HC Deb 30 November 1949 vol 470 cc1137-8
30. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps were taken by the Governor to consult representative Chinese, other than those who are members of the Legislative Council, before formulating his recommendations for constitutional reform in Hong Kong.

Mr. Creech Jones

The draft legislation to implement the "Young Plan" for constitutional reform was published for general information and to enable public opinion in Hong Kong to formulate itself. The Governor's present recommendations have been framed after consideration, inter alia, of views expressed to him by associations and bodies representative of Chinese interests in the Colony, as well as those Chinese who are members of the Legislative Council.

Mr. Wyatt

Could my right hon. Friend say why it has taken so incredibly long to reach a decision on this question of constitutional reform, seeing that it is four years since the end of the war with the Japanese and six months since the proposals were made to him?

Mr. Creech Jones

I have already explained that soon after the liberation of Hong Kong this problem received our urgent attention but it was not possible, for a variety of reasons, to make very much progress with the proposals of the Governor and those which were sent back from London.

Mr. Pickthorn

Will the right hon. Friend suggest to his right hon. Friends advising the Crown here, to consult representative Englishmen, other than those who are members of the Cabinet, before assenting to the Parliament Bill?