HC Deb 24 October 1956 vol 558 cc622-3
24. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies approximately how many refugees from the Chinese mainland are at present living in Hong Kong ; how many Hong Kong residents went to the Chinese mainland and did not return during the last six months ; how many Chinese from the mainland entered Hong Kong and remained there during the same period ; and if he will give an explanation of the necessity for the new frontier regulations recently introduced to control this problem.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

It is not possible statistically to distinguish refugees from the rest of the population. From mid-February to the end of August, while restrictions on entry from China were lifted, 14,000 or 4 per cent. of the Hong Kong residents who crossed into China remained there ; 66,000 or 81 per cent. of the Chinese entering the Colony with Chinese Government re-entry permits chose to stay in Hong Kong. With an estimated population of 2½ million and a natural annual increase of 75,000, Hong Kong's resources of water, housing, employment, education and health services are already taxed to the utmost. Unrestricted immigration cannot therefore be accepted, and frontier restrictions have had to be reimposed.

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