§ MR. A. M'ARTHUR (Leicester)
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is a fact, as stated by a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, that—The legislation of 1877, permitting Chinese merchants to own and occupy land and houses in the best business parts of the City of Victoria, Hong Kong, is being altered, and that the Chinese are to be driven out of those districts, and that an Ordinance for this purpose has been read a first time before the Legislative Council of Hong Kong;and, whether, before approving of this Ordinance, he will take steps to ascertain to what extent it will, by hampering the business of our Chinese customers, also prove detrimental to British trade?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead)
I presume that the hon. Member referred to the Public Health Ordinance now before the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. There is, of course, no desire to prevent Chinese or any other persons from occupying the best business parts of Victoria, or to oust them from those districts, or to hamper them in their business. But sanitary questions have long been neglected in Hong Kong; and the Public Health Ordinance is designed to enforce certain Rules for preventing overcrowding and securing other Sanitary Rules, which are necessary in any large town, and especially in such a climate as that of Hong Kong. The last newspaper reports from Hong Kong state that the clauses to which objection had been principally taken have been removed from the Health Ordinance to be brought forward again later in a Building Ordinance.