HC Deb 15 December 1938 vol 342 cc2209-10W
Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make any statement on the financial position of the Colony of Hong Kong, whose trade has largely collapsed as a result of the war in China and which is none the less compelled to support a very large number of Chinese refugees?

Mr. M. MacDonald

While the recent interruption of the rail and river communications between Hong Kong and Canton has temporarily stopped trade along those channels, there is no indication of a drastic deterioration in the Colonial Government's financial position in the immediate future. The estimates of expenditure have nevertheless been pruned as a necessary measure of caution. The influx of refugees from the area of hostilities in South Kwantung attained a considerable volume in the latter part of November, but numbers have now been able to return to their homes with the cessation of active fighting in the neighbouring Chinese territory. Those refugees who were destitute have been given food and accommodation not only at the cost of the public funds of the Colony but, to a large extent, by very generous voluntary contributions to an emergency refugee fund raised by the residents of the Colony.

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