Public Relations Office Annual Report 1946-1947












   The Public Relations Office is a new Department and the direct successor of the Press Relations Office of the British Military Administration. Its principal function has been to act as a liaison office between the English and Chinese Press and the Hong Kong Government, the main activities during 1946-47 being:-


   Translations were made daily from the Chinese Press, a précis of all matters affecting Government or of public interest being forwarded to Departments direct. Full translations of reports of special interest were provided.


   A summary covering events and comments in the local and Canton Chinese Press was submitted to the Colonial Secretariat weekly for distribution.


   Government notices to the value of approximately $63,000 have been released through this office and all Press bills checked and passed for payment. Translations into Chinese of important news items and notices have been provided as required. Statements of Government policy have normally been issued to the Press through the Public Relations Office. The local Press, especially Chinese, is becoming pro- gressively more interested in Government's activities and the policy of making statements of Government's intentions and actions as early as possible has been much appreciated.


   The mobile address unit, mounted on a lorry, was used in co-operation with the Hong Kong Police and the Medical

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Department in their "Safety First" campaign in the "Food Saving" campaign; in the campaign warning persons against cutting trees in the Kowloon reservoir areas and in the "Anti Small-pox" campaign. Each talk was heard by an audience of about 200, making a daily total of approximately 3,000 listeners.

(5) CINEMA films.

The Central Office of Information films dealing mainly with post-war Britain, such as the Victory Parade, British Industry and British Home Life, were distributed as follows:

35 m.m. films (7 films, 17 reels) to cinema theatres. They have been shown in Macao as well as in Hong Kong.

16 m.m. films (5 films, 11 reels) to Education Depart- ment. They have been much appreciated in the schools.

Film Strips

(81 films, 121 reels) to Education Depart- ment. The subjects were well chosen, informative and of general interest.


The office co-operated with ZBW and ZEK (Hong Kong Broadcasting Studios), supplying important announcements and interesting news items in Chinese script. This service was discontinued in the middle of March 1947, owing to the resignation of the translator employed on this work.


A small reading room is provided in the Gloucester Arcade. Due to the limited space in these premises the average daily attendance has fallen to about 80, roughly one fifth the attendance when the reading room was situated at Chater Road with a floor space of more than four times that of the present room. All local English and Chinese news- papers are provided, as well as an excellent selection of illustrated periodicals covering news, life in Britain, technical subjects, and fashions sent by the Central Office of Informa- tion. Such papers as "Country Life" and "The Field" are surprisingly popular.

A rather meagre library covering Britain's War Effort is maintained but the call for these books is diminishing through lack of new material, display facilities and accommodation for readers.

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The reading room always carries a selection of the Central Office of Information photographs, both on the walls and in the display windows.


    There is very close and useful liaison with the Press, particularly the Chinese, who rely on this office for much of their information. The more reliable Chinese papers fre- quently ask for confirmation of the wilder of the reports

they receive. It has, therefore, been possible to a considerable extent to prevent exaggeration of local incidents.

A press conference is held daily where any points of general interest can be discussed; the Public Relations Officer is accessible to members of the Press at any time during office hours and the facilities of the office are at their disposal. Interviews are arranged for members of the Press with Heads. of Departments on request.

   The office is much frequented by visiting journalists, mainly British and American, and every possible assistance has been given them in carrying out their duties.

    Close contact has been maintained with the Public Rela- tions Officers of the three fighting Services. All their releases to the Chinese Press pass through this office, which also translates their more important items into Chinese.

(9) STAFF.

    The year 1946-47 has been a difficult one. The assistant Public Relations Officer resigned in October 1946 and the Acting Public Relations Officer's contract expired in Decem- ber. The Public Relations Officer who organised this Department after the re-occupation in September 1945, and went to England for demobilisation and home leave in January 1946, was re-appointed but died shortly after his arrival in the Colony in early December, with the result that the Principal of the Trade & Technical Schools was appointed Acting Public Relations Officer and was still so acting on 31st March, 1947.

    There have also been sudden and frequent changes among the Junior Staff due to resignations. Both stenogra- phers resigned (September 1946 and January 4, 1947) and could not be replaced. Both translators resigned (February and March 1947) and only one replacement has been effected. The supply of news summaries has, therefore, at times been extremely difficult and only by strenuous efforts on the part of the typing staff have these been brought up to date.

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It is felt that in view of the lack of any permanent staff, and despite the teething troubles inevitable in the organising of a new department the Public Relations Office has justified its existence and can regard the work done in 1946-47 with some satisfaction.


Acting Public Relations Officer.

May 14, 1947.



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