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“ [248] labour to our own people, we ask you respectfully to consider our petition.”

Ralston replies:

“Individuals! I am William C. Ralston. I own thirty-five thousand dollars in the stock of this company. We intend to manage this business in our own way, to submit to no dictation from workmen. We may find it expedient to employ Chinese; if we do, we will employ as many as we see fit. If you think we are in your power you make a great mistake. We will hire whatever race of men we think best, and if you do not like it-you can leave. We can better afford to lose a hundred thousand dollars than submit to your dictation. We can send to Switzerland for watchmakers. We are in no hurry. While capital reposes, labour starves. We can wait. I am the same Mr. Ralston who made this same speech to the bricklayers and plasterers on the Palace Hotel. I once discharged a clerk. I am in earnest. However, I will be generous, and I make this proposition: if you can get me American girls and boys who will do as much work and do it as well as the Chinese, I will give them the preference ”

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