§ 35. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many of those classified as refugees in Hong Kong are now employed; how many of their 199 children are receiving education; what further progress has been achieved in rehousing them; at what rate refugees are still entering Hong Kong; how many refugees have settled in the rural area of the new territories; and what plans exist or are being considered for the dispersal of the refugee population to areas outside the Colony.
§ Mr. J. Amery
It is neither possible to distinguish refugees from other people in Hong Kong, nor to give a reliable estimate of new arrivals. The hon. Gentleman may, however, like to know that complete unemployment as distinct from under-employment is believed to be slight; approximately 85 per cent. of the Colony's children of school age receive some form of education; nearly 300,000 squatters have been rehoused; there are at present no figures available for refugee settlement in the new territories; there are no plans for dispersal outside the Colony.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Does not the hon. Gentleman appreciate that constantly we are informed of the number of refugees in Hong Kong? How can he say that it is not possible to discriminate between one type of inhabitant and another? Is it not possible to contemplate agricultural settlement of some of these refugees in the rural areas of the new territories? Surely there is a vast area there which could be used in this way. As it is, Hong Kong is becoming overcrowded with industrial development.
§ Mr. G. M. Thomson
Is it not a little unfortunate that the Governor of Hong Kong should have to come to this country and seek what amounts to private charity from the World Refugee Fund in order to meet this problem? Should not the Government themselves give more generous direct help towards meeting this refugee problem on the borders of Communist China?