Hong Kong Yearbook - Annual Report for the Year 1947

香港

HONGKONG

ANNUAL REPORT

1947

CI

**

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His Excellency the Governor (Sir Alexander Grantham, K.C.M.G.)

Photograph by Elliott & Fry.

COVI-MAY

HONG KONG

 MMIS 在線閱讀

 

TOROUTA

ANNUAL REPORT ON

HONG KONG FOR THE YEAR

1947

PUBLISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG

PRINTED BY YE OLDE PRINTERIE, LTD., HONG KONG

MARCH, 1948.

市政局公共圖書館UCPL

3 3288 03034538 5

The thanks of the Government of Hong Kong are due to the Photographic Society of Hong Kong for its valuable assistance in obtaining photographs for inclusion in this report, and to the following members of the Society for permission to reproduce their photographs: Messrs. Francis Wu, F.R.P.S., A.P.S.A., K. A. Watson, R. A. Bates, and L. Jackson: also to Hedda Morrison for permission to reproduce further examples of her art; to Dr. G. A. C. Herklots for his line drawings and to Mr. R. A. Bates for designing and executing the chapter headings.

Acc. No.

Class

UREN COUNCIL PU LIC LIBRARIES

86146

HK 951-25

Author

HON

MRCY

CONTENTS

PART I.

Important matters of general interest

PART II.

CHAPTER

1 Population

23

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Occupations, Labour and Wages

Public Finance and Taxation

Currency and Banking

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Commerce

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Production:-

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26

31

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42

47

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54

55

57

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62

70

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75

79

83

Fisheries Agriculture

Forestry

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Mining and Mineral Resources Industrial Production

7 Social Services:-

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10

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Education

Health

Housing

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Social Welfare Appendix I ...

Legislation

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Justice, Police and Prisons

Public Utilities

Communications

12 Research

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13

Religion

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3

4

LO

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6

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PART III.

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Geography and Climate

Flora and Fauna

History

Administration

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Weights and Measures

The Press

Bibliography,

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87

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101

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143

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ILLUSTRATIONS

His Excellency The Governor ...

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... Frontispiece

Destruction of the Japanese War Memorial

Fishing Junks near Aberdeen

Hong Kong at Night ...

Fish Vendor

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Cobbler's Shop

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Busy Slipways at Taikoo Dockyard

Evening in Aberdeen Harbour

Planting Paddy

Irrigation

Young Trees at Lai Chi Kok Nursery

Industry in Hong Kong

Preserving Ginger

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The Warscarred University

Rice Cultivation-Harrowing

The Heart of Victoria

Hong Kong Harbour

Characteristic Street in old Victoria

Careening Sampans

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Celebrations-November 20th, 1947

New Terminal Building-Kai Tak

New road cutting at Chek Nai Ping

Chinese Theatrical Production

South Side of Hong Kong Island

Shek O Beach

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Facing page

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8

14

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16

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48

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Between 78 & 79

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108

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148

The Governorship.

PART I

GENERAL

Sir Mark Aitchison Young, G.C.M.G., left the Colony on retirement on 17th May, 1947. His successor Sir Alexander Grantham, K.C.M.G., assumed duty on 25th July, 1947. Between the departure of Sir Mark Young and the arrival of Sir Alexander Grantham the government was administered by Mr. David Mercer MacDougall, C.M.G.

Relations with China and Macao.

ex-

During the year cordial relations were maintained with the Chinese authorities in Kwangtung, and friendly visits changed. Before his departure, Sir Mark Young paid a farewell visit to Canton and Sir Alexander Grantham subsequently visited the provincial capital in August and November. General Chang Fa-kuei, at that time Director of the Generalissimo's Canton Headquarters, paid a two-day official visit to Hong Kong . at the end of September, and Dr. T. V. Soong, Governor of Kwangtung, was officially received in the Colony from 27th to 29th November. Successful visits were also exchanged between the Chiefs of Police of Hong Kong and Canton.

The Hong Kong Government, in order to develop the friendly relations existing between Great Britain and China, has and shown sympathetic understanding of the difficulties

In parti- problems confronting China in the post-war period. cular, to assist China in dealing with the questions of smuggling and currency control, negotiations were entered into for the conclusion of Customs and Financial agreements. A financial agreement was concluded and largely implemented, and by the year's end the conclusion of the Customs Agreement was in sight. Under the terms of the Customs Agreement the Hong Kong Government was prepared to make considerable conces- sions to enable the Chinese Maritime Customs to operate in the Colony.

Close and friendly relations have also been maintained with the nearby Portuguese Colony of Macao, and official visits were exchanged by the respective Governors during November.

Departure of 3rd Commando Brigade.

It was with much regret and with gratitude for their splendid services in the restoration of law and order in the Colony that Hong Kong bade farewell in April of this year to the 3rd Commando Brigade. Since their arrival in 1945 they had performed many and varied duties with a staunchness, cheerful- ness and efficiency which commanded the admiration of all. In

1

recognition of these services His Excellency the Governor presented a silver salver to the Brigade on behalf of the Government and people of Hong Kong.

Constitution.

It must have been a cause of disappointment to Sir Mark Young that his term of office did not see the final seal set upon the plans for the revised constitution of the Colony to which he, and others, had devoted much time and consideration. It was not until July, after his departure from the Colony, that the approval of his constitutional proposals was announced by the Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Sir Mark had returned to resume the administration of the Colony in May 1946, charged with the task of examining in consultation with representatives of all sections of the community, the best methods of giving effect to the declared intention of His Majesty's Government to grant to the people of the Colony a fuller and more responsible share in the management of their own affairs. After prolonged consultation, the late Governor submitted his proposals to the Secretary of State for the Colonies at the end of October. 1946. These proposals were subjected to close scrutiny in London over a period of some months and finally, in July 1947, an announce- ment was made in Hong Kong simultaneously with a statement in the House of Commons, that subject to certain reservations the Secretary of State for the Colonies had given his approval to the proposed revision of the Constitution. Broadly, the proposal was to establish a Municipal Council to which would be delegated certain of the functions at present discharged by the Government of Hong Kong and at the same time to alter the constitution of the Legislative Council in such a manner that an unofficial majority would be created instead of the official majority which exists at present.

The administrative area of the Municipal Council will comprise the whole of the island of Hong Kong, together with the Kowloon ceded territory and that part of the New Territories which is known as New Kowloon. The remainder of the New Territories being mainly rural in character will not at this stage be included within the administrative area of the Municipal Council. There will be 30 councillors, of whom 15 will represent the Chinese and 15 the non-Chinese section of the Community. Two-thirds of the councillors are to be directly elected and one- third nominated by professional or other bodies in the Colony. Membership of the Council will not be confined to persons of British nationality, but councillors will be required to speak, read and write the English language, and a residence qualifica- tion of not less than ten years out of the preceding 15 will be required. Special provision will be made to ensure that persons who left Hong Kong during the period of the Japanese occupation shall not be penalised thereby with regard to their residence qualification. The term of office will be three years but councillors will be eligible for re-election or re-appointment

2

$

at the end of that period. Both men and women will be eligible for election to the council; the minimum age for a councillor will be 25. The council will be presided over by a Chairman who will be elected by members of the council: the vice-chairman also will be elected from among the members of the council.

The franchise will not extend below the age of 25 years. Both men and women will be eligible to vote in Municipal Council elections. Only persons capable of reading and writing either English or Chinese will be eligible for the vote. British nationality is not a requirement. With regard to residential qualification British subjects will require to have not less than one year's residence in the Colony since attaining the age of 23, while the qualification for persons of all other nationalities will be six years residence in the Colony out of the preceding ten years. Only persons qualified by virtue of jury service or by a property qualification will be entitled to exercise the vote. In connection with the residential qualification, special provision is made that any period of absence from the Colony during the years 1942 to 1945 may be reckoned as a period of residence in the Colony, provided that the claimant can show that he was resident in the Colony for a total period of four years between 1936 and 1941 and one year since August, 1945.

For the Chinese electorate, there are to be six wards on the Island and four on the mainland, the boundaries of which will be so fixed as to ensure, as nearly as possible, a representa- tion proportionate to the population of the respective wards. For the non-Chinese electorate there will be one single constituency with ten seats. Provision for the representation of the Indian and Portuguese communities in the Colony is made by an arrangement whereby if no Portuguese or Indian candidate receives a sufficient number of votes to bring him within the ten candidates at the head of the poll, then the Portuguese and Indian Candidates who secure the majority of votes cast for Portuguese and Indian candidates are to be declared as elected and will displace from the ten persons at the head of the poll, the two obtaining the least number of votes.

Councillors will be nominated by recognised unofficial bodies as follows:

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce The recognised Trade Unions

University of Hong Kong

H.K. General Chamber of Commerce

1 Chinese

2 Chinese

1 Chinese

2 non-Chinese

H.K. Residents' Association

Kowloon Residents' Association

Unofficial Justices of the Peace

1 non-Chinese

1 non-Chinese

1 Chinese and 1 non-Chinese

It is intended that the Council will, when it is first established, discharge responsibilities with regard to the Fire Brigade, the parks and gardens and recreation grounds in the Colony, the licensing and control of places of amusement and

3

the licensing of vehicles. At a later stage, further functions. will be delegated to it and these are likely to include the functions at present discharged by the Urban Council, as well as education, social welfare, public works and town planning and the supervision of public utilities and the control of franchises relating to them. In addition, the municipality will be the rating authority and will also act as agent of the Colonial Government for the collection of specified taxes.

The change in the constitution of the Legislative Council is of a simple nature. At present, the Council consists, apart from the President, of five ex-officio members, 4 official members and not more than 8 unofficial members. It has now been approved that the number of official members shall be reduced by two and concurrently that the number of unofficial members shall be increased by one. In this manner, the distribution of seats on the Council will be 7 ex-officio and official members on the one hand and 8 unofficial members on the other hand. The President will still retain his original and his casting vote. It is intended that of the 8 unofficial members, 4 shall be nominated by unofficial bodies, two of them by the Municipal Council and one each by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the unofficial Justices of the Peace.

Since the announcement of the Secretary of State for the Colonies' approval of the constitutional proposals preparatory work has been progressing on the detailed arrangements necessary for giving effect to the new Constitution.

Salaries Commission,

The last general revision of salaries was made as a result of the report of the Salaries Commission appointed in 1928 under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Gollan, K.C., C.B.E., although sterling salaries applicable mainly to officers of the Unified Colonial Services were revised between 1937 and 1939. Since the reoccupation of the Colony in September, 1945, salary scales applicable in 1941 have in general been retained with the exception of some non-gazetted Police Officers and certain officers in the Fire Brigade whose salaries were revised in 1946. The payment to artisans and lower grade clerks and similar workers of a high cost of living allowance on the same scale as in 1941 and of a rehabilitation allowance varying according to the fluctuations of a "food and fuel index" issued by the Labour Office, and to senior clerks and other officers of a high cost of living allowance on a sliding scale, were steps designed to meet the great disparity between incomes and the enormously increased expenditure occasioned by the fall in the value of money. That they did not do so became increasingly obvious in the latter half of 1946. Not only were the emoluments inadequate in themselves, but the fact that they were in many instances substantially lower than salaries paid by commercial firms led to many resignations, particularly from the Junior Clerical Service, and some deterioration in the public service resulted. Concurrently, recruitment to the public service was

4

DESTRUCTION OF THE JAPANESE WAR MEMORIAL.

"Before"

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H

"After"

Photographs by Francis Wu.

}

香港公共圖書館

NG KONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

impeded by the same inadequacy of emoluments and such candidates as were forthcoming were often of a much lower standard than before the war. The first step which was taken to apply a remedy to the situation was the appointment of a Committee in August, 1946, to review departmental establish- ments and to make recommendations for readjustments in the rates of the temporary high cost of living and rehabilitation allowances then payable, in cases where the emoluments of any grade or class of Government employees were found to be inadequate to meet the cost of living appropriate to that grade. Certain additional allowances and increases in rent allowance were authorised as a result of the recommendations of this Committee to afford temporary relief but the root trouble remained unalleviated. A Commission was therefore appointed by the Governor under the chairmanship of Mr. D. J. Sloss, C.B.E., Vice Chancellor of the University, to conduct an inquiry with the following terms of reference:

(i) to consider and submit recommendations for the revision of the salaries and emoluments and conditions of service of all public officers in Hong Kong;

(ii) to consider the extent to which the cost of living allowances should be incorporated in basic salary having regard to the fact that stable economic conditions have not yet been re-established;

(iii) to keep in view in framing the recommendations the desirability of reducing the present diversity of salary scales. and conditions of service amongst the various grades of the public service;

(iv) to take such action as may be appropriate to ensure that the recommendations of the Hong Kong Salaries Commis- sion will be related to those of the Malayan Commission with a view in particular to facilitating the interchange of officers between Malaya and Hong Kong.

(v) to make recommendations regarding the points of entry for serving officers in any new or revised salary scale; (vi) to have generally in mind the White Paper Colonial No. 197 of 1946 relating to the organisation of the Colonial Service.

On 29th August, 1947, the Report of the Salaries Commission was submitted to the Government, and shortly afterwards it was forwarded to the Secretary of State for the Colonies for consideration. The ensuing months were occupied in consulta- tions with the Secretary of State, and it was not until the end of the year that information was received that, with certain reservations mainly concerned with expatriation allowances and high cost of living allowances in the higher salaries groups, the general recommendations of the Commission had met with approval. The Report is a massive document, and it would be beyond the compass of this chapter to attempt to give any account of the recommendations contained therein. It is possible to say that generally the approved recommendations of the Commission should afford a considerable degree of relief to public officers, particularly to those in the lower and middle

LO

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salaried groups, that increased opportunities are given for the advancement of local officers and that the general salary structure has been greatly simplified. The approved alterations in basic pay and allowances have been made retrospective to 1st January, 1947.

Labour in 1947.

The year 1947 was by no means so free of labour troubles as its predecessor, but on the whole Hong Kong came fairly well out of it by comparison with other Far Eastern Territories. During 1946 most of the major employers of labour had made fresh agreements with their employees, and for a time the position was fairly satisfactory; but further adjustments in the wage-rates of various grades of skilled workers later became necessary.

Three strikes occurred in the first quarter of the year: in each case little was achieved. The three firms concerned were the Peak Tramway Company, the Hong Kong Rope Works and the British Cigarette Company.

A more general agitation for increased wages began in the second quarter. In this the skilled mechanics were to the fore. Here the negotiations were long drawn out. The original demand for 150% increase in basic wages which was advanced by the Chinese Engineers' Institute was somewhat unrealistic and was in due course rejected by the employers. For two months the issue hung fire and then the demand, materially unchanged, was advanced again. The issue was clouded by considerable inter- union rivalry and by doubts whether the C.E.I. was truly representative of the workers. These doubts were removed by a strike called by the Institute in August, in which 11,000 skilled men, mainly in the Dockyards, Government Services, Cement works and Wharf Companies came out. The strike lasted for 27 days causing the loss of 236,440 man-days before agreement was reached. In October similar agreements were made by several utility companies which had steered clear of the previous strike.

Several other disputes occurred involving such varied classes. of workers as taxi drivers, fish market employees and employees of the China Motor Bus Company. Only the last named remained unsettled at the end of the year; this was a source of great inconvenience to dwellers on the Island.

Air Developments.

During 1947 the air traffic passing through Hong Kong increased by leaps and bounds. Despite the topographical and climatic limitations of the aerodrome and the rather cramped facilities available, a very heavy volume of traffic was dealt with throughout the year. The actual figures show that traffic had increased elevenfold over 1940 figures and it is worthy of note that the number of passengers passing through the airport monthly was half as great as those using Heathrow Airport near London. This was indicative of the popularity of Hong Kong

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as an air centre, a popularity not to be attributed to the quality of its airfield but to the stable conditions prevailing in the Colony. In point of fact, Kai Tak Aerodrome, never very satisfactory, is now totally inadequate for modern requirements and the lack of any alternative airport is liable to cramp Hong Kong's development as an air centre. This has been appreciated for some time and strenuous efforts have been made to solve the problem of providing the Colony with a first-class airport up to international standards. There is a serious danger that failing the provision of such an airport, Hong Kong may slip gradually out of the regular international air routes of the Far East. Indeed, in certain instances, aircraft were already over- flying the Colony. Unfortunately, the close of 1947 found this major problem yet unsolved.

An important development in the sphere of air traffic was the conclusion of an air agreement between His Majesty's Government and the Chinese Government, early in 1947. Under this agreement, British aircraft of companies to be nominated by His Majesty's Government were granted the rights of setting down and taking up passengers at four Chinese airports, namely, Kunming, Canton, Shanghai and Tientsin, and Chinese aircraft were given reciprocal rights with regard to Hong Kong. Two British companies, British Overseas Airways Corporation and Hong Kong Airways, a new company subsidiary to B.O.A.C. formed during 1947, have been designated at operate the services under this agreement. Only the latter company has gone into operation so far. Two Chinese Companies, Chinese National Aviation Corporation and the Central Air Transport Corporation, have been nominated by the Chinese Government. A rather similar agreement was negotiated towards the end of the year between His Majesty's Government and the Government of the Philippines, but it had not been formally ratified by the end of the year and no companies had been designated by either party.

Colonial Development & Welfare Act.

The year 1947 saw no major expenditure on projects under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act. In fact, very little expenditure in this field was incurred at all. Minor expenditure on scholarships occurred mainly for the training of local personnel at English Universities so as to equip them to assume wider responsibilities. An interesting item of expenditure was the engagement of Sir Patrick Abercrombie to make a survey of the needs of Hong Kong in the matter of town planning and to prepare an outline plan for the development of the urban area. Sir Patrick visited Hong Kong for the month of November and during that time was constantly engaged in consultations with all interests with a view to formulation of a plan. His recommendations are awaited.

The reason for the small expenditure was that the initiation of planning had necessarily been deferred until as late as June, 1946, and the survey of the whole possible field of development

7

and the assessment of the conflicting needs of the multifarious plans submitted naturally required deliberate consideration. A further limiting factor was the proviso that no expenditure involving constructive work may be authorised under the Act in a territory where trade union legislation has not been enacted. This is the case in Hong Kong where the Trade Unions and Trade Disputes Bill has not yet become law. During the first half of 1947, the local Development Committee, which was under the Chairmanship of the Secretary for Development, continued to meet; most of the work was done in sub-committees meeting frequently to deal with such questions as housing and town planning, port development, public health, natural resources, welfare and education. Finally during the summer a report was submitted by the Committee containing recommendations for the development of certain of the Colony's resources over a period of five years. The proposals were largely concerned with primary production, with the fostering of the fishing industry, the development of agriculture and the spread of co-operative methods among the rural and fishing population.

Baguio Conference.

At the second session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East which was held at Baguio in the Philippines from the 24th November to the 6th December, 1947, the Colony of Hong Kong was formally admitted as an Associate Member of the Commission. Mr. Lo Man-kam, C.B.E., as delegate for Hong Kong, accordingly took his place in the plenary session of the Commission and spoke for Hong Kong in the subsequent deliberations. This is the first time that Hong Kong has been represented as an individual territory in one of the organisations of the United Nations.

8

END OF PART I

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GOONG

"Fishing junks near Aberdeen- Lamma Island can be seen in the background.

Photograph by R. A. Bates.

香港公共圖書及

HONG KON

GKONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

PART II

Chapter 1.

Until a census, at present planned for 1948, has been held any estimate of the population of Hong Kong is necessarily very approximate. When

• POPULATION⚫ the last official census was taken in 1931 the total population was found

to be 864,117. Since then the violent fluctuations, caused first by the influx of refugees from Canton when the Japanese attacked that city in 1938, and later by the Japanese occu- pation of the Colony and its subsequent liberation in 1945 make impossible the formation of any but the most approximate estimate. In 1941 an unofficial census carried out by Air Raid Wardens gave a figure of 1,600,000, a total which is believed to have been reached again in 1946 after the enormous reduction caused by the Japanese occupation. Even after the end of 1946 the population continued to rise until about mid- 1947 when it ceased to grow. So far as it is possible to judge, the population at the close of the year may have been about 1,800,000. Of this total the overwhelming majority are of Chinese race. During the year the number of Europeans, excluding Service personnel and their dependants, increased to about 11,000. Of this number, between 7,000 and 8,000 are British subjects, while 969 are Portuguese nationals, 421 are citizens of the United States of America and 218 of the Philippines; Italian, French, and Netherlands nationals account for 152, 134 and 118 respectively. 195 Stateless persons are registered. The remainder include nationals of almost every country. There is a substantial Indian community of about 2,200 persons.

The population of the New Territories is of three races- the Cantonese, the Hakka and the Hoklos. The agricultural population of the New Territories are the Cantonese, mainly settled, some families for several hundred years, in the com- paratively fertile western plains, and the Hakka, whose incursion into the more difficult hilly land of the eastern peninsulas is said to have started about two hundred years ago and may not have finished yet. Generally speaking, the Hakka appear to have occupied any potentially arable land disregarded by the Cantonese. Thus long fingers of Hakka penetration have been extended from the eastern peninsulas over passes into the south- west of the mainland, and out on to the islands. The two sections maintain excellent relations, and although Hakka help Hakka more noticeably than Cantonese help Cantonese, it is remarkable that in their penetration the Hakka have been partly

9

guided by existing Cantonese settlement. Thus, for instance, one of the biggest New Territories villages, Wang Toi Shan, to the northwest of Taimoshan, is populated chiefly by Hakka, who undoubtedly chose that locality

locality because of the existing predominant influence there of the Cantonese.

There are few exceptions to the rule that Cantonese and Hakka in the New Territories do not intermarry. There are a few recent settlements which include both Cantonese and Hakka, but in such cases the families live distinctly, and normally a village is either clearly Cantonese or clearly Hakka. There are however certain well-defined exceptions, notably the villages of Ting Kok and Ping Shan Tsai in the Taipo area, whose inhabitants speak Cantonese and Hakka almost bilin- gually. These villages are nicknamed "pun kong cham", the half filled pitcher.

Certain occupations are exclusively Cantonese or Hakka; for instance, the oyster fisheries are entirely Cantonese, while the manufacture of bean-curd and the quarrying of stone are the exclusive sphere of the Hakka. Farmers of both sections, when they live on or near the sea, combine fishing with agriculture, though, unlike the boat people, their homes remain in their villages, even though they may spend nights away on the water. Their women never go fishing.

In the New Territories sailing and rowing boats, and the people in them, fall into three classes: the genuine Cantonese boat people (the Tanka), the genuine Hoklo boat people, and the farmers' boats and ferry boats. The boat people live entirely by fishing. The types of boats are not difficult to distinguish; Hakka boats, for instance, which are largely used for ferry work in the eastern waters, being stoutly built, with hulls high out of the water along their whole length, and a single mast. The Hoklos are a small but virile minority, sailing and rowing the fastest boats. The men often speak Cantonese and Hakka in addition to their own language. They occur mostly in the eastern New Territories, in Tide Cove, Tolo Harbour. and Starling Inlet. There is also a winter incursion of Hoklo farmer-fishermen from Hoi Luk Fung, without their families, who fish along the west coast of the mainland for shrimps, returning to Hoi Luk Fung in spring for the first sowing. The biggest fishing port is Cheung Chau, but the only place where the boat people live ashore is at Tai O, where hundreds of hovels on piles cover the shores of the creeks.

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OCCUPATIONS WAGES & LABOUR

Chapter 2.

General.

Apart from fishing and farming, which are dealt with elsewhere in this report, the major part of Hong Kong's popula- tion is engaged in commercial pursuits, and in employments such as stevedoring, shipbuilding and repairing etc., ancillary to the Colony's position as a great port and entrepôt for South China.

With a constantly fluctuating population it is difficult to estimate (except in shipbuilding where the numbers employed are approximately 16,900) the numbers employed in individual trades. It is possible, however, to give an approximate figure for the numbers employed in the three main groups of industrial undertakings. From returns submitted by the managements concerned, it is reckoned that in the engineering (including shipbuilding) metal and chemical industries approximately 24,500 persons are engaged; in public utility companies nearly 3,000; and in other manufacturing industries, 31,500. These figures represent a substantial increase during the year of the numbers employed in local industrial undertakings. This is in the main due to the further rehabilitation of factories previously existing, and to the setting up of a number of new factories by employers from Shanghai and Canton. There is every likelihood that this increase of employment in industry will be still further expanded in the near future with the establishment in Hong Kong of several new industries such as cotton spinning and the manufacture of plastic household wares.

Women and Young Persons in Industry.

A fair proportion of the workers engaged in Hong Kong's light industries are women, and recent investigations have enabled some assessment to be made of the conditions under which they are employed. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 women and girls are more or less regularly employed in seventy different industries in Hong Kong. In addition fairly large numbers are employed as unskilled manual workers in the building trade and as earth carriers, etc. for road building. Of the numbers employed in industry, well over a third work in the weaving and in the knitted piece goods factories. Rather less than a third are employed in the metalware, electric torch,

11

The

torch battery and rubber shoe industries combined. It is difficult to obtain exact employment figures as the majority of female labour is on either a daily or a piece rate basis, and the numbers employed vary from day to day according to the state of business in individual trades. Most of the factory work is light, and, with a few exceptions, semi-skilled. Wages and hours of work vary considerably in different industries. Only a few factories, and those generally European-owned, have an 8-hour day and a 6 or 51⁄2 day week. The great majority of Chinese concerns have either a 9 or a 10-hour day and a 7-day week. In some cases, if business is good, work may continue for 11 hours. These hours are, of course, much too long, but efforts to improve them by negotiation have been to a certain extent frustrated by the attitude of the women themselves, who prefer the extra money they can earn to any additional leisure. Such a position is unsatisfactory, and surveys are being conducted with a view to ascertaining whether or not measures may be undertaken to secure better conditions in certain industries through the medium of trade boards, for the institution of which there is already legislative provision. women and girls employed in local factories are of all types and ages, including almost as many married women as single. Most of the married women work from economic necessity. There is no upper limit to the age at which women may continue to work; many of the older ones find casual employment in the weaving industry. The enforcement of the lower age limit (which at present is 14 years for young persons of both sexes) is rendered the more difficult by the disparity between Chinese and European methods of reckoning the age of a child. In consequence cases have been brought to light by factory inspectors in which children are employed below the minimum age prescribed by law, whilst in other cases young persons who by virtue of their youth should be employed only within the restricted times laid down by regulation, are found to be employed for the whole of the working day. There are at present some three hundred young persons between the ages of 14 and 18 years registered with the Labour Office; details of wages, hours of work, and in some instances, family circum- stances, are recorded in these cases. Many more are still to be registered.

The inspection work in connection with juveniles entails personal visits to individual factories. These visits, in most cases, have to be repeated frequently owing to the very casual nature of the employment, particularly in the case of girls. It will consequently be some time before a comprehensive list can be compiled.

Little exists at present in the way of social amenities or welfare benefits for women in industrial employment. A few factories provide medical facilities for all their workers, and some of the guilds, with the assistance of the Education Department, have been able to provide additional schools for a small percentage of their

their members. Practically nothing, however, is done by managements to provide social or maternity

12

benefits. A limited period of maternity leave is usually granted, but the worker is often required to find a substitute during her absence. Canteen and cloakroom facilities are non-existent or inadequate-largely because most of the factories are very small concerns employing less than 25 persons, and the expense involved in providing these facilities would usually be too great for a small proprietor. Further, the present acute shortage of accommodation of all kinds in the Colony and the high cost of building and shortage of materials are obstacles to additional construction. In some cases attempts to provide canteen meals at low prices have failed owing to the conservatism of the workers who still prefer to patronize hawkers' stalls.

