ allowed the bulk of the Chinese army to escape, so as not to be ‘encumbered’ by prisoners.73 To have the killing of unarmed civilians excused as a momentary lapse of ­dis­cip­line was a privilege usually reserved for white troops fighting in a colonial setting. Japan’s diplomats, noted one American commentator, ‘had read up on Andersonville, Libby Prison, Fort Pillow, Wounded Knee, the British cruelties in India and Africa, the Russian record, and they were ready to compare notes with civilized armies on the subject of cruelty in war’.74 But Japan’s critics would remember ‘Port Arthur’ as a violent manifestation of racial essence. One eyewitness, the British naval commander Sir Edmund Fremantle, found his ‘profound distrust of the Japanese’ confirmed in this act of ‘simple butchery’.75 Japan, he

69 White, War in the East, pp. 597–601. 70 White, War in the East, pp. 597–601. 71  See Lone, Japan’s First Modern War, pp. 142–63. 72  ‘The Port Arthur Atrocities’, The Times, 1 February 1895. 73  ‘Port Arthur’, The Speaker, 1 December 1894. 74 White, War in the East, p. 607. 75  Trench to Kimberley, 20 December 1894, TNA, FO 46/438.

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20  Empire Ascendant wrote to his superiors at the Admiralty, had revealed itself to be an inherently aggressive nation, which had brought on the war with China to try its ‘new toys of Army and Navy . . . They make use of their knowledge of Western ways & habits of thought to take us in, and laugh in their sleeve at the way in which their Oriental cunning an astuteness has humbugged us’.76 Fremantle insisted that the Japanese were ‘quite unscrupulous’ and ‘emphatically not to be trusted’.77 This sentiment resonated widely in British diplomatic and military circles in East Asia, affecting, among others, Satow’s predecessor as minister in Tokyo, the Anglo-Dutch aristocrat Power Henry le Poer Trench. Having seen his brief tenure (1893–5) over­shadowed by the Sino-Japanese War, Trench left Tokyo disgusted with Japan’s ‘jingoism’, its ‘national vanity’, and its ‘insatiable craving to pose conspicuously, and assert [itself] in the face of the world’.78 As Trench ominously noted in one despatch, the tone of the Japanese press presented a very different picture of its expansionist ambitions than the moderate noises made by its diplomats abroad. ‘Nothing less than the conquest and absorption by Japan of the entire Chinese Empire is now freely spoken of . . . Why, it is often said, should Japan not conquer and retain China as part of her dominions precisely as England has done India?’79 At its most extreme, this vision of racial antagonism took on the form of what became known as the ‘yellow peril’. The phrase was coined in Germany shortly before the Sino-Japanese War, but seared into Europe’s public consciousness when it was taken up by the German emperor, Wilhelm II, for whom the ‘peril’ would remain a lifelong obsession. The need for pan-European solidarity in the face of a rising Asia would famously inspire the Kaiser, in 1895, to commission a painting that showed the nations of Europe standing behind the archangel Michael as the latter pointed towards a menacing thundercloud containing a dragon and an image of the Buddha.80 He subsequently presented copies of the painting to his fellow monarchs, ordered its display on German warships, and even conducted some of his personal correspondence on postcards bearing its image. It was enough to give the ‘yellow peril’ a whiff of the ridiculous. But the racial fears that had inspired Wilhelm’s idée fixe were widely shared in European political and intellectual circles. Beginning with the Sino-Japanese War, British writers, too, began to allude pointedly to a Japanese ‘danger’, often in terms that echoed the Kaiser in his more bombastic moods. Thus the conservative journalist Frederick Greenwood took to the Pall Mall Gazette in 1895 to denounce the idea of an alliance with a  ‘yellow race’ as ‘intolerable’, ‘appalling’, and ‘unspeakably barbarous’. Any European nation that concluded such a treaty, Greenwood fulminated, would 76  Fremantle to Spencer, 4 September 1894, BL, Spencer Papers, Add. MS 77393. 77  Fremantle to Spencer, 21 August 1894, BL, Spencer Papers, Add. MS 77393. 78  Trench to Kimberley, 7 September 1894, TNA, FO 405/60. 79  Trench to Kimberley, 16 November 1894, TNA, FO 46/438. 80  On the ‘peril’ in Germany, see Hollwitzer, Die Gelbe Gefahr, pp. 42–6; Iikura, ‘The “Yellow Peril” ’, pp. 80–97.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   21 make itself a ‘traitor to the welfare of the whole of the human race’—indeed, the rise of ‘these exterminating peoples’ represented such a danger to European supremacy that Britain would have to join with the Continental powers ‘to repress the adventure of the yellow races and keep it down’.81 Greenwood’s views might have languished at the edges of political discourse, but his claim that partnership with Japan betrayed an unspoken rule of white racial solidarity was to surface repeatedly before (and after) the formation of the alliance. Events in East Asia brought these fears into clearer focus. In the summer of 1900, a popular insurgency against foreign commercial and missionary interests in China (commonly referred to in the West as the Boxer Rising) swept into Beijing, demanded the backing of the Qing court, and laid siege to the capital’s foreign legation quarter. The crisis presented London with an acute dilemma. Seized with rumours of a massacre—The Times fanned the flames by publishing speculative obituaries of prominent Britons in the Chinese capital—popular opinion demanded a response. Britain could ill afford to allow another power (least of all Russia) to use the crisis as a pretext for a march on Beijing. But with most of the British army tied up in South Africa, and imperial resources stretched thin, London preferred to let Tokyo take the lead. ‘Surely we must run [the] Japanese as a counterpoise to Russia’, noted one cabinet minister, ‘if we are to boss the show.’82 Japan eventually supplied nearly half of the troops that made up the eight-power coalition force that took Beijing in September. The spectacle of Japanese soldiers (‘looking very dapper in their white uniforms’) leading the forces of ‘civilization’ against the Boxers made for potent symbolism, and went a long way to dispel fears that Japan would set itself against European interests in Asia.83 The Times welcomed Japan as ‘a young and vigorous recruit to the Concert of Civilisation’.84 Two years later, when presenting the alliance to parliament, Cranborne would recall how Japan’s actions during the Boxer emergency had ‘earned [it] the gratitude of all of Europe’, and demonstrated ‘the remarkable ­progress which Japan has made in the ways of civilisation and in its ascent to the rights and responsibilities of a Western Power’.85 But if for many the Boxer crisis confirmed Japan’s ascent to ‘civilized’ status, it also underlined the tensions brought out by the inclusion of an Asian state in an international order predicated on colonial rule and racial hierarchy. In July 1900, when the prospect of a Japanese expedition to China was first aired in the London press, a series of commentators sounded the alarm over what they perceived to be a troubling betrayal of racial solidarities. Another old Japan hand, the former diplomat Algernon Freeman-Mitford, acidly remarked in The Times that, but a few decades ago, Japan had been ‘murdering foreigners with as wild a fanaticism and 81  Greenwood, ‘Wilful Isolation of England’, pp. 847–52. 82 Otte, China Question, p. 185 83 Lynch, War of the Civilisations, p. 64. 84 [Editorial], The Times, 7 July 1900. 85  Lord Cranborne, 13 February 1902, Hansard, 4th series, HC, vol. 102, cc. 1287–8.

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22  Empire Ascendant as unreasoning a cruelty as China’. Beneath their ‘veneer’ of civilization, Mitford insisted, the Japanese still shared ‘the dream of every Asiatic’: to ‘drive the hated white man out of Asia’.86 London might find Japan a useful catspaw in China, but its reliance on Japanese troops risked doing irreparable damage to European racial prestige. ‘[G]ive Japan a foothold on the Asian continent’, Mitford warned, ‘and you will have given shape and substance to that yellow terror . . . of the German emperor’s too prophetic nightmare’. Commentaries in the Pall Mall Gazette and the Spectator similarly agonized that the Boxer emergency might hasten Japan’s ‘mastery’ over China: Do our contemporaries understand what that means? It means that a pagan Power of the highest efficiency in utilising modern science, and capable of a massacre like that of Port Arthur, [would obtain] the control of the whole yellow race—that is, of at least four hundred millions of men, all capable of discipline, all penetrated with hatred of the insolent white, with resources probably as great as those of Europe, and with an ambition as limitless as that of any previous Great Power. What is to stop their rolling over Asia as Jenghiz Khan [sic] did, rending India . . . from our grasp, or planting themselves in Constantinople, thence to threaten the European world.87

These same critics were still around to denounce the Anglo-Japanese alliance two years later. To be sure, not all those who criticized the treaty did so on racial grounds: some Liberal organs, such as the Daily News and the Speaker, pleaded a  general opposition to military alliances, and warned that the treaty would heighten friction with Russia.88 Yet others explicitly challenged the wisdom of tying Britain’s imperial fortunes to an ‘Asiatic’ power. ‘[W]e cannot forget that the Japanese are an Oriental nation’, the Spectator noted in its editorial on the alliance. ‘Their ways are not our ways, nor their hopes and aspirations ours’. Japan was ‘too recently civilised’ to be trusted as an ally.89 In an echo of the debate over the deployment of Indian troops during the South African War, there was much ag­on­iz­ing, too, over the prospect that the alliance would see ‘Asiatic’ soldiers fighting on Britain’s behalf against fellow Europeans.90 Abandoning its usual editorial restraint, even The Economist sounded a note of racial alarm. By allying itself with a power outside the ‘white comity’, it warned, Great Britain quits decidedly and finally that unwritten alliance of all white Powers against all coloured races, which has been maintained for so many years, 86  A. B. Freeman-Mitford, ‘Japan and the Chinese Crisis’, The Times, 12 July 1900. 87  ‘The Danger from Japan’, Spectator, 14 July 1900; see also E.  A.  Brayley Hodgetts, ‘The Yellow Menace’, Pall Mall Gazette, 14 July 1900. 88  Daniels, ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the British Press’, pp. 4–13. 89  ‘The Alliance with Japan’, Spectator, 15 February 1902. 90  S.H.R., ‘The Alliance Between England and Japan’, Manchester Guardian, 21 February 1902.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   23 and through which alone the supremacy of Europe over Asia and Africa can finally be established.91

The notion that the alliance threatened to subvert the racial order of world pol­it­ ics was thus present at the creation. But its strategic imperatives—the growth of Russian power in north-east Asia; the danger of a further ‘scramble’ for Chinese territory; and the need to curtail Britain’s runaway naval expenditure—amply justified, for most commentators, a break with diplomatic precedent. The ‘British people’, one author declared, ‘must be prepared to turn a deaf ear to the antipatriots and Russophiles, who will declare that the Japanese are not white men, are not Europeans . . . Sentiment will be worked for all that is worth: it must be disregarded’.92 ‘Racial difference is forgotten’, noted the Conservative MP and naval writer John Colomb, ‘in our appreciation of the obvious practical advantages we obtain.’93 Diplomacy could be an inclusionary mechanism in and of itself. Once the surprise at the treaty had ebbed, further criticism was quickly muffled by the convention that matters of foreign policy were held to be above partisan politics. Even the Spectator, one of the treaty’s fiercest critics, now relented. Yet the reprieve would be temporary: two years later, the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War would see speculative fears of a ‘yellow menace’ surge to the fore once again.

Imperial Entanglements: Japanese Expansion and the ‘Pacific Question’ Viewed from London, Japan’s rise derived its geopolitical importance from the ‘Far Eastern question’ and the European rivalries that encircled it. But already in the 1860s, the writer and globetrotter Charles Dilke offered an alternative perspective. Gazing west from the shores of California, Dilke had envisioned Japan as part of an emerging Anglo-imperial world, forged by British and American expansion in the Pacific. With its large population and temperate climate, Japan was one of ‘three countries of the Pacific’ (alongside British Columbia and New South Wales) which were ‘destined to rise to manufacturing greatness’.94 Dilke foresaw a future of economic interdependence, in which cotton from Queensland and wool from California would be processed in Japanese factories to be re-exported to America, Europe, and Asia. Deepening connections of trade, Dilke speculated, would turn Japan into a ‘American colony’, and a salient for ‘Anglo-Saxon’ civilization in East Asia.95 By the turn of the twentieth century, 91  ‘The Treaty with Japan’, The Economist, 15 February 1902. 92  ‘Ignotus’, ‘Great Britain’s Debt to Japan’, p. 388. 93  J. C. R. Colomb, ‘The Treaty with Japan’, The Times, 20 February 1902. 94 Dilke, Greater Britain, p. 281. 95 Dilke, Greater Britain , p. 91.

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24  Empire Ascendant with Europe entangled in the ‘China Question’, and the United States expanding westwards to Hawaii and the Philippines, Dilke’s account seemed to be coming to fru­ition. ‘Remoteness and isolation’, noted Archibald Colquhoun in his Mastery of the Pacific (1902), had long prevented the shores of the world’s largest ocean from ‘mutual entanglement’. But now, as distance was ‘annihilated by modern science’, the Pacific had at last become ‘a highway for international commerce’ and an ‘an arena for the ambitions of the nations’.96 The emergence of the Asia-Pacific as a future centre for great-power rivalry also implied a reorientation of imperial policy. Hitherto conceived as the oceanic hinterland of a Europe-facing Britain, the settler colonies would take on a new role as local anchors of British power in the Pacific.97 The development of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada noted one contributor to the National Review, would be a ‘full offset’ to the expansion of Russian and American influence. And in due course, the ‘growth of Australia and Canada’ would ‘react upon British policy’ by demanding a fuller recognition of the empire’s deepening interests in the Pacific— including a closer association with Japan. Australia might have experienced ‘certain difficulties’ with Japanese immigration, but ultimately, its distrust of Russia made it ‘naturally the friend of Japan’, while Canada, ‘with a rising commerce on the Pacific’ was ‘thoroughly friendly’ to the idea of a Japanese alliance.98 The Sino-Japanese War also awakened British policymakers to the prospect of deepening and widening connections between the British settler colonies and Japan. Writing from Tokyo in December 1894, Le Poer Trench had urged the Foreign Office to consider ‘how the Colonies might be affected’ by the power shifts in the Far East. Already, he noted, the growth of Japan’s overseas trade and migration had begun make inroads in the British Pacific, where economic growth and high wages offered a ‘strong inducement’ for the migration of Japanese labourers and artisans. The current trickle of migration was bound to grow once the war was over, as the shipping appropriated for the war would ‘be thrown out of employment’, and redeployed towards ‘the establishment of new lines of ­steamers to the Australian ports and elsewhere’. Emigration companies stood ready to meet a growing overseas demand for Japanese contract labour. Given the colonists’ well-established hostility to Chinese immigrants, there was a serious possibility of a new ‘labour difficulty’ with Japan—except that this time, the col­onies would be dealing with a rising great power determined to uphold the interests of its overseas subjects. Before long, Trench warned, the Japanese navy might well

96 Colquhoun, Mastery of the Pacific, pp. vii–ix; on the ‘death of distance’ as an intellectual phenomenon, see Bell, ‘Dissolving Distance’, and Greater Britain, pp. 63–91; Kern, Culture of Time and Space, pp. 211–40 97 Colquhoun, Mastery of the Pacific, pp. 426–7. For the intellectual background to these ideas, see Bell, Greater Britain. 98  ‘Ignotus’, ‘Great Britain’s Debt to Japan’, p. 387.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   25 constitute ‘a menace not only to Hong Kong and Singapore, but also to the Australian colonies and Canada’.99 In his revised Problems of the Far East, Curzon dismissed such a prospect: Japan, he thought, had neither the ‘requisite numbers’ nor the ‘hereditary instinct for expansion’ necessary for large-scale colonization.100 Japan’s maritime horizons had long been constrained by the restrictions that the Tokugawa state had imposed on overseas trade and travel.101 Under the sakoku (‘seclusion’) edicts promulgated in the 1630s, the Tokugawa bakufu forbade all forms of external ­contact other than those explicitly sanctioned by the state. Japanese subjects were banned from engaging in overseas trade, sailing on foreign ships, and, in 1635, from leaving the country altogether. And with the noted exception of the Dutch East India Company (which was permitted to retain a small trading post on an artificial island in Nagasaki) the Tokugawa forbade the entry of European merchants. But Japan’s ‘opening’ in the 1850s, the revocation of the sakoku edicts in 1866, and the social changes wrought by the Meiji reforms drastically loosened these restraints on mobility. Almost immediately after the repeal of the travel ban, Japanese returned to the seas in growing numbers, as communities of merchants and labourers established themselves in Korea and the China coast.102 More itinerant types, such as sailors, sealers, and travelling acrobats, could soon be found in far-flung corners of the Pacific: as early as 1867, a troupe of Japanese jugglers toured the distant cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Auckland.103 Starting in 1885, when the Meiji state first authorized the departure of labourers for the sugar plantations of Hawaii, Japanese seasonal workers began to join their Chinese predecessors on the colonial frontiers of North America, Australasia, and the islands of the Pacific. Hawaii would remain their most important des­tin­ ation: on the eve of the Sino-Japanese War, its Japanese community had grown to over 30,000 settlers.104 The war against China further catalysed Japan’s expansion into the Pacific. Trench been right to predict that that much of the shipping constructed for the war effort was subsequently turned over to Japan’s commercial shipping agents. The Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Japan’s largest, used the windfall to enter the field against British, American, and Canadian lines on long-distance routes. Before the war, NYK had run a single transoceanic service, linking Kobe (Osaka’s entrepôt) to the Indian cotton port of Bombay. By 1896, the firm had established a southern route to Manila, Brisbane, and Sydney, and a western one to Honolulu

99  Le Poer Trench to Kimberley, 26 December 1894, TNA, FO 46/436, f. 206. 100 Curzon, Problems (2nd edn), p. 412. 101 Laver, Sakoku Edicts, pp. 25–52; Frei, Japan’s Southward Advance, pp. 9–18. 102  Yamamoto, ‘Japan’s Passport System’, pp. 1000–3. 103  Sissons, ‘Australian–Japanese Relations’, pp. 48–9. 104  Nordyke and Matsumoto, ‘The Japanese in Hawaii’, p. 165.

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26  Empire Ascendant and Seattle.105 Expanding shipping connections in turn stimulated the growth of the broader logistic, financial, and informational infrastructure to serve Japanese trade and migration. The result was a settlement boom. Hawaii’s Japanese population doubled to 60,000 between 1895 and 1900. The islands also became a staging post for further travel to North America: by the turn of the twentieth century, over 30,000 Japanese had made their way to the continental United States and Canada. Next came Queensland, home to some 3,500 Japanese settlers in 1901. Smaller communities of Japanese could be found as far afield as Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and Polynesia.106 Together with the Japanese settlers in Taiwan, China, and Korea, these communities constituted a rapidly expanding ‘greater Japan’, whose total population had grown to a total of 180,000 people by 1904.107 By the 1890s, this quickening of ‘overseas activity’ had become closely ­associated—in Japanese as well as in British or American eyes—with the modernizing aspirations of the Meiji state. The abolition of the travel ban in 1866 had been paired with the introduction of a passport system, leaving the Japanese government with a measure of control over the flow and direction of emigration.108 In Hokkaido, as later in Taiwan and Korea, state-directed settlement became a key feature of the Japanese colonial project. Eastward migration to Hawaii and North America, too, worked to widen Japan’s political horizons. Tokyo established its first trans-Pacific consulate (in San Francisco), as early as 1870, a year before the opening of the Japanese legation in London. The shipping and emigration boom unleashed by the Sino-Japanese War brought another wave of consulate openings, as Japan established formal representation at Bombay (1894), Townsville (1896), Sydney (1897), Wellington (1897), Adelaide (1898), Colombo (1898), Ottawa (1899), Montreal (1901), and Tacoma, Washington (1896).109 If diplomacy lent institutional ­ ifferent shape to the Japanese world emerging in the Pacific, so too, in a rather d sense, did the growth of the Japanese navy. Rattled by the Triple Intervention, the Japanese government drastically increased its naval spending after 1895: over twothirds of the Chinese war indemnity, or a sum of ¥213 million (ca. £21 million) would be directed to the navy.110 Over the next ten years, Japan would build more battleships than any other power except Great Britain.111 Sea power remained, first and foremost, an instrument to preserve Japan’s independence and support its diplomacy in China. But it also afforded a means to guard its expanding maritime and diasporic interests in the Pacific. Thus when in early 1897, Hawaii’s 105  Chida and Davies, Japanese Shipping, pp. 21–3. 106  See Azuma, ‘Remapping’, pp. 419–23 for an overview. 107 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, p. 100. 108  Yamamoto, ‘Japan’s Passport System’, pp. 1005–12. 109  Macdonald to Lansdowne, 2 December 1902, TNA, FO 46/553. 110 On Japanese naval expansion after the Sino-Japanese War, see Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, pp. 57–65; Schenking, Making Waves, pp. 84–90. 111  Cramp, ‘Coming Sea Power’, pp. 445–51. Japan’s naval plan called for the acquisition of six battle­ships (all ordered from British shipyards), eight cruisers, twenty-three destroyers, the expansion of shipyards and training facilities, and a new naval base at the Pescadores.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   27 white-settler-dominated government refused the Shinshū Maru, a freighter carrying Japanese labourers, permission to land, Tokyo sent a warship into Honolulu harbour. Fear of Japanese intervention would prove a decisive factor in the United States’ decision to annex the archipelago the following year.112 Japan’s expansion in the 1890s, then, unfolded across several dimensions at once. As it negotiated its ascent through the hierarchies of the international system, the Meiji state also extended its reach outwards across the Pacific. As Akira Iriye demonstrated in his classic study on Japanese expansionism, Meiji intellectuals came to embrace emigration both as a patriotic duty and an expression of Japan’s status as a ‘civilized’ state. A discourse on ‘overseas development’ (kaigai hatten) blurred the distinction between migration and colonization: labour emigration to Hawaii and California was acclaimed alongside the settlement of Hokkaido and Taiwan as an expression of Japan’s manifest destiny in the Pacific.113 Organizations like the Colonisation Society (Shokumin Kyōkai), founded in Tokyo in 1893, vocally called for the creation of ‘new Japans’ overseas. Many migrants internalized these ideas: in the United States, as Eiichiro Azuma has shown, middle-class Japanese insisted they joined Anglo-Americans as co-equal settlers, not immigrant labour.114 In fact, what emerged in Japan in the late nineteenth century closely mirrored the ‘emigration ideology’ that emerged in Victorian Britain in the 1840s. Here too, migration was reinvented from an outlet for social undesirables into ‘a road to self-betterment’ and, eventually, a ‘providential duty’.115 Japanese expansionist ideology betrayed an obvious kinship with that of contemporary British and American colonial propagandists such as Frederick Jackson Turner, Alfred Mahan, Charles Dilke, and J. R. Seeley. Indeed, one advocate of ‘peaceful expansion’, the aspiring historian Iganaki Manjirō, had studied under Seeley at Cambridge and dedicated his Japan and the Pacific (1890) to him.116 For many Japanese, treading the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ road to modernity included retracing their expansionist trajectories. ‘When examining the example of Englishmen’, noted Fukuzawa Yukichi in 1884, ‘no one would fail to see [that emigration] shall lead to the enrichment of Japan as well.’117 Yet herein lay a cruel irony. To the Meiji elite, the acceleration of ‘overseas activity’ may have signalled that Japan was becoming more like Britain or the United States; that, in Fukuzawa’s famous phrase, it was ‘leaving Asia’ both in a literal and a metaphorical sense. But as Japanese migrants moved into Queensland, British Columbia, or California, they entered the rigid racial order of the settler frontier—not, as many had hoped, as partners in a common imperial enterprise, 112  On US–Japanese rivalry over Hawaii, see Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, pp. 50–6; Morgan, Pacific Gibraltar. 113 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, pp. 35–62; Uchida, ‘Island Nation’, pp. 57–90. 114 Azuma, Between Two Empires, pp. 17–34. 115  On ‘settlerism’, see Darwin, Empire Project, pp. 41–5; Belich, Replenishing the Earth, pp. 153–65. 116 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, p. 35. 117  Cited in Azuma, Between Two Empires, p. 21.

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28  Empire Ascendant but stereotyped into the role of ‘Asiatic’ interlopers. This was, in part, a question of timing. Japanese emigration reached its decisive momentum just as Tokyo began to assert its great-power position in Asia after 1895. But it also followed closely on the heels of a nativist wave against Chinese immigration that swept across much of the ‘white Pacific’ in the 1880s. Beginning in the late 1870s, labour unrest in California, tinged with the threat of violence, had forced Washington into renegotiating the ‘open door’ clauses of its commercial treaty with China. A federal Chinese Exclusion Act followed in 1882. Canada imposed a $ 50 head-tax on Chinese migrants in 1885. Emboldened by these statutes, white agitators in San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver went on to stage pogrom-like expulsion campaigns in the latter half of the 1880s.118 The ‘Afghan affair’ of 1888, in which a ship carrying several hundred Chinese passengers was barred from docking at Sydney and Melbourne, saw the Australian colonies rally behind the cry of a ‘white Australia’.119 It was no coincidence that Japanese migration expanded just as the anti-Chinese backlash reached its apogee. Chinese exclusion created shortages in industries dependent on immigrant labour, like logging, mining, railroads (in British Columbia), and agriculture (in California), that recruiters turned to Japan to fill.120 By the same token, Japanese migrants were quickly targeted by the same racial discourses honed in opposition to the Chinese. California’s anti-Japanese movement took off in the 1890s, as one of its leading historians put it, as ‘a tail to the Chinese kite’.121 In the Pacific northwest, white labour activists might have even welcomed the arrival of the Japanese ‘as an opportunity to reinvigorate a radicalised class consciousness against a new indispensable enemy’.122 White vi­gil­antes drove Japanese off mining sites in the state of Washington (1900) and in neighbouring British Columbia (1902). In Queensland, Sinophobic tropes were similarly repurposed: the Japanese might be ‘healthier in their morals and their way of life’, one Labor legislator declared, yet they possessed ‘the same dogged persistence’ that made them ‘even more formidable opponents than the Chinese’.123 Even in distant New Zealand, the mere prospect of ‘any influx of Japanese at all’ prompted calls for pre-emptive legislation.124 The fact that Japanese migrants were being subjected to the same prejudices and restrictions levelled at the ‘backward’ Chinese turned the migration question into a crucial testing-ground for Japan’s campaign for international recognition. 118  On the expulsion campaigns, see Lew-Williams, The Chinese Must Go, pp. 1–16; Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 44–53. 119 Mountford, Britain, China, and Colonial Australia, pp. 116–42. 120 Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 54–88. 121 Daniels, Politics of Prejudice, p. 21; on the ‘Sinification’ of the Japanese, see also Azuma, Between Two Empires, pp. 36–46. 122 Chang, Pacific Connections, p. 67. 123  Murakami, ‘Australia’s Immigration Legislation’, p. 51. 124  J. W. Kelly, 24 July 1896, NZPD, vol. 93, p. 468; Atkinson, Burdens of White Supremacy, pp. 23–9.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   29 Meiji officials couched their protests against discriminatory treatment in references to Japan’s position in the international hierarchy, claiming that their emigrants were subjects of a ‘civilized’ state, and could thus claim treatment on par with Europeans. Prospective migrants were themselves encouraged to uphold the Japanese standard of civilization while abroad, and not, as one emigration manual put it, to ‘behave like African savages’.125 Japanese settlers in the United States joined with whites in denouncing the ‘filthy’ and ‘wretched’ state of their Chinese neighbours.126 In 1899, Japan itself passed an exclusion act that barred Chinese labourers from its interior.127 But the attitudes of white settlers proved more difficult to shift. White commentators in Australia or North America were often prepared to acknowledge the supposed superiority of Japanese to the Chinese (or even to southern and eastern European immigrants) on such markers of ‘civilization’ as hygiene, dress, or diet. But in a twist of racial logic, the apparent ease with which the Japanese had adopted ‘white civilization’ became in itself a focal point for settler anxieties. In British Columbia, for example, fears that Japanese migrants might outcompete whites in the higher strata of the economy featured prominently in the tes­ti­monies collected by the Royal Commission tasked with investigating the province’s ­‘oriental problem’ in 1901–2. Clive Philips-Wolley, a Vancouver sanitation inspector, readily testified that the Japanese immigrant ‘will live as a white man does . . . he is more manly and gentlemanly’. But this made him ‘a more dangerous competitor with the white man’.128 The Japanese might ‘imitate European civilisation’ as another witness (one Arthur Belyea, a barrister) put it, ‘but when it comes to a  question whether they will be Europeans or Japanese, they are Japanese all the time’.129 In British Columbia, as elsewhere in the ‘white Pacific’, the Japanese immigration issue was from the outset closely intertwined with wider geopolitical concerns. White exclusionists paired their critique of Japanese aspirations to ‘civilization’ with menacing references to Japan’s growing power and international heft. But the same considerations also complicated the politics of restricting Japanese immigration. Robert Cassidy, the Vancouver lawyer hired by the Japanese community to put its case to the Royal Commission, insisted that the immigration question was tied up with the ‘the international question’ and ‘the Imperial question which stands alongside of it’. Japan had made ‘great strides in civilisation’, and was now ‘accredited to all civilised powers’. Its trade with North America’s Pacific northwest was already sizeable: a ‘fine line of steamers’ now ran from Yokohama to Seattle—Vancouver’s chief competitor—contributing to that port’s ‘very great

125 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, p. 89. 126 Azuma, Between Two Empires, p. 17. 127 McKeown, Melancholy Order, p. 201. 128  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, p. 338. 129  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, p. 222.

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30  Empire Ascendant development of late’. In its international dealings, Japan was guided by the same ‘high ideals’ that had been ‘adopted by our own great Empire’. It supported the ‘open door’. During the Boxer crisis, Cassidy noted, Japanese and British forces had fought side by side, and British Columbia’s own Japanese community had offered to raise a volunteer regiment to fight in the South African War. Japan, he concluded, was now ‘one of the great nations’, ready to advance together with the British Empire ‘along the line of civilisation and development’.130

‘As a colony, we cannot keep the Japanese out’: Australian Federation and Global Competition But it was in Australia that the dilemmas surrounding Japan’s international status presented themselves in their most acute form. Throughout the nineteenth ­century, Anglo-Australian visions of national development had been inflected by an acute awareness of proximity to Asia, oscillating between attraction to its commercial prospects, and wariness of the racial menace its immense population represented.131 No part of the British world was more deeply invested in the ‘Pacific age’ sketched out by British, American, and Japanese writers at the turn of the twentieth century. But by the same token (and against the background of a severe economic depression that lasted throughout the 1890s) the rise of new geo­pol­it­ical frictions in Australia’s oceanic neighbourhood seemed fraught with danger. ‘Let us recognise that we live in an unstable era’, declared Alfred Deakin, a leading federalist in the colony of Victoria, in a speech in 1898. ‘At no period during the first hundred years has the situation of the Empire to which we belong been more serious. From the far East and the far West alike we behold menaces and antagonisms.’132 The possible collapse and partition of China, noted the Melbourne Age, was a ‘momentous question’ to Australia, whose importance could ‘scarcely be exaggerated’.133 In New Zealand, the rise of Japan as ‘a New Power of the First Class’ caused the governor, Lord Glasgow, ‘ no small amount of anxiety’. Writing to the colonial premier, Richard Seddon, in April 1895, Glasgow predicted that it was ‘very likely to give us trouble sooner or later, as the Japanese appear to think that their Country is destined to become the Britain of the Pacific’.134 In New South Wales, General Sir Edward Hutton, the British commander of the colonial militia, similarly argued that the ‘sudden rise of Japan to the position of a

130  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration, pp. 401–11. 131 Mountford, Britain, China, and Colonial Australia, pp. 179–215. See also Walker, Anxious Nation. 132 Deakin, The Federal Story, p. 179. 133  ‘The Siberian Line and Australia: A Momentous Question’, Age, 26 January 1898. 134  Glasgow to Seddon, 13 April 1895, NLA, Boyle Papers, MS 2635. I owe this reference to Antony Best and Benjamin Mountford.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   31 naval and military power of the first magnitude’ carried profound ramifications for the ‘national future’ of the Australian colonies. A defensive federation was the only answer, he noted, to the fact that ‘Australia has now at her doors a maritime power whose fleet, having become mistress of the Chinese waters, has transported and is maintaining an army of 200,000 men through a difficult and bloody campaign’.135 The relative importance of these considerations within the Australian fed­er­ation movement, which gained its decisive momentum in the 1890s, continues to be debated among historians. Federalism—the project to unify the five continental colonies, Tasmania, and possibly New Zealand, into a single polity—represented the confluence of several political and cultural forces. It gave political expression to an imagined Australian nation.136 It would enlarge the scope for colonial selfgovernment, while providing a path out of the economic slump of the 1890s by promising to restore Australian credit in London.137 Federation was (and had to be) a broad church. Yet to many federalists, the case for national unification derived its particular urgency from Australia’s exposure to a more competitive international environment. The coming century, argued the Queensland writer George Cathcart Craig in his Federal Defence of Australasia (1897), would see ‘our rough island continent’ ever more closely entangled in ‘the trade, conflict, and practical politics of European and Asiatic powers’.138 Looking into ‘the hidden future of Eastern diplomacy, and the conflict of ambitious nations’, Craig saw a menacing world closing in.139 Russia and Japan had both emerged as ‘Pacific powers’. The imminent opening of the Siberian railway would launch Russian trade ‘upon all the ports of the North and South Pacific’. Japan’s rise had been equally ‘marvellous’, but it was nonetheless menacing to have ‘such a clever and victorious naval and military power . . . within two weeks’ sail of Australian shores’. In this new Pacific age, Craig insisted, Australia would have to face the new ­real­ities of international competition; and for that, it needed to institute a national government, and establish itself as a ‘mighty, identical, life-giving, and powerful nation of the Pacific’—even if it meant taking ‘object lessons in national life and energy’ from ‘the hitherto despised “Japs” ’.140 The strategic argument for federation came in two basic forms. The first was that only an enlarged, strengthened Australian state could compete in the new Pacific arena. It was the ‘great fact’ that ‘the theatre of the world’s struggle is being shifted from the West to the East’, declared the South Australian delegate Patrick ‘Paddy’ Glynn at the 1897 constitutional convention in Melbourne, that made 135  Cited in Meaney, Search for Security, p. 30. 136 Irving, To Constitute a Nation, pp. 25–45; Hirst, Sentimental Nation, pp. 26–44. 137  Bolton, ‘Money’, pp. 216–18; Cain and Hopkins, British Imperialism, pp. 216–28; Trainor, British Imperialism, p. 156. 138 Craig, Federal Defence, p. 20. 139 Craig, Federal Defence, p. 60. 140 Craig, Federal Defence, pp. 106–7.

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32  Empire Ascendant fed­er­ation a ‘necessity’. By themselves, the Australian colonies, ‘with their small piping individual voices’, were too weak to hold sway in this Hobbesian world.141 Invoking the authority of J. R. Seeley, Glynn declared that national ag­glom­er­ation, the fusing of smaller states into larger unions, was ‘the principle of the future’. In The Expansion of England, Seeley had argued that keeping up with the immense size of its imperial rivals, especially Russia and the United States, required a ‘Greater Britain’ that was similarly transcontinental in scale.142 The principle of scale was easily translated to an Australian context. ‘The day of small states has gone by’, Glynn declared, and if Australia was to become a ‘dominating’ force ‘in the affairs of the East’, it would have to become ‘a large state’ with ‘some power to offer against possible aggression from the young giants in the North and the East’.143 If this emphasis on size and competition was implicitly racial in its evocations of Social Darwinism, others made the connection more overtly. The East Asian upheavals of the 1890s, with their attendant alarms over Chinese disintegration and Japanese expansion, reawakened barely dormant fears of an Asian deluge descending on ‘white’ Australia. At the inaugural federal convention in Sydney in 1892, Henry Parkes, the premier of New South Wales and federation’s ‘godfather’, had pressed the spectre of an awakening Asia into the case for union. The true danger facing Australia, Parkes warned, was not military conquest, or the ‘bombardment of one of our rich cities’, but the stealthy establishment of ‘a lodgement in some thinly-peopled portion of the country, where it would take immense loss of life and immense loss of wealth to dislodge the invader’.144 The work of Charles Henry Pearson, a British-Australian historian and sometime education minister of Victoria, lent these views intellectual authority and a global audience: his National Life and Character: A Forecast (1893) won glowing reviews from (among others) Theodore Roosevelt, W.  E.  Gladstone, and Wilhelm II.145 Like many of his contemporaries, Pearson’s point of departure was a shrinking world transformed by steam and empire. But his perspective on global politics was also inflected by a distinctly Australian preoccupation with the racial peril represented by ‘Asiatic’ immigration. In National Life and Character, Pearson sketched out a world of races locked in a continuous struggle between over a shrinking supply of resources and territory. And where other writers might have confidently anticipated the ascendancy of the ‘Caucasian’, ‘Aryan’, or ‘Teutonic’ races (the terminology conveyed a satisfying sense of scientific authority) Pearson 141  Official Record of the Debates of the Australasian Federal Convention, Third Session, Melbourne, 20th January to 17th March 1898, vol. 2 (Melbourne, 1898), p. 2515. 142 Bell, Greater Britain, p. 241. 143  Official Record of the Debates of the Australasian Federal Convention, Second Session, Sydney, 2nd to 24th September, 1897 (Sydney, 1897), pp. 277–8. 144  Official Record of the Debates of the National Australasian Convention, Sydney, 2 March to 9 April 1891, p. 316. 145  On Pearson, see Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 75–94; Mountford, Britain, China, and Colonial Australia, pp. 211–15.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   33 took a gloomier view. Echoing Turnerist concerns about the closure of the ­settlement frontier and the degenerating effects of large industrial cities, Pearson predicted that the ‘higher races’ had reached the outer limits of their expansive capacity. Outside the ‘Temperate Zone’ of North America, Australia, and southern Africa, European settlement would stall, checked by ‘the disproportionate growth of what we consider the inferior races’.146 Pearson’s conclusions were stark. European colonial rule in the tropics was a doomed project. In his soon-to-be famous prediction, the ‘day was not far distant’ when the globe would be ‘girdled with a continuous zone of the black and yellow races, no longer too weak for aggression or under tutelage, but independent . . . in government, monopolising the trade of their own regions, and circumscribing the industry of the European’. Independent African and Asian states would then be ‘invited to international conferences, and welcomed as allies in the quarrels of the civilised world’.147 The  Australian hostility to Asian immigration, ‘which England finds hard to understand’ was, for Pearson, a quintessentially modern answer to the demands of a world organized by racial competition.148 Parkes and Pearson were fixated on the ‘teeming millions’ of China. Yet by the latter half of the 1890s, their fears were easily transposed to Japan, and to the small Japanese community (Parkes’s dreaded ‘lodgement’) that had begun to establish itself in Australia’s far north. Here, starting in 1883, Japanese divers had found employment on the pearl fisheries of Thursday Island, off Cape York.149 It took real imaginative effort to see in this group a menace to ‘white Australia’. The Japanese community was tiny (at its peak in 1898, fewer than 3,250 lived in the entirety of Queensland) and concentrated in a single industry, far out of sight of the colony’s larger cities in the south. But in the context of Japan’s Pacific expansion in the 1890s, Thursday Island could be reimagined as a colonial bridgehead, an inverted ‘Yokohama’ on Australian soil.150 Queensland legislators drew forcefully on the example of Hawaii, where Japanese immigration had raised the spectre of diplomatic interference and even military intervention.151 In September 1896, the colonial press reported the ‘news’ that Japanese intelligence officers were surveying the Australian coast for colonization. Already, one Australian recently returned from Japan reported, the Japanese possessed ‘maps of Queensland showing all the towns both coastal and inland’, and were ready to send their ‘best battleships down south to annex a large portion of Northern Australia’.152 It was here that imperial diplomacy intersected with colonial politics. On the eve of the Sino-Japanese War, Britain and Japan had revised their ‘unequal’ treaty into an accord that was more in keeping with Japan’s membership of the ‘family of 146 Pearson, National Life, p. 48. 147 Pearson, National Life, pp. 89–90. 148 Pearson, National Life, p. 103. 149  Sissons, ‘Australian–Japanese Relations’, pp. 52–8. 150 Maloney, Flashlights on Japan, pp. 6–9. 151  J. Drake, 30 August 1895, QPD, vol. 73, pp. 779–80. 152  ‘Japanese View of Australia’, Brisbane Courier, 7 September 1896.

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34  Empire Ascendant civilized nations’. The new Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, finalized in July 1894, phased out extraterritorial privilege and the consular courts, and provided for reciprocal rights of travel and residence. Britain’s self-governing colonies were given two years to decide whether they too, wished to sign up to its  terms, and thereby gain preferential access to the Japanese market. By 1896, however, the issue stood unresolved, as the Australias and Canada continued to prevaricate over the question of immigration. Given time, diplomacy might have prevailed. Satow reported that the Japanese government was keen to expand its trade in the Pacific, and was ‘evidently very anxious that the Australian Colonies shld. adhere’ to the treaty.153 Tokyo would be prepared, he believed, to allow the colonies to join the treaty while reserving the right to restrict the immigration of labourers. Japan’s key concern, Satow thought, was to have its ‘civilized’ status acknowledged. For his part, he reassured Saionji Kinmochi, the minister of foreign affairs, that he ‘quite understood their disliking to be lumped with the Chinese. No intelligent person in either Canada or Australia did that. We were quite aware of the great difference’.154 In fact, as the issue of the treaty entered into the maelstrom of federal politics, Australian opinion was tending towards a much harsher view. Declaring the Japanese treaty a ‘national’ issue, Charles Cameron Kingston, the premier of South Australia (which administered the Northern Territory), called for a conference of all colonial governments to decide on a common position. The outcome was a foregone conclusion. Kingston’s government had already declared it would reject the treaty. Queensland did so as well, while New South Wales, Australia’s largest and most influential colony, prevaricated. The colony had been traditionally committed to free trade, and the prospects of the Japanese market had begun to garner interest among Sydney merchants like James Burns, the colony’s leading shipping agent and local comprador for NYK, which was due to open its new shipping line to Australia in November 1896.155 But Sydney was also the city of Henry Parkes, and the intellectual centre for Australia’s socialist and republican movements that shared Parkes’s racism if not his enthusiasm for empire. The Sydney Bulletin, the bullhorn of Australian radicalism, loudly entered the fray against the treaty. Australia had ‘nothing to gain’, it roared in January 1896, ‘and its whole future, its prosperity, its rank as a white nation, and its soul—if it possesses one—to lose’.156 Yet the deciding voice may have been that of the government’s own attorney-general, John Henry Want, who also advised rejection after a brief visit to Japan in February. ‘I have seen quite sufficient to justify me in advising my government not to accept the Treaty’, he noted to Satow before returning to 153  Satow to Salisbury, 20 August 1896, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/14/10. 154 Satow Diary, 7 February 1896, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/15/7; Satow to Salisbury, 7 February 1896, TNA, FO 410/36. 155  ‘A Chat about Japan’, Daily Telegraph, 7 November 1896. 156  ‘The Anglo-Jap Treaty’, The Bulletin, 18 January 1896.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   35 Australia. There was ‘little or no market’ in Japan for Australian goods; and ­certainly nothing to justify the ‘great danger’ of even the ‘mere possibility of wholesale immigration (as in Honolulu)’.157 With New South Wales set on the same course, the intercolonial conference held at Sydney in March 1896 became a choreographed display of national and racial unity. The conference unanimously rejected the treaty. It also passed a resolution by which the colonies pledged to reinforce their legal ramparts against Japanese immigration. Over the following months, the governments of New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand (which had not been represented at Sydney) all introduced bills that would bar ‘all persons belonging to any coloured race inhabiting the Continent of Asia or the Continent of Africa, or any island adjacent thereto, or any island in the Pacific Ocean or Indian Ocean’—effectively imposing a colour bar. Introducing the bill to the New South Wales assembly, the colonial premier, George Reid, declared it an opportunity to settle the ‘great national question’ of the federation-to-be: ‘Have we made up our minds that this is to be for all time to come a white Australia?’ Echoing the prophecies of Henry Pearson, Reid evoked an ‘Asiatic’ tide washing over Australia. ‘Our position in Australia to-day is absolutely different from that of any other white people in the world’, he declared. ‘We see this vast continent with a fringe of white people upon it. We see at easy range countries inhabited by hundreds of millions of people with whom this race will never assimilate.’158 As Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds have argued, in their framing of the ‘­coloured races’ acts, Australians recast the international order into a racial mould, ‘dividing the world’s peoples between white and not-white, regardless of their standing as powers or status as British subjects’.159 Reid might have denied that the bill specifically targeted the Japanese, whom he claimed ‘merely happened’ to fall under it. But it was hard to escape the conclusion that ‘white Australia’ had emphatically rejected Japan’s claim to admission into the ‘comity’ of civilized states. It had gone so far, in fact, as to reject the very idea that ‘civilization’ could ever be a sufficient metric for ordering a world of races. The implications were momentous. By its own measure, ‘white Australia’ would be a fragile creation—an outpost of less than five million whites facing the ‘teeming millions’ of Asia. It would be without a navy or a credible military to enforce its new exclusion laws, and would rely on British diplomacy (and in the ultimate resort on the Royal Navy) to do so. When a modified version of the ‘Coloured Races’ bill returned to the floor of the New South Wales assembly in November 1897, Thomas Ewing, who would go on to serve as Commonwealth defence minister in 1907, finely

157  Want to Satow, 11 February 1896, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/6/9. 158  G. H. Reid, 13 October 1896, NSWPD, vol. 85, pp. 3945–51. 159  Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, p. 144.

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36  Empire Ascendant pointed out that, in practical terms, the act revealed the hollowness of Australia’s claim to sovereignty: I would like hon. members to bear with me for a moment while I show them the power of Japan. Does the Premier, or does any man in the House believe that the navy of Japan could not but for the power of England encompass the coast of Australia by her ships and destroy every city within reach of the coast—destroy, in fact, every portion of the British dominions that could be reached by guns from the sea? No one doubts it, and no one doubts that, as a colony, we cannot keep the Japanese out . . . We are an English colony, it is perfectly true. But without the protection of England we are powerless. Yet we are flinging an insult in the face of the whole coloured races of the world . . . It is the flag of England and the power of England that render this legislation possible.160

As if to demonstrate the point, a diplomatic backlash was already working its way through the corridors of Whitehall. In November 1896, Katō Takaaki, the Japanese minister in London (and a future prime minister), had called on the Foreign Office to denounce the exclusion acts passed in New Zealand and New South Wales as a ‘gratuitous’ slur on Japan, insofar as they placed the Japanese ‘on the same level’ as ‘the Chinese or other less advanced populations of Asia’. Japan felt the insult ‘keenly’.161 In Tokyo, Satow found himself summoned for a verbal dressing-down by Japan’s plain-spoken foreign minister, Ōkuma Shigenobu, who addressed him ‘rather vehemently of the violent measures aimed at Japanese in Australia’. In contrast to Katō, Ōkuma challenged not merely the form but also the substance of the exclusion laws. Australia possessed ‘a huge territory and a small population’. Surely the colonial governments should welcome foreign immigration rather than seek to restrict it?162 Privately, Satow saw the encounter as a sign of Japan’s determination to assert itself as a Pacific power. ‘I cannot help feeling that [the Japanese] are likely to be a troublesome nation’, he wrote to Salisbury. ‘They encourage their people to settle in places like Hawaii, the Caroline Islands, & similar spots in the Pacific with the aim of obtaining preponderant influence, & later on interfering.’ The colonies were ‘quite right in being unwilling to have a large no. of them’.163 In theory, London might have instructed its governors to invoke the royal ­prerogative, effectively vetoing the ‘coloured races’ bills. But Britain’s ability to dissuade a determined settler government had already been tested, and found sorely wanting, during the Chinese immigration controversies of the 1880s. There was little appetite in Whitehall for another showdown with the Australians, and the

160  T. Ewing, 24 November 1897, NSWPD, vol. 90, pp. 5042–6. 161  Minute by Salisbury, 26 November 1896, TNA, FO 46/548. 162  Satow Diary, 15 October 1896, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/16/1. 163  Satow to Salisbury, 8 October 1896, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/14/10.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   37 Colonial Office conceded that it would ‘ultimately have to give way to the strong anti-coloured sentiment’.164 Many officials, too, rather approved of the animating principle behind the colonial bills even if they disliked their phrasing. In London as well as in Sydney, racial exclusion was understood as an expression of popular sovereignty, a way to preserve the ‘British’ character of Australian society, and a benevolent alternative to the racial violence on near-permanent display in the United States. ‘The European population of Australia is so small’, one official noted, ‘& the number of possible Asiatic immigrants so vast, that they may well be excused for taking time by the forelock in this matter.’165 Joseph Chamberlain, the colonial secretary, saw ‘much force’ in the Australian attempt to ‘minimise the threatened danger from Asia’.166 But given the stridency of the Japanese objections, and the parallel concerns raised by the government of India, Chamberlain also recognized the need to harmonize the colonists’ demands for a ‘white Australia’ with Britain’s imperial interests in Asia. Writing to Sir John Forrest, the premier of Western Australia, Chamberlain explained that he fully supported Australia’s efforts to ‘prevent the country from being over-run by the coloured races’. But as ‘Imperialists’, the Australians would have to recognize their responsibility not to create diplomatic headaches for London by making ‘invidious distinctions between different races who live under the British flag’, or by giving ‘unnecessary offence to powerful nations like Japan whose friendship in the future may be of the greatest importance to the States of the Pacific’.167 Chamberlain’s preferred solution was the formula recently introduced by the South African colony of Natal. Faced with a growing nativist agitation against immigrants from British India (including a young Gandhi, whose ship was held in quarantine in the harbour of Durban in 1896), the Natal government had passed a law that empowered its agents to deny entry to any immigrant who failed to pass a dictation test in a ‘European language’.168 It was a legal subterfuge that tellingly drew on the early Jim Crow laws of the American South: Mississippi had introduced a literacy test in 1890 to restrict access to its electoral rolls.169 Chamberlain saw the advantages of the ‘Natal act’ in similar terms. It would give colonial governments a wide berth to exclude non-white immigration, while ostensibly doing so on the neutral (even progressive) grounds of denying entry to impoverished or illiterate immigrants. Japan, moreover, intimated that it could accept a restriction

164  Minute by ‘E.W.’, on Buxton to Chamberlain, 29 December 1896, TNA, CO 13/151. 165  Minute by ‘I.U.’, on Hampden to Chamberlain, 3 December 1896, TNA, CO 201/619. 166  CO to FO, 17 August 1897, TNA, FO 46/548; Chamberlain to Northcote, 22 April 1904, TNA, Northcote Papers, PRO 30/56. 167  Chamberlain to Forrest, 13 November 1901, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 14/1/1/1–60. 168  On the lineage of the ‘Natal formula’, see Huttenback, Racism and Empire, pp. 139–94; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 114–25; Martens, ‘Transnational History of Immigration Restriction’, pp. 325–36; McKeown, Melancholy Order, pp. 185–214. 169 McKeown, Melancholy Order, pp. 192–3.

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38  Empire Ascendant based on an educational qualification rather than a colour bar.170 At the Colonial Conference, which assembled in London in June 1897 to coincide with Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, Chamberlain sought to persuade a sceptical audience of colonial leaders that the Natal Act would give them the restrictions they wanted without the need for explicit discrimination on the basis of ‘race or colour’. Exclusion, tempered with discretion—this was the formula that Chamberlain’s Colonial Office now adopted as its own. Although the New South Wales government remained wedded to its own, racial formula, it was given to understand that London would insist that a ‘Natal act’ was first given a fair trial. When British Columbia introduced a new labour code that explicitly restricted the employment of Japanese in certain industries, the Canadian premier was advised to ‘put his foot down’ and overrule any legislation that might ‘in the future provoke retaliation from Japan’.171

Japan, Britain, and a ‘White Australia’ During the 1890s, Australians had hailed federation as a panacea for their interlocking economic, strategic, and georacial anxieties. But the formation of the Commonwealth, on New Year’s Day, 1901, failed to deliver the security its advocates had looked for. The new nation was born under the cloud of imperial crisis: as the Commonwealth was inaugurated in Melbourne, parallel celebrations took place among the Australian troops serving in the South African War, and with the British expeditionary force in China.172 The participation of Australian forces in these far-flung expeditions was, to many, a point of pride. But it also brought home the reality of the Commonwealth’s entanglement in the vicissitudes of greatpower rivalry. If Australia was now a nation, it was part of a world of nations, and by extension, of a global contest for empire and ‘efficiency’. ‘We live in a creative, and therefore a critical time’, wrote Chamberlain to George Reid, who exchanged New South Wales for the new national political arena. ‘I feel sure that the time for small kingdoms has passed away. The future is with the great Empires.’173 The founding generation of Australian politicians was, as we have seen, inclined to relate to these international developments through the prism of race. Only by establishing a ‘white Australia’, its advocates argued, could the federated colonies hope to overcome their geographical and social divisions, develop a true sense of nationality, and contest the supremacy of the Pacific.174 It was with this in mind that Edmund Barton, the Commonwealth’s inaugural prime minister, had 170  FO to CO, 1 September 1897, TNA, FO 46/548. 171  Chamberlain to Minto, 8 May 1899, LAC, Minto Papers, mf. C–3114. 172 Mountford, Britain, China, and Colonial Australia, pp. 219–20. 173  Chamberlain to Reid, 13 June 1902, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 14/1/1/1–60. 174  Tumblin, ‘Widening Gyre’, pp. 25–66.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   39 insisted in 1898 that the presence of ‘coloured labour’ in any part of the Australian continent was a national matter that pertained ‘to the whole body of the people, to the purity of the race, to the preservation of the racial character of the white population’.175 For Barton, federation would be a moment of purification. When he assumed office in 1901, he wasted little time in turning that aspiration into a legislative programme, with the Immigration Restriction Act at its centre. Brandishing his copy of National Life and Character, Barton declared that the act would be ‘legislative declaration of our racial identity’, and a signal that the Commonwealth would vigilantly guard against ‘Asiatic’ encroachment.176 ‘The unity of Australia is nothing’, echoed Alfred Deakin, the Victorian federalist who became Barton’s chief lieutenant, ‘if that does not imply a united race.’177 Much of this rhetoric was for domestic consumption, intended to veil the fact that the new immigration act made important concessions to imperial (and by extension Japanese) sentiment. It proposed to subject prospective immigrants to a dictation test, and, at the urging of the Colonial Office, specified that the test could be taken in ‘any European language’, rather than only in English. When introducing the bill, Barton emphasized that the Australian Commonwealth had ‘no desire’ to ‘complicate the foreign relations of the empire’.178 Nor did it seek to deny the ‘civilization’ of the Japanese, whom Deakin praised as a ‘high-spirited people’, clearly superior to the ‘uneducated races of Asia or the untutored savages who visit our shores’.179 Yet there would be no question of Australia ever permitting Japanese immigration. The real issue in the debate on the immigration act, as David Atkinson has shown, was not whether the Commonwealth would exclude non-white migrants (on this point, the consensus was overwhelming), but whether it would do so using the test proposed by the government, or through an amendment introduced by the Labor opposition that proposed to resurrect the racial bar introduced by New South Wales in 1896.180 Opponents of the Natal formula rejected the notion that the Commonwealth should hide ‘the noble ideal of a white Australia’ behind the ‘fraud’ of a literacy test. Meanwhile, the Bulletin roused itself against Chamberlain (‘the Judas of Birmingham’) and his ‘policy of grovelling to the Jap’.181 The magazine’s cover of 10 May 1901 (Fig. 1.1) depicted an Australian kangaroo, complete with an aboriginal joey in its pouch, shackled to a grotesque caricature of a Japanese head, emblazoned with ‘Jap immigration’, and thus unable to advance towards ‘nationhood’. The Commonwealth, the Bulletin declared, should not have to veil its foundational principle out of deference to

175 Irving, To Constitute a Nation, p. 116. 176  Cited in Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, p. 138. 177  A. Deakin, 12 September 1901, CAPD, vol. 37 (1901), pp. 4802–17. 178  E. Barton, 7 August 1901, CAPD, vol. 32 (1901), p. 3503. 179  A. Deakin, 12 September 1901, CAPD, vol. 37 (1901), pp. 4802–17. 180 Atkinson, Burden of White Supremacy, pp. 34–45. 181  ‘More White Australia’, Bulletin, 10 May 1901.

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40  Empire Ascendant

Fig. 1.1  ‘Those Links of Kinship’, The Bulletin, 5 October 1901. NLA Newspaper Collection.

imperial interests: only a colour bar would constitute a clear and unambiguous declaration of Australian nationality. ‘We want a white Australia’, declared the Labor MP William Morris Hughes, ‘and are we to be denied it because we shall offend the Japanese or embarrass His Majesty’s Ministers? I think not.’ Hughes was acutely aware of the diplomatic implications of his amendment. ‘It is notorious that to-day Great Britain stands almost without an ally’, he grumbled. ‘She is now driven into a corner, and she is dependent upon the support, tardy and

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   41 reluctant, of Japan.’182 But he argued this made it all the more urgent to drive a spoke into London’s wheel: unless it was vigorously asserted now, ‘on the very threshold of our national career’, Australia’s right to racial self-determination might be forced into permanent subordination to the demands of imperial diplomacy. For their part, Japanese officials continued to insist that any restrictions placed on Japanese immigration would have to be framed in neutral and ‘colour-blind’ language. Already in May 1901, Eitaki Hisakichi, the consul-general at Sydney, had warned Barton that that Tokyo expected Japan’s ‘standard of civilisation . . . so much higher than that of Kanakas, Negroes, Pacific Islanders, Indians, or other Eastern peoples’, to be respected in the letter of the law. Japan would not bear the ‘reproach’ of being labelled as an ‘Asiatic’ nation.183 In July, Hayashi Tadasu, the Japanese minister in London, made the same appeal to Lord Lansdowne.184 When the immigration restriction act was introduced for its second reading in September, Japanese diplomacy duly stirred itself. Writing again to Barton, Eitaki argued that since the law specified an education test in a ‘European language’, it categorically discriminated against the Japanese, who (unlike Russian, Greek, or Polish immigrants) would not be allowed the ‘courtesy’ of an examination in their own language. To make matters worse, Barton and his cabinet had underlined that the dictation test was intended to function as a colour bar in all but name. The government, Deakin had declared to parliament, meant to apply the act ‘with unqualified and inflexible firmness’. He singled out the Japanese, whose qual­ities— their ‘inexhaustible energy, their power of applying themselves to new tasks’— made them ‘the most dangerous of all’. They were ‘to be absolutely excluded’ from Australia.185 Eitaki cited Deakin’s remarks as further evidence that the government intended the act to be ‘racial, pure and simple’.186 In London, Hayashi similarly cited Deakin’s ‘monstrous declarations’ as further evidence that the act was ‘aimed to discriminate against Japanese’, and requested that Lansdowne ‘induce’ the Australian government to place Japanese on the same footing as European languages.187 The passage of the Australian act intruded on British diplomacy at a delicate moment. William Morris Hughes could not have been more than dimly aware of the ongoing negotiations for an Anglo-Japanese alliance. But he had been correct to point out that that the strategic pressures created by the Boxer crisis and the South African War were drawing London towards a firmer strategic partnership with Japan. The implications for ‘white Australia’, and certainly for the absolutist variety that Hughes and his Labor colleagues advocated, were stark. For the

182  W. M. Hughes, 12 September 1901, CAPD, vol. 37 (1901), p. 4822. 183  Eitaki to Barton, 3 May 1901, TNA, CO 418/10. 184  Hayashi to Lansdowne, 4 July 1901, TNA, FO 46/584. 185  A. Deakin, 12 September 1901, CAPD, vol. 37, pp. 4802–17. These remarks were quoted (out of context) by Tony Abbott on the occasion of Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe’s visit to Australia in 2014. 186  Eitaki to Hopetoun, 5 October 1901, TNA, CO 418/10. 187  Hayashi to Lansdowne, 16 December 1901, TNA, CO 418/16.

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42  Empire Ascendant moment, the two questions of immigration and alliance could be kept in separate political compartments: Japan had not raised the immigration issue in connection with the treaty negotiations, and it continued to accept the provisions of the ‘Natal formula’. But in London, officials worried that Australia’s reluctance to fall in with imperial policy (and the crudeness with which its parliamentarians expressed their views) might raise diplomatic complications. The governor-general, Lord Hopetoun, warned Barton that Chamberlain was ‘rather exercised’ about the fate of the immigration bill. ‘I rather suspect that the fear of possible complications with Japan in regard to it is the cause of his disquietude’.188 At the Foreign Office, Lord Lansdowne grumbled over its ‘awkward’ timing: if the bill should pass ‘in the face of a protest of the Japanese government’, it ‘would be most unfortunate at the present time’.189 Yet as the bill made its way through the Commonwealth parliament (it passed the Senate on 6 December) London was running short of options. To have reserved the bill would have invited an outcry against imperial interference, undermined Barton’s position, and cleared the way for a more extreme law based on the Labor amendment. One official at the Colonial Office acknowledged that only ‘with the greatest difficulty’ had Barton and Deakin ‘managed to get Parl’t to accept the education instead of the colour test’.190 To withhold the royal assent, Hopetoun warned from Melbourne, would provoke ‘a violent agitation against what still remains of Imperial control’.191 Chamberlain was of the same mind; as he noted to the Foreign Office, racial feeling in Australia was of such intensity that disallowance by London would result in an ‘even more drastic measure, framed with even less consideration for the feelings of Japan and possibly containing a direct prohibition of the entry of Japanese into Australia’.192 All the Foreign Office could do was stall until the alliance negotiations had been safely concluded.

Conclusion: ‘The “Jap” is a very great deal more’ The announcement of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, so close on the heels of the passing of the immigration restriction act, might have been expected to heighten colonial suspicions of ‘imperial’ diplomacy. In fact, the Australian response to the alliance was curiously warm. ‘What exciting news is this of an Anglo-Japanese Treaty!’, Barton wrote to Hopetoun shortly after it had been made public. ‘It seems to me fraught with good for the Empire (including Australia), China and Japan.’193 188  Hopetoun to Barton, 11 November 1901, NLA, Hopetoun Papers, MS 51/8. 189  Minute by Lansdowne, 23 December 1901, TNA, FO 46/548. 190  Minute by Graham, 23 June 1902, TNA, CO 418/23. 191  Hopetoun to Chamberlain, 24 February 1902, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 14/1/1–60. 192  CO to FO, 4 January 1902, TNA, FO 46/670. 193  Barton to Hopetoun, 18 February 1902, NLA, Hopetoun Papers, mf. M936.

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   43 Part of the reason was that the alliance mollified the anxieties over the geo­pol­it­ical stability of East Asia that had come to the fore in the 1890s. The rise of Japan, as Barton subsequently noted to General Hutton, was ‘of interest to all those who revolt from the idea of submitting to Russian arrogance’.194 There was also a palp­able sense of relief at the prospect that the treaty would provide some diplomatic insulation against further objections to ‘white Australia’. It was probably ‘in view of the new treaty with England’, Barton believed, that Japan had abandoned its ‘stiff ’ opposition to the Immigration Restriction Act.195 An informal survey of Australian MPs conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald echoed Barton’s views: the alliance afforded Australia ‘effectual protection’ from the Russian and German fleets in Chinese waters, one member noted, and secured its ‘trading interests throughout the Far East’. It made Australia ‘as independent’, another declared, ‘as if we had another England at our doors’.196 Yet the incongruity between an alliance of supposedly ‘civilized states’ and an immigration regime that rebuffed the Japanese as inassimilable ‘Asiatics’ still aroused considerable scepticism, in Australia as well as in Britain. The Bulletin was first to the fore to denounce the ‘Motherland’s Misalliance’. Its cover cartoon on 1 March 1902 (Fig. 1.2) depicted Britannia as an ageing dowager, knocking on the door of ‘white Australia’ to introduce the colony to its ‘new father’: a racist caricature of a Japanese gentleman. That London had allied itself with a ‘coloured power’, argued the accompanying article, was a telling sign of the growing divergence between the two empires of white settlers and ‘coloured’ colonies. ‘It is no easy matter to remain white’, the Bulletin concluded, ‘and yet to remain part of an  Empire that grows blacker every day.’197 The inconsistency of settler attitudes with official policy was no less evident in London, where the discrimination against Britain’s new allies in the settler colonies was a noted theme in  the a­lliance’s reception in the press and in parliament. On one occasion, Joseph Chamberlain found himself cornered by an Irish MP who demanded to know whether Britain’s col­onies would now be required to recognize ‘the equal international rights of Japanese subjects within the British Empire’. Were Japanese subjects, James O’Kelly demanded, ‘not to be treated as those of a civilised power?’ When Chamberlain retorted that the treaty did not touch on immigration as such, he was met with derisive shouts of ‘Your ally! Your ally!’ from the opposition benches.198 These and other incidents illustrated the complexities of Anglo-Japanese engagement at the turn of the twentieth century. If the reality of Japanese power demanded its recognition as a ‘civilized’ power, its potential manifestations in the 194  Barton to Hutton, 30 September 1903, BL, Hutton Papers, Add. MS 50084. 195  Barton to Hopetoun, 18 February 1902, NLA, Hopetoun Papers, mf. M936. 196  ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, SMH, 14 February 1902. 197  ‘The Jap Alliance’, Bulletin, 22 February 1902. 198  J. Chamberlain, J. O’Kelly, 8 May 1902, Hansard, HC, 4th series, vol. 107, c. 1088.

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44  Empire Ascendant

Fig. 1.2  ‘The Motherland’s Misalliance’, The Bulletin, 1 March 1902. NLA Newspaper Collection.

