HC Deb 11 May 1949 vol 464 c1836
27. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the action of the Hong Kong Government in preventing Chinese deported from Malaya and Indonesia from landing at Hong Kong so that they may return to China and avoid the arrest which awaits them at Swatow or Amoy; by what authority such action has been taken; and if, in view of the fact that the military situation in Malaya necessitates deportation without trial, he will advise the Government to allow such deportees to land at Hong Kong.

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, Sir. Chinese repatriates from Malaya are sent direct to a Chinese port in accordance with international practice. The Hong Kong Government, for good reasons, does not permit their landing and I feel unable to interfere with the Governor's discretion in this matter. If the Hong Kong Government have prevented Chinese deported from Indonesia from landing there that too would clearly be within their discretion.

Mr. Driberg

Would my right hon. Friend look again at the correspondence he has had about this matter from Bishop Hall, who is in a position to know the facts and the hardships and to regard them in an unbiased way, especially, in view of the importance of developing good relations with the victorious forces in China?

Mr. Creech Jones

Certainly I will look at the correspondence, but I gathered that there had been no hardship.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it would be the height of folly to allow these men to enter Hong Kong when for good reasons they have been deported from Malaya, and would he also agree that it is by no means certain that entry into Swatow is followed by arrest, as stated in the Question, and that the flow is now being adequately handled and no great hardship is being caused?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, the hon. Member has stated the correct position.