§ 2.35 p.m.
§ LORD AMULREE
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their attention has been drawn to allegations publicly made by 24 Chinese who were recently deported from Hong Kong, that they had been detained for several months in the Colony during which time they were subjected to torture; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government will give the facts of the case.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR COLONIAL AFFAIRS (THE EARL OF PERTH)
My Lords, the facts are as follows. Between October 20 and December 28, 1961, 24 Chinese aliens, including one woman, were arrested in Hong Kong and detained under Section 4 (1) of the Deportation of Aliens Ordinance. They were found to have engaged in activities in Hong Kong that were either directly subversive or could have proved seriously embarrassing, and they constituted a menace to the peace and order of the Colony. On the advice of the Executive Council that it would be conducive to the public good that they should be deported summarily, the Governor ordered that deportation orders for life should be made against them under Section 3 (1) (c) of the Deportation of Aliens Ordinance. This order was carried out on February 20. 1150 The detention and interrogation of the group was prolonged owing both to the large number of persons involved and to the time necessary to examine the very great mass of material relating to the group's activities seized in the course of the arrests. There is no foundation whatever for the allegations of improper treatment of members of the group while under detention, and I am grateful for this opportunity to make that part of the statement.
§ LORD AMULREE
My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl for his reply, and to say that I am sure that what he has said will be read with great satisfaction by the people who were just a little worried about the not very responsible report which appeared in the Press.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I believe these Chinese were deported to Formosa. Are they therefore Formosan Chinese? And can the noble Earl say what forms of subversion these Chinese were suspected of?
§ THE EARL OF PERTH
My Lords, I think it can be taken that they were Formosan Chinese. As to the form of subversion, I think my Answer dealt with that sufficiently; it was either directly subversive or could have proved seriously embarrassing to the peace and order of the Colony.