Pacific also inspired new strains of racial fear. As the alliance was signed in February 1902, it still seemed an open question (to many in Tokyo as well as in London) which of these two discourses—that of the ‘two island empires’ or of the ‘yellow peril’—would prevail over the other. At minimum, British officials could trust that the authority that ‘imperial’ diplomacy still commanded, both at home and in the colonies, would submerge anti-Japanese prejudice and minimize its

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‘ The Englands of East and West ’   45 interference with the new alliance. Given time and incentive, Chamberlain hoped, colonial democracy would mature to the point where it would shoulder its im­per­ial burdens responsibly. ‘Sometimes I wonder’, he wrote to Sir John Forrest, who had become Australia’s inaugural defence minister, ‘whether it would not be the best policy to remove every British warship from the Australian station and throw upon the Commonwealth the duty of providing an adequate force for its own defence.’199 The rise of Japan, insofar as it exposed the British Pacific to the main current of world politics, might ultimately prove a forcing-house for imperial unity. It was entirely in keeping with this that British officials in Australia and New Zealand encouraged the colonists to think of Japan as a neighbouring great power instead of one among several sources of ‘coloured labour’. When the Japanese navy’s training squadron was due to call in Melbourne for in May 1903, General Hutton pointedly argued that the visit (the first since the conclusion of the alliance) should feature a military parade. The ‘great ovation from the public’ that the Japanese cadets would undoubtedly receive, he hoped, might go some .  .  .  by the recent Australian way towards relieving the ‘irritation caused  legislation’.200 Victoria’s governor, Sir George Clarke, agreed. ‘[I]t would be well for the Melbourne & Sydney populace to see the Japs marching through the streets’, he wrote to the governor-general. ‘To Australians, a yellow man . . . is a ­yellow man & “nothing more”. The Jap is a very great deal more, & the sooner people like Barton realise this the better.’201 Indeed, it was a truth that Australia, along with the rest of the world, was about to discover.

199  Chamberlain to Forrest, 19 July 1903, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 18/2–10. 200  Hutton to Tennyson, 1 May 1903, BL, Hutton Papers, Add. MS 50082. 201  Clarke to Tennyson, 17 May 1903, NLA, Tennyson Papers, MS 479/5.

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2

A War for Civilization The Russo-Japanese War, 1904–5

On 2 January 1905, Port Arthur, Russia’s great naval fortress in the Far East, surrendered to the Japanese Third Army. Three days later, the defeated Russian commander, Anatoly Stessel, emerged to formally surrender the city to his Japanese counterpart, Nogi Maresuke. Their meeting, which took place at a nearby cottage hastily rechristened as the ‘Temple of Peace’, was decorous, even amicable: a brief handshake between the two generals, followed by an exchange of messages from their monarchs, upon which Stessel, in a flourish of old-world gallantry, gifted Nogi his horse. Reciprocating the gesture, Nogi allowed the Russians to leave the fortress in full parade uniform, the officers wearing their swords. Stessel, accompanied by his wife and their five adopted children (orphaned by the siege), was permitted to board a ship to Russia. To the British war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, who attended the ceremony, it was a strikingly dignified conclusion to one of the bloodiest episodes in the Russo-Japanese War.1 It had taken Nogi’s force months of continuous fighting, much of it in uphill infantry assaults, to capture the gun emplacements on the hills overlooking Port Arthur, at a cost of over 57,000 casualties. After taking the fortress, Nogi, who lost two of his own sons in the siege, petitioned the emperor for permission to commit seppuku.2 Port Arthur’s fall had a decisive impact on the outcome of the RussoJapanese War. It freed up Nogi’s Third Army to join the rest of the Japanese forces in a full-scale offensive near Mukden, where after a month-long battle they succeeded in driving the Russians north. It deprived Russia of its only Pacific naval base south of Vladivostok, leaving the Japanese navy free to rest, refit, and await the arrival of the Russian Baltic Fleet for the war’s climactic naval battle at Tsushima. Meanwhile, in Europe, the fall of the fortress invited reflection on Japan’s me­teor­ic rise to international prominence. Punch, the satirical magazine, used the occasion to debut a new allegorical representation of Japan (Fig. 2.1). Where previously its cartoons had displayed Japan as a geisha or an undersized soldier in an ill-fitting uniform, it now showed a warrior queen modelled on Britannia (with a few orientalist touches, such as a dragon-crested helmet, to 1 Ashmead-Bartlett, Port Arthur, pp. 378–401. 2  Nogi’s request was refused, but he and his wife later committed ritual suicide on Meiji’s death in 1912: see Shimazu, Japanese Society at War, p. 254. Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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A War for Civilization  47

Fig 2.1  ‘Regained!’, Punch, or the London Charivari, 11 January 1905. British Library.

mark her as Japanese) standing on the conquered fortress, illuminated by the rising sun. The message was unmistakable. Here was a new Japan, confident in its claim to membership of ‘civilized’ international society. Commenting on the surrender in the Fortnightly Review, Alfred Stead (son of the famous publisher W. T. Stead) noted that the Japanese had accepted the Russian surrender with a

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48  Empire Ascendant nobility befitting their new standing as a ‘civilised power’, ‘in sympathetic silence’, and without ‘outward rejoicing over the fall of their erstwhile proud foes’. Their conduct had set a new standard of ‘international morality’, demonstrating ‘beyond the power of argument, the fallacy of the artificial barriers between races and continents’. As it had scaled the fortifications of Port Arthur, Stead concluded, Japan had also crossed the global colour line: The historian of the future will regard Port Arthur’s capitulation as the red-letter mark to divide the period of narrow parochial internationalism from that of the birth of true internationalism, which is not guided by the paint on atlases or the coloured pigment of the human skin. . . . [N]ow and in the future there is no more Asia, no more Europe, no hard and fast colour distinctions. The blood spilt on the glacis of Port Arthur has forever wiped out the colour line in national achievement. The world has become again a community of nations, not a series of unequal, water-tight compartments.3

The Russo-Japanese War, fought between February 1904 and September 1905, radically altered the geopolitical and ideological conditions of Japan’s inter­nation­al position. Its victories cut short Russia’s expansionist ambitions in East Asia (nearly triggering the fall of the tsarist monarchy) while greatly elevating Japan’s own military prestige. Victory also brought colonial spoils: the annexation of the southern half of the island of Sakhalin, a protectorate over Korea, and a nascent commercial imperium of leased ports and railways in northern China. The war conclusively ushered Japan into the ranks of the ‘great powers’: no one could dismiss its victory over one of Europe’s leading powers, in full view of a small army of Western journalists, as a ‘mere military promenade’, as Satow had disparaged its victory over China ten years earlier.4 A ‘new world Power’ had ‘thrust itself upon the world in a manner not to be ignored’.5 But international recognition had come at an immense cost. The Meiji state mobilized over a million men for the war effort, of which 73,700 lost their lives. Tokyo spent over 1.7 billion yen, or eight times the cost of the Sino-Japanese War, much of which it was forced to raise on the British and American capital markets.6 The war stretched Meiji society to its limits. Admiring Western accounts might have portrayed the Japanese nation as singularly united in its dedication to the ‘great cause’ (Japan was no ‘collection of individuals’, Stead raved, but ‘a living and sentient reality’), but a closer inspection revealed the social volatility that lurked beneath the displays of popular patriotism.7 The announcement of the peace terms, deemed by 3  Stead, ‘Port Arthur’, pp. 213–23. 4  Satow Diary, 24 December 1903, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/16/7. 5  Stead, ‘Port Arthur’, p. 211. 6 Shimazu, Japanese Society at War, pp. 4–5; Miller, ‘Japan’s Other Victory’, pp. 472–4. 7 Stead, Great Japan, pp. 1–2.

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A War for Civilization  49 many to be too lenient to Russia, sparked a riot that threw central Tokyo into anarchy for days.8 The British watched the war from the sidelines, but were deeply invested in its outcome. A Japanese defeat, Satow noted on the eve of the war, would make Russia ‘the dominant Power in this part of the world’.9 Further scrambles for Chinese territory, with drastic implications for European diplomacy, were sure to follow. Japan’s elimination as a naval power would impose new fiscal burdens that Britain’s public finances would struggle to meet. It was an unpleasant scenario. But any attempt to save its ally from defeat might bring on a global confrontation with Russia and France. Wary of this ‘appalling calamity’, and cynically hoping that Russia might sink itself into a Korean quagmire, the Balfour cabinet settled into an anxious (and meticulously observed) neutrality.10 In the event, Japan proved a more formidable military power than London had anticipated. In the war’s opening salvo on the night of 8-9 February 1904, the Japanese navy launched a surprise attack on Port Arthur, immobilizing the Russian navy and allowing the army to occupy Korea. By May, Japanese forces had crossed the Yalu River into Manchuria, while a separate force laid siege to Port Arthur. In August, a Russian attempt to relieve its naval base met with defeat at the battle of Liaoyang. By January 1905, when Port Arthur fell, the war’s ultimate outcome seemed no longer in doubt. The spectacle of a modern Asian army defeating one of Europe’s foremost military powers commanded worldwide attention, served by the dozens of war correspondents who had flocked to the Far East to report on the fighting. The Russo-Japanese War introduced Britons to a new Japan, ‘no longer a protégé to patronise nor a pre-modernity to romanticise’, but an ambitious power whose ‘efficiency’ and civic patriotism Britain might do well to emulate. ‘[W]e could not have done what the Japs have done’, wrote an envious Lord Curzon, ‘for as a nation we are growing stale, flaccid, and nerveless. In point of national ardour and power of self-sacrifice the Japs stand about where we did at Agincourt.’11 The war unleashed feverish speculation over how the ‘new Japan’ would reshape the geopolitical and georacial order in the Asia-Pacific. Japanese diplomats (and their supporters in the British press) did their best to downplay the war’s racial dimensions, stressing instead that Japan’s fight against Russia was one of ‘civilization’ against barbarism. Indeed, optimists saw in the Russo-Japanese War a long-awaited catalyst for the spread of Western-style modernity into East Asia. Rather than 8 Shimazu, Japanese Society at War, pp. 43–51. 9  Satow to Lansdowne, 27 August 1903, TNA, Lansdowne Papers, FO 800/120. 10  Selborne to Lansdowne, 21 December 1903, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 8906/17/1; Balfour to Selborne, 23 December 1903, BLO, Selborne Papers, 34. On British neutrality, see Neilson, Britain and the Last Tsar, pp. 238–64; Otte, China Question, pp. 312–25. 11  Curzon to Godley, 23 March 1905, BL, Curzon Papers, MSS Eur F111/164. On the Edwardian ‘cult’ of Japan, see Holmes and Ion, ‘Bushido and the Samurai’; Hashimoto, ‘White Hope’; Tonooka, ‘Reverse Emulation’.

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50  Empire Ascendant constitute a ‘yellow peril’, they argued, China’s ‘awakening’ under Japanese guidance would unfold along Livingstonian lines of commerce, civilization, and even Christianity.12 By a broad consensus, Japan had earned its right to be acknowledged as an equal member of the ‘family’ of civilized states. But whether its rise could be truly reconciled to the international imperial order was a different matter. British observers were keenly aware that the war had been celebrated throughout much of the colonized world, including its own empire, as a blow against Western imperialism. The war, commented one former colonial administrator, had de­livered ‘an electric shock’ to ‘the coloured peoples of the world’, as news of the Japanese victories sent waves of electricity coursing through ‘the souks of Morocco, the mosques of Egypt, and the coffee-houses of Turkey, in Indian bazaars and African mud-houses’.13 It was the ‘the first occasion for centuries’, Curzon told the House of Lords in 1908, ‘in which, in an open contest between East and West, between Europe and Asia, Asia has triumphed’. The ‘reverberations’ of the war had ‘echoed like a thunderclap through the whispering galleries of the East’, galvanizing nationalist movements in China, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire, and giving ‘an immense impetus to racial feeling’ in India.14 This fear of an Eastern awakening, shaking the foundations of the white man’s world, gained additional significance in the settler states of the British Pacific, where it merged with standing preoccupations over Asian migration to produce a new incarnation of the ‘yellow peril’. It was clear to all that Japan’s triumph marked a moment of profound worldhistorical significance, with decided implications for the future of the British world-system in the century to come. But behind that fact lay a paradox. Japan’s victory over Russia had struck a powerful blow against the legitimacy of global racial hierarchies. But in raising the spectre of anticolonial revolt, it also laid bare the continued (indeed, growing) importance of race in the international system. British and colonial politicians wrestled with these ambiguities as they attempted to adapt their relations with Japan to the realities of a new geopolitical order in East Asia and the western Pacific.

‘A force of civilising progress’ Japan had warily eyed Russia’s probing of its north-east Asian periphery since the early nineteenth century. But it was the technological and geopolitical changes of 12  Morris Stewart, ‘Revelation of the East’, p. 255. 13 Johnston, Views and Reviews, pp. 260–1. 14  Best, ‘ “The Great Question” ’, 178–84. On the war’s reception in the colonial world, see Esenbel, ‘Japan’s Global Claim to Asia’; Aydin, Politics of Anti-Westernism, pp. 71–92; Kologlu, ‘Turkish and Islamic Perspectives on Japanese Modernisation’; Kreisner, ‘Japanische Sieg über Russland’; Marks, ‘ “Bravo, Brave Tiger of the East” ’; Schiffrin, ‘Impact of the War on China’.

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A War for Civilization  51 the 1890s that would bring their rivalry to a breaking point. The construction of the trans-Siberian railway, initiated with much fanfare in Vladivostok in May 1891, represented the culmination of St Petersburg’s long-standing ambition to exploit the resources of its Siberian hinterland. The Qing crisis after 1895 fuelled further dreams of empire: given Russia’s ‘enormous frontier with China’, noted the Russian finance minister, Sergei Witte, it was ‘only a question of time’ before Russia would practically absorb ‘a considerable portion of the Chinese Empire’.15 In 1896, in exchange for supporting China in its peace negotiations with Japan, Russia exacted a concession to build a branch line through northern Manchuria. Two years later, it secured a twenty-year lease on the naval base of Port Arthur, along with the right to link it to its Siberian rail network. Here, in skeletal form, were the outlines of a new colonial sphere that would provide Russia with year-long access to the Pacific Ocean (Port Arthur, unlike Vladivostok, was an ice-free port), control over the markets and resources of Mongolia and Manchuria, and quite possibly a commanding influence at Beijing. Witte had envisioned this expansion into the Chinese borderlands along commercial and economic lines: a ‘conquest by bank and railway’ that would strengthen Russia’s position without risking a confrontation with either the Western powers or the Japanese. But the outbreak of the Boxer rising in 1900 sharply accelerated the pace of Russian penetration. Citing the need to protect Russian nationals and assets, St Petersburg sent troops to guard its railway lines. By October 1900 it occupied all three of China’s Manchurian provinces, along with the treaty port of Newchwang [Yinkou]. Having stolen a march on its European rivals, the Russian government was determined to retain its advantage. In April 1901 Beijing was informed that in exchange for withdrawal, St Petersburg would expect to retain far-reaching economic and political rights in Manchuria. The formation in August 1903 of a ‘Viceroyalty of the Far East’, headquartered at Port Arthur, hinted at still greater ambitions.16 Seen from Tokyo, the prospect of a permanent Russian force in Manchuria, with a naval base at Port Arthur and linked to Europe via rail, was deeply alarming. Worse, by 1903 Russian influence had begun to spill southwards into neighbouring Korea, where Japan’s hold remained uncertain. Throughout the autumn of 1903, the Japanese government attempted (unsuccessfully) to commit St Petersburg to a mutual delineation of spheres, under the formula of Man-kan kōkan, or ‘Manchuria for Korea’. When negotiations finally broke down in December 1903, Tokyo determined it had no alternative but to check the Russian advance by war.17

15 Paine, Imperial Rivals, p. 209. 16  On the origins of the conflict, see Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, ‘The Immediate Origins of the War’, and his longer study Towards the Rising Sun; and Nish, The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War. 17 Nish, Origins, pp. 206–21.

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52  Empire Ascendant For Japan, the Russo-Japanese War was ultimately a means to secure its survival as a regional power, and in particular, to retain its position on the Korean peninsula. Yet it also offered an opportunity to secure its position as a modern power and a legitimate member of the international system before a global audience, finishing the work begun with the Sino-Japanese War ten years earlier. Victory over the Qing empire had, for much of the Meiji elite, marked Japan’s ‘escape from Asia’.18 But it had pointedly failed to bring with it the security of international legitimacy. The intervention of Germany, France, and Russia into the peace negotiations with China had vividly illustrated how racial and cultural barriers still barred Japan from exercising its membership of the ‘concert’ of powers.19 A repeat of this scenario remained very much on the minds of the Japanese government as it prepared for war with Russia. If conflict with a European power set off another ‘yellow peril’ panic, it might leave Japan isolated and its ‘civilized’ status an empty formality. Meeting on the eve of war in December 1903, the Japanese cabinet sanctioned a pre-emptive public diplomacy campaign to propagate the message that Japan was fighting not only in its own self-defence but in the interests of ‘civilization’ (bunmei) at large.20 Its diplomats abroad would supply the foreign press with articles debunking the ‘yellow peril’. International observers would be invited to inspect the army’s field hospitals and prisoner-of-war camps, evidence of Japan’s capacity to wage ‘civilized’ war. One such observer, the British nurse and Red Cross inspector Ethel McCaul, was afforded ample opportunity to see how the Russian prisoners at a large camp of the largest camps, near Matsuyama, were housed in clean, spacious quarters (with fresh flowers for the officers) and given freedom to work and exercise.21 McCaul duly concluded that the Japanese were ‘truly a marvellous people’, and that their treatment of prisoners ‘would reflect the greatest credit on any nation’.22 Accompanied by illustrations showing Japanese nurses and stretcher-bearers, such reports sanitized the war for public consumption while emphasizing its modern, civilized character. Indeed, according to The Times, Japan had almost succeeded ‘in investing the barbarism of battle with the attributes of civilisation’.23 In their exchanges with foreign diplomats, Japanese officials emphasized that they were not merely fighting a civilized war, but a war for ‘Civilization’, capitalized. Running through scenarios with Claude Macdonald, Britain’s minister in Tokyo, the foreign minister Komura Jutarō pointedly warned that a victorious Russia would exclude foreign trade from north-east Asia and initiate a predatory scramble for Chinese territory. Japan, by contrast, ‘would maintain her policy of

18  Keene, ‘Sino-Japanese War’, pp. 126–33. 19  Iikura, ‘ “Yellow Peril” ’, pp. 80–5. 20  Valliant, ‘Selling of Japan’, pp. 422–3; Nish, ‘Suematsu Kenchō’. 21  On Matsuyama as a site of Japanese war propaganda, see Shimazu, ‘ “Love Thy Enemy” ’. 22 McCaul, Under the Care, p. 204; see also Kowner, ‘Honorary Civilized Nation’. 23  ‘Russia and Japanese Feeling’, The Times, 29 April 1905.

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A War for Civilization  53 the Open Door and the maintenance of the integrity of China’.24 The war aims that Tokyo outlined to London at the end of 1904 similarly anticipated the ­restoration of Chinese sovereignty over Manchuria and the neutralization of the Russian railway lines, which might be sold to an international syndicate.25 In aligning its terms with the ‘open door’ policy espoused by Britain and the United States, Tokyo sought to emphasize its progressive intentions while simultaneously downplaying the conflict’s racial dimensions. In an interview with the Japan Daily Mail that was widely reproduced in the British press, Japan’s prime minister Katsura Tarō vehemently denied that Tokyo was fighting ‘for supremacy of race over race . . . With differences over race or religion [the war] has nothing to do; and it is carried on in the interests of humanity, and the commerce and civilisation of the world’.26 Katsura invoked a metaphor certain to resonate with European audiences: in the current war, Japan was Greece, standing against Russia’s Persia, ‘the great disturber of the peace of the East’.27 Echoing this line at society gatherings in London, Suematsu Kenchō, one of Japan’s special envoys tasked with counteracting the ‘yellow peril’ in the European press, reiterated that Japan was waging its war ‘at the mandate of England and America, as it were, in the cause of civilisation and humanity’.28 British commentators heartily reciprocated the notion that Japan was fighting a war on behalf of ‘Civilization’ (and a particular Anglo-Saxon variant at that). As The Times noted in one editorial, it was ‘striking’ that ‘in this controversy the Asiatic Power represents the forces of civilizing progress, and the European power those of mechanical repression’.29 All ‘thinking men’, thought Henry Wilson, the leader-writer for the Daily Mail, would agree that a Japanese victory would result in the triumph of ‘civilised ideas’—which to his mind included ‘democratic institutions, education and enlightenment . . . all that we understand by progress’, over the ‘barbarism and reaction’ represented by Russia.30 Equally crucial to such positive assessments was the hope that a Japanese victory would bolster Britain’s own position in Asia. Many hoped a strong Japan would be able to relieve China from the Russian pressure to its north and exercise a stabilizing effect over the volatile politics of its larger neighbour. Once the twinned threats of partition and ‘Boxerism’ were laid to rest, the Qing empire might then be gradually opened up to foreign trade and ideas. The ‘consequences of a Japanese victory’, one writer in Blackwood’s Magazine predicted, would include the ‘checking of Russian designs’, the ‘probable reorganisation of China’, and ultimately ‘the opening, through

24  Macdonald to Lansdowne, 28 January 1904, TNA, FO 46/581, No. 30. Komura repeated these assurances during the summer of 1905: see Satow to Lansdowne, 1 June 1905, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/14/15. 25  Macdonald to Lansdowne, 22 November 1904, TNA, FO 46/579, No. 333. 26  ‘Count Katsura on the Yellow Peril’, NCH, 10 June 1904. 27  ‘Count Katsura on the Yellow Peril’, NCH, 10 June 1904. 28 Suematsu, Risen Sun, p. 12. 29 [Editorial], The Times, 6 February 1904. 30 Wilson, Japan’s Fight for Freedom, p. vi.

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54  Empire Ascendant Japanese influence, of vast new fields to the trade of all nations’.31 Britain’s China traders similarly banked on a Japanese victory. Giving his chairman’s address at the annual dinner of China Association in 1904, William Keswick (a former taipan of Jardine Matheson) already anticipated a commercial renaissance. ‘The gallant Japanese’, he declared, were fighting their war ‘for the good of the world in general’. Their victory would see ‘the great Empire of China thrown open to commerce’, and breathe ‘the breath of patriotism’ into the Qing. British trade might finally exploit the China market to its full potential. ‘[J]ust think’, Keswick instructed his fellow China hands, ‘of the vista that opens up to us in the trade of the Far East.’32 Such thinking turned the ‘yellow peril’ on its head. Rather than lead an ‘awakened’ Asia in revolt against the West, Japan would be a conduit for Western influence, guiding China through its own Meiji-style modernization. In his pointedly titled Dai Nippon: The Britain of the East, Henry Dyer, a former adviser to the Japanese education ministry, declared that Japan had become ‘the chief progressive force in the Far East’. It had a providential task to bring the whole of East Asia ‘into the sphere of her intellectual, moral, and social influence’.33 The North China Herald similarly anticipated a ‘Japanising of China’, and the ‘uplifting’ of the Qing to ‘Western enlightenment and civilisation’.34 Even an old China hand as seasoned as Sir Robert Hart, the long-serving head of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs, was scanning the horizon for signs of a Chinese renaissance. ‘[T]he pluck of Japan has electrified China’, he noted in February 1904, ‘and the psychological moment seems to have at last come: I expect progress will now take root and the strength of the Empire be developed.’35 By recasting Japan as a civilized, progressive power, these arguments made it possible to bypass the dividing lines of religion and race. Japanese ‘heathenism’ had long posed an obstacle to its inclusion in a ‘family of civilised nations’ that traced its origins to earlier notions of the unity of Christendom.36 When presenting the ‘yellow peril’ to his fellow monarchs, the German emperor had pointedly chosen to represent Japan as a Buddha figure. Russian propaganda similarly harped on the theme of a Christian nation standing against ‘Asiatic paganism’.37 But religious difference could be mitigated. Sympathetic commentators, including many British and American missionaries in East Asia, countered by contrasting the Japanese regard for religious pluralism with tsarist intolerance, evinced as recently as 1903 by a series of pogroms in Bessarabia and Ukraine. Taking the argument further, some even insisted that Japan’s humane regard for prisoners and the 31  E.G.J.M., ‘Consequences of a Japanese Victory’, pp. 127–32. 32  China Association Annual Banquet, minutes, 18 November 1904, SOAS, CHAS/A/4. 33 Dyer, Dai Nippon’, p. viii. 34  ‘The Yellow Peril Bogey Again’, NCH, 30 June 1905. 35  Hart to Campbell, 28 February 1904, in Fairbank et al. (eds), I.G.  in Peking, pp. 1399–1400. Emphasis in original. 36  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, pp. 178–9. 37  Henning, ‘White Mongols?’, pp. 153–60.

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A War for Civilization  55 wounded revealed an intuitive affinity with Christianity—‘the instinct of the Gospel’, as one writer described it.38 ‘If Christianity has any connexion with the teachings of its Founder’, The Times sagely proclaimed, ‘the Japanese might well claim to be the best Christians of us all.’39 Like their counterparts in the merchant community, Protestant missionaries projected their own expansionist hopes onto a Japanese victory. With Japan’s example before them, one missionary journal noted, the Chinese would now surely be ‘determined to learn the secret of Western power’, and their ‘open attitude of mind’ would represent an ‘unparalleled opportunity’ for evangelization.40 Christianity would advance in tandem with commerce and civilization. Bishop William Awdry, the senior Anglican cleric in Japan, was already planning a new missionary drive into Manchuria: it was ‘through Japanese influence’, he wrote to his colleagues in London, that Christianity would establish its foothold in China.41 Racial hierarchies could be similarly reorganized. Commentaries on the war routinely projected Japan’s civilization onto the bodies of its soldiers, making them seem ‘taller, stronger, and better nourished’ in the process.42 ‘The Japanese are undoubtedly the finest race physically that exists’, wrote Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, war correspondent for the London Standard at the siege of Port Arthur, ‘thick-set and well-built . . . very agile and quick on their feet . . . To see a Japanese jump is a revelation.’43 General Ian Hamilton, the senior foreign military observer with Marshall Ōyama Iwao’s First Army, similarly judged the Japanese soldier to be ‘the fighting man of the future’.44 The officers were ‘highly educated gentlemen’, and the men were marked by their ‘intense patriotism & fearlessness of death’. They were ‘hardy’, ‘good marchers’, and physically well-suited to soldiering: a martial race that could acquit itself against any European force.45 ‘In the whole of Tokio [sic]’, Hamilton noted, ‘I have not seen a single soldier who is flat-footed, narrow-chested or slouching.’46 There was an ‘Anglo-Saxon virility’ in the Japanese race, wrote Henry Dyer, that helped to explain its astonishing transformation into a modern power.47 Japan’s racial elevation came at the expense of its ‘Slavic’ enemy, which saw its  whiteness qualified by references to its supposed ‘semi-Asiatic nature’ or its ‘Tartar element’. Between a Japanese soldier and a ‘Siberian Russian’, declared the journalist Stafford Ransome, it was clear that the former ‘was the whiter of the two’.48 Russia, another writer noted, was in ‘race, customs, art, thought, and

38  Morris Stewart, ‘Revelation of the East’, p. 257; ‘Japan and Christianity’, SMH, 14 June 1905. 39 [Editorial], The Times, 29 April 1905. 40  Broomhall, ‘The Crisis in the Far East’, p. 28. 41  Awdry to Montgomery, 29 June 1905, BLO, SPG Papers, CLR/91. 42  Kowner, ‘Honorary Civilized Nation’, p. 3. 43 Ashmead-Bartlett, Port Arthur, p. 485. 44  Hamilton to Amery, 15 April 1905, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/5/3. 45  Hamilton to Kitchener, 26 May 1904, TNA, Kitchener Papers, PRO 30/57/37. 46 Hamilton, Staff-Officer’s Scrap-Book, p. 5. 47 Dyer, Dai Nippon, p. 402. 48  ‘Will the Yellow Men Combine?’, Daily Mail, 12 May 1904.

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56  Empire Ascendant general culture more yellow than white, more Asiatic than European’.49 Hence Britain could ‘look with calmness’ on the ‘development of the so-called Yellow Peril under Japanese auspices’, yet a Russian-controlled China would be ‘a menace to the peace of the world, and the means of overthrowing the British Empire in Asia’.50 At the British embassy in St Petersburg, the diplomat Cecil Spring-Rice developed an elaborate racial theory of Russian expansionism. Russia, as he wrote to his friend Theodore Roosevelt, was the product of generations of intermixing between ‘Slavs’ and ‘Mongols’, and had a long history of deploying Asian troops against Europeans. ‘Ivan the Terrible destroyed Novgorod with Tartar troops . . . Why should not Russia use Mongolian or Chinese troops as she has used her Tartars— to coerce the Teutons & Europeans?’51 In these terms, Japan could be cast as a proxy for Anglo-Saxondom in its racial-historical struggle against ‘Asiatic’ Russia. Raising a toast at a dinner in Tokyo, Francis Brinkley, the Japan correspondent of The Times, evocatively moralized the war in these terms. ‘If to be the champion of ideals which Anglo-Saxons . . . hold in reverence is to be a “Yellow Peril” ’, he declared, ‘then certainly Japan is the head and front of the “Yellow Peril” .’52

‘The danger of the Yellow Peril depends on what we make of it’ Talk of a ‘yellow peril’ had stalked Japan’s international ascent since the 1890s, and experienced another upswing during Russo-Japanese War. The German emperor returned to the subject with new fervour, calling on his fellow monarchs to rally behind Russia, Europe’s ‘vanguard’ against a rising Asia.53 British diplomats noted the unease that appeared to govern attitudes towards Japan in several European capitals. It was the dread of seeing its ‘Oriental neighbour’ armed with ‘Occidental ideas’, noted the British ambassador in St Petersburg, that had driven Russia to war.54 In France, the conservative press poured out a torrent of racial rhetoric in support of its Russian ally. ‘The Yellow Peril is the order of the day here’, Sir Francis Bertie reported from Paris. Even level-headed French politicians, he noted, speculated that Japan might invade Indochina after defeating Russia.55 The Dutch prime minister, Abraham Kuyper, speculated that Europe might soon face a ‘yellow invasion’, while the colonial authorities of the Netherlands Indies, one visiting British admiral observed, lived in perpetual dread ‘of the Japs swooping

49  Eltzbacher, ‘The Yellow Peril’, p. 925. 50  Boulger, ‘Yellow Peril Bogey’, p. 39. 51  Spring-Rice to Roosevelt, n.d. [1904], CCAC, Spring-Rice Papers, CASR 9/2. 52  Cited in Macdonald to Lansdowne, 19 May 1904, TNA, FO 371/46/578. 53  Ponsonby to Hardinge, 30 August 1904, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 7. 54  Scott to Sanderson, 6 January 1904, TNA, Lansdowne Papers, FO 800/115. 55  Bertie to Lansdowne, 17 January 1905, TNA, Lansdowne Papers, FO 800/126.

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A War for Civilization  57 down on their colonies’.56 Continental opinion was hardly monolithic: many on the European left relished the defeat and near-overthrow of tsarist autocracy.57 But everywhere, racial fears were a prominent refrain, posing an acute intellectual and political challenge to Japan and its sympathizers. This was true even in Britain, where attitudes towards Japan were much more sympathetic than on the Continent. Many British commentators referred to the ‘yellow peril’ only to comment on its absurdity. The phrase, commented one author in the Nineteenth Century, was intended to frighten the ‘uninstructed reading public’ with nightmares of ‘the Hun and Mongol terrors’. Yet ‘unprejudiced minds’ understood that the ‘peril’ had ‘no practical meaning’. It was ‘a racial Frankenstein’, sprung from a ‘disordered imagination’, and subsequently appropriated by Russia’s ‘subtle policy’ to ‘arrest the progress of Japan and prevent the interference of England’.58 Similar thinking dominated in Whitehall, where Balfour declared himself ‘completely sceptical’ about the ‘altogether chimerical’ idea ‘of Japan heading an Eastern crusade on Western civilisation’.59 Lansdowne agreed that the notion was ‘absurd’, while Joseph Chamberlain commented that he did not ‘attach any importance . . . to what is called the “yellow peril” ’.60 Rendered in its more cartoonish forms, the ‘peril’ was indeed easily derided. But as the Japanese continued to win victories in the field, British commentators nonetheless found themselves considering the war’s racial implications, especially insofar as they might touch on their own imperial system, with growing urgency. Racial interpretations of the war came in several forms. At their simplest, they simply restated the existence of essential differences that separated Japan from the West. The Japanese, one writer noted early on in the war, were ‘an intensely se­cret­ ive, astute, and self-contained race, very difficult to understand, because of the ineradicable racial difference between them and ourselves’.61 Others went much further, interpreting the rise of Japan as an intrinsic danger to the British Empire and hinting at a future racial struggle in terms that echoed the Kaiser in his more bombastic moods. The Spectator, whose editor, John Strachey, had been a leading sceptic of the alliance, flirted openly with the ‘yellow peril’, editorializing that it was Japan’s ‘natural ambition to lead the yellow race, and to show the world that she is capable of regenerating Asia’.62 Without Russia to hold it in check, Strachey warned, Japan might soon emerge as ‘a new Empire’ that would ‘dominate the North Pacific’, seize control of China, and create ‘a yellow power which would be in many respects the strongest in Asia’ and which would endanger ‘the safety of

56  Tufnell to Noel, 5 December 1904, NMM, Noel Papers, 4/A/1. 57  Beillevaire, ‘Impact of the War on French Politics’, 128–31. 58  Boulger, ‘Yellow Peril Bogey’, p. 35. 59  Balfour to Spring-Rice, 17 January 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49729. 60  Lansdowne to Bertie, 19 January 1905, TNA, Lansdowne Papers, FO 800/126; Chamberlain to Northcote, 23 December 1904, TNA, Northcote Papers, PRO 30/56. 61  Pownall, ‘Russia, Japan, and Ourselves’, p. 372. 62  ‘The War’, Spectator, 13 February 1904.

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58  Empire Ascendant every white Power . . . which has grave interests or broad territories on the Asiatic Continent’.63 Frederick Greenwood, the founding editor of the Pall Mall Gazette and, at age seventy-four, still a prominent voice in British journalism, penned a series of articles on the same theme. A victorious Japan would lead China in a ‘general rising’ of the ‘races of the Far East’, and establish ‘a triumphing Mongol Empire on the ruin of European prestige’. 64 Unless it terminated the AngloJapanese alliance, Britain would then find itself the pariah of Europe’, an unwitting accomplice to the destruction of white supremacy in Asia.65 While most fell short of this sort of hysteria, many more commentaries revealed a distinct sense of unease over the ways in which the Russo-Japanese War was unsettling the global racial order. Even if it could be assumed that Japan did not harbour pan-Asianist ambitions, its successive victories might still inspire nationalists of various stripes to challenge the ideological foundations of colonial rule. ‘When we back Japan we virtually endorse the cry, “Asia for the Asiatics” ’, declared the Daily News, a Liberal-leaning newspaper.66 The Spectator similarly predicted that Britain would yet have cause to regret its complicity in the destruction of Russian power when it found itself ‘in lonely isolation, the only white Christian power among nine-hundred millions of brown, non-Christian men’.67 These anxieties were amplified through the anti-colonial voices that celebrated Japan’s victories as blows against imperialism at large. From India, the acting viceroy, Lord Ampthill, struck an ominous note in a report to the India Office: You ask me whether I believe that the defeats inflicted upon Russia by an Asiatic power have any effect on the Asiatic mind. Most certainly I do, for there is abundant evidence to prove it. All the vernacular and Indian-owned newspapers are writing on the subject and pointing the moral in a very marked manner. The political diaries from our various Agents show that there is the keenest interest in the war in the bazaars of Afghanistan and Persia.68

Back in London, the prominent courtier and defence expert Lord Esher found himself wishing for a swift end to the war. It would better, he noted, ‘if the West is not hopelessly beaten by the East. It would not be a good thing for us, in the long run, if that were so.’69 Set against the background of the more explicit racial rhetoric coming out of Continental Europe, the circulation of these views among the British elite posed a 63  ‘British Sympathies in the Far East’, Spectator, 2 January 1904; ‘The Battle on the Yalu’, Spectator, 7 May 1904. 64  ‘East and West’, Westminster Gazette, 5 May 1904. 65  ‘The Orientation of England’, Westminster Gazette, 22 September 1904. 66  Iikura, ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Question of Race’, p. 227. 67  ‘Asia and Europe’, Spectator, 9 January 1904. 68  Ampthill to Godley, 31 May 1904, BL, Ampthill Papers, MSS Eur E 233/37. 69  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, p. 180.

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A War for Civilization  59 growing problem to Japan’s supporters. With London committed to neutrality and unable to assist its ally directly, much hinged on the tone of the press as an indicator that Britain remained firm in its support for Japan. From his post with the Japanese army in Manchuria, Ian Hamilton warned the journalist Leo Amery (then a staff writer for The Times) that Britain’s ‘enemies in Japan’ were making sure that ‘all the pro-Russian & Yellow Peril rubbish of the Stracheys & Greenwoods’ was circulated in the Japanese papers, ‘so as to try & give the impression that our hearts are not in this job at all’.70 From St Petersburg, Spring-Rice reported that the Russian government drew courage from the ‘yellow peril’ noises coming out of the British press. ‘It is openly said that England is getting sick of Japan.’71 Similar concerns circulated in official circles. If Japan continued to win ‘successes on a large scale’, noted Sir George Clarke, the secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence, it would ‘produce an exaggeration of the “Yellow Peril” alarms from which we are not wholly exempt in this country’.72 The precarity of pro-Japanese sentiment was a particular concern for Valentine Chirol, the foreign editor of The Times.73 Having worked hard to secure the conclusion of the Japanese alliance, Chirol was anxious that the war might erode its support at a time when the electoral prospects of Balfour’s Unionist party were flagging. It was ‘not at all improbable’, Chirol feared, that a future Liberal government would ‘betray our allies in the name of Christianity & civilisation’. He believed there was ‘a very clever press campaign going on here to create the necessary prejudice against the yellow pagans’.74 Sinister forces, directed by Russia and Germany, were conducting a ‘vigorous propaganda’ to alienate Britain from its Japanese ally. ‘I am afraid all this is producing some effect’, he wrote to Satow, ‘& I am not quite sure that it is not receiving a certain measure of encouragement in high quarters.’75 And the rise of the ‘yellow peril’ carried implications that went beyond the future of the alliance. By invoking Japan’s racial difference, Chirol warned, its detractors effectively sought to deny the legitimacy of its participation in the international order. ‘For the last two or three generations’, he observed to Spring-Rice, ‘we have been preaching to the Grand Signor, to the King of Kings, to the Son of Heaven the supreme Duty of purging themselves of barbarism & misgovernment’. To now treat Japan ‘as a public danger’ for doing the very thing that the West had urged on it was a hypocrisy that might permanently alienate it from the international order.76 Chirol drove the point home in a personal appeal

70  Chirol to Hardinge, 23 August 1904, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 7. 71  Spring-Rice to Chirol, 28 September 1904, CCAC, Spring-Rice Papers, CASR 1/20. 72 Clarke to Balfour, 4 January [dated 1904, contents suggest 1905], BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS  49700. 73  Chirol to Hardinge, 14 June 1904, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 7. 74  Chirol to Hardinge, 14 June 1904, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 7. 75  Chirol to Satow, 27 April 1904, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/10/7. 76  Chirol to Spring-Rice, 10 May 1904, CCAC, Spring-Rice Papers, CASR 1/10.

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60  Empire Ascendant to Strachey at the Spectator: by amplifying the idea of a ‘yellow peril’, the Japanophobes would call their own demons forth. The danger of the “yellow peril” depends to my mind largely what we make of it . . . [Japan] stands at the present moment midway between the East & the West. We can drive her back upon the East by telling her that, because of her yellow skin, she can never have part or lot with the West. We can lead her, I believe, still nearer to the West by telling her that she shall be dealt with according not to her skin but to her deeds.77

From his position at the foreign department of Britain’s most authoritative newspaper, and supported by a network of pro-Japanese East Asian correspondents, Chirol was able to mount a counter-offence on Japan’s behalf.78 Throughout the war, The Times would defend Japan’s diplomatic actions, praise its conduct of the war, and vigorously criticize the idea of a ‘yellow peril’—an idea ‘as mischievous as it was dishonest’. The real danger, as Chirol continued to see it, was that racial prejudice would lead the European powers to impose ‘an international “boycott” ’ on Japan. Only then would ‘she bend all her energies to make the “yellow peril” a  reality’.79 Chirol was unapologetic about his partisanship. When Charles Hardinge, the British ambassador in St Petersburg, interceded with him to soften The Times’s criticism of Russia, he retorted that his editorial stance was fully in line with British interests, which in East Asia were ‘fundamentally antagonistic’ to those of Russia and ‘identic’ to those of Japan.80 As Britain’s foremost public voice on foreign affairs, The Times had an obligation to defend the alliance against those seeking to undermine it. It was ‘largely due to the attitude of The Times’, he told Hardinge, that Japan still retained some faith in the ‘friendliness of England, in spite of the ‘the alacrity with which the Yellow Peril cry has been repeated by a good many English papers’.81 Chirol held this line even as his pro-Japanese politics began to conflict with his journalism. The Russo-Japanese War drew dozens of foreign journalists to Tokyo, many of whom subsequently found themselves stranded there as the Japanese military authorities, concerned over espionage, barred them from proceeding to the front. Many were forced to kick their heels in Tokyo with little to do but reproduce the army’s own reporting. ‘I do not think I ever saw a body of more touchy irritable nervous men than the correspondents presented during this enforced wait’, noted Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, who wiled away his own days with

77  Chirol to Strachey, 9 May 1904, PA, Strachey Papers, STR/4/9/6. 78 Fritzinger, Diplomat Without Portfolio; Best, ‘Alliance in Parallel’. 79  Iikura, ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Question of Race’, p. 226. 80  Chirol to Hardinge, 14 June 1904, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 7. 81  Chirol to Hardinge, 14 June 1904, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 7.

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A War for Civilization  61 expeditions to the Yoshiwara, Tokyo’s red light district.82 By June, the British legation was reporting that the ‘pedantic strictness of the censorate’ had decidedly soured relations between the army and the foreign press corps.83 One of those marooned was The Times war correspondent Lionel James, who was furious that the Japanese navy had vetoed his plan to mount a wireless transmitter on a specially chartered steamer. James poured out his frustrations with Japanese ‘duplicity’ in several long letters to The Times’s managing editor, in which he revealingly took his own treatment to represent a wider deficiency in Japan’s national character. The Times, he wrote, had placed ‘excessive faith’ in the Japanese, only to find itself wrong-footed by ‘Oriental’ treachery. ‘As it is with The Times so it is with the Nation’, he fumed. ‘We shall one day pay heavily for this Alliance of ours. Already the cloven foot is appearing.’84 Such resentments resonated more broadly among foreign journalists. Even G. E. Morrison, Times correspondent in Beijing and one of Japan’s firmest supporters, found his colleague’s treatment to be ‘an indignity’, and confessed to his Shanghai colleague J. O. P. Bland that he found The Times’s ‘unrestrained adulation of the Japanese’ to be grating in the extreme.85 Bland agreed that there was ‘something fulsome in the attitude of The Times. . . a white race has nothing to gain by truckling to Orientals and can only lose by it’.86 Back in London, Chirol, keenly attuned to the racial dimensions of the controversy, grumbled that James had ‘lost his head’, and had taken to writing ‘the most foolish things’ about the ‘yellow peril’ and ‘the treachery of the Japs’—though he, of course, expurgated this ‘rot’ before publication.87 James’s failing, as Chirol saw it, was his inability to accept that Tokyo could not be expected to prioritize the interests of Western journalists in the middle of a war. There was a broader lesson here. If Anglo-Japanese cordiality was to be maintained, then racial arrogance, cultural snobbery, even condescending talk of eager pupils would have to be dispensed with. ‘We have no claim’, Chirol reminded Morrison, ‘upon the “gratitude” of the Japs’.88

‘Placing her at once in the position of a Great Power’: The Renewal of the Alliance The renegotiation of Japan’s international status, evident in the politics of the press and public opinion, also had to be factored into the frantic diplomatic 82 Ashmead Bartlett, ‘The Year 1904’, n.d., ICS, Ashmead-Bartlett Papers. See also Best, ‘The “Yellow Peril” Revisited’, p. 5. 83  Macdonald to Lansdowne, 29 June 1904, TNA, FO 46/578, No. 193. 84  James to Moberley Bell, 12 May 1905, NI, TT/MGR/CMB/1. 85  Morrison to Bland, 8 August 1904, CGEM, p. 270. 86  Bland to Morrison, 15 August 1904, FRBL/JOPB, 3. 87  Chirol to Morrison, 17 August 1904, CGEM, pp. 275–6. 88  Chirol to Morrison, 24 June 1904, CGEM, p. 265.

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62  Empire Ascendant calculations that surrounded the cataclysm in northeast Asia. Britain’s aims for the 1902 alliance had been essentially conservative: to freeze the status quo in East Asia, forestall further moves by Russia, and purchase restraint on Tokyo. By the final months of 1903, Lansdowne, the treaty’s primary architect, looked on in horror as Russia and Japan headed towards collision. Along with Selborne at the Admiralty, Lansdowne had urged a diplomatic intervention to avoid a war that he believed would likely result in Japan’s defeat. Britain might otherwise be forced to choose between standing by helplessly as Russia ‘smashed’ Japan as naval power, or risking the ‘appalling calamity’ of global war against the Dual Alliance.89 Arthur Balfour took an even dimmer view of Japan’s military prospects: he could not see how it would be able to sustain a land campaign in Asia without British support, ‘and if I am right, it appears to me that both diplomatically and stra­tegic­al­ly we are in a very helpless position’.90 Balfour’s instinct was to let matters take their course. Russia, he believed, was likely to defeat Japan on land. It would no doubt then occupy Korea. But without the capacity to stage an invasion of the Japanese home islands, St Petersburg would gain little but an exposed salient that it would have to defend against a Japanese revanche, imposing a ‘very heavy burden on Russian finance’.91 Win or lose, Balfour concluded, London would benefit from Russia’s distraction. Its priority should be to avoid isolation after a Russian victory, by accelerating the settlement of its outstanding disputes with France, in what became the Entente Cordiale in April 1904.92 In the event, the scale of Japan’s military successes far exceeded the ex­pect­ ations on which such a cautious policy was based. Once the fall of Port Arthur seemed to seal the ultimate outcome of the war, the British government turned to review its policy. In 1902, it had still been possible to think of Britain as the clear senior partner in the Anglo-Japanese alliance—an outlook exemplified by Lord Cranborne, who as under-secretary for foreign affairs had informed the House of Commons of London’s decision to ‘grant’ Japan the privilege of an alliance.93 The war had shifted the dynamics of the relationship. In a letter to Balfour, Lord Percy, the junior minister at the Foreign Office, argued that it was now essential that Britain would recognize (and be seen to recognize) Japan as an equal.94 Percy recommended that upon the conclusion of the war, Britain would raise its minister in Japan to ambassadorial rank, symbolically marking its elevated status. It should also bestow the Order of the Garter on the Meiji emperor—a diplomatic courtesy thus far withheld over the King’s reluctance to admit ‘non-Christian princes’ to

89  Selborne to Lansdowne, 21 December 1903, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 88906/17/1. 90  Balfour to Lansdowne, 22 December 1903, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49728. 91  Balfour to Selborne, 23 December 1903, BLO, Selborne Papers, 34. 92  McKercher, ‘Diplomatic Equipoise’, pp. 319–21; Otte, China Question, p. 319. 93  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, p. 180. 94  Percy to Balfour, 13 January 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49747.

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A War for Civilization  63 Britain’s highest order of chivalry.95 These symbolic marks of recognition would have to be paired with a revision of the alliance itself, to accommodate the new diplomatic realities in East Asia. Percy emphasized the political urgency: he felt ‘doubtful of the prolonged existence of the present Government’, and feared a Liberal administration would fail to renew the Japanese treaty once its five-year term had expired. An early renewal would commit their successors to the alliance, while helping to repair the damage wrought by Britain’s inability to assist its ally with financial or military aid. It was ‘very doubtful’, Percy noted, whether ‘popular sentiment in Japan’ still supported the British alliance.96 Lansdowne, too, favoured a renewal, ‘to show the Japanese that our affection is unabated’.97 The British government debated the question of renewal throughout the spring of 1905. Balfour opposed a simple renewal, noting that the opposition would resent such an overt attempt to bind the hands of future governments. Privately, he clung to the hope that the treaty might be transformed into a tripartite arrangement with the United States—although he recognized that Washington’s adhesion would be difficult to secure.98 Failing this, an early renewal could be justified only if it rectified what was, in Balfour’s view, the great strategic deficiency of the alliance: that it committed Britain to an anti-Russian policy in East Asia while doing little to protect against a Russian lunge towards India’s north-west frontier—the empire’s Achilles’ heel and Balfour’s idée fixe.99 Concerns over India’s security had again moved to the fore during the Russo-Japanese War, as officials in London and Calcutta fretted that Russia would try to deflect its defeats in Manchuria by an Indian sortie. ‘Sooner or later’, a gloomy Curzon predicted, ‘whether it be from the lust of victory, or from the anger of defeat, Russia will probably feel tempted to exert greater pressure on every side of India.’100 It was in this context that the Committee of Imperial Defence began to contemplate extending the AngloJapanese alliance to cover the inner flanks the Indian empire. In late March, Lansdowne took soundings from Tokyo on whether it would be willing to accept an undertaking to join Britain in the defence of India in return for ‘adequate concessions’ yet to be specified.101 George Clarke suggested an additional corollary under which Japan would deploy a force of 150,000 men (equivalent to the entire Anglo-Indian army) on India’s north-west frontier. Other colonial pressure points were also considered for inclusion: Clarke suggested that the alliance might also cover Britain’s possessions across south-east Asia and guarantee the integrity of

95  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, p. 179. 96  Percy to Balfour, 13 January 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49747. 97  Lansdowne to Balfour, 16 January 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49729. 98  Balfour to Percy, 15 January 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49747. 99  On the strategic rationale for renewal, see Nish, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, pp. 298–344. 100 Wyatt, Afghanistan, pp. 63–6. 101  Lansdowne to Macdonald, 24 March 1905, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 88906/22/26.

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64  Empire Ascendant the Dutch East Indies, while Balfour himself proposed bringing eastern Persia under the scope of the new treaty.102 These debates testified to London’s greatly elevated opinion of Japan’s military capacity. But the prospect of a renewal also raised the more profound question of what the growth of Japanese power implied for the prospects of Britain’s imperial interests in Asia. Keen as Balfour and Lansdowne might have been to reap the diplomatic harvest of the Russo-Japanese War, their attempts to expand the scope of the Anglo-Japanese partnership met with considerable resistance in other corners of Whitehall, where the scale of Japan’s successes had raised corresponding fears over the erosion of European racial prestige. The War Office declared it a matter of ‘extreme importance’ that Britain should not be seen to allow ‘the defence of India to depend upon Japan’, as this might cause the native population to ‘cease to regard us as the masters of India’.103 The General Staff also weighed in, warning that for Britain to rely on another power (and an Asian power at that) would be interpreted as proof of British ‘national decadence’, and would be ‘be highly detrimental, if not absolutely fatal, to our prestige throughout the Asian continent’.104 There were other ways, too, in which the alliance’s racial politics made themselves felt. Clarke warned Balfour that the announcement of a new alliance might provoke a backlash on the continent as Britain found itself accused of ‘flouting all the European powers by allying ourselves with Asiatics . . . the “Yellow Peril” bogey will be held up to arouse the fears of Europe’.105 These reservations notwithstanding, the Balfour cabinet went to some lengths to show that it was willing to recognize Japan’s great-power status. In the autumn of 1905, Claude Macdonald’s rank was raised to that of ambassador (a privilege extended to the representative to the United States only as recently as 1893). A royal delegation, led by the King’s nephew, Prince Arthur of Connaught, would depart for Tokyo to bestow the Garter on the Japanese emperor.106 The revision of the alliance, in George Clarke’s view, would similarly demonstrate that Britain intended to treat its ally as an equal, undisturbed by ‘sentimental objections to an alliance between a European & a coloured power’.107 Japan, he thought, would welcome the new alliance in the same spirit, ‘as placing her at once in the position of a Great Power—a position which has been fairly won by the striking patriotism of her people, & the extraordinary efficiency of her fighting forces’.108 This was the message propagated by one Conservative advertisement for the general election of January 1906 (Fig.  2.2). Featuring John Bull shaking hands with a Japanese

102 Memorandum by Clarke, 20 April 1905, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 88906/22/26; Memorandum by Balfour, 27 May 1905, TNA, CAB 1/5/27. 103  Memorandum by Arnold-Forster, 2 June 1905, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 88906/22/26. 104  Memorandum by the General Staff, 4 November 1905, BL, IOR L/MIL/5/711. 105  Clarke to Balfour, 27 May 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49701. 106  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, pp. 178–81. 107  Best, ‘Race, Monarchy’, pp. 178–81. 108  Clarke to Esher, 20 April 1905, CCAC, Esher Papers, 10/35.

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A War for Civilization  65

Fig 2.2  ‘Vote for the Conservatives, Who Gave You the Alliance’, 1905, BLPES, Coll Misc 0519-22.

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66  Empire Ascendant sailor in front of their respective flags, it presented an image of a benevolent Britain, welcoming Japan into the ‘comity’ of nations. It bore the slogan, ‘Vote for the Conservatives, who gave you the alliance’.

‘The only tolerated subject of conversation’: The War in the British Pacific The renewal of the treaty signified Britain’s recognition of Japan’s great-power status, while simultaneously extending the remit of the Anglo-Japanese partnership over a vast swath of Asia. This imaginative shift was not limited to the ‘official mind’ in London. Across the British world, the war reinforced a growing awareness of Japan’s geopolitical reach. In Canada, the writer, educator, and imperialist George Parkin reminded his readers that North America’s Pacific coast lay ‘only ten days’ steaming distance’ from Japan. Soon, he predicted, the extension of trans-Pacific communications, steam, and telegraph, would bring the Dominion ‘almost as closely in touch with Asia as with Europe’.109 With many other imperialist writers, Parkin envisioned the post-war Pacific as an interconnected space— a ‘Mediterranean of the future’—in which Britain’s Pacific dominions would be ever more firmly linked to each other, as well as to the two rising Pacific powers of Japan and the United States. ‘Across [Canada’s] prairies and through her ports’, he wrote, ‘the Far West merges for the Englishman into the Far East, and by a shorter route than the East has hitherto been reached.’110 Striking the same note in a more sinister tune, Alfred Deakin, once and future Australian premier, declared that the events of the Russo-Japanese War had all but overthrown the ‘tyranny of distance’ that had kept the Commonwealth aloof from world politics. Australia was now surrounded by ‘no less than sixteen foreign naval stations’. Of all these potential dangers, the Japanese was the most urgent: it was the ‘nearest of all great naval powers to Australia’, Deakin noted, with its ‘headquarters’ practically ‘next door’.111 As Japan drew closer, mentally and physically, colonial elites turned with new urgency to reconsider their own relations with Asia’s rising power. Historians have typically narrated this process as one of mounting racial anxiety, and not without reason: fear of an expanding ‘yellow peril’ featured prominently in the war’s coverage across the British Pacific. In Australia, the governor-general, Lord Northcote, wrote to Joseph Chamberlain that a ‘great dread . . . of Japanese immigration’ still precluded ‘any strong pro-Japanese sentiment’. Northcote himself

109  Parkin, ‘Canada and the Pacific’, p. 411. 110  Parkin, ‘Canada and the Pacific’, p. 411. 111  ‘The Defence of Australia’, Melbourne Herald, 12 June 1905; see also Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 124–8.

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A War for Civilization  67 considered such fears to be ‘well-founded’: Japan, he thought, would ‘expand or burst’.112 Australian commentators often repeated the fear that a victorious Japan would insist on the dismantling of ‘white Australia’. As the Australian MP Richard Crouch reminded the readership of the Contemporary Review, Australia seemed ‘designed’ by her ‘geographical position’ to become ‘the natural outlet for the surplus population of Asia’. The ‘white race’ might have ‘claimed the entire continent for its own exclusive use’, yet only occupied Australia ‘to the extent of less than two persons per square mile’, all the while continuing ‘to force its presence, religion, and methods’ on Asia. ‘In the face of such racial injustice’, Crouch concluded, ‘what is clearer than that if the opportunity comes, the Jap will seize it and force an entrance?’113 In New Zealand, Richard Seddon noted that a Japanese victory would be a cause for anxiety’, since an ‘ambitious’ Japan, armed with a ‘a powerful navy’, might well ‘force New Zealand to receive Japanese immigrants’.114 On several occasions, colonial commentators called for solidarity with Russia as a fellow white, Christian state. There was ‘a considerable “yellow peril” party’ in the Australian parliament, Northcote reported to London, for whom racial loyalties ran deeper than Britain’s nominal alliance with Japan.115 One of their number, the Labor senator George Foster Pearce, proclaimed that while Australia might be invested, through the British connection, in a Japanese victory, his sympathies were ‘enlisted on behalf of the European, and not the little brown Asiatic nation’.116 Pearce’s outburst drew vocal support from the leading radical papers, such as Truth, the Worker, and the Sydney Bulletin.117 In one grisly example, a poem published in Truth in December 1904 loudly praised Australia’s ‘Brother Ivan’ defending Port Arthur against the ‘Brown Curse’ of the ‘monkey-men’: Though the dog-faced hordes are sweeping from the slums of Tokio [sic], Though the cursed imps are rushing for to grapple with the foe, Though the transports land their thousands, plunder-mad, beneath your wall, Though the press is screaming, Ivan, that it’s time you ought to fall,                   There you stand and grimly fight,                  For you’re Christian and you’re white.118

But while the propagators of a ‘yellow peril’ were undoubtedly vocal, they also considered theirs to be a minority voice. In an editorial on what it disparaged as 112  Northcote to Chamberlain, 14 February 1904, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 19/1/1–8. 113  Crouch, ‘An Australian View of the War’, p. 182. 114  ‘Mr Seddon at Invercargill’, Evening Post, 5 March 1904. 115  Northcote to Chamberlain, 28 October 1904, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 19/1/1–8. 116  G. F. Pearce, 28 October 1904, CAPD, vol. 43 (1904), p. 6263. 117 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 125n. 118  J. F. Dwyer, ‘A Toast to Ivan’, Truth, 11 December 1904.

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68  Empire Ascendant the ‘Bear and Monkey War’, Bulletin protested that the Australian press was ‘ranged unanimously on the side of the Yellow Man’—an attitude it ascribed to a ‘blind following’ of ‘British jingoism’.119 A tendency to shadow the British press (and The Times in particular) on questions of foreign affairs might have indeed informed colonial attitudes. Yet the ideological strains that underlay pro-Japanese opinion in Britain—distrust of Russia, admiration of Japanese efficiency, and the belief that Japan was waging war as a proxy for ‘Anglo-Saxon’ civilization—also resonated in the British Pacific. Subscription funds for the Japanese Red Cross were set up in Sydney, Brisbane, and Vancouver. Some Australians even attempted to volunteer for the front, prompting the Japanese consulate to run a notice in the Sydney Morning Herald that ‘only Japanese’ were wanted.120 In Vancouver, white residents joined the city’s Japanese community in its victory celebrations.121 As one New Zealand newspaper attested, admiration for ‘plucky little Japan’ could prove infectious as cricket, which had been ‘ousted completely’ in the affections of the public. ‘The war . . . is the sole, the all-absorbing, the one necessary, the only tolerated subject of conversation . . . we are all ‘agin’ the Russians. We are all— every man jack of us—for the Japs.’122 Support for Japan could place itself within an alternative vision of Pacific relations, organized around commerce and cultural exchange rather than racial rivalries. Perhaps surprisingly, this idea found its fullest expression in Canada, where it was sustained by conditions of explosive economic and demographic growth. The completion of the trans-Canadian railway in 1885, combined with economic downturns in Australasia and the western United States in the 1890s, had brought a major injection of capital and settlers into Canada’s western prairies. From 1897 to the outbreak of the First World War, Canada experienced ‘one of the latest and greatest’ economic booms of the nineteenth century. Its population almost ­doubled, while wheat exports increased more than sevenfold in the decade between 1904 and 1913.123 Economic and demographic expansion drew Ottawa’s gaze westward, bringing Asia and the Pacific more clearly into view. Interest in trade with Japan had grown since the 1890s, but mushroomed on the eve of the war, after the success of a Canadian exhibit at the National Industrial Exhibition in Osaka in 1903, led the government to conclude that ‘a most magnificent trade’ awaited Canada in Japan.124 Against the backdrop of the Russo-Japanese War, what historian Robert Gowen called the ‘myth of the Japan market’ gathered momentum. By 1905, Canada’s prem­ier, Wilfrid Laurier, predicted that Canada, more ‘than any other portion of the civilized globe’, was poised to conduct an ‘an immense trade’ with victorious

119  ‘The Bear and Monkey War’, Bulletin, 18 February 1904. 120  ‘N.S.W. Volunteers: Japan only wants Japanese’, SMH, 27 February 1904. 121 Roy, White Man’s Province, p. 181. 122 Lissington, New Zealand and Japan, p. 5. 123 Belich, Replenishing the Earth, pp. 406–17. 124  Gowen, ‘Myth of the Japan Market’, p. 68.

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A War for Civilization  69 Japan.125 Lord Grey, appointed as governor-general in 1904, kept an extensive file of newspaper cuttings and trade statistics on Canadian trade with East Asia.126 Writing to King Edward, Grey explained that he was ‘continually pressing’ the ‘vital importance’ of securing ‘a future demand in the Orient for the products of Canada . . . upon the attention of the Government, of the Railway Companies and of the Agricultural Industries’.127 Grey even drew up plans to establish a government-sponsored chain of bakeries and ‘tea rooms’ in Japan, ‘where Canadian bread, butter and cheese, jams and jellies’ would be served to willing con­sumers.128 With vigorous effort, Grey believed, it was only a matter of time before a ‘desire for Canadian food’ would be ‘planted in Oriental stomachs’.129 In many ways, Canadian hopes for Japan’s conversion to bread-eating formed a dietary mirror to the other visions of progress brought out during the war’s headier moments. Just as some British missionaries expected Japan’s imminent embrace of Christianity, Canada’s bread-boosters predicted that it would abandon its ‘Asiatic’ rice-eating habit in favour of supposedly healthier, vigour-inducing Western foodstuffs. ‘The substitution of bread for rice & fish as the regular National Diet of Japan’, Grey told Lansdowne, ‘is only a question of time.’130 The Russo-Japanese War drove these hopes to dizzying heights. A modernizing Asia, duly converted to Western foodstuffs, would provide a practically boundless market for Canadian agriculture. The expansion of trade with Asia would anchor the Canadian economy in the Pacific and the Atlantic, transforming the Dominion into what the Toronto Globe described as ‘the highway between two worlds, the granary for the East and the West’.131 At its grandest, this vision placed Canada at the centre of a reimagined British world, poised between Britain and the Far East as the new ‘keystone’ of the imperial system.132 Canada’s ‘Pacific future’, George Parkin believed, hinged on this potential for commercial expansion: Should the Chinese and Japanese people ever become a wheat-consuming ­people instead of a rice-consuming people—and nothing is more likely with increasing prosperity—the prairies of Canada would have an Eastern market as important as that which Europe now offers.133

These hopes combined naturally with the conviction that Japan was fighting Russia in the interests of civilization and free trade. As Lord Grey told a cheering audience in Toronto (the engine-room of Canada’s westward expansion), the joint 125  Gowen, ‘Myth of the Japan Market’, p. 71. 126  It remains with his personal papers, see DUL/AG, 172/11. 127  Grey to Edward VII, 13 July 1906, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1361. 128  Grey to Edward VII, 13 July 1906, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1361. 129  Grey to Shaughnessy, 13 July 1906, LAC, Grey Papers, vol. 28. 130  Grey to Lansdowne, 8 May 1905, BL, Lansdowne Papers, Add. MS 88906/17/6. 131  Toronto Globe, 22 February 1906, cited in Gowen, ‘Myth of the Japan Market’, p. 70. 132  Parkin, ‘Canada and the Pacific’, p. 411. 133  Parkin, ‘Canada and the Pacific’, p. 416.

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70  Empire Ascendant efforts of Britain, Japan, and the United States would soon secure ‘the peace of the Pacific’ and establish ‘a free and undisturbed pathway for the commerce of Canada into the ports of Asia’. As the ‘natural route between England and Japan’, Canada would soon find the Pacific looming larger than the Atlantic.134 Ironically, the obstacle to this vision of a Pacific Canada lay in the province slated to be its main beneficiary. British Columbia had been marked as a ‘gateway’ to the Pacific since the Victorian era. Vancouver ‘hopes to have a great Asiatic trade, and hopes to become a mighty city’, noted the British-Canadian historian Goldwin Smith in 1891, the inaugural year of the shipping route between Vancouver and Yokohama.135 Commerce with Asia would (in theory) fuel British Columbia’s development by offering markets for its booming export products, coal, lumber, fruit, and fish. But the critical question was how far trade relations could be separated off from the accompanying flow of East Asian migrants. The ‘Oriental question’ pitted labour against capital, and the provincial administration against the national government: between 1902 and 1905, Laurier nullified four consecutive anti-Asian exclusion laws introduced by the British Columbian assembly.136 The repetition of this legislative ritual hardened Ottawa’s vexation with its far western province: following the act’s latest revival in 1905, Lord Grey found himself ‘so annoyed with B.C.  for wishing to give a black eye to Japan’ that he cancelled his scheduled tour of the province.137 Concluding that British Columbia’s exclusionists would not be appeased, the Laurier government forged ahead, and in June 1905, announced its intention to sign up to the Anglo-Japanese commercial treaty. In the past, efforts to join the treaty had foundered on Canada’s refusal to accept the treaty’s immigration clauses. By 1905, spurred on by lobbying from commercial and railroad firms, and with Japan’s prestige at an all-time high, such considerations counted for less. The Japanese consul-general in Ottawa, Nossé Tatsumoro, assured Laurier that the passport regulations for Canada would remain in force. In any event, argued agriculture minister Sydney Fisher, there was now ‘less danger of Japanese immigration into Canada than for many years past’, as Japan had acquired new outlets for its ‘surplus population’ in Korea, Manchuria, and Sakhalin.138 Falling in with this argument, the Canadian government notified London in September that it intended to sign up to the treaty unconditionally. In its eagerness to reinvent its relationship with Japan, the Canadian government was moving in tandem with British and imperial trends. Like the revised Anglo-Japanese alliance, Canada’s joining of the commercial treaty was doused in rhetorical appeals to racial inclusion and to Japan’s status as a great power. 134  ‘Lord Grey’s Speech at Toronto’, The Times, 27 April 1905. 135 Smith, Canada and the Canadian Question, p. 62; Chang, Pacific Connections, p. 25. 136 Roy, White Man’s Province, pp. 91–119. 137  Grey to Elgin, 8 October 1906, LAC, Elgin Papers, vol. 8. 138  Fisher to Laurier, 30 September 1905, LAC/WL, mf. C–826.

