HC Deb 10 May 1950 vol 475 c386
66. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when it is proposed to establish a municipal council in Hong Kong; what will be the composition of the council; what qualifications will be required for voters; and whether the ballot will be secret.

Mr. J. Dugdale

Last June the Hong Kong Legislative Council passed a resolution recommending that its own constitution should be revised and that thereafter the new Legislative Council should consider the question of changes in the constitution of the urban council. I am afraid that I can say no more than that the whole constitutional position in the Colony, which is very complicated, is being studied in consultation with the Governor.

Mr. Wyatt

Is it not disgraceful that so much time should have elapsed—since last June—in trying to bring some form of democratic government to Hong Kong, when it is particularly important that we should be able to give a practical working example of democracy in Hong Kong to show the Chinese Communists what we mean by democracy?

Mr. Dugdale

It is just because Hong Kong is allowed to see to its own affairs in this respect that we leave it to them and do not impose upon them some form of government before they are ready to accept it.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Does not the best contribution that we can make to Hong Kong lie in seeing that it is properly defended?

Mr. Dugdale

Certainly, Sir.