The Labour Office and its Work.

The department which is principally concerned with the working conditions in industry in the Colony is the Labour Office, which in 1946 was reconstituted as an independent unit, separate from the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs to which it had previously been linked. In September, 1947, the title of Labour Officer was changed to that of Commissioner of Labour. During the year the senior staff was further implemented by the appointment of a European Labour Officer with United Kingdom trade union experience and training. The staff of the Labour Office is now as follows:-Commissioner of Labour; a Deputy Commissioner of Labour, two European Labour Officers; a European Woman Labour Officer; a Chinese Assistant Labour Officer; a Chief Labour Inspector; two Inspectors; two Chinese Women Labour Inspectors; six clerks; a steno-typist and the usual complement of office messengers, etc.

Questions of administrative policy and labour legislation are dealt with by the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner. One of the Labour Officers together with the Chinese Assistant is primarily concerned with conciliation. The other Labour Officers are concerned with the conditions of employment of women and young persons and with trade union matters respectively. All senior officers, however, are compelled by circumstances to undertake a considerable amount of conciliation work in addition to their other duties. The Chief Labour Inspector deals mainly with the registration of factories and with matters of administration in connection therewith, whilst the remainder of his staff is fully occupied with day to day visits. of inspection to the large number of industrial concerns on both sides of the harbour. Although the department has undergone considerable expansion since its institution a few years ago, additional staff will be required in the comparatively near future in order to keep pace with the continually expanding administrative and legislative labour field. During the year an additional 517 factories and workshops were registered, bringing the total since the re-occupation of the Colony to 883. number in actual operation, however, is considerably greater, since, of the 1297 factories and workshops which have applied for registration since the end of the war, only 112 have ceased

The

13

operation. These latter were nearly all small concerns employing on an average only about 20 persons each, whose capital proved inadequate to weather the fluctuations which have affected production in a number of industries. The proprietors of these small concerns have usually been skilled workers who were themselves employed before the war in various local industries.

Employment in factories and workshops generally has not been steady, owing to irregular operation, but according to such information as is available the total expected to be employed is approximately 60,000 (males 38,368: Females 20,699). This is double the 1946 figure and two thirds of that of 1941.

8069 inspections of industrial undertakings were carried out by the department during the year. These included 629 night visits in connection with the employment of women and young persons during prohibited hours. In the inspection of industrial establishments attention was particularly devoted to the elimination, as far as possible, of some of the causes of occupational diseases. Thus improvements of working conditions in processes involving the use of lead and manganese and in the trades of glass-blowing, metal and glass polishing, making toothbrushes, and paint manufacture, have been effected mainly by the installation of dust exhaust and fume collecting systems. In the rubber shoe trade it was found that tetra-ethyl (leaded) petrol was being fairly extensively used in the making of rubber solution. Although a check medical inspection showed no signs of lead poisoning and analysis proved that the percentage of lead was small, factory managers were informed of the possible danger of lead poisoning and advised to use lead free petrol only. Accidents reported to the department, and subsequently investigated, amounted to 191 during the year. Of this number 119 occurred in the ship-building industry, where 99 were caused by falls from staging or by falling objects. The loss of time due to accidents totalled 4583 working days. 18 fatal accidents occurred, 10 of them in shipyards. Seven of these latter were the result of falls from staging or the decks of ships, and were due to lack of care and an apparent aversion to the use of safety ropes. The remaining fatalities were due to a variety of causes. Most of the non-fatal injuries proved on investigation to have been due to careless handling of machinery and the disregard or wilful removal of safety guards.

Prosecutions, which were only resorted to when repeated warnings had been disregarded, amounted to 63. The majority of these were for employing women during prohibited hours. Others were for the employment of young persons during prohibited hours or in a dangerous trade, the employment of children below the legal minimum age, the use of unfenced machinery, failure to register factories liable to registration, and obstruction of fire exits.

In addition to the work done in connection with factories, the department is constantly engaged in the conciliation and settlement of trade disputes and minor cases (the latter averaging about 30 a month); enquiries regarding wages;

14

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advising trade unions on matters of organisation and finance; and, in co-operation with the legal department, the constant review of labour legislation to meet local needs and to correspond with accepted international standards.

Labour Disputes.

At the beginning of the year the labour position was generally satisfactory. Most of the larger employers of labour had concluded new agreements with their employees during 1946. As the year advanced, however, the economic factor once again became obtrusive, and necessitated further adjustment in the pay-scales of various grades of skilled workers, who had not hitherto benefited from the high post-war standard of living to the same extent as the semi-skilled and unskilled workers. There were three strikes during the first quarter of the year. In each case the original demands put forward by the men concerned were unduly arbitrary and no acceptable compromise could be reached. Little was gained by the strikes since the companies concerned were able to engage new staff or re-engage their former employees on terms practically identical with those obtaining before the men had resorted to strike action.

The first in point of time was a strike by the thirty-six employees of the Peak Tramway Company. A list of demands was put forward by the employees, mainly for wage increases. These increases were, in the opinion of the Company, excessive. The management, however, was prepared to negotiate, and discussions accordingly took place, during which the Company made a number of concessions, though it was not prepared to grant the demands in full. The employees insisted on complete acceptance of their original terms. Failing to obtain this they decided to strike. Eventually, after more than five weeks of unsuccessful negotiation, inclusive of the period of the strike, the Company, after offering to re-employ those of its staff who chose to return, engaged a largely new staff with which full operation of the service was resumed.

A strike in the Hong Kong Rope Works followed a similar course. After protracted and unsuccessful negotiations lasting over two months the Company engaged new staff amounting to some 110 workers.

In March the employees of a European-owned concern, the British Cigarette Company, submitted a demand for a 100% wage increase, as well as other demands of a minor character. The management had, some nine months before, granted increases to bring their employees fully into line with other European industrial concerns, and were therefore not prepared to consider the new increase. The workers decided, somewhat rashly, to enforce their demands by strike action, but after 27 days on strike they agreed to return to work on the same conditions of service as before.

With the second quarter of the year began a more general agitation for pay increases particularly for skilled mechanics. The Chinese Engineers' Institute, the oldest craft union for this

15

URBAN COUNCIL PUBLIC LIBRARIES

type of worker, had already mooted the question. Their approach, however, was somewhat unrealistic in that it was too general in its scope to form a basis for negotiations which might have led to a settlement. The Institute's demand was for 150% increase in basic wages for all skilled mechanics. This demand took no account of the fact that the Institute claimed to represent no less than 13 skilled trades in Utility Companies, Dockyards, and Government Departments. In each of these there were differences in pay-scales. Furthermore, during 1946, most of the employers, as has previously been mentioned, had negotiated settlements with their employees as a whole. Any concession to one type of worker, therefore, would be bound to have repercussions on the other employees. Possibly stimulated by the Institute's demand, other unions, representing the majority of the workers in the utilities and dockyards, visited the Labour Office during April to demand, as against the Institute's request for an increase in basic wages, an increase in the rate of the rehabilita- tion allowance which had been payable since the war. Efforts to persuade them to submit reliable detailed information on living costs were unsuccessful. The Chinese Engineers', Institute continued to press their alternative demand for an increase of basic wages. All the employers who were likely to be affected were consulted, but found themselves unable to accept the demand in the form in which it was being put forward, and the Institute was so informed. After a lapse of two months, from May to July, the Institute again put forward its demand, materially unchanged, but with the threat of strike action if it was not granted. The Labour Office again consulted the managements concerned but, since the conditions were unaltered no advance could be made. In addition to the difficulty of negotiating on the basis of the Institute's blanket demands the situation was confused by doubts whether the Institute was still representative of the bulk of skilled workers or whether its place had been taken by the various industrial unions which had grown up in individual companies. These doubts were strengthened by the attitude and statements of the industrial unions which were opposed to the Institute, and were unwilling to co-operate with it in joint negotiations. There was in fact considerable inter-union rivalry, and it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Institute's policy was to some extent moulded by tactical expediency in this field. The Labour Office tried to locate the chief sources of dissatisfaction with a view to confining negotiations within the limits of individual industries. The Dockyards were indicated as being primarily concerned, and an attempt was made to secure an agreement by means of joint negotiating machinery on which both the Institute and the Dockyard industrial unions were represented. This attempt was unsuccessful and on the 16th August the Institute called a strike of all its members. The result of this call apparently substantiated the Institute's claim to represent skilled mechanics in the Dockyards, Government Services, the Green Island Cement Company and the Wharf Companies, since

16

י

4

ON

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:

*

.

within a few days over 11,000 skilled men employed in these concerns had ceased work. With a few exceptions the employees of the Public Utility companies did not take part in the strike. Even after the strike had begun negotiations between the Institute and the Dockyard managements (including the Royal Naval Dockyard) continued for some time in the Labour Office but were finally broken off by the Institute. After an interval the two sides resumed conversations and eventually a final meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Commissioner of Labour at which a compromise agreement was attained. By this agreement skilled workmen represented by the Institute obtained an increase of 50% in basic wages, which were raised from between $2 and $3.20 to between $3 and $4.80 per 8-hour day. This increase subsequently entailed a readjust- ment in wages of workers above and below the artisan level of approximately 20-30%. It should be stressed that all increases were in basic wages and exclusive of the rehabilitation allowances which continued to be paid in accordance with the accepted scale. The strike lasted for 27 days and it is estimated that 236,440 man-days were lost.

In the same month (August) negotiations were in progress at the Labour Office between the managements and the These employees of the eight taxi companies of the Colony. were initiated by the Motor Drivers' Union, which was seeking, on behalf of its members, a unified and improved scale of wages and improvements in hours and other working conditions. After a number of meetings an increase of $1.00 per day was agreed raising the overall wage from $5 to $6 per day. Other features of the agreement were a 48-hour week, 18 paid holidays per annum, free sick treatment, compensation for injuries and other benefits.

In September further repercussions of the mechanics' strike were experienced in that the industrial unions of several utility companies that had not been involved in the strike came forward with similar demands for wage increases, though in this instance the blanket demand was for 100% and not 150%:

After a number of joint and individual meetings, some of which were held in the Labour Office, agreements were reached on approximately the same terms as in the case of the dockyards. The companies concerned in these negotiations were the Hong Kong Electric Co., the Hong Kong Tramway Co., the China Light and Power Co., the Hong Kong and China Gas Co., the Hong Kong Telephone Co., the China Motor Bus Co., the Kowloon Motor Bus Co., the Star Ferry Co., and the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Co.

In November the employees in the market and syndicate offices of the Fisheries Wholesale Marketing Organisation submitted, through their representatives, a request for additional rehabilitation allowance, on the ground that they were receiving only half the amount paid to Government employees. was a distortion of the facts since half the allowance had already, with their consent, been incorporated in their basic wage, the difference between this amount and the current rehabilitation

This

17

allowance being paid as their appropriate allowance. As, in addition, they received a special allowance of between $30 and $50 per month, they were already much better paid than Government employees of similar grades. In spite of every endeavour to clear up the misunderstanding the men went on strike on the 12th November, while negotiations were still in progress. It was soon evident that the strike was not popular. Picketing, although effective for a day or two, quickly died down, and after five days seventy per cent of the old staff had returned to work. To replace those who did not return new staff were taken on. No further trouble has been experienced.

At the close of the year only one serious dispute was outstanding. This concerned the China Motor Bus Company, whose employees, during October, November and the early part of December had been negotiating with the management for the grant of a retiring gratuity on the termination of ten years' service. The original demand was that this should be payable without a minimum age limit. The management, however, insisted that there must be such a limit, and negotiations were still in progress on this point when, on 12th December, the traffic staff went on strike, leaving the maintenance staff still at work. At the end of the year the strike remained unsettled.

Cost of Living.

There has been little material change during 1947 in the cost of living for the wage-earning classes. The cost of staple commodities, in particular that of rice, which had shown a tendency to fall during the last few months of 1946, rose slightly during the latter part of January and in early February, 1947. This was not unexpected since the advent of the Chinese New Year at about this time usually entails a temporary increase. Floods in South China and the mechanics' strike in August were also contributory causes of temporary food cost increases.

The slight increase in the cost of living level in 1947 was partly attributable to the progressive decline in the value of the Chinese National Dollar. A more serious factor was the continued housing shortage. Although rebuilding has made some progress, there are still many bomb-damaged or looted areas which have not yet been rehabilitated. The pressure on the remaining housing space is, in consequence, severe, and rents are many times higher than before the war in spite of legislation designed to prevent undue increases. The exaction of high premiums, though illegal, is also common. For many of the artisan and clerical workers school fees (and equipment) and clothing are proportionately very much bigger items in family budgets than before the war.

The increase in the wages of workers during the year was reflected to a certain extent in the retail prices of commodities generally. At the end of the year the average retail prices of the staple foodstuffs, etc., of the wage-earning classes, as compared with pre-war and with 1946 levels, were as follows:-

18

$

15

19

10

5

H

AVERAGE WEEKLY FOOD AND FUEL COSTS, JANUARY, 1930 TO DECEMBER, 1947.

THE FOLLOWING ARE THE COMMODITIES

AND

THE QUANTITIES THEREOF, THE COST OF WHICH IS GRAPHED.

COMMODITIES.

RICE

VEGETABL65

SALT CABBAGE

OIL

TEA

SALT FISH

FISH

PORK

FIREWOOD

BEAN CURD

CATTIES

7.2

1.9

*2

7

2

19

•3

"

*3

10.0

14 pcs.

JAN.

10

JULI

JAM

| 19.30

JUNE

DEC

JUNE

JULY

rec

JAK.

|

TUNE

1732

JULY

DEC

JAM. TULA

JAM.

1933

גוט

TUNE DEL

TAN

JULY

| 1414 |

JUNE

DEC

STATISTICAL

BRANCIL, COLONIAL SECRETARIAT

REF:C4.13/48.

"

JAN

JUNE

1935

JULY

DEC.

|

1936

JUNE

JULY

PEC.

JAN.

JUME

1931

JULY

JAN.

1938

JULY

JAH.

JULY

JAN

JULI

· JAN.

JULY

JAN.

|

1939

1940

941

1943

301.

|

SAN

JULY

JAN

JULY

JAM

SEPT.

JAN.

JULY

JAN.

JULY

1943 |

194.7

DEC.

JUNE

DEL

JUNE

DEC

JUNE

DEC.

JUNE

DEL

JUNE

DEL

JUNE

DEC

JUNE

DEC

AUG

DEC

JUNE

| 1945 | | 1996 | | 1967 |

DEC.

DEC.

JVNE

Pre-War

1946

1947

(end)

(end)

Rice (1st and 2nd grade average)

per catty

$0.80

Rice (3rd grade) per catty

$0.07

$0.84

0.60

Fresh Fish, per catty

0.28

1.65

2.53

Salt Fish, per catty

0.24

1.95

2.73

Beef, per catty

Pork, per catty

0.35

2.45

2.51

0.54

3.25

2.72

Oil, per catty

Firewood

0.24

2.30

2.52

10 cents

10 cents

10 cents

for 5.6 catties

for one

for one

catty

catty

The graph which appears on page 19 illustrates very strikingly the rise in the weekly food and fuel costs, which has occurred since the war.

The cost of living for Europeans has risen to a figure which is between two and four times greater than before the war. The main increases are in the cost of food and clothing, domestic servants' wages (which are now approximately five times the prewar figure) and in rents, light and power, and transport costs, all of which have appreciated considerably.

Wages.

Wages for Chinese artisans and unskilled labour employed in European-owned industries and in transport concerns are now largely uniform, and have been determined through a number of negotiated agreements. These rates have also been applied by the Government for its own labour of similar grades. At the end of the year under review these rates, as compared with pre-war and 1946 scales, were as follows:-

AVERAGE RATES OF WAGES FOR DAILY PAID LABOUR.

Daily Paid

(Dockyards,

Utility Cos.

Government).

Skilled Tradesmen

Skilled Workmen

Pre-War

1946 (end)

1947 (end)

(Including Rehabilitation Allowance)

$0.75-$1.40 $0.70-$1.00

$5.00-$6.20

$6.00-$8.00

$4.50-$5.00

$5.50-$7.00

$4.20-$4.50

$4.60-$5.80

$0.40-$0.60

$3.20-$3.60

$3.50-$4.00

Semi-Skilled Workmen $0.60-$0.75

Unskilled

These rates are based on an 8-hour day for 26 days a month, and include the rehabilitation allowance, which for artisans averages $3 per day and for male unskilled labour $2.40 per day.

It is estimated that 28,000 workers are employed on these scales, while approximately 32,000 are employed in Chinese industrial establishments, and 55,000 in miscellaneous occupa- tions such as stevedoring, carrying, etc.

It will be observed from the above tables that there is a wide disparity between pre-war and post-war wages.

The upward tendency was continued during 1947. The same trend can be seen by a comparison of the wages of representative

20

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transport workers. These were previously paid monthly, but are now, by agreement, paid on a daily basis. For the purpose of comparison with 1946 and pre-war figures, the following table shows their present average total earnings per month:-

Tram Drivers

Bus Drivers

Tram Conductors

Bus Conductors

Pre-War

1946

$36-$45

$154-$174

$27-$55

$169-$184

$30-$39

$140-$164

$20-$35

$139-$159

1947 (end)

$190-$227

$212-$227

$172-$210

$167-$183

Owing to the continued shortage of skilled labour many Chinese firms, which do not generally speaking have as high operating costs as the large European concerns, but at the same time cannot offer the same security of employment, are compelled to pay a comparatively higher scale. For example the following rates for male labour engaged on a time work basis are general:-

1947

Skilled Tradesmen

Skilled Workmen

Semi-Skilled Workmen

Continuous Work

$7-$14 per day

$5-$ 7 $3-$ 5

>>

""

19

99

Casual Work

$8-$20 per day $7-$12 $4-$ 6

""

59

These are total earnings, since Chinese firms generally do not pay a rehabilitation allowance. On the other hand, in the majority of Chinese industrial establishments, wages are paid at piece work rates. These vary considerably from industry to industry. Most of the piece-workers are women, and the following table give the 1947 range in some of the principal industries and operations in which they are engaged:

Industry

Electric Hand Torches

Electric Hand Torch Batteries

Electric Hand Torch Bulbs

Hardware

Garments

Knitted Piece Goods:

(a) Bobbin-winding and knitting

(b) Making up garments

(c) Hosiery

Rubber Shoe Making

Average Daily Wage

$1.20-$3.40

$1.60-$2.20

$1.00-$2.80

$1.00-$3.15

$1.00-$5.70

$2.70-$4.00

$1.25-$7.20

$3.50-$5.00

$1.50-$7.00

Weaving:-(Piece rates fixed by joint negotiation).

I. Power-Driven.

(a) Bobbin-winding

(b) Warping and Weaving Sections

II. Hand-Operated.

(a) Bobbin-winding

$2.00-$3.00

$4.00-$6.00

$1.00-$2.00

$3.00-$4.00

(b) Warping and Weaving Sections

These earnings are averaged on the basis of a 9-hour day.

21

Working Hours.

The usual hours in Chinese-owned factories are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with an hour off at mid-day) but extra work from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at ordinary rates is not uncommon. In the latter case a further rest period between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. is usual. In many other occupations, such as catering, transport and stevedoring, the working day may be 9 hours or longer, with a 7-day week. The tempo of the work in these occupations is however, proportionate, and there are many short rest periods. In European concerns the 48-hour week is now standard, except in the Naval Dockyard where a 44-hour week is worked. The usual rest-day is Sunday, though other days are allotted where work must necessarily be continuous.

Labour Organisation.

In its organisation of labour, Hong Kong, in common with the majority of Far Eastern countries since the war, has been increasingly affected by the quickening tempo of world events. The ancient guild is progressively yielding place to the modern union. There is a re-direction of emphasis and aim. The guild sought to establish a closed monopoly within each craft; to protect trade secrets; to provide for its members a medium for mutual intercourse and instruction; and to furnish benefits for the less fortunate of its members or fellow countrymen. Wages and conditions of work, where not protected by the custom of the craft or fixed by mutual arrangement between members (who might be masters or men) were deemed to be matters for individual bargaining between employer and employed. gressive industrialisation, by bringing together ever larger aggregations of workers, has inevitably led to greater concentra- tion on comparative living conditions, and to the organisation of Industrial Unions as distinct from craft organisations. The guilds retaining most of the old features are confined, in the main, to the small, independent, family type of organisation, restricted to one particular trade.

Pro-

The Trade Union and Trade Disputes Bill has not yet become law, but its passage through the legislature should not now be long delayed. At the moment therefore there is no marked difference between trade unions and other forms of association. Most societies, including trade unions, voluntarily notify the Secretary for Chinese Affairs and furnish particulars of their formation. Since the re-occupation of the Colony and up to December, 1947, 147 guilds classified as workers' unions, 106 guilds of employers, 65 craft guilds of workers and employers have given such notification, together with numerous recrea- tional and education clubs and associations. One weakness of the present system is the difficulty of determining the precise status of these associations and their position as representative bodies in labour relations. Furthermore, as is shown by the figures quoted above, there is considerable duplication in many trades. This inevitably militates against the successful conduct of such a trade union function as collective bargaining. Each

22

guild at present has its own rules and objects, both of which are usually very limited. The Trade Union and Trade Disputes Bill will distinguish between trade unions and other types of voluntary associations. Those associations which by the nature of their constitution and objects qualify for registration as trade unions will acquire a legal status as registered trade unions. There is provision in the Bill for amalgamation of registered trade unions within the same trade or industry and every encouragement will be given to proposals for such amalgama- tion. The enactment of this Bill should considerably assist the consolidation of the growing trade union movement and should help to counteract the present tendency towards an unnecessary multiplication of small unions.

The year has seen a marked increase in the activities of labour organisations generally, particularly in the sphere of negotiations on questions of wages and working conditions. Many of the unions have shown great willingness to explore every means of settling their disputes round the conference table and have displayed a grasp of the principles of collective bargaining which augurs well for the future. Unfortunately the average working man is not yet prepared to take much interest in union affairs except in moments of crisis and the consequence is that the management of some unions tends to be concentrated in a few persons who do not always exhibit that sense of responsibility which one would expect to find in the holders of executive positions. This is a fault which no doubt time and experience will correct.

The following list gives the names, types and approximate membership of a few of the more important unions:

Hong Kong Seamen's Union (General Seamen's Union) Chinese Engineers' Institute (Craft Union)

5,000 members

6,000

Hong Kong Tramway Employees Association (Industrial

Union)

1,400

""

Motor Drivers' Guild

5,000

99

Taikoo Dockyard Workers' Guild (semi-skilled and

unskilled workers)

3,824

29

Naval Dockyard Workers'

Guild (semi-skilled

and

unskilled workers)

1,192

...

Foreign Labour Union (Hotel and Restaurant boys) Weavers' Guild (Men and Women)

3,500

>>

2,630

""

Female Knitters' Association (Women Weavers)

The Metal Workers Sisters' Association (Women workers

in chain & battery making, etc.)

The Musicians' Union (mainly Filipinos)

The Rubber Factory Employees' Union (including 840

women)

An interesting development is the recent formation of a Hong Kong Employers' Federation, the membership of which will be open to both European and Chinese firms.

Labour Advisory Board.

In labour matters generally and particularly with regard to legislative proposals affecting labour, the Government is assisted

900

99

160

99

120

99

1,200

""

23

by a Labour Advisory Board constituted on a tripartite basis. The Labour Commissioner is ex-officio Chairman and there are nine members representing the interests of European Employers, Chinese Employers, and Chinese Labour respectively.

Legislation.

The aim of labour policy in Hong Kong is two-fold. In the first place it is designed to implement, as far as possible, the standards of the International Labour Code. Secondly ad hoc legislation is sometimes necessary to meet specific local needs.

Some of the subjects included in International Conventions which also find a place in local enactments are the following:-

Subject Matter

I. Regulation of the em- ployment of women, young persons and children in regard to age, nature of occupa- tion, hours and condi- tions of work.

International Convention

Minimum Age (Industry) Conventions, 1919 & 1937.

Minimum Age (Sea) Con- ventions, 1920 & 1936.

Minimum Age (Trimmers & Stokers) Convention, 1921.

Night Work (Young

Persons)

1919.

Convention

Night Work (Women)

Convention (Revised) 1934.

Underground Work

H.K. Legislation Factories & Workshops Ordinance, 1937. Employment of Young Persons & Children at Sea Ordinance, 1932.

Merchant Shipping (Hong Kong) Orders, 1936-applying the Merchant Shipping (International Labour Conventions)

Act, 1925.

Factories &

Workshops

Ordinance, 1937.

Factories &

(Women)

Convention,

Workshops

1935.

Ordinance, 1937.

Medical

Examination of

Merchant

Young Persons (Sea)

Convention, 1921.

Shipping (Hong Kong) Orders,

1936.

II. Seamen.

Unemployment Indemnity Merchant

(Shipwreck) Convention, Shipping (Hong

1921.

Kong) Orders,

1936.

Seamen's Agreement 1926.

Articles of

Merchant

Convention,

Shipping

Ordinance, 1899.

III. Minimum Wages.

Minimum

Wage - Fixing Trade Boards

Machinery 1928.

Convention,

Ordinance, 1940.

Other matters, directly or indirectly concerned with labour, but of more local significance are:-

24

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"Busy slipways at Taikoo

Dockyard.

"6

X

Photograph by K. A. Watson.

1.

香港公共圖書館

G KONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

Subject Matter

1. Miscellaneous factory matters

such as: Factory registration and inspection; appointment of factory inspectors; the efficient guarding of machinery and the provision of fire, health and safety precautions in factories. 2. Regulation of certain contracts

of service.

3. Assistance to Asiatic Emi- grants in transit through Hong Kong to work elsewhere.

4. Regulation of certain forms of

female domestic service.

5. Provision for and regulation of Industrial and Reformatory Schools.

Hong Kong Legislation

Factories & Workshops Ordin- ance, 1937.

Employers' and Servants' Ordin- ance, 1902.

Asiatic 1915.

Emigration Ordinance,

Female Domestic Service Ordin- ance, 1923.

Industrial & Reformatory Schools Ordinance, 1932.

During the current year the only significant legislative change was a further amending Ordinance (No. 44 of 1947) to the Factories and Workshops Ordinance, 1937. The amending Ordinance extended control over a number of small factories and workshops previously exempt from registration and gave wider powers to the Commissioner of Labour to make special regulations for the safety and health of workers engaged in occupations involving special risk of bodily injury. Under the same Ordinance regulations have been made governing the conditions under which women may be employed as shift workers in industry.

Legislation in various stages of preparation includes:-

(a) The Trade Unions and Trade Disputes Bill. This Bill is awaiting introduction into Legislative Council; it will provide for the compulsory registration of trade unions and the establishment of arbitration machinery for voluntary arbitration in cases where a settlement by other means has not been obtained.

(b) A Workmen's Compensation Bill. In draft.

25

DES

JUARAI DRAB

PUBLIC FINANCE AND TAXATION

Chapter 3.

Up to and including 1939, the Colony's financial year coincided with the calendar year but thereafter the financial year was changed to the twelve months ending on 31st March. The budget from 1940/41 thus covered the period of fifteen months from 1st January, 1940 to the 31st March, 1941. Owing to the occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese at the end of 1941, no final figures are, of course, available for the year 1941/42. The Colony was under British Military Administration from August, 1945, up to 30th April, 1946, and Civil Administration was resumed from the 1st May, 1946. The Estimates for 1946/47 accordingly relate to the period of eleven months from the 1st May, 1946, to the 31st March, 1947, and those for 1947/48 to the twelve months period from the 1st April, 1947, to the 31st March, 1948.

