HC Deb 19 November 1941 vol 376 cc295-6
44. Sir A. Knox

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, while a certain number of British women and children have been compulsorily evacuated from Hong Kong, 950 British women and 400 children, many European and American women and children, and 750,000 Eurasians and Chinese still remain; and will he either allow the evacuated families to return if they wish or else, if military necessity demands it, order a general evacuation by women and children?

94. Sir John Wardlaw-Milne

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements have been made regarding the return to Hong-Kong of the wives and children of British residents compulsorily evacuated more than a year ago, particularly in view of the fact that compulsory evacuation was subsequently stopped and other women allowed to enter the Colony, and that a considerable number of European and American women are still permitted to reside there?

Mr. George Hall

The policy of His Majesty's Government in this difficult problem is explained in the answer which I gave on nth November to the Question by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher). The political outlook in the Far East has not so far improved as to warrant the return of the women and children who were evacuated, nor, on the other hand, is my Noble Friend advised that a general evacuation is now desirable. The admission of British European women to Hong-Kong is at present strictly conditional on the needs of the defence and other public services in the Colony.

Sir A. Knox

Are not Americans being allowed to land?

Mr. Hall

I cannot say whether they are allowed to land, but the American Government have advised American women to leave and have offered to provide ships for the purpose.