HC Deb 27 November 1984 vol 68 cc453-4W
Mr. Harris

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reports of the assessment office and independent monitoring team submitted as part of the arrangements to test the acceptability in Hong Kong of the draft agreement on the territory's future.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

These reports have now been received. On 29 November a White Paper containing the reports will be laid before the House and published. The report of the assessment office will provide an assessment of opinion in Hong Kong on the draft agreement between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the People's Republic of China and on the arrangements for the future of Hong Kong which it sets out. The report will include factual summaries of all views expressed and an overall assessment of the extent of acceptance by the people of Hong Kong of the draft agreement.

The independent monitors will state in their report whether they are satisfied with the way the assessment office has discharged its duties.

Copies of submissions to the assessment office will be placed in the Library of the House with the consent of the organisations concerned. Two volumes of evidence will be made available at the same time as the publication of the White Paper. A further volume will contain the evidence received by the assessment office towards the end of the consultation period: this is still being translated. It is hoped that this final volume will be placed in the Library of the House before the debate on the draft agreement.

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