Revenue & Expenditure.

The foregoing will explain the gaps in the following table of Revenue and Expenditure for the last five years for which figures are available:

Revenue $

Expenditure $

Surplus

Deficit

$

$

1939

41,478,052

37,949,116 3,528,936

1940/41

(15 months)

70,175,114

64,787,556 5,387,558

1941/42

(Estimated)

56,786,000

60,642,715

3,856,715

1946/47 (11 months)

82,141,556

85,624,391

3,482,835

1947/48 (Estimated)

109,839,750

109,834,355

5,395

Expenditure for 1946-47.

The Estimates for 1946-47, which were framed soon after the re-occupation of the territory, when little reliable information was available as to revenue and expenditure prospects, provided for Revenue of some $51,300,000 and Expenditure of approximate- ly $167,850,000, leaving a deficit of about $116,550,000. Owing to the rapid economic recovery of the Colony and the imposition of a number of new taxes, it soon became apparent that the

26

revenue would be considerably in excess of the estimated figure. The expectation was fulfilled by the event, and the final total was over $82,000,000 or nearly $31,000,000 more than the original estimate. The Expenditure Estimates included about $78,000,000 for non-recurrent expenditure, much of which was subsequently transferred to an advance account to be met from a proposed new loan.

The actual recurrent expenditure amounting to $85,624,391 was a little lower than the estimate so that the deficit on recurrent expenditure for the year was finally just under $3,500,000. This did not, of course, represent the true deficit as special rehabilitation expenditure charged to an Advance Account pending the raising of a loan amounted to $30,360,747. There were also large liabilities in respect of war claims connected with the Volunteers, repatriation passages, relief payments, etc. which remained in suspense pending a decision in regard to the incidence of this expenditure. Rehabilitation expenditure finally worked out at rather less than half the original estimate owing to the very long delays in the delivery of stores and equipment ordered. The lack of staff also made it impossible for the programme of works to be carried out as expeditiously as had been planned.

Revenue for 1946-47.

The principal revenue items for 1946-47, in round figures,

were:-

(a) Duties on Liquor,

Tobacco, Proprietary Medicines, etc

(c) Internal Revenue including Entertainment

Hydrocarbon Oils,

$34,000,000

(b) Rates (Assessed Taxes)

6,800,000

Tax, Estate Duty, Stamp Duties, Meals & Liquor Tax and Betting & Sweeps Tax

12,000,000

(d) Water Revenue

2,500,000

• •

5,250,000

4,450,000

4,880,000

3,790,000

5,370,000

(e) Postal Revenue

(f) Kowloon-Canton Railway

(g) Miscellaneous Fees, Payments for Services

and Sales of Government Property

(h) Miscellaneous Licences, Fines & Forfeitures (i) Miscellaneous Receipts, including Royalties

Estimates for 1947-48.

The Estimates for the year 1947/48, provide for revenue totalling nearly $110,000,000 but present indications are that it will amount to nearer $150,000,000. Estimated expenditure for this period amounts to $109,800,000.

Import and Excise Duties.

There is no general customs tariff in Hong Kong, import duties being confined to liquor, tobacco, hydrocarbon oils, toilet preparations, proprietary medicines and table waters. A special

27

foreign registration fee of 20% of the value of a motor vehicle is payable in respect of any vehicle not produced within the British Empire. The duties on imported liquor range from $1.50 per gallon on beer to $4.00 on Chinese liquor and to $44.00 on European sparkling wines. A reduction in duty is allowed in respect of liquors manufactured or produced within the British Empire.

A

The duties on tobacco range from $1.95 per lb. on the lowest taxed unmanufactured tobacco to $7.00 per lb. on cigars. reduction in duty is allowed on tobacco of Empire origin and/or of Empire manufacture. A duty of 80 cents per gallon is payable on all light oils imported into the Colony, 40 cents per gallon on all heavy hydrocarbon oils used as fuel for any heavy oil road vehicle, and 10 cents per gallon on other hydrocarbon oils. Duty is payable on toilet preparations and proprietary medicines. at 25% of ex-factory price in the case of locally manufactured goods, and 25% of f.o.b. prices in the case of imported goods. A duty of 24 cents per gallon is payable on Table Waters imported into or manufactured in the Colony. Excise duty is levied at the same rates on the above dutiable commodities manufactured in the Colony. Estate duty is charged on estates situated within the Colony on a sliding scale varying from 1% on $500 to 52% on $30,000,000 and over.

4-9

Assessment Tax.

As will be seen from the figures given in paragraph 3, Assessment Tax (Rates) is one of the largest revenue producing items. There is a general rate of 15% plus a water rate of 2% on assessed rateable value. Properties in outlying districts which have unfiltered water pay a water rate of 1%, and this rate is remitted altogether if no water is available.

New Taxes Introduced in 1947.

Increases on a wide range of licence fees and in charges for services by Government Departments were made, but the most significant additional revenue measure of the year under review was the introduction of a tax on earnings and profits.

The system of taxation is based on the normal Income Tax plan modified to suit local conditions. Whereas the basis of taxation under a normal income tax is, throughout, the individual, the basis of the tax introduced in Hong Kong is, wherever possible, the source of income. The tax is therefore divided into four separate taxes-Property Tax, Profits Tax, Interest Tax and Salaries and Annuities Tax. Property Tax is charged on the ownership of property the charge being made either direct on the owner or through the agency of the occupier who has right of recovery against the owner. Profits Tax is charged either as Corporation Profits Tax on corporations, or as Business Profits Tax on businesses as such and not on the proprietors thereof. Interest Tax is charged on all interest arising on any debenture, mortgage, bill of sale, loan, deposit or advance which is either payable under an instrument

28

registered with any public authority or public officer or payable by any person carrying on trade, profession or business in the Colony and allowable as a deduction in assessing his Profits Tax. There are certain exemptions, such as interest payable to a corporation, since such interest would be subject to tax as part of the profits of the Corporation. Salaries and Annuities Tax is the only one which is charged on the individual, and in this case, certain personal allowances are granted and the rate of tax is graduated. In order, however, to grant personal allow- ances to those who are prepared to disclose their personal business interests, a right to elect to be personally assessed is provided. Upon such an election, personal allowances similar to those under Salaries and Annuities Tax are made. The standard rate of tax for 1947/48 is 10%. The profits of corpora- tions are taxable at the full standard rate whatever their amount may be.

Profits of unincorporated businesses amounting to under $7,000 are free from tax. Otherwise, with certain allowances they are subject to the full standard rate. end of 1947 collections of tax under the new Ordinance were as follows:

Profits Tax

Property Tax

Salaries & Annuities Tax Interest Tax

Total

By the

$2,267,455.47

1,813,157.29

108,962.40

158,187.81

$4,347,762.97

Collections were adversely affected by the difficulty experienced in obtaining adequate assessing staff.

Expenditure.

The actual expenditure for the 11 months ended 31st March, 1947, amounted to just under $86,000,000 but, as explained in an earlier paragraph, this comprises recurrent expenditure only, most of the non-recurrent charges having been allocated to advances pending the raising of a special loan for the purpose of rehabilitation necessitated by the occupation of the Colony by the Japanese. The larger items, in round figures, were:-

(a) Miscellaneous Services

This includes a sum of rather under $19,000,000 for High Cost of Living and Rehabilitation Allowances for various grades of Government servants.

(b) Stores Department

$25,400,000

10,000,000

Mainly for purchases of stores required for all Departments.

6,000,000

(c) Pensions

This is accounted for principally by large sums paid for arrears relating to the period of enemy occupation.

29

(d) Public Debt ....

Redemption of Government Bonds for the preceding five years is included.

6,000,000

(e) Medical and Police Services

11,500,000

(f) Public Works of a recurrent nature (main-

tenance, etc.)

3,900,000

Public Debt.

The public Debt of the Colony as at the 31st December, 1947, totalled $20,046,000 comprising three issues:

4% Conversion Loan raised in 1933, and repayable

not later than the 1st August, 1953

The Sinking Fund of this Loan is fully invested and amounted to £203,337.5s. as at the 30th September, 1947.

31% Dollar Loan raised in 1934

""

""

1940

The two latter loans are redeemable by 25 annual drawings. During 1947 drawings to cover the period 1942/47 were made and bonds to the value of $6,192,000 were redeemed.

$ 4,838,000

$ 6,720,000

$ 8,488,000

Towards the end of 1947, an Ordinance was enacted to provide for the raising of Loans up to a maximum of $150,000,000 for the purpose of financing expenditure on the rehabilitation of the public services. On the 19th December, 1947, applications were invited for subscriptions to the first portion of this loan amounting to $50,000,000 and by the 9th January, 1948, the issue was fully subscribed. This loan bears interest at the rate of 31% and is redeemable not earlier than 1973 and not later than 1978. A Sinking Fund is being created for the redemption of the loan.

NG PO

30

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contact library staff for a printed copy of the copyright work.

Evening in Aberdeen

Harbour."

Photograph by R. A. Bates.

M

TES

香港公共圖書館

RIES

LIBRA

NG KONG PUBLIC

38

888

TIRANE

3888828338:

CURRENCY & BANKING-

Chapter 4.

The Currency.

The unit of currency in the Colony is the Hong Kong dollar, the value of which in terms of sterling fluctuated con- siderably until the silver standard was abandoned in December, 1935. The Currency Ordinance, 1935, set up an Exchange Fund, and provided that the note-issuing banks should surrender to the fund all silver previously deposited against note issues, and should deposit full sterling cover for all note issues thereafter. Since 1935 the value of the Hong Kong dollar has been main- tained at approximately one shilling and three pence, both before and after the Japanese occupation.

Note Issue and Banks.

Notes of denominations from five dollars upwards are issued by the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, and the Mer- cantile Bank of India. The Government issues notes of one dollar, ten cents, five cents and one cent denominations. Before the war there were in circulation coins of 10-cent, 5-cent and 1-cent denominations, but these all disappeared during the occupation. The reintroduction of small denomination coins is now under consideration. The Colony is included in the sterling area and the authorised banks for dealing in foreign exchange are, in addition to the three note issuing banks mentioned above:

Thomas Cook and Sons Ltd. Chase Bank

National City Bank of New York Inc.

American Express Co. Inc.

Netherlands India Commercial Bank Netherlands Trading Society

Banque Belge pour l'Etranger

31

Banque de l'Indo-Chine Bank of China

Bank of Communications

Bank of Canton

Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank Bank of East Asia

Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation

Bank of Kwangsi

Chinese Postal Remittances & Savings Bank Farmers Bank of China

China and South Seas Bank

Young Bros. Banking Corporation

National Commercial and Savings Bank Ltd.

In addition to these incorporated banks, there are in the Colony many Chinese banks which handle a considerable volume of remittances from Chinese living overseas to their relatives in China.

32

|RAB

KIMMUNOS

COMMERCE

Chapter 5.

The year has not been entirely an easy one for trade and commerce. While the hunger for goods in the Far East which resulted from the war had largely been satiated except in those commodities which remained scarce throughout the world, there was, if anything, an increase in the artificial barriers to trade. Hong Kong's trade has in the past been, and must in the long run continue to be, integrated with China's trade; although it is to be hoped that some of the new markets developed in the past two years may be retained and developed. During 1947, China, faced with foreign exchange difficulties and mounting inflation, imposed severe restrictions on imports, while the rising cost of China products and the military situation in the north made it increasingly difficult to trade in Chinese exports. There is little hope of any revival in this trade until political and financial stability have been restored in China. International restrictions on commodities such as rice and sugar limited, and in some cases practically eliminated, trade in them. Exchange restrictions also tended to increase as the U.S. dollar became more and more scarce and the sterling area had to take steps to protect its position.

The Hong Kong merchant reacted to the situation with his traditional versatility and resilience, and in the face of a dwindling trade with China, increased his business with other territories to the south, notably with Malaya and Siam, until in terms of value, China no longer remained the preponderant source or destination of Hong Kong trade. A further impetus was given to this trend by the unsettled situation in China, for quantities of goods originally destined for China were diverted to Hong Kong and then re-exported elsewhere, while many firms, finding business conditions in Shanghai too difficult, moved to Hong Kong and brought with them their experience and business connections.

Trade controls in Hong Kong are confined mainly to controls necessitated either by international obligations (in respect of scarce commodities or foreign exchange) or by the need to protect Hong Kong's own supplies of scarce commodities. Exchange control was exercised on a realistic basis and, so far as was consistent with Hong Kong's obligations to the sterling area, no attempt was made to enforce surrender of foreign

33

The

exchange earned or held where such an attempt might merely cause the exchange to be directed elsewhere. Exchange so earned or held by merchants was permitted to be used freely to finance trade. Exchange at official rates was made available only to finance Hong Kong's own requirements of essential supplies and in particular raw materials for industry. comparative freedom permitted in the use of foreign exchange to finance trade significantly increased Hong Kong's trade with the U.S.A. and a valuable re-export business in American goods grew up. A further feature which tended to increase trade with the U.S.A. was the lack of adequate supplies of goods from Western Europe, which will not be available until the industries there have been fully re-established. It has been fortunate that the rising prices in America throughout 1947 have made it an attractive market for raw materials produced in the Far East.

Another direction in which Hong Kong's commerce secured an initial advantage was in trade with Japan. Although this remained on a Government-to-Government basis, it was early realised that the development of trade in Japanese goods was of great importance to Hong Kong and every facility was accordingly afforded to merchants to buy and sell through Government channels. Many Hong Kong businessmen have availed themselves of the opportunity offered by the opening of Japan to merchants to visit the country, and Hong Kong banks, shipping firms and insurance companies have already established themselves there.

Shipping has not enjoyed the same comparative prosperity as other commercial undertakings, largely because, with the war in North China and current limitations on the rice and coal trades, bulk cargoes are few and far between. Furthermore, it has been the policy of the Chinese Government to increase the Chinese merchant fleet and to keep most Chinese ports closed to foreign shipping. Although at times there has been more tonnage than cargo available, freight rates remained high and Hong Kong shipping companies had a not unsuccessful year.

Although firms newly established. or imported from Shanghai are still numerous, the speculative element in Hong Kong commerce has to a certain degree been reduced (but unfortunately not entirely eliminated) and business conditions are more normal than they were in 1946. Serious overstocking of certain commodities, partly the result of the dumping of diverted Shanghai cargoes, has at times given anxiety. While the trade figures show that Hong Kong has succeeded in building up a prosperous trade in the midst of instability, restrictions and civil war, the circumstances that have made this possible are not permanent and in the long run, the prosperity of Hong Kong's trade must depend on a return of at least a measure of stability to China. Nevertheless, the port has found favour with international traders, its principal attractions being its cheapness, the speed with which cargo is handled, and the comparatively low incidence of pilferage of cargoes: so that, although in the long run, stability in China is of essential

34

importance to Hong Kong's trade, the prospects for the year 1948 may be viewed with confidence. The United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East has now begun the attempt to form some economic order and progress out of chaos and it is to be hoped that in their task they will make full use of Hong Kong's unrivalled commercial, banking, shipping and insurance facilities.

At the end of this chapter are included a number of diagrams illustrating various aspects of the flow of trade into and out of the Colony, not only in the year under review, but also durng the period 1933-1947, with the exception of the years 1941-1945. The following paragraphs disclose in very broad outline the sources and destinations of some of the most important commodities.

Hong Kong produces relatively little within its own borders. The trade which has made it one of the world's greatest international marts is the produce of other countries brought here for storage, resale and transhipment. Almost 50% of imports and exports consist of foodstuffs, oils, fats and textiles, while metals, chemicals, dyes, tobacco and paperware account for a further 25% of the Colony's trade. Of the British Empire markets, which accounted for 28.6% of the Colony's imports and 29.5% of its exports, Malaya took 17.6% of the latter and provided 6.6% of the former. Rubber and vegetable oils, to meet the needs of inventory account as well as current consump- tion, were the principal commodities imported from Malaya, and in return large quantities of textiles and foodstuffs were sent. The United Kingdom was the chief empire source of supply, providing 10.6% of all imports. Imports from the United Kingdom were valued at $164,500,000 or about four times as much as in 1946; and exports during the period were more than twice the value of 1946 exports. Another good market for textiles and foodstuffs was Siam.

The high prices prevailing in the United States of America, coupled with the desire to obtain gold dollar exchange has raised the importance of the American market. The principal export from Hong Kong to the United States has been wood (tung) oil, amounting to 19,600 tons during the year.

The Philippines also have become increasingly important as a customer. Altogether the Republic took 5.1% of Hong Kong's total exports, of which foodstuffs represented more than one half. Trade with China has for reasons dealt with above declined during the year. The most valuable commodity leaving China through Hong Kong has been wood (tung) oil: 33,168 tons were exported as compared with 56,832 in 1938.

Revival of trade with Japan has been a notable feature of 1947. Imports were valued at H.K.$37 millions and exports at H.K.$15 millions compared with H.K.$13 millions and H.K.$3 millions in 1938. The bulk of the imports has been in cotton yarns for local industry, and the major items of export foodstuffs and edible oils.

35

36

$MILLION

320-

VOLUME OF TRADE, HONG KONG.

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS IN $ 1947

300

280

260

240

220

200

180

VOLUME OF TRADE

160

140.

120-

100-

IMPORTS

EXPORTS

80

60.

40

20

T

JAN.

FEB. MAR

APR

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT ост NOV

DEC.

STATISTICAL

BRANCH,

COLONIAL SECRETARIAT.

REF: No: G. 12/23.

37

∙COLONY'S PRINCIPAL IMPORTS AND EXPORTS DURING 1947- BY VALUES.

STATISTICAL BRANCH COLONIAL SECRETARÍAT

REF: No:G. 12/45.

#MILLON

-300

IMPORTS

250

200

150

100

50

.OIL & FATS

FOODSTUFFS

PIECE GOODS

METALS

PAPER &

PAPERWARE

"DYEING & TANNING

MATERIALS

EXPORTS

AW

LOIL & FATS

PIECE GOODS

& TEXTILES

FOODSTUFFS PROVISIONS

METALS

WEARING

APPAREL

PAPERWARE

SINGLETS]

ELECTRIC TORCHES

BATTERIES

RUBBER SHOES

38

$MILLION

6.6

11.8

2.2

3.1

lab

17.6

3.4

2.9

[of

of

18.2

EMPIRE

ALL OTHER

[XXXX=||||||

500-

400

300

TOTAL

TOTAL

EM-

5.1

IMPORTS PIRE EXPORTS |

5.8

71.3 COUN

·280-

7.1

[TRIES]

12.5

268

100

TOTAL

JOH

PRINCIPAL SOURCES AND DESTINATIONS OF GOODS. 1947.

I= IMPORTS

E=EXPORTS

STATISTICAL BRANCH COLONIAL SECRETARIAT

BRITISH EMPIRE

I

E

་་་

CHINA

I

UNITED STATES

I

E

E

UNITED KINGDOM

E

REF. NO. 12/46

BRITISH MALAYA

W

MACAO

SIAM

E

I

PRILIPPINES

AUSTRALIA

BELGIUM

I

E

I

INDIA

I

JAPAN

I

NETHERLANDS XAST INDIES

E

SOUTH

AFRICA

ETS

B

39

$MILLION

1600

1200

1000

YALUE OF THE COLONY'S IMPORTS AND EXPORTS, 1937/47.

PERIOD OF JAPANESE OCCUPATION

STATISTICAL BRANCH, COLONIAL SECRETARIAT.

REF:G: 12/47.

800

IM PORTS

Σ

600

400

200

EXPORTS

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

}

40

# MILLION

900.

800.

COLONY'S PRINCIPAL IMPORTS DURING 1933 TO 1947-BY VALUE,

PAPER

PAPERWARE

OILS & FATS

FOODSTUFF 6 PIECE GOODS L

PROVISIONS

TEXTILES

METALS

700

600.

500.

400-

300-

200

100+

STATISTICAL BRANCH,

COLONIAL SECRETARIAT

REF: No:ct 12/59.

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1946

1947

$MILLION

800-

700-

COLONY'S PRINCIPAL EXPORTS DURING 1933 TO 1947 - BY VALUE.

PAPER

PAPERWARE

OILS &

FOOD STUFFS &

PIECEGOODS

METALS

FATS

PROVISIONS

& TEXTILES

600

500

STATISTICAL BRANCH,

COLONIAL SECRETARIAT

REF NO:G.12/60

400-

300-

200

100-

0

1433

1934

1935

1936

19379

1938

1939

1940

1946

1947

$MILLION

1,600 T

1,400

T

PRINCIPAL SOURCES OF GOODS, HONG KONG - 1933 TO 1947.

STATISTICAL BRANCH,

1,000-

800

600

400

200

COLONIAL SECRETARIAT

REF:NO: G. 12/57.

ALL OTHER COUNTRIES

S

HIN

NA

BRITISH POSSESSIONS

UNITED KINGDOM

1938

1939

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

$ MILLION

1300-

(200

1000-

00

600

200-

1940

1946

1947

+

PRINCIPAL DESTINATIONS OF GOODS, HONG KONG - 1933 TO 1947.

UNITED

BRITISH

CHINA

KINGDOM

POSSESSION

U. 5. A.

ALL OTHER

COUNTRIES

STATISTICAL_BRANCH,

COLONIAL SECRÉTARIAT

REF: No: G. 12/58.

0

1933

1934

1735

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1946

191

41

· PRODUCTION •

Chapter 6.

The main primary product of Hong Kong is fish. Agricul- ture is limited by reason of the rugged and mountainous terrain, and mineral resources are believed not to be great. Local industry includes ship-building, ship repairing, engineering and a wide range of light industries, the main products of which are textiles, rubber goods, buttons, leather goods, cigarettes, matches, preserved ginger and confectionery, tinned goods glassware and paint. The majority of Hong Kong's working population is engaged in occupations connected with commerce rather than production but enterprise and capital are not lacking, when an economic demand arises which can be satisfied by the expansion of local industry. The cost of all Hong Kong's products, both primary and industrial, has risen considerably as a result of the high post-war cost of living; the effect of this development cannot yet be assessed.

FISHERIES.

No Fisheries Department existed before the Japanese war. The fishing industry was under the control of groups of whole- sale dealers called "laans" and most of the profits from the industry found their way into the pockets of these men and their subordinates. The fisherman is at any time and in any place greatly dependent upon the season; in a good season he may be prosperous, in a bad one, destitute. It was to a large extent on this uncertainty and on the weaknesses of the local fisherfolk that the laans' control of the industry was based. During a good season money was earned only to be gambled away or spent freely; and when the hard times which were inevitable followed, the fisherman would find himself in need of funds. These the middle-man would be prepared to provide in the form of a loan-an unusual type of loan in as much as an agreement was seldom signed and interest was rarely charged, the only condition being that the fisherman's entire catch would be handed over to the middleman for marketing. Few of these loans were repaid, for it was to the middleman's advantage to retain his control over the fisherman's catch, out of which he could make a handsome profit for himself. As for the fisherman, although his standard of life was low, he could usually depend for an increase of the loan from the middleman.

42

The result, of course, upon the industry was the restriction of development as the fisherman was never in a position to better his condition or to experiment with new gear and methods.

The condition of the industry was in no way improved by its experiences during the Japanese war. Even before the occupation of Hong Kong the piratical tendencies of the Japanese in local waters effectively dissuaded some fishermen from following their trade. During the occupation, the industry came virtually to a standstill. Many of the larger vessels left Hong Kong for the duration of the war and others took to trading. When the Japanese surrender took place the state of the industry was deplorable. Few junks were seaworthy, nearly all the gear needed a complete overhaul and the fisher- man and his family were dressed in rags and half-starved. A survey carried out in September, 1945, showed that there were only 26,000 fisherfolk in the Colony as compared with 77,451 in 1938, and that many of these were without boats or means of livelihood. The time for active reform was opportune, and fortunately a scheme for the fishing industry had been worked out in Stanley Internment Camp. The first step was the granting of a rehabilitation loan of $100.000 to the fishermen. This loan was distributed at the rate of $4 a head, irrespective of age and sex. At the same time, every effort was made to supply the fishermen with salt, rice, kerosene and other essential com- modities at low prices. These initial gestures had the effect of encouraging fisherfolk who had left the Colony during the occupation to return with their junks at an early date. The plan which had been hatched in Stanley Camp was based on the establishment of a Fisheries Department to be financed by the Government, and a Fisheries Co-operative designed finally to be self-supporting, but to be, for the time being, under the guidance and direction of the Fisheries Department. The primary object of the new organisation was to ensure that the fisherman received a fair price for his fish and that the profits went to him, the producer, rather than to the middleman.

To this end, a Wholesale Fish Market was established at Kennedy Town on the Island, in which all marine fish, whether fresh or salted, must be sold. In the four main fishing villages, organisations called "fisheries syndicates" were

syndicates" were established. The primary function of these syndicates is the collection of fish from fishermen and its transportation to market, but they also discharge other functions such as the sale of rice, flour, salt, ice, sugar, ramie and tung oil at low prices to the fisherfolk. They also act as centres for social welfare and education where advice can be given to the fisherman on the numerous problems with which he is confronted. As the scheme developed, a further market was established at Taipo and the number of syndicates increased so as to serve the fishermen in the northern part of the New Territories.

In the Wholesale Markets established under the scheme, sale is by public auction and not, as hitherto, by private or secret bid. Any person who has the backing of a reputable firm may be registered as a buyer on the market. Registered

43

buyers are allowed 48 hours credit and buyers who are not registered may bid at the auction provided that they first pay a deposit. The fisherman is paid the whole amount bid for his fish immediately after the auction, less a percentage commission which is deducted to cover the running expenses of the market organisation. These expenses include the collection of the fish, transport to the market, handling and auctioning of fish at the market, and transport to the buyers' place of business. A reserve fund created from this commission enabled the organisa- tion to build a small market and premises at Taipo and to purchase a fleet of 12 lorries.

Although the arrangements which have been described above permitted the fisherman to obtain a good price for his fish and to avoid recourse to the middleman, they did not include any arrangement to replace the laan as a source of capital for the fisherman during hard times. This state of affairs was soon remedied, and in 1946 the Government lent $250,000 to the Marketing Scheme for the purpose of financing loans to fishermen for the purpose of repairing boats and gear during the off-season. A further loan of H.K.$20,000 was made in the autumn of 1947, to enable the Yellow Croaker fishermen at Tai O, who had experienced a very poor season, to prepare for the new season which was due to start in October. The total loan is used as a revolving fund, H.K.$524,160 having so far been lent and H.K.$273,589 repaid. A small rate of interest is charged on the loans and repayment is made gradually by means of an increased percentage commission on the sale of fish. To encourage fishermen to save money, a scheme is also in operation whereby "returnable commission" of 2% is deducted from sales of all fish and banked in the name of the fisherman. These deposits are returned together with 2% interest twice yearly at the seasons when fishermen are most in need of money, namely, during the slack season and just before Chinese New Year. The scope of the scheme was further extended during the summer of 1947, by the addition of a clause in the agreement with those fishermen who borrow money from the fisheries, that during their eight months season they shall save an additional 3%.

There still exist middlemen in the fishing community, usually known as "small laans" which organise the collection of fish from the fishermen and sell it on their behalf in the Wholesale Market. They also undertake any necessary pro- cessing such as salting and drying which is required before the fish can be placed on the market. For these services they charge a small percentage commission, usually about 3%. In some cases the charge is reasonable, and the dealer honest, and in these cases, a useful service to the fishermen is performed by them. But this is not so in all instances and many fishermen have begun to realise that in the new system which has been adopted there is no need for the old type of fish collecting unit. They are therefore forming, among themselves, small co-opera- tive associations to replace these middlemen, and already each main fishing village has at least one of these units. In one

44

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RIES

"Planting Paddy."