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A War for Civilization  71 Through the treaty, noted Fisher, Canada would be ‘admitting the Japanese to all the rights of civilized nations’.139 British Columbians might object, but Fisher was convinced that ‘the public generally in this country would support us completely’.140 When presenting the treaty to parliament, Laurier noted that Japan had ef­fect­ ive­ly become ‘a European and civilized community’. While he recognized British Columbia’s continued ‘aversion to any kind of Asiatic labour’, Laurier emphasized that in its future dealings with Japan, Canada would have to repudiate any notion of racial supremacy. ‘Japan has undergone a revolution, it is no longer a country of Asiatic tendencies or Asiatic civilization, it is fast becoming a European country and we have a growing trade with Japan, a trade which must be improved, and which will assume . . . in the near future, very large proportions.’ But commerce would be directly dependent on Canada’s capacity to engage Japan as a friendly power. ‘I want our friends from British Columbia to remember this’, Laurier re­iter­ ated, ‘that if we are to trade with Japan, we must treat Japan as a civilized nation. We cannot afford to treat the Japanese population with anything like contempt.’141

‘To swallow this race prejudice against the Japanese’: ‘White Australia’ Revisited Few Australian politicians would have gone quite as far to deny the significance of Japan’s racial difference. For that, ‘white Australia’ was still too prominently enshrined in the national pantheon. Yet even here, the Russo-Japanese War sparked a wide-ranging and often thoughtful debate over the nature of Australia’s engagement with East Asia, particularly now that Japan’s victory had thrown the diplomatic ramifications of exclusion into sharper relief. It would be ‘utter madness’, one senator of the opposition Free Trade party declared, if racial myopia continued to lead Australia into a permanent grievance with what was now the leading power in its vicinity.142 In the debates on the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901, such arguments had been easily over-shouted. But the war offered an opportunity for revision. In a 1905 pamphlet, Edward Pulsford, another Free Trader senator and long-term critic of ‘white Australia’, set out the liberal case for a rapprochement. Now that Britain’s ally had fought ‘the battle of justice, humanity, commerce, and civilisation’, Pulsford noted, it would be ‘anxious to be recognised as the exponent of peace’.143 Moral principle as well as self-interest demanded that Australia now recognize it as a fellow civilized state by modifying those clauses of its immigration legislation that Japan had previously objected to. ‘When these 139  Fisher to R. W. Scott, 20 September 1905, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 1. 140  Fisher to R. W. Scott, 20 September 1905, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 1. 141  W. Laurier, 15 January 1907, CPD, House, 10th Parl., 3rd Session, vol. 1, cc. 1547–52. 142  A. J. Gould, 27 September 1905, APD, Senate, vol. 39, c. 2804. 143 Pulsford, Asia and Australasia, p. 17.

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72  Empire Ascendant changes are effected’, Pulsford argued, ‘Australia will be able to boast more truly than she can to-day, that she is a bulwark of the Empire and a supporter of the rights of humanity.’144 As in Canada, these arguments were buttressed by the promise of trade. Pulsford anticipated ‘an enormous expansion of commerce in “the East” within even the next few years’.145 While Australia’s trade with Asia was as yet minuscule—the entire region took less than four per cent of exports—it appeared, by the same token, capable of rapid expansion: already, Australian exports to Japan, consisting mostly of coal, horses, and wheat, had quadrupled during the war.146 John Bligh Suttor, appointed as New South Wales’s commercial agent to Japan in 1903, spent much of the war inundating the Sydney chamber of commerce with reports of surging Japanese demand for Australian products, ranging from coal to copper, leather, wool, and cereals. ‘On all sides’, he stated in a typical report, ‘I  hear nothing but praise of our meat, butter, and milk.’147 Australia was in a prime position, Suttor told a gathering of Sydney merchants, to become a supplier of foodstuffs to the whole of Asia, soon to become ‘the commercial hub of the world’.148 Suttor’s unrelenting advocacy of Japan’s commercial potential prompted Queensland and Victoria to appoint their own trade representatives in Japan in 1904 and 1905, while sufficiently annoying the Sydney Truth to label him ‘Suttor Succubus’. Australia’s hearty foodstuffs, Truth sneered, would hardly be appreciated by a ‘race of rice and fish eaters’.149 Such naysayers notwithstanding, the case for normalizing Australia’s relationship with Japan was gathering momentum. No less a full-throated supporter of ‘white Australia’ than the Sydney Morning Herald now argued that the Japanese, ‘a people as civilised as ourselves’, would have to be treated ‘in the broadest possible spirit’.150At the outset of the war, the Commonwealth government took its first tentative steps towards liberalization. In April 1904, at the prompting of commercial lobbyists, J. C. Watson’s Labor government decided it would exempt travellers, merchants, and students on certified Japanese passports from the dictation test— an arrangement it extended to India and Hong Kong the following year. By May 1905, the governor-general reported to London that several senior politicians had touted proposals to permanently modify Australia’s immigration law ‘out of compliment to Japan’.151 In October 1905, following the renewal of the alliance and Canada’s adhesion to the Anglo-Japanese commercial treaty, liberals lodged proposals in both houses of parliament to exempt Japanese from the dictation

144 Pulsford, Asia and Australasia, p. 20. 145 Pulsford, Asia and Australasia , p. 15. 146 Tweedie, Trading Partners, pp. 33–4. 147  ‘Trade with the East’, SMH, 6 April 1904. 148  ‘Life in the East’, SMH, 10 July 1906. 149  ‘Sinecurist Suttor’, Truth, 10 July 1904. 150  ‘Japan and Australia’, SMH, 24 August 1905. 151  Northcote to Chamberlain, 3 May 1905, CRL, Chamberlain Papers, JC 20/1/1–9; Northcote to Lyttelton, 16 May 1905, CCAC, Lyttelton Papers, CHAN I/2/28.

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A War for Civilization  73 test and regulate immigration through a bilateral treaty instead.152 Australia’s unilateral exclusion of the Japanese, declared the Free Trader  A.  B.  Smith, had been a ‘diplomatic mistake of the first order’. Given the events of the war, it was now imperative to ‘recognise the great national power of the Japanese people, as well as their international claims to our consideration’, by ‘differentiating [them] from other Asiatic races’—while still taking precautions against an ‘unlimited influx of Japanese’.153 Alfred Deakin, who returned as prime minister in July 1905 as head of a minority government, recognized the need to balance exclusion against diplomatic imperative. With Japan now the leading naval power in East Asian waters, Australia could no longer ‘depend on its isolation for security’.154 Deakin believed that its strategic and racial integrity now required a credible national defence, coupled with a coherent strategy to expand white settlement in Australia’s ‘empty spaces’. Yet such a programme of national Bildung would be the labour of decades. In the meantime, British sea power continued hold the key to the survival of ‘white Australia’. But Deakin had begun to suspect that Britain might refuse to uphold the policy, at least in its current absolutist form, in the wake of Japan’s victory. He received warnings from London that there was ‘no doubt’ that the ‘Japs’ would ‘make a demonstration against Australia once the war is ended’.155 Lord Tennyson, a former governor-general, intimated that British opinion was likely to side with Tokyo on the immigration question. ‘We are hoping that Australia will admit the Japanese at once as our allies—freely at once.’156 Deakin’s suspicions were reinforced by the Balfour government’s contemporaneous decision to introduce a Chinese labour corps into post-war South Africa. ‘It seems to me that in light of the Transvaal iniquity’, the editor of the Wellington Herald wrote to Deakin, ‘we need not expect any protection from the Old Country against the victorious Jap.’157 Certainly, some within the British government were eager to remove the ‘Australian question’ from the remit of the Anglo-Japanese relationship. George Clarke, who had previously served as governor of Victoria, was adamant that the renewal of the alliance would have to be combined with the recognition of Japan’s status throughout Britain’s colonial empire: If such a Treaty as this comes into existence, our Colonies, Australia especially, will have to put Japanese on precisely the same footing as Frenchmen or Germans. Discrimination against the Japanese, as a coloured people, would not

152  E. Pulsford, 27 September 1905, CAPD, vol. 39 (1905), pp. 2788–9; A. B. Smith, 28 September 1905, CAPD, vol. 39 (1905), pp. 2941–58. 153  A.B. Smith, 28 September 1905, CAPD, vol. 39 (1905), pp. 2941–58. 154 Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 125–33. 155  Wise to Deakin, 6 April 1905, NLA, Deakin Papers, MS 1540/1/10. 156  Tennyson to Deakin, 25 August 1905, NLA, Deakin Papers, MS 1540/15/3. Original emphasis. 157  Lukin to Deakin, 14 August 1905, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/5/44.

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74  Empire Ascendant be possible. It might be necessary to speak plainly to Australia; but Australians are not without sense, & their position is one of peculiar weakness except for our support, so that they would find it necessary to swallow this race prejudice as regards the Japanese.158

The British government, Clarke concluded, would no longer have its foreign policy dictated by ‘the Trade Halls of Melbourne and Sydney’.159 Balfour was not unsympathetic, and agreed there were ‘obvious difficulties—not to say ab­surd­ ities—in allowing Australia and our other Colonies to treat our Japanese allies as belonging to an inferior race’.160 Yet the colonies were unlikely to give up their immigration restrictions of their own accord, and Balfour saw little chance that they might be convinced otherwise. Racial exclusion might have been distasteful, and its prominence in colonial politics exasperating, yet as long as Japan refrained from raising the issue, Balfour believed its diplomatic effects could be managed.161 Not privy to these discussions, Deakin made his own efforts to reconcile ‘white Australia’ to post-war conditions. On 11 August, unbeknown to the Colonial Office, he began sounding the Japanese consul in Melbourne, Iwasaki Kazuo, on a new diplomatic arrangement to regulate Japanese migration to Australia. Iwasaki reassured Deakin that Tokyo’s interest in the question was entirely pro forma: Japan had no desire to see large numbers of its people settled in Australia, but merely resented the aspersions that the current law cast on its international status. ‘Our claim, as you know’, he wrote, ‘is for recognition of our equal status with European nations in the numerous things which are compressed in the term “civilization” .’162 By November, their discussions had revealed the outlines of a compromise. Deakin would introduce an amendment to the Immigration Restriction Act under which Australia would no longer require prospective immigrants to take the dictation test in a ‘European language’—the categorical discrimination to which Japan had objected in the past. The law would also provide for ‘friendly arrangements’ under which any country could be exempted from the dictation test through a bilateral agreement. After obtaining parliamentary sanction, the way would then be clear for a convention whereby Japanese students, tourists, and merchants, provided with passports from Tokyo, would be allowed to enter and reside in the Commonwealth.163 Exclusion would be prac­tic­al­ly maintained, yet removed as a cause of diplomatic friction. The journalist Richard

158  Clarke to Balfour, 27 May 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49701. 159  Clarke to Balfour, 14 October 1905, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49702. 160  ‘The Anglo-Japanese Treaty. Notes on Renewal’, Memorandum by Balfour, 31 May 1905, TNA, CAB 1/5/27. 161  Nish, ‘Australia and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 205. 162  Iwasaki to Hunt, 20 September 1905, NAA, A1/1937/1511. 163  Hunt to Iwasaki, 23 October 1905, NAA, A1/1937/1511.

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A War for Civilization  75 Jebb, who visited Melbourne in January 1906, found the premier confident that the agreement would effectively allow Australia to continue excluding Japanese immigrants with Tokyo’s sanction. ‘[Deakin’s] policy’, he noted, ‘is to have absolute reciprocity with Japan in matters of immigration’, under which ‘each Govt. shld agree to admit tourists & other respected visitors without any fuss at all, but to exclude permanent settlers of all kinds’. ‘No doubt this is the right policy’, Jebb concluded, ‘to get the Jap. Govt. to do the exclusion from Australia itself.’164 Deakin’s purpose, then, was to bolster ‘white Australia’s’ diplomatic defences, anchoring the policy within the new international order emerging in the Pacific. A symbolic change in the immigration law would allow Australia to show that it recognized Japan’s status as a civilized power, while at the same time securing a reciprocal acknowledgement of Australia’s position as a ‘white man’s country’. Such an agreement would amount to a mutual recognition of racial sovereignty; signalling, as Edward Pulsford said of his own proposals, ‘that it is the wish of both the Empire of Japan and the Commonwealth of Australia to maintain the purity of their respective races’.165 The geopolitical logic of this argument was accepted even by some of the most fervent defenders of ‘white Australia’, like William Maloney, Labor MP for Melbourne and the author of the deeply racist pamphlet Flashlights on Japan and the Far East (1905). If a symbolic change the immigration act would enlist ‘the splendid diplomacy of the Japanese . . . in our desire to keep Australia white’, Maloney declared in parliament, ‘no one will welcome the change more than I shall do’.166 After securing parliamentary approval for his amendments, Deakin attempted a further step towards a rapprochement with Japan. In May 1906, he informed the Colonial Office that Australia was willing to follow Canada into the AngloJapanese commercial treaty. Deakin believed the treaty would provide a boon to Australia–Japanese trade, which was ‘capable of considerable expansion’. It would also provide a permanent solution to the immigration controversy by securing Japan’s acceptance of the ‘white Australia’ policy—which Deakin specified would be a condition for adherence—and recast the relationship between the two Pacific states in more benevolent terms. If Australians could be reassured that there was no danger of permanent Japanese settlement, Deakin wrote, they would be ‘anxious to take every opportunity of promoting trade and intercourse between the Commonwealth and the Japanese Empire’.167 This struck the Colonial Office as overly optimistic. Where British officials noted with some satisfaction that the ‘the effect of the Japanese victories’ was ‘making itself felt’ in Australia, they did

164  Jebb Diary, 27 January 1906, ICS, Jebb Papers, B/3. Emphasis in the original. 165  E. Pulsford, 26 October 1905, CAPD, vol. 43 (1905), p. 4121. 166  W. Maloney, 6 December 1905, CAPD, vol. 49 (1905), p. 6353 167  Deakin to Northcote, 1 May 1906, TNA, CO 418/44/20802.

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76  Empire Ascendant not share Deakin’s confidence that immigration could be so easily settled. ‘I have considerable doubt whether Australia is wise in raising this question’, one official noted. ‘It is true that the Jap. Gov’t. have let the [immigration] question sleep for some years: but they may not be disposed to let it sleep any longer.’168 * * * The Russo-Japanese War marked a watershed in global history. It ushered Japan into the ranks of world powers, demonstrated its capacity for modernity, and concluded a campaign for international recognition that stretched back to its humiliating confrontations with the Western powers in the 1850s. It also prompted a wider reassessment of the racial and cultural hierarchies that structured the global imperial order. To the colonial nationalists who cheered Japan’s victories from the sidelines, the war pointed towards a future in which a resurgent Asia would banish its twinned spectres of European imperialism and white supremacy. Cassandra-like believers in a ‘yellow peril’ had their gaze fixed on the same horizon. Yet for its part, the Japanese government (and its foreign sympathizers) strove to present the war in different terms: as the triumph of civilization, mod­ern­ity, and the ‘open door’ over backwardness and autocracy. Optimists articulated an image of Japan spreading its promethean touch outwards through Asia, ushering China into Western-style modernity and quickening trans-Pacific trade. Some even saw the conversion of East Asia to Christianity (or bread-eating) within reach. At the opposite end of the spectrum, others saw in Japan’s rise an existential danger to the colonial order in Asia. A ‘Japanese victory in the present war’ was ‘surcharged with possibilities of world disturbance’, wrote Frederick McKenzie, the Canadianborn war correspondent for the Daily Mail. ‘The plane of civilisation on which Japan stands is not ours. A victorious Japan means within half a century a fermenting India and a threatened Australia.’169 Much then, seemed to hinge on the nature and trajectory of ‘race’ in AngloJapanese relations. It was in this context that the British, Canadian, and Australian governments sought to recognize (and be seen to recognize) Japan’s status as a civilized equal. To a greater degree than its 1902 predecessor, the renewed AngloJapanese alliance was dressed up as the symbolic admission of Britain’s Asian ally into the charmed circle of great powers. To different degrees, both Australia and Canada also sought to engage the ‘new Japan’ through the language of commerce and diplomatic recognition. Yet there were clear limits to racial inclusion. Many British observers felt uneasy as they the contemplated the destabilization of racial hierarchy that lay implicit in Japan’s victories. The new alliance’s extension to 168  Minute by Dales, 5 July 1906, in Northcote to Elgin, 7 May 1906, TNA, CO 418/44/20802. 169 McKenzie, Tokyo to Tiflis, p. 333.

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A War for Civilization  77 India was controversial, and the implication that Britain might invite an Asian power into a ‘white men’s war’ even more so. The colour line also remained conspicuously present in the realm of migration, as the war opened up new veins of racial discourse in the British Pacific. For the moment, it appeared as if inclusive diplomacy might manage these tensions: Balfour did not believe the immigration question would ‘arise in an acute form’ while the alliance lasted.170 Yet as Japan continued to press outward against the boundaries of the British world-system, that assumption was about to be tested. 170  Memorandum by Balfour, 31 May 1905, TNA, CAB 1/5/27.

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3

‘The Inalienable Right of the White Man’ Contact and Competition in China

The Russo-Japanese War formally ended on 5 September 1905, when Sergei Witte and Komura Jutarō put their signatures to the peace treaty in an office building in Maine, spruced up with furniture carted in from the White House. In a nod to their American host, Theodore Roosevelt, who would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation efforts, the two signatories began by restating their commitment to the ‘open door’ and the territorial integrity of China and Korea. But the treaty’s provisions spoke of a harder-edged settlement, designed to cut short Russia’s ambitions in north-east Asia. St Petersburg pledged to withdraw from Manchuria, to transfer its port and railway leases, and to cede the southern half of the island of Sakhalin, home to some of East Asia’s richest coal deposits, to the Japanese. The status of Korea, which had been the root cause of two East Asian wars in ten years, was also settled: the peninsula would become a Japanese protectorate. The Treaty of Portsmouth was thus a classic exercise in imperial diplomacy, conducted without reference to the peoples on whose territory the war had been fought, and whose political fates it purported to determine. Roosevelt had rebuffed a Chinese attempt to join the conference, as well as a Korean delegation that included a young Syngman Rhee.1 The Russo-Japanese War is often taken to mark the end of the ‘Far Eastern question’ as it had preoccupied the capitals of the great powers over the previous decade.2 Russia, the one power that might have willed a Chinese partition, had been defeated and immobilized by revolution. But the end of the war still left much of East Asia in a state of political uncertainty. Korea’s eventual drift into Japan’s orbit might be taken as implied. China, however, was a different matter altogether. It had been widely assumed that the fate of the Qing empire would turn on the outcome of the war. Whether they championed the Japanese cause or dreaded a ‘yellow peril’, Western observers shared the expectation that Japan’s victory would have profound implications for its continental neighbour. Chinese nationalists (a broad category that included reformist Qing officials and the swelling anti-dynastic movement in the provinces) looked to Tokyo as a model for modernization and resistance against European encroachment. Japan, meanwhile, set itself the more 1  Ku, ‘A Damocles Sword?’, p. 446; Hirakawa, ‘Portsmouth Denied’, pp. 541–7. 2 Otte, China Question, pp. 326–37. Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   79 modest goal of recuperating some of the immense costs of the Russian war from its new economic sphere in Manchuria. With Japan in the ascendant, China in ferment, and Europe in retreat, East Asia’s balance of forces was shifting in an as yet uncertain direction. ‘There is no doubt in my mind that this part of the world is going to be the scene of important events for some decades to come’, Satow observed in January 1905. ‘The rise of Japan has so completely upset our equilibrium as a new planet the size of Mars would derange the solar system.’3 The end of the war also marked an important shift in the workings of the Anglo-Japanese relationship. From 1895 to 1905, the threat of Russian expansion had provided the two island empires with a common strategic interest as well as with an ideological foil against which the image of Japan as an ‘Asian England’— progressive, civilized, and committed to free trade—could be defined. But Russia had been repulsed, and its defeat was closely followed by that of Balfour’s ministry, which resigned in December 1905 (and went on to lose by a landslide in the ­ensuing election) in favour of a Liberal party more sympathetic to the idea of a rapprochement with St Petersburg. The Liberals inherited the Japanese treaty from their predecessors, but as yet lacked a clear sense of its strategic purpose: all that Sir Edward Grey, the incoming foreign secretary, would say for the alliance was that he did ‘not object’ to it, provided it would not have ‘bad effect on native opinion in India’.4 Grey’s return to the Foreign Office (he had been Kimberley’s deputy in 1894–5) would see a reordering of British strategic priorities, with Germany replacing Russia as the primary strategic antagonist. In this more narrowly European diplomatic universe, relations with Japan counted for less than they had in the crucial years between 1902 and 1905. The Edwardian infatuation with Japanese ‘efficiency’, once prominent in certain Liberal quarters (in 1904, Lord Rosebery had penned the foreword to Alfred Stead’s Great Japan) fizzled out. But if Japan seemed further removed from London, it seemed to be drawing closer to other parts of the empire. The post-war years saw a further expansion of Japanese trade, migration, and diplomatic activity, deepening and diversifying its exchanges with the British imperial system in Asia and the Pacific. Across a vast arc from Hong Kong to Vancouver, settler colonists found themselves in sudden proximity to the new power in Asia. The next three chapters explore the interplay between these two dynamics—of intensifying local interaction, often inflected by racial friction, and ‘imperial’ diplomacy as conducted from London—across different settings, starting with the place where the Japanese challenge to Britain’s interests, and the racial order which underpinned them, manifested itself at its sharpest: China.

3  Satow to Dickins, 27 January 1905, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/11/6. 4  Grey to Asquith, 2 October 1905, BLO, Asquith Papers, 10.

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80  Empire Ascendant

China after the Russo-Japanese War On 16 July 1905, Feng Xiawei, a Chinese labourer recently deported from the United States, took a lethal dose of poison on the steps of the American consulate in Shanghai. In his suicide note, Feng announced that his final act had been a protest against the Chinese Exclusion Act, and called on his fellow-countrymen not to buy American goods until its repudiation. Circulated widely in the Shanghai press, Feng’s call went on to ignite a boycott of American trade that fanned out towards Guangdong, Hong Kong, and the Chinese diaspora in southeast Asia.5 In its epicentre of Shanghai, the boycott became a rallying point for a larger wave of nationalist and anti-imperialist sentiment. Other incidents followed. On 18 December 1905, a jurisdictional dispute over the city’s gaols sparked a general strike in the International Settlement, followed by riots when some of the strikers attacked non-cooperating businesses. A police station was set on fire. By the time the police had suppressed the riot with the support of the Shanghai Volunteers (a European militia) and a detachment of British marines, fifteen Chinese lay dead in the streets. It was the worst instance of mass violence in Shanghai since its opening as a treaty port, and a shocking breakdown of the city’s colonial order. ‘China is as India was in 1857’, one agitated ‘Shanghailander’ ­telegraphed to the Foreign Office.6 But rather than a throwback to the past, the boycott movement represented the emergence of a new form of Chinese nationalism: urban, self-consciously modern, transnationally connected, and directed in equal measure against the Western presence and the ‘foreign’ Manchu dynasty. It looked to Japan for inspiration. Feng had worn Japanese clothing on the day of his suicide, possibly wanting to present his death as ritual seppuku, and bystanders initially believed him to be Japanese.7 Some of the Shanghai rioters, too, had worn Japanese dress. J.  O.  P.  Bland, the secretary of the settlement’s municipal council, called on the Japanese consul to explain the rumours that ‘a certain class of Japanese subjects’ had been involved in instigating the riots.8 Bland conceded that there was probably little truth to these accusations. But there was a danger, he warned, that relations between the allies might soon sour if Japan was not seen to stand with the Western powers against the resurgence of Chinese nationalism. ‘When I came back to China last month’, Bland told the consul, ‘I found on all sides unmistakable evidence of uneasiness among Britishers, and hostility in other quarters, directed towards Japan’.9 No community in the British Empire was more directly invested in the outcome of the Russo-Japanese War than the ten thousand or so British settlers and 5  On the boycott, see Wang, In Search of Justice. 6  W. V. Drummond to FO, 19 January 1906, TNA, FO 371/25/2374. 7  Wong, ‘Die for the Boycott’, pp. 568–75; see also Wang, In Search of Justice. 8  Bland to Eitaki, 23 December 1095, FRBL/JOPB, 4. 9  Bland to Eitaki, 23 December 1095, FRBL/JOPB, 4.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   81 expatriates clustered in the treaty ports on the coast of China.10 It was here, among the merchants and writers and journalists that represented the views of the ‘Shanghai mind’ to ‘home’ opinion, that the Japanese cause found some of its  most vocal supporters. The Beijing correspondent for The Times, George Morrison, professed himself ‘unfeignedly glad’ at outbreak of war. ‘I have no fear of the result’, he remarked to Chirol. ‘Japan will astonish Europe.’11 Morrison’s hopes remained high throughout the conflict: ‘I hope and pray’, he wrote in June 1905, ‘that peace will not come until Russia has been utterly crushed and driven out of Manchuria.’12 Anglo-China’s leading newspaper, The North China Herald, outdid even the The Times in its enthusiasm for the Japanese cause: aside from eulogizing Japan’s ‘civilization’ in enthusiastic tones, it organized a ‘Japan patriotic fund’ to allow Shanghai residents to donate the Japanese Red Cross. At heart, these sentiments expressed the hope that a Japanese victory would restore geopolitical stability in East Asia, widen the scope for commercial expansion, and initiate a modernization of the Qing empire jointly overseen by Britain, Japan, and the United States. And there were indeed signs that the moment of China’s long-awaited ‘awakening’ had arrived. After the humiliations of the Boxer crisis, the Qing court abandoned its flirtation with xenophobic nationalism and embarked on a programme of modernizing reforms inspired by Meiji Japan. Tentative at first, the so-called ‘New Policy’ (xinzheng) had by 1905 developed into an ambitious effort to overhaul the Chinese bureaucracy, strengthen the central government, and modernize the army. In September, in its most dramatic move yet, the court announced the abolition of the centuries-old Confucian exam­in­ ation system, in turn sparking an ‘educational exodus’ as Chinese students (as much as twenty thousand in the peak year of 1906) flocked to Japan hoping to obtain the Western knowledge now necessary for official preferment.13 Formal exchange programmes were set up for Chinese officials and military officers, one of which allowed a young Chiang Kai-Shek to study at the Shinbu Gakkō, a preparatory school for Chinese cadets in Tokyo. Japanese advisers (guwen) moved in the opposite direction, finding employment (much as Western o-yatoi had done in the early Meiji years) in the administrations of the reform-minded governors who had risen to prominence in the wake of the Boxer crisis. Although distrustful of Japan’s ambitions, Yuan Shikai, the powerful viceroy of Zhili, made extensive use of Japanese advisers in his administration and in his Western-style army. ‘Since 1900, the Japanese . . . have enormously increased their influence’, Satow reported to London after observing Yuan’s forces on their autumn manoeuvres in 10  On Shanghai as a settler society, see Bickers, ‘Shanghailanders’; Bickers, Britain in China; and Jackson, Shaping Modern Shanghai. 11  Morrison to Chirol, 9 March 1904, CGEM, p. 256. 12  Morrison to Chirol, 8 June 1905, CGEM, pp. 316–19. 13  On Japan’s influence on the xinzheng reforms, see Jansen, ‘Japan and the Chinese Revolution’, pp. 348–61; Reynolds, China, 1898–1912.

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82  Empire Ascendant 1905. ‘They have become the teachers of the military and all other arts to the Chinese.’ Japan had shown China ‘what an Oriental nation can do to thrust back the advancing tide of European influence . . . and the lesson has not been thrown away upon them’.14 But the hope that Japan would be content to play the role of a ‘Britain of the East’, was dashed on the strategic realities of the post-war situation. Tokyo did  briefly contemplate selling its newly acquired Manchurian railways to an inter­nation­al syndicate, headed by the American financier E. H. Harriman, but abandoned the idea once it became apparent that military logic pointed in a ­different direction. Situated on the fringe of Japan’s new protectorate in Korea and amply supplied with fuel and foodstuffs, Manchuria was deemed too valuable to abandon. In November 1906, the Japanese government transferred its Chinese railway lines to the South Manchurian Railway Company (SMR), a nominally private company in which it retained a majority stake. Its inaugural director was Gotō Shinpei, former head of the Japanese civil administration in Taiwan, who saw the SMR’s role in colonial terms, as ‘a substitute for the government in the management of Manchuria’.15 It would run the region’s railways, ports, and collieries, provide smaller Japanese firms with credit and fuel, and govern the Japanese enclaves that were springing up along the railway. State support would ensure the company a steady supply of investment and an expanding migrant workforce (over 65,000 by 1910).16 Nominally, Manchuria remained Chinese territory. But its deepening political and economic ties to Japan rendered that fact increasingly hollow. The treaty-port journalist Bertram Lennox-Simpson, who visited Manchuria in 1907, found the experience akin to ‘swallowed up by a machine’, in which ‘everything is watched over, fostered and directed on a set plan from Tokyo’.17 Nothing about Japan’s penetration into continental Asia stood outside the ­repertoire of European imperial practice, and Japanese officials pointedly drew on British precedents (notably Lord Cromer’s ‘veiled protectorate’ in Egypt) as they constructed their own colonial regimes in Korea and Manchuria. But set against the liberal promises made during the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese empirebuilding provoked a sharp backlash in British mercantile circles. ‘In England they  were confidently expecting a big commercial development and the end of all obstruction as the result of the Japanese victories’, Bland reflected. ‘The City would not hear of any doubts on the subject.’18 Manchuria was vast, rich in nat­ural resources (notably coal), and relatively underdeveloped, and appeared to offer enticing opportunities to the mining and railway industries where British capital 14  Satow to Grey, 31 March 1906, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/44. 15 Matsusaka, Making of Japanese Manchuria, pp. 90–1. 16  For population statistics, see Matsusaka, Making of Japanese Manchuria, p. 414. This number does not include Koreans, whom Japan claimed as subjects after 1910. 17  Putnam Weale, Coming Struggle in Eastern Asia, p. 302. 18  Bland to Campbell, 4 December 1905, FRBL/JOPB, 4.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   83 predominated. But foreign firms seeking to enter the region soon collided with the Japanese military authorities, generating a litany of complaints that went on to fill several bulky volumes in the Foreign Office archives. British merchants accused Japan of stalling the re-establishment of the Chinese customs service at the port of Dairen (effectively keeping it as a duty-free port), of manipulating ­railway rates in favour of Japanese firms, and of expropriating Chinese property and selling it to Japanese settlers at nominal rates. The British-American Tobacco Company, which had been among the first foreign firms to re-establish itself at the treaty port of Newchwang, complained that Japanese soldiers had scrubbed its advertisements from every building in the city.19 An inquiry from the China Association was convinced that Japan was entrenching its position by underhand means. ‘The Japanese are far too clever to allow definite cases to arise in which clear evidence can be quoted against them’, its chairman concluded.20 One by one,  these reports fed into to a growing anti-Japanese sentiment among the British communities in China, as an anonymous ‘Merchant’ attested in the North China Herald: True, the door [of Manchuria] is open, as the wily Japanese will smilingly point out to you . . . But how much further can we get than the threshold of this open door? . . . How long will the British merchants and the British government allow themselves to be so deceived and treated at the hands of their Allies, whose ­sailors they are banqueting with so much zest in England to-day?21

In Manchuria, the impact of the Japanese presence was deepened by the relative absence of the dense local commercial networks that channelled foreign trade in central China.22 Yet Japan’s commercial reach was also felt further south. Since the 1890s, the development of Japanese industry, especially in textiles, had driven a growing trade with China. Before 1894, Japan had supplied less than three per cent of China’s total imports; by 1914, it provided a quarter.23 While most Japanese firms lacked the financial muscle of the larger Western merchant houses (such as the China ‘giants’ of Jardine Matheson and Butterfield & Swire), their smaller size also made them nimbler. Most sold directly to their customers where other foreigners were forced to rely on the services of Chinese intermediaries. By 1914, close to half of all foreign companies operating in China were Japanese.24 Migration patterns followed a similar trend. In 1905, the Japanese population of Shanghai stood at 4,400 people, already outnumbering the British. By 1914, it had 19  Satow to Grey, 18 December 1905, TNA, FO 371/180/6685. 20  Anderson to Alabaster, 27 February 1908, SOAS, China Association Papers, CHAS/A/5. 21  ‘Trade Prospects in Manchuria’, NCH, 8 June 1906. 22 Matsusaka, Making of Japanese Manchuria, pp. 80–91. 23  Toshiyuki, ‘Changing Pattern of Sino-Japanese Trade’. 24  Feuerwerker, ‘The Foreign Presence in China’, p. 148.

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84  Empire Ascendant tripled to 12,000.25 Substantial Japanese communities also settled in Xiamen, Tianjin, and Hankou, which emerged as a key hub for Japanese shipping on the Yangzi river.26 The Japanese state moved to support this growing continental presence by expanding its consular network, organizing residents’ associations, and providing favoured firms (including Mitsui and the Yokohama Specie Bank) with diplomatic and financial support. Japan’s sudden appearance as a commercial power in central China left a deep impression on British observers. ‘Of the forces which are working to shape the future of Hankow and of the upper Yang-tsze at the present moment’, noted E. G. Hillier, the long-serving Beijing agent of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, ‘none is more conspicuous or more striking than the growing influence of the Japanese.’ The Japanese flag was ‘seen everywhere on the river’, and Japanese communities, separated from other foreigners by their ‘distinct methods of business’ were growing rapidly in all the major Yangzi ports. The Japanese, Hillier thought, had ‘great ambitions in the Yang-tzse valley . . . and their object seems to be to conquer much by a process of absorption by numbers as by the ordinary competition of trade’.27 Indeed, some rather admired the speed with which Japanese traders were muscling their way into the China market: during a visit to the Hong Kong offices of Mitsui in 1911, Beatrice Webb contrasted the sluggish practices of the British trading houses with the ‘deliberative purposefulness’ of the Japanese firm, which dispensed with the services of a comprador and insisted that its staff learn the Chinese language, ‘from the Manager himself down to the youngest clerk’.28 More often, however, competition revived complaints of the supposedly low ‘commercial morality’ of Japanese merchants—a racial trope that had circulated in the Far East since the 1860s.29 What residual cordiality still attached to the alliance quickly evaporated. Arnold Robertson, a young diplomat freshly appointed to the Beijing legation in 1906, noted soon after his arrival just how ‘hated & feared’ Britain’s ‘pigmy allies’ were among the European community. ‘From what I am told by rival white merchants’, he wrote to his mother, ‘they seem to fall a good deal below the very low standard of European commercial “integrity” in the Far East—in fact to be entirely unscrupulous.’30 To Bland, self-appointed champion of the Shanghai traders, it was evident that the alliance offered little protection for British commercial and financial interests. Japan, he thought, would stop at nothing ‘to get the whole of the China trade . . . into her hands’.31 Its challenge would have to be met, but given the ‘present fetich [sic] worship of Bushido at home’, Bland

25  Bickers, ‘Shanghailanders’, pp. 176–7, and Henriot, ‘ “Little Japan” in Shanghai’, p. 148. 26  Peattie, ‘Japanese Treaty Port Settlements in China’. 27  Hillier to Townsend, 12 July 1907, in Jordan to Grey, 25 July 1907, TNA, FO 371/228/30124. 28  Webb Diary, 20 November 1911, BLPES, Passfield Papers, 1/2. 29  See Hunter, ‘Deficient in Commercial Morality’?, pp. 33–61 for a genealogy. 30  Robertson to Mrs Robertson, 13 July 1906, CCAC, Robertson Papers, RBTN 2. 31  Bland to Murray Stewart, 17 February 1906, FRBL/JOPB, 4.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   85 feared it would prove difficult to ‘persuade the sheep crowd that Japan is also human, and sufficiently so to take advantage of other nations’ ignorance or apathy’.32 Bland’s frustration reflected the conflicting views of officialdom and the British communities in the treaty ports. With the memories of the Boxer crisis still fresh, many China coasters waxed sceptical over the prospects of Chinese reform. ‘Corruption and chaos’, Bland believed, were ‘the only possible results of the national movement’.33 But the British legation took a different view. Ernest Satow, who had been appointed minister in China in the wake of the Boxer War, had initially shared the treaty-porters’ pessimism about the future of the Qing empire. The Chinese he thought ‘hopeless’, the dynasty ‘thoroughly rotten’, and the country a ‘Far Eastern Poland’ destined for partition.34 But with Japan’s victory over Russia, the onset of the xinzheng reforms, and the groundswell of nationalist activity in the provinces, Satow’s views shifted. In a long valedictory despatch, written on the eve of his retirement in 1906, he now argued that the Russo-Japanese War had fundamentally changed the conditions under which British China policy operated. The danger of partition had receded. Encouraged by the example of Japan, and relieved of the ‘dread of Russia’, a new ‘patriotic spirit’ was asserting itself: China had ‘begun to pluck up courage again’.35 As the Qing’s self-strengthening efforts gathered pace, it would no longer be necessary (or feasible) for the Legation to use its influence to support British commercial and financial interests through the heavy-handed methods it had been forced to employ in the past. ‘The conclusion I draw from all this’, Satow noted, ‘is that . . . the policies of “pacific penetration”, “partition”, “spheres of influence”, and “spheres of interest” are dead.’ Any future railway projects would have to be regarded ‘as purely commercial undertakings, without any political character, and be assisted accordingly’.36 The Legation would terminate its partnership with the sub-imperialists in the ports—a move that, for Satow, could hardly come soon enough. ‘I am getting rather tired of Peking’, he confided to a friend. ‘In no other post have I ever been called on to advocate wrong causes or to enforce unjust aims’.37 Satow timed his intervention well. The incoming Liberal foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey, was equally keen to draw the curtain over the ‘China question’. Meeting with Satow after his return to London, Grey readily agreed that China had ‘taken a new departure’, and that the ‘policy of the big stick’ belonged to the past.38 In future, British policy would be of ‘a more conciliatory character’, meaning that it would no longer seek to extract further railway or mining concessions on

32  Bland to Murray Stewart,17 December 1905, FRBL/JOPB, 4. 33  Bland to Chirol, 31 July 1906, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 34  Otte, ‘ “Not Proficient in Table-Thumping” ’, p. 189. 35  Satow to Grey, 16 April 1906, TNA, FO 371/35/18909. 36  Satow to Grey, 16 April 1906, TNA, FO 371/35/18909. 37  Satow to Dickins, 17 July 1905, in Ruxton (ed.), Sir Ernest Satow’s Private Letters, p. 240. 38  Satow Diary, 19 July 1906, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/16/9.

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86  Empire Ascendant politically onerous terms. Sir John Jordan, the new minister in Beijing, was instructed that British policy would support ‘the new departure which China is apparently anxious to make’, and encourage its efforts towards reform and modernization. ‘[T]he mere contact with Europeans and Japanese in China’, Grey believed, would be ‘a constant source of education’.39 Such a policy would also redress the balance between official and private interests in China. There were few signs, Grey admitted, that the treaty-port communities were ‘prepared to admit the need for any change in policy, or for increased care and restraint in the assertion of their rights’. But Shanghai would have to bend to new political realities. Britain’s merchants, Grey noted, would have to learn that the British imperium in the Far East would not ‘prosper in the face of Chinese ill-will’.40

Drawing the Local Colour Line: Britons and Japanese in China In the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, then, the British presence on the China coast found itself pressed on all fronts. In Japan, it faced a dextrous competitor that could match Britain’s political influence, if not yet its financial heft. Chinese self-assertion challenged its position from below. Official support from London, long thought to be essential to the success of British business in the Chinese interior, was quietly withdrawn. Visions of a commercial revival evap­or­ated; instead of a clear field for expansion, the British commercial imperium in China now found itself facing a new rival and an uncertain future. Amid a growing sense of frustration, local views of Anglo-Japanese relations began to diverge sharply from official policy. ‘People here are naturally more excited about Japanese competition and methods than they would be in England’, Bland told Chirol, ‘and prophecy the end of the alliance in the most light-hearted way.’41 The ubiquity of anti-Japanese sentiments among the ‘Shanghailanders’ soon drew notice from visitors. ‘A fact which cannot fail to make a profound and disagreeable impression on the English traveller in the East’, recounted the Liberal MP Thomas KincaidSmith upon returning from a tour of China in 1908, ‘is the intense antagonism displayed by Europeans and Americans, almost without exception, towards Japan and all things Japanese, noticeable at Singapore and Penang, and gradually increasing in strength as one gets nearer to Japan.’42 Another traveller, the Canadian official W. L. Mackenzie King, claimed to have met not ‘a single person who has spoken well of the Japanese’, though he ‘made it a point to bring up the

39  Grey to Jordan, 31 August 1906, TNA, FO 371/35/29351. 40  Grey to Jordan, 31 August 1906, TNA, FO 371/35/29351. 41  Bland to Chirol, 30 June 1906, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 42  Kincaid-Smith, ‘England, America and Japan’, p. 196–8.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   87 subject with almost every class of person whom I have met’.43 While strongest among the merchants, observers discerned anti-Japanese sentiments in every stratum of treaty-port society, including journalists, missionaries, the staff of the British legation, and the officers of the garrisons at Hong Kong and Weihaiwei.44 ‘Englishmen of all classes, commercial, army, and navy, are disgusted with the alliance’, the American governor of the Philippines reported to Washington. ‘There is a rapidly growing feeling among all the whites here that a definite issue with Japan is not far off . . . I should not be surprised to see the British-Japanese alliance broken off for good and for sufficient reasons in the very near future.’45 The China coasters were never numerous, but their attitudes on East Asian affairs carried weight with ‘home’ opinion. British diplomats worried that the resurgence of ‘yellow perilism’ among this constituency signalled a wider shift against Japan. Chirol fretted that the anti-Japanese rhetoric leaking out of China was ‘creating a strong feeling in business circles in this country which may ul­tim­ate­ly impair the stability of the Anglo-Japanese alliance’.46 Gauging the public mood during his furlough in Britain during the spring of 1907, Macdonald was similarly struck with ‘the marked change which had come over the feelings of all grades of English society for Japan and the Japanese’.47 After returning to Tokyo, he sent one of his junior officials, Francis Lindley, to investigate the motivations behind the shift in sentiment.48 His findings made for grim reading. Before the war, Lindley believed, ‘foreign opinion in China regarding Japan’ had been ‘sharply divided’, with continental Europeans favouring Russia, and the ‘British and Americans pro-Japanese’. Since then, the latter had become, ‘if possible, more anti-Japanese than the former’. Lindley diagnosed a variety of causes for this change of heart, from complaints over Japan’s ‘commercial immorality’, and ‘overbearing conduct’, to disappointment that ‘a great expansion of trade’ had failed to materialize after the ‘overthrow’ of Russia.49 But Lindley also emphasized that the turn against Japan drew from deeper wells of insecurity. White Europeans in China constituted a tiny minority even within the boundaries of their own treaty-ports: after the 1880s, British nationals never made up more than one per cent of the population of Shanghai’s International Settlement. In no other colonial setting did a white settler society define itself on such a narrow demographic base.50 Maintaining a standard of ‘Britishness’ under 43  King Diary, 20 March 1909, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M114. 44 For anti-Japanese sentiment among British military and Naval officers, see Macdonald to Grey, 23 January 1909, TNA, FO 881/9417; Morrison Diary, 8 July 1907, ML, Morrison Papers, 312/15, mf. CY 236. 45  Wood to Roosevelt, 30 January 1908, RIAS, Roosevelt Papers, mf. 80. 46  Chirol to Northcliffe, 4 April 1909, BL, Northcliffe Papers, MS 62251. 47  Macdonald to Grey, 19 February 1908, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/68. 48  Lindley would return as ambassador to Tokyo in 1931. 49  Report by F. O. Lindley, in Macdonald to Grey, 11 May 1908, TNA, FO 371/475/19636. 50  Bickers, ‘Shanghailanders’, p. 176.

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88  Empire Ascendant these conditions required the strict exclusion of Chinese influences from the social spaces that Britons (alongside other Europeans) claimed as their own.51 There was little space within this social, political, and racial order for Japan, an Asian treaty power whose subjects, as Lindley noted, could ‘now claim absolute equality with the European and the American, both nationally and individually’. It was here that the fiction of an inclusive ‘civilization’ collapsed under the weight of racial animosity. Lindley observed that Japanese demands for equal status were ‘admitted readily enough in theory’. But when it came to ‘dealing with individual Japanese on such a basis’, white treaty-port residents were ‘physically incapable of accepting the situation’, and ‘resent in a Japanese many things [they] would tolerate in a European’.52 Empires, as Charles Maier has observed, replicate their hierarchical structures through a ‘fractal-like’ geometry, ‘at all spatial levels . . . at the level of the community as well as the continent’.53 In China, the performance of white supremacy in treaty-port life (taking ‘an occasional pull at a pig-tail’, as Lindley put it) reflected the Qing’s subordination to an imperial order collectively dominated by the Western powers. Yet by the same token, British residents could perceive Japan’s regional challenge to European hegemony in the form of personal transgressions against racial norms. Few discerned this dynamic more astutely than the British author and social reformer Beatrice Webb, who toured East Asia in 1911 on the eve of the Chinese revolution. Webb had been keenly interested in Japan, and in the ‘efficiency’ of its social and political system, since the Russo-Japanese War. Seven years later, Webb still found Japan a place ‘of extraordinary grace and beauty—of untiring industry, of sensitiveness and open-mindedness’. Crossing over to Korea, she praised the ‘amazing energy, resourcefulness and persistency’ of the Japanese colonial regime—qualities that for Webb stood out all the more starkly next to the Koreans (‘a degraded and disagreeable people’) or the Chinese (‘a mass of putrefying humanity’ characterized by ‘indolence, superstition and sodomy’).54 Indeed, as she learned of the revolution in the south, Webb hoped that Japan might take up its imperial mission in China, which she believed ‘could absorb countless active, open-eyed, self-controlled, little Japanese men as its ruling class in government and industry’. But to her surprise, Webb found that her views failed to resonate with the British officials and residents she encountered during her tour: all her interlocutors ‘frankly disliked’ the Japanese. ‘Everyone tells us horrid little stories about their doings’, Webb recorded, many of which revolved around some social infraction against the racial hierarchy. Webb recounted a conversation with Violet Willis—the wife of the British consul, and by Webb’s account ‘a pleasant

51  On ‘boundary maintenance’, see Bickers, Britain in China, pp. 95–107. 52  Report by F. O. Lindley, in Macdonald to Grey, 11 May 1908, TNA, FO 371/475/No. 19636. 53 Maier, Among Empires, p. 10. 54  Webb Diary, 22 October, 6 November 1911, BLPES, Passfield Papers, 1/2.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   89 but commonplace woman’—who complained at length about a Japanese hotel clerk whom she considered insufficiently deferential. ‘To sum up her objection, the Japanese did not know their place as an inferior race.’55 For Webb, these betrayed a profound anxiety over the loss of racial status. Europeans, she thought, had come to ‘resent the extraordinary energy and per­sist­ency . . . with which the Japanese have made good their position as the equals of the white race’.56 In Korea and southern Manchuria, visiting Europeans encountered the Japanese as more than equals: here, they were themselves forced to obey the directives of an Asian colonial regime. Many chafed under the experience. Arnold Robertson, who visited Korea in 1907, considered the Japanese he encountered ‘officious, insolent and tiresome in every way . . . They look horrible, particularly the men who wear bad European clothes’.57 For Robertson, as for other British visitors, the colonial frontier seemed to strip away the veneer of Japanese civilization to reveal an underlying ‘Asiatic’ essence. In Japan itself, wrote Frederick McKenzie, the Far Eastern correspondent for the Daily Mail, most Japanese would attempt to ‘veil and conceal racial antipathy’. In Korea, such restraints fell away, and ‘the very coolie goes out with the air of a conqueror . . . blustering, grasping, and arrogant’.58 G.  E.  Morrison derided the Japanese community in Manchuria as consisting largely of ‘gamblers, swindling peddlers, roughs and braves and prostitutes’.59 The supposed prevalence of Japanese prostitutes (one report put their number at 20,000) became a popular trope in British commentary on post-war Manchuria. Lindley noted that whereas most missionaries had supported Japan during the war, ‘the subsequent enormous influx of Japanese prostitutes’ had ‘completely alienated their sympathies’.60 Bland salaciously denounced the Japanese sphere in the north as a ‘gigantic brothel’, quipping that the province might as well be renamed ‘Womanchuria’. ‘[T]he joke is copyright’, he wrote to Morrison, ‘but no doubt they will infringe my rights.’61 At once suggestive of seductive power and moral corrosion, the sex trade became a popular metaphor for the Japanese presence in China: one account tellingly denounced prostitution as ‘propaganda’, intended to counteract the efforts of Western missionaries.62 ‘What are we to think of a nation that will shamelessly sell its daughters to other people?’, McKenzie sneered. ‘The Japanese profess to come to teach [China] reform and a higher civilisation. And then they bring us that!’63

55  Webb Diary, 28 October 1911, BLPES, Passfield Papers, 1/2. 56  Webb Diary, 1 November 1911, BLPES, Passfield Papers, 1/2. 57  Robertson to his mother, 2 March 1907, CCAC, Robertson Papers, RBTN 2. 58 McKenzie, The Unveiled East, p. 12. 59  Morrison to Chirol, 31 July 1906, CGEM, pp. 369–71. 60  Jordan to Grey, 11 January 1908, TNA, FO 371/415/1036; Report by F. O. Lindley, in Macdonald to Grey, 11 May 1908, TNA, FO 371/475/19636. 61  Bland to Morrison, 27 May 1907, CGEM, pp. 413–14. 62  Watney, ‘The Future of Manchuria’, p. 342. 63 McKenzie, The Unveiled East, p. 94.

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90  Empire Ascendant Local antipathies to Japan thus revealed deeper anxieties about the potential destabilization of the racial fabric on which treaty-port society rested. From ‘the earliest times’, Macdonald mockingly noted, it had been the ‘inalienable right of the white man in the Far East, to treat the Oriental . . . as an inferior being’.64 The Japanese had not only blurred these distinctions by claiming equality for themselves; their growing influence in China suggested an even more dangerous assault on European privilege. British commentators continually drew connections between the growing influence of Japan and the prevalence of ‘anti-foreign’ or even ‘antiwhite’ elements in Chinese nationalism.65 Morrison suspected Chinese students returning from Japan of radicalizing ‘young China’ with pan-Asianist ideas.66 By the end of 1907, Bland had become convinced that Tokyo was manipulating the nationalist movement to its own political ends. ‘There is an economical, financial and political crisis ahead of us in this country and our Jap friends are well aware of it’, he wrote. ‘Only the ostrich Anglo-Saxon, who has most to lose by it, blinks the fact.’67 Bland was determined that the British ‘interest’ in China be preserved: London would have to made to recognize—somehow—‘that the game Japan is playing in China’ was a ‘villainous piece of bad faith’, that would ‘bring its own retribution’.68

‘These fiercely Asiatic Asiatics’ Few personified the ‘Shanghai mind’, in all its hopes, fears, and follies, better than John Otway Percy Bland. Born in Malta to an Anglo-Irish military family, Bland had moved to China in 1883 after financial problems interrupted his legal studies at Trinity College in Dublin. From then until his embittered departure in 1910, Bland would circulate through a range of non-official roles in the British im­per­ ium in China. He initially joined the Imperial Maritime Customs Service, whose director, Sir Robert Hart, had a discerning eye for talented fellow Ulstermen, and eventually rose to the post of Hart’s personal secretary in 1894. Two years later, he left the Customs to join the municipal council of Shanghai’s International Settlement.69 By 1897 he was also engaged as the Shanghai correspondent for The Times, often translating for Morrison and covering the latter’s long absences from Beijing. In this dual capacity as the organizing mind of the settler interest in China and its voice in the London press, Bland became a leading advocate for the

64  Macdonald to Grey, 18 May 1908, TNA, FO 371/475/19636. 65  Kincaid-Smith, ‘England, America and Japan’, pp. 196–8. 66  Morrison to Chirol, 14 April 1904, CGEM, pp. 443–50. 67  Bland to Straight, 17 December 1907, CL/WDS, mf. 2/1. 68  Bland to Montague Bell, 17 November 1907, FRBL/JOPB, 5. 69  Best, ‘The Shanghai Temper’; R. Bickers, ‘Bland, John Otway Percy (1863–1945)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   91 extension of Britain’s presence in China (a project he tellingly styled as ‘the Raj’). In Shanghai, he sought to assert the authority of the settler-dominated municipal council over the Chinese authorities and the British consul, until his final act of administrative overreach prompted the outbreak of the Shanghai riots in December 1905, forcing his resignation. None of this endeared him to London’s official representatives. Satow conceded that Bland was ‘clever and energetic’, but found him personally odious. Macdonald, who was hardly reticent about his ‘supreme contempt for Shanghai and all that thereto pertaineth’, considered him a ‘Jingo of the worst type’.70 It was the same ‘Jingo’ attachment to the China ‘Raj’ that led Bland to welcome the Anglo-Japanese alliance in 1902 as a sign of hardening resolve. He en­thu­si­as­ tic­al­ly supported the Japanese side in the Russo-Japanese War, even going so far as to pass on information on Russian ships convalescing in neutral Shanghai to Japanese military intelligence.71 Whatever pro-Japanese sentiments he held, however, were politically contingent as well as tarnished by a deep and visceral ra­cism. Writing to Morrison halfway through the Russo-Japanese War, Bland noted that, while he thought the Japanese ‘a remarkable race’, he found them ‘ridiculous’ in appearance. ‘I respect and admire them immensely, except when one of them is in my office to remind me of the descent of man.’72 Such views quickly took on a ‘yellow peril’ form after the war, as Bland fretted over Japan’s growing influence in China. In his diaries and correspondence, he referred to the Japanese as ‘simians’ or ‘Bandar-log’—the man-mimicking monkeys of Kipling’s Jungle Book.73 If Bland’s views of the Japanese betrayed a settler politician’s instinctive attunement to the colour line, they also came to inflect his subsequent work as an agent for British financial imperialism in China. After his resignation as Shanghai’s municipal secretary, Bland found employment as a concession-hunter for the British and Chinese Corporation (a joint venture between two Far Eastern titans, Jardine Matheson and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank). In that capacity, he led the negotiations for a new railway in the Yangzi valley in the spring of 1907, to be jointly financed by Britain and France. But to Bland’s fury, the Chinese authorities had scuppered the deal after Tokyo had signalled that it, too, expected a part in the railway contract.74 ‘As the allies of Japan’, he noted to Charles Addis, his superior at the Bank’s office in London, ‘we might expect to be able to combine with them for the advancement of our mutual interest.’75 Instead of a partner, Britain had found a rival challenging its commercial and political influence at the

70 Satow to Grey, 27 September 1905, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/44; Macdonald to Satow, 15 January 1906, TNA, Satow Papers, PRO 30/33/9/15. 71  Best, ‘The Shanghai Temper’, pp. 312–13. 72  Bland to Chirol, 3 August 1904, FRBL/JOPB, 3. 73  Bland to Straight, 12 January 1910, FRBL/JOPB, 11. 74 Edwards, British Diplomacy and Finance in China, pp. 105–6. 75  Bland to Addis, 23 September 1907, FRBL/JOPB, 23.

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92  Empire Ascendant heart of its Yangzi sphere. The ‘sorry truth’, Bland declared, was that London would ‘not raise or fight any question in China’, whereas Tokyo was pursuing its own interests with vision and energy. ‘Every day confirms to me’, he concluded, ‘that we are going to pay a big price for the alliance . . . the Japs’ ambitions in China are practically unlimited.’76 If British diplomacy would not rise to check Japan’s ambitions of its own accord, then it would have to be forced to do so. Having previously looked to Japan to check the rise of Chinese nationalism, Bland now allied himself with a constellation of foreign diplomats and reformist Qing officials who shared his suspicions about the spread of Japanese influence in China. Chief among them was Tang Shaoyi, the American-educated viceroy of Manchuria, a close ally of Yuan Shikai and one of a number of modernizing officials brought to prom­in­ence by the xinzheng reforms. In early 1907, Tang had been dispatched to Mukden with a mandate to reassert Qing sovereignty over the dynasty’s ancestral homeland, and to meet the growing influence of Japan and Russia with a colonization project of his own. His administration initiated a comprehensive land survey, set up programmes for forest management, and encouraged the immigration of Han Chinese.77 But to retain Beijing’s hold over its northern borderlands in the long term, and prevent the region’s economic orientation from shifting to Dairen or Vladivostok, Tang needed a railway, and foreign capital and diplomatic support to build it. One of those he cultivated was Willard Straight, the American consul in Mukden, who noted in his dairy that Tang was keen to encourage ‘foreign, as opposed to Japanese trade’ and to ‘encourage competition’ with the SMR.78 Straight, in turn, was able to provide Tang with an introduction to Bland (both had served under Robert Hart in the Imperial Customs) who, after the failure of the Yangzi line, needed little incentive to make mischief in Japan’s own sphere in Manchuria.79 The scheme that Bland, Tang, and Straight developed was bold but simple. Tang’s Manchurian administration would offer a contract to extend the Chinese Northern Railway—the only line in China wholly owned and operated by the Qing authorities—from its current terminus at Hsinmintun [Xinmin] north into Manchuria. Bland would arrange the financing through the British and Chinese Corporation, and found a British railway firm, Pauling & Company, willing to undertake the construction. Publicly, the project was kept within modest dimensions, providing only for a fifty-mile extension to the town of Fakumen [Fakuzhen]. Yet the contract also contained a secret agreement to build a further line all the

76  Bland to Addis, 17 October 1907, FRBL/JOPB, 23. 77 Lee, The Manchurian Frontier, pp. 147–50. 78  Straight Diary, 10 July 1907, CL/WDS, mf. 11. 79  Straight Diary, 28 October 1907, CL/WDS, mf. 11. Straight recorded that Bland ‘had much to say about Jap interference’, and seemed ‘anxious to fight them’.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   93 way to the Russian border.80 Once completed, the new railway would allow ­uninterrupted travel from Beijing to St Petersburg, bypassing the Japanese lines entirely. Writing to his superiors at the State Department, Straight candidly pointed that that Japanese expansion would be effectively ring-fenced: The Hsinmintun-Fakumen line . . . will very seriously compete with the South Manchurian Railway, will not only tap a rich and rapidly developing country . . . but will almost certainly attract all the through European traffic as well as secure all the mails. More than that even, it will threaten the Japanese strategic position and place a splendid line of communication along the Japanese flank and within easy reach of the Russians.81

Japan, of course, was likely to protest. Yet any move to block the line would stand at odds with Tokyo’s earlier pledges—enshrined in the Anglo-Japanese alliance and the Treaty of Portsmouth—to uphold the ‘open door’ and respect the sovereignty of China. The Fakumen line would serve as diplomatic tripwire. ‘It is not easy to see on what grounds the Japanese will oppose the undertaking’, Bland wrote to Chirol, ‘unless they admit that they have taken over the anti-British policy of the Russians.’82 If that should happen, Bland and Straight would mobilize the support of their respective governments. Encouraging noises came from the British Legation, which had grown similarly suspicious of Japan’s ambitions. ‘All this boasted talk about the open door is meaningless if is to be closed against us in railway construction’, Sir John Jordan reported to London. ‘The Japanese do not respect our Yangtze preserve so scrupulously as to justify an exclusive claim to the industrial exploitation of Manchuria.’83 The first part of the scheme came off as planned. Suspicious of Chinese motives, and determined to protect the SMR (and the huge outlay of capital it represented) Japan duly vetoed the Fakumen extension in December 1907. Yet Bland had miscalculated on two counts. First, Tokyo could plausibly claim that its objection fell within its existing treaty rights: under the terms of the transfer of the Russian leases at the end of the Russo-Japanese War, China had agreed not to construct any competing railway lines in their vicinity. Tang Shaoyi himself had signed the pledge as China’s representative—a fact he had failed to mention to his foreign partners.84 Second, diplomatic support for the venture failed to materialize. Privately, Edward Grey acknowledged that Britain had little choice but to accept that Manchuria had effectively been partitioned into Russian and Japanese spheres.85 80  Straight Diary, 5 November 1907, CL/WDS, mf. 11. 81  Straight to Wilson, 31 January 1908, CL/WDS, mf. 2. 82  Bland to Chirol, 25 November 1907, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 83  Jordan to Campbell, 31 October 1907, TNA, Jordan Papers, FO 350/5. 84  Bland to Straight, 1 February 1908, CL/WDS, mf. 2. 85  Minute by Grey, 28 December 1907, TNA, FO 371/229/42361.

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94  Empire Ascendant The Foreign Office had little appetite for a confrontation with Tokyo over what was, after all, exactly the sort of private initiative it had disavowed after 1906. Bland was incensed. London’s failure to keep a leash on its ‘Asiatic’ ally, he believed, spelled disaster for British interests in China.86 Japan would turn southern Manchuria into a quasi-colony, and browbeat China in to accepting its primacy. Other powers might follow its lead. The future of the Qing would again become ‘a burning question’.87 ‘The Chinese are doomed to political extinction’, Bland fumed, ‘and we must protect our own portion of the carcass.’88 Having failed to win official support, Bland now attempted to rouse opinion on the China coast against Whitehall’s ‘invertebrate interpretation’ of the AngloJapanese alliance.89 He leaned on the China Association ‘to protest volubly’ against Japan’s backsliding on the open door, and encouraged the directors of Pauling’s and Jardine Matheson to lodge their own complaints with the Foreign Office.90 When the North China Herald published a defence of the Japanese veto, Bland wrote to its editor to complain of the ‘evil wrought to the Raj by the dissemination of Japanese “news” through the columns of the leading British paper in the Far  East’, and demanded the sacking of the paper’s Japanese correspondent.91 Together with Morrison, he petitioned Chirol to steer the The Times away from its ‘uncompromising adulation’ of Japan.92 To Bland, the Fakumen question was symptomatic of a deeper struggle over commercial and political primacy, and, in the final tally, over the preservation of white supremacy in China. ‘[The] whole value of the alliance’, he pleaded with Chirol, ‘depends on our behaving towards our Asiatic ally with dignity and by our showing energy and intelligence in some degree approximating theirs. If they learn to despise us, the alliance is doomed.’93 He was rather more candid with Straight. ‘I cannot believe that we white men will  be able to keep up much longer the farce of an alliance with these fiercely Asiatic Asiatics.’94 The editorial offices of The Times now became a political battleground between the divergent views and interests surrounding the Japanese alliance. Bland and Morrison were insistent that the paper adopt a more critical stance on Japan’s actions in Manchuria. There was ‘not an Englishman’ in the Far East, Morrison wrote, who would not now ‘rejoice at the return of Russia’.95 The Times would do little to ‘prevent the growth of that ill-feeling’ by denying its existence. Britain’s 86  Bland to Addis, 23 February 1908, FRBL/JOPB, 23. 87  Anderson to Alabaster, 27 February 1908, SOAS, China Association Papers, CHAS/A/5. 88  Bland to ffrench, 12 January 1908, FRBL/JOPB, 7. 89  Bland to Addis, 23 February 1908, FRBL/JOPB, 23. 90  Bland to Straight, 9 February 1908, CL/WDS; China Association to FO, 25 April 1908, TNA, FO 371/410/14478; BCC to Foreign Office, 20 February 1908, TNA, FO 371/410/5951. 91  Bland to Montague Bell, 20 January 1909, FRBL/JOPB, 5. 92  Bland to Chirol, 11 February 1908, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 93  Bland to Chirol, 1 March 1908, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 94  Bland to Straight, 11 January 1908, CL/WDS. 95  Morrison to Chirol, 14 April 1908, CGEM, pp. 443–50.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   95 prestige in East Asia would suffer if its leading paper were to continue to make excuses for the behaviour of its ‘Asiatic ally’.96 Chirol argued differently: to him, the Japanese alliance remained a vital component in British world-policy. It kept the peace in East Asia, allowing Britain to concentrate on its naval rivalry with Germany. These benefits more than balanced out Japanese transgressions in north-east Asia, for which ‘the great British public does not care a hang’.97 To view the alliance only in relation to Britain’s position in China, he wrote to Morrison, was to ignore these broader considerations. Now in the opinion, I believe, of all responsible people in this country, our ­alliance with Japan is and will be for many more years to come as important for  British world-policy as it ever has been in the past, and to jeopardize its main­ten­ance for the sake of some obscure questions in Manchuria would be the height of madness.98

Despite repeated pleas from Morrison and Bland, Chirol would continue to commit The Times to a pro-Japanese editorial line. Morrison in particular was furious, and all but terminated his personal correspondence with his editor, while seething in his private diary against the ‘craven policy’ of ‘this damned Jew [sic]’ Chirol.99 It was a sign of the seriousness of the challenge being mounted from the China coast that Chirol, despite ill health, travelled to East Asia in the spring of 1909 in an attempt to mollify his disgruntled correspondents. As he noted to Lord Northcliffe, The Times’s new proprietor, a personal intervention had become ne­ces­sary to ‘stem the rot’ in the public’s perception of the alliance.100 Chirol arranged for Morrison to join him in Tokyo in order to have the Japanese case put to him at the foreign ministry—and, in what represented an unprecedented honour for a British citizen of no official standing, to receive an audience with the Meiji emperor. ‘The Japanese made a great splash over Chirol & Morrison’, one embassy official reported. ‘All reticence was abandoned.’101 It was to little avail. Morrison was neither impressed by the explanations of the Japanese officials nor mollified by their hospitality. ‘Damned dull’, he recorded in his diary. ‘I have learned nothing and gave myself nausea by drinking saki [sic].’102 After returning to China, he quickly resumed his tirades against Japan—now enlivening them by recounting that the Meiji emperor had received them drunk.103 96  Bland to Chirol, 1 March 1908, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 97  Chirol to Bland, 1 June 1907, FRBL/JOPB, 17. 98  Chirol to Morrison, 21 January 1908, CGEM, pp. 437–40. 99  Morrison Diary 23 January, 31 March, 27 March 1908, ML, Morrison Papers, 312/16, mf. CY 237. Chirol was not Jewish. 100  Chirol to Northcliffe, 4 April 1909, BL, Northcliffe Papers, MS 62251. 101  Rumbold to Hardinge, 31 May 1909, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/68. 102  Morrison Diary, 25 May 1909, ML, Morrison Papers, 312/17, mf. CY 238. 103  While Morrison’s impression cannot be verified, Meiji’s fondness for drink has been well documented by historians, see Keene, Emperor of Japan, pp. 176–7, 288.

