HC Deb 30 June 1966 vol 730 c2161
2. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what preparatory steps he is taking to enable the people of Hong Kong to achieve independence or some other status they have freely chosen.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Frederick Lee)

There are obvious limitations on Constitutional development. The Hong Kong Government is examining the problems of local Government and will be consulting public opinion on changes in the present arrangements.

Mr. Rankin

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this Government have made a definite promise in their present programme to give the people of Hong Kong the right to govern themselves? Is he going back on that promise? If he still sticks to it, would he take the preliminary step of enabling them to elect two of their own people by popular election to the Legislative Council?

Mr. Lee

I cannot accept my hon. Friend's wording about what the Government have promised Hong Kong. I am aware that there is a need for looking at what is happening there. I will be there in August myself and will look at the matter then.

Mr. A. Royle

Will the right hon. Gentleman resist pressure from his hon. Friend in view of the damage which might be caused to Hong Kong's relations with China as a result of increasing tension following constitutional development in the Colony of Hong Kong?

Forward to