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·香港公共圖書及

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NG KONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

1

village where dealers' profits have been unusually high, a small consumers' co-operative association has also been formed. During 1947, the small co-operative associations combined to form a federation in order that fishermen of the different villages could mix together and exchange information. One of the outcomes of the formation of this federation is a monthly news service letter which gives, inter alia, details of quantities of fish caught in the various fishing areas by members of the association. Although this information is not always reliable it should prove of use to the Fisheries Research Station.

One of the most remarkable features of the post-war fishing industry in Hong Kong is the ardent desire of the fisherfolk for education. Very shortly after the scheme was set in motion, urgent requests for the opening of schools were made in every village. Every effort has been made to meet the demand; schools have been opened in all the main fishing villages, and writing classes and discussion groups are held nightly in each district syndicate. The aptitude and intelligence of the young fisherfolk are most encouraging, and in the spring of 1947, a Fisheries Senior Class began at Aberdeen where Fisheries, Navigation, Meteorology and other related subjects were added to the normal syllabus. Entrance to the class was by competi- tive examination and the candidates were from villages all over the New Territories. Impromptu classes are also held frequent- ly aboard the fisheries launches that collect fish from the villages and bring it to the market for sale. Unfortunately, the fishing season of 1947 has been a bad one and this has adversely affected the attendance at fisheries schools. The bad season

and the low price of fish caused financial hardship to many fishermen, and there has been a tendency for them to take their children away from the school and put them to work on the junks rather than employ outside workers.

The opinion was expressed by a leading British fisheries expert who visited the Colony during 1947, that progress in the local fishing industry was only possible through mechanisation. The first step in this direction was taken when two junk trawlers were equipped with diesel engines. The advantages are obvious. No longer dependent upon the wind, the junks spend less time in reaching the fishing areas and are able to trawl both up and down wind; but it has not yet been possible to assess with any degree of accuracy the economic effect upon the fishing. The present cost of mechanising a fishing junk is high, and unless the returns can be substantially increased the advisability of mechanising a junk will remain in doubt. The trawling season of 1947 was a bad one and comparison with previous years is therefore liable to be misleading; it should be left to another year to pronounce a verdict on this question. The effect of the mechanisation of the fleet on large numbers of the present floating population has not escaped the attention of the Fisheries Department and investigations are now being made as to the possibility of finding alternative employment in sub- sidiary industries should mechanisation create an unemployment problem among fishermen.

45

It has already been said more than one in this chapter that the year 1947 was a bad year for the fishing industry; whether the opinion of many fishermen that it was unprecedentedly bad is justified, it is hard to say. Certainly, two of the main fishing seasons, the purse seiner season and the "wong fa" season were very poor. Two abnormal circumstances seriously affected certain sections of the local fishing community. Piracy in the Mirs Bay area reached such a pitch at one time that many fishermen, even at the height of the season, preferred to "stay in harbour and starve rather than go out to sea and be killed or robbed". Strenuous efforts on the part of the Police caused an improvement in these conditions, and towards the end of the year the situation was under control. The other unfortunate circumstance was a very severe storm early in October in which were involved a large number of trawlers and long liners which were fishing to the east of the Colony. Unfortunately, a threatened typhoon prevented assistance from being sent to these vessels, five of which are known to have been sunk and 20 others seriously damaged. This occurrence revived con- sideration of a plan originally made before the Japanese war for the installation of wireless sets in selected fishing vessels in order that typhoon and storm warnings may reach them.

The following are the figures for the weights and values of fresh and salt fish sold in the Wholesale Markets at Taipo and Kennedy Town:

1946 1947

Fresh Fish

Piculs

$

Piculs

32,000

3,120,457

211,558

44,418

3,355,512

189,273

Salt/Dried Fish

$

Piculs

18,476,432 243,558 21,596,889 11,166,577 233,691 14,522,089

Total

$

It will be observed that the total amount of fish handled in 1947 is not far short of that. handled in 1946 but this must be viewed in relation to the fact that during the winter of 1946/47 there was a large increase in fishing vessels using Hong Kong as a base, and therefore the catch per vessel is considerably less. Prices of fresh and salt fish in 1947 were lower than in 1946: fresh fish fetched on the average $75 a picul as compared with $97 and salt or dried fish $59 instead of $87.

Before the war the proportion of salt to fresh fish sold in the market was 3 to 2. After the war the remarkable propor- tion of 8 to 1 was achieved. There are two main reasons for this trend. In the first place, no Japanese trawlers are now bringing fresh fish into the Colony. Secondly, the number of long liners-these are the vessels that bring in most of the fresh fish to the Colony--is now only one third as great as before the war. A further feature limiting the landings of fresh fish is the lack of adequate cold storage facilities in the markets. Rather than take the chance of their fish spoiling if the fresh fish market is bad, many fishermen prefer to salt their catch. During 1947, the ratio of salt to fresh fish sold in the market was approximately 5 to 1. These figures for fresh fish are correct only in so far as they show the amount handled through the markets, whereas it is known that in 1947 a considerable

46

amount was sold in the "free" market, that is run illegally by the former fresh fish laans who are still able to exercise influence to force fishermen who owe them money to sell their catch through them.

Although the amount of fresh fish landed scarcely met the needs of the local population, there was a substantial exportable surplus of salt dried fish. Altogether, 50% of the salt dried fish sold in the markets was exported and the average value of monthly exports in 1947, although much less than in 1946, was over $600,000. Unstable conditions in China, and the rapid fall in the Chinese National Currency during the winter of 1946/47 had their effect on the local export of fish as much as in other forms of trade, and inevitably the time came when, instead of the greater part of the exports going to China, most of the fish exported from the Colony was going to Chinese populations in America, Australia, Canada, the Philippines and Malaya.

AGRICULTURE,

Most of the 391 square miles within the boundaries of the Colony consists of mountains and hills, the more gradual slopes being clothed with grass, ferns and sparse pine-wood, the rocky ravines with evergreen trees and dense thorny shrubs. None of this land is suitable for cultivation. The level land includes the alluvial plain north of the mountain of Taimoshan but much of this, bordering Deep Bay, is mangrove swamp and salt marsh. The more gentle slopes of the valleys are intensively cultivated and the lower shoulders of the hills have also been terraced where practicable and where water is available for irrigation. The terraces and irrigation channels may in many cases date back many years; some fell into disuse during the Japanese occupation but have since been taken back into cultivation.

Before the war about one-tenth of the Colony's population lived on the land. The Chinese farmer of the New Territories is primarily a rice producer; any other crop that may be grown is subsidiary to rice. Rice from the Sha Tin area is of a very high quality, and is much too valuable for the farmers and villagers to eat; they are content with cheaper rices of poorer quality imported from Indo-China, Burma and Siam. În the time of the Manchus, Sha Tin rice was sent to the Emperor, so fine was the quality; in the years before the war it used to find its way to New York. Now that the export of rice is pro- hibited the local produce is consumed in the Colony; most finds its way to the city where it is bought at a high price in the open market by the more wealthy Chinese. Many farmers do not benefit greatly by this enhanced value of their produce because, as in so many places in the East, a large proportion of the wealth of the land goes to landlords, who may or may not live in the vicinity, and the amount of paddy handed over as interest on debts, perhaps of many years' standing, is not inconsiderable.

47

Except for the salt lands, which yield but one crop, the paddy fields of the Territories produce two crops a year. The straw is short, and the grains are small and narrow and of an excellent quality. It is estimated that some 20,000 short tons of milled rice are produced annually, but this quantity is sufficient to supply the Colony's needs for only a very few weeks. It is believed that the 1947 harvest, both of first and second crops of rice, was as high as ever in the history of the Colony.

The farmers save their own seed from year to year both for the first and second sowings, for different kinds of seed are used for each sowing. Annually they select their best paddy for seed, and a consequence of this selection is that from district to district, even from farm to farm, the varieties grown differ noticeably from one another. In July and again in October- November when the farmers spread out their paddy to dry on the smooth tarred surface of the roads, the different colours and shapes of the varieties can be noticed even from a passing car. There is scope for scientific study of these varieties.

The fertilizer most commonly used for the rice field is peanut-cake, mixed perhaps with ashes from burnt rice-husk or from the home. Nightsoil and chemical fertilizers are rarely used for this crop, nor is lime ever employed. There is much research to be done on the most economic fertilizers for the ricefields, and the newly formed Agricultural Department has already carried out some experiments with interesting and somewhat unexpected results. Peanut-cake, the residue from the peanut after the oil has been expressed, is rich in proteins which gradually decompose when the cake is soaked in water, yielding available nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur; but it also is a valuable source of vitamins of the B complex which have an effect, at present largely unexplained, on the vigour of growth of roots. There is much to be said, therefore, for the traditional use of this valuable fertilizer. But the last word has not been said. The main reason why the remarkably infertile soil of the New Territories produces such excellent crops of rice is that with the first heavy rains of summer thou- sands of tons of worm-casts which have accumulated on the mountain slopes since the end of the previous rainy seasons are washed down to the ricefields. Considerable areas of land are almost completely covered with these worm-casts which are often inches high. In this manner very fine silt, enriched with salts of potassium and nitrogen, is deposited annually in the ricefields. Another factor which affects the fertility of these fields is the annual period of winter fallow which is the normal practice, but unfortunately this practice is being upset by the needs of the city for vegetables, as will be discussed presently.

On land unsuited to rice, other crops may be grown includ- ing sugar-cane and peanuts. Vegetables are also cultivated, sparingly in the summer for the needs of the pigs and of the family, but more plentifully in winter. Fruit trees are grown not so much by the farmer as by the more wealthy landlord

48

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Irrigation."

Photograph by R. A. Bates.

-

.....

香港公共圖

HONG KON

NG KONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

or returned emigrant. These include lichee, lungan, wong pei, carambola, Chinese olive, loquat and citrous fruits such as oranges, lemons and pomelos. The lichees are of excellent quality but lichee and lungan timber is valuable, being used in junk building, and many of these slow-growing trees were cut down during the Japanese occupation. Lemons and grape- fruit do well and their cultivation might be extended with advantage. The local pomelo is of poor quality but the trees are worth growing if only for the fragrance of their large flowers. There is considerable scope for scientific investigation in this field.

Next in importance to rice as a means of sustenance to the poor Chinese come vegetables, and this relationship is reflected in the activities of the farmer. Twenty years ago vegetable production in the New Territories was on a small scale. The New Territories Agricultural Association was formed in 1929 and as one of its principal activities it organized a show held annually until the war. At this show not only were there exhibits of paddy and pine seeds but also more bulky and exciting displays of vegetables, fruits and livestock. A Chinese theatrical performance and a troupe of Chinese acrobats helped to attract the public who flocked there in their hundreds. This show served to stimulate vegetable production.

Prior to the war it was estimated that approximately one- fifth only of the vegetables consumed in the cities of Kowloon and Hong Kong was grown in the Territories. It has been the primary object of the Agricultural Department to increase this fraction very considerably; some of the methods adopted are described below. That these methods have not been without success may be judged from the fact that even though the population of the Colony is vastly greater than in the autumn of 1937-when the war between China and Japan first affected Hong Kong and refugees poured across the border-the fraction of home-grown vegtables is now probably nearer half of the total consumption.

The Agriculture Department.

Before the war there was no agricultural department, though plans had been prepared in 1941 for such a venture. With the termination of hostilities, and the re-occupation of the Colony by the British, an unique opportunity was afforded for starting an agricultural department on a basis very different from that on which such departments have been built elsewhere. In most Colonies cash crops, e.g. cotton, tea, sisal and rubber, grown in large foreign-owned estates or by native enterprise, are the dominant feature of agriculture, and the primary policy of the department is to assist their production in order to aug- ment the revenue of the Colony and to provide the peasant with money for the purchase of consumer goods. In this Colony the

49

position is different. There are no large estates financed by foreign capital, except the Dairy Farm on the Island, and the bulk of the arable land is devoted to food crops, namely rice and vegetables.

In the life of the poor Chinese, comprising the bulk of the population, the first factor is rice, which is mainly imported; the second firewood, again almost entirely imported; and the third vegetables. Before the war probably four-fifths of the vegetables consumed in the Colony were imported. Those responsible for planning the new department considered that if the first object of the department were to increase vegetable production both in quantity and quality, to facilitate its collec- tion, marketing and sale and to keep the price low, then the people would benefit greatly. This would be reflected in better physique, a smaller incidence of malnutritional diseases, and in greater contentment of both adults and children.

The problem was simple. It consisted of supplying an efficient market service, of augmenting the supply of fertilizer, and of supplying seeds of proved strains of vegetables. Parallel to these activities it was necessary that there should be estab- lished seed trial and demonstration grounds and the means of close and friendly contact with the villagers. As pig-raising is complementary to vegetable production, a piggery must be started with good strains of cross-bred boars on stud, where experiments could be carried out in breeding cross-bred pork pigs acceptable to the Chinese farmer.

Wholesale Vegetable Market.

A Wholesale Vegetable Market was opened in Kowloon in mid-September, 1946. There is no need to include a detailed account of the workings of this Market. Its success has been due in no small measure to the provision of adequate transport, and prompt payment to the farmer. A summary of the sales for 1947 is given in the table below. At the end of the year three-quarters or more of the vegetables eaten at that time in Kowloon were grown in the New Territories.

Local

Imported

Total

Weight

Piculs

Tons

326,374 19,380

128,666 7,640

455,040 27,020

Value

Dollars

Pounds

$ 5,269,385 £,329,446

$ 2,079,305 £ 129,956

$ 7,348,690

£ 459,402

50

2

1946

PICULS

60,000

50,000

40,000

30.000

KOWLOON WHOLESALE VEGETABLE MARKET

MONTHLY

1947

SALES

120,000

LOCAL PRODUCE

10,000

$30

TOTAL

LOCAL

plus

$20

$10

IMPORTED

IMPORTED PRODUCE

OCT NOV. DEC. JAN. FEB. MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG. SEPI.

= AVERAGE PRICE PER PICUL

OCT.

NO

DEC.

The chart illustrates the monthly sales of vegetables in piculs; the portion below the lower line represents imported produce, and that between the two lines local produce; the upper line thus illustrates the total weight sold. The zigzag line joins the monthly average wholesale price of both-in dollars per picul.

Fertilizers.

The Japanese built at Castle Peak a battery of concrete tanks for the maturation of nightsoil from the urban area for use as fertilizer; these tanks were used for a time but latterly fell into disuse. These were put into commission again in 1946, and during 1947 more than 54,000 piculs (more than 3,000 tons) of nightsoil, matured for three weeks in order to destroy pathogenic bacteria, were sold to farmers in different parts of the Territories. A scheme for the construction of a large fertilizer factory to use, when completed, the entire output of nightsoil of the Colony, is among the projects being considered in connection with the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund. Large quantities of ammonium sulphate and of peanut-cake were also distributed through the marketing organisation.

Seeds of varieties of foreign vegetables of proved worth were purchased in bulk in England and U.S.A. and, in thousands of small packets, were sold at cheap rates to Hong Kong farmers.

51

Sheung Shui Vegetable Trial Station.

Before the war there was a small station at Sheung Shui of 42 acres devoted to rice, vegetables, a few fruit trees, tree seedlings for roadside planting and tung oil trees. In the sum- mer of 1946, this area, which lay derelict during the Japanese occupation, was reconditioned, and about two acres set aside for intensive vegetable trials. During 1946 and 1947 several hundred varieties of European and Chinese vegetables were grown under standard conditions of spacing, fertilizer, etc. The crops included tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, root crops, sunflowers and lupins in addition to leguminous cover crops, sweet potatoes, peanuts and sesame. A great quantity of data has been collected and it is now known which varieties of many important crops are most suited to the Colony. Seeds have been received from England, New Zealand, Southern Rhodesia, U.S.A., Malaya and elsewhere. About 50 varieties of tomato were tested and over 8,000 lbs. of fruit harvested. The produce has been sold in the wholesale market or at wholesale prices to visitors.

Plants of the four best local varieties of banana have been set out and have fruited; an area has also been devoted to papaya.

The demonstration plots have been visited by many people including farmers and school children, and there is no doubt that they have proved a valuable object lesson.

Sheung Shui Pig Station.

A census carried out just before the war showed that there were about 40,000 pigs in the New Territories; one carried out immediately after the war showed but 8,000 including only nine boars. In 1946 the Agricultural Department obtained the use of Sir Robert Ho Tung's piggery at Sheung Shui. Repairs were effected and a stud established with crossbred boars obtained from the Dairy Farm. A small fee was charged to cover trans- port of the sow on the main road to the station and back and service by a boar selected by the owner of the sow. In 1947, monthly services varied between 40 in January and two in October. During the year 2,233 piglets were born to 212 sows served by the station's boars, an average of more than ten to a litter. Of these 47.1% were male and 52.9% female. There are now more and better boars in the Territories and the primary function of the station has been fulfilled. Breeding experiments are now being carried out on a small scale.

Kam Tin Experimental Station.

Situated in the heart of the New Territories in the centre of Pat Heung plain, north of Taimoshan, is an area which was purchased and levelled in 1936 to serve as an airfield. It consists of 277 acres with a regular slope of 1/60 from east to west. This

52

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"Young Trees at Lai Chi Kok Nursery-note the new technique of tubing"."

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4

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ONG KONG PUBLIC LIBRARI

.

area was never used as an airfield; it is too small for modern aircraft and is in a pocket in the hills. Early in 1947 it was taken over by the Agricultural Department to be developed as an experimental and demonstration station. Much of the ground was in poor condition, bulldozers having removed the silt from the top and exposed the gravels which lay beneath. During the war a small part was cultivated by landless people or by neigh- bouring farmers, but it was difficult for them to obtain adequate water supplies and the soil was very infertile.

The Department could only use a small portion immediately, so arrangements were made to let out land to villagers on a year's tenancy at the extremely low rental of six catties of paddy per mow per crop (4.8 mow one acre). Early activities of the Department included the building of a temporary dam and the digging and cleaning of water channels; in consequence, three- quarters of the area was put under rice for the second crop. Assistance was also given to the farmer by providing cheap fertilizer.

During the year the Department planted areas with elephant grass, Guinea grass, Tientsin green bean, sweet potato, papaya, were devoted to controlled and banana, and several acres experiments with local and imported rices using different quantities of fertilizers and different mixtures. A fish pond was constructed and stocked with nearly 2,000 carp of several species; successful experiments were also tried of growing common carp in the paddy fields together with the growing rice. In the autumn, an area was set aside for vegetable cul- tivation and many thousands of cabbages, cauliflower, lettuce, etc. of selected varieties were grown. More than 3,000 tomato plants were planted out and a heavy crop of fruit has been borne.

On one occasion in December, more than 130 farmers from different parts of the Territories visited the station where the nurseries, the use of fertilizers, the vegetable plots and fish ponds were demonstrated, and seedlings and sample fertilizer took notes of what mixtures distributed. Many farmers took notes interested them most. Several thousands of tomato and other seedlings of selected kinds have been distributed to school children and others throughout the Colony.

Rinderpest.

Due to its close proximity to China and to the daily passage of beef animals on the hoof into the Colony, there is always the chance of an outbreak of rinderpest. This has proved a scourge in the New Territories and, in a single week, by killing his draught animals, has reduced many a farmer from poverty to penury. Diseases of pigs and of poultry have on occasions caused havoc. Prior to the war nothing was done to assist the farmer, but after the war, with the lower cattle population, it was imperative that action should be taken if possible. Willing co-operation and help has been given by the veterinary officers of the Urban Council, and the Dairy Farm has very

53

kindly supplied serum at cost price. As a result it has been possible to do something to check the spread of rinderpest in certain localities.

An outbreak of swine fever which originated in December, 1946 persisted throughout the early months of 1947. In April 1947, a serious outbreak of rinderpest was reported from Tung Chung on the island of Lantau, and here for the first time in the history of the Colony something was done to control its spread, when a member of the Agricultural Department accom- panied by a Health Inspector inoculated cattle in the district. Since then other outbreaks have been treated in Silver Mine Bay, San Tin, Ping Shan and elsewhere. In each case three inoculations of serum have been given. The small fee charged covers only a part of the cost of the treatment, the remainder being borne by the Department. Many cattle have been saved, and gradually the Chinese farmer is appreciating that the Department can and will take action to save his cattle if informed in time.

FORESTRY.

Afforestation of the Colony's hillsides and care for the few trees remaining after the Japanese occupation are among the responsibilities of the Forestry Department. Before the war forestry and the supervision of the Botanical Gardens and Government grounds fell within the sphere of a Botanical and Forestry Department, but after the liberation of Hong Kong the opportunity was taken to form two separate departments.

From 1937 onwards, severe inroads had been made into the Colony's wood reserves, at first by illicit tree-cutting activities on the part of the swarms of refugees who fled into the Colony from the Japanese occupation of Canton, later by the official felling of trees to make good the deficiency in supplies of fire- wood caused by the Sino-Japanese war, and finally by the Japanese to provide fuel for the power stations. The sum result was that the Colony's hillsides were almost entirely denuded of trees and the catchment areas exposed to the evils of soil erosion. Consequently a great part of the Department's activities in the past two years has been concentrated upon the re-afforestation of these areas. Other activities have included the clearance of brushwood in places where mosquitoes might otherwise breed, the removal of vegetation bordering and encroaching on the main roads, and the planting of roadside trees both on the Island and in Kowloon.

In accordance with the policy of giving priority to the re-afforestation of catchment areas, extensive planting was carried out around Kowloon and Shing Mun reservoirs. At Shing Mun a nursery was established which now contains over 15,000 seedlings of the paper-bark tree (Melaleuca leucadendron) for planting in the resumed padi fields around the reservoir. This tree is extremely tolerant and grows best on waterlogged soil. There is further the advantage that no part of it is

54

wasted; cajeput oil, used for liniments, is obtained from its leaves, its bark is used for caulking and its stem for poles. A similar nursery was planted at Fanling to provide tree seedlings for the denuded hills in that area.

During the course of the year the first tung-oil plantation on the hillsides was made, when about fifty acres between Kowloon Reservoir and the 71⁄2 milestone on the Taipo Road were planted with Aleurites Montana. An experimental sowing of seeds direct into the pits proved quite successful.

An entirely new method of raising tree seedlings was intro- duced to the Colony during the year. In this method the seedlings, after being raised to about 4" in height in seed boxes, are transferred to small metal tubes packed with earth and about 8′′ high, which are fastened by a clip. They remain in these tubes for six to eight months by which time they are ready for planting on the hillsides. During this period the seedlings have grown to about two to three feet in height and have effectively bound the earth with which the tubes are filled. On planting, the tube is unclipped and the seedling allowed to drop into a small hole made by a pick. The advantages of the system lie not only in the rapidity with which tubing can be done (one man can tube about 300 seedlings per day) but also in the ease with which the seedlings can be transported for planting with the minimum disturbance of the roots. By the end of the year there were 90,000 seedlings tubed which will be ready for planting from March, 1948, onwards.

During 1947, for the first time, roadside trees were planted along many of the thoroughfares of Kowloon, but the absence of tree guards and the wilful damage caused by passers-by in breaking off the leaves and uprooting the stakes caused many of the trees to fail. It is intended to persevere in 1948 with larger trees which will not be so easily damaged. Roadside planting on the Island was carried out with success.

Hill fires, the result of a period of drought, occurred very frequently during the latter part of the year, especially on the hills behind Kowloon. In two instances these fires entered areas where pine seedlings had been broadcast earlier in the year, but no extensive damage was caused. Up to the end of the year, 27 fires, principally on the mainland, had been extin- guished by foresters.

MINING AND MINERAL RESOURCES.

There are few places in the world comparable in area to Hong Kong (391 square miles) which have such a varied geological record. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. are all represented, but it is the igneous rocks, ranging from granites to rhyolites, which are the most widespread. A wide range of economic minerals has been formed. Not all have been located in sufficiently large deposits to be worth working but it is possible that modern prospecting methods may reveal

55

valuable finds in the future. Unfortunately, much of the Colony is covered by a thick lateritic type of decomposed rock which effectively masks the solid geology below.

The principal minerals so far identified in the Colony are: kaolinite, argentiferous-galena, wolframite, molybdenite, garnet, pyrite, mica, magnetite, haematite, cassiterite, fluorspar and quartz. However, the chief minerals mined to date, either by modern European methods or traditional Chinese surface scratchings, are kaolin, lead, iron and wolfram.

Lead deposits are widely scattered throughout the Colony. The lead is usually associated with silver as argentiferous galena. There are fair deposits to be found at Silver Mine Bay, Lead Mine Pass and Lin Ma Hang. The mines at Lin Ma Hang were easily the largest and most modern before the war began. They were forced to close down in 1940 when the Japanese sealed off deliveries to China. At one time they were producing roughly 250 tons of lead ore (concentrated) and 7,000 ounces of silver monthly. The Japanese opened the mine again during the occupation.

Iron is everywhere in evidence but the only deposit which so far has attracted a major commercial exploitation is the lenti- cular magnetite mass at Ma On Shan. Its production is regulated by its chief customer the Green Island Cement Com- pany. Surface scratchings for ochre, an hydrated oxide of iron, are worked on and off. The ochre is used by small local paint companies.

Wolfram, which is loosely called tungsten, occurs in several places. It is mined officially and unofficially at Shing Mun, Castle Peak, Ho Chung and on Lantau Island. By far the largest workings are at Shing Mun where a European company has the lease. The Japanese kept up a steady production during the occupation. To-day there are a hundred or so miners from these mines, which are temporarily closed, panning for placer wolfram in the bed of the Shing Mun River. Their output is presumably sold on the local market.

Kaolin, not excluding the great reserves of building stones and the sand and gravel deposits, is certainly the most valuable of the proved deposits in the Colony both in quantity and quality. It occurs everywhere in varying degrees of purity ranging from the best ball clay to the coarser varieties. Of the many deposits now being worked, the pit at Cha Kwo Ling is the most valuable and productive. Much of the clay from this pit is exported to Japan but some is used locally in the ceramic industry. Elsewhere other deposits are mined for the various brick, face powder, tooth powder and rubber companies.

There are stone quarries sited all round the coast. The ornamental grey Hong Kong granite is most usually worked for building stone.

Sands and gravels are available in large quantities mainly from the raised beaches along the coasts.

56

During the year an Interim Mining Committee has been sitting to produce a Prospecting Licence and to revise the Colony's Mining Laws and Regulations. The issue of the Prospecting Licence should see an increased activity in local mining.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION.

The main range of industrial production in Hong Kong has been briefly indicated in the introduction to this chapter. Engineering and ship-building are, with one or two minor exceptions, the only heavy industries, and the bulk of the Colony's production is in the light industry field. It is almost entirely in Chinese hands, most of the factories being Chinese- owned and managed.