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96  Empire Ascendant Chirol’s row with his China correspondents mirrored the debate ongoing in British diplomatic circles. Much like Morrison and Bland, the British legation in China had, by 1907, grown apprehensive of Japan’s efforts to secure political as well as economic control over southern Manchuria. Jordan discerned an eerie similarity to his experiences in his previous posting in Korea, where he believed Japan had used similar tactics to pursue a strategy of ‘territorial absorption’.104 His commercial attaché, Alexander Hosie, claimed he could ‘fully endorse and justify the hostile criticisms which every thinking man in Manchuria makes and freely expresses regarding Japan’s high-handed policy’.105 Many in the Foreign Office privately agreed that Japan seemed determined to convert Manchuria into a closely integrated economic sphere. But London saw little reason to insert itself into Tokyo’s backyard over a series of technical violations of the ‘open door’. Nor was it inclined to credit the China merchants’ assessment of Japan’s regional ambitions, which, according to the head of the Far Eastern department, showed ‘a high degree of vague mistrust & fear’.106 There was also a deeper strategic calculation at play. With London focused on the naval race with Germany, commercial access to Manchuria was a small price to pay for the assistance the alliance provided. ‘Had the German Emperor not embarked on this insane fleet policy’, one British official in the Chinese Customs conceded, ‘we might . . . have been in a position to hinder the advance of Japan into China.’ As things stood, ‘our military position here depends on Japan’.107 The argument easily outweighed whatever public interest Bland could rally to his railway schemes. After a year of fruitless lobbying, he conceded defeat. ‘I don’t expect to build any more railways’, he wrote to Straight in February 1909.108 And there matters might have rested, but for China’s determination to see its  Manchurian line built. As it became evident that British support for the Fakumen line would not be forthcoming, Tang began to explore other options. By September 1908, he drew up a contract for Pauling & Co. to survey an alternative route, further west from the SMR and thus less susceptible to incur Japanese objections. But once again, the contract contained a clause to eventually extend the line to the Russian border. And once again, Tang would seek the backing of a foreign capital, except now it would be Washington, where the incoming president, William Howard Taft, was known to favour a rather more expansive interpretation of the ‘open door’ than his predecessor. In China, it was Willard Straight, Bland’s former co-conspirator, who took up the reins of the latter’s ­anti-Japanese crusade. In June 1909, Straight resigned from the diplomatic service to become the agent for a consortium of prominent Wall Street firms, which 104  Jordan to Grey, 17 February 1908, TNA, FO 371/426/11447. 105  Memorandum by Hosie, in Jordan to Grey, 11 January 1908, TNA, FO 371/415/1036. 106  Minute by Campbell, 27 April 1908, TNA, FO 371/410/14478. 107  Bowra to Morrison, 17 August 1909, CGEM, pp. 512–13. 108  Bland to Straight, 19 February 1909, CL/WDS, mf. 2.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   97 he  now directed (with the encouragement of his former colleagues at the State Department) towards Manchuria.109 ‘[The] Chinese Gov’t is merely playing Fakumen over again’, observed Bland, ‘with America in place of England, and America has no alliance to prevent her claiming the open door as interpreted by themselves.’110 By November Washington was ramping up the pressure by proposing a new scheme to terminate railway competition in Manchuria altogether and to allow China to purchase all foreign-owned railways through a loan jointly offered by the powers. A similar formula had been worked with some success in central China, where the interests surrounding the railways had been primarily financial in nature.111 But there was little prospect of Japan or Russia surrendering their strategically placed Manchurian lines to China. Tokyo made it instantly clear that it was not prepared to internationalize ‘our own property, acquired by us at the cost of much treasure and many lives’.112 Russia, which had retained its railways in the north, was similarly alarmed, and the result of the American sortie was to draw the two Manchurian powers closer together, ‘an effect which the State Department apparently neither foresaw nor intended’.113 In June 1910, Russia and Japan announced a new convention on Manchuria, and resolved to jointly resist any further challenges to the status quo. The ‘fiction’ of the ‘open door’, the North China Herald noted, had been ‘tacitly dropped’ from Tokyo’s China policy.114 * * * Following a tour of the Yangzi valley in the autumn of 1910, Morrison wrote one of his last long letters to Chirol, in which he recounted a conversation with Everard Fraser, consul-general in Hankou, and a man ‘as pessimist as can be’ about the future of China. The Qing dynasty, Fraser thought, was ‘rotten’. The reform effort had run into the sand. He expected that the latest ‘constitutional experiment’—the imminent opening of a parliament at Beijing—would only serve to further weaken Beijing’s hold over the provinces, while doing little to appease the demands of the reform movement. The result was ‘almost certain to be revolution that will make China reel’. If that should happen, it was clear which party stood to gain most: Japan alert, ambitious, unscrupulous, was on the spot and waiting for an opportunity. By bullying and cajolery, by corruption and fraud she was establishing ‘interests’ in every part of China . . . Their only object can be to provide themselves 109  Esthus, ‘The Changing Concept of the Open Door’, 451–2; Cullinane and Goodall, Open Door Era, pp. 49–53. 110  Bland to Chirol, 25 October 1909, FRBL/JOPB, 24. 111  See Edwards, British Diplomacy and Finance in China; Dayer, Finance and Empire, pp. 50–8. 112  Macdonald to Grey, 20 December 1909, TNA, FO 371/636/No. 46243. 113  Rumbold Diary, 24 January 1910, BLO, Rumbold Papers, 4; see also Edwards, ‘Great Britain and the Manchurian Railways Question’. 114  ‘The Russo-Japanese Agreement’, NCH, 15 July 1910.

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98  Empire Ascendant with a plausible excuse for intervention when the smash comes . . .We should see a Japanese garrison in Shanghai, possibly in Peking too, and detachments in all the Yangtsze ports . . . The dynasty would be saved from its merited fate by Japanese assistance, and the Japanese Minister in Peking would become a kind of Resident-General.115

Fraser’s prediction was, in part, borne out by events. In October 1911, a botched bomb plot in Wuchang, close to his posting in Hankou, sparked an army mutiny that rapidly spread throughout central China. Within months, the Qing had been swept from power, to be replaced by a republican regime that, by March 1913, was devouring itself in civil war. The ensuing power struggle, coupled with the outbreak of the First World War, stirred the imagination of Japan’s expansionists. Fraser anticipated several of the so-called ‘Twenty-One Demands’ that Tokyo attempted to foist on China in January 1915, and which Morrison, in his new role as adviser to Yuan Shikai, would help to bring to the notice of the Foreign Office.116 The Chinese revolution confirmed what had become apparent in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War. The ‘European’ phase of the Far Eastern question, between 1895 and 1905, had been an aberration. The real struggle for East Asia would be waged between the two rising forces of Chinese nationalism and Japanese expansionism. It is easy to see why British treaty-porters should have found that realization discomfiting. They might have welcomed Japan as an ancillary to their own vision of a British (or Anglo-American) effort to usher China into a version of compliant modernity. But to recognize it as a true equal, with agency and interests of its own, conflicted sharply with the racial hierarchies that structured what was, at heart, a white settler society. F. O. Lindley of the Tokyo embassy concluded that it was probably ‘an excellent thing’ for the health of the alliance that daily contact between Japanese and Britons was not more common. ‘[F]riction and recrimination are sure to result’, he noted, ‘from the shoulder to shoulder competition of two races which differ so profoundly mentally, orally, socially, linguistically and physically as do the Japanese and the Anglo-Saxon.’117 At the same time, the treaty porters saw their influence in London whittle away as China slid down the list of diplomatic priorities. J. O. P. Bland might have resented Japan’s expanding presence in China; but his real complaint was that London was failing to emulate it with a vigorous expansionist policy of its own. ‘One of the most notable facts about British foreign policy to-day’, he grumbled in his

115  Morrison to Chirol, 29 October 1910, NI, TT/FOR/VC/1. 116  Best, ‘G. E. Morrison’, pp. 475–80. The evolution of Anglo-Japanese relations during the Chinese revolution and the First World War has been comprehensively explored in Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, and Nish, Alliance in Decline. 117  Report by F. O. Lindley, in Macdonald to Grey, 11 May 1908, TNA, FO 371/475/19636.

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‘ The Inalienable Right of the White Man ’   99 enforced retirement in 1912, ‘is the failure of the Government . . . to organise and direct the use of British capital as a weapon of offence and defence.’118 Shanghai’s bile in turn seeped back into the bloodstream of British public ­opinion. As one commentator complained during the First World War, the China coast had become a ‘hot-bed of anti-Japanese intrigue’ and the ‘chief seat and provenance of Yellow Perilism’.119 Tales of Japanese ill-doing in China (some based in fact, others invented, all subject to exaggeration) dented the heroic image that Britons had constructed of their ally during the Russo-Japanese War. Within a few years, it was no longer feasible to think of the Japanese alliance as a progressive partnership in defence of the ‘open door’. The Foreign Office, for its part, acknowledged that it could tolerate a degree of Japanese economic imperialism in north-east Asia, even at the cost of friction with the United States, where (as the British ambassador reported), ‘[t]he catch-word of the “open door” has attained a kind of sanctity in public opinion’. This policy reflected a tacit recognition that Japan, now a great power, could legitimately claim its own zone of commercial and demographic expansion. Manchuria was the obvious place for it. By the late 1900s, moreover, Japan’s role in East Asia had to be balanced against an array of other strategic and diplomatic considerations, in Europe, but also across the Pacific, where a different form of Japanese expansionism was inciting fears of racial displacement. ‘The Far Eastern question, my dear Chirol, is just beginning’, wrote Bland as he heard the news from Canada in September 1907. ‘The Vancouver riots are a sign of the days to come.’120

118 Bland, Recent Events, p. 286. 119  Mitford, ‘Action and Reaction in the Far East’, p. 580. 120  Bland to Chirol, 12 September 1907, FRBL/JOPB, 24.

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4

Empire and Exclusion The Japanese ‘Immigration Crisis’

Evening had fallen when Ishii Kikujirō, the head of the commerce department of the Japanese foreign ministry, arrived at Vancouver on 7 September 1907. Ishii, who would go on to serve as foreign minister during the First World War, had been travelling in North America for nearly a month. After landing in San Francisco, he gradually made his way north by way of Portland, Tacoma, and Seattle, investigating the conditions of the overseas Japanese communities in each of these ports. But while his inspections would no doubt have habituated Ishii to the hostility with which local whites had come to regard Japanese immigrants since the Russo-Japanese War, little could have prepared him for what awaited him in Vancouver. Earlier that day, a crowd had begun to assemble in anticipation of a citywide demonstration against Japanese immigration, organized by the recently formed ‘Asiatic Exclusion League’. By the day’s end, it encompassed over ten thousand marchers, including representatives of fifty-eight trade and labour unions from across western Canada and the United States, politicians from both major political parties, and three marching bands. At city hall, the marchers heard speeches from union leaders, politicians, and protestant clergymen, each speaker outbidding the last in denouncing the ‘Japanese invasion’ of their ‘white men’s country’. Once the meeting had concluded, some five hundred marchers, fuelled by rhetoric and alcohol, surged into Vancouver’s Chinese and Japanese districts. At Powell Street, the heart of Vancouver’s ‘Japantown’, they proceeded to burn an effigy of James Dunsmuir, British Columbia’s lieutenant-governor and a prom­in­ ent mine-owner who had incited the hatred of the labour movement by employing Asian workers. ‘The burning of the effigy’, a correspondent for the Daily Colonist reported, ‘was accompanied by the howling of the crowd and the waving of white flags labelled for a “White Canada” ’.1 The mood turned ugly. Some ­rioters tore stones out of the pavement and began hurling them through the windows of Asian-owned shops. Others attempted to set fire to the Japanese school. As Ishii learned what was happening, he rushed to the telegraph office to notify the ­government in Ottawa. The police, he wrote, had been overwhelmed by the rioters, and while they were ‘doing their best’, there was ‘hardly any hope of relying upon

1  ‘Vancouver Hoodlums Disgrace their City’, Daily Colonist, 8 September 1907. Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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Empire and Exclusion  101 their protection’. Further disturbances ensued on Sunday night, when the rioters returned to Powell Street only to find its Japanese residents armed and barricaded in their houses. It was not until Monday morning, after arresting dozens of ­rioters, that the police managed to restore order.2 The Vancouver riots of 1907 were the most dramatic manifestation of a wave of anti-Asian agitation that seized the Pacific coast in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War, and which, like gunpowder, was an explosive combination of three ingredients: a tradition of white labour militancy, a racial grievance inflamed by a rise in  Japanese immigration, and an acute sense of geopolitical anxiety. On both sides of the US–Canadian border, the Russo-Japanese War congealed with older fears of economic displacement to stir an ‘invasion’ panic centred on the figure of the Japanese immigrant. ‘[O]ur people simply will not live side by side with the Japanese on terms of equality’, one British Columbian newspaper declared, ‘and the Japanese will be content with nothing else’.3 The Vancouver riot had been an attempt to demonstrate the solidarity of Americans and Canadians in their desire to arrest the ‘yellow peril’ and force their governments to recognize their de­ter­ min­ation to uphold white supremacy on the Pacific coast. In this respect, it was undoubtedly successful. Like no other single event in the decade before the First World War, the Vancouver riot underlined the tensions inherent in Japan’s relationship with the British imperial system. Of all the settler colonies, Canada had most assiduously committed itself to the pursuit of Japanese trade and diplomacy. But as racial panic over Japanese immigration outpaced the expected commercial benefits, Laurier’s trans-Pacific visions began to unravel. Following on from recent work that has highlighted the international and im­per­ial complications of the Asian ‘immigration question’, this chapter traces the aftershocks of the Vancouver riots through Canadian and imperial politics, and assesses its implications for Anglo-Japanese, Anglo-American, and inter-imperial race ­relations.4 It pays particularly close attention to two under-examined aspects. First, it shows how Canada’s response to the Vancouver crisis was conditioned by its belonging to the British imperial system. Second, it shows the impact of the Japanese migration question on imperial thought in Britain, as it raised uncomfortable questions about the future entanglements of race, British foreign relations, and imperial unity. 2  This account of the riots is drawn from Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 105–16; Gilmour, Trouble on Main Street; Roy, White Man’s Province, pp. 185–96; Sugimoto, Japanese Immigration; Ward, White Canada Forever, pp. 53–78. 3 Roy, White Man’s Province, p. 187. 4  Key studies on the North American exclusion movements include Daniels, Politics of Prejudice; Markus, Fear and Hatred; Roy, White Man’s Province; and Ward, White Canada Forever. For studies that have explored the transnational connections between anti-Asian movements within and beyond North America see Huttenback, Racism and Empire; Lee, ‘The “Yellow Peril” and Asian Exclusion’; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line; and Chang, Pacific Connections. For a critique, see Atkinson, Burden of White Supremacy.

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102  Empire Ascendant

‘A civilisation more efficient than their own’ Like the Sino-Japanese War ten years earlier, the Russo-Japanese War initiated a further period of sharp growth in Japanese trade, shipping, and migration. During the war itself, emigration had ground to a halt. But the release of civilian shipping appropriated for the war effort, combined with the end of passport restrictions (to discourage desertion) allowed for the resumption of trans-Pacific movement just as demobilisation sharply expanded the pool of potential emigrants. Buoyed by the victory over Russia, intellectuals and emigration societies continued to hold up emigration as a way for individual Japanese to participate in extending Japan’s overseas interests.5 If these were ‘push’ factors, on the ‘pull’ side the wartime curtailment of Japanese emigration had produced acute shortages in industries reliant on immigrant labour—such as sugar in Hawaii, agriculture in California, and railroads, logging, and mining in British Columbia.6 By 1905, an agricultural labourer could earn four times as much in Hawaii, and up to eight times in North America, than in rural Japan.7 Labour supply firms, like the Nippon Supply Company of Vancouver, were quick to respond to market demands by recruiting larger numbers of labourers, both from Hawaii and directly from Japanese isles.8 As a result, the volume of emigration sharply expanded. While 10,000 Japanese entered California (the primary destination on the American mainland) in 1905, by 1907 their number had grown to 30,000 annually. By the end of that year, over 60,000 overseas Japanese resided in the continental United States, with an additional 65,000 in Hawaii.9 British Columbia’s smaller Japanese population tripled from 4,500 in 1901 to 11,000 in 1908. In Vancouver on the eve of the riots, Japanese made up nearly a quarter of working-age men. The rise occurred just as the Russo-Japanese War heightened awareness of Japan’s expanding power in the Pacific, strengthening associative links between Japanese immigration and the expansion and self-assertion of the Meiji state. For the San Francisco Chronicle, which launched its anti-Japanese crusade shortly after the battle of Mukden, the defeat of Russia would be followed by the ‘complete Orientalization of the Pacific Coast’.10 Before the ‘advance of the Orient’, declared the Victoria Colonist, ‘Anglo-Saxon civilisation’ would go down ‘like grass before the scythe’.11 Such rhetoric revealed much about the racial disorientation wrought by Japan’s recent military successes. Though ‘not one man in a thousand on the coast would be willing to admit it’, remarked a Vancouver correspondent for

5 On Japanese emigration as expansionism, see Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, pp. 99–104; and Azuma, Between Two Empires, pp. 22–3. 6 Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 54–88. 7 Azuma, Between Two Empires, pp. 17–34. 8 Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 74–5. 9 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, pp. 132–3. 10 Daniels, Politics of Prejudice, p. 26 11  ‘A White Canada’, Victoria Daily Colonist, 13 September 1907.

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Empire and Exclusion  103 The  Times, ‘[a]t the bottom of the feeling towards Japan is the belief . . . that the whites are in the presence of a civilization more efficient than their own’.12 Agitation in the press, the labour movement, and local politics translated the Japanese scare into political reality. In March and April 1905, the Californian and British Columbian legislatures both passed resolutions demanding that their respective national governments impose restrictions on Japanese immigration. In May, two weeks before the battle of Tsushima, representatives of sixty-seven trade unions formed a ‘Japanese and Korean Exclusion League’ in San Francisco. Later renamed the ‘Asiatic Exclusion League’ it claimed a membership of 78,500 throughout California by 1906.13 The earthquake that struck San Francisco in April further sharpened racial tensions, throughout the summer of 1906, Japanese and their property were violently targeted. Even the renowned seismologist Ōmori Fusakichi, who toured the city on invitation from the state government, was pelted with stones. In October, in a move that provoked widespread protests in Japan, the city of San Francisco ordered the segregation of Japanese and Korean children into a special school. It was a turning point. Privately, president Roosevelt wrote of his ‘contempt and disgust’ for the methods through which the Californians had attempted to force the hand of his administration—‘howling and whooping and embarrassing me in every way’. Yet he could not deny the existence of a ‘strong and bitter antipathy to the Japanese on the Pacific slope . . . complicated by genuine race feeling’. Nor did he fail to sympathize with it.14 Like most Californians, Roosevelt regarded the immigration of Japanese as undesirable on racial grounds: ‘the great fact of race’, he wrote to one of his British correspondents, the Spectator editor St John Loe Strachey, would make their arrival in large numbers ‘a very, very bad thing indeed’.15 His efforts at resolving the crisis reflected these convictions. While Roosevelt sought to have the schools segregation order reversed, he simultaneously pressed the Japanese government to concede the restriction of all further Japanese immigration to the continental United States. The Japanese government was intimately familiar with the racial prejudice its nationals experienced on the Pacific coast. Since 1900, it had limited the supply of passports for Canada and the United States in an effort to limit its effects.16 As the California crisis unfolded, Tokyo professed itself willing to tighten up passport restrictions and crack down on the activities of the labour supply firms it held responsible for the recent migration surge. Japan’s demographic expansion, noted Hayashi Tadasu, minister for foreign affairs (1906–8), would have to take place along ‘lines of least resistance’—in other words, west and south to its own possessions in 12  ‘The Racial Question on the Pacific Coast’, The Times, 30 November 1907. 13  On the anti-Japanese movement in California, see Daniels, Politics of Prejudice; Esthus, Theodore Roosevelt and Japan, pp. 128–46; Neu, Uncertain Friendship, pp. 20–51. 14 Neu, Uncertain Friendship, p. 149. 15  Roosevelt to Strachey, 21 December 1906, PA, Strachey Papers, STR/28/2/16. 16 Azuma, Between Two Empires, p. 29–31.

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104  Empire Ascendant Asia, rather than east across the Pacific.17 But pragmatism had its limits. Many Japanese had hoped that by establishing their ‘civilized’ credentials in the war against Russia, they might whittle away the racial prejudice that its emigrants had encountered in the United States, Canada, and Australia. While minister in London, Hayashi himself had advocated a renewal of the Anglo-Japanese alliance partly on the grounds that it might assuage the ‘objections to Japanese labourers on racial grounds in British colonies and America’.18 That racial barriers nonetheless continued to obstruct Japan’s right to participate in the ‘civilized’ activities of trade and migration had proved a bitter disappointment. In ‘her present position as one of the Great Powers’, noted a British embassy report in 1907, Japan could hardly be expected to ‘tamely acquiesce’ in the treatment of its nationals. That Japanese migration was meeting with such hostility in the United States, the country that had initiated Japan’s opening in 1853, added insult to injury. Perhaps, one newspaper opined, Japan might have to re-instruct the United States in the virtues of open international intercourse by despatching its own fleet to San Francisco.19 The rift between their two Pacific partners made British diplomats uneasy. The knowledge that the Anglo-Japanese alliance enjoyed the support of the United States had been a prominent feature in its favourable public reception in 1902 and again in 1904–5. Yet as the California crisis fractured the fiction of an ‘open door’ coalition between Tokyo, Washington, and London, the Foreign Office began to receive troubling soundings from American diplomats hoping to find out where Britain would stand in the event of a war in the Pacific. A series of articles in the New York Sun pointedly pleaded with Britain not to side with an ‘alien Power against her Daughter state’.20 By the summer of 1907, the British ambassador in Washington was forced to conclude that the Japanese scare had acquired a popular momentum of its own, regardless of the two governments’ efforts to contain the crisis. The ‘strength of race antipathy in the United States’, Lord Bryce noted, had placed the issue beyond Roosevelt’s control.21 Esme Howard, his deputy, shared his pessimism. ‘[H]owever conciliatory the attitude of the respective Governments might be’, he noted, there was ‘every reason to fear’ a vicious cycle in which ‘the repetition, and frequent repetition, of anti-Japanese riots in San Francisco’ would reinforce ‘a growing anti-American agitation in Japan’.22 Similar concerns animated Japan’s supporters in the British press. Under Chirol’s direction, The Times again came to Japan’s defence against the ‘rabble of San Francisco’, which it scorned had been ‘educated in lawlessness and in hatred 17 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, p. 134. 18 Nish, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, p. 309. 19  Lowther to Grey, 18 March 1907, TNA, FO 371/269/8665; Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, pp. 126–50. 20  Nicholson to Grey, 19 January 1907, TNA, FO 371/270/3755; Sanderson to Hardinge, 8 January 1907, TNA, FO 371/270/1920. 21  Bryce to Grey, 24 June 1907, TNA, FO 371/269/20796. 22  Memorandum by Howard, in Bryce to Grey, 13 June 1907, TNA, FO 371/269/20800.

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Empire and Exclusion  105 of the Japanese for some years’.23 Racial prejudice, the paper thundered, should not be allowed to intrude on the affairs of international diplomacy. Privately, however, Chirol was harried by events. ‘You may think I am crazy’, he wrote to his correspondent in Austria–Hungary, ‘but I believe at the present moment the exclusion of a few Japanese children from school at San Francisco is a potentially much bigger event than would be the death of your Emperor-King!’24 Indeed, the issue was already provoking a revival of ‘yellow perilist’ rhetoric in other corners of the press. Several papers came out in support for California’s exclusion movement, often noting that the restrictionist impulse was broadly shared within Britain’s own white colonies. ‘Much as we respect the Japanese’, opined Strachey in the Spectator, ‘we are bound to say that in the last resort we cannot wonder that the self-governing English-speaking communities of the Empire are determined to remain white men’s countries.’ Japan should be shown every courtesy due to its international status, the Spectator concluded. But Britain would have to make clear that, on the racial question, ‘our duty in the last resort is to our own flesh and blood.’25 J. L. Garvin’s Observer was blunter. ‘The [California] question is a racial one’, it declared, ‘and the cause is a white man’s cause.’26

‘The fires of race hatred’: The Vancouver Riots The conflict between international obligation and racial loyalty, between the Japanese alliance and the ‘bond of blood’ to the United States, came ever more starkly to the fore as the tide of events carried the migration crisis over into Canada. As a Pacific settler society, British Columbia shared the preoccupation with its own racial composition that animated anti-Japanese sentiment in California and Australia. Yet thus far, such sentiments had been balanced by eastern Canadian interests in Asian commerce. Upon taking Canada into the Anglo-Japanese commercial treaty in January 1906, Laurier had accepted the Japanese consul’s private assurance that Tokyo would not abuse the treaty’s provisions for reciprocal free movement, and that it would continue to restrict emigration to Canada. In January 1907, Nossé Tatsugoro reiterated that the Japanese would ‘issue no passport under any pretext whatever’ to departing labourers.27 Yet in practice, controlling the movement of Japanese migrants across the Pacific proved more challenging than either Laurier or his Japanese interlocutors had anticipated. Driven by an acute demand for labour in British Columbia’s booming mining and logging industries, labour recruitment firms became adept at circumventing legal obstacles. Contracting

23 [Editorial], The Times, 27 May 1907. 24 Fritzinger, Diplomat without Portfolio, p. 294. 25  ‘Japan, America, and the Anglo-Saxon World’, Spectator, 13 July 1907. 26  ‘America and Japan’, Observer, 14 July 1907. 27  Nossé to Laurier, 18 January 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–842.

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106  Empire Ascendant firms continued to recruit Japanese labourers from Hawaii, as well as directly from Japan on illicitly obtained passports.28 The new restrictions on Japanese entry into the United States also made Canada a more attractive destination, both in its  own right and as a staging post for attempts to cross the American border. Whereas only 2,233 Japanese had entered British Columbia in 1906, the influx now more than quadrupled, reaching 8,125 during the first ten months of 1907.29 These Japanese migrants entered a settler-colonial society that was already in a state of profound political and social flux. Buoyed by the rapid development of the western Canadian prairies, the 1900s saw British Columbia in the throes of an economic and demographic boom. Between the completion of the Canadian Pacific railway in 1885 and 1914, its population doubled three times over, from 50,000 to over 400,000.30 The effect was especially marked in Vancouver, which surpassed Victoria as the regional metropolis. Its population surged from 27,000 in 1900 to 100,000 in 1910.31 Boom conditions lent a rowdy edge to the province’s politics, which tended to oscillate between bursts of economic optimism and fears of sudden collapse.32 A boisterous British race-patriotism, much of it imported by recent white migrants from elsewhere in the British world, lent add­ition­al force to the anti-Japanese movement. Many of those who flocked to British Columbia were veterans of the mining frontiers of Australasia and South Africa, whose racial policies ready-made models for labour activists. Only by emulating ‘White Australia’, asserted J. E. Wilton, a mining unionist who had come to Vancouver by way of Natal and New Zealand, could British Columbia’s future as a ‘white man’s country’ be safeguarded.33 During the summer of 1907, these forces converged to produce an anti-Asian movement of particular intensity. Deploying a blend of economic, racial, and strategic arguments, the British Columbian press unanimously decried the Japanese influx as an ‘invasion’ of ‘non-assimilable, semi-servile Asiatics’ that would reduce the province to a ‘disastrous economic condition’ and render it unfit as a ‘white man’s country’.34 A Canadian chapter of the Asiatic Exclusion League, modelled on that in San Francisco, was founded in August. It soon had branches in Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo. An atmosphere of rumour fed the nativist fever. Writing to Laurier, Robert Macpherson, the leader of the provincial Liberal party, claimed to have knowledge of an ‘organised scheme to place twelve thousand [Japanese] here inside of the next six months’.35 Unless Japanese immigration was immediately curtailed, the racial problem was sure to assume

28 Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 74–5. 29  King, ‘Report of the Royal Commission’, p. 9. 30 Roy, Boundless Optimism, p. 5. 31  MacDonald, ‘Critical Growth Cycle’, p. 28. 32  The best account of British Columbian politics remains Roy, Boundless Optimism. On the pol­it­ ical volatility of settlement booms, see Belich, Replenishing the Earth, pp. 200–6. 33  Chang, ‘Circulating Race and Empire’; and Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 96–105. 34 Roy, White Man’s Province, p. 187. 35  Macpherson to Laurier, 26 July 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–849.

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Empire and Exclusion  107 ‘gigantic proportions’, Macpherson insisted. ‘I can see without any difficulty the Province of British Columbia slipping into the hands of Asiatics and this part of Western Canada no longer a part and parcel of the Dominion.’36 A mass demonstration in September, organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League in cooperation with its sister organization in Seattle, was meant to demonstrate the united de­ter­ min­ation of white North Americans to preserve their ‘white man’s countries’. If Laurier failed to see the danger, it was partly because his past clashes with British Columbian politicians over the Japanese commercial treaty had im­mun­ized him to this type of racial hyperbole. Replying to Macpherson, he noted that most Japanese were temporary sojourners, ‘with the fixed intention of going back to their native country’. Hence the prospect of an ‘Asiatic British Columbia’ was a chimera.37 More importantly, Laurier insisted, British Columbians needed to ­recognize the broader international and imperial issues at play. ‘I will ask you to remember’, Laurier concluded, ‘that Japan is now the ally of Great Britain and that we cannot treat her people as we used to treat them formerly and still treat the Chinese.’38 Laurier’s insistence on diplomatic cordiality was rooted in a broader vision for the development of a Canadian nation. The pursuit of a distinct nationality, ‘British in allegiance and Canadian in sentiment’, that would establish for Canada ‘a station among foreign nations’, had been a guiding principle of his political philosophy.39 Facing outward, this meant demonstrating that Canada was capable of responsibly managing its own external relations. The argument applied with particular force to Japan, whose economic growth, Laurier believed, could play a vital role in the development of Canada’s Pacific trade. ‘Vancouver, and British Columbia behind Vancouver, want to have their harbours developed and large cities springing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean’, Laurier replied to one of his critics, the editor of the Vancouver World. ‘They cannot however realise these hopes unless they open and keep commercial intercourse with their neighbours, the peoples of the Orient.’40 In their own way, the anti-Japanese agitators on the Pacific coast were similarly seized with the growing power and proximity of Japan. But it was racial fear, not commercial opportunity, that coloured their vision. On 5 September, a white mob hounded the local South Asian community out of Bellingham, Washington, just across the Canadian border. Two days later, white rioters attempted to do the same to the Japanese and Chinese in Vancouver. At a stroke, western Canada became the latest flashpoint in a transnational crisis. The exclusionist ‘epidemic’,

36  Macpherson to Laurier, 20 August 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–851. 37  Laurier to Macpherson, 27 August 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–851. 38  Laurier to Macpherson, 27 August 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–851. 39  Laurier positioned himself within an active debate on the trajectory of Canadian nationhood, see Darwin, Empire Project, pp. 171–75, and Thompson, ‘Ontario’s Empire’, pp. 179–81. 40  Laurier to F. J. Deane, 11 September 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–851.

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108  Empire Ascendant wrote the Japanese consul in Ottawa, had ‘taken possession of British Columbia’.41 Speaking at Winnipeg a few days after the riot, Hamar Greenwood, a Canadian expatriate who sat in the British parliament for York, warned that Canada had ‘suddenly come within the arena of foreign politics’ as it came into collision with Japan. ‘[T]he danger zone of the world, in so far as our own Empire is concerned’, he declared, ‘[has] shifted from the northwest frontier of India . . . to the Pacific Coast of this Dominion’.42 William Mackenzie King, the official dispatched to assess the damages, was similarly preoccupied with Canada’s sudden exposure to the forces of world politics. ‘This question [of Japanese immigration] is to my mind the most momentous the country has before it’, he wrote in his diary. ‘It raises Imperial & National considerations of the greatest magnitude.’43 In London, the Vancouver riot aroused similar concerns. At the Foreign Office, the unfolding of the California crisis had imparted a keen awareness of the sensitivity of the migration question. ‘It must be remembered’, one official noted, ‘that more than ever since the Russo-Japanese War’, Japan was ‘entitled to be treated on an equality with the Great Powers of the World’. The present agitation could not fail to be ‘very galling and humiliating to her national pride’.44 In the past, London had assumed that the racial prejudices of the dominions could be cordoned off from the diplomatic and strategic considerations that formed the steel frame of the alliance. Grey thought the Vancouver incident ‘serious’, but still hoped that ‘delicacy and tact’ would deliver a solution.45 Yet the British government recognized, too, that its reassurances stood out in shrill contrast to the ‘yellow peril’ cries rising up from the Pacific coast, and which neither London, nor Washington or Ottawa, seemed able to control. ‘Diplomacy will regret, apologise or explain away, and our relations with Japan will continue to be as cordial as ever’, observed E. J. Dillon, the foreign affairs commentator for the Contemporary Review. ‘But below the surface the fire of race hatred will continue to glimmer and glow until one day it bursts into devouring flame.’46 This view reflected a deepening pessimism over the intractability of racial antagonism. The anti-Japanese agitation in California, the Vancouver riots, and also the separate but coincidental imbroglio in South Africa, where a young Gandhi campaigned against anti-Indian discrimination, all seemed to fit readily into a pattern of deepening fissures along the global colour line.47 The implications for an imperial system stretched out across the ‘racial chasm’ (as Curzon had once

41 Atkinson, Burden of White Supremacy, p. 102. 42  Greenwood, ‘British Diplomacy and Canadian Responsibilities’, p. 17. 43  King Diary, 18 September 1907, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, f. 2096. 44  Memorandum by M. W. Lampson, 16 September 1907, TNA, FO 371/275/31228. 45  Grey to Strachey, 9 October 1907, PA, Strachey Papers, STR/7/8/4. 46  Dillon ‘Yellow and White’, pp. 269–270. 47  On South Africa, see Huttenback, Gandhi in South Africa; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 114–36.

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Empire and Exclusion  109 described it) were stark.48 The issue of Asian immigration into white settler states, wrote Lord Morley, the Liberal secretary of state for India, had become ‘one of the largest questions concerning the Empire as a whole, and indeed not only the Empire, but all white governments against all yellow, brown, and black immigrants’. It  would continue to grow into an ever more divisive factor in world politics, ‘a World Question if there ever was one . . . the Japanese introduce an element that is both new . . . and extremely formidable’.49

‘To brand their own race as inferior in the eyes of the world’: Canada’s Immigration Crisis In Canada, these concerns over race, empire, and international diplomacy framed the context in which Ottawa confronted the aftermath of the Vancouver riots. From the outset, Laurier’s first priority was to prevent another outbreak of violence. While the Asiatic Exclusion League had hastened to denounce the rioters and commit itself to peaceful political agitation, the mood in Vancouver remained tense. Another riot appeared imminent when another vessel, the SS Monteagle, arrived in Vancouver less than a week after the riots with over a thousand South Asian passengers on board. ‘My Prime Minister fears that an émeute against Hindoos [sic] would extend to the Japanese, who would defend themselves’, Lord Grey reported back to the Colonial Office, ‘and that as the contending forces might prove stronger than the police much bloodshed would ensue.’50 The ship was kept under quarantine until the mayor considered it safe to allow the passengers to disembark. The threat of civil disorder continued to hover over Vancouver during the months that followed. The Asiatic Exclusion League quickly resumed its activities, reportedly planning another mass rally in December, and proposing to field its own candidates in the upcoming city council elections. In January 1908, another riot was narrowly prevented after a fight in the Japanese quarter resulted in the injury of several white firemen.51 There were rumours that the Japanese were preparing for organized resistance, and were ‘in possession of arms and ammunition’.52 The reports of Thomas Robert Edward (‘T.  R.  E.’) McInnes, a Vancouver barrister acting as an informant for the minster of the interior, painted a grim picture of intercommunal tensions: The Japanese are many of them trained soldiers, and they have recently assumed an offensively aggressive attitude towards the whites. Their Consul has very little 48  Heere, ‘ “That Racial Chasm” ’, p. 604. 49  Morley to Minto, 3 January 1908, BL, Morley Papers, MSS Eur D573/3, f. 1. 50  Grey to Elgin, 11 November 1907, TNA, CO 42/914/39809. 51  McInnes to Oliver, 2 January 1908, LAC/WL, mf. C–857. 52  Gwatkin to Assistant Director of Military Intelligence, 10 August 1908, LAC, RG 24, mf. C–5055.

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110  Empire Ascendant control over them, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he persuaded them not to hold a counter parade after the recent riot. If further riots occur, and a number of whites are killed by these Japanese, the danger will be extreme that incendiarism and massacre will occur on both sides.53

In Ottawa, Conservative MPs sought to pin the riots on Laurier, whose decision to enter the Anglo-Japanese commercial treaty, they argued, had effectively surrendered control of Canada’s immigration policy to Tokyo. Speaking at Vancouver a few weeks after the riot, the Conservative leader Robert Borden announced his party’s commitment to withdraw from the treaty and introduce an exclusion act. Canadian whiteness would be defended at all costs. The issue at stake in the Japanese question, Borden declared, was nothing less than ‘whether or not this great Pacific Province shall be dominated by a Canadian race or by men of Oriental descent’. Borden had his speeches reprinted as a pamphlet, signalling his intent to position the Conservatives as the party of ‘white Canada’ in the 1908 election.54 Several western Liberals, including two members of Laurier’s own cabinet, publicly joined the clamour for an exclusion act.55 Mackenzie King feared that Laurier’s government might collapse under the barrage. ‘If it were a question tomorrow between the [Anglo-Japanese commercial] treaty and restriction of immigration’, he observed, ‘it would become impossible for a government in this country to retain office and advocate the maintenance of the treaty.’56 Even in the face of mounting political pressure, Laurier continued to balance domestic imperatives against international and imperial concerns. In theory, abrogating the treaty and introducing an exclusion law would allow Canada to bar all further Japanese immigration. Yet such a course would also raise troubling complications for British diplomacy. Lord Grey, the governor-general, was on hand to point out Canada’s responsibilities to the imperial system. ‘[T]he fact that the British Fleet keeps Canada immune from punishment’, he reminded the prem­ier, could be no excuse for ‘taking advantage of that protection for the purpose of insulting Canadas’s allies.’ Those clamouring for an exclusion act might have reflected on the wisdom of alienating Japan ‘if they were compelled to face single handed their dangers & responsibilities’.57 For his part, Laurier was determined to show that his policy could make good on Canada’s aspiration to manage its external affairs responsibly. Speaking at Toronto, Laurier declared that he would not allow his hand to be forced by ‘panicky’ calls for an exclusion act. Canada’s position as

53  McInnes to Oliver, 2 October 1907, in Grey to Elgin, 15 November 1907, TNA, CO 886/1/3. 54 Borden, Question of Oriental Immigration, p. 7; see also Avery and Neary, ‘Laurier, Borden, and a White British Columbia’. 55  ‘Liberals Hear Their Leaders’, Daily Colonist, 19 September 1907; Grey to Laurier, 20 September 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–1162. 56  King to Jebb, 30 December 1907, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 57  Grey to Laurier, 20 September 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–1162.

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Empire and Exclusion  111 ‘the natural route between Europe and the Orient’, he reiterated, demanded the preservation of cordial relations with Japan.58 Mob violence would not be permitted to derail Laurier’s vision of a Pacific Canada. ‘I shall not be stampeded’.59 Indeed, King subsequently reported that British Columbians found the premier ‘so strongly British in feeling’ that they considered him ‘virtually unbending in the matter of the Japanese’.60 Yet behind this show of defiance, Laurier was scrambling for a solution, ­despatching his minister of labour, Rodolphe Lemieux, to Tokyo to negotiate a cessation of Japanese emigration to Canada. It marked the first occasion on which a British dominion had directly engaged with the Japanese government.61 Lord Grey reassured the British ambassador that Lemieux, a Liberal party stalwart and an old ally of Laurier, could be trusted to play the diplomatic game. Canada ‘could not have sent a better man to Japan’.62 When the commissioner arrived at the British embassy in November after a choppy crossing, Macdonald duly professed himself ‘much impressed’ with the merits of the Canadian case. Yet the issue was ringed with difficulties. Immigration was a delicate subject, particularly now the Japanese government was already facing a public backlash over its handling of the California question. Lemieux only had to observe ‘the tintamarre in the Japanese press’ to know that Tokyo was under intense pressure not to be seen to concede too much ‘to American or Canadian prejudices against the yellow race’.63 Macdonald duly alerted the Foreign Office that the success of the Canadian mission might require ‘considerable pressure’ from London.64 These sensitivities were plainly in evidence during Lemieux’s first meeting with the Japanese foreign minister, Hayashi Tadasu, on 25 November. Lemieux maintained that his government had stood firm against the racial agitation in British Columbia, consistently disallowing the anti-Japanese statutes introduced by the provincial legislature. Yet it could not hold out forever. Unless Japanese immigration was reduced ‘to a number which can be absorbed without duly disturbing the proportion of races in that Province’, it might face further violence, and the pressure for a national exclusion act might then become overwhelming. Hayashi was not unsympathetic, stating that Japan was prepared to resolve the problem ‘in a practical way’ by reinforcing its own emigration controls. Yet it could not agree to alter the immigration clause of the commercial treaty (of which Hayashi himself had been one of the drafters) or regulate immigration through a diplomatic 58  ‘Premier Talks of Japan Treaty’, Daily Colonist, 28 September 1907. 59  Laurier to Taylor, 13 October 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–853. 60  King Diary, 21 October 1907, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, item 4407. 61  In case of Australia, London had discouraged direct contact: see FO to CO, 10 October 1903, TNA, CO 418/29. 62  Grey to Macdonald, 23 October 1907, DUL/AG, 173/3. 63  Lemieux to Jetté, 16 November 1907, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 4, ff. 171–2; Lemieux to Laurier, 18 November 1907, Lemieux Papers, vol. 4, ff. 192–3. 64  Macdonald to Grey, 15 November 1907, TNA, FO 371/274/37718.

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112  Empire Ascendant convention. The Japanese, Hayashi insisted, were ‘high spirited and sensitive’, and would not agree to be singled out in formal restrictions that did not apply to other civilized nations.65 Lemieux was quick to grasp the nettle. ‘The Japanese statesmen do not want their nationals to be considered the inferiors of other peoples’, he wrote to his father-in-law, ‘c’est la toute lá question.’66 The meeting had nonetheless revealed the outline of a compromise, which Lemieux and Hayashi refined over the course of December 1907. The final agreement broadly followed the lines of the ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ Japan had previously concluded with Australia and the United States. Japan would only allow a select few categories of emigrants to depart to Canada. Students, tourists, and merchants would continue to travel unrestricted, while labourers would be barred, with the exception of those hired as domestic servants, as agricultural labourers on Japanese-owned farms, or those brought in under contracts ex­pli­ cit­ly sanctioned by the Canadian government. In turn, Canada would continue to adhere to the Anglo-Japanese commercial treaty and not place any formal restrictions on the entry of Japanese, although Hayashi agreed that Ottawa could take appropriate measures to regulate the flow of immigrants from Hawaii. Lemieux was pleasantly surprised at the range of concessions. ‘I do not think it possible to get better terms than these.’67 Yet the arrangement failed to satisfy the Canadian government, whose position had hardened during Lemieux’s stay in Japan. Laurier had initially blamed the riots on a militant minority within the labour movement, whipped up by agitators from the United States. Yet an investigation on the ground, conducted by Mackenzie King, told a different story. Like Laurier, King had approached the riot  as a labour disturbance. But his stay in Vancouver persuaded him that the anti-Japanese agitation transcended boundaries of class, and was inspired by an acute sense of racial insecurity. There was a real danger, he wrote to Laurier, that the continued influx of the Japanese, who ‘have proven themselves the equal of the white man in so many ways’, would displace the white population.68 Worse, it would leave the door open for diplomatic intervention from Tokyo, ‘should the Japanese ever secure too strong a hold’.69 King’s discovery, upon seizing the papers of the Nippon Supply Company, that a substantial section of the influx had come directly from Japan on illegally obtained passports cast these suspicions in an especially troubling light.70 As he wrote to Richard Jebb, the possibility that Japan

65  Included in Lemieux to Laurier, 25 November 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–855. 66  Lemieux to Jetté, 16 November 1907, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 4, ff. 171–2. 67  Lemieux to Laurier, 4 December 1907, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 5, f. 411. 68  King to Laurier, 9 November 1907, LAC/WLMK, J–1, mf. C–1906. 69  King to Jebb, 30 December 1907, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 70  King to Lemieux, 24 November 1907, LAC/WLMK, J–1, mf. C–1906, ff. 6224–31; also King, ‘Report of the Royal Commission’, pp. 25–48.

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Empire and Exclusion  113 was deliberately attempting to establish a demographic bridgehead in British Columbia could not be discounted: There is a good deal, I think, to indicate that Japan is desirous of becoming a great power on the Pacific, and it is only natural in the working out of this policy, her statesmen should have an eye upon the western coast of this continent.71

King’s willingness to see Japanese immigrants as agents of Meiji imperialism spoke to the potency of the georacial anxieties that had taken root on the Pacific coast, and which now began to make their way eastwards.72 King’s reports left Laurier wondering whether ‘the wily Jap worked a fraud upon his Government’, or whether Tokyo had deliberately encouraged its emigrants to leave.73 Even Lord Grey, who had been one of the keenest advocates for closer Canadian–Japanese relations, found himself haunted by the spectre of ‘a Jap invasion’.74 Warning Laurier that Canada could no longer depend on ‘the good faith and pacific dis­pos­ition of the Japs’, he stressed the need to secure ironclad limits on further immigration, and encouraged the premier to think seriously about establishing a naval presence in the Pacific. ‘The inevitable tussle between the White and Yellow races’, he wrote, ‘may come before we are ready for it!’75 Not for the first or the last time, racial ideology found itself at odds with diplomatic practice. The Canadian government concluded that the agreement negotiated by Lemieux provided insufficient security against what Lord Grey described to Macdonald as ‘a quiet but systematic invasion by the Japanese which would convert British Columbia into a yellow province’.76 Ottawa insisted that any new immigration settlement would have to take the form of a written agreement, not an informal compromise. Yet such a public acquiescence in race-based restriction was anathema to Tokyo. The negotiations arrived at an impasse, as Britain’s diplomats looked on with growing misgivings. An exasperated Macdonald pressed Lemieux to consider the repercussions that a breakdown of the negotiations might have for the Anglo-Japanese alliance. ‘I reminded him that there were many interests bound up in the British Empire, and the interests of the Empire as a whole had to be considered before those of a part of it.’77 The Foreign Office, for its part, expected the Japanese government to appeal directly to London, in which case the unpleasant task of negotiating an immigration settlement would devolve to Whitehall.78 On 23 December, Lemieux made one final effort to press Laurier 71  King to Jebb, 30 December 1907, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 72  See Laurier to Grey, 5 December 1907, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1357. 73  Laurier to Grey, 16 September 1907, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1357. 74  Grey to Lemieux, 23 October 1907, DUL/AG, 173/3. 75  Grey to Laurier, 20 December 1907, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1357. 76  Macdonald to Grey, 25 December 1907, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/68. 77  Macdonald to Grey, 24 December 1907, TNA, FO 371/471/2108. 78  CO to FO, 11 December 1907, TNA, FO 371/274/40648.

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114  Empire Ascendant to accept the latest compromise, which included a pledge that Japanese emigration would be limited to four hundred people per year. Japan, he reminded Laurier, was a British ally, and could not reasonably be asked ‘to brand their own race as an inferior one, in the eyes of the world’.79 Laurier prevaricated, and recalled Lemieux to present the proposal to the cabinet. Only then, in January 1908, did the Canadian government consent.

‘Fleeing the Star-Spangled Banner’: American Overtures If the Lemieux mission brought home the international complications of the Vancouver riots, it was but one way in which Canada’s immigration question was tied up with larger questions for imperial and foreign policy. Of these, it was the actual and potential involvement of the United States that presented the most urgent challenge. From the outset, Canadian observers had suspected American participation in the riots. The demonstration of 7 September had involved a number of anti-Japanese organizations from neighbouring Washington state, with A. E. Fowler, secretary to the Asiatic Exclusion League of Seattle, playing a key organizing role.80 Both the Canadian governor-general and the British ambassador in Washington believed the riot had been primarily ‘the work of Seattle & other American organisers’ attempting to drag Canada into the Japanese-American ­dispute.81 From Vancouver, T.  R.  E.  McInnes warned of the ‘dangerous fellows’ from Seattle and San Francisco ‘filling the minds of the people with the fear of an Asiatic invasion’.82 Unless their influence was curtailed, he warned, [T]he Americans, to their own obvious advantage, may egg on and secretly increase the anti-Japanese feeling now becoming rampant in the Province till that feeling reaches a stage where the British Columbians forget that they are British, and look upon their highest interests as identical with those of California, Oregon, and Washington.83

Such anxieties also reflected older suspicions among eastern Canadian elites of American cultural influences in the Canadian west, where a ‘British’ identity still appeared to be in the making. During his investigations in Vancouver, Mackenzie King warned that if the immigration crisis continued to fester, British Columbians would look to their southern neighbour for protection, resulting in a movement 79  Lemieux to Laurier, 23 December 1907, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 6, ff. 679–91. 80 Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 105–16. 81  Grey to Laurier, 13 September 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–1162; Bryce to Grey, 26 September 1907, TNA, FO 371/274/32090. 82  Grey to Minto, 20 November 1907, DUL/AG, 204/1. 83  McInnes to Oliver, 2 October 1907, in Grey to Elgin, 15 November 1907, TNA, CO 886/1.

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Empire and Exclusion  115 ‘for the separation of British Columbia from the British Empire’.84 It was with this in mind that King advocated the formal proclamation of a ‘white Canada’ policy. In the event, such anxieties overestimated the influence of American agitators.85 Already by January 1908, the Asiatic Exclusion League was disavowing its ­transnational connections. T. R. E. McInnes, who volunteered to accelerate this process, was able to congratulate himself that while the Americans were in ‘dead earnest over capturing Western Canadian sentiment’, the ‘disloyal’ elements within the League remained effectively marginalized.86 Only a few Canadians— dissident members of the League’s Vancouver chapter—agreed to attend a joint conference with the American leagues at Seattle in February 1908. By the end of  that month, the Vancouver league officially repudiated its association with the Americans, accompanied with a demonstrative affirmation of its loyalty to the empire and the ‘British constitution’.87 While the Asiatic Exclusion League con­tinued to exist, it was now, according to McInnes, run by ‘loyal Canadians’ committed to constitutional methods of agitation. ‘[T]heir sense of loyalty has been awakened to the dangers of co-operating with the Americans in this matter.’88 Much more serious, from Ottawa’s perspective, was that the American ­government itself appeared determined to involve Canada in its dispute with Japan. As the Vancouver crisis unfolded, Washington hinted with diminishing subtlety at its desire to align its own policy on Japanese immigration with that of its northern neighbour. At Tokyo, Lemieux found the American ambassador persistently trying to interfere with his mission. ‘I have been at great pains to flee the Star-Spangled Banner’, he wrote, ‘which desires to enlace itself with the Union Jack at any price.’89 His deputy, Joseph Pope, was blunter, telling Macdonald ‘that we could not more effectively ruin our chances of success than by associating ourselves with the Americans, whom the Japs hate’.90 Such attempts were plainly self-interested: dissatisfied with his own ‘gentleman’s agreement’, Roosevelt was keen to enlist British support for a renegotiated immigration settlement. He welcomed the Vancouver riot as a potential diplomatic opening.91 ‘[It] is idle to blind ourselves to the fact that the English-speaking commonwealths on the seacoasts of the Pacific will not submit to the unchecked immigration of Asiatics’, he had written to Strachey.92 United by powerful ties of race, it was only natural for ‘the

84  King Diary, 28 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M92. 85  As David Atkinson notes, transnational cooperation was often more aspirational than practical: see Burden of White Supremacy, pp. 108–30. 86  McInnes to Laurier, 31 January 1908, LAC/WL, mf. C–858; McInnes to Oliver, 13 February 1908, in Grey to Elgin, 20 February 1908, TNA, CO 42/918/7611. 87 Atkinson, Burden of White Supremacy, p. 114. 88  McInnes to Oliver, 16 February 1908, in Grey to Elgin, 25 March 1908, TNA, CO 42/918/8496. 89  Lemieux to Jetté, 27 November 1907, LAC, Lemieux Papers, vol. 4, ff. 330–1. 90  Pope Diary, 18 November 1907, LAC, Pope Papers, vol. 48. 91  Gordon, ‘Roosevelt’s ‘ “Smart Yankee Trick” ’, pp. 351–8. 92  Roosevelt to Strachey, 8 September 1907, PA, Strachey Papers, STR/28/3/5.

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116  Empire Ascendant Republic and the Empire’ to ‘ensure unity of action . . . with a view to securing the exclusion of all Japanese laborers . . . from North America and Australia’.93 Roosevelt began to make serious moves in this direction in January 1908, when he invited Mackenzie King to Washington under the pretext of hearing the latter’s report on the Canadian investigations in Vancouver. King had angled for a place on the Canadian mission to Tokyo, and now jumped at the chance to play the diplomat.94 Over the course of a long meeting, which King meticulously recorded in his diary, Roosevelt did some ‘pretty plain speaking’ on the challenges facing the American and Canadian governments. While both desired to maintain friendly relations with Japan, they were confronted with a broad popular movement implacably opposed to Japanese immigration. Unless the American, British, and Canadian governments acknowledged the legitimacy of Pacific coast whites’ claim to racial exclusion, Roosevelt told King, the issue would overwhelm all other interests and loyalties: I believe that if the people east of the Rockies in the United States were indifferent to the situation and the British were indifferent to the feelings of the people of British Columbia, there would be a new republic between the mountains and the Pacific, that the two peoples of the two countries felt their common interest in this so strongly.95

To guard against this danger, the United States and the British Empire would have to put up a joint front against Japanese immigration. ‘[T]he Japanese must learn that they will have to keep their people in their own country’, Roosevelt reiterated. ‘England’s interests and ours are one in this matter.’96 The exchange left King shaken. ‘I see this country on the very verge of war.’97 This revelation caused a considerable stir in Ottawa. As King relayed the president’s remarks to Laurier, he noted how ‘the Premier’s face visibly changed’ at the mention of war.98 Lord Grey was left wondering whether Roosevelt’s ‘provocative talk’ was deliberately calculated ‘to bring on a war with Japan on the ground that the tussle between the Orient and the Occident is inevitable’.99 It was not that Roosevelt’s appeal to racial solidarity failed to resonate. Ottawa shared his views on the necessity of Japanese exclusion. Yet any desire to cooperate with Washington would have to be weighed against the risks of encouraging Roosevelt in his aggressive posture. ‘I regard the President’s action as evidence of his desire to pull Canada into his quarrel with Japan’, Lord Grey reported to his cousin, the foreign 93  Roosevelt to Reid, 30 March 1908, LTR, vol. 6, p. 985. 94  King Diary, 19 September 1907, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, item 4373–4. 95  King Diary, 25 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, item 4474. 96  Niergarth, ‘ “This Continent Must Belong to the White Races” ’, p. 604. 97  King Diary, 25 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, item 4479. 98  Niergarth, ‘ “This Continent Must Belong to the White Races” ’, p. 599. 99  Grey to Bryce, 31 January 1908, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1358.

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Empire and Exclusion  117 secretary. Fortunately ‘Laurier thoroughly realises this.’100 Indeed, when Laurier addressed parliament that same afternoon, he seized the occasion to distance himself as far from the president as politeness allowed. While he could not deny the existence of racial antagonism on the Pacific slope, Laurier emphasized that it was Canadian policy to resolve such difficulties through diplomacy, rather than ‘to submit Japan to the humiliation’ of an exclusion law, as the United States was now threatening to do. Laurier stressed that Canada had an obligation to consider its immigration problem in the light of broader imperial interests. The AngloJapanese alliance, he noted, might yet see ‘the fleet of Japan and the fleet of England riding the waves together for a common purpose and against a common enemy’.101 It was a calculated display of loyalism, intended, in King’s view, to ‘spike the guns of the Americans’.102 Roosevelt would not be rebuffed so easily, however. King returned to Washington twice in the following weeks, only to find the president even more adamant than before. Over the course of several long meetings, Roosevelt reiterated his desire to  cooperate with Ottawa and London on the Japanese question. The fates of the ‘English-speaking peoples’ in the United States, Britain, and the dominions, Roosevelt insisted, were mutually interwoven. America’s leap across the Pacific, Canada’s population boom, and the British conquest of South Africa all contributed to the ‘development of the English-speaking power in the world’. Australia still caused him some concern. ‘There is a fine country, the birth rate of which, among the white people, is decreasing. I look on that as most unfortunate. If the population of that country is not increasing and strengthening, how can it defend itself against the blackbird or the yellow-skin?’ In the long run, Roosevelt believed, Anglo-Saxon expansion in the Pacific would inevitably bring conflict with Japan. ‘We are looking to next year and the years to come’, Roosevelt told King. ‘It is hard to say what purpose may not be in the brain of those little yellow men.’103 Following up on a suggestion made during their previous meeting, Roosevelt insisted that King travel to London to impress these points on the British authorities. ‘What I would like to accomplish’, he concluded, was ‘some kind of convention between the English-speaking peoples, whereby . . . it would be understood on all sides that the Asiatic peoples were not to come to the English-speaking countries to settle, and that our peoples were not to go to theirs.’104 In London, Roosevelt’s appeal for an informal ‘white man’s alliance’ met with surprised concern. As Lord Bryce reported to the Foreign Office, the whole exchange, in which a president of the United States had proposed to employ a Canadian official as ‘a sort of Secret envoy’ to the British government, had been ‘a 100  Lord Grey to Sir Edward Grey, 13 February 1908, DUL/AG, 211/5. 101  W. Laurier, 28 January 1908, CPD, 10th Parl., 4th session, vol. 2 (1908), c. 2109. 102  King Diary, 28 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M92. 103  King Diary, 31 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M92. 104  In CO to FO, 10 February 1908, TNA, FO 371/471/4810.

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118  Empire Ascendant singular episode’. Roosevelt had even handed King a stack of letters of introduction to his British correspondents, which included leading figures in the op­pos­ition. It  was left to Bryce to point out that it was rather ‘an unusual and irregular proceeding’.105 As to what to make of Roosevelt’s declarations, Bryce simply noted that ‘the President now and then talks in private in a way which frightens people’.106 The Foreign Office shared his scepticism. Grey reasoned that as neither Japan nor the United States possessed the will or the means for a military confrontation, any talk of war was overblown.107 The conclusion of the Lemieux agreement showed that Japan was willing to settle immigration difficulties diplomatically—and, as Macdonald warned from Tokyo, to reopen the issue in coalition with the Americans would have the ‘worst possible effect’.108 London had nothing to gain by such a move. ‘Mr Roosevelt does not appear to quite realise’, as one official noted, ‘the peculiar position of this country in view of the Japanese Alliance.’109

‘The danger of it is obvious’: British Imperialism and the Immigration Crisis It was not just the Foreign Office that was confronted by the encroachment of race on Britain’s strategic interests. In the wake of the Vancouver riots, a wide range of commentators turned to consider the cohesion of the British imperial system in light of the ‘colour question’. The issue was not a new one: the problem of reconciling colonial demands for racial self-determination with ‘imperial’ interests had dogged British officialdom since the Chinese exclusion crises of the 1880s. Yet the arc of anti-Japanese agitation that now stretched from Melbourne to Vancouver raised the question in a more acute form. Britain’s alliance with Japan was predicated on the assumption that racial difference should not prevent an objective assessment of national interests. It was deeply awkward, therefore, to find Britain’s own colonists—nudged along by the American president—determined to impose a racial reading on global politics. Equally problematic were the implications for the internal stability of the British imperial system, as the events on the Pacific coast continued to congeal with the ongoing Indian crisis in South Africa. If racial ideology was indeed was indeed asserting itself, one official noted, the British Empire might find itself fatally divided: The danger of it is obvious. We may conceivably have to choose between our self-governing Dominions and the Japanese alliance; we may conceivably have to choose at some future date between India and the self-governing Dominions; 105  Bryce to Grey, 6 February 1908, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/81. 106  Bryce to Sir Edward Grey, 28 January 1908, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/82. 107  See minutes on Bertie to Grey, 8 January 1908, TNA, FO 371/471/993. 108  Macdonald to Grey, 6 March 1908, TNA, FO 371/473/7826. 109  Minute by Alston, 2 March 1908, TNA, FO 371/473/7193.

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Empire and Exclusion  119 and the matter is now, and will always be, one which may give cause or pretext for complaints against us by the United States, and for attempts at interference on the part of the United States in our relations with the Dominions.110

The Asian migration question, then, posited a conflict between several competing visions of Britain’s imperial future. To a younger generation of self-declared im­per­ialists, it seemed clear that London would have to come to terms with a world divided by race, and support its colonies’ claim to white supremacy.111 The liberal delusions of the ‘Exeter Hall, all-men-are-equal days’, thought Leo Amery, formerly The Times’s correspondent in South Africa, had hamstrung British policy for too long. In his letters to the Australian prime minister Alfred Deakin, Amery insisted that London would have to recognize that the colonial desire to maintain racial purity constituted a legitimate political aspiration. ‘I believe that if Australia felt that their economic and racial position was secure and was recognised by the Imperial Government’, he wrote, ‘then there would be much less of that hatred which finds expression . . . in the Sydney Bulletin.’112 The same principle applied to foreign policy. If future rifts between the interests of Britain and its settler colonies were to be avoided, the dominions would have to be given a larger voice in the making of the empire’s foreign relations. Britain, Amery concluded, should ‘not again commit the error of making foreign arrangements which are distasteful to other states in the Empire’.113 Such thinking explicitly tied imperial cohesion to racial unity. Amery believed that acknowledging the primacy of race in dominion politics was a necessary ­precondition for the consolidation of the white empire into a single political unit, ‘a great world-State’, bounded by a common racial heritage.114 In this, he was not alone. On his return from Canada, Hamar Greenwood, Amery’s brother-in-law, declared to the House of Commons that the government would need to recognize ‘the strongest instincts of those white men who lived on the frontiers of the Empire’, and support them against ‘this Oriental immigration . . . [that] threatened to swarm on the Pacific edge of both Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia’. Lord Milner, the former British proconsul in South Africa, similarly thought the ‘Asiatic question’ had brought ‘fresh evidence . . . of the impossibility of going on with our present total lack of organisation’. There had to be, he insisted, ‘some permanent body’ to which questions of defence and immigration could be referred.115 Developing the point in a lecture to the Royal Colonial Institute,

110 ‘The Self-Governing Dominions and Coloured Immigration’, memorandum by C.  P.  Lucas, TNA, CO 532/9/34812. 111  See also Behm, ‘Settler Historicism’. 112  Amery to Deakin, 2 May 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/3/1. 113  Amery to Deakin, 2 May 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/3/1. 114 Amery, Union and Strength, p. 68. 115  Milner to Deakin, 4 January 1908, NLA, Deakin Papers, 1/16/1846.

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120  Empire Ascendant Milner argued that Britain currently attempted to govern, within a single system, what were effectively two separate empires: ‘the self-governing communities of European blood’ on the one hand, and the ‘communities of coloured race’ in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean on the other. Thus far, the two had coexisted in relative harmony. Yet the question of immigration had brought the two to the point of ‘unfortunate conflict’. Milner sketched out the dilemma in char­ ac­ ter­ is­ tic­ al­ ly blunt  terms: Britain might be forced to choose between an imperial fed­er­ation with the dominions, or the retention of India. For his part, Milner declared he would ­unequivocally plump for ‘the distant communities of our own blood and language’.116 This emphasis on race as the true bond of empire was also ­echoed across several newspapers, notably Strachey’s Spectator, Fabian Ware’s Morning Post, and J. L. Garvin’s Observer. While some in Britain might retain a romantic attachment to India, the latter declared, ‘the true strength of the empire resides in its white forces, and in them alone’.117 Indeed, the immigration crisis seemed to offer an opportunity to channel racial feeling towards the cause of imperial unity. The growth of Japanese power, some hoped, might remind the dominions of the extent to which their racial security was tied up with their membership of the empire: only in partnership with Britain could they hope to preserve the integrity of their ‘white man’s countries’ against an expanding Asia. Mackenzie King, though no imperial federalist, understood this well. ‘The Oriental question shows us our position of dependence on the strong arm of Great Britain’, he wrote in his diary. ‘Heretofore, however, I do not think any obligation of the kind has been apparent.’118 Even in South Africa, noted its governor, Lord Selborne, ‘Boers as well as British . . . are already asking themselves what answer, other than the influence and strength of the Empire, they could oppose to Japan if Japan demanded unrestricted rights of ingress for Japanese into S.A.’119 The relationship between race, nation, and empire was most searchingly explored by the writer Richard Jebb. Speaking to the Royal Society on the ‘Imperial problem of Oriental immigration’ in April 1908 (with Mackenzie King and the former colonial secretary Alfred Lyttelton in attendance), Jebb argued that empire and exclusion were essentially symbiotic. The colonists’ desire to exclude Asian immigrants, he argued, needed to be understood not as a labour question, yet as a ­matter of ‘national resolve’, guided by a desire to retain ethnic purity and social cohesion. In the empire’s ‘Pacific zone’, comprising Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific coast of North America, exclusion was the foundational principle of national politics, as ‘coloured immigration of any kind, but Asiatic immigration 116  Milner, ‘Two Empires’, pp. 290, 293. 117 ‘The Silent Armageddon’, Observer, 5 January 1908; ‘Japan, America, and the Anglo-Saxon World’, Spectator, 13 July 1907. 118  King Diary, 18 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M98. 119  Selborne to Chamberlain, 24 February 1908, in Boyce (ed.), Crisis of British Power, pp. 343–50.

