Orders of the Day — Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:20 am on 10th March 1988.

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Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North 2:20 am, 10th March 1988

Obviously, the decision and the publication of the White Paper had to take into account all the various factors. It would be extraordinary if that had not been the case. The people of Hong Kong had considerable opportunities to express their views. I do not want to go over the debate last month, but the reaction of people in Hong Kong to the evaluation of the views that led up to the publication of the White Paper was considerable in terms of the number of people who responded, the degree of the response and the opinion as revealed by opinion polls of one form or another.

It is also fair to say that the general reaction to the White Paper by people in Hong Kong has been most encouraging. There are, of course, some who are critical of it, just as there are some who think that it is right. If one were to try to make a judgment, it appears that the majority of people have welcomed the White Paper as a balanced response to the wide-ranging consultation process that went on.

The reaction in Hong Kong reinforces my view that the White Paper represents a balanced and reasonable response to the views of the community. The White Paper will serve to maintain an enhanced confidence in the future because it offers the clear prospect of continuity in the development of Hong Kong's system of government up to and beyond 1997.