Canadian Censorship (1916-1918)
As the Canadian KMT Party’s newspaper, The New Republic’s initial purpose was to promote KMT political ideas to Chinese Canadians and to win their support over KMT competitors.
Therefore, in the early 1910s, The New Republic newspaper first focused on the articles arguing against The Chinese Reform Gazette (日新报; 1903-1911), which represented the opinions of the Chinese Empire Reform Association led by Kang Youwei and his followers. From 1915 to 1918, more frequent debates and controversies arose between The New Republic and The Chinese Times (大汉公报, 1907-1992).
In the late 1910s, a number of local KMT members and New-Republic editors were involved in some violent activities in the Chinese Canadian community, for example, on September 1st, 1918, a local Chinese Nationalist League member Wang Cang (王昌) assassinated Tang Hualong (汤化龙), the former Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republican China government, in Victoria's Chinatown.
Not long after the assassination, the Chinese National League was banned by the Canadian government. However, The New Republic was not banned. The paper was frequently monitored by the Chief Press Censor of Canada. In 1919, six KMT members including The New Republic's chief editor Chen Shuren (陈树人) were arrested in Vancouver. The government stopped censoring the KMT party in Canada in June 1919.
The letters displayed here are the selected correspondences between 1916 and 1918. The content spans from the complaints of the Chinese Consul for Canada to the investigations the Chief Press Censor and the local police did about The New Republic and the English translation of the articles published in The New Republic. They are preserved as part of the files of the Chief Press Censor for Canada at the National Archive of Canada. The files were digitized and distributed on the Canadiana website.
From these letters, researchers may find out how different government agencies such as the police, the immigration inspectors, and the Chief Press Censor interacted in investigating the case of The New Republic newspaper during the unusual Canadian censorship period. Through these materials, researchers may understand how the surveillance of Chinese people in Canada was practiced before 1923.