The outbreak of war with Germany had a stimulating effect on the Colony's industries particularly in the larger dockyards and in those local factories which were able to undertake the manufacture of war equipment. During the war against Japan, industrial activity was brought virtually to a standstill. By the end of 1946, the recovery of productive capacity had reached some 20-50% of pre-war levels although certain industries had not been so fortunate (for example, the important sugar-refining industry whose plant was a total loss), while others, such as paint manufacture, were experiencing a boom. During 1947, a general improvement continued but industry was still handi- capped by loss of equipment, lack of raw materials, the high cost of raw materials, fuel and electric power, and the very high cost of labour. Variations in production have been con- siderable, particularly in the textile, rubber shoe, electric hand torch, battery and bulb industries. Apart from the irregularity of supplies of raw materials, these variations are attributed to such factors as restrictions on the import of certain goods into China, devaluation of Chinese currency, foreign competition and political disturbances in Siam, French Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies. In spite of these difficulties, progress was made. New factory-type premises are being built, old plant is being reconditioned and a number of firms have installed new machinery. Although delivery of new equipment from abroad was still subject to delays and none of the expected reparations from Japan have materialised, much was done locally to improvise the repair and re-assembly of equipment. Plant was brought in from Shanghai and machinery of certain types was manufactured by local foundries. Many raw materials continued to be scarce throughout the world and while the cost of local materials tended to decline, imported materials showed a tendency to increase in price. Labour costs remained high both in relation to costs prevailing before the war and to the current cost of labour in other manufacturing centres, but a substantial improvement in the efficiency of labour in some spheres notably stevedoring-was observed. It is difficult to estimate with any accuracy the increase in industrial activity, but during the year under review the number of registered

57

factories increased from 418 to 883. There were certain new developments in industry, such as cotton spinning, the manufac- ture of aluminium and plastic household wares, and fur processing for hat and glovemaking, and considerable interest was evinced in Shanghai in the possibilities of Hong Kong as an alternative industrial area in spite of certain comparative dis- advantages such as the limited water supply, the scarcity of suitable sites, and the existence of more stringent labour regulations.

Cotton Textile Industry.

Before the war, more persons were employed in the textile industry than in any other single industry in Hong Kong. There were 150 factories engaged in cotton weaving and 450 in knitting, employing 25,000 and 15,000 workers respectively. During 1946, the industry did its best to re-establish itself, in spite of deteriora- tion of machinery and a severe shortage of yarn which was available only from limited stocks found in the Colony and supplies from China purchased at very high prices. By the end of the war, there were over 90 weaving factories in operation but practically no knitting factories. During 1947, supplies of yarn improved considerably, although they were never easy. Fairly large quantities were available from Japan, but only against payment in U.S. dollars, while a certain amount could be purchased from China on a Government to Government basis at prices rather higher than the world level. Small quantities of higher count yarns also became available from the United Kingdom in the second half of the year.

During the first nine months of the year, production did not expand rapidly, partly because of the relatively high cost of yarn and partly because of competition from Japanese textiles, large quantities of which were suddenly released throughout South-East Asia. The industry was using only about 1,000,000 lbs. of yarn per month during this period and no shortage was felt. In the last quarter of the year, the posi- tion altered and, with prices rising elsewhere in the world and local costs declining, the industry received

industry received a considerable impetus. A further factor which helped to boost the industry was the stipulation of the authorities in Japan that textiles from that country could only be bought in exchange for U.S. dollars: the consequence was that exports from Japan practically ceased. With production rising, a shortage of yarn began to make itself felt and it is possible that had yarn been available in greater supplies, production would have risen even further than it did. At the end of the year, stocks on hand were negli- gible and future supplies were a matter of considerable concern. There is a tendency in the industry to regard the present situation as a golden opportunity which it is missing simply because of the shortage of yarn, and a failure to realise that the opportunity is largely just another facet of the world-wide

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·

INDUSTRY IN HONG KONG.

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"Brass Rolling Mill Manu- factured in Hong

Kong."

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"Looms in a Typical

Weaving Mill."

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IBRARIES

shortage of textiles. During the year, the industry consumed 20,000,000 lbs. of yarn which is the equivalent of about 80 million yards of cloth.

In the earlier part of the year, exports of textiles and knit- wear were largely to territories in South East Asia, with Malaya, Siam and the Netherlands East Indies as the largest purchasers. But later, former markets elsewhere began to be reached again and there was a substantial movement of exports to South, East and West Africa as well as to new markets, notably in the Middle East. Towards the end of the year, the United Kingdom agreed to issue import licences for token quantities of knitwear from Hong Kong.

The textile industry in Hong Kong has been handicapped in the last two years by having to rely entirely on imported yarn. There is no shortage of raw cotton in the world and with a properly integrated industry, including spinning mills, much better use could have been made of the opportunities offered by present conditions. Manufacturers are beginning to realise the truth of this, and recently two cotton spinning mills, operating 7,500 spindles each, have been established and are about to go into production. Plans have been laid for the construction of two further mills of 15,000 and 25,000 spindles: capacity respectively and there are indications that other cotton milling concerns, to bring the total capacity of the Colony to 100,000 spindles, are preparing to go into operation. Lack of suitable sites, shortage of water and the scarcity of skilled labour are among the difficulties to be overcome.

To cope

with the last of these problems it is proposed to import a nucleus of skilled workers from Shanghai and to train local labour for the work. It is too early to pre-judge the success of these ven- tures, but if they are successful they will do much to put the textile industry on a sounder basis.

Rubber Shoe Industry.

This industry has had a fairly quiet year with a few bright moments such as the purchase by the Chinese Government of several million pairs of rubber shoes for the Chinese Army, and the agreement of the United Kingdom to import about 2 million pairs early in 1948. Production varies from about 30 per cent of pre-war capacity in some of the smaller factories, to 80 per cent in the larger ones. Two of the biggest concerns have not yet resumed production. There has been a fairly steady but limited market in local territories, but a particularly lucrative export market in the Philippines was closed towards the end of the year by the imposition of penal import duties there. In most of its old markets in Africa, the industry is feeling the competition of manufacturers in Europe and South Africa as prices are still comparatively high. The speculative element which was in evidence in the industry during 1946 has now largely disappeared.

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The Dockyards.

In spite of a continued shortage of raw materials, the dockyards have been very busy during 1947 and over 4,000 vessels have been handled for minor or major repairs. Among the latter were the conversion from war service of two Dutch luxury liners, the m.v. "Ruys" and the m.v. "Boissevain". Much of the valuable equipment removed by the Japanese has still not been replaced and none of the Japanese equipment which it was hoped might be received as reparations has yet been forthcoming. Although repair costs remained high many shipping companies found it more economical to have repairs or overhauls carried out in Hong Kong because the speed with which the work was accomplished saved time which more than compensated for the extra cost. Repair work was estimated to have reached 95 per cent of its pre-war output, but little new building has been done because of the shortage of steel, and in this respect ship-yards only achieved 5 per cent of pre-war capacity. The largest vessel launched locally during the year was a waterboat for the harbour.

Preserved Ginger.

The chief difficulty with which this industry has had to contend is that the product is still regarded as a luxury so that although plant and equipment has been to a great extent rehabilitated, the production remains only at about 25 per cent of pre-war capacity. During the year, costs were substantially reduced, and the Ministry of Food agreed to permit the importation into the United Kingdom of 2.000 tons of ginger, as compared with 300 tons in 1946. Before the war, the normal quantity shipped was 3,000 tons. Interest is awakening in other markets, although one of the industry's principal subsidiary markets, Australia, is still closed.

Tobacco and Match Industries.

Both these industries have fully re-established themselves but, in the case of the match industry, after the initial post-war boom, severe competition was met in 1947 throughout the world. This competition was felt even in the local market and the factories have only been able to keep their markets in South East Asia by notable reduction in costs combined with a vigorous sales policy and constant improvement in the finished product. Costs of production have risen by 130 per cent since 1941, prices by only 42 per cent.

Paint Manufacture.

The boom in paint manufacture which began in 1946 has continued throughout the year under review. Production has not only recovered from the effects of the war but is now greatly in excess of any former standard. Large quantities have been sold locally and many orders for export have also been fulfilled.

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Packing Ginger.

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""

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NG KONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

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Cement.

Production of cement was not resumed to any great extent until 1947, largely because of the ample supplies of imported stocks, but it has now reached approximately 50 per cent of its former capacity; limiting features in this industry are the high cost of limestone and the transport charges from China.

Rope Works.

was

The Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Co., Ltd., established in 1883 and has since that time supplied the Admiralty and all leading shipping companies in the Far East with all grades of rope up to qualities specified by Admiralty requirements and with breaking strains equal to British Standard Specification and above. Other ropes of special construction up to a circumference of 16" have also been manufactured. Before the war, when over 200 hands were employed, the monthly output averaged over 600,000 lbs. During the Japanese occupation the factory and plant suffered severely from undermaintenance although it remained almost intact. At present the company is working at about half capacity, but this could be increased when the plant is fully rehabilitated if more settled conditions prevailed in China and other Far Eastern markets.

Other Industries.

Among the other industries which prospered during the year were food canning, rubber goods, hurricane lanterns (where a new process has been evolved) light metal wares, thermos flasks, hats and rattan ware. The button-making industry declined owing to competition from the U.S.A. and Italy, both of which are exporting plastic and bone buttons to East and West Africa. Flashlight production was well maintained, in spite of continued difficulties over supplies, and Hong Kong manufactured flash- lights compare well with those manufactured anywhere else in the world. The associated industries, manufacture of torch batteries and bulbs, were less successful because of the un- certainty of the quality of the product. Foundries prospered owing to the difficulty of obtaining finished metal products from abroad and the extensive needs of the rehabilitation programme. It is significant in this connection that the local consumption of coke was 500 tons per month compared with an average of 100 tons before the war.

On the whole, while there has been an improvement in industry in Hong Kong, the general level is not more and possibly much less than 50 per cent of pre-war capacity. A good foundation is being laid, but with the uncertain trend of costs and of world markets, the future remains obscure. There is justification for modified optimism.

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HEALTH

SOCIAL

SERVICES

Chapter 7.

EDUCATION.

The Education System and the Schools.

Education in Hong Kong is voluntary and is largely in the hands of Government and of missionary bodies. The present system may be said to have started in 1913 when the Education Ordinance from which the Director of Education derives his legal powers came into operation. Under this ordinance all schools unless specifically exempted are required to register with the Director of Education and must comply with the regu- lations made under the Ordinance governing staff, buildings, number of pupils and health. In 1920 Government set up the Board of Education of which the Director of Education is the ex officio chairman. The present constitution of the Board is seven official and ten unofficial members.

The schools in the Colony may be classified as follows:- (1) Government Schools, which are staffed and maintained by the Education Department;

(2) Grant Schools, which are schools run mainly by missionary bodies with the assistance of a grant from Govern- ment under the provisions of the Grant Code;

(3) Subsidized Schools, which are those schools in receipt of a subsidy from Government under the Subsidy Code;

(4) The Military Schools and certain others which are exempted from the provisions of the Education Ordinance, 1931;

(5) All other private schools.

Under the terms of the Grant Code introduced in 1941 and modified slightly in 1946 Government pays the difference be- tween approved expenditure and income of the grant-aided schools. Approved expenditure includes all salaries, incidentals, other charges, passages and leave pay for teachers entitled to them, and the rent of school premises. In the case of a grant-aided school which owns its own building the approved expenditure may include a percentage, not exceeding 3 per cent. of the capital value of the building, to be used solely for the purpose of a rebuilding fund. Grants may also be made up to 50 per cent. of the cost of new buildings and of major repairs.

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Local teachers in grant-aided schools receive the same salaries as those in equivalent grades in Government schools, and those with approved British or American qualification receive the Burnham scale of salaries irrespective of race or nationality, together with an overseas allowance in the case of those not normally domiciled in the Far East. Five per cent. of their salary is deducted and paid into a provident fund, to which Government contributes another 5%, since these teachers do not come under a Government pension scheme. The objects of the Subsidy Code under which subsidized schools operate are three- fold: (a) to enable properly qualified teachers to open schools without running into debt: (b) to keep fees at a reasonable level; and (c) to ensure proper salaries for teachers. Were it not for the subsidy many of these schools would be compelled either to charge exorbitant school fees in order to pay their teachers or to balance their budget by paying unreasonably low salaries and The consequently lowering the standard of their tuition. number of schools receiving subsidy varies from year to year; the size of each subsidy is determined by the school's deficit and is in any case not less than half the difference between expendi- ture and income.

Private schools are those which are not in need of or do not merit Government assistance. A school may at any time apply for Government subsidy or the Director of Education may approach the school manager and propose a subsidy if it appears that it is in the interests of the children or of the children's parents that this should be done. The private schools vary considerably both in size and in character. Education may be conducted in these schools either in English or in Chinese and their enrolments vary from 100 pupils or less to large schools with an attendance of about 900 children.

The medium of instruction in schools varies from one category to another. In some English is the sole language, in others, Chinese, and a number of schools have classes in both languages. The grant-aided schools mainly use English although one school is entirely taught in Chinese. Teaching in subsidized and private schools is usually carried out in Chinese. "Chinese" in this context means in the vast majority of cases Cantonese, though there are a few schools whose language of instruction is Hakka, and a very few which use Kuo Yu. Kuo Yu is, however, taught as a language in many schools.

The Military schools cater for serving officers' and soldiers' children under the age of eleven. The staff of these schools is recruited from the Army Education Corps and the Queen's Army Schoolmistresses. They are exempted from the provisions of the Education Ordinance.

Normally, secondary education in English is to a great extent in the hands of Government and grant-aided schools, while subsidized schools and private schools are largely con- cerned with, though not confined to, the field of primary education.

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Within the urban area in 1941 there were 649 schools. The vast majority of these-529 in number-were private schools: 91 were subsidized, and of the remainder 9 were Government and 20 grant-aided schools. The Government schools gave education to 1,500 primary and 1,199 secondary pupils, and the Grant Schools to 6,346 primary and 3,274 secondary pupils. Owing to the destruction of records no accurate information is available as to the number of pupils being instructed in subsidiz- ed and private schools in the urban area before the war, but in the whole Colony subsidized schools accounted for 16,353 primary and 6,931 secondary pupils, while the private schools had an enrolment of 50,814 primary and 25,951 secondary pupils. The Grant Schools had no part in the field of rural education but two Government primary schools catered for 400 pupils in the rural areas.

The educational fabric of the Colony suffered severely as a result of hostilities and the subsequent Japanese occupation. Not only was considerable damage done to school buildings of the Colony, the three largest. King's, and Queen's Colleges and Belilios Girls' School, being completely destroyed, but there was also a heavy loss of school books, equipment and furniture, much of which was used as firewood during the period of enemy occupation. The greatest damage however, was not the material damage, but the great degree in which education was interrupted during the war years. One effect of this was to increase the rate of juvenile delinquency and this problem has lent urgency to the efforts of the Education authorities to repair the Colony's educational structure.

During 1946, considerable progress was made in repairing the Colony's educational facilities and the year 1947 has seen yet further progress made. The great shortage of school accommodation and the keen demand for education have led the education authorities to adopt the expedient of housing two schools in one building, one session taking place in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Each session has its own headmaster and staff. Although this results in a slightly shorter number of hours tuition it enables a school which would normally cater for 200 pupils to provide education now for 400 and it is amply justified by the necessity for providing education for as many children as possible. An interesting feature of the general expansion which has taken place in education since the war is the very large increase in the number of Government schools in which instruction is carried on in Chinese. Before the war, there were only two such schools, but 12 are now in operation.

The most marked progress has been in the sphere of primary education. This was so even in 1946 and the trend has continued throughout the year under review. Government schools now cater for 3,280 pupils, a total more than twice as great as in 1941

64

Grant and showing a slight increase over the 1946 figures. schools also showed a slight increase during the year under review, but it is in the subsidized schools and private schools that the most notable increase has been observed. Subsidized schools, which in 1946 catered for only 8,909 pupils, now provide education for 21,410, and private schools show an enrolment of 55,428 as compared with 32,366 in 1946. The last two categories include night schools with enrolments of 1,080 and 12,317 respectively.

Secondary education, while showing some progress during the year, has not revived to the same extent. Although the Government and Grant Schools reached their pre-war enrolment, neither the subsidized nor the private schools have re-established themselves on anything like the same scale. The total result is that, as compared with 37,355 who were receiving secondary education in 1941, there were at the end of the year under review, 16,889 pupils.

Rural education continues to be mainly in the hands of private and subsidized schools, although Government maintains three primary schools, one at Taipo, one at Yuen Long and one on the island of Cheung Chau. Private schools have not yet resumed on anything like the same scale as in 1941 when there were in the rural areas as many as 48 schools; but there are now half as many subsidized schools again as there were in 1941, giving primary education to 12,000 pupils.

A new sphere of education which has been entered since the liberation of the Colony is the education of the children of the fishing community. Even in 1946, considerable progress had been made in this direction but during the year under review the number of schools of this nature provided for the children of fishing folk was increased from four to nine; five of these receive subsidies from the Education Department. In almost all these schools the curriculum is the normal curriculum of the primary vernacular school, but in one, classes of a vocational nature are also conducted. Altogether, 1,031 are enrolled in these schools.

At the end of 1946, it had still not been possible to re-open the Government Trade and Junior Technical schools. The Trade School has now been re-named the Technical College as it was thought to give a better idea of the function it fulfills in the life of the Colony. Evening classes are conducted in connection with the College and at present they include instruction in preliminary engineering and ship-building and in wireless. telegraphy. Many of the pupils who attend these classes are apprentices from the Royal Naval, Kowloon and Taikoo Dock- yards.

The Evening Institute which reopened in 1946 now has an .enrolment of over 1,100 students. Classes include instruction in book-keeping, shorthand and English for commercial students, instruction in pharmacy and instruction for the supplementary

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training of teachers in general subjects and in physical educa- tion. In addition, classes have been formed at nine centres in the rural areas for the education of adults who are engaged in fishing and farming. The syllabus includes reading, writing and simple arithmetic, and the treatment of subjects is designed to meet the special requirements of the students.

The Northcote Training College for teachers was re-opened in March 1946, when many former students resumed their interrupted studies. Owing to lack of training during the war years and the consequent acute shortage of trained teachers, it has been found necessary to introduce evening classes for the training of older teachers and to provide an intensive summer course for those who have several years of experience. A fur- ther step in the training of teachers was the establishment in September, 1946, of a Rural Training College at Fanling, in the New Territories. This is a residential training centre for those who intend to take up teaching in the rural schools. In addition to educational subjects the students receive instruction in rural occupations and spend a considerable part of their time in prac- tical agriculture. In 1946 there were 25 students at the College, including men and women, but during 1947 the number rose to about 46.

The year 1947 saw even greater expenditure on education by the Government than the previous year. Of a total of H.K.$9 million over 4 million were allotted in grants and subsidies. In spite of this heavy expenditure, it was estimated at the end of the year that there were still some 60,000 children of school age who were receiving no education at all, but it must be remembered that many of these are temporary residents for whom it would be difficult to make provision. One of the major items of expenditure was the sum of $1,320,000 for a school meals service which was inaugurated early in the year 1947. Pupils up to the age of eight years in all urban schools now receive a bottle of milk daily free of charge and in schools where education is provided free all children receive milk without restrictions as to age. In addition, vitaminized biscuits similar in content to those used with excellent results in Canada are available at a small cost.

Education in Hong Kong is generally not free, but 10 per cent. of the pupils in Government schools are awarded free places, and scholarships are awarded to the top pupil in each class. The fees in Government schools are $5 per month for primary and $10 per month for secondary classes. This is approximately on the same level as the charge for instruction in the Grant-aided schools where fees are generally on the scale of $6-12 per month. The subsidized schools charge $8 per month: rural schools are less expensive, fees ranging from $1 to $5. The highest fees in the Colony are charged in the private schools where the average is $15 per month, but this does not in all cases

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necessarily represent the total cost of education, as additional charges are also often made for "extras." One unhappy result of the great demand for education which is evident among all classes of the population is that it has opened a way for the charging of exorbitant fees because the number of applicants exceeds the school accommodation available. This has to some extent been counteracted by the opening of free evening classes and by keeping the fees of Government grant-aided and subsidized schools as near to their pre-war level as is economi- cally possible. A further step towards the prevention of these abuses was the amendment of the Education Ordinance and the framing of new regulations controlling the payment of fees. The effect of the amendment was to provide that tuition fees should be paid monthly and that all fees must be shown in returns to the Director of Education for publication in the Government Gazette. Assistance to pupils to continue their education after leaving school is given by Government in the form of annual scholarships to Hong Kong University. Many holders of these scholarships take up teaching as a career.

The University.

The University of Hong Kong was incorporated in 1911 and formally opened in 1912. It had therefore reached the thirtieth year of its existence when the Japanese war broke out towards the end of 1941. That year had been a year of expansion. Not only was a new science building opened only a few weeks before the outbreak of war but plans had also been approved for a temporary annexe to house a large number of new students many of whom had flocked to Hong Kong from Malaya. In addition to classroom accommodation for about 500 students, there were six hostels, laboratories, staff residences, a Students' Union, a gymnasium, workshops and playing fields.

The supreme governing body of the University was the Court, which comprised life members, ex officio members and The nominated members, with the Governor as chairman. Council, which was the executive body, was composed of the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, the Treasurer, certain Govern- ment officials, Chinese members of the Legislative Council, the Deans of the Faculties, two representatives of the commercial community, and two additional members appointed by the Governor. The Senate was composed of the Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Education, and the Professors and Readers. There were in existence four faculties, medical, engineering, arts and science.

The prospects of a very successful session were abruptly dispelled by the invasion of Hong Kong in December, 1941. An immediate effect of the fall of the Colony was the grievous material damage wrought on the University buildings by whole-

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sale looting. Every vestige not only of scientific equipment but also of fittings and woodwork was removed from the newly opened Northcote Science Building and from the medical schools. The only buildings which escaped serious damage were the main floor of the University in which is housed the main Library, and the Fung Ping Shan Chinese Library and Tang Chi Ngong School of Chinese Studies. Even after the Japanese surrender in 1945, some looting persisted, adding to the task of rehabilitation with which the University was faced in 1946. Fortunately the libraries suffered least. The University Library, including the Morrison Collection and the Hankow Library, was intact with the exception of a number of books dealing with the Pacific area. The Fung Ping Shan Chinese Library also remained almost intact, and of three private collections housed in the Fung Ping Shan Library for safe- keeping two still remained whole, while the third, belonging to the National University of Peking, was removed by the Japanese but has now been recovered in part and restored to the National University. No less serious than the material damage suffered by the University was the grievous loss sustained by the teaching staff. During hostilities one member of the staff was killed and one seriously wounded. The years of the occupation also took a heavy toll, three Professors, the University Treasurer and two Lecturers losing their lives.

Early in 1946 the Secretary of State for the Colonies appointed a Committee, established by Order in Council under the title of the University of Hong Kong Provisional Powers Committee, to deal in London with the liquidating of the University's obligations to its staff and to purchase supplies and equipment for an early reopening. The powers of this Com- mittee were similar to those of the Council. Supplies were obtained but the scarcity of shipping space caused serious delay. On December 31st, 1945, the Secretary of State appointed a Committee to advise on the future of the University, both immediate and more distant. The terms of reference were:

(a) whether or not the University of Hong Kong, as such, should continue to exist and if so the policy which should govern its resuscitation and

(b) the steps necessary to re-start such of the work hitherto undertaken by the University as is essential for the needs of Hong Kong, whatever the decision arrived at on the broader issue.

Discussion and examination of the Committee's report which was submitted in July, 1946, have continued throughout the year, particularly in regard to the financial aspects of the proposals, and by the end of the year it had still not been possible to make any announcement regarding the future of the University. The administration of the University continued on the same tem-

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HO

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"The Warscarred University."

Photograph by Hedda Morrison.

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porary basis as in 1946, and the Provisional Powers Committee functioned throughout the year as the supreme authority while the usual functions of the Senate were discharged by an Interim Committee. By the end of the year progress had been made to the extent that it was hoped to reconstitute, very early in the New Year, the Court, Council, Senate and Boards of Faculties.

In the meantime the University Authorities continued to expand on a modest scale the activities which had been resumed in 1946. The first year classes, already begun, were in the autumn of 1947 augmented by the resumption of second year classes. A Matriculation examination was held in the summer and of 203 candidates, 106 succeeded in satisfying the examiners. 157 of the candidates were from schools, and 92 of these were successful. Entrance to the University is not restricted to those who pass the University Matriculation Examination, and more than half of those who were ultimately admitted entered on other qualifications. Many of the students came from Malaya. So great was the number of applicants for enrolment that it became necessary to restrict the number of students admitted to the Faculty of Medicine. The following was the total enrol- ment at the end of 1947:

Medicine Engineering

Arts

Science

Totals.

Men Women

1st Year

98 18

26

2nd Year

Totals

54

152 29

11

11

37

Men Women Men Women Men Women Men Women

10 18 10 1

8 12

30

Com- bined

144

37

181

7 4 80

27

107

18

17

5 224 64 288

.....

Rehabilitation progressed during 1947. In August the upper floor of the Ho Tung Workshop was released by the Royal Naval Medical Department and its reconditioning was put in hand. The Anatomy and Physiology Departments have been restored and repairs have been effected to the class rooms of the main building. A part of the basement after renovation was turned over to the Students' Union which resumed in the autumn. Five new residences have been commissioned and hostel accommoda- tion has been augmented by the renovation of May Hall. Although the gynasium has now been put in order it has not yet been possible to rehabilitate the pavilion, and one of the greatest immediate needs of the University is adequate provision for recreation and sport.

Concurrently the staff has been strengthened by the appointment of Readers in Anatomy and Bio-Chemistry and by the return from leave of the Professors of Physiology, Obstetrics and Physics.

69

HEALTH.

The Medical Department.

Matters of public health are the responsibility of the Medical Department, the functions of which are separated into different divisions, e.g. hospitals, health, investigation and dental. The hospitals division, which includes out-patient departments and public dispensaries, cares for the sick and injured in twelve separate hospitals, sixteen dispensaries and two poly-clinics. The hospitals provide approximately 2,800 beds for accidents, infectious diseases (including tuberculosis), mental and general diseases. Most of the hospital accommoda- tion is on Hong Kong Island and a smaller number of beds is avaliable on the Kowloon Peninsula and in the New Territories. The incidence of the main infectious diseases in 1947 is shown in the graphs included in this chapter.

The health division has a variety of functions. Besides the supervision of the cleanliness of houses, streets, and open spaces, these include the control of anti-epidemic measures such as vaccination, inoculation, disinfection, the care of expectant and parturient mothers, the neo-natal care of infants, and the inspection and treatment of school children. This division is also responsible for malaria control, port health work, food and drug control, public health propaganda, the treatment and prevention of social diseases, the supervision of markets and slaughter houses, and the registration of births and deaths. Vital statistics for the year under review are given in Appen- dix 1 to this chapter.

Dental services are provided at three clinics, two on the Island and one on the Mainland.

The investigation division is subdivided into pathological laboratories (one on each side of the harbour) a chemical and bio-chemical laboratory, and public mortuaries, where autopsies. are carried out on all bodies of persons, where the cause of death is in doubt.

On 31st December, 1947, the staff of the Medical Department consisted of:-

Doctors-99, of whom 70 were Chinese.

Nurses & Hospital Dressers-422 of whom 347 were Chinese. Health Inspectors-114 of whom 88 were Chinese.

Others (including technicians, subordinate and menial staff)

2,113, mostly Chinese.

General Health.

The standard of public health during the year has remained high, with mortality rates that compare favourably with last year.

70

CASES

200

190.-

180

170

160

RETURN OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

NOTIFIED, 1947.

LEGEND.

CASES NOTIFIED

DEATHS

CEREBROSPINAL MENINGITIS =

ENTERIC FEVER

MALARIA

SMALL POx

:

= THICK LINES

= THIN LINES

150

140

130

120

/10

1/00

90

A

80

70

бо

;

150

40

30

20

10

о

NEY

AB

STATISTICAL BRANCH,

COLONIAL SECRETARIAT.

REF: No: G25/43.

V

JAN FEB MAR. APR. MAY

JUNE JULY

AUG SEPT OCT.

NOV. DEC.

