HC Deb 04 January 1916 vol 77 cc796-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the licence for the Grand Hotel at Hong Kong is now held by a man of German nationality, and the licence for the Peak Hotel by a German who has recently been naturalised, both being of military age; whether at the licensing board meeting the unofficial members all voted against the grant of the licences to these two men; whether, when these licences were refused last year, they were granted by an overriding order of the Government; what action has been taken on the present occasion; and what are the reasons inspiring official policy in this matter?

The SECRETARY Of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Bonar Law)

The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. The Governor informs us that the licensee of the Grand Hotel is thirty-four years old, left Germany in 1897, and had no intention of returning. His sympathies are stated to be British, and he married in 1903 an Australian wife, whose father lives with the licensee. He has held a licence since 1909. The licensee of the Peak Hotel is of the same age, and has resided in Hong Kong for eleven years continuously, was naturalised in 1911, and has been licensed seven years. The Governor states that both bear good characters. One licence only was opposed last year, and was granted on appeal to the Governor in Council. On the present occasion both licences were refused by the unofficial majority, but were granted on appeal to the Governor in Council, one member alone dissenting. No question of policy was involved, and the Executive Council acted throughout in a judicial capacity under the licensing ordinance.

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