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Hong Kong (Refugees)

Volume 477: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the present situation in Hong Kong with special reference to the numbers of refugees who have arrived, and are still arriving, in the Colony, with consequent heavy increases in the cost of local administration and of the various services; and what steps are being taken to meet this exceptional expenditure from local sources or from United Kingdom funds.

It is estimated that about half a million refugees have arrived in Hong Kong during the past two years and that the total population is now about 2,300,000. The strain which this influx imposed on the Colony, particularly as regards living accommodation, necessitated the introduction in May of further immigration control measures which have now succeeded in stemming the influx. All social services are still over-taxed, but they are being expanded as rapidly as possible to meet the needs of the present situation; the cost is being met from local resources as part of the normal cost of administration. Additional welfare services are, however, being provided by local Chinese organisations.