71

72

CASES

550

500

450

400

350-

300

250.

200

150-

100

50

RETURN OF TUBERCULOSIS NOTIFIED, 1947.

THE GREAT INCREASE IN NOTIFICATIONS THAT OCCURRED IN MAY COINCIDED WITH THE OPENING OF THE GOVERNMENT TUBERCULOSIS CLINIC AT THE HARCOURT HEALTH CENTRE, SINCE WHEN A FAR GREATER PROPORTION OF CASES HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED, BUT THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT, EVEN NOW, THERE ARE A GREAT MANY CASES STILL NOT BEING REPORTED.

LEGEND:

CASES = DEATHS

STATISTICAL BRANCH,

COLONIAL SECRETARIAT.

REF: No: G.25/44

JAN

FÉB.

MAR.

APR.

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AJG.

SEPT

Oct.

NOY

DEC.

Infectious diseases.

The outstanding feature of the year was the absence of any major epidemic. No local case of cholera occurred during the year for the first time since 1936. This freedom from cholera is of particular interest as it applied to the whole of the local epidemiological area, that is Macao, Canton and the immediate surroundings. 211 cases of smallpox occurred in the early part of the year but these were the remainder of the last year's epidemic. No fresh cases occurred after 17th June, 1947, which is undoubtedly largely due to the great number of vaccinations carried out.

Tuberculosis.

The greatest single cause of adult mortality and morbidity was tuberculosis which presents a very serious menace to the Colony's health. Steps were taken during the year to tackle this problem with the organisation of a tuberculosis clinic and a team of doctors and nurses. Plans for extension of this work in the coming year have been laid.

Nutrition.

The nutrition standard of the Colony while still capable of improvement was higher than it has been in the past. Two surveys, one of a mixed sample of school children and another of destitutes receiving assistance at free food kitchens failed to reveal any gross nutritional diseases such as pellagra or beri beri. Deaths from beri beri numbered 312 as against 1,318 in the previous year, and 7,229 in 1940, the last year before local hostilities for which figures are available. It is possible that this improved standard was due to the rice shortage which has forced the main mass of the population to eat a more mixed diet, but the great increase in wages among the lower wage groups as compared with 1941 is probably in part responsible.

Public Health in the New Territories.

In the New Territories the District Officer, assisted by the Medical and Health Officer and his inspectors, maintains super- vision over all types of foodshop, stalls, markets, and dairies and over the sale of milk generally. The aim is to raise the standard of public health in the country towns-and later in the villages-to the standard set in the urban areas. A start has been made, but the road is a long one and at present such necessary facilities as markets and slaughter-houses are almost completely lacking. A big step forward during 1947 was the departure from the principle previously adhered to in the urban area that every market should be exclusively built and run by Government. Following upon this decision it is expected that a new market town will arise near Fanling during 1948 on land owned by a company formed specially for this venture, and that new markets and slaughterhouses will also appear elsewhere.

73

Sewage.

A

Most of the human wastes in Hong Kong and Kowloon are still dealt with by a pan-conservancy system, whereby the pan contents are deposited in sewage barges along the bunds. proportion of this is taken by barge to the New Territories, and rendered relatively innocuous in maturing tanks before being distributed to farmers as fertiliser. The greater part is dumped at sea, pending the construction of additional batteries of tanks in the New Territories.

Water.

The water supply gave no cause for anxiety during the period under review, the season being an unusually wet one. The Water Authority succeeded in delivering sufficient water of an excellent chemical and biological purity, although in the latter part of the year some difficulty was caused by a shortage of Chlorine Gas and resort was had to the use of Chloride of Lime. The unusually heavy falls of rain in the summer relieved the Water Authority of the necessity to apply water restrictions during the autumn and a full supply continued until the end of the year.

Food.

Rice continued throughout the year to be very scarce, but with a slightly higher allocation from the International Emer- gency Food Council and better deliveries from the producing areas, stocks never reached the dangerously low levels at which they remained for a considerable part of 1946, never falling below a six weeks' supply at current ration levels. Neverthe- less, it was not possible to increase the ration of 5-1/3 ounces per day (compared with a normal consumption of 13 to 14 ounces) until May, when it was increased to about 6-1/3 ounces; it was further increased in August to 71⁄2 ounces. Rations are issued to only 63% of the population (largely those with pre-war residential qualifications), the remainder subsisting on local rice and substitute foods.

The increase in rice supplies has, however, been associated with a reduction in quality and very considerable increases in price, to which there appears to be no end. Relying as it does on imports from territories specified by an international control, Hong Kong is in a very weak position vis-a-vis supplying territories and must under present conditions pay what is demanded. The retail price at the beginning of 1946 was 25 cents per catty (2.8d. per lb) against 7 cents in 1937; this figure was raised to 30 cents (3.4d. per lb.) in January and again to 44 cents (5d. per lb.) in March. The receipt of a larger alloca- tion from the cheaper sources permitted a reduction in August to 40 cents per catty (43d. per lb.), but in October the receipt of very expensive Egyptian rice of low quality necessitated a revision to 48 cents (5.4d. per lb.) At the same time the price of free market rice fell from about $1 per catty (114d. per lb.) to just over the rationed price.

74

G

This image is unavailable for access via the Network due to copyright restrictions. To view the image, please contact library staff for a printed copy of the copyright work.

S

"Rice Cultivation-Harrowing."

Photograph by Francis Wu.

香港公共圖

NG KONG PUBLIC LIBRAR

ÔNG KONG

With the increase in rice available, flour, which had been largely used as a substitute during 1946, was much less in demand. It remained on the ration, although this was reduced in January from 4 ounces to 3 ounces, and the price remained comparatively stable. Sugar and butter also remained on the ration, supplies being adequate if by no means plentiful.

Local supplies improved considerably and, although prices remained fairly high, the quantity of vegetables, fish and local meat reaching the markets increased considerably. Owing to the nature of these commodities and the fact that the greater part originated in China, nothing could be done to ration or control their prices. Groundnut oil supplies did not improve to the same extent.

While supplies of food in the market were apparently plentiful, this was true only in the context of ruling prices, which severely limit the amount the poor could afford to buy. The high cost of food is one of the basic difficulties retarding further recovery, and Hong Kong, producing little itself and relying almost entirely on imports, is in a vulnerable position in this respect.

HOUSING.

Urban Housing.

The majority of the Chinese population lives in the older Chinese tenement houses of Victoria City and of Kowloon. These houses, originally built back to back, have since been provided with small yards and kitchens behind. In most cases there are no scavenging lanes although legislation passed after the houses were originally built makes the provision of scavenging lanes obligatory. The buildings vary in height from two to four storeys, the poorer section of the population being housed mainly in the upper floors. The ground floors are used mainly as shops or workplaces. Each floor is sub-divided into rooms or cubicles of 64 square feet and usually accommodates not less than three or four families. A communal kitchen is provided but in the old type of building no provision is made for latrine or ablution accommodation. For this reason, public latrines and bath houses have been erected in the poorer class districts. Buildings of this type are very gradually disappear- ing, to be replaced by more modern structures. Virtually all such tenement houses are owned by Chinese landlords, though some of the larger industrial undertakings, both Chinese and European, provide satisfactory living accommodation for their employees. A large proportion of the city of Victoria, particu- larly in the central districts, was built in the early days of the Colony when town planning was little practised, even in Europe, and the major defects of housing are due to the absence at that time of planning and of modern legislation. The Public Health and Buildings Ordinance of 1903 was framed to conform with the standards of structure and hygiene which were then accepted. In the light of modern practice, many of these pro-

75

visions and many of the buildings originally constructed in accordance with these provisions, are now out of date. Control of domestic buildings is now effected by the operation of a newer Buildings Ordinance introduced in 1935, which provides also for improved lighting and ventilation in buildings originally made to conform with the less advanced legislation. Yards and scavenging lanes are statutory requirements which have resulted in gradually improved standards and have rendered possible the provision of latrines and bathrooms. The absence of statutory powers for compulsory demolition of buildings unless they are condemned as dangerous, is responsible for the disappointingly slow disappearance of the tenement houses built before 1903.

The Urban District comprises the whole of the Island of Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Kowloon and is divided into five areas. A Health Officer in each area is responsible for health and sanitation and for supervising and directing the work of the health inspectors employed in his area. Each area is divided into health districts in charge of each of which is a health inspector. Other health inspectors are employed in special duties connected with the control of hawkers, anti-epidemic measures, scavenging, etc. Altogether there are 43 health dis- tricts in the urban district of which 25 are on the Island and 18 in Kowloon and New Kowloon.

An important feature of the normal work of the health inspector is the inspection of tenement buildings and the cleansing of premises. Houses are dealt with in rotation and the residents are required by law to cleanse their premises under the direction of the health inspector and his staff. Tanks of approximately 200 gallons capacity containing a one per cent. solution of water and kerosene emulsion (soft soap and kero- sene) are provided for cleansing purposes generally and for complete immersion of bed boards and the smaller articles of furniture. Altogether, it takes about three to four months to cleanse the whole of the urban district.

A successful battle has been waged against the outbreak of insect-borne diseases by means of the application of D.D.T. kerosene solution on war-damaged buildings and settlements of squatters huts.

Rural Housing.

?

The housing of the rural population is very different. Only the urban area is affected by large-scale influxes of population such as took place in 1939-1941 and during the year under review. The population of the New Territories is very stable, and the villages were for the most part built several generations ago. The houses are huddled together, often surrounded by a wall and sometimes by a moat; many of the walled villages still retain their heavy gates and some adhere to the traditional routine of bolting the gates at sunset against bandits. Village houses in the New Territories are known as "ancestral property" and are handed down from father to son and almost without exception occupied by the owner, who pays a small annual Crown rent to

76

?

1-

+

Government. They are usually built of locally made blue brick or cut granite with a tiled roof and cement floor though some of the poorer type are built of sun-dried mud-brick faced with plaster. A typical village dwelling consists of one ground floor room, entrance being made through the front door-there is no back door-into a partially roofed-over space, one side of which is reserved for cooking, and the other side for storage of dried grass, the principal fuel. An inner door gives entrance to the single room, the rear portion of which is screened off with wooden partitions for use as a bedroom. Over this rear portion, raised some 8 feet above the floor level, is a wooden platform or gallery known as the "cockloft" which is used for storage purposes or for extra sleeping accommodation if the family is large. The house has no ceiling, except the rafters and tiles, and no chimney. Windows are few.

Dwellings are sometimes built in rows of a dozen or so in the larger villages, with the front of one row facing the back of another row; whilst at other times they are built haphazard to conform with "Fung Shui" ("wind and water"), a form of Chinese geomancy which traditionally governs the siting of dwellings and graves. The streets between the dwellings are usually not more than six to eight feet wide, and the drainage is primitive. Latrines are erected apart from the dwellings, and are similar, though inferior, to those still found attached to some rural cottages in the United Kingdom. The houses are for the most part kept in reasonable repair and the structural design is never altered. Furnishings consist usually of trestle beds, perhaps a table, and a few small stools.

European-Type Housing.

·

In normal times-and the year 1947 was still far from normal, -the European resident lives in a suburban type villa, flat or small house not unlike many in the United Kingdom. Increasing numbers of permanent Chinese residents also favour the European type of house. In Kowloon, suburbs of European- type houses developed extensively during the period 1930 to 1940, the houses built being not unlike those in an average London suburb, with the addition of servants' quarters and, in most cases, of the verandahs which the semi-tropical climate requires. At the western end of the Island of Hong Kong the higher altitudes have been developed for European-type dwelling houses by a system of roads cut into the steep hillsides. The temperature at 1200-1400 feet is normally about 6° lower during the summer than the temperature at sea-level, but against this advantage must be set the higher humidity during the damp spring season.

Rebuilding.

Tenement-type housing for 160,000 persons and European- type housing for 7,000 persons suffered destruction or serious damage during the years 1941 to 1945. The damage to European houses was caused mainly by looting and the destruction of tenement houses was due chiefly to Allied aerial bombardment.

77

This large-scale destruction of housing, combined with the very large numbers of persons flowing into the Colony, produced a serious degree of overcrowding and the requirement for a large amount of new building as well as repair work. Discouraging factors were the high cost of building materials and labour, but in spite of this, reconstruction, rehabilitation and repairs to properties damaged during the war continued throughout the year. Nevertheless, there are still many buildings which have not been rebuilt or rehabilitated and many which although occupied, are in urgent need of repairs. As an illustration of this latter fact, 60 buildings were reported to have collapsed during the year, involving a loss of life to 28 persons and injuries to many more. During the year 1947, plans were submitted for work on 5,431 buildings. It is unfortunately not possible to say how many of these works were major and how many were minor works. Completion permits, which are only issued in respect of new buildings were issued in respect of 170 Chinese- type houses, 38 European-type houses and 113 miscellaneous non-domestic buildings. Much total rehabilitation, for which no completion permits were issued, has also taken place.

Town Planning.

The laborious and extensive process of reconstruction can hardly overtake the demand for some time to come; meanwhile, a good opportunity exists to remedy for the future the defects which are due to the lack of town planning and of modern standards of hygiene in the past. On 1st April, 1947, a Town Planning Office was established and a civic survey comprising the preparation of land utilisation plans, detailed zoning plans and reports covering the whole of the Colony was put in hand. This work was an essential preliminary to the visit of Sir Patrick Abercrombie whose services were obtained by the Government under an allocation from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund for the purpose of advising on the future development of the Colony. Sir Patrick visited the Colony for slightly over one month during the autumn; his report is in course of preparation.

The Town Planning section of the Public Works Department was augmented by the arrival of two town planning architects from the United Kingdom late in the year. Several meetings took place during 1947 of the housing and town planning sub- committee of the Colonial Development and Welfare Committee.

Shortage of European Type Housing.

The shortage of European type accommodation remained very acute.

Although many such properties which had suffered damage during hostilities or at the hands of looters were rehabilitated, the increased population caused by the relative stability of Hong Kong compared with commercial conditions elsewhere outstripped repair work.

78

Progress was made with plans for the erection of blocks of flats both by Government and by private enterprise, and in some cases construction work got under way. Shortages and delay in delivery of steel and other items slowed down construction programmes.

The rehabilitation of hotels made excellent progress and this has helped to meet what at one time appeared to be an almost desperate situation in regard to the provision of accommodation for many families. As in the previous year the hotel companies continued to work in co-operation with Government and provided austerity meals in order to reduce the cost of living for those compelled to accept this type of accommodation. Hotels, private hotels, boarding houses and hostels were completely booked up and with still more people to return it appears as if a partial reversion to dormitory accommo- dation may be necessary. Minor relief should be afforded in the Spring of 1948 by the departure from the Colony on leave of a number of the population.

Powers to requisition property are still extant, but as the policy of Government has been to derequisition premises wherever possible, and thus promote an early return to normal conditions, these powers were not exercised.

The number of premises held under requisition for use by the combined services and Government at the beginning of 1947 amounted to 389: at the end of the year this had been reduced to 131.

SOCIAL WELFARE.

Most of the constructive official welfare work done in 1947 was shared between six government departments; in addition the Colony continued to be fortunate in the traditionally large amount of welfare work done by its numerous voluntary organisations. Other sections of this Report describe the social welfare activities which were predominantly the concern of medical, educational or penal experts; the remainder of this chapter outlines the experiments and undertakings which were shared by the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs, the post-war Relief Section of the Medical Department and many voluntary organisations. It is worth noting that during 1947 over eight million Hong Kong dollars were spent by the Government in direct grants to unofficial organisations which were contributing to the social services of the Colony.

As a result of a general survey of street-sleepers and destitutes in the middle of the year it was estimated that there were then up to 9,000 homeless children in the urban areas, by far the greater number of whom had migrated from South China with or without their parents during the previous twelve months. Nearly 2,000 of the orphans and other completely destitute children were being looked after in various institutions, schools or camps; free food centres were open every day for all the others, and as the cooler weather set in large amounts of clothing

79

and clothing materials were distributed. A further result of the troubles in China was that many transfers of children from destitute or broken families took place; these transfers ranged from genuine adoptions which were in the best interests of the children to the most vicious forms of trafficking. All adoptions of girls are required by law to be registered at the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs, and the voluntary registration of adoptions of boys is actively encouraged; 747 new adoptions were recorded during the year, and 2,445 home visits were paid to these and other protected children by the women inspectors of the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs. Careful watch was also kept for cases of cruelty to children and of children subjected to grave moral danger, and as a result, 58 prosecutions were undertaken and 51 children were given a fresh start.

Youth Work flourished, special attention being paid to those destitutes or near-destitutes who had no hope of receiving any schooling. The number of Youth Clubs reserved for these particular boys and girls rose to twenty; in addition there was a permanent camp for a hundred boys, among whom were a large number of juvenile petty delinquents, in healthy surround- ings on the South side of the island. A new venture for fifty boys was also started nearby in the form of a sea-training school, partly inspired by the "Outward Bound" experiment at Aberdovey in Wales. At the end of the year further plans were put up for an official vocational training centre for five or six hundred orphaned or destitute children, and also for an industrial apprentices' Youth Club in Kowloon. An interesting experiment was also carried out in two of the free food centres where because of the barrenness of the accommodation and the lack of adequate protection from the weather, it was imprac- ticable to follow up an original idea to use these centres as rudimentary "regged schools"; qualified workers therefore used blackboard and chalk to teach the children who attended about four Chinese characters a day as they waited for the meal to be served, and, as most Chinese children in Hong Kong are desperately eager for any kind of education this makeshift experiment proved a very popular success.

The Secretary for Chinese Affairs and his assistants arbitrated in nearly 1,300 matrimonial or family disputes and also dealt with all the cases of unsuccessful suicide; these attempted suicide cases number about 30 a month, and instead of being prosecuted they are offered help, advice or guidance according to their needs. The voluntary organisations also gave a great deal of assistance to the indigent by way of gifts or sometimes loans in cash or kind, in free congee centres, by supporting children at schools or institutions, by repatriating non-local destitutes, and by procuring hawkers' licences or jobs for some of the unemployed.

Adult destitutes who were not on the books of one of the charitable organisations of the Colony had four other possible sources of relief. They were free repatriation, in most cases at the public expense, to their homes in China; admission to Govern- ment camps or centres for those who were genuine transient

80

repatriates from overseas or were completely helpless Hong Kong cases; shelter during the cold and rainy months for street-sleepers at night; and free food at least once a day for all who were not able-bodied.

The free food centres tried out a number of constructive experiments in addition to the children's Chinese character classes mentioned above. Their aim was to help only the most genuine cases of distress amongst women and children and the old and infirm, and to this end careful checks ensured that only 2% of the 3,000 to 4,000 daily clients were adult males, that few if any were professional beggars, and that children formed nearly half the total number. Step by step propaganda in cleanliness and hygiene, free letter-writing facilities, the free reading of letters to illiterate receivers, and a missing persons bureau were all provided. Some success has also been achieved in implanting in the social workers in these centres an ideal of local Sino-British co-operation in helping the really destitute to help themselves.

Old people are catered for by three homes run respectively by a Buddhist, a Protestant, and a Roman Catholic organisation, and there are waiting lists for all three.

Innumerable welfare committees and councils met through- out the year. The principal official ones were the War Memorial Fund Committee which helped the dependants of those who were killed or incapacitated in Hong Kong by reason of enemy action during the Pacific War; all public subscriptions to this fund were doubled by a Government dollar for dollar grant; the Port Welfare Committee which was concerned with members of the European and American Mercantile Marines who visited Hong Kong; and the Child and Juvenile Welfare Committee which at the end of the year seemed likely to have its functions absorbed by the new official Social Welfare Advisory Committee. The principal voluntary association was the Hong Kong Social Welfare Council which at the end of the year adopted a new constitution under which it was intended that it should represent as many of the voluntary welfare societies as wished to join the Council while continuing to carry on and expand a certain amount of relief work which the Government had asked it to undertake. All its recurring expenses were found by the Government.

In August a strong Hong Kong delegation was sent to the South East Asia Social Welfare Conference called by the Special Commissioner in Singapore. Interesting comparisons were made with the work being done in other territories in South East Asia, and a number of valuable personal contacts were formed.

The degree to which the proposed Municipal Council may in due course take over social welfare activities remained unsettled, but in August an administrative officer was appointed

81

as Social Welfare Officer on his return from taking a Social Science Diploma course in England, and a Social Welfare Office was established as a sub-department of the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs, thus sharing in the advantages to be gained from the latter's prestige, contacts and status among the over- whelmingly Chinese population of the Colony. A number of the welfare activities previously co-ordinated or sponsored by the Secretary for Chinese Affairs devolved upon the Social Welfare Officer, in addition to arrangements for the transfer to him of the Relief Section of the Medical Department, further measures for co-ordination between voluntary and official welfare work, preparations for the extension of the Probation Service, and arrangements in conjunction with the University of Hong Kong for the local training of specialised social workers. Two Chinese girls from Hong Kong entered on the second year of their social science studies at the London School of Economics prior to appointment to the Social Welfare Office on their return to the Colony, and three more students went to London in September to start a similar course.

82

APPENDIX I.

VITAL STATISTICS FOR 1947.

The population of the Colony for mid-1947 by extrapolation methods, was 1,214,762. Inevitably this figure, based as it is on the figures of the last census which was taken in 1931, must be regarded with suspicion. In view of the violent fluctuations in population which have taken place since then, this figure may be regarded as substantially lower than the actual population See the chapter on which may be as great as 1,800,000. population at page 9.

A. BIRTHS.

Records for births are incomplete owing to the hostilities in December, 1941, and the subsequent lack of interest in birth registration manifested by the Japanese during the period 1942-1945 (August).

Births.

45,064

Year.

1940

1941

45,000 (est.)

1942

10,343

1943

20.732

1944

13,687

1945

3,712 (to 31st August only)

1946

1947

31,098

42,473

The birth rate per mille in 1947 is estimated to be 35.0 compared with 26.6 for 1946.

B. DEATHS.

While death registration was equally unsatisfactory throughout the occupation and many thousands of bodies never received burial in recognized cemeteries, such records as are available are given in the following table with those for 1940, 1941-1946, and 1947.

Year.

Deaths.

1940

61,010

1941

61,324

1942

83,435

1943

40,117

1944

24,936

1945

23,098 (to 31st August)

1946

16,653

1947

13,231

The death rate per mille for 1947 was 10.9.

83

This death rate figure seems unduly low and in view of the uncertainty of the population figure as estimated by extrapola- tion methods it must be taken with reserve.

C. INFANT MORTALITY..

Although the deaths of infants under one year of age formed over a third of deaths for all ages, the number of infant deaths per thousand live births was only 119. This figure compares with 617 in 1931, 327 for 1940 and 109 for 1946.

PRE-NATAL MORTALITY.

There were 1,322 still-births recorded in 1947, i.e. 30 per 1,000 live births.

Notifiable Diseases.

D. CAUSES OF DEATH.

(a) Smallpox.

The epidemic of smallpox which started in the previous year gradually tailed off in the first quarter of 1947. In January there were 143 cases as compared with 819 cases during the peak period of the epidemic in November, 1946. It may be said that the epidemic ended in March during which month 17 cases were reported. With the exception of 1 local case in June, and 3 imported cases, the Colony was free up to the end of the year. There were 129 deaths out of the total of 214 cases, giving a mortality rate of 60 per cent. A steady vaccination campaign was maintained throughout the year, greatest attention being paid to the masses of poorer people such as squatters who have come to the Colony since the war. In addition there has been routine vaccination of newly born children in the Colony, a practice which lapsed during the Japanese occupation. During the year, 858,160 vaccinations were performed.

(b) Cholera.

No case of cholera occurred in the Colony but in the month of June 6 cases were imported by sea. These were immediately isolated and fortunately no outbreak occurred. During the year, 242,912 inoculations were performed.

(c) Typhus.

Typhus occurs sporadically in the Colony and appears to be mainly of the urban type. 19 cases were reported of which 6 were of the scrub or rural type. There were no deaths.

(d) Enteric Fever.

There were 246 cases of enteric fever with 61 deaths. No focus was discovered and all cases appeared to be sporadic.

(e) Cerebro-spinal Meningitis.

January started with 38 cases of cerebro-spinal meningitis and the number of cases continued to rise to the peak of 199 cases in April. From this point onward the disease declined and

84

only four cases were recorded in October. No month was completely clear; out of a total of 566 cases, there were 137 deaths giving a mortality rate of 24.2 per cent.

(f) Diphtheria.

122 cases of diphtheria occurred with 52 deaths showing a mortality rate of 42.6 per cent. Every effort is being made to improve anti-diphtheritic measures in the form of active immunization and propaganda. Many of the cases only came to light when it was too late for effective treatment, this state of affairs being due to ignorance on the part of the parents and treatment by persons other than qualified medical practitioners.

(g) Dysentery.

158 cases of dysentery were reported of which 18 were fatal showing a mortality rate of 11.4 per cent. Of these, 54 cases were amoebic. These figures probably do not give a true picture of the incidence of this disease in the Colony as many cases described as enteritis are probably in reality dysentery.

(h) Malaria.

The figures for malaria do not give a true picture of the incidence of malaria in the Colony. There is a moving population coming and going from the mainland and it is fair to say that most cases are found amongst them. This is borne out by the small number of cases occurring in the static population.

(i) Rabies.

4 deaths were reported from this disease. Negri bodies were found in 2 of these cases. 5 cases of animal rabies (dog) with positive Negri bodies were reported.

There is an increasing number of dogs and cats in the Colony, and in the case of dogs precautions are taken to ensure muzzling. Stray dogs are picked up and kept until ownership is established or the dog destroyed. As far as possible all cases of dog-bite are reported and the dog responsible is kept under observation for 2 weeks. Free anti-rabic inoculation is available and 1,280 treatments were given during the year, but patients are not always conscientious in persevering with the treatment.

(j) Relapsing Fever.

25 cases of this disease, six of them fatal, occurred in the first six months of the year. Of these 10 occurred in June; the rest of the year was free.

(k) Scarlet Fever.

This disease is comparatively rare in the Colony, only 1 case being reported for the year under review.

(1) Whooping Cough.

This disease was added to the list of notifiable diseases on 23rd October, 1947. It was felt that notification might help to provide information which would explain the frequency of broncho-pneumonia, a disease which is prevalent. Only 2 cases of whooping cough were reported towards the end of the year.

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(m) Measles.

160 cases of measles were reported. The 8 deaths which occurred showed a mortality rate of 5 per cent. The majority of the cases occurred in the months of April to June-when the weather is warm, with high rainfall and high relative humidity.

(n) Chickenpox.

116 cases occurred with no deaths. This disease, because of its likeness to smallpox is treated with the greatest care both in diagnosis and in vaccination. In cases where diagnosis is in doubt, hospital isolation is practised.

(0) Puerperal Fever.

7 cases occurred, four of them fatal.

(p) Tuberculosis.

This is the most important of the notifiable diseases. It is the subject of fuller comment on page 73.

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Chapter 8.

The year 1947 saw the enactment of 53 Ordinances. A number of these were necessitated by circumstances arising out of the occupation of the Colony by the Japanese, while others reflected the need for legislation to meet the problems of a post-war period. Among these latter were counted a number the object of which was to increase the revenue of the Colony so as to bring to an early end the Colony's

LEGISLATION dependence upon His Majesty's Trea-

sury. Much subsidiary legislation was as to bring to an early end the Colony's dependence upon His Majesty's Treasury. Much subsidiary legislation was also passed during the year on a wide variety of subjects: a considerable part of this legislation was concerned with the control of prices which was an important feature of the Government's economic policy.

