§ 14. Sir JOHN MARRIOTT
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that British traders in Hong Kong have made many complaints recently of the prevalence of piracy in Hong Kong waters; that they have asked for the provision of an adequate fleet of patrol craft, and for an increased police supervision both ashore and in the harbour; and whether the Government have been able to accede to these requests?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)
I am aware that complaints have been made of the prevalence of piracy in waters adjacent to Hong Kong. Steps have been taken to increase the number of patrol craft and the efficiency of the armed guards carried in ships, and in certain narrow waters a system of escort by gunboats and armed launches has been instituted. The subject has been under consideration by a local committee and by an inter-Departmental Committee at 1278 home, and the Secretary of State is in communication with the Governor to see whether the measures already adopted can be improved upon. The present state of affairs is, of course, due to the civil war in the Kwangtung Province, which has completely disrupted the policing by the Chinese authorities of the Canton delta and neighbouring waters, and until order has been restored in that area it is hardly to be hoped that further attempts at piracy will not take place. Punitive operations against the pirates have been carried out on several occasions with good results.
§ Mr. LOOKER
Is it not a fact that the Government of Hong Kong recommended additional patrols being employed?
§ Mr. ORMSBY-GORE
Yes, that is so; and, as I said in my answer, steps have now been taken to increase the number of patrols.