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Empire and Exclusion  121 in particular, is held up to be incompatible with the intention of building up an indigenous democracy of the British type’. The continued entry of ‘Asiatics’, he argued, would either lead to segregation and the creation of a ‘helot’ class, ‘for which no place can be found in a pure democracy’, or to the horror of miscegenation, which would produce a ‘racial and social type inferior to the Anglo-Saxon’. Since neither alternative was palatable, the establishment of a community that was both racially and institutionally ‘British’, Jebb concluded, demanded the absolute exclusion of Asian migrants. Before long, he argued, this principle would have to be ‘fully expressed in Imperial organisation and Imperial policy’.120 Similar arguments were being made within Whitehall. In July 1908, Sir Charles Lucas, the head of the dominions desk at the Colonial Office, circulated two long memoranda on the ‘Self-Governing Dominions and Coloured Immigration’, in which he laid out the argument for a more assertive policy on the migration question. Like Jebb, Lucas insisted that the racial sentiments of the colonies could not be written off as a sign of their political immaturity, but rather reflected their development as national societies. ‘As far as can be judged’, he remarked, ‘this policy of excluding the coloured races has come to stay and grow.’ At the same time, Asian governments were progressively less willing to acquiesce in their discrimination, particularly since the Russo-Japanese War. ‘The rise of Japan’, Lucas noted, ‘has given the Eastern races a new status which has been won by force and not conceded as a matter of grace.’ The implications were clear enough. Colonial hostility to non-white immigration would continue to intensify, while Asian nationalists, whether within or outside the empire, would object to it ever more forcefully. The likely result was that British diplomacy would be held hostage to a vicious circle of racial antagonism, caught between a white Scylla and an Asian Charybdis. The Anglo-Japanese alliance would be put at risk. There would be ramifications for British rule in India. Even the dominions themselves might instead look to the United States ‘as the leaders of the English-speaking peoples in the Pacific as against the coloured races . . . This is not my view alone.’121 It was ‘useless’, Lucas insisted, for Britain to hope to mollify the racial prejudices of its settler colonies. Indeed, London should recognize that exclusion was ultimately ‘conducive to the interests of the Empire’ since it maintained ‘the purity of the race’, and take a proactive role in resolving the question. The principle of the Lemieux agreement, Lucas believed, might be usefully applied to the empire itself through the establishment of ‘treaty arrangements’ between the dominions and India. As a face-saving device, exclusion might be made reciprocal, with a ban on Indian migration to Australia, for example, mirrored by a similar restriction on Australian workers going to India. ‘The case of the white Australian workman 120  Jebb, ‘Oriental Immigration’, pp. 585–603. 121  ‘The Self-Governing Dominions and Coloured Immigration’, memorandum by C. P. Lucas, July 1908, CO 532/9/34812.

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122  Empire Ascendant wanting to go to India is sufficiently rare to make the requirement of some permit in his case no real hardship.’122 Effecting exclusion through ‘reciprocal’ treaties would form the basis of the immigration settlement that was adopted between India and the dominions during the First World War. At this point, however, the response to Lucas’s proposals was tepid. The ‘thorny question’ of immigration, one of his colleagues reminded him, was ‘of all subjects, the least fortunate’ on which to initiate a pan-imperial discussion.123 This reflected the tenor of Colonial Office policy. When Sir Joseph Ward, the premier of New Zealand, had wanted to introduce a resolution on ‘Asiatic immigration’ at the 1907 imperial conference, Lord Elgin had privately urged him not to do so.124 The moment seemed now even less opportune. As Henry Lambert, an official chiefly concerned with the delicate South African question, remarked in February, dragging the immigration question before a public forum and risk having ‘the oratory of Mr Deakin turned on it’ would only serve to ‘combine the Colonial Govts. against us’, and further widen the divides between the dominions, London, and India: The views of Colonial Govts, which simply regard the Asiatic as a nuisance, ­differ, and always must differ, fundamentally from that of H.M.G. who are the ­rulers of the greatest Asiatic Empire in the world and in touch with all the Asiatic states great and small.125

Here was a forceful reminder that the complexity of Britain’s imperial interests precluded any explicit endorsement of racial exclusion. In an echo of the ‘yellow peril’ debates during the Russo-Japanese War, a wider range of critics argued that rather than give in to the prejudices of its colonists, British policy should resist any tendency to divide the world along racial lines. Thus in a response to the Vancouver riots, the pro-Japanese journalist Alfred Stead denounced the antiimmigration movement as ‘an artificial agitation’, stirred up by labour unions in an attempt to protect ‘the lazy and thoughtless white labourer’ from external competition. The British government should not allow itself to be taken in. ‘[W]ith regard to Japan and Japanese policy, hampering our ideas with the useless lumber of race prejudice is both foolish and criminal.’126 Indeed, as one commentator, writing under the pseudonym ‘Viator’ in the Fortnightly Review, pointed out, by continuing to resist Japan’s claim to equality, white racism might conjure its own nightmares of into existence. ‘Let the sense of the common grievance rise steadily and dominate . . . let Japan be invoked by China as a leader and by India as 122  ‘Suggestions as to Coloured Immigration into the Self-Governing Dominions’, memorandum by C. P. Lucas, July 1908, TNA, CO 886/1/2. 123  Minute by Johnson, 1 October 1908, TNA, CO 532/9/34812. 124  See minutes on Plunkett to Elgin, 2 February 1907, TNA, CO 532/1/4307. 125  Minute by Lambert, 11 February 1908, TNA, CO 532/7/4970. 126  Stead, ‘Racial Prejudice against Japan’, p. 640.

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Empire and Exclusion  123 a liberator . . . and then indeed the strangest dreams of the eclipse and extinction of Western civilisation might come true.’127 The tension between exclusion and empire is perhaps best illustrated by the internal debate it sparked within Britain’s leading newspaper. Following the Vancouver ‘outrages’, The Times had launched into a thundering tirade against British Columbia’s white labour leaders, ‘as narrow-minded as they are selfish’, feeding the agitation out of ‘conscious self-interest as much as ignorant de­test­ation of alien people’. Through their disgraceful use of violence against the nationals of a British ally, the rioters had shown themselves ‘absolutely insensible of the complexity of the empire to which they belong . . . So long as they can keep up wages and control the local Legislatures, they care nothing for the embarrassments and the dangers which they prepare for the empire at large.’ Racial prejudice was ‘an evil and a danger’.128 This stance reflected the convictions of Valentine Chirol, who combined a profound distrust of ‘Socialistic’ colonial democracy with a long-standing interest in Britain’s Asian empire.129 Some of his sub­or­din­ates took umbrage, however: Leo Amery found the paper’s rebuke of the exclusionist movement ‘distressing’, while A. W. Jose, The Times’s correspondent in Sydney, bristled at the implied criticism of White Australia. Chirol refused to give ground. The settler colonies might profess their loyalty to the imperial cause often and loudly, he wrote to Jose, but their insistence on a ‘white man’s country’ undermined its cohesion in practice. Racial exclusion, Chirol went on, was ‘certainly an anti-Imperial policy, in Australia as in other Colonies, for it violates the principles upon which our rule over India is justified’. The Times had an obligation to point to its ramifications for British policy towards India and Japan. ‘You cannot expect us to endorse such a policy with approval.’130 Jose replied in equally forceful terms. Australians, he reiterated, had no desire to undermine the imperial connection. But Chirol needed to understand that ‘white Australia’ represented the ‘undoubted and unalterable ideal’ of Australian nationalism. Moreover, while The Times had singled out the Australians for criticism in the past, it had to acknowledge that exclusion had become the ‘common impulse of every British colony which has to deal with Asiatics in any number’.131 The real danger, in Jose’s mind, was that metropolitan Britons would insist on an ‘impossible empire’ of racial equals, and force the settler colonies to choose between their imperialism and their whiteness. ‘What I dread is that some day, by too much insistence on the points of difference’, Jose remarked to Alfred Deakin, ‘we may be

127  ‘Viator’, ‘Asia Contra Mundum’, p. 200. 128  ‘The Vancouver Outrages’, The Times, 11 September 1907. 129  Chirol to Amery, 13 September 1907, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/5/6. 130  Chirol to Jose, 31 October 1907, ML, Jose Papers. 131  Jose to Chirol, 6 April 1908, ML, Jose Papers.

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124  Empire Ascendant forced to choose between retaining India in the Empire and retaining South Africa, Australia, and Western Canada in it.’132 This assessment was too pessimistic. Yet it reflected a growing apprehension among elites across the British world about the scale and intractability of global racial divisions. Most saw justice in the Japanese and Indian claims that exclusion offended their dignity as nationals of a British ally or as subjects of the same empire. Many, too, shared Chirol’s distaste for the labour militancy that directed anti-Asian sentiment in South Africa, Australasia, and western Canada. Yet even these critics found it impossible to transcend the racial worldview laid out by the exclusionists. They accepted both the reality of race, and the argument that a ‘British democracy’ could only maintain its political cohesion if it was ethnically pure. Thus ‘Viator’ conceded that an open door for immigration would force the dominions ‘to commit social suicide in the name of justice to Asia’, and The Times conceded that ‘unrestrained immigration of Asiatics may be fatal to our civilization and even our race’.133 The question that remained was how exclusion could be managed without exacerbating the fault lines running through the imperial system. Yet this, as Morley remarked to Lord Minto in India, was easier said than done. ‘If you challenge me to say what I would do, I can only say that I don’t know. No more does anybody else.’134

‘Great Britain would stand with the white peoples’: Mackenzie King in London Such was the state of the debate when Mackenzie King arrived in London in March 1908 to discuss Canada’s immigration troubles with the British authorities. Over the course of their conversations at the White House, Roosevelt had several times raised the possibility of King visiting Britain to present London with a North American perspective on the Japanese question—a suggestion that King, eager at another chance to play the diplomat, was keen to endorse. Laurier also saw the appeal: still wary of Japan’s intentions, he hoped London would keep pressure on Tokyo to secure the proper implementation of the Lemieux settlement.135 King might raise the possibility of concluding a similar ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ to cover emigration from India. Privately, King interpreted his ‘mission’ (his term) in rather broader terms. His talks with Roosevelt had convinced him that there was a real risk of a Japanese–American war, in the event of which Canada would find itself caught between sympathy for the American cause and its obligations to

132  Jose to Deakin, 6 December 1907, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/1/5. 133  ‘Viator’, ‘Asia Contra Mundum’, p. 198; ‘Oriental Immigration’, The Times, 28 December 1907. 134  Morley to Minto, 26 March 1908, BL, Morley Papers, MSS Eur D573/3. 135  King Diary, 11 February 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M95.

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Empire and Exclusion  125 London. In his own mind, King sought to reassure himself that London would support Canada’s right to maintain itself as a ‘white man’s country’ even if this meant abandoning the Anglo-Japanese alliance. Preceded by reports of his visits to Washington, King found the British authorities eager to receive him, and during his month-long stay in London he enjoyed what was, for a junior dominion official, unprecedented access to the corridors of imperial power. King paid multiple visits to the Foreign, Colonial, and India Offices, and met much of Britain’s political elite at informal gatherings. His me­ticu­lous­ly kept diary constitutes a remarkable record of the views of the British elite on the question of Asian exclusion. As a historical source, it is not without its problems. King actively tried to steer the conversation towards the subject, and it is doubtful that immigration troubles in Canada would have normally dominated political conversation in a month that also saw Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s resignation as prime minister. Nonetheless, the diary shows a marked unanimity on the subject of Japanese immigration to Canada, as virtually all of King’s interlocutors agreed that the dominion had the right to exclude undesirable immigrants, and that Britain should support it in its efforts to do so. Such views were to be expected among those who favoured closer cooperation between Britain and its settler colonies. Upon meeting King at the Colonial Office, Charles Lucas readily agreed with him that immigration ‘was the largest question which has yet loomed on the horizon, and that its importance could not be exaggerated’. Lucas himself was ‘very doubtful’ about the Anglo-Japanese alliance, and informed King in no uncertain terms of his view that ‘England would never stand for any inroad on the part of the Asiatic peoples against the white races’.136 This refrain echoed across a range of conversations. Among the leaders of the Conservative party, Arthur Balfour and Austen Chamberlain were ‘quite emphatic . . . [that] the continent was justified in keeping out the Oriental peoples’.137 King also found the future prime minister (and Canadian expatriate) Andrew Bonar Law ‘much interested’ in his account of the events in British Columbia. Both were in full agreement on ‘the danger of allowing the United States to assume a kind of protectorate of the British peoples on the Pacific as against Orientals’.138 Several conservative newspaper editors, including H.  A.  Gwynne of the Standard and Fabian Ware of the Morning Post, ‘agreed entirely’.139 Notably, exclusion was also endorsed by a number of Conservatives who nonetheless expressed their continued support for the Japanese alliance. These included the former war secretary

136  King Diary, 19 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M98; and 13 April 1908, mfiche M102. 137  For Balfour’s views see King Diary, 7 April 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M102. For Chamberlain, see King Diary, 5 April 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M101. 138  King Diary, 25 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M99. 139  For Gwynne, see King Diary, 4 April 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M101. For Jebb, see King Diary, 26 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M101.

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126  Empire Ascendant H. O. Arnold-Forster, who pointed out ‘that Japan had been a most useful ally’, as well as Leo Maxse, the editor of the National Review, who struck King as ‘strongly pro-Japanese’. Still, both agreed that in the event of a confrontation on immigration, ‘Great Britain would stand solidly with the white peoples’.140 Even Lord Cromer, whose Egyptian experience precluded a narrowly racial definition of British imperial interests, thought the Anglo-Japanese alliance a ‘doubtful affair’, and told King that a conflict between Japan and the United States ‘would arouse great feeling in England’, in which case ‘the Alliance would not hold’.141 Among the governing Liberal party, some were even more strident. King found the parliamentary under-secretary at the Colonial Office, Winston Churchill, especially candid: [Churchill] was very frank . . . being in entire sympathy with Canada in the ­matter of keeping out Orientals and said that should there ever be any difficulty between Japan and the United States, Great Britain would certainly let the alliance go to the winds. He hated the Japanese, had never liked them, thought they were designing and crafty. He could not bear them.142

Even Lord Morley, the radical journalist turned secretary of state for India, fell in with these sentiments, telling King that, had he lived in British Columbia, he would have proudly joined the Asiatic Exclusion League. He also reassured the Canadian that in the event of a Japanese–American war, the alliance would not be invoked. ‘England would not allow it.’143 In a subsequent letter to Minto, Morley elaborated on his suspicions of Japan: [The Canadians] don’t much mind the Chinese. The Jap is the enemy—unscrupulous, perfidious, violent. Thank heaven, I never was a Jap, and I always hated Lansdowne’s treaty. No wonder that an exclusionist policy prevails; and I much suspect that if you and I were not ‘Indians’ for the moment, we should be Exclusionists.144

King’s conversations with Sir Edward Grey at the Foreign Office, however, revealed a more complex reality. Grey privately disdained the fashion for ‘slobbering over the colonies’, and disliked how the issue had intruded on his diplomatic domain.145 During their first meeting on 18 March, King recounted his visits to Vancouver

140  For Arnold-Forster, see King Diary, 24 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M99; for Maxse, see King Diary, 27 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M99. 141  King Diary, 18 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M98. 142  King Diary, 28 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M100. 143  King Diary, 20 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M98. 144  Morley to Minto, 26 March 1908, BL, Morley Papers, MSS Eur D573/3. 145 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 171.

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Empire and Exclusion  127 and Washington, only to find the foreign secretary sceptical that the situation was quite as serious as Roosevelt had made it out to be. ‘Where I think the President is mistaken’, Grey told King, ‘is in believing that the Japanese have any desire to get their peoples on to the American continent, or have any desire to be involved in any struggle with the United States.’146 The prospect of a covert Japanese invasion of North America was chimerical. The Japanese government preferred its emigrants to go to Korea or Manchuria, and it resented exclusion on symbolic grounds. Nevertheless, Grey subsequently admitted that before meeting King, he had not appreciated just how intense the anti-Japanese agitation in North America had become. Feeling on the Pacific coast, he wrote to Bryce, was clearly in a state of ‘high fever’, aggravated by mistrust of London’s motives. ‘What I fear is that a ­suspicion may arise among the people there that, when the pinch comes, we shall not support them in resisting Japanese immigration.’147 Grey took care, therefore, to reassure King that Britain would throw its weight behind exclusion if the need ever arose, telling him that: England could never stand for a struggle of the yellow races as against the white, that these things could not be held by treaty or anything, if there was a race struggle, that the sympathy would be with the white people if there was anything in the way of aggression from Japan.148

This was the assurance that King had hoped for. As he noted in his subsequent report, Canada could be sure that, if further measures were needed to restrict Japanese migration, Britain would not interpose the alliance as an objection. ‘Sir Edward emphasized the fact that the Anglo-Japanese alliance in no way affected Canada’s right to legislate on matters concerning immigration.’149 While Grey likely intended this as a clarification of a legal point, King chose to interpret it as a guarantee that Britain recognized Canada’s racial integrity as a vital imperial interest. ‘[T]hat Canada should remain a white man’s country is believed to be not only desirable for economic and social reasons, but highly necessary on political and national grounds.’150 This conclusion was shared by a number of imperialist commentators who, like King, had awaited a firmer British commitment to racial exclusion. Leo Amery seized on King’s report, forwarding a copy to Lionel Curtis (the author of the pass law that Gandhi had challenged in South Africa), and another to Alfred Deakin. Even with ‘the present people in power’, he wrote to the latter, the British government had, at last, ‘definitely recognised not

146  King Diary, 18 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M98. 147  Grey to Bryce, 30 March 1908, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/82. 148  King Diary, 18 March 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M98. 149  Memorandum by King, 2 May 1908, DUL/AG, 193/10. 150  King, ‘Report on Mission to England’, p. 7.

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128  Empire Ascendant only the right but the reasonableness of a British colony wishing to remain a white man’s country’.151 At the same time, King also acknowledged that such a right came with reciprocal responsibilities. Canada had a duty to exercise the power of exclusion with ­‘forbearance and restraint’, and with ‘due regard to the obligations which citizenship within the empire entails’.152 As the immigration question was one of great sensitivity in Japan and India, Canada would have to harmonize its policies with the larger diplomatic and imperial concerns that still fell under London’s remit. The logic was clear: since its membership of the imperial system had allowed Canada to strike its bargain with Japan in the first place, it had a duty to uphold that system—particularly if the alternative was the cloying embrace of the United States. In practice, this meant upholding its compromise with Japan, resisting British Columbian calls for overt exclusion, and keeping Theodore Roosevelt’s advances at bay. In 1914, with the Liberals out of power, King was still able to congratulate Laurier for his diplomatic handling of the immigration crisis, through which Canada had fulfilled its ‘imperial obligation’ in a way ‘more important than [the] construction of Dreadnoughts, as it has in it all the elements that make for friction and dismemberment from within’.153 * * * By the time King returned to Ottawa, the worst of the crisis was over. The Lemieux agreement all but choked off the Japanese movement to Canada: in the six months between May and November 1908, the immigration statistics now supplied to the British embassy reported the departure of only thirty-six labourers. On the eve of his departure from Japan, R.  L.  Drury, a former member of British Columbia’s parliament tasked with monitoring the agreement, was sufficiently confident to offer his ‘strongest possible conviction that the Japanese Government will faithfully observe their part of the agreement’.154 The evident results of the Lemieux agreement eased tempers in British Columbia, where the Asiatic Exclusion League faded from public view.155 Under these conditions, even the vision of a Canadian Pacific could experience another flickering; from Japan, Drury argued that the Japanese demand for Canadian exports, including wheat, lead, and pulpwood, might still offer the dominion a prosperous future in ‘the great expansion of Oriental trade, and the growing commerce of the Pacific’.156 The end of the c­ risis was also aided by a gradual Japanese–American rapprochement: in February 1908, Washington and Tokyo adopted a more stringent ‘gentlemen’s agreement’, 151  Amery to Deakin, 2 May 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/3/1. See also Curtis to Amery, 20 July 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/5/7. 152  King, ‘Report on Mission to England’, p. 7. 153  King to Laurier, 23 January 1914, LAC/WL, mf. C–908. 154  Drury to Templeman, 21 July 1908, LAC/WL, mf. C–865. 155 Roy, White Man’s Province, pp. 229–63. 156  Drury to Templeman, 21 July 1908, LAC/WL, mf. C–865.

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Empire and Exclusion  129 under which Japan pledged not to issue any further passports to labourers, and to suspend emigration to Hawaii.157 Cordoned off from the Pacific, Japan now ­proposed to channel its emigrants into its own colonization projects in Asia. Instead of ‘scattering themselves at random in distant foreign lands’, the new foreign minister, Komura Jutarō, declared to the Diet in 1909, Japanese settlers would receive the government’s assistance to settle in Manchuria and Korea.158 As one British diplomat noted, the creation of a ‘Greater Japan’ on the continent was surely preferable to attempting to secure entry for its nationals in North America or Australasia, where their presence was ‘barely tolerated’.159 The immigration crisis had nonetheless dealt a severe blow to the hope that Japan’s accession to the ‘comity of civilization’ could overcome the barrier of race. Instead, the violent agitation in California and British Columbia had forced Washington, Ottawa, and London to balance their acknowledgement of Japan’s international status against new demands for racial exclusion. The compromise that emerged was the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’, by which Japan itself undertook to prevent its nationals from departing to North America. Although certainly preferable to being subjected to an exclusion law, Japan still resented the im­pos­ition of new obstacles to its participation in international society. In a revealing aside during their negotiations, Hayashi pointed out to Lemieux that since the landing of Commodore Perry in 1853, the West had spent the last half-century preaching to Japan from the gospel of liberalism, ‘telling them that the only way by which they could achieve a place among the nations was welcoming all races to their shores’.160 The crisis had opened a window on a new kind of global politics, organized along racial fault lines rather than national borders, and many con­tinued to speculate about the possibility, even the inevitability, of a ‘conflict of colour’. Yet insofar as the immigration crisis suggested the possibility of a racial realignment, it also underscored the dangers of ranging British policy along the global colour line. Instead, it had demonstrated the value of the Anglo-Japanese alliance as an instrument to manage and defuse the tensions that had flared up in Vancouver.

157 Neu, Uncertain Friendship, pp. 178–80. 158  Macdonald to Grey, 5 April 1909, TNA, FO 371/684/18286. 159  See enclosure in Macdonald to Grey, 19 September 1908, TNA, FO 371/474/32546. 160  Lemieux to Laurier, 25 November 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–855.

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5

The Pacific Problem Race, Nationalism, and Imperial Defence

On the morning of 9 May 1906, a crowd had begun to gather on the Melbourne quayside to await the arrival of the three cruisers—the Hashidate, Itsukushima, and Matsushima—that made up the training fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Most heard the Japanese squadron before they saw it: upon entering Port Philip Bay on its approach to the city, the Matsushima exchanged a gun salute with the HMS Psyche of the Royal Navy. The three vessels were berthed alongside the town pier, where, according to the Melbourne Argus, ‘they immediately became objects of deep interests to hundreds of visitors’.1 The visit offered Melburnians their first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the victors of the Russo-Japanese War. The fleet’s commanding officer, Admiral Shimamura Hayao, aroused particular ­curiosity, as he had fought at the war’s great naval battle in the Tsushima Straits. A  reporter from the Argus, who interviewed Shimamura on his arrival, found him the very image of a Japanese gentleman, ‘of tremendous force of mind and resoluteness of purpose’, yet with an ‘irresistible gaiety’ that gave the old naval officer a ‘boyish appearance in his merry moods’.2 The elaborate itinerary of the next few days, with lunches, dinners, and various outings, certainly would have given the Japanese plenty of occasion for merriment. Dozens of toasts were raised to the King, the Meiji Emperor, and to the Anglo-Japanese alliance. On 16 May, Melbourne’s Princess Theatre put on a ‘Japanese night’, where an audience of Japanese sailors and local notables [Fig. 5.1] were treated to a ‘fine athletic display’ of judo, boxing, ‘Japanese fencing’, and a novelty contest that pitted a local singlestick fencer against an Imperial Navy officer armed with his ceremonial sword. The result, as reported by the Melbourne Age, was entertaining if somewhat onesided: had this been a ‘real encounter’ the Australian would ‘have been quartered in seconds’.3 Yet the high point of the visit was a joint parade, held on 14 May, in which six hundred Japanese sailors, accompanied by detachments from the Royal Navy and the militia, marched past a cheering crowd of over 50,000 people.4 The new Japan had come to Australia. Australians received their Japanese visitors in a dual capacity: as the local ­representatives of an empire that had recently renewed its alliance with Japan, 1  ‘The Japanese Squadron’, Argus, 10 May 1906. 2  ‘The Japanese Squadron’, Argus, 10 May 1906. 3  ‘Japanese Athletics’, Age, 17 May 1906. 4  ‘The Japanese Squadron’, Age, 14 May 1906; Walker, Anxious Nation, pp. 85–94. Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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The Pacific Problem  131

Fig 5.1  ‘The Audience on the Japanese Night at the Princess’ Theatre’, Punch [Melbourne], 24 May 1906. NLA Newspaper Collection.

and as citizens of a fledgling nation eager to mend its own relationship with its Pacific neighbour. Alfred Deakin was especially keen to portray the success of the visit as a sign that Japan and Australia had moved past their dispute over the Immigration Restriction Act, and were moving towards a future of mutual respect for each other’s national and racial sovereignty. Writing as the anonymous ‘Australian correspondent’ for the London Morning Post, Deakin noted Melbourne had ‘never looked more beautiful’ as when it had sparkled with ‘innumerable lights of welcome to the visiting Japanese squadron’. Here was a ‘fitting greeting to the great Eastern ally of the empire’, and a testament to the growing self-confidence of the Australian nation. ‘[O]ur Japanese allies have been fêted with unaffected enthusiasm wherever they have landed, have been cheered in the streets, their sailors patted in every public place, and their officers overwhelmed with courtesies’.5 In his determination to ensure that the Japanese were received with due cordiality, Deakin tacitly acknowledged the new international realities created by the 5 [Alfred Deakin], ‘The Japanese Squadron’, Morning Post, 17 July 1906. Deakin began writing ‘Federated Australia’, his regular column for the Morning Post, in 1900, and continued to do so even as prime minister. The identity of the paper’s ‘Australian correspondent’ was a closely guarded secret, known only to its editor, Fabian Ware, and his deputy, Richard Jebb. See La Nauze, Federated Australia.

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132  Empire Ascendant Russo-Japanese War. But the visit was not uncontroversial, and the sight of Japanese sailors marching through the streets of Melbourne still aroused the ire of many on Australia’s racial-radical fringe. Thus one Queensland senator pointedly refused to attend a dinner given by parliament in Shimamura’s honour, declaring it ‘pure hypocrisy on my part to greet you with a smile, give you a friendly handshake . . . while at the same time . . . I do not trust you’.6 The Sydney Bulletin grumbled over ‘London-inspired Jap-worship’, and whipped itself into a fit of moral frenzy at the thought of sailors ‘from the land of the Geisha’ mixing socially with Australian women.7 Yet even the Bulletin was forced to acknowledge that the new Japan deserved Australians’ respect. Through an ‘an exalted and resolute patriotism’, the paper conceded, Japan had defied ‘the settled idea of centuries that no coloured man could ever aspire to more than servitude in a white man’s house’. Its standing as the new great power in the Asia-Pacific had created a new inter­nation­al situation with which Australians, in their ‘lone White Man’s Outpost in the Pacific’, would have to come to terms, one way or another.8 The naval visit offered its Australian spectators ample opportunity to reflect on the fast-changing international scene onto which their new Commonwealth had emerged. The 1890s had given rise to new anxieties about Australia’s exposure to the imperial rivalries in its oceanic vicinity. Federation had been conceived, in part, to answer them. But it was the Russo-Japanese War that truly brought home the fact that Australia could no longer consider itself apart from the currents of world politics. ‘As civilisation grows and distances dwindle, man demands a larger and yet larger stage for the fighting-out of the ambitions of races’, the Australian journalist Frank Fox (a close associate of Deakin) would observe in 1912. And it was on the Pacific Ocean, the largest stage of all, where Fox predicted the climactic ‘struggle of civilisation’ would be waged.9 Seen from Australia, Japan’s defeat of Russia and its subsequent immigration disputes with the United States had clarified the terms of the ‘Pacific problem’. Technological change and imperial expansion were expanding the scope of global politics and shifting its centre to the Pacific, where Anglo-Saxondom now encountered a resurgent Asia. ‘Disguise it how we may’, the Vancouver-based geographer Frank Buffington Vroonan declared in a lecture to the Royal Colonial Society, ‘the problem of the new era is that of the New Pacific and New Asia, which is that of the struggle of the white and yellow peoples for world supremacy.’10 Scribbling in his diary, the Australian party leader Joseph Cook found himself chasing the same phantoms: Real problem of world is racial . . . Relation of white with yellow & black is urgent all round the globe. India, Africa, China, Japan & Russia, Jap & America . . . 6  ‘Interview with Admiral Shimamura’, Evening News, 21 May 1906. 7 Walker, Anxious Nation, p. 87. 8  ‘The Japanese Welcome’, Bulletin, 24 May 1906. 9 Fox, Problems of the Pacific, pp. 1–2. 10  Vroonan, ‘British Columbia and Her Imperial Outlook’, p. 315.

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The Pacific Problem  133 Japanese have proved beyond all doubt the immense potentialities of the Asiatic renaissance for war, industry, colonization, sea power & thought . . . Japan leading India & China wd. be a menace to the world.11

The ‘Pacific problem’ was from the outset conceived as a problem of imperial politics as well as racial geography. Even after federation, Australia (to say nothing of New Zealand) seemed far too small a unit for this new age of geopolitical competition. The danger of Asia, anxious colonials insisted, could only be warded off by mobilizing the common resources of the ‘British race’, preferably in partnership with the United States. In the wake of the Russo-Japanese War, empire was ever more explicitly tied to an expectation of racial solidarity. From a colonial perspective, then, it was all the more disturbing that London seemed content to have left the security of the Pacific to the Anglo-Japanese alliance. ‘We have been handed over to the Japs’, one acerbic New Zealand MP complained in 1908. ‘The Pacific is deserted by the British fleet. We have a few tin cans floating in the Pacific which we call war-ships. There is not one of the first-class battleships of Japan that could not blow the whole lot of them out of the water in twenty minutes.’12 Before 1905, British officials had often lamented the lack of colonial enthusiasm for ‘imperial’ defence. Now, as Australian and New Zealand politicians grew ever more vocal in their demands for a Pacific navy that could keep their nation-building projects secure, these roles were reversed. These responses were, as we have seen in the previous chapters, part of a wider reaction against London’s partnership with Japan. White settlers in Australasia joined their counterparts in China and North America in seeking to check Japanese expansion (actual or imagined) in the Asia-Pacific. By examining s­ everal key episodes in the years that followed the Russo-Japanese War—the 1908 Pacific tour of the ‘Great White Fleet’, the 1909 naval scare, and the Imperial Defence Conference that followed it—this chapter analyses how the ‘Pacific problem’ structured ideas of nationhood and empire, and in turn contributed to a wider reconfiguration of the Anglo-Japanese relationship in the aftermath of the RussoJapanese War.

Nationalism, Imperialism, and the Japanese ‘Threat’ The outbreak of the Japanese immigration crisis in 1906 confirmed Australian fears that Japan, its power and prestige enhanced by its victory over Russia, would use its international clout to demand an end to the racial discrimination it had objected to in the past. ‘We are face to face with this fact’, one Australian senator 11  Cook Diary, n.d. [1908], NAA, Cook Papers, MS 3580/3. 12  J. T. Hornsby, 17 July 1908, NZPD, vol. 143 (1908), pp. 589–91.

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134  Empire Ascendant remarked, ‘that the Japanese can dictate to eighty-five million Americans that their children shall be treated on terms of equality in American schools.’13 In a telling analogy, the Labor senator and defence spokesman George F. Pearce urged his colleagues to remember the fate of the Boer republics in South Africa, where disaffected (British) immigrants had similarly sought the support of an imperial patron to reinforce their political claims. ‘If we have in the heart of this country a colony of Japanese Uitlanders’, he warned, ‘we at once give the rising and powerful nation of Japan an object and a reason for interfering in the affairs of Australia.’14 The implications were troubling. Pearce was adamant that exclusion would have to be maintained. But ‘white Australia’, in and of itself, now seemed an insufficient guarantee of racial integrity. The policy was ‘so much waste paper’, Pearce declared. unless Australians were ‘prepared to back it up by force if necessary’.15 His ­colleague William Morris Hughes echoed the point: Australians were living in a ‘fools’ paradise’, he declared, unless they were able to maintain their exclusion laws ‘by ourselves alone’.16 This was a challenge for which Australia seemed ill-prepared. Federation had been offered as a resolution to the strategic and racial fears of the colonial era. But it had created a nation that, by its own measure, remained incomplete. ‘White Australia’ was still a distant outpost of the British world, perched precariously on the edge of Asia. Its small population left much of the continent, and particularly the tropical north, unoccupied and underdeveloped. It lacked a credible or­gan­ iza­tion of its national naval or military defence. For Sir Walter James, a former premier of South Australia, a visit to Europe offered a measure of the new Commonwealth’s inadequacies. ‘The sight of a country cultivated as is France, Italy, Germany, and Austria appealed to me in a way I cannot explain’, he wrote to Deakin. ‘I felt ashamed of Australia and anxious to change my nationality.’17 Paradoxically, federated Australia seemed to depend more than ever on the ‘crimson thread’ of trade, investment, white migrants, and external security provided by the British connection. ‘There is little that makes Northern Australia ours but the British fleet in close proximity to our shores’, Joseph Cook noted in 1907.18 The Sydney Morning Herald similarly acknowledged that the Royal Navy was Australia’s ‘first line of defence . . . a great barrier against the envy of the nations, and [a] wall against Asiatic pressure’.19 But this barrier seemed less formidable than it had in the past. After 1905, a  staged withdrawal of naval power to ‘home’ waters had reduced the British

13  C. Cameron, 20 February 1907, CAPD, vol. 8 (1907), p. 15. 14  G. F. Pearce, 27 September 1905, CAPD, vol. 39 (1905), p. 2812. 15 Connor, Anzac and Empire, p. 17. 16  W. M. Hughes, 1 August 1907, CAPD, HR, vol. 31 (1907), p. 1283. 17  James to Deakin, 16 October 1906, NLA, Deakin Papers, 1/13. 18  J. Cook, 4 July 1907, CAPD, vol. 27 (1907), p. 98. 19  ‘Australian Defence’, SMH, 14 January 1908.

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The Pacific Problem  135 presence in the Pacific to a mostly symbolic one. Before the Russo-Japanese War, the Admiralty had stationed five battleships (plus numerous support vessels) at Hong Kong, its largest concentration of naval strength outside of Europe. Within weeks after Tsushima, all were ordered home to reinforce the Channel Fleet, as part of a wider redistribution of British naval power orchestrated by the First Sea Lord, Admiral ‘Jackie’ Fisher.20 With the Russian fleet destroyed and the French and German squadrons similarly reordered, naval supremacy in the western Pacific had been effectively ceded to Japan—an ‘almost perverse’ arrangement in many Australian eyes.21 Exacerbating the problem was the lingering uncertainty over the extent to which British officials were committed to a ‘white Australia’, at least in its current absolute form.22 Chinese and Japanese exclusion had been the cause of terse exchanges between London and the Australian colonies in the past, and the policy was still denounced in sections of the British press as an attempt to inflate the wages of Australian workers at the expense of British diplomacy. Writing from London, Walter James warned that Australians could not in­def­in­ite­ly maintain their claim to a continent they had only partially managed to occupy and develop. ‘If I were an Englishman . . . I should fear to be inclined to think that the Commonwealth would be a more valuable part of the world if handed over to Japan and China.’23 The Liberal government which entered office in 1905, and which blew the imperial trumpet less loudly than its Unionist predecessor, was especially suspect in this regard. ‘Every intelligent Englishman I’ve met out here who has given the matter any thought agrees with us’, the journalist Frank Fox reported to Deakin, ‘but the rest of the British people without a doubt look upon Asiatic Exclusion as a “labor fad” & are vexedly intolerant of it being allowed to interfere with Jap. alliances & so on.’24 Australian sensitivity on the subject can be illustrated by a minor scandal that erupted over The Times’s coverage of the Asian immigration crises in North America and South Africa. Under the editorship of Valentine Chirol, the paper had taken a critical stance on what it regarded as the ‘selfish’ attitudes of the exclusionist movements. In a typical editorial in January 1908, Chirol exhorted the dominions to recognize their ‘immense responsibilities’ to the empire that shielded them from the international ramifications of their actions. ‘The Colonies that most proudly proclaim their determination to be white man’s countries’, he pointedly noted, ‘depend absolutely on the power of the Mother Country to remain white.’25 Australians heard the message clearly. ‘John Bull’s Asiatic friends are getting angry at Australia’s Asiatic exclusion policy’, sneered the Bulletin, ‘and 20  For the motivations behind the redistribution, see Lambert, Fisher’s Naval Revolution, pp. 97–126. 21  Ward, ‘Defending Australia’s Empire’, p. 242. 22  Northcote to Elgin, 4 March 1906, Broomhall, Elgin Papers. 23  James to Deakin, 16 October 1906, NLA, Deakin Papers, 1/13. 24  Fox to Deakin, 1907 [content suggests late December], NLA, Deakin Papers, 1/16, f. 1840. 25  ‘The Asiatic Difficulty’, The Times, 2 January 1908.

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136  Empire Ascendant Britain may yet have to interfere and squash the White Australia idea.’26 The Times’s independent-minded Sydney correspondent, Arthur Jose, wrote to Chirol to warn him that his criticisms of exclusion might be read as a veiled threat ‘that the British navy may not be available to help us in a White Australia quarrel’.27 Behind this spat lay a deeper anxiety over Australia’s geo-racial predicament. With Japan supreme in the northern Pacific, the future of ‘white Australia’ indeed seemed to hinge on London’s continued willingness to provide the policy with diplomatic cover. ‘[U]nless we get out of our present state of helplessness’, the Bulletin warned, ‘Britain may yet set aside Northern Australia as a reserve for Asiatic immigrants, and end the magnificent dream of a white continent for ever’. London had to be shown that a ‘white Australia’ was worth preserving. ‘If we could show an army and a navy which would count for something really material in the empire’s defences . . . then the position would be different’.28 Alfred Deakin had come to the same conclusion. Japan’s rise had not merely underlined Australia’s strategic vulnerability; it also appeared to highlight deeper political and social deficiencies that left the new nation ill-prepared for the pressures of geopolitical competition.29 In a speech held a few days before the arrival of the Japanese training squadron at Sydney, Deakin called for a political programme to renew national vigour, and create ‘a truly Australian nation’ through a series of measures ‘providing specifically for increases of Protection, population, land ­settlement, immigration, and defence’. Nothing less would suffice, he wrote to the Morning Post, ‘to preserve and maintain a white and not a piebald Australia’.30 To bolster Australia’s population Deakin proposed to create a national agency to recruit white immigrants, modelled on that in Canada. A land settle­ment scheme would target the Northern Territory, which was to be transferred from South Australia to the federal government. Deakin justified his programme through a series of thinly veiled references to Japan, noting the ‘constant menace’ looming on Australia’s thinly populated northern flank. ‘[I]f Australia is to remain, it can only do so by multiplying the number of Australians prepared to hold it against all comers’.31 A savvy political operator whose Protectionist party held the balance in the Commonwealth parliament, Deakin dominated the Australian political scene in the decade after federation, holding the premiership three times between 1903 and 1910. His advocacy did much to raise the question of defence to political prominence. But the ideas first outlined in his Sydney speech drew support across the political spectrum, including, crucially, with the Australian Labor party on whose support Deakin depended in 1903–4 and again in 1905–8. Prominent 26  ‘The London “Times” Speaks a Warning’, Bulletin, 9 January 1908. 27  Jose to Deakin, 13 January 1908, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/5/48, f. 3620. 28  ‘The London “Times” Speaks a Warning’, Bulletin, 9 January 1908. 29  See also Hearn, ‘ “Compelled by the Circumstance of Our Time” ’, pp. 510–14. 30  [Alfred Deakin], ‘The Ideal of Racial Purity’, Morning Post, 17 July 1906. 31  ‘Mr Deakin in Sydney’, Daily Telegraph [Sydney], 19 May 1906.

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The Pacific Problem  137 Laborites, including George Pearce, Billy Hughes, and the party’s leader J.  C.  Watson had been among the founders of the Australian National Defence League in 1905. In 1908, Labor endorsed universal military training for young Australian men. As one delegate to the party’s conference in Brisbane put it, ‘the man who voted for a White Australia, should be prepared to carry his rifle in support of that principle’.32 Hughes declared in parliament in August 1907 that it was the ‘primary and sacred duty’ of every (male) Australian to ‘defend his country’. Those who doubted the necessity need look no further than the ‘acute position now existing between the inhabitants of the western slope of the United States of America and those of Japan’.33 The aspiration to national self-sufficiency was perhaps most evident in the realm of naval defence. Like the other settler colonies, Australia lacked a fleet of its own, and instead paid an annual contribution towards the upkeep of the Royal Navy, set in 1903 at £200,000 per year. Beginning in January 1906, Deakin petitioned the Colonial Office to allow Australia to designate a portion of this subsidy for a local flotilla for coastal defence. The ‘desire for sea power’, he subsequently wrote in his Morning Post column, represented the natural fulfilment of Australia’s national aspirations: ‘self-respect, self-esteem, self-assertion, whatever name is given to it, a sentiment of the duty of self-defence’. Such feelings were growing more intense as Australians realized their ‘strategically perilous position south of the Asian peoples’ and their aspiration to become ‘one of the two warders of the  Pacific Ocean’.34 Forging ahead despite a lukewarm response in London— Winston Churchill, the under-secretary at the Colonial Office, thought the scheme would ‘never provide any ships of any serious value’—in December 1907 Deakin presented a full-fledged defence programme to parliament in which he called for the introduction of universal military training and for the diversion of the naval subsidy to a powerful new fleet unit under Australian control. There was an urgent strategic necessity, Deakin declared. Every passing year brought Australia in closer touch with the ‘the subjects of other peoples planted in our neighbourhood, and with the interests of other peoples more or less antagonistic to our own’.35 Though he again abstained from naming Japan outright, Deakin’s listeners were in no doubt as to which ‘antagonistic people’ he was referring to. In offering his congratulations on Deakin’s defence speech—‘so long, and I confess on my part so impatiently waited for’—George Pearce noted its timeliness in light of the Vancouver riots and the ongoing Japanese–American war scare. ‘Above all, we must watch to the North . . . As an Australian who wants to keep Australia for the white race I say “well done” .’36 32  Hearn, ‘Bound with the Empire’, p. 104. 33  W. M. Hughes, 1 August 1907, CAPD, vol. 31 (1907), pp. 1282–9. 34  [Alfred Deakin], ‘National Defence’, Morning Post, 6 October 1906. 35  A. Deakin, 13 December 1907, HR, CAPD, vol. 50 (1907), pp. 7509–18. 36  Pearce to Deakin, December 1907, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/5/48, f. 3618.

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138  Empire Ascendant A parallel movement was taking place in New Zealand, where an Asian spectre was similarly evoked to justify new measures to adapt to a more competitive international environment. What differed was the political constellation. Sir Joseph Ward, who had succeeded Richard Seddon after his death in 1906, as prime minister and Liberal leader, showed little desire to follow Australia down the path of national navalism. The real guarantee of New Zealand’s security, he proclaimed during a 1908 defence debate, was ‘the great and binding tie of the interests of common race’ that secured it the protection of the British fleet. Instead of diversionary schemes, Ward proposed raising the naval subsidy.37 Yet to many seized with New Zealand’s international position, such a policy now seemed al­together too passive. William Massey, the leader of the opposition, noted that ‘the developments in the East in the last fifteen years’ meant that New Zealand could no longer implicitly rely on the Royal Navy, and would need to guard itself against ‘any possibilities that might occur’.38 Thomas Mackenzie, who would briefly ­succeed Ward as prime minister in 1912, similarly believed that ‘the great development that is taking place in the East’, would require a nation-building effort in New Zealand to match that in Australia. ‘The Japanese demonstrated to the world that the white races were not invulnerable’, Mackenzie reminded his colleagues, ‘and they are now developing at a rate unprecedented in the history of the world.’ New Zealand owed its present security to ‘the sheltering arms of the Mothercountry’. Yet without that protection ‘our helplessness would become absolutely pitiable’.39 The fiercest critic of Ward’s ‘policy of inaction’ was James Allen, the Australian-born MP for the mining district of Bruce and something of a parliamentary authority on defence questions. Like his Australian counterparts, Allen drew deeply from the twinned founts of colonial nationalism and racial anxiety. New Zealanders, he declared, would have to do their duty, ‘as men with a noble country to defend’, and follow the Australians in developing an autonomous fleet. ‘If the Chinese and the Japanese are to have “Dreadnoughts” . . . then some day we must have them also.’40 This emphasis on racial security, nation-building, and emancipation from a passive ‘colonial’ mentality has led some historians to interpret Australasia’s shift towards civic militarism as a sign of growing ambivalence about the British connection.41 Yet the point should not be exaggerated. In rhetoric and in practice, dominion nationalism, even in this new martial form, continued to position itself firmly within a British imperial world.42 Advocates argued that national military policies would help instil a sense of patriotism and martial vigour that, in turn, would establish the Pacific dominions as full-fledged ‘British nations’. Allen declared 37  J. Ward, 30 September 1908, NZPD, vol. 145 (1908), pp. 691–712. 38  W. F. Massey, 30 September 1908, NZPD, vol. 145 (1908), p. 693. 39  T. Mackenzie, 30 September 1908, NZPD, vol. 145 (1908) pp. 701–3. 40  J. Allen, 30 September 1908, NZPD, vol. 145 (1908) pp. 696–700. 41  Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 190–209. 42  For a recent elaboration, see Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence.

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The Pacific Problem  139 that ‘as a New Zealander and a Britisher’, he hoped New Zealand would do more to shoulder the burdens of its own defence, and do its ‘duty [to] police the Pacific ocean’.43 Deakin saw no contradiction between his advocacy of an Australian fleet and his championing of a united British Empire: as he told the officers of the visiting American fleet in 1908, imperialism and Australian nationalism were fundamentally complementary. ‘Those who say that we should sit still are not British, and are not worthy of the name of Briton. You cannot be content to expect defence at any other hands than your own.’44 As a world-spanning identity, ‘Britishness’ was capacious enough to accommodate the existence of Australian and New Zealand nations within it.45 Yet there were also firm practical reasons why advocates of national Bildung still accorded a central role to the imperial connection. Dominion politicians remained acutely aware that their territorial and racial security was tied up with British imperial power. Deakin’s proposed Australian naval force was a modest endeavour: a flotilla comprising nine submarines and six torpedo boats, it rested on the assumption that it could act in support of a larger British force. Australia’s proposals to develop ‘a local naval force and naval reserves, fortified ports, and stores and munitions of war’, Deakin wrote to London, were intended to make a ‘real contribution to Imperial Defence . . . just as valuable to you and more valuable to us’.46 Rhetorically, Deakin situated his fleet scheme within a larger imperial effort. As Australia came of age as a ‘British nation’, he declared, it would play an ever-larger share in maintaining British supremacy in its own oceanic neighbourhood—after all, the ‘national instinct of the sea . . . lives in our section of the race as much as in any other’.47 The case for Australian self-strengthening, then, drew forcefully on both racial and imperial arguments. As bastions of British power in the Pacific, dominion politicians argued, Australian and New Zealand would not merely provide for  their own defence; they would also make a vital contribution to the worldsupremacy of the ‘British race’ in the coming century. Preserving the southern dominions as ‘white man’s countries’ was thus conceived as an imperial interest as much as a narrowly national one. This, noted the Australian journalist (and later chronicler of the Australian war effort) C. E. W. Bean in a letter to the Spectator, was the ‘real significance’ of ‘white Australia’: Need you ask: How will the existence of a great British sea nation in the Antipodes, with British ideas and interests, and a big navy, affect that other forty 43  J. Allen, 14 June 1909, NZPD, vol. 146 (1909), pp. 179–83. 44  ‘Speech at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria’, 1 September 1908, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/5/48, f. 3878. 45  On Australasian Britishness, see Belich, Replenishing the Earth, pp. 456–78; Meaney, ‘Britishness and Australian Identity’; Hearn, ‘Bound with the Empire’; Trainor, British Imperialism, pp. 81–94; Cole, ‘Problem of “Nationalism” ’. 46  Deakin to McKenna, 28 July 1908, CCAC, McKenna Papers, MCKN 3/13. 47  A. Deakin, 13 December 1907, CAPD, vol. 50 (1907), p. 7511.

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140  Empire Ascendant millions of Britons in the North Sea? Remember, this is the last land open to the white man—the only one that can be purely British.48

This was a claim to which a portion of British opinion proved receptive. The Morning Post hailed the growth of navalism in Australia and New Zealand as a development that would, in time, release the empire ‘from dependence upon other allies in that quarter of the globe’.49 Even The Times acknowledged that colonial opinion, in its stolid defence of white supremacy, was ‘fighting in its own belief for a vital principle of Imperial power’.50 These romanticized appeals to British racial unity did not, in and of themselves, translate into political harmony. There was as yet little enthusiasm among British officials for the naval schemes touted in Australia: an autonomous Australian force, warned Churchill at the Colonial Office, risked drawing London into all sorts of ‘nasty diplomatic situations’.51 In the ‘dreadnought age’, large concentrations of armoured battleships were the way of the future, not local ‘tin-pot’ navies. Deakin’s appeals for imperial cooperation might have resonated with those who shared his frustrations with Liberal ‘Little Englandism’: the journalist Leo Amery was only half joking when he suggested that Deakin might replace Arthur Balfour as Conservative leader, who could then be ‘sold to Australia’ in his stead.52 But at the 1907 imperial conference, his proposal for an imperial council met with official indifference and private disdain.53 Lord Morley, the secretary of state for India, dismissed Britain’s ‘robust young Colonial kinsfolk’ as ‘frightful bores’, and noted he was ‘heartily glad to see their backs’ after ‘being condemned to eat twenty meals day after day in their company’.54 Morley found Deakin’s appeals to a British ‘race-patriotism’ both tedious (the Australian was prone to ‘yarn away by the hour’), and glaringly inconsistent with Britain’s broader im­per­ial obligations. ‘I laugh when I think of a man who blows the imperial trumpet louder than other people’, he wrote to the viceroy, ‘and yet would banish India, which is the most stupendous part of the Empire . . . into the imperial back-kitchen.’55

‘One cannot draw the colour-line without a decent fleet’ Deakin’s mutual exasperation with British officials hinted at deeper disagreements over the nature and purpose of the imperial system. In his youth, Deakin 48  C E. W. Bean, ‘The Real Significance of the White Australia Question’, Spectator, 13 July 1907. 49  Morning Post, 16 October 1908, cited in Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, p. 138. 50  ‘Australian Ideals’, The Times, 5 September 1908. 51  Cited in Meaney, Search for Security, p. 155. 52  Amery to Jose, 3 May 1907, ML, Jose Papers. 53 Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 152–3; Hyam, Elgin and Churchill, pp. 318–17. 54  Morley to Minto, 24 May 1907, BL, Morley Papers, MSS Eur D573/2. 55  Morley to Minto, 2 May 1907, BL, Morley Papers, MSS Eur D573/2.

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The Pacific Problem  141 had been drawn to the cause of imperial federation, and as prime minister, he still advocated closer cooperation within a reconstituted empire that recognized the constitutional equality of all ‘British nations’ under the crown. ‘We must have an Imperial organisation’, he wrote to Richard Jebb. ‘An organisation of self-governing peoples but still an organisation effective in peace & in war, built upon good understanding, sympathy, & racial unity but not relying on these alone.’56 What most irked him about the Colonial Office was its inability to escape its ‘English’ political context and recognize the need for ‘boldly democratic & constructive’ imperial reform. ‘Current Liberalism in England’, he grumbled, ‘is only negative & destructive.’57 To meet the challenges of the coming century, the imperial system would have to be both ideologically and institutionally restructured. Defence cooperation, tariff reform, and an ‘imperial council’ would tighten the bonds between Britain and the dominions (the term had been coined at the 1907 conference) and establish an entity capable of calling on the common loyalties of ‘Greater Britain’ in its entirety. But above all, the ‘constructive’ imperialism that Deakin envisioned hinged on racial segregation between the self-governing nations of the ‘British race’ and the colonial ‘dependencies’.58 ‘Our Empire’, as he had proclaimed in 1904, ‘is a white empire’.59 By the early twentieth century, this vision of empire, at once expansive and racially delineated, was on the march from South Africa to British Columbia.60 In  its more ambitious incarnations, it clearly reached outwards towards the United States. Like many Australians, Deakin placed the struggle against ‘Asiatic’ encroachment in a broader trans-Pacific context: Californian and British Columbian opposition to Chinese and Japanese immigration had long provided ‘an essential reference point’ for Australia’s own racial self-identification.61 And in the autumn of 1907, as Vancouver rioted and Washington thrummed with speculation of a  Japanese–American war, the connection seemed especially urgent. In British Columbia, roared the New Zealand tabloid Truth, ‘[t]he Japs grow every day more insolent. They marched from the ship from which they landed as if they were an invading army’.62 It was in this broader context of racial solidarity that Australians welcomed the announcement, made in July 1907, that the United States would transfer its main battlefleet to the Pacific. The move was officially presented as a training exercise. But given the timing, few doubted that its real purpose lay, as the British naval attaché in Washington reported, in ‘the final settle­ment of the

56  Deakin to Jebb, 29 May 1907, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 57  Deakin to Jebb, 29 May 1907, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 58  Behm, ‘Settler Historicism’, pp. 803–7. 59  ‘White Australia’, Auckland Star, 2 February 1904. 60  On exclusion and its implications, see Huttenback, Racism and Empire; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line; Atkinson, Burdens of White Supremacy; Behm, ‘Settler Historicism’. 61 Mountford, Britain, China, and Colonial Australia, p. 171. 62  ‘Japanese Jingoism’, Truth, 5 October 1907.

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142  Empire Ascendant Japanese immigration question’.63 Still seeking to extract a formal immigration treaty from Tokyo, Roosevelt had decided to bring out the ‘big stick’. During Mackenzie King’s visits to the White House, Roosevelt reiterated that without a credible military presence in the Pacific, Japan had ‘taken advantage’ of the United States. ‘I decided to send the fleet into the Pacific, it may help them to understand that we want a definite arrangement’.64 The prospect of the American fleet’s visit to the Pacific afforded new op­por­tun­ ities to test the possibilities of cooperation among the ‘English-speaking democracies’ based on their ‘common objection’ to Japanese immigration.65 Ottawa received several petitions from prominent individuals to invite the fleet to British Columbia. The spectacle of American battleships in Vancouver harbour, one of the city’s councillors noted, ‘would be an object lesson to Asiatics and would show them  that the Anglo-Saxons were united’.66 Laurier saw little merit in such a demonstration—indeed, he was determined to restrict the scope for American interference in his own negotiations with the Japanese. The fleet’s arrival at San Francisco, warned T.  R.  E.  McInnes, might well occasion another anti-Asian pogrom that would find its echo in Vancouver.67 Writing to Lord Grey, McInnes hoped that the governor-general would consider travelling west in order to steady ‘the Imperial spirit of our people’, and keep ‘our young fellows from being too much impressed with the might of Washington and the glory of the Stars & Stripes’.68 From London, Sir Edward Grey predicted that a visit to Vancouver would surely ‘be turned into an Anti-Japanese demonstration [which] would be unreasonable, embarrassing and inconvenient’.69 When Laurier confirmed he had no intention of allowing the visit to take place, Whitehall breathed a collective sigh of relief.70 The Colonial Office was unpleasantly surprised, therefore, when it learned that Deakin had informally sounded both the American consul in Sydney and the ambassador in London on a possible visit of the fleet to Australia. The Commonwealth, he wrote, was ‘deeply interested’ in the voyage, and would welcome an opportunity to receive its American ‘kinsmen’ during ‘their timely demonstration of naval power’.71 Roosevelt was only too delighted to accept. When Mackenzie King returned to Washington in February 1908, after Australia

63  ‘Report Respecting the Naval Situation in the Pacific’, in Howard to Grey, 19 February 1908, TNA, FO 371/473/7195. 64  King Diary, 25 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, item 4474. 65  King Diary, 31 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M92. 66 Atkinson, Burdens of White Supremacy, p. 252. 67  McInnes to Laurier, 7 November 1907, LAC/WL, mf. C–854. 68 McInnes to Lord Grey, 13 February 1908, in Grey to Elgin, 20 February 1908, TNA, CO 42/918/7611. 69  Minute by Grey in FO to CO, 20 March 1908, TNA, CO 42/918/9768. 70  Hardinge to Bryce, 22 May 1908, BLO, Bryce Papers, mf. 84. 71  Deakin to Whitelaw Reid, 7 January 1908, TNA, CO 418/60/11989.

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The Pacific Problem  143 had been formally added to the fleet’s itinerary, he found the president visibly relishing the idea of turning the tour into a demonstration of Anglo-Saxon solidarity. ‘[Deakin] is very anxious to have the fleet visit his waters’, Roosevelt told King. ‘It is all for the same object, to impress these other peoples [e.g. the Japanese] with the common interest.’72 On another occasion, Roosevelt told a startled group of visiting Canadian MPs that the demonstration of American naval power was ‘in the interest of the whole Pacific Coast, the interest of British Columbia as well as those of California, and it is in the interests of Australia as well’. When one whether this meant he intended to extend the Monroe Doctrine to Canada and Australia, Roosevelt nodded vigorously in the affirmative. ‘[I]f it does not’, he declared, banging his desk for emphasis, ‘I’ll make it apply!’73 When word of the exchange reached London, the Foreign Office could only ­consider it ‘a mercy’ that this latest round of presidential indiscretion had not made its way into the press. ‘This is taller talk on the part of the President than anything we have had yet.’74 There were few in London who doubted that Deakin’s real purpose was to use the visit as ‘a demonstration for the delectation of Japan’ and to signal Australia’s disillusionment with the Anglo-Japanese alliance to London.75 Sir Francis Hopwood, the permanent under-secretary at the Colonial Office, thought the move ‘unworthy’ even by Australian standards. It was clearly an attempt to ‘play off U.S.  against us . . . intended to be used to induce us to break our Japanese alliance’, mischievous as well as ‘foolish . . . for [the] U.S.  will not fight Japan for Aust[ralia]’.76 Deakin was hardly troubled by official displeasure, brushing over British objections by appealing to the higher cause of Anglo-Saxon unity. As he defended his actions to his correspondent Leo Amery, the particulars of official protocol surely paled in comparison to the significance of the occasion. If the visit would help ‘to bring the great English-speaking peoples together’, then surely it would be ‘a very good day for the Empire’?77 For Deakin, as for Roosevelt, the Japanese crisis might yet prove a crucible for white racial unity. ‘For Australia the entrance of a fleet under the Stars and Stripes into the Pacific is an incident of the utmost significance’, he noted in his anonymous column for the Morning Post. ‘Whatever the immediate cause of its going there may be, the act is popularly associated with the racial ­disputes which recently became acute in the West of the Dominion and of the great Anglo-Saxon Republic.’ It was a problem that Australians keenly understood. ‘Nowhere in the Empire’, Deakin noted, ‘and perhaps nowhere outside the  Southern States of the Union is the import of the colour question more 72  King Diary, 24 February 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M96. 73  Bryce to Grey, 20 February 1908, TNA, FO 371/473/7715. 74  Minute by Campbell on Bryce to Grey, 20 February 1908, TNA, FO 371/473/7715. 75  Minute by Hopwood, 12 February 1908, TNA, CO 418/60/5138. 76  Minutes on Dudley to Crewe, 18 September 1908, TNA, CO 418/61/34152. 77  Deakin to Amery, 3 August 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/5/7.

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144  Empire Ascendant keenly realised than in the Commonwealth.’78 He was even more candid when writing to Richard Jebb: The visit of the U.S. fleet is universally popular here not so much because of our blood affection for the Americans, though that is sincere, but because of our distrust of the Yellow races in the North Pacific & our recognition of the ‘entente cordiale’ spreading among all white races who realise the Yellow Peril to Caucasian civilisation, creeds, & politics.79

The visit was indeed popular. The fleet weeks in Australia and New Zealand (which issued its own invitation after news of the Australian visit went public) marked the largest public spectacle in the Antipodes since the federation celebrations in 1901. A crowd of a hundred thousand people, or one in every ten New Zealanders, watched the fleet steam into the harbour of Auckland on 9 August 1908. Its triumphal entries into Sydney and Melbourne drew crowds of over half a million each, exceeding those that had welcomed the Japanese squadron by an order of magnitude.80 The sheer scale of the festivities undoubtedly accounted for much of this exuberance. Yet the dominions’ embrace of the Americans was also framed by racial and geopolitical concerns. As one Australian legislator put it, ‘the entire population of Australia’ regarded the visit of as a sign of ‘a future distinct understanding with the United States of America, respecting the yellow peril to the white races in Australia’.81 One of his counterparts in New Zealand professed himself ‘pleased America had invaded the Pacific’ to guard the Australasian dominions against the danger of ‘Asiatic aggression’. The United States might not owe allegiance to the British crown, but it was to all intents and purposes ‘a British Power . . . united with our Empire by ties of commercial, racial, and sentimental interests’.82 Such feelings were widely echoed in the press. William Lane, the firebrand editor of the New Zealand Herald, waxed lyrical over the ‘thunder of guns, and the cheering of white-faced crews’. The visit showed, he went on, that ‘British and American will be found shoulder to when the West clinches in death-grip with the East’.83 The Bulletin added its voice to the chorus, and in an ode addressed to the fleet, exhorted its Australian readers to follow the American example: Japs, likewise Chows [sic], in those dark days of yore, Trod your Pacific slope with myriad feet, 78  Morning Post, 14 April 1908, cited in La Nauze, Federated Australia, p. 229. 79  Deakin to Jebb, 4 June 1908, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 80  On the fleet celebrations, see Taylor, ‘New Zealand and the 1908 Visit of the American Fleet’; Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 173–8; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 190– 209; Chase, ‘Imagining an Anglo Ocean’. 81  H. Sinclair, 3 November 1908, CAPD, vol. 45 (1908), p. 1854. 82  J. A. Hanan, 16 July 1908, NZPD, vol. 143 (1908), p. 555. 83  ‘Tohunga’ [William Lane], ‘Lords of the Pacific!’, NZH, 4 April 1908.

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The Pacific Problem  145 And no one said them nay (one cannot draw The colour-line without a decent fleet).84

The outpouring of racial rhetoric somewhat embarrassed the fleet’s commanding officer, Admiral Sperry, who noted to his wife that he had to be careful not to encourage it further ‘as the Asiatic question causes great excitement here’.85 But it also underlined just how far Australia’s and New Zealand’s perspectives on global politics had diverged from the realities of British diplomacy. Formally, Australia remained allied to Japan through the alliance. But if there was ‘anywhere on earth the Japanese are more bitterly disliked than on the island continent’, observed Maurice Low, the American correspondent for the Morning Post, ‘it is not known’.86 And as one report from the British embassy in Tokyo attested, Japan itself had not failed to pick up on the ‘yellow perilist’ rhetoric surrounding the visit. ‘[T]he constant reiteration in the press and on the platform of the old theme of a white Australia and a white New Zealand which is to be upheld at all cost’, warned the embassy, ‘cannot but be galling to a proud nation like the Japanese’.87 Chirol, who continued the champion the alliance in The Times, was similarly riled. ‘The hostile policy adopted towards Japanese subjects in so many of our Colonies . . . places us in a position of great delicacy’, he wrote to G. E. Morrison (himself an Australian) in Beijing. Tokyo had shown itself constantly willing to compromise on the immigration question. Under the Lemieux agreement it had practically acquiesced in the exclusion of its nationals from Canada. ‘And what was their immediate reward? That one of our other great Colonies . . . issued a demonstrative invitation to the American fleet to visit Australia, at a time when the voyage of the American fleet was being described all over the States as a “warning” to Japan.’88 Even some of ‘white Australia’s’ champions in Britain were unnerved by its courting of the Americans. ‘What I don’t like’, Leo Amery wrote to Deakin, ‘[is that] there should be some underlying idea that Australia is welcoming not merely honoured guests but possible defenders’.89 This in turn, Amery feared, would feed the notion ‘that the Imperial Gov’t prefers the Japanese alliance to Australia’.90 Deakin had envisioned racial solidarity as a vehicle for imperial unity. But as the The Times now warned, it might equally turn out to be a centrifugal force: With New Zealand, British Columbia, and the United States, modern Australia believes herself the trustee of white civilisation in the Pacific amidst the awakening forced of the East. The welcome extended to the American battleships owes 84  ‘To a Visiting Admiral’, Bulletin, 20 August 1908. 85  Cited in Walker, Anxious Nation, p. 96. 86 Rose, Power at Sea, p. 145. 87  ‘Japanese Immigration’, report by Robert Clive, in Macdonald to Grey, 19 September 1908, TNA, FO 371/474/32546. 88  Chirol to Morrison, 7 May 1908, CGEM, pp. 450–5. 89  Amery to Deakin, 10 July 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/5/7. 90  Amery to Deakin, 1 April 1908, CCAC, Amery Papers, AMEL 2/2/8.