One of the most serious consequences of the Japanese occupation and a source of great inconvenience was the partial, and in some cases total, destruction of public records. The year under review has seen the enactment of several legislative measures the aim of which has been to remedy some of the most serious of these deficiences. The first of these measures was the Trade Marks Register (Reconstruction) Ordinance (No. 33 of 1947) whereby it is provided that the proprietor of a trade mark registered before the war may make a fresh registration of his trade mark in a new register prescribed by the Ordinance. Somewhat similar provision to assist companies was included in an Ordinance entitled The Companies (Reconstruction of Records) Ordinance (No. 40 of 1947), which also regularised the position of companies, with the exception of China Companies, which had been prevented by the circum- stance of the Japanese occupation from complying with the requirements of the Companies Ordinance, 1932. Two other Ordinances fall naturally into the same category, namely, the Births Registration (Special Registers) Ordinance, No. 50 of 1947, and the Deaths Registration (Special Registers) Ordinance, No. 51 of 1947, which were designed to deal with difficulties arising out of the loss of certain registers of births and deaths.

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Legislation of financial significance was represented by the Inland Revenue Ordinance, 1947 and the Hong Kong

(Rehabilitation) Loan Ordinance, 1947. Hitherto taxes incomes and profits had been imposed by the War Revenue Ordinance of 1940 and its successor the War Revenue Ordinance 1941. The 1941 Ordinance was intended merely as a temporary measure to assist His Majesty's Government in the prosecution of the war, but in the year under review, the need for increased revenue became so pronounced that it was considered necessary to enact the Inland Revenue Ordinance, 1947, whereby a tax

87

was imposed on earnings, profits, interest and property. The new Ordinance, which repealed the 1941 War Revenue Ordinance, nevertheless largely followed it in form, but contained variations which were made necessary by the more permanent form of the new legislation. A considerable controversy was aroused by the enactment of this Ordinance.

The Hong Kong (Rehabilitation) Loan Ordinance, provided for the raising of a loan of 150 million dollars for the general rehabilitation of the public services of the Colony.

A new tax was imposed in respect of payment for the services of dancing partners, and also for food sold and con- sumed in public dance halls, by Ordinance No. 14 of 1947. The augmentation of revenues was also the object of Ordinances passed to amend the Betting Duty Ordinance, 1931, and to amend the Stamp Ordinance of 1921.

Ordinance No. 10, the Hong Kong War Memorial Fund Ordinance, 1947, was enacted to establish in the Colony a fund from which provision could be made, inter alia, for assisting the members of certain services, which participated in the defence of the Colony, who are wholly or partially incapacitated as a result of their war service from earning a living, and the dependants of members of the same services who lost their lives.

The prevalence in the Colony of robbery accompanied by the use of offensive weapons, which is one of the unfortunate legacies of the late war, was the occasion for the enactment of the Suppression of Robbery Ordinance, 1947. Under the provisions of this Ordinance, the death sentence may be imposed upon any person taking part in a robbery with arms, where the death of a human being is caused by means of the arms carried, without necessity to prove common intention to use violence among all the persons taking part in the robbery. Owing to the departure from requirement to prove common intention rendered possible by the Ordinance, its duration is limited to a period of one year subject to an extension of a further year upon resolution by the Legislative Council.

The Landlord and Tenant Ordinance No. 25 of 1947, was passed to consolidate and amend the law relating to the restriction of rents. Hitherto, legislation on this subject was contained substantially in Proclamation No. 15 which was made during the military administration of the Colony and subse- quently amended. The new Ordinance, while perpetuating the provisions of the former legislation for the protection of tenants, gave relief to landlords by permitting increases of rent above the standard rent and by releasing from control, under the provisions of the Ordinance, certain premises-notably new buildings, and buildings which since the Japanese surrender had been rendered habitable by extensive repairs. It also made provision for punishment as offences of attempts to avoid rent restriction, and established tenancy tribunals for the settlement of landlord and tenant disputes.

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In order to allow the Chinese authorities further time in which to trace and apprehend persons suspected of collaboration with the enemy during the late war, the Chinese Collaborators (Surrender) Ordinance, 1947, was enacted to continue provisions of a similar Ordinance which was passed in 1946 to provide procedure for the surrender of collaborators. This Ordinance provided for a further period of six months, terminating on 31st October, 1947, during which surrender of collaborators might be claimed by the Chinese authorities and the machinery of the Ordinance applied.

At the end of the year it became necessary to enact an Ordinance known as the Protected Places (Safety) Amendment Ordinance, 1947. The principal object of this Ordinance was to give power to the Governor to declare by order that certain places were protected places within the meaning of the Protected Places Ordinance, 1946, and that consequently, sentries and guards especially authorised might, subject to safeguards, use firearms in the course of their duty. This was made necessary because the Defence Regulation under which previously protected places had been declared, was due to expire on 31st December, 1947, and it was not considered that the situation had improved to such an extent that the protection to Government and Service stores afforded by the Ordinance against the activities of looters could be removed.

Before the enactment of Ordinance No. 17, the Vehicle and Road Traffic Ordinance, 1947, the law relating to the use of vehicles and the control of traffic was contained in the Vehicles. and Traffic Regulation Ordinance, 1912, which, in the main, merely provided powers for the making of regulations governing traffic. It did not contain modern provision of the nature afforded in the United Kingdom by the Road Traffic Acts of 1930 and 1934. The new Ordinance replaced the Vehicles and Traffic Regulation Ordinance, 1912, and in addition, introduced provisions to deal with the subject of reckless and dangerous driving and with the authority to endorse licences of persons who are found to have been intoxicated or under the influence of a drug while in charge of a vehicle.

In the period since the liberation of the Colony, considerable interest has been remarked in co-operative activities. No legis- lation to enable the formation of co-operatives in Hong Kong was on the Statute Book until the enactment of Ordinance No. 43 the Co-operative Societies Ordinance, 1947, which made provision for the registration and conduct of Co-operative societies. The Ordinance was not, however, brought into force upon enactment pending the appointment of a Registrar of Co-operative Societies and other staff essential to the operation of the Ordinance.

Ordinance No. 37, the Jury Amendment Ordinance, 1947, gave effect to a resolution passed by a public meeting attended by representatives of many sections of the women of the Colony,

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to the effect that the Government should be asked to consider the introduction of legislation giving to women the privilege and obligation of serving on juries.

Provision was made in the British Cinematograph Films Ordinance, No. 19 of 1947 for the control of the exhibition of cinematograph films in such a manner that at all first run and second run theatres British films shall be shown on not less than seven days in each quota period of seventy days.

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whereas.......

JUSTICE, POLICE & PRISONS

The Supreme Court.

Chapter 9.

The Supreme Court consists of two permanent judges, the Chief Justice and a Puisne Judge. Additional judges may from time to time be appointed temporarily under section 10 of the Supreme Court Ordinance, No. 3 of 1873, for the purpose of certain appeals.

The business of the Civil Courts was restricted by the con- tinuance in force of the moratorium which was still in force at the end of the year. The moratorium prohibited the exercise of any rights or remedies in respect of debts arising before 13th September, 1945, and prohibited, with certain exceptions, transactions in land and transfer of shares. These provisions were considered necessary to preserve the status quo while the various problems and implications resulting from the liquidation of Allied banks by the Japanese, the abolition of the Hong Kong dollar as legal tender and the general disregard by the Japanese of the rights of private property and inter- national law, were examined. In spite of the restricted business. of the Civil Courts, it was found necessary to maintain the the appointment of an additional judge which was created towards the end of 1946, in order to cope with the unusually large volume of work before the Court, which is likely to increase further when the moratorium is lifted.

The Supreme Court has the same jurisdiction as His Majesty's Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer lawfully have or had in England and is a Court of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery, Assize and Nisi Prius, with jurisdiction in Probate, Divorce, Admiralty, Bankruptcy and Criminal matters. It is also a Court of Equity with such and the like jurisdiction as the Court of Chancery has or had in England, and has and executes the powers and authorities of the Lord High Chancellor of England with full liberty to appoint and control guardians of infants and their estates and also keepers of persons and estates of idiots, lunatics and such as, being of unsound mind, are unable to govern themselves and their estates.

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The practice for the time being of the English Courts is in force in the Colony, except where, being inapplicable to the local circumstances, it has been modified by local legislation. In this connection it is of interest to note that the civil procedure of the courts was codified by the Code of Civil Procedure, Ordinance No. 3 of 1901, which modified and, in some instances, excluded some of the provisions of the English Rules of Practice. Such of the laws of England as existed in the Colony on 5th April, 1843, are also in force in the Colony except so far as the laws are inapplicable to local circumstances and subject to legislative modifications thereto.

All civil claims above the sum of $1,000 are heard in the Court's Original Jurisdiction as well as all miscellaneous pro- ceedings concerning questions arising on estates, appointments of trustees, company matters, etc. Civil claims from $5.00 up to and including $1,000 are heard in the Court's Summary Juris- diction by the Puisne Judge as are all matters arising out of distraints for non-payment of rent. Cases in the Probate, Divorce, Admiralty and Bankruptcy jurisdictions of the court are usually heard before magistrates and are committed to the criminal sessions which are held once every month; these cases are usually divided between two judges.

A Right of Appeal exists in all the above cases. Appeals are heard by a Full Court consisting of two or more judges. Under the Magistrates Ordinance, 1932, as amended by Ordinance No. 19 of 1935, any person aggrieved may appeal to a judge from the decision of a magistrate in a summary way. This form of appeal is heard by a single judge who may reserve the appeal or any point in it for consideration by the Full Court, or may direct the appeal or the point to be argued before the Full Court.

The end of the long vacation and the first day of the ordinary session for the month of October of the year under review were marked by a ceremony unique in the history of the Colony. For the first time the pomp and ceremony which mark the opening day of the Assizes in England and in other Colonies was introduced. A Guard of Honour provided by the 1st Battalion the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was inspected by the Chief Justice, Sir Henry Blackall, Kt., K.C., L1.D., robed in red gown and wearing full-bottomed wig. Following the inspection members of the public, which included prominent local citizens, representatives from the three services and members of the legal profession gathered in the First Court to hear the Chief Justice's charge on the state of crime, and other observa- tions germane to the administration of Justice.

Two months later legal history was made when effect was given to the provisions of the Jury (Amendment) Ordinance 1947, by the appointment of four women, for the first time, to sit in the jury which was empanelled to try a capital case.

The Registrar of the Supreme Court in addition to discharg- ing the functions with which the title of his office connects him, also acts in the capacity of Official Trustee, Official Administrator and Registrar of Companies, administering trust estates and

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deceased persons' estates and registering companies under the Companies Ordinance, 1932. Bills of Sale are also registered with the Registrar.

The Lower Courts.

Before the war each of the two districts of the New Territories had its land court and small debts court where the District Officer sat to hear land and small debts cases. These Courts were revived during the year under review.

The lower criminal courts are the magistrates' courts, three for Hong Kong Island, two for Kowloon, including the whole area south of the Kowloon Hills, and one for the northern section of the New Territories, in which the District Officer is the Magistrate.

Work done in the Supreme Court.

During the year 1947, 340 actions were instituted in the Original Jurisdiction and 229 in the Summary Jurisdiction as compared with 143 and 45 respectively in 1946. There were also 245 Distraints for rent.

In the Probate Jurisdiction 888 grants (246 probates and 642 Letters of Administration) were made by the Court and 232 grants by other British Courts were sealed making a total of 1,120 grants during the year, as against 352 in the eight months of 1946 (May-December). Out of 366 persons indicted at the Criminal Sessions 277 were convicted, the parallel figure for the eight months period of 1946 being 315 and 255. Appeals against conviction or sentence at Criminal Sessions jumped from 2 to 10, and appeals against magisterial decisions from 2 to 18. Of 17 appeals in respect of civil actions (compared again with 2 in 1946), 7 were heard, 3 settled and 3 abandoned; 4 are pending. There were 28 appeals against the decisions of the Tenancy Tribunals of which 17 were heard (56 in 1946); 8 actions were filed in the Admiralty Jurisdiction and 32 petitions in the Divorce Jurisdiction (1946: 11 and 16 respectively). 15 trust estates were in the hands of the Official Trustee at the end of the year. The estates of 32 deceased persons were taken into custody of the Official Administrator (35 in 1946) and the administration of 9 was completed. 297 Hong Kong companies and 54 foreign corporations were registered and 10 Hong Kong companies were dissolved during the year, bringing the total number of Hong Kong companies on the register to 1,686 (1,399 at the end of 1946), and the total number of registered foreign corporations to 418 (364 at the end of 1946).

Cases Heard in the Lower Courts.

The figures below show the penalties which were awarded at the Hong Kong and Kowloon Magistracies in respect of cases heard during the whole year 1947. Corresponding totals for the period May to December, 1946, are also given.

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Total for

Total for

Hong Kong Kowloon

1947

1946

(12 months) (May-Dec.)

Prosecutions against adults

& juveniles

...

72,239

31,608

103,847

36,248

Convictions against adults &

juveniles

54,188

28,039

82,227

29,284

Adult Offenders.

Fined

27,287

19,521

46,808

15,149

Imprisoned in default of

payment of fine

6,465

2,801

9,266

1,067

Imprisoned without option

3,186

2,579

5,765

3,789

Bound over

770

344

1,114

1,424

Cautioned or discharged

4,077

2,921

6,998

7,437

Defendants fined and allowed

Expelled from the Colony

time to pay fine

Juvenile Offenders.

62

242

304

25

733

1,022

1,755

Fined

...

...

6,968

349

7,317

619

Sent to reformatory

85

66

151

165

...

Committed to approved

institution

50

56

106

85

Bound over

372

199

571

90

Placed on probation

32

38

70

78

Cautioned or discharged

18,181

333

18,514

2,680

Whipped

721

586

1,307

118

Imprisoned

64

30

94

Expelled from the Colony

280

265

545

Maintenance Cases.

Orders made

12

6

18

16

1,969 criminal prosecutions were brought before the District Officer sitting in his court in the New Territories.

War Crimes Trials.

War Crimes Courts, two in number, established in March, 1946, and September 1946, respectively, by Royal Warrant with authority to try Japanese War Criminals in respect of any war crime committed in the Far East Command area as directed by H.Q. F.A.R.E.L.F., continued to function throughout 1947. The courts were also competent to try cases of war crimes committed against British Empire nationals elsewhere, e.g. China, Formosa, Japan, or on the high seas, by arrangement with the Allied Power concerned. The accused are defended by qualified Japanese lawyers assisted in matters of procedure by British advisory officers. Progress during the year has been such that only one Court will function during 1948 to try out- standing cases.

At the end of 1946, 78 prisoners remained to stand their trial, and arrangements had been made for the recovery of 31 others from Japan to face similar charges. During 1947 55 Japanese were located in Japan and brought to Hong Kong for trial: 92 were repatriated. Altogether 28 cases, involving 75 accused were heard during the year, as compared with 18 during 1946: 11 prisoners were sentenced to death and 57 to terms of

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imprisonment ranging from one year to life sentence. There were 6 acquittals and one case involving one accused was dis- missed.

The Hong Kong War Trials during 1947 included those of Major-Generals Tanaka and Shoji, each of whom commanded a Japanese infantry regiment in the assault on Hong Kong in December, 1941; Admiral Sakonju who was accused of ordering 69 passengers of the British motor vessel "Behar", sunk in the Indian Ocean, to be butchered on the deck of a Japanese cruiser; Colonel Kanazawa, successor to Colonel Noma as head of the Japanese Gendarmerie in Hong Kong and Kowloon; and Captain Saito for atrocities in prisoner-of-war camps. In addition Lieutenant-General Isogai Rensuke, who was Japanese Governor- General of Hong Kong from February 1942 to December 1944, was tried at Nanking by a Chinese War Crimes Court on evidence prepared by the Hong Kong War Crimes Investigation Team for causing the wholesale arrest and deportation of Chinese civilians from Hong Kong.

Only one Investigation Team was in operation in 1947, as compared with two in 1946. Investigations are at present in progress concerning "hell ships" in which 250,000 allied prisoners-of-war were transported by the Japanese from South East Asia in conditions of utmost inhumanity. These investi- gations are being undertaken in conjunction with American authorities and the trial, if such takes place, will be by an American Court in Japan with a British Officer as a member of the Court.

POLICE.

Duties of the Police.

The scope of police work in Hong Kong is varied and the Police Force is recruited from various sources. The traffic problem in the urban areas is similar to that in any busy modern city and to it is added the control of some 60,000 street hawkers. The detection and prevention of crime is complicated by the proximity of the border over which all persons of Chinese race are in practice permitted to pass freely to and from Chinese territory. The policing of the Colony's territorial waters is carried out by a fleet of launches manned by about 260 men who compose the component known as the Water Police. The long and deeply indented coast line with its many fishing villages, accessible more easily by sea than by land, has to be patrolled and protected from piracy. The New Territories have few roads (there are no roads on the islands) and the rugged, inhospitable nature of the terrain is a perpetual tempta- tion to the more primitive forms of banditry.

Organisation and Composition of the Police Force.

The authorized establishment of the Police Force is 3,325 all ranks, but at the close of 1947 the actual strength was only 2,807. Of this number the vast majority of the rank and file

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'were Cantonese, i.e. Chinese belonging to Hong Kong or coming from the Chinese Province of Kwangtung. A contingent of rather less than 300 men from Shantung recruited because of their superior physique is maintained. The Indian Con- tingent, which before the war numbered 800, is in process of reformation on a more limited scale and up to the end of the year 62 members of the contingent had returned from India where a special Indian Officer of the Hong Kong Government has been employed for the past year in contacting them and making arrangements for their return. There is also an Emergency Unit of 78 men.

The Force is commanded by a Commissioner who is assisted by two Deputy Commissioners and 24 Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents. There is an Inspectorate of 296 of whom 104 are local officers and the remainder Europeans. The Island of Hong Kong is under the direct command of a Senior Superintendent, known as the Commanding Officer Hong Kong, who is assisted by three Assistant Superintendents each in charge of a division of the Island. Similarly, Kowloon and the New Territories come under the control of a Commanding Officer of similar rank who is assisted by 4 Assistant Superin- tendents, each in charge of a division of the mainland. The Water Police is under the control of an Assistant Superinten- dent. Other branches of the Force include the Special Branch which is under the control of a Senior Superintendent; the Criminal Investigation Branch and the Anti-Corruption Branch.

Policing of the New Territories.

At the beginning of 1947, the Police Force had only in part-though it was the greater part-resumed their pre-war responsibilities, but on the 1st April, policing of the New Territories, which until then had remained in the hands of the 3rd Commando Brigade, was taken over by the Police and the complete policing of the Colony thus returned to the civil authorities.

Material Difficulties.

Apart from the difficulty of creating afresh a Police Force of reliable and trustworthy personnel, one of the main difficul- ties which has been experienced by the Commissioner and his officers in discharging their functions of maintaining law and order has been the procurement of suitable buildings for use as Police Stations. Of the 41 stations in existence before the war, 22 were completely razed during hostilities and the other 19 were damaged, many of them seriously. Even to-day, none of those which were completely destroyed has been rebuilt but many of the damaged stations have been, to a greater or lesser extent, rehabilitated. Other stations have been sited in requisitioned premises, or, in some of the more remote localities, in temporary hutments. Many of the requisitioned buildings are not unnaturally quite unsuitable as Police Stations and

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this has not made any easier the task which the Force faces in maintaining law and order. Strenuous efforts are being made to improve the situation and plans are being made to rebuild four of the demolished buildings at an early date.

Police Training School.

To assist in rebuilding a trustworthy Police Force a Police Training School was re-established in October, 1945, to supply trained recruits to the Force. The school is under the control of a Commandant of the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police who is assisted by two European inspectors and six Chinese inspectors. At first the school was established in requisitioned premises at Stanley but it was later moved to Kowloon. In order to release these premises as early as possible, arrangements are under way for the establishment of a permanent training school at Aberdeen in a location more suitable for the purpose.

The course of instruction for rank and file is a period of three months and the syllabus of instruction has been greatly amplified during the year to keep abreast of modern police methods. Instruction now includes training in the use of most firearms, as well as tear smoke grenades and in such subjects as general criminal law, forensic medicine, public hygiene, police orders, routine, and so on. 615 recruits were passed out by the school during the year.

Traffic Control.

In the introduction to this section, reference was made to the traffic problem in the urban areas. This is now one of the most acute problems facing the Police Force. The continued importation into the Colony of vehicles both private and com- mercial has presented acute problems of road congestion and parking space. Some progress towards solving these problems has been made during the year by means of the introduction of one-way traffic at busy centres and by the provision of additional parking facilities. The extent to which the problems can be resolved is limited by the lack of open spaces in the urban area.

Special wireless control devices and additional motor cycles have been obtained during the year and are proving of great assistance not only in control of traffic but also towards the general maintenance of law and order in the Colony.

Decorations.

During the year, His Excellency the Governor presented a number of decorations which had been awarded to members of the Police Force. Most of these were for services performed during the war but a number also were for gallantry or devotion to duty since the liberation of the Colony. Among the latter, was an award of the King's Police Medal for Gallantry to a

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Police sub-inspector who saved 10 lives when a disastrous fire gutted the s.s. "Sai On" as she lay alongside on 4th February, 1947.

Types of Crime.

There was a marked decrease in the desperate type of crime which was very prevalent during the months following the war.

Serious crime for the period under review amounted to 13,704 cases, a figure which is considerably below the corres- ponding figure for the year 1940. There were 1,651 reports of burglary and larceny from dwellings and although this type of offence is decreasing, the figure is still very high compared with pre-war years. Thefts of all types amounted in property value to $3 million of which almost $500,000 were recovered. There were 375 reports of robbery; 180 robbers were prosecuted in respect of 83 cases. Altogether, 6,303 persons were prosecuted during the year for serious offences and 99,166 for minor offences.

A wave of extortion, accompanied by the placing of bombs in threatened premises occurred during the early part of the year, but this campaign came to a sudden end with the trial and execution of the leader of a gang styled, "The Overseas Chinese Youth Movement Party," which had battened on various hotels, restaurants, theatres and other such establishments for some months.

On the 1st of January, 1947, a European Public Works Department officer was killed whilst bravely tackling armed robbers who held up a railbus on the Kowloon-Canton Railway a short distance north of Shatin.

Triad Society elements engaged in monopolies and "pro- tection" rackets continued to flourish but marked progress was made during the year by the Police in dealing with them. Altogether, 77 Triad members were convicted and imprisoned for such offences as membership of Triad Societies, demanding money with menaces, disorderly conduct, possession of weapons and so on. In addition, 108 Chinese males were dealt with by deportation for Triad society activities and 14 were dealt with as vagrants. 27 Triad groups have been discovered in Hong Kong of which the most actively lawless appears to be the Wo Shing Wo.

PRISONS.

The Prison Buildings.

Hong Kong in 1941 possessed three prisons but after the liberation of the Colony it was not until 1st October, 1947, that all three institutions were again in operation. The main gaol, Stanley Prison, which is situated in rural surroundings on Stanley Peninsula in the southeastern corner of Hong Kong, is probably the best and most modern building of its kind in the Colonial Empire. Built in 1937 it is architecturally a fine prison and is admirably suited for housing convicts, old offenders and hardened criminals. It was originally built to

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accommodate 1,559 prisoners but under present conditions it is consistently overcrowded with a population varying between 2,000 and 3,000 male prisoners and including in its number first offenders, juveniles and adults. In these circumstances great difficulties have been placed in the way of correct classi- fication and the segregation of the different classes of prisoners and much effort has been expended to provide alternative accommodation for these purposes without encroaching unduly on funds and building materials required for other urgent works of rehabilitation.

The former female prison which was situated on the main- land in the outskirts of Kowloon suffered very heavy damage as a result of the war and it was not until well on in the course of the year under review that it could be repaired and brought into use. In the meantime the female prisoners were accom- modated in Stanley Prison and such segregation as was possible in the circumstances was arranged. On 1st October, the female prisoners were transferred to the female prison which had by that time been repaired and made habitable. The accom- modation provides for 250 persons and the adjoining staff quarters have been put in order. Flower and vegetable gardens have been laid out and industries including laundry work, sewing and weaving have been instituted for prisoners serving long sentences.

The former Victoria Gaol suffered considerable damage during the war. Situated in the urban area of Hong Kong its position is convenient for the Courts, and cell accommodation for 150 remand prisoners was repaired and brought into use during 1946. Although the building is far from satisfactory, being the remains of the Colony's first prison, a dungeon-like relic of Victorian prison design, the lack of alternative accom- modation renders the continuance of its use necessary. Repairs have been gradually extended within the prison to provide accommodation also for persons held in custody pending deportation, as well as for debtors, appellants and prisoners serving sentences of one month or less. A separate section for young persons in each category is maintained.

Young Prisoners.

In this category are grouped young prisoners between the ages of 16 and 21 years. There is, so far, no Borstal institute in the Colony and until the end of 1947 lads of Borstal age continued to be housed in Stanley Prison. Every effort is made to keep them separate from hardened criminals but nothing short of the establishment of a separate institution of the Borstal type can be really satisfactory. Fortunately, a start, albeit on a temporary basis, will be made shortly in this direc- tion. Two war-time food stores situated within about 200 yards of Stanley Prison have been taken over and are at the present time being repaired and adapted. When completed the estab- lishment which will be known as "The Young Prisoners' Training Centre", will accommodate a maximum of 100 prisoners. In the meantime, young male prisoners have been moved into

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the old Printing Department in Stanley Prison which was recently vacated by the female prisoners on the reopening of Lai Chi Kok female prison. Every effort is made to keep them adequately occupied and a curriculum has been drawn up which includes extra-mural labour for those serving short sentences and gardening, carpentry, tailoring, rattan working and making of mail bags for those under long sentences. All Young Prisoners, whether on short sentence or long sentence, undergo physical training and attend school.

Juveniles.

These comprise youths from 8 to 16 years of age. In December, 1946, it was possible to open a temporary reformatory for boys in this age group by converting concrete storage huts, which were built before the war to store food reserves, to suit the purpose. This reformatory which was the first "open" institution in the Colony for delinquents is in the Stanley area and is administered from Stanley Prison, although it is some distance from the prison itself and segregation is complete. Excellent progress has been made during the first year of this institution. Neighbouring hillsides are being progressively cleared of bush, terraced for soil conservation and brought into cultivation as vegetable gardens. Poultry and rabbits are kept and pig sties have just been completed. School work and trade instruction, together with physical training, organised competi- tive games, walks and the encouragement of hobbies all take their part in the training and development of these youngsters. Unfortunately, accommodation is limited to 100 but it is hoped that the good work which is being done in this direction may at a later stage be expanded.

Prisoners.

The total number of persons committed to prisons during the year was 14,743 as compared with 8,963 in the previous year and 16,146 in 1939. The daily average of persons serving sen- tences was 2,176. The vast majority of prisoners were Chinese. For instance, on 31st December, 1947, out of a total of 2,579 (including 111 females), 2,439 were Chinese, 11 Indians, 19 Europeans and 110 Japanese war criminals.

Staff.

The European establishment of the prison is considerably under-staffed. Out of a total of 69 of the establishment, there is only a strength of 47, of whom 12 were recruited in 1947. Apart from these, 95 Indians have recently returned to the Colony and these, together with locally recruited Portuguese and Chinese personnel are gradually being shaped into a staff under rigorous training and by means of elimination of those who fail to reach the required standard. During the course of the year under review, facilities for the staff at Stanley have been con- siderably improved: tennis courts and a bowling green have been relaid and these, together with the Prison Officers' Club, have provided much needed recreational facilities.

