HC Deb 20 May 1981 vol 5 c269
2. Mr. Parry

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he expects to announce the name of the next Governor of Hong Kong.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Peter Blaker)

At the appropriate time.

Mr. Parry

Is the Minister aware that many hon. Members hope that the next Governor of Hong Kong will be a person who really believes in democratic reform and social justice for Hong Kong and not a puppet of big business such as the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, the Jockey Club and Jardine Matheson? Will consideration be given to the possible appointment of a Chinese person, bearing in mind that 98 per cent. of the population is Chinese and that the treaty on the New Territories expires in 15 years?

Mr. Blaker

I hope that the hon. Gentleman was not reflecting adversely on the conduct of the affairs of Hong Kong by the present Governor, for whom there is widespread admiration in Hong Kong and in other countries associated with it. I wish that Labour Members would not constantly adopt a carping tone towards Hong Kong, the achievements of which are remarkable by any standards and certainly by the standards of Asia. We know why they do so. It is because Hong Kong is one of the most successful examples of free enterprise in the world and Labour Members do not like that.

Sir Albert Costain

Does the Minister realise how popular the present Governor of Hong Kong is and what a splendid job he does, that the majority of people in Hong Kong would reiterate the Minister's praise for him and that any criticism of him should be withdrawn?

Mr. Blaker

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. The successes of Hong Kong during the 10 years that Sir Murray Maclehose has been Governor have been remarkable.