Treatment of Children, Hong Kong.

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Iraq. – in the House of Commons on 14th February 1922.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

It appears from the records that the opinion held by Sir John Smale, who 40 years ago was the Chief Justice in Hong Kong during the period mentioned by the Noble Lord, was that this social custom of "mui tsai" constituted a form of slavery; the Governor, however, considered that such a term could hardly be applied in fairness to "mui tsai" in Hong Kong, and further stated that after consulting the Attorney-General, Mr. O'Malley, he was clearly of opinion that there was nothing illegal in the ordinary mode of adoption of Chinese children in the Colony. Lord Kimberley requested the Governor to institute an inquiry into the facts of the system, but though no formal Report from the Governor can be traced, the latter, with the approval of the Secretary of State, and with the assistance of many Chinese residents, took action where necessary to ameliorate the conditions under which the system operated and to prevent its abuse in practice.