HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 cc681-2W

asked the Under-Secretary of Stat© for the Colonies whether allegations have been received to the effect that there are a number of girls under age in the licensed houses in Hong Kong; whether any report has been received from the Governor of Hong Kong on this point; and, if so, will its purport be made known?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

Yes, Sir, this allegation has been received, but it is not borne out by the Governor's report. No girl is allowed to enter a brothel unless the Secretary for Chinese Affairs is satisfied that she is 19 or over, whereas the marriageable age among Chinese is 16 or 17. I may add that even an experienced European eye has difficulty in judging the age of Chinese.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether inter-port trading in girls for immoral purposes goes on between Hong Kong and the chief ports of the East; and what is the law of the Colony in regard to this trade?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

This trade is, of course, forbidden, and every effort is made to enforce the law against it. It is detested as much by the Chinese community as by the European, and assistance is readily given towards its suppression. Detection is necessarily difficult, especially in view of the disturbed condition of the interior of China, which tends to favour prostitution, but convictions are secured and are usually followed by heavy penalties.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, notwithstanding the prohibition of slavery throughout the British Empire, Chinese children are frequently bought and sold in the British Colony of Hong Kong; and whether he will take steps to put an end to this nefarious traffic in human beings?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on the 4th November to questions by the hon. Member for Poplar South (Sir A. Yeo) and the hon. Member for Spen Valley (Mr. Myers). There is no slavery in Hong Kong.