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146  Empire Ascendant its spontaneity partly to this idea . . . Their welcome is the warmer that they have lately felt new doubts of England’s sympathy and support.91

Historians have gone on to cite these signs of tension as evidence that the fleet’s visit offered Australasians the opportunity to imagine ‘a transnational fraternity of white men’ as an alternative to the ‘hierarchical’ British imperial system.92 But this overstates the case. Declarations of Anglo-Saxon solidarity hardly signalled a desire to replace the British connection with an amorphous attachment to the United States. In New Zealand, the mere suggestion prompted several legislators to warn that too fulsome praise for the Americans might cross over into disloyalty. The member for Dunedin North was ‘unable to understand’ why loyal New Zealanders ‘should prostrate ourselves in adulation’ before the American fleet.93 One opposition member similarly remarked that ‘we were asked to . . . grovel before our visitors’, as if ‘John Bull is too old and feeble now to protect us’. This, he thought, was surely nonsense. ‘If the time does come when the white race has to fight the yellow one . . . the Union Jack will be there . . . to the front as usual’.94 Deakin himself declared that to imagine the fleet visit as a sign of ‘our looking for support to America instead of the Empire’ was a notion ‘too silly for words’.95 To emphasize the point, the Australian government requested a visit from a British fleet, ‘as impressive as possible in size and quality’, a little over two weeks after the departure of the Americans.96 The fleet visit had demonstrated that the Pacific dominions were determined to force their own outlook on global politics on London, and increasingly creative at finding new ways to do so. Yet as subsequent events would make clear, the real solution to their security dilemmas would lie (as it had in the past) in London, not in Washington.

The Arms Race and the ‘Race in Arms’: The 1909 Dreadnought Scare Naval supremacy was the great historic precondition of the British world-system.97 But at the turn of the twentieth century, its foundations seemed less secure than they had throughout the nineteenth. The outbreak of the South African War had underlined the military necessity of open sea-lanes (the Royal Navy would transport more than half a million troops to the subcontinent) amid growing concerns 91  ‘Australian Ideals: A White Australia and its Defence’, The Times, 5 September 1908. 92  Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, p. 207; Lake, ‘British World or New World?’ puts the argument more forcefully. 93  A. Barclay, 21 July 1908, NZPD, vol. 143 (1908), p. 199. 94  W. Fraser, 21 July 1908, NZPD, vol. 143 (1908), p. 658. 95  ‘The American Fleet in Australasia’, The Times, 10 August 1908. 96  Dudley to Crewe, 14 September 1908, TNA, CO 418/61/33647. 97 Darwin, Empire Project, pp. 256–7.

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The Pacific Problem  147 over the growth of rival navies, initially those of France and Russia, then Germany. Technological innovation—most notably the shift to armoured ‘all-big-gun’ ­battleships announced by the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906—raised the fiscal burden of armaments just as it threatened to make much of Britain’s existing fleet obsolete. The Japanese alliance had been concluded, in part, to ease the growing strain on the navy and the Exchequer. Tsushima had vindicated the argument: the destruction of the Russian fleet allowed the incoming Liberal administration to progressively reduce the naval estimates between 1905 and 1908. But the reprieve proved temporary, as British concerns now fixated on the fast-expanding navy of Germany. The decisive moment came in late 1908, when reports that Germany had secretly accelerated its naval programme initiated a new phase in the dreadnought race. Though later found to be erroneous, these revelations swung doubters in the cabinet—including Churchill and Lloyd George—behind a sharp increase in naval expenditure. Four new dreadnoughts would be laid down immediately, and four more as circumstances required.98 The government was satisfied that the new keels would be enough to preserve its advantage. But the revelation that Germany seemed to be making a serious bid for supremacy provoked a frenzied response from the Conservative opposition (‘We want eight, and we won’t wait’) when the First Lord, Reginald McKenna, announced the new naval budget in March. The naval scare acquired a distinctive complexion in the British Pacific, where it brought the conflicting demands of national defence and the ‘imperial connection’ into clearer focus. Moving on the assumption that British naval supremacy was seriously at risk, the New Zealand government announced on 22 March 1909 that it would defray the full cost of a battleship ‘of the latest type’, and would fund another if required.99 Not to be outdone, Australian politicians launched a ­campaign to follow New Zealand’s example and donate a battleship (or several) to the Royal Navy. The state governments of Victoria and New South Wales opened ‘dreadnought funds’ to solicit private contributions, as Britannic rhetoric lay heavy in the air. The New Zealand Herald pledged its ‘unqualified endorsement’ to the donation. ‘[T]he unsolicited rallying of the Colonies round their Mother Country’, it declared, would send a clear signal to Britain’s rivals. ‘The sea is English and English it must remain.’100 The Sydney Morning Herald took up the  call for a dreadnought donation, declaring it Australia’s ‘real and abiding duty’ to  provide for ‘the maintenance of an impregnable British navy, ready to strike at  once, and to strike for all’.101 Joseph Cook, a leading conservative in the  Commonwealth parliament, thought the dreadnought agitation a striking ­illustration of imperial unity. It showed, as he noted in his diary, that the empire

98 O’Brien, British and American Naval Power, pp. 73–98. 99 Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, pp. 140–7. 100  ‘New Zealand and the Fleet’, NZH, 23 March 1909.

101  SMH, 31 March 1909.

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148  Empire Ascendant was ‘a coherent whole; not an aggregation of unrelated pieces to be jolted to pieces at the first jar’.102 The call to rally around the ‘Mother Country’ did not obscure the Pacific dominions’ standing preoccupation with Asia. Britannic sentiment drew forcefully on the argument that British naval supremacy remained the best guarantee of the security—and the racial purity—of the Australasian dominions. Justifying his offer of a dreadnought, Joseph Ward reiterated that New Zealand owed to the Royal Navy ‘the maintenance of a condition for the white race, superior probably to that of any other country in the world’. Its defeat ‘would sound to us our death knell’.103 His decision to donate a battleship had been motivated by his desire ‘to maintain unsullied . . . a country peopled by a white race proud to belong to the Old Land’.104 The refrain was repeated as the New Zealand parliament debated the dreadnought gift in June 1909. ‘Let the British navy be stricken in the North Sea by a German combination’, proclaimed a member of Ward’s Liberal party, ‘and the vultures would soon be down on this country’. He left no doubt as to which particular scavenger he had in mind. Consider, also, that not three weeks’ sail from our shores is that puissant nation the Japanese, with a magnificent fleet, and which, were it not that the flag of England flies over this country, would probably at an early date be in possession of these Islands.105

In Australia, too, Japan’s shadow loomed over the dreadnought debates. With ‘her neighbours so close at hand’, declared Deakin, in yet another oblique reference, Australia would rely on British protection for decades to come.106 ‘White Australia’ could only survive behind the British naval shield now under threat in the North Sea. Similar fears motivated Joseph Cook. ‘British naval defeat means more for us than G.B.’, he noted. ‘It means for them white dominance—it means for us brown-coloured. The enemies of “white Australia” are those who will not offer [a] Dreadnought.’107 Nevertheless, this equation of the dominions’ security with the imperial connection proved bitterly divisive. It ran counter to the belief that responsible nationhood (and the martial honour of the ‘British race’) demanded direct participation in imperial defence, not a ‘tributary’ financial contribution.108 This was the argument of Australia’s governing Labor party, which, despite public agitation 102  Cook Diary, 4 April 1909, NLA, Cook Papers, MS 2212/1. 103 ‘The N.Z. Dreadnought’, Evening Star, 25 March 1909. 104  ‘The Dreadnought: At the Call of Empire’, NZH, 3 April 1909. 105  G. W. Russell, 12 June 1909, NZPD, vol. 146 (1909), pp. 108–11. 106  ‘The Gympie Speech: Criticisms by Mr Deakin’, SMH, 8 April 1909. 107  Cook Diary, 2 April 1909, NLA, Cook Papers, MS 2212/1. 108  On the unpopularity of Naval subsidies, see Tumblin, ‘ “Grey Dawn” in the British Pacific’, pp. 32–54.

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The Pacific Problem  149 and a direct appeal from the governor-general, refused to follow New Zealand. Blindly offering ships to the Royal Navy, its leader Andrew Fisher declared, was ‘no policy at all’. Australia’s real response to the crisis, which Fisher laid out in a speech to his Queensland constituency a few weeks after the New Zealand offer, would be to accelerate its own defence efforts by expanding the colonial militia, introducing universal military training, and developing an Australian navy. But like Deakin before him, Fisher was careful to frame self-sufficiency as a British right and an imperial duty. Australia was ‘an integral part of the British Empire’, he declared in Queensland: the new force would form an integral portion ‘of the sea-power of the British nation’. Rather than languish in a state of dependency, Australia would transform itself into the ‘naval base for the Empire in the South Pacific’.109 Fisher’s stance reflected his concern that Australia’s concerns about the Pacific risked being over-shouted by the German scare. As the Australian government well understood, the escalation of the Anglo-German naval race meant that imperial security in the Pacific would continue to rest with the Japanese for the foreseeable future. Admiral  W.  R.  Creswell, the director of the Commonwealth Naval Board—a long-standing advocate of an Australian navy who had helped to write Fisher’s speech—made the point succinctly in a letter to Jebb. ‘It is always the great Naval action in European waters that will decide Australia’s fate—so we have always been told. Is there the same certainty now that the Jap has had the Pacific made over to him? How long will that alliance last?’110 Labor’s leaders drove the argument home as they defended their policies against the charge of disloyalty. In his initial address, Fisher noted that naval competition might soon shift again from the North Sea to Australia’s ‘Near East’.111 In the senate, George Pearce insisted out that it was ‘absolutely imperative’ for the British Empire to remain supreme in the Pacific, where a ‘nation that was not Germany, but was darker skinned’ was spying out Australia’s northern coastline.112 Even in New Zealand, where the imperial trumpet had been blown loudest of all, Britannic loyalism was hedged with racial anxiety. The attitude of the New Zealand Herald spoke to a larger trend: it supported the dreadnought donation, but insisted that the dominion would eventually have to wean itself off its dependence on the British fleet by improving its coastal defence, growing its population, and introducing universal military training. Above all, the Herald concluded, ‘every New Zealander ought to keep constantly present in his mind the shutting of our gates against Asia’.113 In parliament, James Allen reiterated that New Zealand 109 Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 179–81. 110  Creswell to Jebb, 2 February 1909. Cited in Dwyer, Sir William Rooke Creswell, p. 151. 111 Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 179–81. Fisher appears to have referred to the ‘East’ near to Australia, not to the Balkans. 112  ‘Mr Fisher’s Policy’, SMH, 2 April 1909. 113  ‘The Defence Question’, NZH, 24 March 1909.

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150  Empire Ascendant could not lose sight of its own strategic predicament. Japan controlled the Pacific ‘absolutely’, and the alliance was at best a temporary reprieve. ‘How long may Japan be our ally?’, Allen wondered. ‘How galling our policy with regard to Japanese must be for Japan!’ In the long term, he insisted that New Zealand’s only real security lay in its assuming the mantle of nationhood and the creation of its own defence forces. ‘I refuse to believe’, he declared, ‘that the national spirit of a New Zealander will allow him to rest in peace relying on the protection of the United States or of Japan in the Pacific.’114 These threads of national growth, imperial unity, and racial destiny ran together through the dreadnought debates. To commentators on either side of the ‘dreadnought question’, it was self-evident that the security of the Australasian dominions remained tied up with British naval power. Both also believed that in the long term, the future of the ‘British race’ in the Pacific would hinge on the development of the dominions into self-sufficient, populous white states, capable of maintaining British hegemony in partnership with the ‘mother country’.115 Australia’s manifest destiny, concluded the Sydney Morning Herald, would have to be fulfilled regardless of developments in Europe. ‘Whether the German menace passes or not . . . it will be essential that the mastery of the Pacific shall be in the hands of the Anglo-Saxon race.’116

‘It is the dread of the Japanese that is at the bottom of the matter’ The naval scare’s Pacific echoes in turn rebounded to influence discussions on naval defence and imperial unity in Britain. The naval crisis had unleashed a torrent of criticism from the press, defence lobbyists, and a parliamentary ­op­pos­ition determined to portray Liberal policy as a menace to national security. Against this backdrop, the dreadnought donations from New Zealand and Australia (belatedly made after Deakin’s return to office) signalled an opportunity for a broader revision of British defence policy. One prominent intervention in this vein came from Sir John Colomb, the grey eminence of British naval thought, in the form of a long article in the United Services Magazine published posthumously after his death in May 1909. Throughout his professional life as a writer and an MP, Colomb had advocated an ‘imperial’ conception of defence that recognized the globe-spanning needs and resources of the British Empire. For him, the naval scare revealed that British defence policy remained ‘spasmodic in character and fragmentary in form’, guided more by Fleet Street hysterics than

114  J. Allen, 11 June 1909, NZPD, vol. 146 (1909), pp. 56–8. 115 Darwin, Empire Project, pp. 288–90. 116  ‘An Australian Naval Base’, SMH, 13 May 1909.

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The Pacific Problem  151 stra­tegic logic. Only by systematically mobilizing the resources of the settler empire, Colomb wrote, would Britain be able to hold its own against ‘the enormous developments of foreign naval armaments in both hemispheres . . . the United Kingdom alone cannot long continue to be, as of yore, the sufficient guarantor of British peace on the sea.’117 The same realization was dawning on Whitehall. Already since early 1908, the Admiralty had begun to adopt a more flexible attitude towards autonomous dominion navies, following the appointment of Reginald McKenna, who replaced the ailing Lord Tweedmouth at the Admiralty in April that year. The dominion governments, McKenna quickly concluded, would justifiably resent paying larger sums for a navy stationed in European waters, where they might be coaxed into spending more on a locally based force. London had more to gain from co-opting Australian navalism than resisting it. ‘It is desirable from an Imperial point of view that a country like Australia should foster a maritime spirit, and this ought not to be lost sight of ’, one senior Admiralty official concluded. Besides, the cre­ation of a local force would also yield strategic benefits. ‘Without some naval defence Mr Deakin’s National Guards would be a very inadequate protection against a sudden determined attack from a Power such as Japan.’118 Such thinking began to crystallize in the wake of the naval scare. The dreadnought offers from New Zealand and Australia convinced metropolitan doubters that that the dominions could (and would) offer substantial material contributions to British sea power. Following the acrimonious debates within the cabinet over the escalating cost of the naval race, moreover, offloading some of the defence burden onto the dominions had begun to look more appealing.119 Seizing on a request from Australia to hold a conference on imperial naval cooperation ‘at the earliest possible date’, the Asquith government announced that it would invite the dominion representatives for a consultation in July 1909.120 The decision to call for a special conference on imperial defence took place against the backdrop of broader debates on imperial strategy in the aftermath of the naval scare. The issue at stake was whether the defence of the British Isles could be functionally equated with that of the outer empire. That the Royal Navy would have to hold its edge over Germany was never in doubt; the real question was whether the concentration of British naval power in the North Sea had denuded other parts of the world of their necessary protection. The debate was initiated in November 1908, when the commander of the China station submitted an emotive report on the ‘entirely futile and insufficient’ defences of Hong Kong. British strategy in East Asia, Admiral Lambton pointed out, remained predicated 117  Colomb, ‘The New Zealand Message’. 118  Minute by William May, 22 October 1908, CCAC, McKenna Papers, MCKN 3/13. 119  O’Brien, ‘The Titan Refreshed’; Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, pp. 129–57. 120 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 188.

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152  Empire Ascendant on the assumption that it would retain local naval superiority. Yet since 1905 ­command of the sea had effectively rested with Japan. ‘This superiority there is no reasonable prospect of England being able ever again to challenge.’ Without a local naval force, Lambton argued, Britain’s outlying bases would need to hold off an enemy attack until reinforcements could arrive from Europe, a task for which his own command was particularly ill-suited. ‘The weakness of Hong Kong is a terrible temptation to other nations’, Lambton warned. ‘[T]he fall of Hong Kong would mean the downfall of the British Empire. The loss of prestige could not be  survived. What would Australia say?’121 The Colonial Defence Committee (the sub-committee of the CID dealing with extra-European matters) endorsed Lambton’s conclusions. For the moment, the Anglo-Japanese alliance relieved Britain of the need to maintain a substantial naval force in the Pacific. Yet once it expired, Britain would again face ‘the possibility of Japan being ranked against us, either alone or in combination with some other naval Power’, which would expose the outer empire ‘to the danger of attack by a formidable expeditionary force’.122 As long as the Anglo-Japanese alliance existed, these concerns remained confined to the realm of speculation. But they reveal a growing apprehension within the British defence establishment about the extent to which the outer empire now relied Japanese on naval power. As the Admiralty acknowledged, this was sure to hinder any attempt to develop a consensus about empire’s defence needs at the upcoming conference with the dominions. ‘[S]omething had to be done to meet Australian and New Zealand nervousness who did not like being with no large armoured ships in the Far East’, one Admiralty official noted. ‘[I]t is the dread of the Japanese which is at the bottom of the matter’.123 In the months before the conference, Admiralty officials cobbled together an alternative proposal to channel the dominions’ naval contributions towards re-establishing a substantial British naval presence in the Pacific. Under this arrangement, the dreadnoughts donated by the dominions would constitute the core of a new Pacific navy composed of several ‘fleet units’ stationed on Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vancouver. The Australian unit would be operated by the Commonwealth government, effectively satisfying demands for a national Australian navy. The New Zealand donation, eventually launched as HMS New Zealand in 1911, was earmarked as the new flagship of the China squadron. Individually, each unit would be able to operate independently to deter raids, while combined they would form a grand Pacific fleet, ‘thus relieving the Imperial fleet of direct responsibility in distant

121  Lambton to Lugard, 25 November 1908, TNA, CAB 38/15/6. Lambton’s remarks are particularly interesting, as he was regarded as generally pro-Japanese. See Macdonald to Lugard, 1 June 1908, TNA, Alston Papers, FO 800/248. 122  ‘Standard of Defences at British defended Ports in distant Seas’, Memorandum by the Colonial Defence Committee, 23 April 1909, TNA, CAB 38/15/6. 123  Cited in Lambert, ‘Economy or Empire?’, p. 61.

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The Pacific Problem  153 seas’.124 As the naval historian Nicholas Lambert has noted, the scheme bore the fingerprints of the First Sea Lord, ‘Jackie’ Fisher, who saw it as an elegant way to combine strategic expediency with the political appeasement of the dominions.125 As Fisher explained the scheme to Lord Esher, ‘It means eventually Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Cape (South Africa), and India running a complete Navy! We manage the job in Europe. They’ll manage it against the Yankees, Japs [sic], and Chinese, as occasion requires out there!’126 The Admiralty’s decision to embrace dominion navalism, and thereby ac­know­ ledge its underlying anxiety about the growth of Japanese naval power, forestalled what might have otherwise been an embarrassing confrontation. As the defence conference assembled at the Foreign Office building at the end of July, the Australian representative, Colonel Justin Foxton, immediately noted that the Admiralty’s scheme was well suited to the Australian needs, which he proceeded to spell out: I wish just to remind the Conference there is always present with us in Australia—and the same remark applies with equal force to New Zealand—the fact that we are in close proximity to the teeming millions of the two great Asiatic powers. The awakening of the East has very great significance for Australia and New Zealand . . .127

Speaking for New Zealand, Joseph Ward put forth a similar plea. New Zealand was keen to pool its resources with Britain, he noted, in anticipation of the day ‘which I believe will come . . . when the Eastern races are a trouble to Australia and to my own country, and when a Great Power in the East, now happily attached to England . . . may be detached from it’.128 Indeed, Ward argued that the primary virtue of imperial naval cooperation would be to relieve Britain of having to rely on its Japanese alliance. ‘We should have no doubt as to who are to be the controllers of the Pacific in the years to come. It should from every standpoint be the British Empire.’129 The theme of racial solidarity resounded throughout the conference. British and dominion politicians confidently asserted that the ‘British race’ would remain united for the purpose of a common defence. In one instance the Colonial Secretary, Lord Crewe, noted that a formal obligation to assist Britain in wartime would be unnecessary (a sop to Canadian constitutional sensibilities) as he believed that 124  Memorandum by the Admiralty, 13 July 1909, TNA, CAB 38/15/18. 125  See Lambert, ‘Economy or Empire?’; Lambert, Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution. 126  Fisher to Esher, 30 September 1909, in Marder (ed.), Fear God and Dread Nought, pp. 264–6. 127  ‘Imperial Conference on the Subject of the Defence of the Empire’, Minutes, 5 August 1909, TNA, CO 886/2/8, p. 46. 128  ‘Imperial Conference on the Subject of the Defence of the Empire’, Minutes, 5 August 1909, TNA, CO 886/2/8, p. 50. 129  ‘Imperial Conference on the Subject of the Defence of the Empire’, Minutes, 5 August 1909, TNA, CO 886/2/8, p. 50.

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154  Empire Ascendant the dominions would offer their support ‘in 999 cases out of a 1000’.130 Yet ­tellingly, the one scenario that did arouse controversy was the one in which the dominions’ attachment to the empire might collide with their racial loyalties. John X. Merriman, the liberal prime minister of the Cape Colony, put it frankly: Supposing that by any misfortune or mischance your alliance with Japan was to bring you into collision with the United States . . . do you suppose that any col­on­ ist would for a single moment send an expeditionary force to help an Eastern Power? Never!131

Again, the point met with vigorous agreement from Joseph Ward. New Zealand was ‘just as strong about maintaining the white race as any portion of the British Empire’, and while its loyalty to Britain was strong, it only reached as far as the colour line. ‘If the suggestion were made . . . to send an expeditionary force to assist in helping the Eastern races, you might just as well ask us to separate ourselves from the British Empire. It would meet a refusal point blank.’132 The ex­pect­ ation of racial solidarity ran both ways: while the white dominions would stand by Britain in times of need, they expected the imperial partnership to serve the common interests of the British race on a global scale, on its settler frontiers as well as in its British homeland. The young Afrikaner politician Jan Smuts, representing the Transvaal, piped up at the latter point: South Africa’s primary contribution to imperial defence, he noted, was to preserve a white foothold against its ‘internal enemy’.133 During the Pacific tour of the American fleet, it had seemed as if the Australasians’ Asian paranoia might become a growing cause of inter-imperial friction. Instead, the naval crisis and its aftermath reaffirmed, in bold rhetorical strokes, the nexus between whiteness and Britishness. To anxious dominion leaders, the Pacific naval scheme appeared to combine the best of both worlds, allowing for the development of national navies nested within a broader imperial commitment to the Pacific. ‘It is an arrangement by which the younger nations of  the Empire—those that are now dependencies—so to speak—will become ­partners’, William Massey endorsed it in the New Zealand parliament.134 In Australia, Joseph Cook, now defence minister in Deakin’s Liberal-Protectionist (‘Fusion’) government, made the same point. The scheme would allow Australia to wean itself off Britain’s protection—a state of affairs ‘not ministering to our 130  Cited in Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, p. 208. 131  ‘Imperial Conference on the Subject of the Defence of the Empire’, Minutes, 29 July 1909, TNA, CO 886/2/8, p. 24. 132  ‘Imperial Conference on the Subject of the Defence of the Empire’, Minutes, 29 July 1909, TNA, CO 886/2/8, p. 25. 133  ‘Imperial Conference on the Subject of the Defence of the Empire’, Minutes, 29 July 1909, TNA, CO 886/2/8, p. 30. 134  W. Massey, 9 October 1909, NZPD, vol. 147 (1909), pp. 72–8.

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The Pacific Problem  155 self-respect’—and become ‘a buttress to the Empire, instead of a burden upon it’. This was no deferential loyalism, but bitter necessity in light of Australia’s position as ‘the most vulnerable part of the British Empire . . . surrounded by nations hungering for room and breathing space’. Only deepening cooperation between Britain and the white dominions in the form of ‘a fuller Imperial partnership’, Cook concluded, could provide a lasting solution to the Pacific problem.135 This had been the sum of Deakin’s ambitions since 1905, and he now wasted little time in assailing London with a further initiative—in his words, ‘a prop­os­ition of the highest international proportions’—to shore up the international order in the Pacific. In September 1909, Deakin had been approached by Richard Arthur, the president of the Australian Immigration League. Arthur was a kindred spirit, who shared Deakin’s fears of Australia’s strategic exposure, and who had long enjoyed the premier’s ear: it was he who had originally suggested inviting the American fleet to visit Australia. ‘The question of the future of Australia’, he now wrote to Deakin, ‘is becoming almost an obsession with me.’136 The proposed fleet, though undoubtedly a step in the right direction, would be still be insufficient to deter the growing power of the Japanese navy. The keel of the IJNS Settsu, the first modern battleship to be entirely built in Japan, had been laid down in January 1909. Arthur argued that Japan would soon possess a force that ‘could destroy the British & proposed Australian fleets in the Pacific in half an hour’.137 Only the possibility of American protection would then stand in the way of invasion, Arthur concluded, ‘but would the United States come to our aid if Japan meditated an attack upon us’? Arthur’s idea, which Deakin presented to the Colonial Office as his own, was to construct a ‘defensive alliance’ of the leading white powers in the Asia-Pacific, ‘the British, the American, the Dutch, and the French’, dedicated to preserving the territorial status quo. In a curious anticipation of the Four-Power Treaty signed at the Washington naval conference in 1922, Arthur suggested that these powers might band together to establish ‘an international fleet of Dreadnoughts to guard the peace of the Pacific’. As Deakin put it to London, the surest way to achieve such an agreement was to invite the United States to consider an ‘extension of the Monroe Doctrine to all the countries around the Pacific Ocean’, supported ‘by the guarantees of the British Empire, Holland, France, and China’. Should such a ­proposal meet with ‘even a modicum of success’, it would prove ‘of inestimable service to the empire’. Deakin offered that the Australian government could get the ball rolling by inviting the French or Dutch fleets to visit its ports just as it had done with the American.138 135  J. Cook, 21 September 1909, CAPD, vol. 38 (1909), p. 3616. 136  Arthur to Deakin, 22 September 1909, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/5/48, f. 3678. 137  Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, p. 159; Arthur to Deakin, 22 September 1909, NLA, Deakin Papers, 15/5/48, f. 3678. 138  Deakin to Crewe, 27 September 1909, CUL, Crewe Papers, C/13.

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156  Empire Ascendant Deakin’s proposed Pacific pact was the latest attempt by a dominion politician to reconcile British diplomacy with the imperatives of the global colour line. The logic of Australia’s strategic and racial predicament demanded a closing of European ranks into an ‘entente cordiale’, as Deakin himself had previously put it, ‘among all white races who realise the Yellow Peril to Caucasian civilisation’.139 The Colonial Office grasped the point instantly. ‘The proposal is in effect a ­defiance of Japanese ambitions’, the parliamentary under-secretary, Colonel Seely, observed, and as such ran counter to the spirit of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. ‘The day may come’, Seely noted, for Britain to work with the United States in containing Japanese power, ‘but at present Japan is, as I understand, our only ally, and therefore in theory our closest friend.’140 Once again, it proved difficult to square the georacial outlook of the British Pacific with the diplomatic realities under which in which London operated. As Lord Crewe concluded, not without a note of resignation, ‘I rather dread a concrete discussion between Australia & ourselves on these subjects’.141 * * * In Studies in Colonial Nationalism (1905), the product of his tour of the principal settler colonies during the South African War, Richard Jebb sought to address a problem that dogged much contemporary thinking on empire: how the unity of the imperial system could be reconciled with the growth of a distinct ‘national consciousness’ among Britain’s white colonial subjects. Throughout Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, Jebb was everywhere struck by the ‘ascendancy of national sentiment’, as old conceptions of ‘colonial loyalty, rooted in the past’ were giving way to a new ‘national patriotism, reaching to the future’. Slowly but surely, the British Empire was transforming itself into ‘a galaxy of independent nations’.142 Under these conditions, Jebb concluded that any notion of a unitary imperial federation—the cherished hope of late-Victorian imperialists—had become a mirage. Instead the art of ‘practical imperialism’ would be to keep the empire together by ensuring that the dominions would continue to enjoy the ‘solid national advantages accruing from the imperial connection’. Yet for Jebb, this did not necessarily imply a retreat from imperial ambition. Strategic and economic cooperation could foster a deeper, more lasting partnership (a ‘Britannic alliance’, in his phrase) than the Victorian empire of sentiment. Nowhere was this more evident than in Australia, where the ‘spectacle of an armed Japan, flush with victory over a white Power’ had aroused the ‘liveliest apprehensions’. Racial selfinterest, Jebb concluded, would provide a firm foundation for imperial unity. ‘Australian patriots are predisposed to imperialism so long as it connotes the 139  Deakin to Jebb, 4 June 1908, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 140  Minute by Seely, 1 November 1909, CUL, Crewe Papers, C/13. 141  Crewe to Grey, 3 November 1909, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/91. 142 Jebb, Studies in Colonial Nationalism, pp. 1–2.

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The Pacific Problem  157 defensive co-operation of white nations rather than the ex­ploit­ation of Australia by the coloured races.’143 The truth of that statement was tested in the years after the Russo-Japanese War, as new anxieties, centred on the spectre of a rising Japan, brought a sense of crisis to the British Pacific. London’s ability to protect the territorial and racial integrity of the Pacific dominions was called into question. Anxious commentators called for national defence forces to offset the deficiencies of the British naval shield. In August 1908, the American fleet was welcomed as an alternative pro­ tect­or. With even New Zealand—keen to portray itself as the most conspicuously loyalist of the dominions—cheering the Stars and Stripes, it seemed not unreasonable to conclude, as some historians indeed have done, that the ‘Pacific problem’ was driving its wedge ever more deeply into the political fabric of the British world. Yet the evidence suggests a different conclusion. Within a Pacific environment that, following Japan’s ascent to great power status, seemed smaller, more crowded, and more competitive, colonial elites were forced to recognize that their external security was bound up with their membership of the British Empire, and with that empire’s supremacy on the high seas. This was the Britannic logic of Australasian defence, prominently displayed during the dreadnought debates, which would again feature as a central argument for Australia and New Zealand’s participation in First World War. For all their talk of self-sufficiency and national destiny, none of the ‘nationalists’ in the defence debates, including Alfred Deakin, Billy Hughes, and James Allen, ever seriously questioned the centrality of British naval power. Deakin’s clashes with the Colonial Office over naval defence, the American fleet, and his ‘Monroe Doctrine’ scheme were real enough. Yet they signified a frustration with London’s inability, in Deakin’s view, to recognize and act on the deeper meaning of empire: the forging of a racial partnership against rival comers, and above all against the menace of an expanding Asia. It was a goal that Deakin shared, despite their many disagreements, with Ward in New Zealand. Both the national navalism of the former and the loyalism of the latter were, in essence, strategies to carve out new handholds in imperial foreign and defence policy, and use these to drag it towards the Pacific.

143 Jebb, Studies in Colonial Nationalism, pp. 81–5.

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6

Alliance and Empire British Policy and the ‘Japanese Question’, 1911–14

On 13 May 1914, General Sir Ian Hamilton, the inspector-general of the overseas garrisons of the British army, addressed a civic function in Auckland, New Zealand. The evening began pleasantly enough, with a welcome from the mayor and from the dominion’s defence minister, after which Hamilton congratulated New Zealand on its recent military efforts with the usual platitudes of a ‘young nation’ joining the ‘mother country’ in the fulfilment of its imperial duties. But then Hamilton quickly swerved into more contentious territory. Asking himself why ‘prosperous countries’ like Australia and New Zealand had taken to furnishing themselves with armaments, Hamilton warned his listeners that the two dominions were situated on the edge of the world’s ‘danger zone’. The Pacific might have a ‘charming name’, but it had become a cockpit of geopolitical and racial rivalries, of ‘evolving chaos and weltering confusion’, and of ever ‘greater and more terrible convulsions’. Rising to his theme, Hamilton declared that the Pacific had become ‘the meeting ground, not of nations, but of continents’, where ‘it might be decided whether Asiatics or Europeans were going to guide the des­ tinies of this planet’. For his part, Hamilton declared he was confident New Zealanders would rise to the occasion, provided they did not ‘lose sight of the necessity of preparing for war’, and guarded their nation against ‘people of low standards and low ideals’ who could subsist ‘on a couple of meals of rice a day’.1 Hamilton spoke with the authority of a senior army officer and a recognized expert on Japanese military affairs. He had been the highest-ranking British officer to serve as an observer during the Russo-Japanese War, where he had been attached to the staff of Marshal Ōyama, the Japanese commander-in-chief. Though he did not speak the language, Hamilton enjoyed the company of his Japanese hosts, and was impressed with what he found to be their ‘innate aptitude for military things’.2 His best-selling war memoir A Staff-Officer’s Scrap-Book During the Russo-Japanese War (1906) drew fond comparisons between the Japanese and other ‘martial races’ he had commanded in India. Yet there were notes of disquiet as well: describing the sight of Russian prisoners-of-war guarded by Japanese soldiers, Hamilton recalled a ‘sharp pang’, ‘instinctive and deeply rooted’, at seeing 1  ‘Danger Zone’, SMH, 14 May 1914.

2  Ferguson, ‘ “Splendid Allies”?’, pp. 533–5.

Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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Alliance and Empire  159 ‘white men the prisoners of Asiatics’.3 Within a few years, such thinking had worn off his initial admiration and converted Hamilton to the idea of a ‘yellow peril’, eventually to the point of obsession. ‘My own belief ’, he wrote to Leo Amery in 1909, ‘is that we have no more deadly enemies in the world than our Japanese allies . . . I detest them as a nation’.4 His military stature lent clout to his views: Theodore Roosevelt would later claim that it was a letter from Hamilton that sealed his decision to transfer the US fleet to the Pacific.5 It was around this time, also, that Hamilton began work on a sequel to the Scrap-Book, in which he gave full vent to his geo-racial anxieties. Japan might have achieved some success with its ‘borrowed civilisation’. But the ‘taint’ of its racial heritage remained. Hamilton believed that the ‘Japanese brain’ remained tied to ‘essentially Asiatic lines of thought . . . as a train is tied to its steel rails’. It was inevitable that its ambitions should bring it into conflict with the West, at which point a new ‘yellow peril’ would arise, sweeping across Eurasia like ‘the great cyclones of Attila and Genghis Khan’. Only by keeping ‘their race pure and their powder dry’ would Britain and its empire be able to resist it.6 Hamilton’s speech, noted the writer Lancelot Lawton in The Academy, ‘may be said to have crystallised into convenient formula the fears of the Australasian peoples in regard to the Oriental problem’.7 It received overwhelming support in the New Zealand press. The dominion’s government endorsed it. Hamilton himself was sufficiently pleased with the breadth of his own georacial vision to forward a copy of his address to the premier of British Columbia, where, he wrote, ‘it seems that the Asiatic is [also] knocking at your gates’.8 His warnings of future racial conflict resonated widely across the white dominions. ‘The Pacific region . . . is overshadowed with this menace of Oriental expansion’, The Academy observed. But by the same token, the speech caused consternation when it was reported in Japan, where Hamilton remained a familiar figure. Within a week, the British ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry to apologize for the general’s remarks. For Sir William Conynhgam Greene (who replaced Macdonald in 1912) the incident illustrated the growing diplomatic tensions connected with ‘the sore subject of racial prejudice’. It was ‘this note of racial distrust’, Greene wrote, ‘which is not confined to Australia, but has been sounded in Canada as well’, that was threatening to spoil the ‘harmony’ in the Anglo-Japanese alliance.9 The Foreign Office took the point. Considering ‘that we have a rice-eating Asiatic for an ally’,

3 Hamilton, Scrap-Book, p. 217. 4  Hamilton to Amery, 7 August 1909, LHC, Hamilton Papers, 4/1/8. 5 Amery, My Political Life, pp. 353–4. 6  Manuscript, n.d. [1909–11], LHC, Hamilton Papers, 15/1/14. 7  Lawton, ‘The Naval Crisis Within the Empire’, p. 8. 8  Hamilton to McBride, 29 May 1914, LHC, Hamilton Papers, 5/1/91. 9  Greene to Grey, 22 May 1914, TNA, FO 371/2011/25785.

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160  Empire Ascendant one official sardonically noted, it was probably best if Britain’s representatives refrained from mentioning a future race war in their speeches.10 In the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, British officials had been repeatedly confronted with the growing tensions between the Japanese alliance and their ‘white’ empire. Colonial racial prejudices were not, to be sure, new concerns. But their intensification after 1905 starkly revealed that Japan’s membership of the ‘family of civilised nations’ remained, in practice, circumscribed by race. The Vancouver riots had shown how quickly a local agitation could turn violent and produce an international controversy. And there were other causes for anxiety. The Japanese ‘question’ had broader ramifications, within and outside the im­per­ial system. The logic of the ‘global colour line’ connected Japan’s claims to equality to those of non-white peoples within its own empire. Charles Lucas’s prediction that Britain might have to choose between the loyalties of Japan and the United States, or between the dominions and India, continued to resonate. In the years before 1914, officials and commentators began anew to contemplate the future of the Japanese alliance, and the imperial system, in a world reorganized along racial lines.

The Alliance and Edwardian Geopolitics The outcome of the Russo-Japanese War had altered both the strategic rationale and the symbolic significance of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. Defeat in Manchuria and revolution at home had deflated the Russian danger against which the ori­ gin­al treaty (and its 1905 extension) had been directed. Balfour’s hope that the war might make St Petersburg ‘amenable to sweet reason’ was quietly vindicated.11 In the Far East, ‘diplomacy now ran in quieter channels’ as the danger of a Chinese partition receded.12 But already by the end of 1905, there were worrying signs that the strategic respite would be short-lived. Russia’s military power might have unnerved British and officials in London and Calcutta, but its removal also unfastened the restraints on German and Austrian diplomacy in Europe. The consequences were immediately apparent: by the spring of 1905, Berlin was courting Russia with the prospect of a two-emperors alliance, while threatening Paris over Morocco in an attempt to break up the Anglo-French entente. The following year, it fatefully embarked on the construction of a fleet capable of challenging British naval hegemony. As these turns of the diplomatic wheel strengthened anxieties over the expanding power and aggressive posture of the Wilhelminian Reich, the British government, spurred on by the drumbeat of anti-German voices in the 10  Minute by Langley, 9 June 1914, TNA, FO 371/2011/25785. 11  Balfour to Selborne, 23 December 1903, BLO, Selborne Papers, 34. 12  Otte, ‘Britain, the Great Powers, and the War’, p. 101.

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Alliance and Empire  161 press, determined that Germany was now its principal strategic adversary.13 Throughout the Edwardian decade, the urgency of the German challenge waxed and waned; but its deterrence would remain the overarching principle of British geopolitical thought right up to the outbreak of the First World War.14 What one historian has termed the ‘invention’ of the German menace offers an instructive parallel to the contemporary alarms raised over Japanese power in the British Pacific.15 The two antagonisms emerged almost simultaneously. Both reverberated widely through public discourse, amplified by newspaper editors and parliamentarians keen to appeal to patriotic (or xenophobic) strains in public opinion. Both inspired a lively genre of speculative ‘invasion novels’. Both linked geopolitical fears to foreign immigration: the Teutonophobe National Review denounced German waiters in London as ‘spies in the service of the enemy’ just as British Columbians had inveighed against Japanese railroad-workers as potential saboteurs.16 Both, in short, created discursive feedback loops that extrapolated any actual or imagined transgression into a broader pattern of rivalry that lent them an air of inevitability. To Canadian or Australian politicians, it seemed to matter little that Japan’s leaders had acquiesced in their exclusion policies. The ‘eventual war with the Orient’ might be delayed, perhaps for a generation.17 But Japan’s need for land to sustain its growing population made it a certainty in the long run. The logic was not too distant from that employed by Sir Eyre Crowe, a leading official at the Foreign Office, who argued in a 1907 memorandum that it did not actually matter whether Berlin actively conspired towards ‘general pol­it­ ical hegemony’ in Europe. In the final analysis, Anglo-German rivalry was less the result of diplomatic friction than it was a product of the laws of geopolitical physics, the fateful consequence of the ever-growing heft of the German economy and the ‘spirit of Prussia’ that lurked within the Kaiserreich.18 In the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, the containment of German power in Europe had appeared to align almost providentially with the resolution of outstanding colonial questions held over from the late Victorian era. The Entente cordiale of 1904 had been originally intended as a demarcation of the French and British spheres in northern Africa (in Morocco and Egypt, respectively). But it quickly took on the character of an unspoken alliance: by the summer of 1905, in the midst of the first Moroccan crisis, the general staff had begun to plan for the landing of a British expeditionary force in the event of a Franco-German war. The 13 Otte, China Question, p. 337. 14  The centrality of the German threat in pre-war British strategic thinking remains hotly contested by historians. Kennedy, Anglo-German Antagonism, remains the most masterful account in the orthodox tradition, which places Germany at the centre of British security concerns after 1905. Neilson, Britain and Last Tsar, and Siegel, Endgame, have sought to qualify this view by pointing to the per­sist­ ence of Anglo-Russian tension over Central Asia. 15 Wilson, Policy of the Entente, pp. 100–20. 16 Panayi, Enemy in Our Midst, p. 29. 17  Grey to Crewe, 11 March 1909, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1360. 18 Wilson, Policy of the Entente, pp. 100–5.

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162  Empire Ascendant Anglo-Russian convention of 1907 achieved a similar purpose, simultaneously cementing Britain’s adherence to the Triple Entente while bringing a territorial settlement (albeit more deeply contested, and more fragile) to the borderlands of Britain’s Indian empire.19 The implications for British diplomacy were stark. By 1908 at the latest, Britain was firmly tied into a European alliance system that looked itself increasingly calcified. The obverse was the promise of stability across the colonial world of Africa and Asia: it was no coincidence that all subsequent crises up to 1914, from Morocco to Bosnia, centred on Europe and its Mediterranean periphery, where German (as well as Austrian or Italian) interference was less easily excluded. In place of the ‘polycentric’ international order of the late Victorian era, in which a long list of far-flung ‘questions’ from Venezuela to Samoa had preoccupied the daily business of the Foreign Office, Edwardian diplomacy operated in a ‘simpler cosmos’.20 British diplomats came to think of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, too, as an appendage to their European commitments. With Russia defeated and Central Asia partitioned, it no longer seemed necessary to enlist the Japanese army in the defence of India—a pledge that Balfour had been determined to secure in 1905. Joint AngloJapanese naval and military talks were delayed for more than two years after the conclusion of the second alliance, and were marked by a mutual lack of enthusiasm when they were finally held.21 If the alliance still held an important function in the new strategic equilibrium that began to crystallize after 1905, it was because the support of the Japanese fleet in Asia and the Pacific offered relief for the Royal Navy and strengthened the strategic case for the centralization of British naval strength in European waters – a policy the Admiralty was keen to pursue. Almost immediately after Tsushima, Fisher brought the five battleships on the China station ‘home’, citing their deployment as an instance of ‘misplaced power’.22 The retreat from Asia represented a strategic (and fiscal) boon that British officials grew to value more as the naval race with Germany intensified. If the Japanese alliance was allowed to lapse at its expiration date in 1915, warned the permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office in 1910, Britain was likely ‘to find the Japanese fleet arrayed against us in the Pacific’ or, worse, ‘allied with that of another Power’. Such a development, Hardinge concluded, would be ‘unpleasant to contemplate’.23 Sir Edward Grey agreed it would be ‘disastrous’ to lose the alliance.24 If Europe and Germany moved to the centre of the Edwardian diplomatic universe, East Asia drifted off towards the edges. Grey’s repudiation of ‘spheres of

19  On the convention and its discontents, see Neilson, Britain and the Last Tsar, pp. 265–90; Siegel, Endgame, pp. 21–50. 20 Clark, The Sleepwalkers, p. 166. 21 Nish, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, p. 358. 22 Lambert, Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution, pp. 101–9 discusses the motives for the redistribution of the fleet. 23  Minute by Hardinge on Macdonald to Grey, 13 June 1910, TNA, FO 371/918/24689. 24  Minute by Grey on Ottley to Nicolson, 15 January 1911, TNA, FO 371/1140/1827.

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Alliance and Empire  163 influence’ in 1906 signalled an end to the Foreign Office’s oversight of British enterprise in China. Negotiating the financing and construction of new railways in the Qing empire, which had been a diplomatic priority for a decade after 1895, was now delegated to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and its partners in the international consortium.25 The suspension of diplomatic rivalries hinged on the hope that a ‘patriotic spirit’, inspired by the example of Japan, might afford the Qing state a new lease of life. Political reform, economic growth, and even the campaign for ‘rights recovery’, declared George Morrison to a sceptical China Association in 1907, ‘were all features of modern China full of promise for the future’.26 But Morrison’s optimism underestimated the scale of the internal and external challenges that beset China’s belated sprint towards modernization. In Manchuria, the Qing faced the expansionist projects of Japan and Russia; in the south, it faced a rising groundswell of nationalist and anti-dynastic agitation. In November 1908, the consecutive deaths of the Quangxu emperor and the dow­ ager empress Cixi (China’s effective ruler since the 1860s) left a power vacuum at the Qing court and a two-year-old on the throne. The factional strife that accompanied the succession stalled the xinzheng reforms. Without the support of Yuan Shikai, who was dismissed from the capital in February 1909, it seemed doubtful that Beijing could retain the loyalties of the army. Once again, the Qing Empire appeared to be slipping into a ‘condition of chaos’.27 Compared to the diplomatic panic prompted by the initial emergence of the China ‘question’ in the second half of the 1890s, the British response to these developments was oddly muted. In Manchuria, Britain signalled that it recognized Tokyo’s claim an effective monopoly on the region’s industrial development. London raised no objection when Japan annexed Korea in August 1910.28 It saw little reason to join the United States (or local British financial interests) in various railway schemes to curtail Japanese expansion in north-east Asia. As Edward Grey put it in a letter to his cousin in Canada, a too-rigid insistence on China’s sovereign rights would achieve little but feed Japanese resentment—at a time when the Anglo-Saxon powers had already barred Japan from alternative outlets in the Pacific. ‘[T]he principle of the open door should not be harshly interpreted’.29 Grey’s policy still rested on the assumptions that Japan’s territorial ambitions were a fair price to pay for the naval benefits of the alliance, and that they could be indulged without seriously endangering either the region’s stability or Britain’s own commercial interests. But it remained an uneasy balancing act. Even before 1911, there were signs of Japan’s growing disillusionment with the Chinese 25 Cain and Hopkins, British Imperialism, pp. 373–80; Dayer, Finance and Empire, pp. 52–77; Edwards, British Diplomacy and Finance in China, pp. 24–6. 26  China Association Annual Dinner, minutes, November 1907, SOAS, CHAS/A/5. 27  E. S. Little to FO, 1 September 1909, TNA, FO 371/641/32945. 28  Rumbold Diary, 29 August 1910, BLO, Rumbold Papers, 4. 29  Sir Edward Grey to Lord Grey, 27 January 1911, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/107.

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164  Empire Ascendant revolutionary movement (an anti-Japanese boycott was staged in Hong Kong in 1908) and its intention to intervene to prop up the dynasty if the survival of the Qing seemed seriously at risk. In 1907, British officials rebuffed a proposal by Itō Hirobumi, Japan’s senior elder statesman and resident-general in Korea, to jointly preserve the dynasty against revolutionary upheaval.30 When Tokyo resurrected the proposal in the spring of 1911, the head of the Far Eastern desk at the Foreign Office sardonically noted that acting in ‘conjunction with Japan’ to establish what amounted to a joint protectorate over northern China would simply be ‘inviting trouble’.31 The uncomfortable reality, as it appeared to London, was that the alliance offered Britain’s best hope of restraining Japanese expansion and preserving a semblance of stability in a region that had slipped beyond its political reach. In view of the Qing’s ‘complete helplessness’, one Foreign Office memorandum argued in 1911, there was ‘no practical obstacle’ to Japanese expansion in northeast Asia. Barring a revival of China’s national fortunes (a possibility most officials considered ‘exceedingly remote’) the alliance at least offered some restraint on Tokyo. ‘So long as Japan stands in need of her alliance with Great Britain’, M.  W.  Lampson concluded, ‘just so long will the present nomenclature of Manchuria continue.’32 Other Far Eastern hands shared his the verdict. At the Tokyo embassy, Claude Macdonald concluded that without a much-enlarged naval presence in the Pacific, the alliance was now the only ‘useful lever’ with which Britain could check ‘any unnecessarily forward policy’ on the part of its ally.33 Any extension of the alliance after 1915 would have to be made conditional on Japan’s abstention from further intrusions in Manchuria.34 But these were fragile assumptions on which to base a diplomatic partnership, and their durability would be sorely tried as East Asia was rocked by revolution and war.35

‘Every colour to its own zone’ The argument that the alliance’s primary purpose was now to manage Japanese expansion could be just as easily made to apply to what contemporaries referred to as the ‘colour question’. The migration crisis of 1907–8 had caught British officials by surprise. But its diplomatic resolution seemed to confirm that Tokyo had 30 Minutes by Campbell and Lampson on Macdonald to Grey, 22 December 1907, TNA, FO 371/472/2103; Macdonald to Grey, 22 December 1907, TNA, FO 371/472/2103. 31  Minute by Campbell on Macdonald to Grey, 17 March 1911, TNA, FO 371/1089/14195. 32  ‘The Manchurian Question’, memorandum by Lampson, 29 April 1911, TNA, FO 371/1091/20293. 33  Macdonald to Grey, 5 April 1911, TNA, FO 371/1140/12605. 34  Rumbold Diary, 18 March 1911, BLO, Rumbold Papers, 4. 35 Key studies of Anglo-Japanese relations after the Chinese revolution of 1911 include Nish, Alliance in Decline and Lowe, Great Britain and Japan; but see also Xu, Asia and the Great War and Dickinson, War and National Reinvention.

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Alliance and Empire  165 no interest in compromising its relations with the Anglo-Saxon powers over a racial grievance. Grey repeatedly reminded visiting dominion politicians that Japan had never used the alliance as leverage to extract immigration privileges. It had willingly restricted emigration to North America and Australasia, directing it towards Korea and Manchuria instead.36 Grey might have added that the treaty, by keeping Japan tethered to the European alliance system, provided an anchor against the siren song of pan-Asianism that was winning adherents among a growing section of the Japanese elite.37 If the immigration controversy had exposed the ‘colour line’ in the international system, it had also shown an urgent need for diplomatic arrangements capable of crossing it—especially, as some commentators warned, since the question had been merely postponed to a future date. The ‘policy of Asiatic exclusion’, warned the writer Archibald Colquhoun in April 1911, still constituted the ‘most vital question of the day in inter-national relations’. It was the ‘Damocles’ sword of the international situation’, suspended ‘by a single hair’ over the politics of the Pacific: It is not merely Japan versus the United States, or Japan versus Canada and Australia, but Asia versus Europe, North America, and South Africa—East versus West. The Awakening of China, the seething unrest in India, are but phases of the same problem, which cannot be eternally shelved for future consideration.38

Fears of global racial conflict also entered into the private musings of British pol­ icy­makers. Lord Morley, the secretary of state for India, confided to Mackenzie King (who returned to London in December 1908) that he regarded the ‘yellow peril’ as ‘the greatest of all questions’ of the century to come. ‘It was quite plain to me that Lord Morley regards the Japanese as a menace’, King noted in his diary, ‘and that the coming struggle is for the mastery of the Pacific on the part of the Japanese.’39 Another prominent Liberal, the courtier and defence expert Lord Esher, similarly identified the prospect of a Japanese–American war as one of the most pressing threats to international peace and the cohesion of the empire. ‘The racial quarrel which looms over the heads of these two nations has a very direct interest for us’, he noted in a memorandum to the Committee of Imperial Defence. If war should ‘be brought on by the insistence of the Japanese that they should be accorded equality of treatment with Europeans’, British policy would be torn between its treaty obligations to Japan and the ‘the prejudices of our Colonial

36  CID Minutes, 118th Meeting, 11 July 1912, TNA, CAB 38/21/27. 37 Shimazu, Japan, Race and Equality, pp. 60–6, 103. 38  Colquhoun, ‘Sea Power in the Pacific’, p. 610. 39  King Diary, 25 December 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, mfiche M106.

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166  Empire Ascendant country-men in Australia and Canada against men of colour’.40 On reading the note, Arthur Balfour replied it would be ‘quite impossible’ for Britain to maintain the alliance in the event of a Japanese conflict with the United States. ‘I have further the gravest doubts’, he noted, ‘whether if Britain remained neutral in such a contest, the British Empire could be kept together.’41 Such remarks reflected a persistent sense of unease over whether Japan could ever be truly reconciled to an international order that reserved so much of the world’s territory and resources for the exclusive use of white Europeans. Against the backdrop of the closed world sketched out by Halford Mackinder and other late-Victorian and Edwardian writers, access to a shrinking supply of ‘empty’ land had become the subject of intense geopolitical speculation.42 Malthusian population theory, which had been introduced in Japan in the 1870s, projected that expansive population growth would soon outrun the country’s limited agricultural resources. Like other modern, dynamic nations, Japan too would need ‘outlets’ for its growing population.43 Already before the First World War, this line of argument added an additional geopolitical dimension to the immigration debate. If the ‘white Pacific’ remained closed off to ‘Asiatic’ emigration, the logical implication was that Japan should be permitted to find its ‘breathing room’ in its own colonial sphere in Asia. Through the spatial logic of the ‘colour question’, Manchuria and Australia were frequently paired together as potential outlets for Japanese expansion, as self-appointed demographic experts debated their re­spect­ ive merits and suitability to the Japanese as a ‘colonising race’.44 Hence the Round Table reminded its readership that Japan’s possessions in Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria already had large indigenous populations and were unsuitable for large-scale settlement—meaning that its expansive energies would eventually be redirected ‘across the oceans of the world, eastwards on their own latitude or southwards beyond the equator to the south temperate zone’.45 Georacial anxiety in Australia, as previous chapters have shown, drew pointedly on a demographic refrain that juxtaposed the continent’s ‘emptiness’ with ‘overcrowded’ Asia. British imperialists, too, took up the argument that Australia’s lack of white occupation invited external aggression. ‘I hold very strong views about the need of population in Australia’, the British newspaper editor H. A. Gwynne wrote to Andrew Fisher.

40  ‘The Functions of the Sub-Committees of the Committee for Imperial Defence’, memorandum by Esher, 21 January 1910, TNA, CAB 38/16. 41  Balfour to Esher, 4 February 1910, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49719. 42  See Bashford, Global Population for the subsequent development of the ‘population question’ in the interwar period. 43  Lu, ‘Colonizing Hokkaido’, pp. 253–7. 44 ‘Memorandum on Japanese Emigration’, in Macdonald to Grey, 5 April 1909, TNA, FO 371/684/18286. 45  [Kerr], ‘The Emigration Question’, p. 269. The British embassy agreed that Japan was only ‘biding her time’ before raising the question again: see Macdonald to Grey, 5 April 1909, TNA, FO 371/684/18286.

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Alliance and Empire  167 ‘I frankly confess that I have always regarded the Anglo-Japanese alliance with benevolence . . . because it seemed to me to give Australia breathing time to set her house in order’.46 But if the migration crisis helped to map the racial dynamics of international politics, it also made it possible to imagine that the global ‘colour question’ might be amenable to new forms of pan-racial diplomacy. A point of departure was offered by the ‘gentlemen’s agreements’, by which Japan had effectively recognized the right of Canada and the United States to reserve themselves as ‘white man’s countries’. If these agreements could be extrapolated into a general ‘understanding between the white and Asiatic powers’, thought the Canadian governorgeneral, Lord Grey, it might prove possible to devise a legal regime to underpin the georacial status quo. ‘If we can come to an equal and mutual arrangement with the Asiatic Powers with the object of confining each colour to its own zone’, he wrote to the colonial secretary, ‘the purity of the respective races and the Peace of the World will be both much safer than they now are’.47 He eventually worked out a complete proposal for a ‘Pacific–Asiatic conference’ (to be held at The Hague) where Britain, the United States, India, China, and Japan would agree to ‘recognise certain zones and territories . . . as available for settlement of one race or the other in order to perpetuate itself, without check or intrusion from the other’.48 Segregation on a global scale, Grey believed, might prolong the ‘present peace between Asia and the white countries . . . for another generation’.49 British pol­icy­ makers (including Grey’s cousin, the foreign secretary) saw little merit in the scheme. When Mackenzie King returned to London at the end of 1908 to discuss the governor-general’s proposals with the imperial authorities, he was informed that an open discussion on the migration question would only aggravate global racial divisions.50 It would also draw attention to awkward outliers like Queensland, a tropical region that would presumably have to be included in the ‘white’ zone. During King’s subsequent visit to India, the viceroy’s officials similarly advised against a conference, on the ground that it would likely result in the settler colonies ‘combining in a definite policy of restriction’ against non-white British subjects—though some were open to the idea of designating an outlet for Indian emigration in tropical Africa.51 These meanderings along the ‘global colour line’ are significant not so much because of their relatively minimal influence on British policy, but for what they 46  Gwynne to Fisher, 8 June 1910, NLA, Hunt Papers, MS 52/7. On Australia’s ‘population problem’, see also Walker, Anxious Nation, pp. 113–26. 47  Grey to Crewe, 11 March 1909, LAC, Grey Papers, mf. C–1360. 48  ‘Proposal for a Pacific-Asiatic Conference’, memorandum by McInnes, 4 February 1909, DUL/ AG, 172/10. 49  Grey to Milner, 4 December 1908, DUL/AG, 184/8. 50  King to Lord Grey, 1 January 1909, LAC/WLMK, J–1, mf. C–1910. 51  King to Lord Grey, 31 January 1909, LAC/WLMK, J–1, mf. C–1910. I have expanded on this subject in Heere, ‘ “That Racial Chasm” ’, p. 607.

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168  Empire Ascendant reveal about the extent to which thinking on Anglo-Japanese relations had become an entry-point for broader speculation on the future of global race relations. In the past, noted the Round Table, it had been possible to keep issues of race and immigration in ‘a separate compartment’ from ‘questions of international politics’.52 Clearly, this no longer held true. The Japanese controversy in the Pacific had become inextricably tangled up with the future of the alliance, even that of the imperial system itself: No one Dominion is strong enough to uphold the policy of Asiatic exclusion in its own territories in the face of the force that could be brought to bear against it. Nor can England settle the future of the Japanese Alliance in the light of her own interests alone, because the Dominions have it within their power to make the continuance of the alliance impossible by going to extremes over Asiatic immigration. In these matters the Empire must arrive at a common policy, or it will disrupt.53

The author of this analysis was Philip Kerr, a Scottish aristocrat and one of a small but well-connected group of imperialists who founded the Round Table journal in 1910 as the public organ for their campaign for empire unity.54 Like most of the group’s founding members, Kerr had received his political apprenticeship under Milner’s government in South Africa, and returned to Britain seeking to apply the Milnerite credo of ‘race patriotism’ to the imperial system as a whole. He and his fellow Round Tablers were preoccupied (as were many of the congregations that made up the church of Edwardian imperialism) with three powerful forces thought to be fundamentally reshaping the international environment: technological innovation, the intensification of geopolitical rivalry, and the spread of racial thought. Charged by ‘the marvellous advance in the science of locomotion and transmission of news’, and the ‘growth of racial nationalism’, a select few nations would liberate themselves from the constraints of geography and expand to unprecedented size. The question was whether the British would be one of them. The twentieth century, Kerr wrote to Arthur Balfour shortly after returning from South Africa, would be dominated by a few ‘great racial States’ whose boundaries would reflect ‘real differences in race and civilisation’. Russia and Germany were probable candidates, as were a ‘Latin Federation’ (comprising France, Spain, and Italy), a ‘Turko-Mohammedan’ union, and an ‘Asiatic Empire’. For Britain, the future lay in the unification of the settler empire, and ultimately, in union with the United States. A true ‘Anglo-Saxon confederation’, Kerr argued, would be ‘unassailably powerful’, and able to ‘practically dictate peace by sea to the rest of 52  [Kerr], ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 137. 53  [Kerr], ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 143. 54 The best study of this fascinating collective remains May, ‘The Round Table’, but see also Thompson, ‘Imperial Ideology in Edwardian Britain’.

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Alliance and Empire  169 the world’.55 Racial fusion would mark the end of history.56 Until that time, Britain and the United States would have to cooperate in cultivating their joint imperial estates. In Australia, North America, and southern Africa, Kerr pointed out, the two possessed the last of the world’s lands ‘fit for settlement by white men’. Their development would make Anglo-Saxon world hegemony a certainty in the long run. But by the same token, it was on these exposed frontiers that the geo-racial project was at its most vulnerable. ‘Japan and Asia cast covetous eyes on Australia’, Kerr noted, while Germany looked to South Africa for expansion. ‘Not until these countries are more thickly populated than they are to-day’, Kerr noted, ‘can their future as Anglo-Saxon States be assured’.57 This was the insight that Kerr subsequently applied to his analysis of the AngloJapanese alliance, which appeared in the Round Table’s second issue as the journal’s first major foray into foreign affairs.58 Kerr began by noting the substantial benefits that Britain had derived from its friendship with Japan: the alliance had ensured peace in the Asia-Pacific; it guaranteed the frontiers of India; and it had greatly assisted the pursuit of the naval race against Germany. Above all it had ensured that ‘the only power which could bring effective force to bear in the East’ remained ‘a friendly ally instead of a suspicious rival’.59 At the same time, the alliance had become enmeshed with the ‘immigration difficulty’. While a real crisis had been avoided, Kerr feared that Japan’s growing demand for territorial ‘outlets’ would eventually force the issue to the surface. ‘Let us realise at once’, he warned, ‘that a real quarrel over immigration would make a continuance of the AngloJapanese Alliance impossible, and might range Japan in definite hostility to the Empire.’60 The empire would then face a naval rival in the Pacific as well as the North Sea, and unless it could count on American support, the emerging British world in the Pacific would be acutely vulnerable to Japanese pressure. Two conclusions could be drawn from this. Clearly the alliance itself would have to be renewed. But in the long term, imperial policy would have to be brought into line with the new conditions of a world of race-states. London would have to admit its overseas subjects into the making of the empire’s foreign policy, and coordinate the dominions’ immigration and defence policies within a common framework. Imperial cohesion held the key to racial survival: In the long run the project of a ‘White Empire’ will only be accomplished if the Empire has the strength to resist the terrific expansive pressure of the teeming millions of Asia. And that strength it will be able to exert only if all its parts are absolutely at one on the policy they should pursue.61 55  Kerr to Balfour, 3 May 1909, BL, Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49797. 56  Bell, ‘The Project for a New Anglo Century’, pp. 34–9. 57  Kerr to Balfour, 3 May 1909, BL Balfour Papers, Add. MS 49797. 58 Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, pp. 269–71. 59  [Kerr], ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 123. 60  [Kerr], ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 138. 61  [Kerr], ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 144.

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170  Empire Ascendant Kerr had calibrated his argument to appeal to the Round Table’s audience in the dominions, and he asked J. C. Watson, a former leader of the Labor party and a member of the Round Table’s Australian network, to distribute the article to the ‘leading people in parliament’, noting that it was an issue of ‘first class importance to Australia’.62 Most of his readers would have agreed. Historians of the AngloJapanese alliance have often echoed the view (commonly held by contemporary British officials) that the dominions, and Australia in particular, were instinctively hostile to the alliance, and failed to appreciate its importance to British foreign and defence policy.63 It was certainly true that by 1910, most dominion observers were thoroughly suspicious of Japan, and some still regarded the alliance as an illustration of metropolitan decadence. ‘There has been this feeling in Australia’, George Pearce subsequently told the imperial conference, that ‘it degraded the position of the Empire to go into a Treaty with an Asiatic country’.64 The tabloid Truth, which published editions in several Australasian cities, denounced the alliance as a ‘blunder’ and a ‘staggering blow to British prestige’.65 Yet for most Australians, the desire for security trumped racial pride. The Pacific dominions’ sudden induction into the age of world politics after the Russo-Japanese War had underscored their vulnerability, and made their dependence on the British navy— and by extension, on its Pacific partnership with the Japanese—painfully obvious. More to the point, the alliance served local as well as imperial interests, insofar as it deterred Japan from pressing the immigration issue. Nothing was ‘more certain’, declared the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘than that the brown and yellow races must come south in course of time’.66 Australia presently enjoyed ‘immunity from this danger’—but ‘only so long as the Anglo-Japanese treaty lasts’.67 Australian and New Zealand politicians might have baulked at seeing their white men’s countries in ‘a position of sufferance under the toleration of an Eastern race’, yet they recognized that there was no immediate alternative to the Japanese treaty.68 The Pacific empire navy that had been sketched out of the 1909 defence conference was still in its infancy. The promise of an Anglo-Saxon alliance with the United States, held out by the Great White Fleet, had been fleeting. Some Australian commentators boldly proclaimed their readiness to take up the guardianship of imperial interests in their corner of the globe by themselves: the Sydney Morning Herald, again, thought that ‘Australian interests in the Pacific’ had already ‘absorbed and outgrown the Imperial interests’.69 But a cooler appraisal of Australian strength revealed the limits on such ambitions. Assessments of Australia’s military and naval needs, respectively performed by Lord Kitchener 62  Kerr to Watson, 27 February 1911, BLO, Round Table Papers, c. 797. 63  See for instance Nish, Alliance in Decline, p. 51; Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, p. 277. 64  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 23. 65  ‘The Turanian Terror’, Truth, 12 February 1911. 66 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 217. 67  ‘Australia and Japan’, SMH, 11 August 1910. 68 [Editorial], SMH, 20 May 1911. 69 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 217.

