HC Deb 16 April 1947 vol 436 cc178-9
34. Mr. W. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to augment the strained Government services, including police, medical and social welfare in Hong Kong, to cope with the increased population.

Mr. Creech Jones

Additional staff has been engaged for the police, and additional nursing staff is being engaged. Other measures which assist in meeting the situation include the modernisation of police equipment and the intensive training of new recruits, the establishment of temporary hospitals, the increase of facilities for public inoculation, and the setting up of a Social Welfare Department.

Mr. Fletcher

In view of the Secretary of State's recent statement that there are over a million new inhabitants in Hong Kong, will he see that really adequate large-scale measures are taken, and not merely those which, up to date, have been really insufficient to cope with the job?

Mr. Creech Jones

There is great strain on the services, but there are signs at the moment that the population is slackening a bit.

41. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is now in a position to make a statement concerning the general situation in Hong Kong, especially in regard to the large influx of Chinese and the heavy increased cost for services, etc., that in consequence fall upon the Colony; what steps it is proposed to take to raise money in rates and taxes from these Chinese migrants; and, in view of the peculiar conditions prevailing in China, if special expert attention is being paid to these problems

Mr. Creech Jones

I would invite reference to my replies to Questions on 5th and nth March, regarding the influx of Chinese and also taxation. I have nothing to add at the moment. I can assure the hon. Member that the conditions prevailing in China are taken into account in dealing with these problems.

Sir R. Glyn

In view of the great importance of the position in Hong Kong, will the Minister consider laying a White Paper dealing with the whole matter?

Mr. Creech Jones

I am not clear that a White Paper is called for, but I shall be very happy to provide my hon. Friend with any information on the situation which he may wish to have.