Lieutenant Mitchell Tells Results of British-Canadian Recruiting in Spokane
Lieutenant J.H. Mitchell
Officer in Charge British-Canadian Recruiting Office in Spokane
Spokane Daily Chronicle, 27 November 1917
Richard Holt (2015) British Blood Calls British Blood The British-Canadian Recruiting Mission of 1917-1918, Canadian Military History: Vol. 22: Iss. 1, Article 4.
It has been stated that there are aliens in the United States of ages specified in the selective draft act. Owing to the fact that treaties are in effect between the United States and the various foreign countries, none of these aliens who have not taken out their first papers can be taken for service in the United States and at the present time laws do not provide for the conscription of these aliens by their own government.
Owing to the fact that men are urgently required at the front at the present time, the United States government has been kind to permit the British and Canadian governments to establish a recruiting mission in this country for the purpose of enlisting these men voluntarily. In response to the appeal sent out by the British-Canadian Recruiting mission, a large number of men have come forwarded and enlisted in the armies of their native country. A statement a week ago from headquarters of the mission in New York city, said that 15 regiments had been recruited since the mission was established in July. The number of recruits obtained in this country depends almost entirely on the attitude of the American people and the amount of help they are willing to give the mission.
The people of Spokane and of the Inland Empire should appreciate that whenever a British or Canadian is exempted on account of the fact that he is an alien, it simply means that an American must be called to take hi place and fight his battles. While the British alien is under a double obligation, first to his native country and next to the United States, at the present time he cannot be compelled to go unless it is by the weight of public opinion, which will not tolerate slackers.
In Spokane county alone there have already been exempted 52 aliens and this has meant that 52 young Americans have had to step forward and serve in their places. The British-Canadian Recruiting mission wishes to ask the people of Spokane if they will not insist that the aliens who are slackers shall serve. If these Canadian and British aliens do not wish to return to serve in their own country, the British and American governments are quite willing that they serve in the United States forces and all recruiting agents have been informed of this fact.
Since the recruiting mission was opened at W603 Sprague avenue, in August of this year, the number of men enlisted run well into the hundreds. Many of these are at the present training in England and probably some are in the trenches. A large proportion of these have gone into the Canadian infantry which is the only branch of the Canadian army open for voluntary enlistment at the present time, and the rest have gone into the Canadian navy and into all branches of the British army.