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Alliance and Empire  171 and Admiral Reginald Henderson in 1910–11, concluded that to meet even the minimal standard of self-sufficiency (that is, security against invasion) the Commonwealth would need a trained force of at least 80,000 men and a navy of eighteen capital ships.70 And while the Australian government moved to implement both reports, it could hardly fail to grasp the strategic implications. ‘At the back of their brain is the fear of the Japanese’, noted George King-Hall, the admiral in charge of the Australia station; ‘they are hoping the Treaty will be renewed, but I tell them pointedly, this is very uncertain, & not to build upon its being done.’71

Selling the Alliance: The 1911 Imperial Conference British officials were as yet reluctant to acknowledge the legitimacy of dominion calls for participation in the ‘imperial’ business of foreign policy, particularly on such a delicate subject as the Anglo-Japanese alliance. In January 1911, the Foreign Office still held that the future of the alliance was a question ‘of such vital imperial interest’ that it should be settled ‘solely & exclusively’ by the British government.72 Yet with an imperial conference scheduled to take place in London in the summer to coincide with the coronation of George V, it seemed unlikely that the subject could be avoided altogether. British policymakers might dread what one official called ‘any sort of discussion with our brethren in Australasia on these delicate and secret topics’, but could not ignore the risks of being seen to ignore the dominion point of view. ‘[T]he last thing wanted’, warned Sir Charles Ottley, the secretary to the CID, ‘is a howl from Australia or Canada, if and when the British Government decide to renew the Alliance’.73 And the question of renewal would have to be faced sooner than British officials had expected. The ongoing negotiations for an Anglo-American arbitration agreement, begun in the autumn of 1910, afforded the Foreign Office an opening to review what had been, from London’s perspective, the most troubling aspect of the alliance: the possibility that it might draw Britain into a conflict between Japan and the United States.74 As Japan proved amenable to an early renewal, the cabinet approved the terms of a revised treaty on 30 March. The alliance would be extended for another ten years, until 1921, but with the added proviso that it could not be invoked against a country with which either party had an unlimited arbitration treaty. The technical 70 See, respectively, ‘Report on the Defence of Australia by Field Marshal Viscount Kitchener of  Khartoum’, 7 July 1910, NAA, A463/1957/1059; ‘Recommendations by Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson’, 14 September 1911, NAA, A1/1914/7089. 71  King-Hall to McKenna, 27 March 1911, CCAC, McKenna Papers, MCKN 3/10. 72  Nicholson to Ottley, 18 January 1911, TNA, FO 371/1140/1827. Asquith commented that he could not conceive ‘of a more inopportune topic’ to discuss at the conference. 73  Ottley to Nicholson, 15 January 1911, TNA, FO 371/1140/1827. 74  Grey to Macdonald, 20 January 1911, TNA, FO 371/1140/2791.

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172  Empire Ascendant phrasing obscured the strategic significance: it confirmed that Britain would not consider itself bound to honour the alliance in the event of a Japanese war with the United States.75 The alliance’s premature renewal cast the question of imperial consultation in a different light. British officials feared a public backlash if the new treaty was sprung on the dominions without their prior knowledge. Lord Crewe, the former colonial secretary, warned that Australian public opinion was ‘thoroughly hostile to the alliance’, and would need considerable preparation.76 Lord Grey made a similar appeal from Canada. If the alliance was to be renewed early, he wrote to his cousin at the Foreign Office, the dominions would have to be ‘schooled’ as to the reasons. ‘They cannot kick afterwards, if they abstain from putting in any protest when the opportunity is there before them.’77 The foreign secretary was swayed. Writing back to Canada, he acknowledged that the conference might afford an opportunity to forge an imperial consensus behind the new treaty: Laurier, I have no doubt, understands the different aspects of it. But one or two others, and certainly the Australians, require a great deal of education. They must realise that, if we denounce the Japanese Alliance, we can no longer rely on the assistance of the Japanese Fleet, and we must prepare for the possibility that Japan may enter into arrangements which may bring her into hostility with us. . . . The logical conclusion of denouncing the Japanese Alliance would be that Australia and New Zealand should undertake the burden of naval supremacy in [the] China seas. This they are neither willing nor able to do.78

The growing interconnectedness of international politics and inter-imperial relations, particularly on questions of immigration and defence, required a more proactive effort to ensure that the dominions moved in lockstep with London. But the ‘consultation’ that British officials envisioned would still be a closely managed affair. The discussion on foreign affairs would take place in a closed session in the conference, under the auspices of the CID. Only Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier received advance notice that the alliance would be discussed at all. Grey reassured the Japanese ambassador that the discussion with the dominions would have no bearing on the cabinet’s decision to renew the alliance.79 Meanwhile, British military planners prepared the ground by circulating a series of memoranda that underlined the empire’s dependence on the Japanese fleet in the Pacific, and insisted that a firmer dominion commitment to imperial defence would be required to replace it in the long term. ‘The whole strategic situation in the Far

75 Nish, Alliance in Decline, pp. 47–9; Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, pp. 33–45. 76  CID Minutes, 108th Meeting, 26 January 1911, TNA, CAB 38/17. 77  Lord Grey to Edward Grey, 14 October 1910, DUL/AG, 211/5. 78  Edward Grey to Lord Grey, 27 January 1911, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/107. 79 Nish, Alliance in Decline, p. 60.

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Alliance and Empire  173 East’, the CID pointedly noted, ‘will depend largely upon the extent to which Australia and New Zealand find it possible to develop their respective contributions to the naval forces of the Empire.’80 It fell to Sir Edward Grey to weave these threads together at a special session of the imperial conference, held on 26 May 1911 in the offices of the CID. He treated the assembled dominion leaders to a long exposition on the empire’s foreign relations, carefully crafted to demonstrate that the strategic interests of Britain and the dominions remained practically identical. The British government, he (somewhat disingenuously) insisted, was neither pursuing an anti-German policy nor had it committed itself to a Continental alliance. But it would continue to guard against any attempt by a power to acquire a ‘Napoleonic’ position in Europe from where it might challenge British naval supremacy. Ultimately, Grey declared, it was ‘the maintenance of Sea Power’ that formed ‘the underlying motive of our policy in Europe’—the same principle which in turn forged ‘a common interest between us here at home and all the Dominions’.81 If Britain should lose control of the sea, South Africa would be at risk of invasion from the nearby German colonies. Australia and New Zealand would find their situation ‘as unpleasant’ as rival powers ‘thought it worthwhile to make it’. Canada would face ‘the complete severance of the British connection’, and be thrown into an uncertain dependence on the United States.82 This was but a prelude to Grey’s real message: that the alliance with Japan had become an indispensable element in this broader imperial strategy. It had allowed the Royal Navy to maintain only a ‘modest squadron’ in Far Eastern waters, and concentrate the bulk of its striking power in Europe, where the real challenge to British sea power lay. Hence, failure to renew the treaty would produce a ‘tremendous and undesirable change’ in the empire’s strategic condition—particularly as such a move was sure to antagonize the Japanese, and might even tempt them into an alliance with a rival power.83 Grey acknowledged that to many in the dominions, the combination between the ‘island empires’ no longer seemed a natural one. He understood that their governments were ‘very averse’ to Japanese immigrants and ‘perfectly determined’ to exclude them. Yet thus far, Grey noted, it had been possible to reconcile racial self-interest with the prerogatives of the alliance: I think people may say: ‘Is it possible that you should continue an alliance with Japan, and that Japan should not sooner or later raise the question—what she would call her claim, I suppose—to have her people admitted into the territories of her ally?’ She has never raised that point yet. She has never mentioned it in connection with the alliance at all. 80  ‘Australia and New Zealand: Strategic Situation in the Event of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance being Determined’, 3 May 1911, TNA, CAB 38/18/27. 81  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 11. 82  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, pp. 11–12. 83  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 17.

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174  Empire Ascendant More to the point, Grey explained that the alliance itself had been a useful instrument to manage the racial question. After the Vancouver crisis, the Japanese government had willingly abdicated its claim to trans-Pacific expansion. Its policy was now to ‘concentrate her people in Korea and Manchuria . . . she does not want to encourage them to go abroad, though she has some difficulty in preventing them’.84 The arrangement with Canada illustrated that Tokyo would impose ef­fect­ive restraints on emigration as long as its diplomatic equality was recognized. Rising to his cue, Wilfrid Laurier declared that the alliance had produced ‘the most happy results’ and had made the Pacific dominions ‘absolutely free from the fear of invasion’. Glossing over his own frustration with the Lemieux negotiations, Laurier noted that as far as Ottawa was concerned, the immigration crisis had been ‘absolutely’ and satisfactorily settled. If Japanese were ‘treated like civilised people’, he concluded, there was no reason why the alliance ‘should not last for forty or fifty years more’.85 No other dominion leader came close to echoing Laurier’s endorsement, but all fell in with the conclusion that the alliance should be continued on the condition that it would not ‘in any way affect the question of the freedom of the Dominions to deal with the question of immigration’.86 Joseph Ward noted that opposition to the alliance in New Zealand mainly sprang from the fear that it ‘might entail our yielding, against the fixed policy of our people, to the introduction of Eastern races’. Grey’s assurances to the contrary were ‘gratifying in the extreme’.87 Speaking for Australia, Andrew Fisher gave his sanction in more guarded terms. Renewal, he thought would give ‘great satisfaction’ to Australia, where opinion had been ‘somewhat apprehensive of the immediate future’. But it would have to be made clear that the new treaty would in no way infringe on ‘white Australia’. In retort to Laurier’s support of the alliance, Fisher’s co-delegate George Pearce countered that unlike Canada, Australia did not enjoy the luxury of sharing a continent with the United States, with ‘100,000,000 of white people there’. With its isolated location and thinly populated north, it posed a permanent temptation to the ‘overcrowded countries’ of Asia. As such, Pearce noted, Australia was ‘certainly very undoubtedly nervous as to the Japanese Treaty’, and there would be an ‘outcry’ against its renewal unless it was made unambiguously clear that Australia’s exclusion policies would not be affected.88 In his closing remarks, Asquith again hastened to reassure the conference that the alliance would in no way interfere with the question of Japanese immigration. ‘That is a matter for the Dominions themselves to settle with every proper assistance given to them by the Imperial Government whenever they apply for it.’89 With that, the conference concluded. 84  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 18. 85  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 33. 86  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 18. 87  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 21. 88  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, pp. 23, 34. 89  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 36.

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Alliance and Empire  175 Grey informed the Japanese ambassador the same afternoon that the treaty would be endorsed by the dominions.90 Some historians have characterized the 1911 conference as a British effort to induct its headstrong colonials in the complexities of realpolitik.91 But a closer examination reveals that the dominion representatives, far from being ‘overwhelmed’ at the privilege of being taken into the confidence of the foreign secretary, accepted the new treaty strictly on their own terms. George Pearce emphasized that while the Australian government accepted the need to extend the Japanese alliance, it considered it a stopgap solution to the Pacific problem. At most, the alliance offered a breathing space for the Commonwealth to raise its military preparedness to a level where it could be safely dispensed with. This was a point that the British government, eager to encourage Australia’s participation in imperial defence, was only too happy to acknowledge. ‘Undoubtedly if Australia is to develop a navy which is in any way competent to hold the Japanese navy in check in 1921’, noted the First Lord of the Admiralty, ‘she would have to begin her work at once.’92 Australasian popular opinion similarly endorsed the alliance as a stay of execution. The Sydney Morning Herald welcomed the new treaty, but under the provision that by 1921 Australia would need to be in a pos­ition to ‘face the possibility of its denunciation with confidence’.93 ‘Australasia is thus given a welcome breathing space’, agreed the Wellington Evening Post.94 One cartoon in the Melbourne Punch [Fig.  6.1] captured the predominant mood. It depicted the British lion holding a Japanese dragon on a leash (labelled ‘alliance’). Looking on, a young Australia exclaims: ‘That’s better! I was afraid the dragon was developing a taste for kangaroo-tail soup, and feel much more comfortable while you’ve got him on a string!’ The caption recalled how W. M. Hughes, as acting premier, had greeted the news of the alliance by noting that it only gave Australia five more years of ‘breathing time’.95 London’s efforts to corral the dominions behind its foreign policy (and more obliquely, behind its European military entanglements) hinged on an implicit promise of support for their racial security. The dominions had been reassured that London both recognized the need for an exclusion policy and would defend it against Japanese objections if necessary. The British government also reaffirmed the provisions of the 1909 naval agreement and its pledge to re-establish a fleet in the Pacific once the present naval crisis had passed. On the obverse, the dominions had affirmed (no formal pledge was thought necessary) that they would pledge their nascent forces to the imperial cause in the event of a European war. The foundation of what Richard Jebb would soon term a ‘Britannic alliance’ had 90  Grey to Rumbold, 26 May 1911, TNA, FO 371/1140/20654. 91 Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, p. 277. 92  CID Minutes, 111th Meeting, 26 May 1911, TNA, CAB 2/2/111, p. 30. 93  ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, SMH, 17 July 1911. 94  ‘The Amended Alliance’, Evening Post, 18 July 1911. 95  ‘That Alliance’, Punch [Melbourne], 20 July 1911.

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176  Empire Ascendant

Fig. 6.1  ‘That Alliance’, Punch [Melbourne], 20 July 1911. NLA Newspaper Collection.

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Alliance and Empire  177 been laid amid resounding declarations of racial solidarity.96 But it remained subject to conflicting assumptions about the aims and organization of ‘imperial’ defence—and particularly so when it came to the purpose of the renewed AngloJapanese alliance. The representatives of Australia and New Zealand had made clear they accepted it only as a short-term substitute for an imperial commitment to the Pacific. While introducing his proposal for a permanent ‘naval council’ at the plenary session of the conference, Joseph Ward had again reiterated that that the security of British interests there had become ‘as important as the defence of the Atlantic Possessions or of the Motherland itself ’.97

‘A movement which may dismember the empire’ Pacific security, for Ward, inevitably circled back to the question of ‘Asiatic’ immigration. On the final day of the imperial conference, the New Zealand premier had launched into a long speech in which he defended exclusion as a national necessity—as competition with cheaper Asian labour might result in the ‘destruction . . . of very large sections of white British people in some of the oversea countries’—and as a precondition for international peace.98 As ‘pride of race’ was becoming a universal principle among civilized nations, Ward went on, ‘[i]t is of just as much importance to the Chinese to preserve their race as it is to the British people to preserve a white race, and to the Japanese to preserve their race.’ Japan should be made to recognize that it was in its own interests to prevent the dispersal of its population outside of Asia; or ‘this question of the mixture of the races is one which must come up for drastic settlement in the next 20, 30, 40, or 50 years.’99 In the future, Ward argued (though he withdrew a formal resolution to that effect), ‘every government in the Empire’, would have to ‘adopt the policy of urging upon the various portions of the world that every race should be relegated to its own zone’.100 Ward’s call to divide the globe into geo-racial ‘zones’ would be relegated a minor footnote in the history of the imperial conference. But it testified to an important shift in the politics of the immigration question. In the 1890s and early 1900s, white settlers had asserted their right to exclude ‘undesirable’ elements on the basis of national sovereignty. By the 1910s, that still held true. But amid 96 Jebb, The Britannic Question, p. 126; Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, pp. 209–14. 97  ‘Minutes of the Imperial Conference’, 25 May 1911, TNA, CAB 18/13A, pp. 40–4. 98  ‘Minutes of the Imperial Conference’, 19 June 1911, TNA, CAB 18/13A, pp. 399–410. The obvious suspect for implanting Ward with the ‘zonal’ idea was Lionel Curtis, who met Grey on a visit to Canada in 1909 and played an instrumental role in shaping New Zealand’s agenda for the 1911 conference. 99  ‘Minutes of the Imperial Conference’, 19 June 1911, TNA, CAB 18/13A, p. 404. 100  ‘Minutes of the Imperial Conference’, 19 June 1911, TNA, CAB 18/13A, p. 403.

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178  Empire Ascendant growing concerns over Japanese power in the Pacific, exclusion now also seemed to require diplomatic and military guarantees that only the empire as a whole could provide. This in turn drove dominion leaders to stake greater claims to partnership in the imperial enterprise, to participation in its external defence, and to a corresponding degree of influence in London. For their part, British officials were eager to indulge Australia and New Zealand’s Japanese anxieties to motivate their naval efforts.101 But their real priorities remained Europe and Germany, especially once the emergence of a second Moroccan crisis in July 1911 brought the naval race to a new stage of intensity. These strategic conflicts lay alongside a broader ideo­logic­al divergence. An imperial system explicitly organized around the ‘colour line’ was, for many in London, a too-obvious affront to the constitutional traditions on which Britain claimed the loyalties of its non-white subjects. Racial dis­crim­in­ation, Lord Crewe told the imperial conference, had lately become ‘a valuable asset’ to those seeking to challenge the legitimacy of British rule in India. ‘[T]his difficulty between the white and native races’, Crewe warned, was one ‘which seemed to threaten not merely the well-being, but the actual existence, of the Empire as an Empire’.102 While they recognized the divisive power of the ‘colour question’, British officials believed they could continue to manage it, as they had in the past, through legal ambivalence and deft diplomatic footwork. London continued to insist on the ‘Natal formula’ (or variations of it) in all further colonial laws intended to have a discriminatory effect. In 1913, after a conversation with the Japanese ambassador on hostile legislation passed by several of Canada’s provincial governments, Edward Grey satisfied himself that the compromise was holding. Japan ‘understood it to be inevitable’, he noted, ‘that the British dominions should enforce measures to prevent the increase of Japanese settlement in their territories’.103 In retrospect, this proved unduly optimistic. Japanese opinion had long resented exclusion as a betrayal of their country’s modernizing ambitions. A growing number of commentators denounced it as part of a racial conspiracy to deny Japan its rightful place in the international order.104 Western speculation of a ‘yellow peril’ had its Japanese counterpart in ‘race discourse’ (jinshuron) that diagnosed a ‘rising world trend towards racial confrontation’.105 The new British ambassador, William Conyngham Greene, who took over from Claude Macdonald in 1912, repeatedly warned the Foreign Office of the feeling of bitterness that the immigration crisis had engendered. ‘People feel that the two successful wars which they have waged have not brought them all the reward they had hoped for’, he wrote, ‘and that Japan, as one of the Great Powers, is still accepted more or less on

101  Gowen, ‘British Legerdemain’, pp. 396–406. 102  ‘Minutes of the Imperial Conference’, 19 June 1911, TNA, CAB 18/13A, p. 396. 103  Grey to Rumbold, 3 January 1913, TNA, FO 371/1663/971. 104 Iriye, Pacific Estrangement, pp. 211–13. 105 Shimazu, Japan, Race and Equality, p. 96.

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Alliance and Empire  179 sufferance.’106 Amid the collapse of the power-sharing arrangements among Japan’s ruling oligarchy (symbolically marked by the death of the Meiji emperor in 1912) these grievances found airing in the more volatile environment of ‘Taishō democracy’.107 The First World War and its aftermath would reveal the full implications of these imaginative and political shifts. But it was the outbreak of a new migration crisis in 1913 that offered the first real signs that Japan had run out of patience with the racial constraints on its international position. If the gentlemen’s agreements fed resentment in Japan, they had also failed to dampen the exclusionist fervour on the other side of the Pacific. In the aftermath of the immigration crisis, white activists in the United States and Canada con­ tinued their agitation as they sought to exclude ‘Asiatics’ from those sectors of the economy where the supremacy of white labour was held to be under threat: farming in California, and mining, logging, and fishing in the Pacific northwest. In the early 1910s, moreover, both Canada and the United States elected new governments committed to a firmer stance on Japanese ‘question’. Robert Borden, who swept to power on an anti-Liberal landslide in the Canadian elections of 1911, had positioned his Conservatives as the party of a ‘white Canada’ after the Vancouver crisis.108 In the United States, Woodrow Wilson, the winner of the three-way presidential election of 1912, committed himself to a ‘national policy of exclusion’ in a bid for votes in the Pacific states.109 California’s exclusionists proceeded to hold his feet to the fire by resurrecting a bill that barred ‘aliens ineligible for citizenship’ from land ownership—effectively using a racial prescription in American naturalization law to impose an anti-Asian colour bar in the state’s agricultural sector. James Phelan, former San Francisco mayor, senator, and chief power broker of the California Democratic party, left little doubt as to the bill’s true intentions. If the ‘tide’ was not checked, he wrote to Wilson, ‘California will become a Japanese plantation’.110 On 19 May, the Alien Land Bill became law. The California land controversy reopened the racial divide that had lain dormant in Japanese–American relations since 1908. In Washington, the Japanese ambassador protested that the new law was ‘mortifying’ and ‘deeply hurtful’ to Japanese pride.111 In Japan itself, it provoked a ‘storm of agitation’.112 Mass protests were staged outside the American embassy. The Japanese press denounced the bill as a national humiliation. Some called for the Japanese fleet to ‘open up’ California 106  Greene to Grey, 23 May 1913, TNA, FO 371/1667/28167. 107  On domestic pressures on Japanese foreign policy in the Taishō era, see Dickinson, War and National Reinvention, pp. 24–32. 108 Borden, Question of Oriental Immigration; Avery and Neary, ‘Laurier, Borden, and a White British Columbia’, p. 31. 109  Hennings, ‘James D. Phelan’, pp. 291–300. 110  Masuda, ‘Rumors of War’, p. 27. On the land bill see also Daniels, Politics of Prejudice, pp. 65–78; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 263–78. 111  Coletta, ‘ “The Most Thankless Task” ’, p. 180. 112  Greene to Grey, 7 June 1913, TNA, FO 371/1667/28587.

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180  Empire Ascendant just as the United States had done to Japan in the 1850s.113 By the summer of 1913, the danger of a rift in American–Japanese relations looked serious. Neither Tokyo nor Washington wanted a confrontation; but it seemed just as likely that popular emotion, or an outbreak of violence, might overwhelm either side’s restraint. ‘The US means peace’, the British ambassador in Washington reported, ‘but they cannot yield on the question of naturalisation or on that of land ownership, for that would mean civil war. I hope the Japanese understand this.’114 Spring-Rice refused to rule out a military clash, pointing ominously to the ‘temptation’ that American weakness in the Pacific (where the Philippines and Hawaii were ‘absolutely vulnerable’) might pose to the ‘extreme party in Japan’.115 Greene in Tokyo was less troubled by the prospect of war, but similarly disturbed over what the controversy revealed about Japan’s growing alienation from the international order. There was an ‘uneasy spirit abroad’, as commentary in the Japanese press displayed ‘a frankly anti-foreign character, contrasting the white races of the world with the coloured peoples, and accusing the former of having robbed the latter of their birth-right’. In one article, which Greene forwarded to the Foreign Office, Great Britain was ‘held up to execration for her treatment of the Kaffirs, the Maoris, and other indigenous populations’, while another pointed out that Canada and Australia were ‘no less antagonistic than California to the Japanese immigrant’.116 It was precisely this linking of the California question to the British Empire’s own racial divisions that so discomfited British observers. Washington’s attitude did not help: like Roosevelt in 1908, Wilson and his secretary of state, William Jennings Bryan, seemed alarmingly determined to rope Britain into their dispute as an unwilling mediator. In May 1913, Bryan directly asked the British embassy whether London would throw its weight onto the scale and force a Japanese climbdown.117 Yet to do so, officials at the Foreign Office warned, would be ‘tantamount to inviting Japan to surrender a degree of the vital principle at stake’. The crisis was ‘too delicate a matter for us to interfere in’, warned the parliamentary under-secretary, ‘unless we are prepared to risk the whole Japanese alliance’.118 Yet even if London could steer clear of direct involvement, there was still the risk that the anti-Japanese agitation might spill over to its own settler colonies. British Columbia and Australia had already made declarations of support for their supposedly beleaguered white brethren in California.119 There was good reason to fear that if the crisis continued to escalate, it would strengthen the racial bond that united the ‘white Pacific’ against Asia, pulling the dominions out of the 113  Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 271–5; Masuda, ‘Rumors of War’, p. 29. 114  Spring-Rice to Grey, 23 June 1913, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/83. 115  Spring-Rice to Grey, 7 July 1913, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/83; Spring-Rice to Grey, 27 January 1914, TNA, FO 371/2011/5211. 116  Greene to Grey, 7 June 1913, TNA, FO 371/1667/28587. 117  Spring-Rice to Grey, 17 May 1913, TNA, FO 371/1667/22526. 118  Minutes by J. D. Gregory and F. Dyke Acland, 17 May 1913, TNA, FO 371/1667/22526. 119  Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, p. 275.

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Alliance and Empire  181 im­per­ial orbit. In a hypothetical Japanese–American war, Spring-Rice warned from Washington, the United States would ‘probably have Canada and Australia fighting on their side’.120 In a grimly titled article in the Fortnightly Review on the ‘Racial War in the Pacific’, the naval writer Archibald Hurd predicted that white agitation over the Japanese danger would sap at the cohesion of the imperial system—and eventually lead the dominions to the conclusion that their racial se­cur­ity would be better safeguarded by the United States. ‘We who live far removed from this racial problem cannot afford to ignore it’, he warned, ‘unless we are content to witness the growth of a movement which may dismember the Empire.’121 Others were similarly disturbed by the prospect of racial friction, but saw Asian alienation as the more pressing danger. Valentine Chirol, though retired as foreign editor of The Times, once more took to its pages to sound the alarm. Over the past fifty years, he noted, Japan had transformed itself into a modern nation, and ‘made good her title to be treated on a footing of complete equality as one of the Great Powers of the world’. The issue at the core of the California dispute was whether that progress had earned Japan the right to be treated as a ‘civilised power’, or ‘whether her Asiatic descent is permanently to disqualify her’. Would the ‘bar of race’ now be made into a permanent feature of the international system?122 Here, again, was the same warning Chirol had sounded during the Russo-Japanese War nine years earlier: the ‘yellow peril’ was only as dangerous as the West decided to make it. As Chirol wrote to Lord Hardinge, now viceroy of India, any serious breakdown in Japanese–American relations would expose London to ‘very great pressure’ from the dominions to support the United States.123 Not only would this spell the end of the alliance, it would align British foreign policy openly with the defence of white supremacy in the Pacific, with damaging implications for the legitimacy of its colonial rule in India. ‘[T]he Indian politician would certainly do his best’, Chirol warned, ‘to inflame Indian opinion against the white man, and to regard Japan as the champion of Asia against the West’.124 It was a problem with which Hardinge, whose viceroyalty had been beset by conflicts over Indian migration to South Africa and Canada, was intimately familiar. ‘These self-governing Colonies have the right to do absolutely as they like, and there is much to be said in favour of exclusion’, he remarked to the secretary of state for India shortly before the outbreak of war, ‘but it is difficult to reconcile these principles with the inclusion of India within the Empire.’125

120 Spring-Rice to Grey, 21 July 1913, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/83; Spring-Rice to Tyrell, 27 January 1914, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/84. 121  Hurd, ‘Racial War in the Pacific’, pp. 1031, 1038. 122  ‘Japan Among the Nations: The Bar of Race’, The Times, 19 May 1913. 123  Chirol to Hardinge, 23 May 1913, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 93. 124  Chirol to Hardinge, 23 May 1913, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 93. 125  Hardinge to Crewe, 3 June 1914, CUL, Hardinge Papers, 120.

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182  Empire Ascendant The scenario that troubled British observers most was a repeat of 1907, when a  wave of anti-Asian violence had swept north from the United States into Canada.126 There was a real risk, warned T. R. E. McInnes, who sought to reprise his former role as Ottawa’s intelligence agent, that American labour agitators might try to restage the Vancouver riots in an attempt to drag British Columbia ‘as a red herring across the California trail’.127 Experience had taught the Canadian government to take such warnings seriously. Privately, Borden believed that British Columbians were prone to exaggerate their Japanese ‘menace’.128 But publicly, he aligned himself with the racial populism of Richard McBride, whose local organization held the key to Conservative rule on the Pacific coast.129 In a memorandum circulated to his cabinet in January 1913, Borden acknowledged that there existed a ‘deep-seated feeling’ in British Columbia that a further Japanese influx ‘would mark the beginning of an era during which the northern half of this con­ tin­ent would probably pass from the control of the white races’.130 The ‘gentlemen’s agreement’, Borden believed, offered insufficient security. In February, he duly informed the Japanese consul that Canada would only renew its adherence to the Anglo-Japanese commercial treaty if it could reserve the power to invoke the 1910 immigration act, which authorized the government to impose a blanket restriction on the entry of ‘any race deemed unsuited to the climate or conditions of Canada’.131 While this kept the Lemieux agreement nominally in place, it rendered the notion that Japanese immigration was regulated by diplomatic com­ prom­ise largely fictional. These moves placed the exclusionist aspirations of British Columbia at the ­centre of Canadian politics. Yet anti-Asian agitation in the province continued to build up over the summer of 1913. Amid anxious southward glances at California and rioting in several mining towns on Vancouver Island, Borden was faced with growing demands for a sterner line.132 ‘The Japs are still coming in’, wrote McBride, ‘and their invasion into industrial circles becomes more marked from year to year.’133 McInnes implored Borden to join with the United States in imposing a ban on Japanese immigration: The same wall raised against an Asiatic influx on the Canadian coast as on that of the United States would insure to Canada the active support of the United States in any future Asiatic complications in which Canada might become 126  Spring-Rice to Grey, 7 July 1913, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/83. 127  McInnes to Borden, 7 August 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4231, ff. 17120–2. 128  CID Minutes, 118th Meeting, 11 July 1912, TNA, CAB 38/21/27, p. 6. 129  McBride to Borden, 16 November 1911, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4207, ff. 5251–67. 130  Cited in Gowen, ‘Canada’s Relations with Japan’, p. 260. 131  Borden to Nakamura, 7 February 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4410, ff. 129892–5; Borden Diary, 1 February 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, vol. 450. 132  Daily Colonist, 16 August 1913; Roy, White Man’s Province, pp. 254–6. 133  McBride to Borden, 24 June 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4209, ff. 7472–8.

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Alliance and Empire  183 involved, wither diplomatic or worse. For such purposes the American fleet on the Pacific would be ours.134

While stopping short of an open association with the Americans (McBride was firmly instructed to drop a California-style land bill), Borden was willing to accommodate the essence of British Columbia’s demands. He conceded that the ‘manifold activities’ of the Japanese justified their exclusion. ‘These energetic ­people are reaching in every direction’, Borden privately wrote to McBride. ‘[T]he white races cannot possibly compete with them’.135 In October 1913, citing the ‘very severe conditions’ of the British Columbian labour market, Canada notified the British government that it intended to bar the entry of all labourers through its Pacific ports. It duly did so in December. Protracted negotiations with the Japanese consul salvaged the Lemieux agreement, but only just: Ottawa agreed not to apply the order to exempted classes of Japanese (such as returning residents of Canada), on condition that Tokyo restricted their numbers to an absolute minimum.136 In Borden’s order of priorities, diplomatic relations with Japan, and the prospects of trans-Pacific trade, would have to bow before the preservation of Canada as a ‘white man’s country’. This determination to insulate the dominion from what George Parkin had once hailed as the ‘new Pacific’ was again put on display in the spring of 1914 during the Komagata Maru episode, when a Japanese-owned vessel carrying nearly four hundred Indian passengers was held up in Vancouver harbour for several months and ultimately forced to turn back across the Pacific.137

‘The only thing for which Australia would throw over the Empire’ Across the dominions, questions of race and migration were inevitably shaped by local conditions, and intruded on imperial politics in distinctive ways.138 Laurier and Borden had to account for a porous border that connected Canada’s ‘Oriental question’ to that of the United States.139 In Australia, where Japanese migration had been closely restricted since the end of the nineteenth century (and in New Zealand, where it had been mostly absent in the first place), geo-racial anxieties 134  McInnes to Borden, 7 August 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4231, ff. 17120–2; emphases in the original. 135  Borden to McBride, 20 August 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4231, f. 17134. 136  Borden Diary, 26 December 1913, LAC, Borden Papers, vol. 450; Yada to Borden, 13 December 1913, Borden Papers, LAC, mf. C–4231, f. 17237. 137  On the Komagata Maru crisis, see Ward, White Canada Forever, pp. 79–96; Atkinson, Burdens of White Supremacy, pp. 131–42. For its significance in the development of transnational Indian nationalism, see Fraser, ‘The Sikh Problem in Canada’. 138 Atkinson, Burden of White Supremacy, pp. 6–7. 139 Chang, Pacific Connections, pp. 105–16, 149–62; Lake and Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line, pp. 166–89.

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184  Empire Ascendant instead manifested themselves in the military and naval realms. As the security crisis brought on by the Russo-Japanese War fused with older demands for a more active role in maintaining imperial interests in the South Pacific, both dominions turned with new urgency to the imperatives of defence. In what the Round Table described as a ‘striking testimony to the determination of the Australasian people to preserve their countries for the white races’, both dominions had introduced universal military training by 1910.140 Australia forged ahead with the creation of its own naval force. But if the Pacific problem had placed ‘a premium on self-help’, this impulse was thought to be complementary to the collective security of the empire rather than in conflict with it. To Australasian minds, it had become selfevident that ‘the imperial umbrella rather than local defence was the real guarantee of White Australia’.141 In 1887, when writing his serial White or Yellow? Or the Race War of 1908 ad (an Australian adaptation of the ‘invasion novel’ genre) it had still been possible for the Queensland radical William Lane to imagine a defiant Australian republic liberating itself from the empire’s ‘Asiatic’ entanglements, and ward off a Chinese invasion by itself alone. After 1895 (and still more after 1905) that scenario had lost its plausibility—Lane himself, after a tumultuous career that included an abortive attempt to found a ‘New Australia’ in Paraguay, ended up as editor of the New Zealand Herald and an advocate for British race unity.142 The 1911 imperial conference had seemed to affirm the interdependence of Australasian and imperial interests in the Pacific. The new Anglo-Japanese alliance had been accepted (grudgingly) as an interval during which Australia would work to realize its ‘fleet unit’ in cooperation with the Admiralty. In turn, the dominions had been reassured that the imperial government remained committed to the preservation of a ‘white Australasia’. It had helped that the conference had been able to debate these issues at a moment of strategic calm, buoyed by the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, the prospect of an Anglo-American arbitration treaty, and a lull in the naval race. But within weeks, the outbreak of the Agadir crisis in July 1911 again brought the German danger to the fore, and with it, the familiar question of how the conflicting strategic and racial priorities of Britain and ‘Greater Britain’ could be reconciled. London’s predicament seemed acute: the announcement of the further expansion of the German fleet in January 1912 and the aborted negotiations over a ‘naval holiday’ left the Admiralty scrambling to find the battleships to stay ahead of Germany in the North Sea and its Austrian ally in the Mediterranean.143 The new head of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill (who took over the job in August 1911 after McKenna’s mastery of his brief had been found wanting) responded to the

140  [Kerr], ‘Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, p. 124. 141 Darwin, Empire Project, p. 339. 142  Meaney, ‘ “The ‘Yellow Peril” ’, pp. 80–2. 143 Marder, Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, pp. 239–51; Kennedy, Anglo-German Antagonism, pp. 447–52.

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Alliance and Empire  185 crisis in characteristically sweeping fashion, announcing a major redeployment of  naval strength from the Mediterranean to the North Sea.144 The move was controversial. The implication that British interests in the Mediterranean would be defended by France aroused deep resentment among empire-minded Conservatives, most of whom had never quite forgiven Churchill for his defection to the Liberals in 1904.145 Within months of his accession, Churchill also set out to rewrite the terms of the naval partnership that London had hammered out with the dominions during the 1909 and 1911 conferences. The new First Lord had long been sceptical of the idea of colonial navies, which he considered at best a distraction and, at worst, a way to squander resources on ‘empty parades of foolish little ships “displaying the flag” in unfrequented seas’.146 The ‘whole principle of local navies’, he wrote to Harcourt in 1912, was ‘thoroughly vicious’.147 At the Admiralty, Churchill began a gradual but determined effort to direct dominion naval contributions towards the North Sea. He informed the Colonial Office that the recently completed HMS New Zealand, the battlecruiser donated during by Joseph Ward during the dreadnought scare that had been earmarked as the new flagship of the China station, was ‘urgently required’ for the home fleet.148 He hoped the naval agreement with Australia would be similarly revised, and ‘every ship possible . . . brought home from Australian waters’.149 Nor were his efforts directed at the Pacific dominions alone. In the summer of 1913, Churchill floated a proposal to offload the cost of the East Indies squadron at Singapore—which he thought a form of ‘purely local Indian defence’—onto the Indian exchequer.150 But his greatest coup was Canada, where Borden’s election had cleared the way for the direct contribution to im­per­ial defence that Laurier had long resisted.151 When Borden visited London in July 1912, Churchill seized to hammer out a new form of Anglo-dominion naval partnership. Rather than establish its own section of the imperial navy, Canada would directly provide ships to the home fleet. Under the naval bill that Borden laid before parliament in December 1912, the Dominion government would fund the construction of three dreadnoughts, to be placed at the immediate disposal of the Admiralty. In time, Churchill hoped, the Canadian example might bring the other dominions into the fold: already in April 1912, he suggested that Borden might call another defence conference that could suspend the ‘fleet unit’ scheme in 144 Bell, Churchill and Sea Power, pp. 18–22. 145 Thompson, Imperial Britain, pp. 117–19; for a contemporary criticism, see Amery, Union and Strength, p. 3. 146 Bell, Churchill and Sea Power, p. 18. 147  Churchill to Harcourt, 29 January 1912, BLO, Harcourt Papers, 468. 148  Churchill to Harcourt, 29 January 1912, BLO, Harcourt Papers, 468. 149  Cited in Lambert, ‘Economy or Empire’, p. 71. 150 Churchill to Montagu, 8 August 1913, in R.  Churchill (ed.), Churchill Documents, vol. 5, pp. 1755–6. 151 Thornton, Churchill, Borden, and Anglo-Canadian Naval Relations, p. 47.

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186  Empire Ascendant favour of a system of direct contributions to a grand imperial navy that would patrol the world’s oceans while Britain held off ‘the big dog’ in the North Sea.152 In Britain and Canada, the Churchill–Borden scheme was framed by evocative references to imperial unity and British race-patriotism that stirred the im­agin­ ation of self-declared imperialists. ‘It may well be’, enthused the Round Table, ‘that Mr Borden’s declarations will mark the commencement of a new era in the Empire’s history.’153 The Times, taking its cue from its Canadian correspondent John Willison (another Round Tabler) was similarly ecstatic. But others struck a cautionary note over the potential recentralization of imperial defence. Popular opinion in the dominions, warned Richard Jebb, would no longer accept a ‘hard-and-fast Imperial Federation’ that kept their governments in subordination to London.154 In Canada, Borden’s Liberal opponents attacked his naval bill for scuttling the prospect of a ‘navy that would be worthy of our national ambitions’.155 On a related note, Borden’s commitment to the North Sea appeared to deny the salience of Canada’s interests in the Pacific and the growing importance of its maritime links to Asia and the Australasian dominions. As Laurier pointed out in a speech in Toronto, Canada had not one coastline but two, and while in the Atlantic, the foundations of British naval power remained relatively secure, if you go to British Columbia, Australia, or New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean, the question of defence is of perpetual consideration. No British subject in British Columbia, Australia, or New Zealand lives with security. The British Fleet is too far away. Squadrons have been removed. He has no protection. At Wellington, Vancouver, or Victoria there is nothing to save the country from invasion.156

In Australia and New Zealand, of course, this had always been the central issue: as Jebb observed, the defence movements in both dominions were catalysed by the ‘instinctive perception’ that ‘the white Australia principle is a standing provocation to Japan and China’.157 British officials had themselves encouraged the dominion governments to think of their naval efforts as a local counterweight to Japan, to be eventually reinforced by a British commitment under the ‘fleet unit’ scheme developed in 1909.158 But by 1912, it had become apparent that Churchill intended 152  Churchill to Asquith, 12 April 1912, in R. Churchill (ed.), Churchill Documents, vol. 5, pp. 1538–40. Naval historians have debated whether Churchill’s abandonment of the Pacific agreement reflected sound strategy, or whether it needlessly aborted a developing system of collective security: see, re­spect­ively, Bell, ‘Sentiment vs Strategy’, and Lambert, ‘Economy or Empire’. 153  [Grigg], ‘Canada and the Navy’, p. 637. 154  Jebb to Allen, 31 January 1913, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 155  Long considered as a purely Canadian episode, historians have recently come to appreciate the imperial dimensions of the Canadian Naval question. See Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, pp. 151–4; Thompson, ‘Ontario’s Empire’, pp. 202–7. 156  Cited in Hurd, ‘Racial War in the Pacific’, p. 1034. 157  Jebb to Cahan, 3 April 1912, ICS, Jebb Papers, A. 158  Gowen, ‘British Legerdemain’, pp. 395–406.

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Alliance and Empire  187 to reverse course. Strategically, it seemed to make little sense to disperse British naval strength in the Pacific where the alliance guaranteed Japan’s friendship. The new battlecruisers earmarked for the ‘fleet units’ at Hong Kong and Singapore were urgently needed for the North Sea. These were facts, Churchill insisted, ‘as hard as Kruppcemented steel’.159 The announcement of the Canadian naval bill brought the matter to a head. The Admiralty, concluded Pearce, had ‘ignored’ its agreements with Australia.160 British officials, Arthur Jose complained to his superiors at The Times, had become ‘hypnotised by Borden’ and simply ‘unable to  believe that any Dominion can disagree with that gentleman’s views’.161 Commentators put the case for a Pacific navy with renewed urgency. Australia, wrote Frederic Eggleston, a Melbourne lawyer emerging as a key node in the Australian Round Table network, was a ‘lonely outpost of European civ­il­isa­tion in a region that is profoundly alien’. As long as it lacked a credible military force of its own, its only defences were the ‘paper barrier’ of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, and a British government that ‘is notoriously out of sympathy with, and does not understand, our exclusion policy’.162 It was imperative, Eggleston insisted, that Australia should now ‘shoulder the burden of nationhood’, and embark on a ‘national policy’ to strengthen its navy and army, develop its tropical north, coordinate a joint defence with the other dominions, and ‘gain for herself full control of the strategical points in the Pacific and Indian oceans’.163 National self-assertion, Eggleston insisted, would in turn serve the wider interests of the ‘British race’. A strong, self-sufficient Australia would act as a bulwark of imperial strength in the Pacific, guarding the maritime approaches to India and China. ‘It should be remembered’, he concluded, ‘that by providing satisfactorily for the defence of our own shores we shall be assisting to protect the other parts of the outer Empire as well’.164 This ‘Britannic’ synthesis of national, imperial, and racial interests had undergirded Australian defence policy since 1905, and with the election of William Massey’s Reform party in August 1912, it also came to the fore in New Zealand. James Allen, who took up the defence portfolio, was a long-standing advocate for an autonomous Australasian naval force that would be strong enough, as he had put it in 1909, ‘to repel any Japanese menace, and to keep them from attempting to come down to Australia and New Zealand’.165 Now in government, Allen vowed to end the ‘tributary’ policies of the Ward government by terminating New Zealand’s subsidy to the British navy and joining with Australia in a joint imperial force based in the south Pacific. In February 1913, Allen arrived in London to 159  CID Minutes, 118th meeting, 11 July 1912, TNA, CAB 2/2. 160 Meaney, Search for Security, p. 244. 161  Jose to Braham, 13 October 1912, ML, Jose Papers. 162  [Eggleston], ‘A Plea for a National Policy’, p. 720. 163  [Eggleston], ‘A Plea for a National Policy’, pp. 722–3. 164  [Eggleston], ‘A Plea for a National Policy’, p. 722. 165  J.  Allen, 8 December 1909, NZPD, vol. 148 (1909), pp. 827–30; see also McGibbon, Path to Gallipoli, p. 214.

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188  Empire Ascendant press the dominion’s new defence agenda on the imperial government, and to  lobby Churchill for the return of HMS New Zealand to Pacific waters. The discussions that followed starkly revealed the divergence between British and Australasian attitudes on imperial policy in the Asia-Pacific. Churchill framed his arguments in a classic exposition of Mahanian strategy. Australia and New Zealand would be kept ‘perfectly safe’ by ‘the naval power and the alliances based on the naval power of Great Britain’. They would only be threatened once the British fleet had been eliminated. And in that scenario, their predicament would in any event be hopeless. There were ‘no preparations’, Churchill blithely noted, that Australia or New Zealand could undertake that would enable them ‘to cope with the naval power of Japan’. The only ‘wise policy’, therefore, was for New Zealand to continue to contribute to ‘the general strength of the British navy as the only weapon which can effectively protect her’.166 Allen refused to give in. Much like the Canadian Liberals, his government did not deny that New Zealand’s security was tied up with British sea power; indeed, she would be ready to ‘forego her own desires’ if Britain was threatened in the North Sea.167 But reliance on the British navy (let alone the Japanese) could never be a permanent policy: ‘national sentiment and local patriotism’ demanded that New Zealand prepare to operate a fleet of its own.168 And the strategic case was pressing, Allen pointed out. The empire already faced a ‘two-ocean’ problem. When the Anglo-Japanese alliance ended, it would need a second main fleet in the Pacific to deter Japan. When Churchill, by way of compromise, suggested that the dominion ships might be organized into an ‘imperial’ fleet based at Gibraltar, from which it could reinforce any threatened area ‘in a shorter time than any European force of equal power’, Allen’s reply was succinct.169 ‘We do not fear a European force. That is the crux of the matter.’170 Speaking at Vancouver on his return journey, Allen vented his frustrations with a British officialdom that ‘had not fully realised’ the full gravity of the predicament of the Pacific dominions. They did not see the need’, he declared, ‘of keeping the race pure’.171 For Eggleston, who forwarded a copy of the speech to his Round Tabler colleagues in London, the failure of Allen’s mission demonstrated the ‘the impossibility’ of ‘getting Englishmen to appreciate the views of the Dominions in regard to the admission of Asiatics’. London’s apparent indifference to the Pacific problem was becoming a ‘fundamental’ issue in imperial politics. ‘If the Empire does not stand to protect the British race or nationality’, Eggleston wrote, ‘I do not know that it has any real justification for its existence as an Empire.’ Unless London was prepared to acknowledge, endorse, and defend the principle 166  Churchill to Allen, 14 February 1913, TNA, CAB 38/23/10. 167 McGibbon, Path to Gallipoli, p. 219. 168  Allen to Churchill, 18 March 1913, TNA, CAB 38/23/10. 169  W. S. Churchill, 26 March 1913, Hansard, 5th Series, vol. 50, cc. 1754–6. 170  ‘Empire’s Naval Scheme’, NZH, 29 March 1913. 171  ‘New Zealand Defences’, NZH, 15 May 1913.

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Alliance and Empire  189 that ‘British civilisation’ was ‘absolutely bound up with the exclusion of Asiatics’, any attempt at imperial consolidation was ‘doomed to failure’.172 From London, Grigg hastened to reassure him that the Round Table remained committed to exclusion. ‘Everybody here believes in the white Australia policy and is determined to do the utmost to support it.’173 The onset of the California crisis positioned these debates in a broader Pacific setting. From Washington, Spring-Rice noted that Australians showed ‘strong sympathy’ with white Californians, and predicted that if the United States were to go to war with Japan, it would ‘probably have Canada and Australia fighting on their side’.174 The Australian and New Zealand press made vocal declarations of Anglo-Saxon solidarity. ‘Wherever English is spoken around the Pacific there will be but one sentiment’, declared the New Zealand Herald. ‘Ties of race and blood, community of interests, bond of language and religion, leave no room for difference of opinion when American and Asiatic stand opposed to one another.’175 In a memorandum to Fisher, King O’Malley, Australia’s American-born minister for home affairs, argued that Australia would have to offset its dependence on the British fleet by looking towards the United States, a ‘people speaking our own language already deeply interested in resisting foreign aggression in the Pacific’. In the future, he wrote to Fisher, Australia would have ‘to join with them as far as we may in keeping the Pacific for Anglo-Saxons’.176 And in the very last resort, as Arthur Jose pointedly reminded his editors at The Times, white Australia might find other protectors as well: In time, Australia will do anything for the Empire if the Empire will assure her against Japan . . . But White Australia, to which she believes Japan hostile, is the one thing for which Australia would throw over the Empire—I believe sincerely that she would accept German domination if that were the only apparent way of keeping herself white.177

Churchill would have none of this. ‘It is high time’, he grumbled to the senior official at the Admiralty, ‘that the Dominions had the true strategic conception on which the Empire is conducted impressed upon them.’178 In October 1913, the Australian government was duly informed that the 1909 agreement would be abrogated as it had become ‘incompatible with the safety of the Empire as a

172  Eggleston to Grigg, 21 July 1913, BLO, Round Table Papers, c. 798, ff. 141–2. 173  Grigg to Eggleston, 12 December 1913, BLO, Round Table Papers, c. 798, ff. 39–46. 174  Spring-Rice to Grey, 21 July 1913, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/83; Spring-Rice to Tyrell, 27 January 1914, TNA, Grey Papers, FO 800/84. 175  ‘Japan and America’, NZH, 6 June 1913. 176  O’Malley to Fisher, 4 December 1912, NLA, Fisher Papers, Series 6, f. 55. 177  Jose to Braham, 30 December 1913, ML, Jose Papers. 178  Churchill to Greene, 14 October 1913, TNA, ADM 1/8375/108.

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190  Empire Ascendant whole’.179 The Admiralty deemed the existing China squadron sufficient to defend British interests against the German squadron at Qingdao.180 The need to balance the Japanese navy was pointedly dismissed ‘in view of the existing alliance’. In March 1914, Churchill reiterated these points as he presented the new naval estimates to parliament. The central principle of imperial defence, he declared, was to maintain Britain’s global naval hegemony. The same sea power that deterred Germany in Europe also protected the Pacific dominions ‘from any present danger from Japan’, which would only be able to ‘indulge in ambitions of empire or colonisation in the Southern Pacific’ if the British fleet should be ‘shattered on the sea’. And in that event, there was little that the ‘five millions of white men in the Pacific’ could do but to ‘seek the protection of the United States’.181 In one fell swoop, Churchill dismissed the Australasian naval efforts as an exercise in stra­ tegic futility: only New Zealand’s dreadnought donation he praised as an act of ‘profound wisdom’. Churchill’s efforts did little to quell Australian agitation for an imperial navy in the Pacific, or to dispel the racial anxieties that motivated it. To argue that the British Pacific was made secure by the Japanese alliance was, to the British journalist Henry Stead, then visiting Australia, ‘simply gall and woodworm to the Australians on whom the Asiatic danger has been worked for all its worth for many years’.182 In New Zealand, Massey declared that he ‘did not believe for one moment that the Anglo-Japanese alliance secured the safety of either Australia or New Zealand’.183 In Australia, the prime minister, Joseph Cook, railed against Churchill’s intimation ‘that the Pacific was being made safe and secure not by the might and majesty of the British fleet but by the Japanese navy’.184 Speaking for Labor, George Pearce fully endorsed the argument. Australia was not opposed to the Japanese alliance, which was certainly better than ‘a German–Japanese alliance would be’. But it had acted on the assumption that the treaty would be a temporary measure, to be replaced in due course by a Pacific defence directed by and for the white dominions. ‘We insist that there ought to be a British Fleet in the Pacific’, he wrote to the governor-general. Without it, British diplomacy would be ‘nullified’, and ‘we are compelled to allow our policy to be dictated by our ally’.185 The Australasian press pilloried Churchill as a traitor to the imperial idea: for 179  ADM to CO, 15 October 1913, TNA, ADM 1/8375/108. 180  By 1913, the China Squadron numbered four capital ships, all of which were of pre-dreadnought construction. Japan possessed five dreadnoughts and ten pre-dreadnought battleships: see Meaney, Search for Security, pp. 254–5. 181  W. S. Churchill, 17 March 1914, Hansard, 5th Series, vol. 59, cc. 1931–4. The sections of Churchill’s speech dealing with the Pacific were taken verbatim from the Admiralty memorandum prepared during Allen’s visit in 1913: ‘Imperial Naval Policy’, memorandum by Churchill, 11 April 1913, TNA, CAB 38/24/20. 182  Stead to Harcourt, 22 April 1914, BLO, Harcourt Papers, 467. 183  ‘Naval Defence’, Dominion, 21 March 1914. 184  Cited in Meaney, Search for Security, p. 259. 185  Pearce to Denman, 4 May 1914, NLA, Denman Papers, MS 769, ff. 84–91.

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Alliance and Empire  191 the  Melbourne Punch, he was an ‘arrant Little Englander’ and an ‘impetuous anti-imperialist’. The true guarantee of a ‘white Australia’, it proclaimed, would be ‘be a white man’s fleet’.186 From the opposite end of the political spectrum, the editor of the Bulletin similarly accused him of bargaining away Australia’s racial security. If war should break out in Europe, Japan would hold Australia at its mercy, ‘and we would have our northern shores immediately inundated with hordes of Japanese and Chinese immigrants’. Australians would prefer even German rule to ‘yellow domination’.187 For the Round Table, which published a long exposition of the Pacific problem in what turned to be its last issue before the war, the Anglo-Australian naval spat was a worrying indicator of broader trends. Australians were ‘becoming more and more convinced’ that their interests were being neglected in London. ‘They fear that British Admirals look only to the North Sea’, and were prone to ignore ‘the overwhelming preponderance of Japanese power’ in the Pacific. For Edward Grigg, the journal’s editor, the naval dispute pointed to deeper and subtler differences in outlook. The British government, he noted, made ‘foreign policy and defence’ according ‘to the facts of their own time’, while Australians looked to a future in which their ‘white’ continent would face growing pressure from an everexpanding Asia. In the Pacific, geopolitics appeared to operate on a different timescale. ‘It was not un-natural’, Grigg concluded, that these preoccupations ‘should lead Australians to make a pre-Raphaelite picture of the Pacific problem, in which the values of foreground, middle distance and remoter distance are all the same’.188 The Australasian dominions did not doubt that their security also depended on the Royal Navy’s ability to see off the German threat in Europe. But they kept one eye on the horizon, where Japan appeared to loom with perfect clarity. ‘It is quite true that on account of the European situation as it exists to-day [the Pacific dominions] have approved of the Alliance’, another commentator noted in July 1914, ‘but as far as their own needs are concerned, they feel that the future holds for them a life and death struggle with Japan. Indeed, were sincerity to guide us, it would be little exaggeration to say that Japan is the Allay [sic] of Great Britain but not of the British Empire’.189

‘The immense service rendered by Japan . . .  will have to be recognised’ The war that the British Empire joined on 4 August 1914 was not the conflict that many of its white subjects had anticipated. Seen from Melbourne or Vancouver, 186  ‘The Admiralty Turns Against Australia’, Punch [Melbourne], 26 March 1914. 187  ‘Commonwealth and Dominion’, Auckland Star, 5 June 1914. 188  [Grigg], ‘Naval Policy and the Pacific Question’, p. 448. 189  Lawton, ‘The Naval Crisis within the Empire’, p. 9.

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192  Empire Ascendant the troubles of the Balkans seemed as much a distant, parochial concern as their own fears of Japan had often appeared from London. But for the dominion governments that now pledged their support to the ‘Mother Country’, the cause of the war mattered less than the unity of the ‘British race’.190 Andrew Fisher’s assertion that Australia would fight ‘to the last man and the last shilling’ caught the public mood. Mass volunteering began immediately, and on 1 November the first convoy of ANZAC troopships set sail from western Australia.191 But as the ‘white empire’ rallied, so too, did the ‘yellow alliance’. Invoking its solidarity with Britain, Japan had declared war on Germany on 23 August. Steaming alongside the ANZACs was a Japanese cruiser, the Ibuki, which joined a British battleship and two Australian cruisers in escorting them across the Indian Ocean. Its commanding officer, Captain Katō Kanji, had already noted that the war seemed to have brought about a turn in Australian attitudes to Japan: when passing Fremantle on his way to New Zealand, the city had thrown him a welcome of ‘ecstatic proportions’ and it appeared to him that ‘the former fear of Japan was swept away to be replaced with an obvious and genuine trust’.192 In fact, Japan’s intervention in the war aroused deep misgivings, both in London and the wider empire.193 But it suited both parties not to let the memory of past disagreements spoil this picture of diplomatic harmony. While the war lasted, the Pacific controversy remained publicly subdued. Censorship clamped down firmly on anti-Japanese references in the Australian and New Zealand press.194 Some even hoped this enforced cordiality might produce a more lasting reconciliation. Ronald Munro-Ferguson, newly installed as governor-general of Australia, reported that popular opinion appeared to be coming round to the idea that the ‘immense service rendered by Japan but also by India to the Empire in general and Australia in particular . . . will have to be recognised’.195 By November 1914, he was reporting that ‘the anti-Japanese scurrilities . . . which have so long disgraced the Australian press’ had all but disappeared.196 Even the prospect of reform to the Immigration Restriction Act returned, tentatively, to the political agenda.197 In western Canada, too, local racial fears were not permitted to interfere with the imperial war effort. When McBride wrote to Borden to express his anxieties over British Columbia’s exposure (in the event of a British loss, he noted, ‘Japan would not hesitate to cooperate with Germany’) he was told to keep his concerns to himself. ‘Japan enters [the] war of her own free choice’, Churchill cabled to Borden. ‘She must be welcome as a comrade and an ally . . . Any dec­lar­ation

190 Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, pp. 217–19. 191 Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence , p. 217. 192  Hirama, ‘Japanese Naval Assistance’, pp. 140–3. 193 Nish, Alliance in Decline, p. 121. 194 Meaney, Australia and the World Crisis, pp. 222–3. 195  Munro-Ferguson to Harcourt, 23 November 1914, NLA, Novar Papers, MS 696/1. 196  Munro-Ferguson to Harcourt, 23 November 1914, NLA, Novar Papers, MS 696/1. 197  Munro-Ferguson to Harcourt, 20 January 1915, NLA, Novar Papers, MS 696/1.

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Alliance and Empire  193 against [the] entry of Japan into war would do harm’.198 The imperial war effort might have been ‘a manifestation of British race patriotism’; but it sim­ul­tan­eous­ly demanded the suspension of racial prejudice in deference to Japan and India.199 This paradox went to the heart of the empire’s political evolution in the long Edwardian decade that separated the Boer War from the Great War. Both in Britain and the dominions, many had seized on British ‘race-patriotism’ as a force for cohesion. It appeared to reconcile the need for a common imperial purpose to the growth of colonial nationalism: ‘race’ was, as Lord Milner put it in 1908, the ‘only real and permanent tie of the Empire’.200 It carried a particular meaning in the British Pacific, where anxieties over Japanese military power provided a powerful rationale for the ‘crimson ties’ of empire. But grafting a practical edifice onto the ideal of racial solidarity—the core ambition of successive Australian and New Zealand governments after 1905—proved maddeningly elusive. It was hardly surprising that (for all their talk of Britannic solidarity) British officials were unwilling to divert imperial resources to the Pacific when they faced a sim­ul­tan­ eous naval challenge in the North Sea. But they also entertained deeper misgivings, as we have seen, about subordinating their diplomacy to the demands of ‘white Australia’ and its counterparts. Even the Round Table shied away from imposing a narrowly racial definition on imperial interests. In a world divided by ‘facts of race’, Edward Grigg noted in its final issue before the war, the ‘true purpose’ of empire was ‘to ensure peace throughout the world, and more particularly between East and West. It is vital to our own white civilization to keep it in mutually helpful relations with the Asiatic peoples on which it has encroached’. Grigg found a hopeful sign in Britain’s ‘friendship with the awakened people of Japan’—a fact that, to him, was a ‘striking’ sign of the British Empire’s ‘fitness for that mediating and reconciling office between Eastern and Western ways of life’.201

198  Churchill to Borden, 13 August 1914, LAC, Borden Papers, mf. C–4238, f. 22902. 199 Mitcham, Race and Imperial Defence, p. 1. 200  Milner to Curtis, 1 December 1908, BLO, Curtis Papers, 1. 201  [Grigg], ‘Naval Policy and the Pacific Question’, pp. 461–2.

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Conclusion It is in regard to the events of our own times that we are most apt not to see the forest for the trees. Otherwise it would surely be more generally realized that for human interest, for the influence it must exercise upon the future of the human race as a whole, no event which has happened within our own generation can compare with the rise of Japan . . . For within 50 years a nation which is neither Occidental, nor White, has for the first time taken its place alongside the nations who pride themselves on being Occidental and White and Christian . . . The earth has ceased to be his [the white man’s] inalienable dominion. That is the phenomenon that invests the emergence of Japan with a significance which transcends all other phenomena of contemporary history. Valentine Chirol, ‘Japan Among the Nations: The Bar of Race’, The Times, 19 May 1913 This book has explored Japan’s interactions with various elements in the British world-system as it negotiated its entry into the ‘comity of civilised nations’ at the turn of the twentieth century. These interactions were always plural, and often marked by deep divisions between British officialdom (itself a disaggregated organism) and a disparate set of settler-colonial societies in the Asia-Pacific. From the 1890s, the former’s attempt to cultivate its diplomatic and strategic partnership with Tokyo had to contend with the latter’s fears of ‘Asiatic’ encroachment. This meant that by the late 1900s, the Anglo-Japanese relationship had acquired a distinctly (and uniquely) imperial character. No other question of foreign policy seemed capable of generating such deep structural divisions between Britain and its self-governing dominions. On no other issue were colonial claims to a role in the making of British foreign policy more forcefully asserted. British officials may have had little inclination to let their policies be guided by the Australian or Canadian governments (and still less by the British mercantile interests in East Asia). But they also knew, or were made to understand, the risks of an intra-imperial rift over the Japanese ‘question’. The struggle to reconcile these conflicting prerogatives, and the worldviews in which they were rooted, has been a recurring theme in this book. Meiji Japan’s rise coincided with and contributed to a marked intensification of great power rivalries in Europe and East Asia, and it was in this more competitive Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894–1914. Cees Heere, Oxford University Press (2020). © Cees Heere. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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Conclusion  195 international environment that British officials began to reconsider their ­relationship with the ‘rising power in the East’. From the late 1890s onward, London looked to Japan as a bulwark against the growing influence of Russia and the threat of a Chinese partition. The combined imperial crisis of the South African War and the Boxer Rising catalysed this argument into the alliance of 1902. These realpolitiker calculations ran parallel to a cultural reassessment. Of the British writers who turned their thoughts and pens to the Far East after 1895, many reconceptualized the ‘new’ Japan as a progressive, modernizing nation: an Asian counterpart to Great Britain. Presenting the alliance of the ‘two island empires’ as an inherently progressive coalition (with an outrigger in the United States) offered an expedient way to sidestep the problem of Japan’s racial difference, and an instrument to dispel alarmist speculation over a ‘yellow peril’. This confluence of ideology and geopolitics reached its apogee during the RussoJapanese War, as British commentators, both in Britain and in the empire, hailed the defeat of Russia as a victory by proxy for civilization, for Christianity, or even for the Anglo-Saxon race. The Russo-Japanese War drastically shifted the internal dynamics of the AngloJapanese relationship. The British government was keen to demonstrate its willingness to recognize Japan’s status as a fellow great power; the revision of the alliance in 1905 was conceived, in part, as an attempt to convert the treaty into a ‘full’ alliance of diplomatic equals. It was also in this context that racial dis­crim­in­ ation against Japan, most glaringly in the form of the colour line drawn around ‘white Australia’, took on new political significance. In the aftermath of the Russian war, there appeared to be some room for optimism. Canada’s signing of the AngloJapanese commercial treaty, in the hope of instilling an appetite for its produce ‘in the stomach of the Orient’ seemed a sign that colonial governments were developing a new sense of obligations to Britain’s Asian ally. Even in Australia, there were moves towards immigration reform. But such hopes proved misplaced. In Australasia and on the Pacific coast of North America, Japan’s ‘civilizational’ achievements did little to dispel local racial fears. The events surrounding the Japanese immigration ‘crisis’ of 1906–8 showed that the controversy would intensify, rather than dissipate, as Japan’s power grew. It also pointedly illustrated that the immigration question carried an unnerving potential to realign inter­nation­al politics—as intimated in Theodore Roosevelt’s suggestions for an Anglo-American pact to keep the Japanese ‘to their own side of the Pacific’.1 This was not the seamless integration into the ‘comity of civilized nations’ that Japanese diplomats and their British supporters had hoped for, or which some later histories of Japan’s entry into international society have presented. At every turn, British officials were confronted with the divisive potential of the ‘colour

1  King Diary, 25 January 1908, LAC/WLMK, MG26-J13, item 4474.

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196  Empire Ascendant question’, not least in its ramifications for their own multiracial empire. But on the whole, they remained confident in their ability to manage its practical manifestations. As racial antagonism grew more pronounced throughout the ‘white Pacific’ in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War, the Anglo-Japanese alliance took on new significance as an international instrument that spanned across the global ‘colour line’. It allowed Japan to be secure in the knowledge that its status as an Asian power would not leave it internationally isolated (as had happened with the Triple Intervention of 1895), while offering beleaguered whites a degree of diplomatic insulation for their exclusion policies. The Canadian response to the Vancouver riots exemplified this well. As Laurier subsequently acknowledged, the successful conclusion of the Lemieux agreement owed everything to the alliance and Canada’s membership of the imperial system. At the 1911 imperial conference, he supported renewal wholeheartedly. In Australia and New Zealand, a different set of issues predominated. Here, proposals to soften the impact of exclusion through a diplomatic agreement never made serious headway. Instead, Australasia’s ‘Japanese question’ came to concentrate on the issue of imperial defence, and particularly on the search for a robust naval presence that could guarantee the long-term security of ‘white’ Australia and New Zealand in their turbulent international environment. After 1905, the strategic danger posed by the Japanese fleet lent momentum to calls for a national defence policy in both dominions. Yet the move towards a national defence in Australia—and after 1912, in New Zealand—should be seen in the context of a nationalism that defined itself ever more emphatically in imperial and racial terms. For Australasian elites, self-defence became a means to demonstrate their commitment to the imperial world-system on which their white, British character depended. Here was their ‘solid national advantage accruing from the British connection’ that Richard Jebb had identified in 1905.2 Yet underneath the rhetoric of Britannic unity, this often proved a conflicted process. Dominion contributions to imperial defence came attached to an expectation of racial solidarity. Just as they understood that their own security was bound up with Britain’s global naval dominance, the Australasian dominions also insisted that the supremacy of the ‘British race’ in the coming century would hinge on the growth of its demographic bridgeheads in the Pacific. The true purpose of empire, as Frederick Eggleston posited in a memorandum to the Australian delegation to the Paris Peace conference in 1919, was ‘the realisation of the unity of the British race and its mission of civilization to the world’.3 Framed in these terms, ‘white Australia’ could claim its place at the centre of the imperial enterprise.

