HC Deb 12 December 1967 vol 756 cc178-9
Mr. Rankin

Mr. Speaker, I beg to present to this honourable House the humble Petition of the Reform Club of Hong Kong. Your Petitioner comprises over 30,000 full and associated members of all walks of life in Hong Kong and is one of the biggest associations in Hong Kong.

Your Petitioner is most disturbed by the Public Order Ordinance which was passed by the Legislative Council on 15th November, 1967, inter alia, for the reasons set out below.

The Reform Club welcomes action by Government to better the laws of Hong Kong for the greater safety of the people, but regrets that the Public Order Bill 1967 will not have the intended result. The wording of the Bill largely follows emergency laws of previous African colonies; it embodies some Emergency Regulations recently enforced in Hong Kong which the Governor stated would be repealed as possible, and it makes every peace-loving resident of Hong Kong a potential criminal.

The Bill does not seem to have been translated into Chinese, nor has the Act, but the Reform Club repeats that it urges Chinese to be made an official language. The situation in Hong Kong is in no way comparable to that in Kenya before independence, and the Reform Club does not consider legislation appropriate to Kenya either necessary or suitable for Hong Kong.

Your Petitioner then proceeds to recite numerous potent criticisms of the new Act and to urge that a definite distinction be made between regulations designed to meet an emergency and the ordinary law of the land applicable in normal times.

In conclusion, your Petitioner prays, for all these reasons, that you will advise Her Majesty the Queen to disallow this present Public Order Ordinance.

And Your Petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

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