HC Deb 04 March 1936 vol 309 cc1365-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has now received the views of the district watch committee of Hong Kong on the report of the committee of investigation on the mui-tsai system; and whether he is now in a position to indicate what action he proposes to take?


The Governor's despatch has not yet arrived, but I expect it in the next week or two.


In view of the interest in this serious matter, will the right hon. Gentleman take whatever steps he considers appropriate to acquaint the House with the contents of the report when it reaches his hands?


Yes. As I have explained to the House, the question of mui-tsai not only demands very serious consideration, but I believe the whole mass of our people in this country want to see it abolished under the British flag, and I am applying myself at this moment to the question of how best to deal with the situation.

31. Mr. WHITE

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of recent prosecutions for the sale of mui-tsai in the Kowloon territory; that in a recent case where a child was apparently sold for 17s. the police found upon the premises seven children and 11 women and the place was apparently being used as a depot for the sale of children; and whether, in order to ensure that the mui-tsai legislation in operation in Hong Kong may also be effective in the Kowloon territories, he proposes to invite the attention of the Chinese Government, to these practices?


I have not seen a report of the case mentioned in the ques- tion, but, if the hon. Member will give me the particulars in his possession, I will certainly inquire into it.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the lease on which Kowloon is held gives jurisdiction in this matter?


I should like notice of that question, but, as I have said, the whole question of the mui-tsai system in British possessions is under review at present.