2 Jebb, Studies in Colonial Nationalism, pp. 81–5. 3  Eggleston, ‘Memorandum on the National Policy of Australia’, [1919] NLA, Eggleston Papers, MS 423/6/367.

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Conclusion  197 At moments of crisis, like the 1909 naval scare, or the outbreak of the First World War, this logic could harmonize imperial interests with concerns over local racial security to produce impressive displays of unity. But the Britannic ‘alliance’ remained a fractious, contested entity. Dominion politicians frequently bristled at London’s perceived lack of enthusiasm for their vision of a ‘white empire’, while British officials jealously guarded the ‘imperial’ business of diplomacy against colonial interference. Intra-imperial clashes over immigration and naval defence cast a long shadow: in a 1915 memorandum on Pacific policy, Arthur Jose, now secretary of the Australian naval board, still complained that London was apt to see ‘white Australia’ as a liability. ‘[T]he interest of maintaining in the Pacific a purely British stock, free from the admixture of Asiatic or other races’, he wrote to the Commonwealth’s new prime minister, William Morris Hughes, ‘seems to be regarded by a great many British publicists as hardly an Imperial interest at all’.4 But the only way out of this problem, Jose argued, was for Australia to demonstrate its imperial value by throwing itself ‘wholeheartedly into the war’.5 The argument reflected an acute awareness of the extent to which ‘white Australia’ had come to depend on imperial support—and it would feature prominently in the government’s campaigns for conscription in 1916 and 1917.6 But Hughes remained adamant that Australia’s loyalty to the empire could never extend to concessions on its racial security. ‘Australia’, he told Edward Grey during his visit to London in the spring of 1916, ‘would rather fight to the last ditch than allow Japanese to enter’.7 At the Paris peace conference, British diplomats were forced to look on as Hughes subjected the Japanese proposal to introduce a ‘racial equality clause’ into the covenant of the League of Nations to a very public rejection.8 This book has argued that the British encounters with Japan served as a focal point for contemporary thinking on race, global politics, and the prospects of empire in the twentieth century. Hughes’s performance at Paris exemplified one prominent strand in that story: the attempt to reframe the imperial project in racial terms, in anticipation of a future that would see global politics reorganized along the ‘colour line’. But set against this was the realization, propagated among other places from the pages of The Times, that the empire’s own racial fissures were sure to render such an attempt unfeasible, even dangerous. Japan’s rise had inculcated British officials with a wary respect for Asian nationalism, and underlined the need to avoid a semblance of colour-bias in their dealings with non-white peoples whether within or outside the imperial system. This was the

4  [A. W. Jose and W. H. C. Thring], ‘A Post-Bellum Naval Policy for the Pacific, Part I’, 22 October 1915, NLA, Hughes Papers, MS 1538/19/1. 5  [A. W. Jose and W. H. C. Thring], ‘A Post-Bellum Naval Policy for the Pacific, Part II’, 22 October 1915, NLA, Hughes Papers, MS 1538/19/1. 6 Meaney, Australia and World Crisis, pp. 176–9. 7  Hughes to Pearce, 21 April 1916, AWM, Pearce Papers, 3DRL/2222/4/2. 8  ‘Minute on Racial Equality’, 1919, NLA, Hughes Papers, MS 1538/24/11.

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198  Empire Ascendant salient point of a memorandum composed by Edward Grigg, now Lloyd George’s personal secretary, on the eve of the 1921 imperial conference, where the fate of the Japanese alliance would be discussed. In it, the former editor of the Round Table pointed out the dangers that a too-sudden abrogation of the treaty might carry for the global race relations on which imperial cohesion had come to depend: The main danger of the Empire at the present time does not lie in the relations of the United Kingdom and the White Dominions. In spite of their sensitiveness and intransigence, the white Dominions are British and do not mean to break the Empire up. The danger lies in the relation between the White Empire, taking the United Kingdom and the White Dominions as a whole, and the Asiatic Empire, of which India is the most sensitive and important part. Hitherto the Empire—in spite of much anti-colour legislation in different parts—has steadily served as a bridge between the white and the coloured peoples, particularly between the Western peoples and Asia . . . The Anglo-Japanese alliance was to the peoples of Asia a striking proof of our determination to deal fairly between Western and Eastern nations. We gave Japan her chance.9

The Japanese alliance, Grigg thought, raised the racial dilemmas of the empire in a ‘concrete form’. If Britain terminated its treaty with the ‘leading Asiatic people’ (as the Canadian government under Borden’s successor, Arthur Meighen, wanted) it ‘should be believed to be ranging ourselves definitely with the United States in an anti-colour Pacific policy’. This, in turn, would undermine the legitimacy of the colonial project in India, and encourage Japan in the ‘fomenting of Asiatic unrest’.10 It was an apt summation of the internal contradictions of the British system. Race might offer alluring opportunities for new forms of imperial and international cohesion, but invariably at the expense of alienating those it excluded. In the act of coming together, the empire might only succeed in tearing itself apart.

9  Grigg to Lloyd George, 25 May 1921, BLO, Grigg Papers, mf. 1006. 10  Grigg to Lloyd George, 25 May 1921, BLO, Grigg Papers, mf. 1006.

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Bibliography Primary Sources 1.  Official Records British Library, London India Office Records (IOR)

Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa Department of Militia and Defence (RG 24)

National Archives of Australia, Canberra Prime Minister’s Office (A1)

National Archives of the United Kingdom, London Admiralty (ADM) Cabinet Office (CAB), in particular CAB 1 (Miscellaneous records) CAB 38 (Copies of CID minutes and memoranda) Colonial Office (CO) records, in particular, CO 13 (South Australia) CO 42 (Canada correspondence) CO 201 (New South Wales) CO 418 (Australia) CO 532 (Secretariat of the Imperial Conference) CO 886 (Dominions, confidential print) Foreign Office (FO) records, in particular, FO 46 (Japan before 1906) FO 371 (General correspondence after 1906) FO 405 (China, confidential print before 1906) FO 410 (Japan, confidential print before 1906) FO 881 (Confidential print after 1906)

2.  Private Papers and Archives Australian War Memorial, Canberra George Foster Pearce

Bodleian Library, Oxford Herbert Asquith James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce Lionel Curtis

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200 Bibliography Edward Grigg, 1st Baron Altrincham Lewis Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne Sir Horace Rumbold John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley Records of the Round Table Records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

British Library Arthur James Balfour George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Earl Curzon of Keddleston Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe Sir Edward Hutton John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne Oliver Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer

British Library of Political and Economic Science Beatrice Webb (Lady Passfield)

Broomhall House, Dunfermline Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin All quotations reproduced by kind permission of the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine

Cadbury Research Library, Birmingham Joseph Chamberlain Cambridge University Library Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe Sir Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penthurst

Churchill College Archives Centre, Cambridge Leopold Amery Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher Alfred Lyttelton Reginald McKenna Arnold Robertson Sir Cecil Spring-Rice

Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY Willard Dickerman Straight

Durham University Library Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey

Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto John Otway Percy Bland

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Bibliography  201 Institute for Commonwealth Studies, London Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett Richard Jebb

Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College London Sir Ian Hamilton

Library and Archives of Canada Sir Robert Laird Borden Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey William Lyon Mackenzie King Sir Wilfrid Laurier Rodolphe Lemieux Sir Joseph Pope

Mitchell Library, Sydney Arthur Jose George Ernest Morrison

National Archives of Australia Sir Joseph Cook

National Archives of the United Kingdom Sir Beilby Francis Alston Sir Edward Grey Sir John Jordan Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne Henry Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote Sir Ernest Satow

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Sir Gerard Noel

National Library of Australia, Canberra Sir Edmund Barton David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow [accessed through the Australian Joint Copying Project] Sir Joseph Cook Alfred Deakin Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman Frederic William Eggleston Andrew Fisher John Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun [accessed through the Australian Joint Copying Project] William Morris Hughes

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202 Bibliography Atlee Arthur Hunt Ronald Munro-Ferguson, 1st Viscount Novar Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson

National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto

News UK Archive, London Charles Moberley Bell Sir Valentine Chirol Records of The Times

Parliamentary Archives, London John St Loe Strachey

Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Middelburg Theodore Roosevelt

School of Oriental and African Studies, London Records of the China Association

3.  Published Primary Sources Baelz, T. (ed.), Awakening Japan: The Diary of a German Doctor (Bloomington, IN, 1974). Boyce, D. G. (ed.), The Crisis of British Power: The Imperial and Naval Papers of the Second Earl of Selborne, 1895–1910 (London, 1990). Churchill, R. (ed.), The Churchill Documents, vol. V: At the Admiralty, 1911–1914 (Hillsdale, 2008). Cortazzi, H., and G. Webb (eds), Kipling’s Japan: Collected Writings (London, 2012). Fairbank, J. K., K. F. Bruner, E. M. Matheson, and J. D. Campbell (eds), The I.G. in Peking: Letters of Robert Hart, Chinese Maritime Customs, 1868–1907 (Cambridge, MA, 1975). La Nauze, J.  A. (ed.), Federated Australia: Selections from Letters to the Morning Post, 1900–1910 (Melbourne, 1968). Lo, H. (ed.), The Correspondence of G. E. Morrison, 1895–1912 (Cambridge, 1976). Marder, A. J. (ed.), Fear God and Dread Nought: The Correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone (London, 1956). Morison, E. E. (ed.), The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt (8 vols, Cambridge, MA., 1951–54). Ruxton, I. (ed.), Sir Ernest Satow’s Private Letters to W.G.  Aston and F.V.  Dickins: The Correspondence of a Pioneer Japanologist from 1870 to 1918 (2008). Ruxton, I. (ed.), The Diaries of Sir Ernest Satow, British Envoy in Peking (1900–06) (2006). Ruxton, I. (ed.), The Semi-Official Letters of British Envoy Sir Ernest Satow from Japan and China (1895–1906) (2007). Ruxton, I. (ed.), The Diaries of Sir Ernest Satow, British Envoy in Japan (1895–1900) (2010).

4.  Published Government Documents Parliamentary Records Canadian Parliamentary Debates Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates Hansard, United Kingdom

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Bibliography  203 Queensland Parliamentary Debates New South Wales Parliamentary Debates New Zealand Parliamentary Debates

Parliamentary Papers, Canada Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration (Ottawa, 1902). Report by W.L.  Mackenzie King, C.M.G., Commissioner Appointed to Investigate into the Losses Sustained by the Japanese Population of Vancouver, B.C., on the Occasion of the Riots in that City in September, 1907 (Ottawa, 1907). Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the Methods by which Oriental Labourers Have Been Induced to Come to Canada (Ottawa, 1908). Report by W.L. Mackenzie King, C.M.G., On Mission to England to Confer with the British Authorities on the Subject of Immigration to Canada from the Orient, and Immigration from India in Particular (Ottawa, 1908).

Parliamentary Papers, United Kingdom Proceedings of the Imperial Conference, 1911 (Cd. 5745)

5.  Newspapers and Journals Academy Age [Melbourne] Argus [Melbourne] Auckland Star Blackwood’s Magazine Brisbane Courier British Columbia Magazine Bulletin China’s Millions Contemporary Review Daily Mail Daily Telegraph [Sydney] Economist Empire Review Evening Post [Wellington] Evening News [Sydney] Fortnightly Review Japan Times Journal for the Royal Society of the Arts Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute Journal of the Royal United Services Institute Manchester Guardian Monthly Review Morning Post Nation National Review New York Times New Zealand Herald [Auckland] New Zealand Truth [Wellington] Nineteenth Century and After

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204 Bibliography North American Review North China Herald [Shanghai] Observer Pall Mall Gazette Punch [London] Punch [Melbourne] Quarterly Review Review of Reviews Round Table Saturday Review Speaker Spectator Sydney Morning Herald Truth [Sydney] The Times United Empire Victoria Daily Colonist Westminster Gazette Westminster Review

6. Books [Anon.], The Decline and Fall of the British Empire (Oxford, 1905). Amery, L. S., Union and Strength: A Series of Papers on Imperial Questions (London, 1912). Amery, L. S., My Political Life: England Before the Storm, 1896–1914 (London, 1953). Ashmead-Bartlett, E., Port Arthur: The Siege and Capitulation (London, 1905). Bland, J. O. P., Recent Events and Present Policies in China (London, 1912). Borden, R.  L., The Question of Oriental Immigration: Speeches (in Part) Delivered by R. L. Borden, M.P. in 1907 and 1908 (Ottawa, 1908). Chirol, V., The Far Eastern Question (London, 1896). Colquhoun, A., China in Transformation (London, 1898). Colquhoun, A., The Mastery of the Pacific (London, 1902). Craig, G. C., The Federal Defence of Australasia (Sydney, 1897). Curzon, G. N., Problems of the Far East: China, Japan, Korea (2nd edn, London, 1896). Deakin, A., The Federal Story: The Inner History of the Federal Cause 1880–1900 (Melbourne, 1944). Dilke, C.  W., Greater Britain: A Record of Travel in English-Speaking Countries (London, 1868). Diósy, A., The New Far East (London, 1898). Dyer, H., Dai Nippon: The Britain of the East (London, 1904). Diósy, A., The New Far East (London, 1898). Fox, F., Problems of the Pacific (London, 1912). Hamilton, I., A Staff-Officer’s Scrap-Book of the Russo-Japanese War (2 vols, London, 1905–6). Hobson, J. A., Imperialism: A Study (London, 1902). Jebb, R., Studies in Colonial Nationalism (London, 1905). Jebb, R., The Britannic Question: A Survey of the Alternatives (London, 1913). Johnston, H., Views and Reviews from the Outlook of an Anthropologist (London, 1912). Lynch, G., The War of the Civilisations: Being the Record of a “Foreign Devil’s” Experiences with the Allies in China (London, 1901). Mahan, A. T., The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future (Boston, 1898).

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Bibliography  205 Maloney, W. R. M., Flashlights on Japan and the East (Melbourne, 1905). McCaul, E., Under the Care of the Japanese War Office (London, 1904). McKenzie, F. A., From Tokyo to Tiflis: Uncensored Letters from the War (London, 1905). McKenzie, F. A., The Unveiled East (New York, 1907). Norman, H., Peoples and Politics of the Far East: Travels and Studies in the British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese Colonies, Siberia, China, Japan, Korea, Siam and Malaya (London, 1895). Pearson, G. H., National Life and Character: A Forecast (London, 1893). Pulsford, E., The British Empire and the Relations of Asia and Australasia (Sydney, 1905). Putnam Weale, B. W. [B. Lennox-Simpson], The Coming Struggle in Eastern Asia (London, 1908). Ransome, S., Japan in Transition: A Comparative Study of the Progress Policy, and Methods of the Japanese Since their War with China (London, 1899). Sladen, D., Queer Things about Japan (London, 1904). Smith, G., Canada and the Canadian Question (Toronto, 1891). Stead, A., Great Japan: A Study in National Efficiency (London, 1906). Suematsu, K., The Risen Sun (London, 1905). White, T., The War in the East: Japan, China, and Korea (Philadelphia, 1895). Wilson, H. W., Japan’s Fight for Freedom: The Story of the War Between Russia and Japan (London, 1904).

7.  Articles and Chapters Boulger, D., ‘The Yellow Peril Bogey’, The Academy 55:323 (January 1904), pp. 30–9. Brett, R., ‘The Far Eastern Question’, Contemporary Review 67 (January 1895), pp. 817–824. Brooks, S., ‘America and the Alliance’, Fortnightly Review 71:424 (April 1902), pp. 555–64. Broomhall, M., ‘The Crisis in the Far East and the Church of Christ’, in China’s Millions (Toronto, 1905), pp. 26–28. Colomb, J. C., ‘The New Zealand Message’, United Service Magazine (June 1909), pp. 4–7. Colquhoun, A., ‘The Far Eastern Crisis’, North American Review 167 (November 1898), pp. 513–26. Colquhoun, A., ‘Sea Power in the Pacific’, Journal of the Royal United Services Institute 55:1 (April 1911), pp. 600–17. Cramp, C.  H., ‘The Coming Sea-Power’, North American Review 165:4 (October 1897), pp. 444–51. Crouch, R.  A., ‘An Australian View of the War’, Contemporary Review 86 (July 1904), pp. 178–184. Dilke, C. W., ‘English Influence in Japan’, Fortnightly Review 20 (1876), pp. 424–43. Dilke, C. W., ‘America and England in the Far East’, North American Review 169 (July 1899), pp. 558–63. Dillon, E.  J., ‘Yellow and White: The Coming War of Races’, Contemporary Review 93 (January 1908), pp. 269–82. E.G.J.M., ‘The Consequences of a Japanese Victory’, Blackwood’s Magazine 177 (January 1905), pp. 127–132. [Eggleston, F.], ‘Australia: A Plea for a National Policy’, Round Table 2:8 (September 1912), pp. 717–36. Eltzbacher, O., ‘The Yellow Peril’, The Nineteenth Century and After 55 (June 1904), pp. 910–25. Greenwood, F., ‘The Wilful Isolation of England’, Contemporary Review 67 (1895), pp. 837–52.

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206 Bibliography Greenwood, H., ‘British Diplomacy and Canadian Responsibilities’, in Empire Club Speeches, Being Addresses Delivered Before the Empire Club of Canada During Its Session of 1907–1908, ed. J. C. Hopkins (Toronto, 1910), pp. 15–20. [Grigg, E.], ‘Canada and the Navy’, Round Table 2:8 (September 1912), pp. 627–56. [Grigg, E.], ‘Naval Policy and the Pacific Question’, Round Table 4:15 (June 1914), pp. 391–462. Hurd, A., ‘The Racial War in the Pacific: An Imperial Peril’, Fortnightly Review 93:558 (June 1913), pp. 1031–46. Jebb, R., ‘The Imperial Problem of Oriental Immigration’, Journal of the Royal Society for the Arts 56 (April 1908), pp. 585–603. [Kerr, P.], ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, Round Table 1:2 (February 1911), pp. 105–53. [Kerr, P.], ‘The Emigration Question in Japan’, Round Table 1:3 (May 1911), pp. 263–69. Kincaid-Smith, M., ‘England, America and Japan: Some Facts and Impressions Gained During a Recent Visit to the Far East’, Empire Review 15 (1908), pp. 191–200. Knollys, H., ‘China’s Reputation-Bubble’, Blackwood’s Magazine 156 (1894), pp. 714–26. ‘Ignotus’, ‘Great Britain’s Debt to Japan’, National Review 35:207 (May 1900), pp. 378–88. Lawton, L., ‘The Naval Crisis within the Empire—II’, The Academy 87:207 (July 1914), pp. 8–9. Milner, A., ‘The Two Empires’, in A.  Milner (ed.), The Nation and the Empire: Being a Collection of Speeches and Addresses (London, 1913), pp. 289–99. Mitford, E. B., ‘Action and Reaction in the Far East’, Fortnightly Review 103:616 (January 1916), pp. 576–84. Moneypenny, W.  F., ‘The Imperial Ideal’, in C.  S.  Goldman (ed.), The Empire and the Century: A Series of Essays on Imperial Problems and Possibilities by Various Writers (London, 1905), pp. 5–28. Morris Stewart, A., ‘The Revelation of the East’, Contemporary Review 86 (July 1904), pp. 252–63. Parkin, G. R., ‘Canada and the Pacific’, in C. S. Goldman (ed.), The Empire and the Century (London, 1905), pp. 409–19. Pownall, C. A. W., ‘Russia, Japan, and Ourselves’, The Nineteenth Century 55:325 (March 1904), pp. 368–74. Stead, A., ‘Port Arthur and After’, Fortnightly Review 77:458 (February 1905), pp. 211–223. Stead, A., ‘Racial Prejudice against Japan’, Fortnightly Review 82:490 (October 1907), pp. 637–51. Stewart, A. M., ‘The Revelation of the East’, Contemporary Review 86 (July 1904), pp. 252–63. ‘Viator’, ‘Asia Contra Mundum’, Fortnightly Review, 83:494 (February 1908), pp. 185–200. Vroonan, F. B., ‘British Columbia and Her Imperial Outlook’, British Columbia Magazine 8:3 (April 1912), pp. 315–21. Watney, C., ‘The Future of Manchuria’, Contemporary Review 95 (January 1909), pp. 338–48. Wilson, H. W., ‘Japan’s Trafalgar’, National Review 14 (July 1905), pp. 782–805.

Secondary Sources 1. Books Atkinson, D. C., The Burden of White Supremacy: Containing Asian Migration in the British Empire and the United States (Chapel Hill, NC, 2016). Anderson, S., Race and Rapprochement: Anglo-Saxonism and Anglo-American Relations, 1895–1904 (London, 1981). Aydin, C., The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought (New York, 2007).

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Bibliography  207 Azuma, E., Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America (Oxford, 2005). Bashford, A., Global Population: History, Geopolitics, and Life on Earth (New York, 2014). Beasley, W. G., Japanese Imperialism, 1894–1945 (Oxford, 1987). Belich, J., Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783–1939 (Oxford, 2009). Bell, C. M., Churchill and Sea Power (Oxford, 2014). Bell, D., The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860–1900 (Princeton, NJ, 2007). Bickers, R., Britain in China: Community, Culture, and Colonialism, 1900–1949 (Manchester, 1999). Borstelmann, T., The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena (Cambridge, MA, 2003). Bright, R., Chinese Labour in South Africa, 1902–10: Race, Violence, and Global Spectacle (London, 2013). Cain, P. J., and A. G. Hopkins, British Imperialism, 1688–2000 (Edinburgh, 2002). Chang, K., Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.–Canadian Borderlands (Berkeley, CA, 2012). Chida, T., and P. Davies, The Japanese Shipping and Shipbuilding Industries: A History of their Modern Growth (London, 1990). Clark, C., The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to War in 1914 (London, 2014). Connor, J., Anzac and Empire: George Foster Pearce and the Foundations of Australian Defence (Melbourne, 2011). Cullinane, M., and A.  Goodall, The Open Door Era: United States Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (Edinburgh, 2017). Daniels, R., The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion (Berkeley, CA, 1977). Darwin, J., After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400–2000 (London, 2008). Darwin, J., The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830–1970 (Cambridge, 2011). Dayer, R. A., Finance and Empire: Sir Charles Addis, 1861–1945 (London, 1988). Dickinson, F.  R., War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914–1919 (Cambridge, MA, 1999). Dower, J., War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York, 1986). Dwyer, S., Sir William Rooke Creswell and the Foundation of the Australian Navy (Newcastle, 2014). Edwards, E. W., British Diplomacy and Finance in China, 1895–1914 (Oxford, 1987). Esthus, R. E., Theodore Roosevelt and Japan (Seattle, 1967). Evans, D. C., and M. R. Peattie, Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy (Annapolis, MD 1997). Frei, H. P., Japan’s Southward Advance and Australia: From the Sixteenth Century to World War II (Melbourne, 1991). Fritzinger, L., Diplomat Without Portfolio: Valentine Chirol, His Life, and ‘The Times’ (London, 2006). Gilmour, J. F., Trouble on Main Street: Mackenzie King, Reason, Race and the 1907 Vancouver Riots (Toronto, 2014). Gong, G., The Standard of Civilization in International Society (Oxford, 1980). Henning, J., Outposts of Civilization: Race, Religion, and the Formative Years of American– Japanese Relations (New York, 2000).

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208 Bibliography Hirobe, I., Japanese Pride, American Prejudice: Modifying the Exclusion Clause of the 1924 Immigration Act (Stanford, CA, 2001). Hirst, J., The Sentimental Nation: The Making of the Australian Commonwealth (Melbourne, 2000). Hollwitzer, H., Die Gelbe Gefahr: Geschichte eines Slachworts, Studien zum imperialistischen Denken (Göttingen, 1962). Hotta-Lister, A., The Japan-British Exhibition of 1910: Gateway to the Island Empire of the East (London, 1990). Hunter, J., ‘Deficient in Commercial Morality’?: Japan in Global Debates on Business Ethics in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (London, 2016). Huttenback, R.  A., Gandhi in South Africa: British Imperialism and the Indian Question, 1860–1914 (Ithaca, NY, 1971). Huttenback, R. A., Racism and Empire: White Settlers and Colored Immigrants in the British Self-Governing Colonies (Ithaca, NY, 1976). Hyam, R., Elgin and Churchill at the Colonial Office, 1905–1908: Tmhe Watershed of the Empire-Commonwealth (London, 1968). Iriye, A., Pacific Estrangement: Japanese and American Expansion, 1897–1911 (Cambridge, MA, 1976). Irving, H., To Constitute a Nation: A Cultural History of Australia’s Constitution (Melbourne, 1997). Jackson, I., Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City (Cambridge, 2018). Jansen, M., The Making of Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA, 2002). Keene, D., Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852–1912 (New York, 2002). Kennedy, P. M., The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, 1860–1914 (London, 1980). Kern, S., The Culture of Time and Space, 1880–1918 (Cambridge, MA, 1983). Krenn, M. L., The Color of Empire: Race and American Foreign Relations (Washington, DC, 2006). Lake, M., and H. Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Man’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality (Cambridge, 2008). Lambert, N. A., Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution (Columbus, SC, 1999). Laver, M., The Sakoku Edicts and the Politics of Tokugawa Hegemony (Amherst, NY, 2011). Lee, R. H. G., The Manchurian Frontier in Ch’ing History (Cambridge, MA, 1970). Lehmann, J. P., The Image of Japan: From Feudal Isolation to World Power (London, 1978). Lew-Williams, B., The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America (Cambridge, MA, 2018). Lissington, M. P., New Zealand and Japan, 1900–1941 (Wellington, 1971). Lone, S., Japan’s First Modern War: Army and Society in the Conflict with China, 1894–1895 (London, 1994). Lowe, P., Great Britain and Japan, 1911–15: A Study of British Far Eastern Policy (London, 1968). Magee, G. B., and A. S. Thompson, Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods, and Capital in the British World (Cambridge, 2010). Marder, A. J., From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: The Royal Navy in the Fisher Era, vol. I: The Road to War, 1904–1914 (Oxford, 1961). Markus, A., Fear and Hatred: Purefying Australia and California, 1850–1901 (Sydney, 1979). Maier, C., Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors (Cambridge, MA, 2007). Matsusaka, Y. T., The Making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904–1932 (Cambridge, MA, 2001).

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Bibliography  209 McGibbon, I., The Path to Gallipoli: Defending New Zealand, 1840–1915 (Wellington, 1991). McKeown, A., Melancholy Order: Asian Migration and the Globalization of Borders (New York, 2008). Meaney, N., The Search for Security in the Pacific, 1901–14 (Sydney, 1976). Meaney, N., Australia and World Crisis, 1914–1923 (Sydney, 2009). Mitcham, J.  C., Race and Imperial Defence in the British World, 1870–1914 (Cambridge, 2016). Morgan, W.  M., Pacific Gibraltar: U.S.–Japanese Rivalry over the Annexation of Hawaii, 1885–1898 (Annapolis, MD, 2011). Mountford, B., Britain, China, and Colonial Australia (Oxford, 2017). Neilson, K., Britain and the Last Tsar: British Policy and Russia, 1894–1917 (Oxford, 1995). Neu, C.E., An Uncertain Friendship: Theodore Roosevelt and Japan, 1906–1909 (Cambridge, MA, 1967). Nish, I., The Anglo-Japanese Alliance: The Diplomacy of Two Island Empires, 1894–1907 (London, 1966). Nish, I., Alliance in Decline: A Study in Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1908–1923 (London, 1972). Nish, I., The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War (London, 1985). Otte, T.  G., The China Question: Great Power Rivalry and British Isolation, 1894–1905 (Oxford, 2007). O’Brien, P. P., British and American Naval Power: Politics and Policy, 1900–1936 (Westport, CT, 1998). Paine, S. C. M., Imperial Rivals: China, Russia, and Their Disputed Frontier (London, 1996). Paine, S.  C.  M., The Sino-Japanese War: Perceptions, Power, and Primacy (Cambridge, 2002). Panayi, P., Enemy in Our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War (London, 2014). Pearl, C., Morrison of Peking (Sydney, 1967). Perez, L. G., Japan Comes of Age: Mutsu Munemitsu and the Revision of the Unequal Treaties (Madison, NJ, 1999). Potter, S., News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System (Oxford, 2003). Price, J., Orienting Canada: Race, Empire, and the Transpacific (Vancouver, 2012). Ravina, M., To Stand with the Nations of the World: Japan’s Meiji Restoration in World History (Oxford, 2017). Reynolds, D., China, 1898–1912: The Xinzheng Revolution and Japan (Cambridge, MA, 1993). Rose, L. A., Power at Sea: the Age of Navalism, 1890–1918 (Columbia, MO, 2007). Roy, P., A White Man’s Province: British Columbia Politicians and Chinese and Japanese Immigration, 1858–1914 (Vancouver, 1989). Roy, P., Boundless Optimism: Richard McBride’s British Columbia (Seattle, 2013). Schenking, J.  C., Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, and the Emergence of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868–1922 (Stanford, CA, 2005). Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, D., Towards the Rising Sun: Russian Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan (DeKalb, IL, 2001). Schwarz, B., The White Man’s World (Oxford, 2011). Scott, D., China and the International System, 1840–1949: Power, Presence, and Perceptions in a Century of Humiliation (Albany, NY, 2008). Searle, G., The Quest for National Efficiency: A Study in British Politics and Political Thought, 1899–1914 (Oxford, 1972).

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210 Bibliography Shimazu, N., Japan, Race and Equality: The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (London, 1998). Shimazu, N., Japanese Society at War: Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War (Cambridge, 2009). Siegel, J., Endgame: Britain, Russia, and the Final Struggle for Central Asia (London, 2002). Sugimoto, H.  H., Japanese Immigration, the Vancouver Riots and Canadian Diplomacy (New York, 1979). Thompson, A.  S., Imperial Britain: the Empire in British Politics, c. 1880–1932 (Harlow, 2000). Thornton, M., Churchill, Borden, and Anglo-Canadian Naval Relations, 1911–1914 (London, 2013). Trainor, L., British Imperialism and Australian Nationalism: Manipulation, Conflict, and Compromise in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 1994). Tsuzuki, C., The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan, 1825–1995 (Oxford, 2000). Tweedie, S., Trading Partners: Australia and Asia, 1790–1993 (Sydney, 1993). Vitalis, R., White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Ithaca, NY, 2015). Walker, D., Anxious Nation: Australia and the Rise of Asia, 1850–1939 (St Lucia, Qld, 1999). Wang, G., In Search of Justice: The 1905–1906 Chinese Anti-American Boycott (Cambridge, MA, 2001). Ward, W. P., White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy Towards Orientals in British Columbia (Montreal, 1978). Wilson, K.  M., The Policy of the Entente: Essays on the Determinants of British Foreign Policy, 1904–1914 (Cambridge, 1985). Wyatt, C., Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire (London, 2011). Xu, G., Asia and the Great War: A Shared History (Oxford, 2016). Yarwood, A.  T., Asian Migration to Australia: The Background to Exclusion, 1896–1923 (Melbourne, 1968). Yokoyama, T., Japan in the Victorian Mind: A Study of Stereotyped Images of a Nation, 1850–80 (Oxford, 1987).

2.  Articles and Chapters Avery  D., and P.  Neary, ‘Laurier, Borden and a White British Columbia’, Journal of Canadian Studies 12:4 (1977), pp. 23–34. Azuma, E., ‘Remapping a Pre-World War Two Japanese Diaspora: Transpacific Migration as an Articulation of Japan’s Colonial Expansionism’, in D. R. Gabbacía and D. Hoerder (eds), Connecting Seas and Connected Ocean Rims: Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans and China Seas Migrations from the 1830s to the 1930s (Leiden, 2011), pp. 415–39. Behm, A., ‘Settler Historicism and Anticolonial Rebuttal in the British World, 1880–1920’, Journal of World History 26:4 (2015), pp. 785–813. Beillevaire, P., ‘The Impact of the War on French Politics’, in R. Kowner (ed.), The Impact of the Russo-Japanese War (London, 2007), pp. 124–136. Bell, C. M., ‘Sentiment vs Strategy: British Naval Policy, Imperial Defence, and the Development of Dominion Navies, 1911–14’, International History Review 37:2 (2014), pp. 262–81. Bell, D., ‘Dissolving Distance: Technology, Space, and Empire in British Political Thought, 1770–1900’, Journal of Modern History 77: 3 (2005), pp. 523–62. Bell, D., ‘The Project for a New Anglo Century: Race, Space, and Global Order’, in P. Katzenstein (ed.), Anglo-America and Its Discontents: Civilizational Identities Beyond West and East (London, 2012), pp. 33–55.

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Bibliography  211 Best, A., ‘ “The Great Question of the World Today”: Britain, the Dominions, East Asian Immigration and the Threat of Race War, 1905–1911’, in R. Kowner and W. Demel (eds), Race and Racism in Modern East Asia, vol. II: Interactions, Nationalisms, Gender, and Lineage (Leiden, 2015), pp. 178–195. Best, A., ‘Race, Monarchy, and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1902–1922’, Social Science Japan Journal 9:2 (2006), pp. 171–86. Best, A., ‘ “The Shanghai Temper”: J.O.P. Bland (1863–1945) and Japan’, in H. Cortazzi (ed.), Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits, vol. VII (London, 2010), pp. 311–22. Best, A., ‘G. E. Morrison (1862–1920) and Japan, 1897–1920’, in H. Cortazzi (ed.), Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits, vol. VIII (London, 2013), pp. 469–80. Bickers, R., ‘Shanghailanders: the Formation and Identity of the British Settler Community in Shanghai, 1843–1937’, Past and Present 159:1 (1998), pp. 161–211. Bolton, G., ‘Money: Trade, Investment, and Economic Nationalism’, in D.M.  Schreuder and S. Ward (eds), Australia’s Empire (Oxford, 2008), pp. 211–31. Brailey, N., ‘Sir Ernest Satow, Japan, and Asia: The Trials of a Diplomat in the Age of High Imperialism’, Historical Journal 35:1 (1992), pp. 115–50. Bridge, C., and K.  Fedorowich, ‘Mapping the British World’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 31:2 (2003), pp. 1–15. Chang, K., ‘Circulating Race and Empire: Transnational Labor Activism and the Politics of Anti-Asian Agitation in the Anglo-American Pacific World, 1880–1910’, Journal of American History 96:3 (2009), pp. 678–701. Cole, D., ‘The Problem of “Nationalism” and “Imperialism” in British Settlement Colonies’, Journal of British Studies 10:2 (1971), pp. 160–82. Coletta, P. E., ‘ “The Most Thankless Task”: Bryan and the California Alien Land Legislation’, Pacific Historical Review 36:2 (1967), pp. 163–87. Darwin, J., ‘The Fear of Falling: British Politics and Imperial Decline since 1900’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 26 (1986), pp. 27–43. Edwards, E. W., ‘Great Britain and the Manchurian Railways Question, 1909–1910’, English Historical Review 81:321 (1966), pp. 740–69. Esenbel, S., ‘Japan’s Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945’, American Historical Review 109:4 (2004), pp. 1140–70. Esthus, R.  A., ‘The Changing Concept of the Open Door, 1899–1910’, Mississippi Valley Historical Review 46:3 (1959), pp. 435–54. Ferguson, D. S., ‘ “Splendid Allies” or “No More Deadly Enemies in the World”? General Sir Ian Hamilton, the British Military, and Japan, 1902–1914’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 4:4 (2010), pp. 523–36. Feuerwerker, A., ‘The Foreign Presence in China’, in J.  K.  Fairbank and A.  Feuerwerker (eds), The Cambridge History of China, vol. 13: Republican China, 1912–1949 (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 128–207. Fraser, T.  G., ‘The Sikh Problem in Canada and Its Political Consequences, 1905–1921’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 7:1 (1978), pp. 35–55. Gordon, D. C., ‘Roosevelt’s “Smart Yankee Trick” ’, Pacific Historical Review 30:4 (1961), pp. 351–58. Gowen  R.  J., ‘Canada and the Myth of the Japan Market, 1896–1911’, Pacific Historical Review 39:1 (February 1970), pp. 63–83. Gowen, R.  J., ‘British Legerdemain at the 1911 Imperial Conference: The Dominions, Defense Planning, and the Renewal of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, Journal of Modern History 52:3 (1980), pp. 385–413.

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212 Bibliography Hashimoto, Y., ‘White Hope or Yellow Peril?: Bushido, Britain, and the Raj’, in D.  Wolff et  al. (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol II (Leiden, 2007), pp. 379–402. Hearn, M., ‘Bound with the Empire: Narratives of Race, Nation, and Empire in the Australian Labor Party’s Defence Policy, 1901–21’, War and Society 32:2 (2013), pp. 95–115. Hearn, M., ‘ “Compelled by the Circumstance of Our Time and Situation”: Alfred Deakin’s 1907 Defence Statement as Narrative of Fin de Siècle Acceleration’, History Australia 13:4 (2016), pp. 508–24. Heere, C., ‘ “That Racial Chasm that Yawns Eternally in Our Midst”: The British Empire and the Politics of Asian Migration, 1900–1914’, Historical Research 90:249 (2017), pp. 591–612. Henning, J. M., ‘White Mongols? The War and American Discourses on Race and Religion’, in R. Kowner (ed.), The Impact of the Russo-Japanese War (London, 2007), pp. 153–66. Hennings, R.  E., ‘James  D.  Phelan and the Woodrow Wilson anti-Oriental Statement of May 3, 1912’, California Historical Society Quarterly 42:4 (1963), pp. 291–300. Henriot, C., ‘ “Little Japan” in Shanghai: an Insulated Community, 1875–1945’, in R. Bickers and C. Henriot(eds), New Frontiers: Imperialism’s New Communities in East Asia, 1842–1953 (Manchester, 2000), pp. 146–69. Hirakawa, S., ‘Portsmouth Denied: The Chinese Attempt to Attend’, in D. Wolff et al. (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol. II (Leiden, 2007), pp. 531–50. Hirama, Y., ‘Japanese Naval Assistance and its Effect on Australian–Japanese Relations’, in P. P. O’Brien (ed.), The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1902–1922 (London, 2004), pp. 140–58. Holmes, C., and A. H. Ion, ‘Bushido and the Samurai: Images in British Public Opinion, 1894–1914’, Modern Asian Studies 14:2 (1980), pp. 309–29. Howe, S., ‘British Worlds, Settler Worlds, World Systems, and Killing Fields’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40:4 (2012), pp. 691–725. Iikura, A., ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Question of Race’, in P. P. O’Brien (ed.), The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1902–1922 (London, 2004), pp. 222–36. Iikura  A., ‘The “Yellow Peril” and its Influence on Japanese-German Relations’, in C.  W.  Spang and R.  H.  Wippich (eds), Japanese-German Relations, 1895–1945: War, Diplomacy and Public Opinion (London, 2006), pp. 80–97. Jansen, M., ‘Japan and the Chinese Revolution of 1911’, in K.C. Liu and J.K. Fairbank (eds), The Cambridge History of China, vol. 11: Late Ch’ing, 1800–1911 (Cambridge, 1980), pp. 339–74. Keene, D., ‘The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and its Cultural Effects in Japan’, in D. Shively (ed), Tradition and Modernization in Japanese Culture (Princeton, NJ, 1971), pp. 121–75. Klotz, A., ‘Racial Inequality’, in T.  Dunne and C.  Reus-Smit (eds), The Globalization of International Society (Oxford, 2017), pp. 362–79. Kologlu, O., ‘Turkish and Islamic Perspectives of Japanese Modernisation: The Role of the Japanese Victory Over Russia 1904–1905’, Turkish Review of Middle East Studies 11 (2000), pp. 9–42. Kowner, R., ‘ “Lighter Than Yellow, but Not Enough”: Western Discourse on Japanese “Race”, 1854–1904’, Historical Journal 43:1 (2000), pp. 103–31. Kowner, R., ‘Becoming an Honorary Civilized Nation: Remaking Japan’s Military Image During the Russo-Japanese War’, The Historian 64:1 (2001), pp. 19–38. Kramer, P. A., ‘Empires, Exceptions, and Anglo-Saxons: Race and Rule Between the British and United States Empires, 1880–1910’, Journal of American History 88:4 (2002), pp. 1315–53.

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Bibliography  213 Kreisner, K., ‘Der Japanische Sieg über Russland (1905) Und sein Echo unter den Muslimen’, Die Welt Des Islams 21:4 (1981), pp. 209–39. Ku, D., ‘A Damocles Sword? Korean Hopes Betrayed’, in D. Wolff et al. (eds), The RussoJapanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol. II (Leiden 2007), pp. 435–66. Lake, M., ‘British World or New World? Anglo-Saxonism and Australian Engagement with America’, History Australia 10:3 (2013), pp. 36–50. Lambert, N., ‘Economy or Empire? The Fleet Unit Concept and the Quest for Collective Security in the Pacific, 1909–14’, in K. Neilson and G. Kennedy (eds), Far-Flung Lines: Studies in Imperial Defence in Honour of Donald Mackenzie Schurman (London, 1996), pp. 55–83. Lee, E., ‘The “Yellow Peril” and Asian Exclusion in the Americas’, Pacific Historical Review 76:4 (2007), pp. 537–62. Lu, S.  X., ‘Colonizing Hokkaido and the Origins of Japanese Trans-Pacific Expansion, 1869–1894’, Japanese Studies 36:2 (2016), pp. 251–74. MacDonald, N., ‘A Critical Growth Cycle for Vancouver, 1900–1914’, BC Studies: The British Columbian Quarterly 17 (1973), pp. 26–42. Marks, S. G., ‘ “Bravo, Brave Tiger of the East”: The Russo-Japanese War and the Rise of Nationalism in British Egypt and India’, in J. W. Steinberg et al. (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol. I (Leiden, 2005), pp. 609–27. Martens, J., ‘A Transnational History of Immigration Restriction: Natal and New South Wales, 1896–97’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 34:3 (2006), pp. 323–44. Martens, J., ‘Richard Seddon and Popular Opposition in New Zealand to the Introduction of Chinese Labour into the Transvaal, 1903–4’, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 42:2 (2008), pp. 176–195. Masuda, H., ‘Rumors of War: Immigration Disputes and the Social Construction of American–Japanese Relations, 1905–1913’, Diplomatic History 33:1 (2009), pp. 1–37. McKercher, B.  J.  C., ‘Diplomatic Equipoise: the Lansdowne Foreign Office, the RussoJapanese War of 1904–1905, and the Global Balance of Power’, Canadian Journal of History 24: 3 (1989), pp. 299–340. Meaney, N., ‘Britishness and Australian Identity: The Problem of Nationalism in Australian History and Historiography’, Australian Historical Studies 32:112 (2001), pp. 76–90. Meaney, N., ‘ “The Yellow Peril”: Invasion Scare Novels and Australian Political Culture’, in Australia and the Wider World: Selected Essays of Neville Meaney, ed. J.  Curran and S. Ward (Sydney, 2013), pp. 73–98. Miller, E.  S., ‘Japan’s Other Victory: Overseas Financing of the Russo-Japanese War’, in J.  W.  Steinberg et al. (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol I (Leiden, 2005), pp. 465–83. Murakami, Y., ‘Australia’s Immigration Legislation, 1893–1901: The Japanese Response’, in V.  Mackie and P.  Jones (eds), Relationships: Australia and Japan (Melbourne, 2001), pp. 45–70. Niergarth, K., ‘ “This Continent Must Belong to the White Races”: William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canadian Diplomacy and Immigration Law, 1908’, International History Review 32:4 (2010), pp. 599–617. Nish, I.  H., ‘Australia and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1901–1911’, Australian Journal of Politics and History 9:2 (1963), pp. 202–12. Nordyke, E.  C., and Y.  S.  Matsumoto, ‘The Japanese in Hawaii: A Historical and Demographic Perspective’, Hawaiian Journal of History 11 (1977), pp. 162–74. O’Brien, P. P., ‘The Titan Refreshed: Imperial Overstretch and the British Navy Before the First World War’, Past and Present 172 (2001), pp. 146–69.

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214 Bibliography Otte, T. G., ‘ “Not Proficient in Table-Thumping”: Sir Ernest Satow at Peking, 1900–1906’, Diplomacy & Statecraft 13:2 (2002), pp. 161–200. Otte, T. G., ‘The Fragmenting of the Old World Order: Britain, the Great Powers, and the War’, in R.  Kowner (ed.), The Impact of the Russo-Japanese War (London, 2007), pp. 91–108. Otte, T.G., ‘ “A Very Great Gulf ”: Late Victorian British Diplomacy and Race in East Asia’, in R. Kowner and W. Demel (eds), Race and Racism in Modern East Asia, Vol. I: Western and Eastern Constructions (Leiden, 2012), pp. 127–152. Peattie, M.H., ‘Japanese Treaty Port Settlements in China, 1895–1937’, in P.  Duus, R. H. Myers, and M. R. Peattie (eds), The Japanese Informal Empire in China, 1895–1937 (Princeton, NJ, 1989), pp. 166–209. Pham, P. L., ‘On the Edge of the Orient: English Representations of Japan, ca. 1895–1910’, Japanese Studies 19:2 (1999), pp. 163–81. Schiffrin, H., ‘The Impact of the War on China’, in R. Kowner (ed.), The Impact of the RussoJapanese War (London, 2007), pp. 169–82. Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, D., ‘The Immediate Origins of the War’, in J. W. Steinberg et al. (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol. I (Leiden, 2005), pp. 23–44. Sissons, D. C. S., ‘Australian–Japanese Relations: The First Phase 1859–91’, in A. Stockwin and K.  Tamura (eds), Bridging Australia and Japan: The Writings of David Sissons, Historian and Political Scientist, Vol I (Canberra, 2016), pp. 41–86. Shimazu, N., ‘ “Love Thy Enemy”: Japanese Perceptions of Russia’, in J. W. Steinberg et al. (eds), The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero, vol. I (Leiden, 2005), pp. 365–84. Suzuki, S., ‘Japan’s Socialization into Janus-Faced International Society’, European Journal of International Relations 11:1 (2016), pp. 137–64. Taylor, G.  P., ‘New Zealand, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the 1908 Visit of the American Fleet’, Australian Journal of Politics and History 15:1 (1969), pp. 55–76. Thompson, A. S., ‘Imperial Ideology in Edwardian Britain’, in A. Bosco and A. May (eds), The Round Table, the Empire/Commonwealth, and British Foreign Policy (London, 1997), pp. 3–20. Tonooka, C., ‘Reverse Emulation and the Cult of Japanese Efficiency in Edwardian Britain’, Historical Journal 60:1 (2017), pp. 95–119. Toshiyuki, M., ‘The Changing Pattern of Sino-Japanese Trade, 1884–1937’, in P.  Duus, R. H. Myers, and M. R. Peattie (eds), The Japanese Informal Empire in China, 1895–1937 (Princeton, NJ, 1989), pp. 10–30. Tumblin, J., ‘ “Grey Dawn” in the British Pacific: Race, Security, and Colonial Sovereignty on the Eve of World War I’, Britain and the World 9:2 (2016), pp. 32–54. Uchida, J., ‘From Island Nation to Ocean Empire: A Vision of Japanese Expansion from the Periphery’, Journal of Japanese Studies 42:1 (2016), pp. 57–90. Valliant, R., ‘The Selling of Japan: Japanese Manipulation of Western Opinion, 1900–1905’, Monumenta Nipponica 29:4 (1974), pp. 415–38. Ward, S., ‘Security: Defending Australia’s Empire’, in D.  Schreuder and S.  Ward (eds), Australia’s Empire (Oxford, 2010), pp. 232–58. Wong, S.  K., ‘Die for the Boycott and Nation: Martyrdom and the 1905 Anti-American Movement in China’, Modern Asian Studies 35:3 (2001), pp. 565–88. Yamamoto, T., ‘Japan’s Passport System and the Opening of Borders, 1866–1876’, Historical Journal 60:4 (2017), pp. 997–1021.

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Bibliography  215 3.  Dissertations and Theses Chase, R., ‘Imagining an Anglo Ocean: The Great White Fleet in the Pacific’, PhD dissertation, University of California, Irvine, 2012. Gowen, R.  J., ‘Canada’s Relations with Japan, 1895–1922’, PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 1966. May, A., ‘The Round Table, 1910–1966’, DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1995. Thompson, G., ‘Ontario’s Empire: Liberalism and “Britannic” Nationalism in Laurier’s Canada, 1887–1919’, DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 2017. Tumblin, J., ‘The Widening Gyre: Security, Sovereignty, and the Making of Modern Statehood in the British Empire, 1898–1931’, PhD dissertation, Boston College, 2016.

4.  Presentations and Conference Proceedings Best, A., ‘Alliance in Parallel: the Rise and Fall of the Times’s Love Affair with Japan, 1895–1922’, read at the BIHG Annual Conference, Liverpool, September 2007. In author’s possession. Daniels, G., ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the British Press’, London School of Economics Discussion Paper IS/03/443, January 2003. Nish, I., ‘Suematsu Kenchō: International Envoy to Wartime Europe’, read at the Suntory Centre, London School of Economics, May 2005.

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Index For the benefit of digital users, indexed terms that span two pages (e.g., 52–53) may, on occasion, appear on only one of those pages. Addis, Charles  91–2 Admiralty  152–3, 162, 184–7, 189–90 See also ‘McKenna, Reginald’; ‘Churchill, Winston’ Allen, James  138–9, 149–50, 157, 187–9 Amery, Leo  119–20, 140, 145–6 Anethan, Albert d’  13–14 Anglo-Japanese alliance (1902)  1–3, 15–18, 22–3, 42–3, 79, 94, 125–6, 153–4, 162, 164–5, 169–70, 186–7, 190–1, 198 Japanese reception of  1–3 1905 renewal  61–6, 195 1911 renewal  171–7 Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation (1894)  33–4 And Australia  33–5, 75–6 And Canada  70–1, 105–6, 110, 182, 195 Arnold-Forster, H.O.  125–6 Ashmead-Bartlett, Ellis  55, 60–1 Arthur, Richard  155 Asiatic Exclusion League  100–1, 106–7, 109–10, 114–15, 128–9 Asquith, Herbert Henry  151, 171–2, 174–5 Australia And Anglo-Japanese alliance  2–3, 17–18, 41–3, 73–4, 133, 159–60, 170–2, 174–5, 187–93 Defence of  73, 137–40, 148–9, 151, 153–5, 157, 170–1, 175, 183–7, 196 Federation  31–2, 38, 134 And ‘Great White Fleet’  142–5 Nationalism and nationality  134, 136, 138–40, 148–9, 156–7 And Pacific trade  72, 75–6 ‘White Australia’ policy  27–8, 34–6, 38–43, 66–7, 71–6, 119, 123–4, 134–6, 139, 148, 183–4, 186–91, 193, 195–7 Awdry, Bishop William  54–5 Balfour, Arthur James  15–16, 49, 57, 61–4, 74, 125–6, 140, 160–1, 165–6, 168–9 Barton, Edmund  38–45 Bland, John Otway Percy  60–1, 80, 82–7, 89–99 Bean, C.E.W.  139–40

Beresford, Admiral Charles William de la Poer  16–17 Boer War, see South African War Bonar Law, Arthur  125–6 Borden, Robert Laird  110, 179, 182–7, 192–3 Boxer Uprising (1900)  21, 51 Brinkley, Colonel Francis  55–6 Bryan, William Jennings  180–1 Bryce, Lord James  104–5, 117–18, 126–7 Bulletin, The  34–5, 39–41, 43, 66–7, 119, 135–6, 144 Cassidy, Robert  29–30 Campbell-Bannerman, Henry  125 Canada And Anglo-Japanese alliance  171–2, 174 Interest in Pacific trade  68–70, 107 International position of  110–11 Negotiations with Japan  111–14, 153 See also Vancouver riots Chamberlain, Austen  125–6 Chamberlain, Joseph  36–45, 57, 66–7 China Potential alliance with Britain  10–11 British policy in  13, 85–6, 96–7, 162–4 Reform of, by Japan  53–4, 78–9, 81–2 See also ‘open door’ China Association  53–4, 82–3, 94, 162–3 Chirol, Valentine  15–17, 59–61, 86–7, 93–7, 99, 104–5, 123–4, 135–6, 145, 181, 194 Churchill, Winston  126, 137, 140, 146–7, 184–93 Christianity, see also ‘religion’  17–18, 54–5, 194–5 ‘Civilization’  18, 21, 28–9 As an international category  2–3, 50, 194–6 And Russo-Japanese War  52–5 Clarke, Sir George  43–5, 63–4, 73–4 Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready  23, 150–1 Colonial Conference (1897)  37–8 Colonial Office  36–8, 41–2, 74–6, 120–2, 137, 140–2, 144, 156 See also Chamberlain, Joseph; Crewe, Earl of Colquhoun, Archibald  15–18, 164–5 Committee of Imperial Defence  58–9, 63–4, 151–2, 171–3, 181

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218 Index Connaught, Prince Arthur of  64–6 Cook, Joseph  50, 132–3, 147–8, 154–5, 190–1 Craig, George Cathcart  31 Creswell, Admiral C.R.  149 Crewe, Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes, 1st Earl of  153–4, 156, 167, 172, 177–8 Cromer, Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of  82–3, 125–6 Crouch, Richard  66–7 Curtis, Lionel  127–8, 177n.98 Curzon, George Nathaniel  8–12, 25, 49–50, 63–4 Deakin, Alfred  30–1, 38–41, 50, 66, 73–6, 121–2, 130–2, 134–40, 145, 151, 154–7 ‘Pacific Monroe Doctrine’ proposal  142–4 Dilke, Sir Charles  9–11, 17–18, 23–4 Dillon, E.J.  108 Drury, R.L.  128–9 Dunsmuir, James  100–1 Dyer, Henry  54 Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland  62–3, 68–9 Eggleston, Frederick  186–9, 196 Eitaki Hisakichi  41 Elgin, Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of  121–2 Esher, Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount  11–12, 165–6 Ewing, Thomas  35–6 Fakumen See ‘South Manchurian Railway’ Foreign Office  13–15, 41–2, 93–4, 96–7, 99, 104, 108, 117–18, 126–8, 142–3, 159–60, 162–4, 171–2 See also ‘Lansdowne, Marquess of ’; ‘Grey, Sir Edward’ Feng Xiawei  80 First World War (1914–18)  191–3, 197 Fisher, Andrew  148–9, 166–7, 174–5, 189 Fisher, Admiral Sir John  134–5, 152–3, 162 Fisher, Sydney  68, 70–1 Forrest, Sir John  36–7, 43–5 Fox, Frank  132, 134–5 Foxton, Colonel Justin  153 France  9–10, 12–13, 15–16, 49, 56–7, 61–2, 91–2, 146–7, 155, 160–2, 184–5 Fraser, Everard  97–8 Freeman-Mitford, Algernon  21–2 Fremantle, Sir Edmund  19–20 Fukuzawa Yukichi  1, 27 Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand  108–9 Garvin, James Louis  104, 119–20 Germany  10, 12–13, 15, 20–1, 52, 59–60, 79, 160–2, 168–9, 173, 177–8, 189, 191–3 Anglo-German naval race  94–6, 146–52, 162, 169, 184–5, 189–91

‘Gentlemen’s agreement’ (1907)  167, 174, 179, 182–3 See also ‘Lemieux, Sir Rodolphe’ George V, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland  171–2 Glasgow, David Boyle, 7th Earl of  30–1 Glynn, Patrick  31–2 Gotō Shinpei  82 ‘Great White Fleet’  133, 141–6 Greene, Sir William Conyngham  159–60, 178–80 Greenwood, Frederick  20–1, 57–9 Greenwood, Hamar  107–8, 119–20 Grey, Albert, 4th Earl  68–70, 109–11, 113–14, 116–17, 142, 163–4, 167, 172 Grey, Sir Edward  79, 85–6, 117–18, 126–8, 142, 162–4, 167, 172–5, 178–9, 197 Grigg, Edward  187–9, 191–3, 197–8 Gwynne, Howell Arthur  125–6, 166–7 Harriman, Edward Henry  82 Hart, Sir Robert  10–11, 13, 54, 58–9, 90–1 Hamilton, General Sir Ian  55, 58–9, 158 Hardinge, Sir Charles  60, 162, 181 Hawaii  10, 25–7, 33, 36, 102, 112 Hayashi Tadasu  41, 103–4, 111–12, 129 Henderson, Admiral Reginald  170–1 Hillier, Edward Guy  84–5 Hong Kong  13, 15–16, 24–5, 72–3, 79–80, 84–5, 87, 134–5, 151–2, 163–4, 186–7 Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank  84–5, 91–2, 162–3 Hopetoun, John Hope, 7th Earl of  41–2 Hopwood, Sir Francis  143–4 Hosie, Alexander  96 Howard, Esme  104 Hughes, William Morris  39–42, 133–4, 136–7, 157, 175, 197–8 Hurd, Archibald  180–1 Hutton, General Sir Edward  31, 42–3 Iganaki Manjirō  27 Immigration, see ‘migration’ Imperial Conference of 1907  140–1 Imperial Conference of 1911  171–7, 195–6 Imperial Defence Conference of 1909  151, 153–5, 170–1 India Defence of  15, 63–4, 161–2 Japanese effect on  50, 58, 79, 122–3, 181, 198 Ishii Kikujirō  100–1 Itō Hirobumi  163–4 Iwasaki Kazuo  74–5 James, Lionel  60–1 James, Walter  134–5 Japanese training squadron  43–5, 130–2

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Index  219 Jebb, Richard  75, 112–13, 120–1, 140–1, 143–4, 149, 156–7, 186 Jordan, Sir John  85–6, 93, 96 Jose, Arthur Wilberforce  123–4, 135–6, 189–93, 197 Katō Kanji  191–2 Katō Takaaki  36 Katsura Tarō  52–3 Kerr, Philip  168–70 Keswick, William  53–4 Kimberley, John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of  13–14 Kincaid-Smith, Thomas  86–7 King, William Lyon Mackenzie  86–7, 107–8, 110–17, 120, 124–9, 142–3, 165–7 King-Hall, Admiral George  170–1 Kingston, Charles Cameron  34–5 Kipling, Rudyard  9, 91 Kitchener, Lord Horatio Herbert  170–1 Komura Jutarō  78, 128–9 Lambton, Admiral Sir Hedworth  151–2 Lampson, M.W.  164 Lane, William  144, 183–4 Lansdowne, Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of  41–2, 57, 61–4, 68–9, 126 Laurier, Sir Wilfrid  68–71, 105–7, 109–14, 116–17, 142, 172–4, 183–4, 186, 195–6 Lawton, Lancelot  159–60 Lemieux, Sir Rodolphe  111–16, 124–5, 128–9 Lindley, Francis Oswald  87–9, 98–9 Lloyd George, David  146–7 Low, Maurice  145 Lucas, Sir Charles  121–2, 125–6, 189 Macdonald, Sir Claude  1–2, 64–6, 87, 90–1, 111, 113–14, 117–18, 164 Mackenzie, Thomas  138 Mackinder, Halford  166–7 Macpherson, Robert  106–7 Maloney, William  75 Manchuria  12, 49, 52–5, 92–4, 96–7, 162–3 Russian occupation of  13, 15, 50–1, 78, 80–1 Japanese policy in  70, 78–9, 82–3, 89, 94–6, 126–9, 164, 174 Massey, William  138, 154–5, 187–91 Malthusianism 166–7 Maxse, Leo  125–6 McBride, Richard  182, 192–3 McCaul, Ethel  52 McInnes, Thomas Robert Edward  109, 114–15, 142, 182 McKenna, Reginald  146–7, 151, 175, 184–5 McKenzie, Frederick  76, 89

Meiji Emperor  12, 95, 130, 178–9 Merriman, John X.  153–4 Milner, Lord Alfred  119–20, 167–9, 192–3 Migration, Chinese  27–9, 36–7, 73 Comparison to Japanese  29, 33–4, 36 Migration, Indian  72–3, 108–9, 118–26, 128, 167, 181, 183 Migration, Japanese  10, 24–30, 102–3 History of  25–7 To Australia  25–6, 33 To Canada  25–6, 28–30, 70, 102–6, 182, see also Vancouver riots (1907) To China  83–4 To Manchuria  82, 126–9, 164–7, 174 To the United States  25–9, 102–4, 179–80 Minto, Gilbert John Elliot-MurrayKynynmound, 4th Earl of  124, 126 Morley, Henry  8–9 Morley, Lord John  108–9, 124, 126, 140, 165–6 Morrison, George Ernest  15–16, 60–1, 80–1, 89–91, 94–5, 97–9, 145, 162–3 Munro-Ferguson, Ronald  192–3 Mutsu Munemitsu  19 ‘Natal Act’  37–41, 178–9 New South Wales  23–4, 30–1, 34–8, 72, 147–8 New Zealand Fears of Japanese expansion  30–1, 66–7, 133, 138, 141–2, 148–50, 152–3 Immigration policy  28, 35–6, 120–2, 174–5, 177 ‘Great White Fleet’ visit to  144, 146, 157 Nationality and nationalism  138–9, 149–50, 156–7, 193 Naval defence of  133, 138, 144, 147–8, 187–91, 196 Nogi Maresuke  46 Norman, Henry  15–17 Northcliffe, Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount  95 Northcote, Henry Northcote, 1st Baron  66–7 Nossé Tatsumoro  70, 105–6 ‘Open door’ policy  17–18, 29–30, 52–3, 76, 78, 83, 93–4, 96–7, 99, 104, 163–4 Ōkuma Shigenobu  36 O’Malley, King  189 Ottley, Sir Charles  171–2 Ōyama Iwao  55, 158–9 Pacific  23–4, 132–3, 158–60 Japanese expansion in  24–7, 36, 102–3 Parkes, Henry  31–2 Parkin, Sir George  66, 68–9, 183 Pearce, George  133–4, 136–7, 149, 170, 174–5, 190–1 Pearson, Charles Henry  32–3

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220 Index Percy, Henry Percy, Earl  62–3 Pope, Joseph  115–16 Port Arthur  50–1 Japanese conquest of (1905)  46–8 Massacre at (1895)  18–20 Portsmouth, Treaty of  78–9, 93 Pulsford, Edward  71–2, 75

Spring-Rice, Cecil  55–6, 58–60, 179–81, 189 Stead, Alfred  46–9, 79, 122–3 Stead, Henry  190–1 Strachey, John St. Loe  57–60, 104–5, 115–18 Straight, Willard  92–3, 96–7 Suematsu Kenchō  52–3 Suttor, John Bligh  72

Race and racism  18–23, 27–9, 31–3, 35–6, 38–41, 55–6, 87–90, 101, 132–3, 141–2, 158–9, 164–71, 178–82, 195–6 See also ‘Yellow Peril’ Reid, Sir George  35–6, 38 Religion  17–18, 54–5, 194–5 Revolution, Chinese (1911)  98, 163–4 Robertson, Arnold  84–5 Round Table, The  167–70, 183–4, 186–9, 191–3 Roosevelt, Theodore  55–6, 78, 115–18, 124–5, 128, 141–4, 195 Rosebery, Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of  13–14, 79 Russia  2, 6, 8–17, 21–4, 31, 42–3, 46–64, 67–8, 78–9, 85, 96–7, 160–2 Russo-Japanese War (1904–5)  46–50, 76–9, 102, 160–1, 181, 195 As a ‘war for civilization’  52–5 Effects on Asian nationalism  50, 58 European views on  56–7 Origins 50–2

Taishō Emperor  178–9 Tang Shaoyi  92–4 Taft, William Howard  96–7 Tennyson, Hallam, 2nd Baron  73 Times, The  8–9, 15–16, 21, 53–4, 60–1, 94–5, 123–4, 135–6 See also Chirol, Valentine Trench, Power Henry le Poer  19–21 Trans-Siberian railway  15, 50–1 Triple Intervention (1895)  13, 52 Tweedmouth, Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron 151

Salisbury, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of  10–11, 14–15, 36 Saionji Kinmochi  33–4 Satow, Sir Ernest  14–15, 33–4, 36, 48–9, 59–60, 78–9, 81–2, 85–6, 90–1 Seddon, Richard  30–1, 66–7 Seeley, J.R.  27, 31–2 Seely, Colonel John  156 Selborne, William Palmer, 2nd Earl of  61–2, 120 Shanghai  13, 15–16, 80–1, 85–8, 90–1, 118–19 Japanese community in  83–4 Shimamura Hayao  130 Shimonoseki, Treaty of  12 Sino-Japanese War (1894–95)  9–12, 18–19, 25–6 Singapore  24–6, 86–7, 152–3, 185–7 Smith, Goldwin  70 Smuts, Jan  154 South Africa  37–8, 73, 108–9, 117–18, 120–2, 124, 127–8, 135–6, 154, 168–9, 173, 181 South African War (1899–1902)  21–2, 38, 73, 133–4, 146–7, 156–7, 194–5 South Manchurian railway  82, 92–4, 96–7 Sperry, Admiral Charles  145

United States of America  10, 16–18, 23–4, 26–7, 36–7, 63–4, 69–70, 80–2, 96–7, 99, 102–4, 112–19, 121, 125–8, 133, 137, 141–2, 155–6, 163–4, 167–75, 179–84, 189–90, 198 See also ‘Great White Fleet’ Vancouver riots (1907)  99–101, 105–9, 122–3, 137, 141–2, 160, 182 Aftermath of  109–10 Investigation into causes of  112–13 And United States  114–16 Vroonan, Frank Buffington  132 Want, John Henry  35 War Office  64 Ward, Sir Joseph  121–2, 138, 147–8, 153–4, 174–8 Ware, Fabian  125–6 Watson, John Christian  72–3, 136–7, 170 Webb, Beatrice  84–5, 88–9 Wilhelm II, German Emperor  20–1, 56–7, 96 Willison, John  186 Wilson, Henry  53–4 Wilson, Woodrow  179–81 Wilton, J.E.  106 Witte, Count Sergei  50–1 Xinzheng reforms  81–2, 85, 162–3 Yuan Shikai  81–2, 92, 98 ‘Yellow Peril’  20–3, 56–61, 66–7, 87, 99, 178–9 Critiques of  23, 54–6, 59–60 Japanese press campaign against  52