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"Fireworks display in Hong Kong Harbour on the occasion

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PUBLIC UTILITIES

Chapter 10.

The Colony's water supply is undertaken by the Public Works Department of the Government. The generation of electric power is in the hands of two private companies one of which operates on the Island of Hong Kong and one in Kowloon and the New Territories. Domestic gas is supplied on both sides of the Harbour by the Hong Kong and China Gas Co., Ltd.

Waterworks Section,

There are no large rivers or underground sources of water and the Colony has to depend for its water supply on the collection in impounding reservoirs of the rains falling on upland gathering grounds. These reservoirs are thirteen in number and collect the heavy south-west monsoon rains between May and September. Little rain falls in the remaining months of the year, so that the storage necessary to provide for an all- the-year round supply and for occasional droughts is relatively heavy. The total capacity of existing reservoirs is 5,970 million gallons, only 2,362 million of which are on the island. Of the 3,608 million gallons on the mainland, 2,921 million are contained in the Jubilee Reservoir at Shing Mun. This reservoir is the largest in the Colony and the dam forming it is the tallest in the Empire. To augment the run-off from areas draining directly into the reservoirs about 33 miles of catchwater channels have been constructed on the hillsides to lead the water from other areas, normally draining elsewhere, into the reservoirs.

Despite the completion of the Shing Mun Valley Scheme in 1941, the increased growth of the population resulted in a demand still in excess of the available resources, and investiga- tions were commenced for a new source of supply in Tai Lam Chung Valley on the mainland. This work has been recom- menced during the year with extensive drilling and a geophysical survey, which it is hoped will enable an early start to be made on a new scheme which will approximately double the Colony's water resources within the next ten years.

101

Slightly over 40% of the Island's consumption is supplied from the mainland reservoirs, the water being conveyed across the harbour in two 21′′ diameter submarine pipes. On account of the hilly nature of the Island a big percentage of the water has to be pumped, and in some areas re-pumped, necessitating a large number of pumps and service reservoirs. Most of the water supplied is both filtered and purified by chemical treatment and a satisfactory standard of purity is maintained. All water is supplied to consumers through meters and the charge is based on the total cost of provision including capital charges.

The system of recording and computing statistics, hurriedly reinstated at the re-occupation, has been completely revised and improved, and the rehabilitation of the Waterworks has progressed to such an extent that daily consumption reached record figures both on the island and mainland during the year. Owing to the late end of the rainy season it was found possible to maintain an unrestricted supply till the end of the year. The purification of the filtered water has suffered somewhat owing to the failure of supplies of Chlorine Gas which neces- sitated a reversion to the use of Chloride of Lime.

The entire 8,000,000 gallons filtration plant, which was looted during the Japanese occupation, has now with the exception of the pumps been replaced, although construction work has not yet started. The Botanical Gardens Service Reservoir whose capacity had been reduced by leakage to little more than 1,000,000 gallons, has now been restored to its full capacity of 4.6 million gallons: it is from this reservoir that the. city area on the island is supplied. Major repairs were also carried out to Piper's Hill Service Reservoir and to the granite pitching of the main dam at Jubilee Reservoir. The stock of sand at the Slow Sand Filters which had reached a dangerously low level during the occupation was gradually built up during the year; some of this plant is to be replaced by filters of the rapid gravity type in the near future.

Considerable difficulty has been experienced in obtaining adequate supplies of pipe, but, in spite of this, some 26,000 feet of main from 11" upwards on the Island and 7,300 feet on the mainland were laid; these works included extensions and improvements of the existing system as well as the replacement of outworn piping. All pedestal hydrants and most of the ground hydrants have been repaired or replaced. The restora- tion to its pre-war efficiency of the meter service has also been retarded by difficulties of supply, but the receipt of 7,000 new meters from England and the completion of 18,700 repairs to existing meters enabled the service to be partly restored, so that by the end of the year about 23,300 consumers were registered.

Electricity.

In 1941 the generating plant of the Hong Kong Electric Company which supplies the Island of Hong Kong, had a total capacity of 54,000 kw. The plant was severely neglected.

102

during the Japanese occupation, and it was only with difficulty that on the liberation of the Colony a generating capacity of 17,000 kw. was achieved. As a result of strenuous efforts on the part of the company's staff, the capacity has been greatly increased and at present stands at 25,000 kw. supplied by high pressure equipment and 16,500 kw. by low pressure equipment. The capacity of the boilers is 232,000 lbs. The demand for current has continued at a very high rate and, to satisfy this demand, it has been necessary for the plant to be operated almost continuously without proper overhaul and without maintenance up to the normal standard. For this reason and particularly in view of the non-arrival of essential spares for the generating station, it was necessary during the year under review to limit the peak load to 16,500 kw. In spite of this restriction, 2,223 new consumers were connected to the supply during 1947, and at the end of the year the total number of consumers was 38,227. In addition, 257 street lamps were replaced: this work had hitherto been severely delayed by the shortage of cables and spare parts. Altogether 63,983,401 units of electricity were sold by the company during 1947.

The charges for electric current were successively reduced during the year as operating conditions improved. In January the charges for lighting and power for domestic consumption stood at 48 cents and 162 cents respectively. By December, these figures had been reduced to 37 cts. and 14 cts. A pro- portionate reduction was also effected in the charges to industrial consumers. The cost of coal and other materials continues to be high and further reduction in the near future is not considered to be likely.

It is not expected that this company will be able to increase its output of current during 1948 and it may well become necessary even to apply further restrictions on the supply at peak load periods. New equipment ordered in England in 1945 and due for delivery in the latter half of 1947 has not yet arrived and the present equipment being generally in an over- loaded and overstrained condition must be husbanded as well as the circumstances permit. Plans are well advanced for the conversion of a part of the existing boiler plant to oil firing. It is hoped that in due course this will result in further reduc- tion in the charges for supply of current to consumers.

The China Light and Power Co., Ltd., who are suppliers of electricity to Kowloon and the New Territories, have made great strides in the rehabilitation of the Company's undertaking during the past year. Reconditioning of the 12,500 kw. turbo alternator, which had not been brought into operation since the war, was completed during the year and the total generating capacity of the station in December, 1947, amounted to 30,500 kw. A further 20,000 kw. high pressure turbo alternator is at present being erected and when this has been done the total capacity

103

of the station will be 50,500 kw. The boiler plant capacity is 465,000 lbs., of which units amounting to a capacity of 185,000 lbs. have been converted to oil firing. Further new equipment consisting of a 20,000 kw. turbo alternator and a new oil-fired high pressure boiler has been ordered; the latter is expected to be installed by the end of 1949, but the generator will probably not be delivered before the second half of 1952.

During the course of the year, the charges for the supply of current have been reduced on four occasions. The following are the comparative figures for 1941, 1946 and 31st December, 1947:

Lighting

1941.

18 cts.

1946.

31st December, 1947.

71.28

40 cts.

:

+10%

cts.

Power

7 cts.

27.72

18 cts.

...

+10%

cts.

Cooking & Heating.

5 cts.

19.8

13 cts.

...

+10%

cts.

The factors which have made these reductions possible are, apart from economy in the operation of the company's plant, the increase in sales of current during the year and the gradual elimination of thefts of current. During the course of the year, 483 new factories were connected to the Company's mains.

Gas.

The Hong Kong and China Gas Company, which supplies domestic gas to consumers on both sides of the harbour, was first established in the Colony in 1861.

The neglect to which the Company's plant was subjected during the enemy's occupation of the Colony has not yet been entirely remedied in spite of the intensive efforts of the Com- pany's staff. Great difficulty is being experienced in clearing mains which became choked during the war years, and supplies of replacement materials are still not satisfactory. A consider- able demand for new supplies of gas is being encountered, and is being met as speedily as the delivery of appliances and other essential materials will allow. In spite of difficulties, there has been a large increase in output during 1947 both in Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Progress has been made in the extension of street lighting during the past year, and further extensions are being made as rapidly as new supplies of lamps and standards to replace those destroyed during the occupation will permit.

104

The Port.

COMMUNICATIONS

Chapter 11.

The fortunes of a major port and commercial entrepôt are to a great extent dependent on the efficiency of its communica- tions both internal and external, and in particular on its shipping. Before the war frequent scheduled passenger and cargo services connected Hong Kong with Europe, Africa, Australia, America and the Middle East. Ships of many nations were to be seen in the Harbour, the most frequent callers, apart from the British P. & O., Blue Funnel, Ben Line, Bank Line, Ellerman's and Canadian Pacific lines being American, Scan- dinavian and French Ships. In addition to the ocean-going tonnage, there was a considerable traffic in cargo and passengers between Hong Kong and the neighbouring provinces of China; this was largely carried on by sailing and motor junks, but river steamers, British and foreign, also accounted for a fair propor- tion. A large number of steam launches and junks served the port as ancillary craft for the larger shipping. The year 1947 has seen the resumption, although at present with only one vessel, the R.M.S. "Canton", of the P. & O. passenger service from the United Kingdom, and also of commercial services to Japan. Other services, already resumed between the liberation of the Colony and the beginning of 1947, have continued in operation, and with more vessels becoming available, river steamer sailings to Canton, West River ports and Macao have increased in number, in spite of the severe import restrictions imposed by the Chinese Government, and the threats of terrorist organisations, for the purpose of extortion, to place bombs aboard particular vessels. Approximately 1,000 junks were engaged during the year under review in trading between Hong Kong and the ports of South China; of these 186 were mechani- cally propelled. Mechanical propulsion for junks first began in the year 1940 as a means of combatting the Japanese blockade of South China. The trend developed during the years of the Japanese occupation, as their losses in merchant shipping forced the Japanese to rely to an ever greater extent upon this type of craft for the maintenance of their communications. The manifest advantages of motor junks over sailing junks will undoubtedly result in a further marked development in this direction.

105

The rehabilitation of port services and the clearing of the harbour area have made further considerable progress in the past twelve months. Lighters, still at the end of 1946 a potential source of congestion, are now available in adequate numbers, and the possibility of delays to shipping on this account is remote. Some congestion of covered storage space, caused by the import restrictions imposed by the Chinese Government, was experienced, but at no time did it reach serious proportions. Facilities for berthing, both alongside and at buoys, are now adequate for the volume of shipping at present visiting the port. Further improvement in the number of mooring buoys is depen- dent upon the arrival of new material; it is hoped that the end of the year 1948 will see the pre-war position fully restored. The removal of wrecks, both major and minor, from the harbour has made great progress during 1947, and only two major wrecks now remain in the commercial section of the harbour. Dry- docking and repair facilities, which were extensive before the war, are now fully restored, and the construction of ships up to 10,000 tons is again possible, subject only to the limitations imposed by shortage of supplies. To facilitate communications between ships and their agents and the Harbour Authorities, a lamp signalling service, for which a small charge is made, has been instituted; lamp stations have been installed both in Hong Kong and in Kowloon.

In accordance with the recommendation of a committee appointed locally in 1946, a Port Committee, on which are represented British and Chinese shipping and commercial interests as well as the Harbour, Railway and Public Works Authorities, was appointed to advise on major policy issues with regard to the administration of the Port. A Port Executive Committee, originally formed in 1945, continues to exercise day to day control over the Port. The welfare arrangements for visiting seamen are supervised by a Port Welfare Committee appointed by the Governor.

The year 1947 has seen a marked increase over 1946, in the total number and tonnage of ships entering and leaving the Port. Altogether 51,425 vessels with an aggregate tonnage of 18,990,465 nett tons entered and cleared the Port during the, year: this shows an increase over 1946 of 5,941 vessels, amounting to 7,746,154 tons.

The following tables give the comparative figures for 1946 and 1947 for vessels engaged in foreign and local trade respec- tively:

Class of Vessels

FOREIGN TRADE.

Year-1946

Year-1947

No.

British Ocean Going

1,671

Tonnage 4,546,106

No.

Tonnage

2,245

6,049,000

Foreign Ocean Going

1,476

3,590,083

3,031

8,317,940

British River Steamers

1,138

963,070

2,815

1,463,477

Foreign River Steamers

366

64,866

1,314

261,452

Steamships under 60 tons

3,451

89,881

4,152

93,771

Junks, Foreign Trade ...

29,820

1,734,764

24,589

2,318,099

Total

37,922

10,988,770

38,146

18,503,739

106

Steam Launches

Junks

GRAND TOTAL·

LOCAL TRADE.

2,242

117,383

5,835

249,592

5,320

138,158

7,444

237,134

45,484

11,244,311

51,425

18,990,465

One major shipping disaster occurred in the Port during the year when the 1,900 ton s.s. Sai On caught fire early in the morning of 4th February, 1947, as she lay alongside a wharf on Hong Kong Island. Over 130 lives were lost in spite of the efforts of members of the Fire Brigade, to 3 of whom decorations were awarded for their gallant conduct on this occasion. Two constables also were awarded the Colonial Police Medal for gallantry on the same occasion, and the George Medal was awarded to a bystander for his part in the rescue work.

The Ferries.

The year 1947 was marked by further progress in the restoration of the ferry services to the pre-war standard. The Star Ferry which operates the shortest crossing of the Harbour from a point in the centre of Victoria to Tsim Sha Tsui at the southern extremity of the Kowloon Peninsula, maintained a ten minutes service with four launches throughout the year: towards the end of the year the five-minutes service which was normal before the war was reintroduced at rush hours. A fifth launch, salvaged from the Pearl River at Bocca Tigris, has been entirely reconstructed, and should be in service again shortly. The sixth and last of the Company's pre-war fleet is not expected to be in service until the end of 1948.

Services on the routes operated by the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company were also further improved. Sailings on the Mongkok and Shamshuipo routes were increased to a 12 minute service during rush hours, and the hours of service were extended. The frequency of the Jordan Road passenger service was also increased, and there are now four sailings to Cheung Chau daily and six on Sundays and holidays. Some of the routes in operation before the war have not yet been reopened for the lack of ferry piers, and the existing services are consequently congested with extra traffic from such thickly populated areas as Kowloon City, Hung Hom, Sai Wan Ho and Tsun Wan.

The vehicular ferry at the beginning of the year was main- taining a 40-minute service: this was reduced first of all to 36 minutes, and later with the repair of a second launch to a service alternating between 12 and 24 minutes. The hours of service were also extended. Nevertheless, for the greater part of the year the congestion on this route was such that vehicles frequently had to wait 2 or 3 hours for a passage. The comple- tion of repairs on the third vessel, which, it is hoped, will be achieved in April or May 1948, will enable the company to provide a 12-minute service throughout the day.

107

Operating costs have remained at a high level and have even in some respects increased, and although traffic has become heavier even than before it has not been possible to reduce the fares for fare-paying passengers. Season tickets, however be- came available once more on the Star Ferry route.

Air Services.

Hong Kong is a most important link in the network of post-war aviation. Saigon is 5 hours flying distance away and Singapore can be reached in 9 hours flying time on the direct route. Only four hours away lies Nanking, Manila little more, and Japan can be reached in one stage by flying boat in 91⁄2 hours. The regular weekly flying boat service to the United Kingdom now takes 5 days instead of the 6 which were formerly required. It is possible to reach Europe in 3 days by a Norwegian Airline operating a land plane service approximately three times each month. The Colony is connected with the Chinese airports of Shanghai, Nanking, Chungking, Kunming, Hainan Island and with Canton, which is only 40 minutes flying time from the Colony.

The Colony's only airfield, Kai Tak, is situated to the north- east of Kowloon and 15 minutes drive from Kowloon's main hotel. Situated as it is, close under a range of steep hills rising at one point to a height of 1800 feet, it is an airfield which by modern standards, indeed, by any standards, leaves much to be desired. Although the Japanese during their occupation of the Colony considerably increased the area of the aerodrome, doubling its size at the expense of adjacent Chinese houses and fields, and of the former civil airport buildings and hangars, the aerodrome remains inadequate for heavy aircraft, (although modern four-engined aircraft use it regularly) and its short- comings were emphasised by the aeronautical developments which had taken place during the late war. The greatest importance is attached to providing the Colony with a new airport adequate to meet its needs which will conform with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

In the meantime the existing facilities of Kai Tak for the handling of passengers have been much improved by the con- struction of a temporary building to house waiting rooms, restaurant and facilities for immigration, customs and health inspections, while the facilities for aircraft were ameliorated by the construction of hardstanding and the installation of additional navigational aids. Owing to the difficult approaches, the airfield is not open at night but emergency lighting is installed and has twice been successfully used during the year under review.

The traffic passing through the airport has increased by leaps and bounds. Thirteen Airline companies now use Kai Tak as a regular calling point on their routes. 5,486 aircraft move- ments were recorded during the year and 81,815 passengers were carried. Particularly impressive is the fact that mail and freight conveyed through the airport during 1947 was 1,036 tons com-

108

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pared with 236 tons in 1946. Of the companies regularly calling at Hong Kong, four are British, 2 Chinese and 3 Philippine, while America, France, Norway and Siam claim one apiece. The Chinese air transport companies continue to carry the bulk of the traffic in and out of the Colony and during 1947 handled 63% of the passengers. Although fares remain on the whole high by comparison with those prevailing in Europe and America, there were considerable reductions: a journey to Manila at the beginning of the year cost $800 and at the end of the year $300, while the fare to Shanghai has been reduced from $700 to $380. Airport fees remain at the same level as in 1937.

In spite of the hazardous approach to Kai Tak the aerodrome still retains its record that no fare-paying passenger carried by a civil aircraft has yet been injured since flying began in 1930. During 1947, one accident occurred when a plane flying in from the Philippines crashed 50 feet below the peak of Mount Parker with the loss of its crew. No passengers were carried.

After the re-occupation of the Colony air traffic control services were manned by the Royal Air Force, but during the year under review the demobilisation of service personnel before it was possible to obtain qualified civil staff caused con- siderable difficulties and resulted in restrictions in the use and operation of the airfield. By the end of the year these difficulties had been overcome and the majority of these services are now staffed by civilian employees.

Aviation relations with China were placed on a mutually satisfactory basis by an agreement between China and the United Kingdom which was negotiated in Nanking during the early part of the year by representatives from London and Hong Kong. The agreement, which was signed on 23rd July, 1947, gave British airlines the right to use four of China's airports. As a result of this agreement a company known as Hong Kong Airways Ltd. was formed with the backing of the British Over- seas Airways Corporation to operate routes to Shanghai and Canton and the first British scheduled service to China arrived in Shanghai on 2nd December. A similar agreement with the Philippines Government was negotiated in Manila in December, 1947, but has not yet been signed.

The Railway.

Kowloon is the southern terminal of a railway system extending to the north as far as Hankow in central China. From Shumchun on the border of the New Territories northward to Canton the route is now operated by the Canton-Hankow Rail- way, and is referred to as the southern section of that line. From Shumchun south to Kowloon, a distance representing 36 kilometres out of a total of 183 kilometres, from Kowloon to Canton, the railway is operated by the Hong Kong Government and is known as the British Section of the Kowloon-Canton Railway. As the railway is operated in two sections an agree- ment was in force before the war whereby each section collected

109

its own local fares, while the rates for through traffic between Kowloon and Canton were divided in the proportion of 28 per cent to the British Section and 72 per cent to the Chinese Section. At the present time, pending the conclusion of a new agreement, the British Section is receiving a share of 20 per cent of the receipts and a terminal charge of 20 cents per ton on all traffic originating at Kowloon.

Through traffic between the Colony and China has been heavy throughout the year and the number of passengers carried was 96 per cent greater than in 1946. This is partly to be attributed to the large and steady growth in the population of both Canton and Hong Kong since the end of the war and partly also to the improvement in the train service. Altogether, 1,900,640 through passengers were carried during the year. Local passenger traffic also increased though not to the same extent. The increase, amounting to 58%, was due to an improvement in the train service resulting from the arrival of locomotives from Great Britain and also to the repairs and rehabilitation on rolling stock and the gradual repopulation of the New Territories. Considerable competition had been felt by the railway from lorries which, relying upon the lack of any bus service on the eastern side of the New Territories, used to carry passengers in addition to their normal load of goods on the journey from the border to Kowloon. To eliminate this competition, a bus service was inaugurated on 7th October, the fares being, by agreement, the same as those charged by the railway. This service has already had the effect of practically eliminating the numerous lorries operating on this route and has resulted in increased railway traffic, while the Government has also received royalties from the bus company for passengers carried.

There was a decrease in through goods traffic by comparison with 1946 as the following figures illustrate:

Up Down Total

1947

123,548 tons

4,212 tons

1946 151,9343 tons 36,045 tons 187,9801 tons 127,760 tons

The decrease was in part due to the diversion to river transport of quantities of U.N.R.R.A. supplies and railway materials required for the Canton-Hankow Railway and other Chinese railways in the interior. Other factors were the decrease of imports of commercial goods into China from Hong Kong caused by the restrictions imposed by the Chinese Government and the continuous decline in the value of Chinese currency throughout the year. Hopes that the link established in July 1946 with the Canton-Hankow Railway would result in a steadily increasing volume of goods traffic between the Colony and the interior of China did not materialise. Local goods traffic was very small and consisted mainly of small consign- ments of farm produce. The reason may be that under the marketing schemes operated by Government, vegetables and fish are now conveyed to market in Government motor vehicles.

110

ex-

Train services were augmented during 1947; at the beginning of the year ten local passenger trains were running daily and 4 through fast trains to and from Canton as well as 2 through slow trains and an average of 2 goods trains daily. While the number of through slow and goods trains remained approxi- mately the same throughout the year, local trains were increased by 2 daily and the number of through fast trains to and from Canton was increased to 6. Considerable difficulty was perienced in the operation of goods trains. Deterioration in the condition of the wheels on U.N.R.R.A. wagons and the lack of proper wagon maintenance on the part of the Chinese Section led to a progressive decline in their efficiency and running. To combat this tendency, it was necessary to introduce a strict system of examination of all rolling stock at the border before it could be permitted to run over the British Section.

As an additional safety precaution, the speed of all goods trains was reduced to 20 miles per hour over the British Section from the 6th November.

Negotiations, which have been in progress over a period of two years, achieved fruition when the British Section secured recognition of its ownership of three locomotives, 1 65 ton breakdown crane, 14 machines, 27 coaches and 62 wagons, which had been moved to the interior during the Japanese occupation and were in the possession of the Canton-Hankow Railway. A certain amount of this equipment has already been returned, some has been sold and some will require repairs to enable it to make the journey to Hong Kong.

The total revenue for the period January-December, 1947, amounted to $5,900,920 while the expenditure for the same period was $2,217,564. A considerable contribution to the revenue was made by the collection of excess fares which amounted to $103,415. Two ticket inspectors and two booking clerks were continuously engaged in checking tickets on trains to keep to a minimum the number of passengers travelling without pay- ment of fares. The main cause of the trouble was the lack of control in Chinese territory which resulted in numerous passen- gers on the down trains entering British territory without tickets. Many of these were professional smugglers engaged in regular smuggling between Hong Kong and China. The checking of tickets at stations was also improved. A major item of expenditure during 1947 was the sum of $339,122.94 cts. on repairs to British Section rolling stock. Much more could have been done in this direction had the section been able to recover earlier the property which was held by the Canton-Hankow railway.

Roads.

In

The building and maintenance of roads in Hong Kong are subject to unusual topographical and climatic difficulties. most parts of the Colony the construction of a roadway, by virtue of the hilly nature of the country, involves considerable blasting operations. On the other hand the rock is not difficult

111

to blast and is suitable for road making so that there is no shortage of road-metal in the Colony. The climatic difficulties are no less considerable, since the heavy downpours of rain which are common during the summer months are sufficient to cause grave damage to any road surface which falls short of a high standard of maintenance and the repair of the damage once caused is liable to be made more difficult and expensive by further rains. In spite of these difficulties Hong Kong is reasonably well served with roads. Although the total area of the Colony is only 391 square miles, over 400 miles of roads are maintained, 173 miles of which are on the island of Hong Kong, 106 in Kowloon, and the remainder in the New Territories. About 90% of these roads are of modern metalled construction.

The increasing weight of traffic and the heavy rains during the summer of 1947 caused a progressive deterioration in the roads, weakened as they were by neglect during the period of the Japanese occupation. Repair work was much hampered by lack of plant and quarry facilities, as well as by the weather. Some plant arrived during the year but, in general, delivery from England was far behind schedule.

The quarry at Hok Un had been left in a very bad state by the Japanese, but the framework of the plant remained, and, by much improvisation and repairs carried out locally, aided by portable plant, a satisfactory output was achieved by the middle of the year; the installation of newly arrived plant caused a further progressive improvement. The pre-war quarry at Tsat Tse Mui was completely destroyed, and, to ensure a supply of stone for works on the island, a contract was let for the produc- tion of graded crushed stone from Morrison Hill which eased the situation very considerably. On completion of the contract the quarry will be taken over by Government when plant is available.

Despite these handicaps and a serious shortage of road rollers, a large programme of works was carried through. On the Tai Po Road, at Chek Nai Ping, the pre-war bridge had been replaced by the Japanese by an entirely inadequate culvert, with the result that there was grave danger that the road would be washed away during heavy rains. Advantage was taken of the necessity of replacing this culvert to carry out a realignment of the road over a distance of about mile, eliminating two dangerous bends.

Other major works carried out were the resurfacing of a section of Queen's Road West, a section of Chatham Road, Bon- ham Strand West and various other roads chiefly in the Wanchai and Yaumati areas. The Japanese-constructed road to Sai Kung was improved and resurfaced whilst surface sealing was carried out on about 20 miles of road in various districts. In addition, general repairs and maintenance were carried out throughout the Colony during the year, and about $400,000 worth of damage caused by the heavy rains in the summer was made good.

112

The shortage of steel precluded any work being carried out on the reconstruction of bridges but some preliminary work on the approaches and abutments of the bridges at Au Tau and Tai Wai was put in hand in the autumn.

Tramways.

The Hong Kong Tramway Company operates just over 19 miles of track-or 10 route miles. Its fleet of passenger cars is now restored to its prewar strength of 112, and the full prewar service involving the daily operation of 92 cars was restored during the latter part of the year. The number of passengers carried and the annual mileage covered have not yet reached their pre-war level, but evidence of the intensive and effec- tive efforts of the management to overcome all difficulties is provided by the following figures:-

Passengers Carried Car mileage

1941

1946

1947 80 millions 50 millions 661 millions 42 millions 21 millions 32 millions In view of the fact that only 15 tramcars were found to be serviceable when the Japanese surrendered, that overhead equipment had been largely dismantled, that workshops, stores and maintenance depots had been looted and stripped of plant, tools and machinery, and that supplies of replacement materials were slow and uncertain, it must be considered that a great deal has been done in the last two years. Rehabilitation is, of course, not yet complete: for instance while the general condition of the track is satisfactory, the renewal of certain sections, already overdue, cannot be effected until the delivery of new rails takes place.

Although labour and operating costs rose during the year (especially labour costs which were increased by 50% in Sep- tember as a result of strike action) the Company's fares were maintained at the same level throughout the year. The fares are charged upon a flat rate for any distance over any route, the maximum distance being 62 miles. Two classes of accom- modation are provided: the 1st Class fare is 20 cents and the 3rd class 10 cents. These fares are exactly twice the prewar fares.

Peak Tramway.

The Peak Tramway, or as it was then known, the Hong Kong High Level Tramway, was first opened for traffic on 2nd May, 1888, and has provided almost without interruption since that The time one of the fastest funicular services in the world. steepest gradient (at May Road) is 1 in 2. The original winding gear was steam driven and the cars were attached to each end of a single rope, but this system was not very satisfactory and in 1926 electric winding gear consisting of two drums in tandem with separate ropes of 5,000 feet was installed. This installation is still in use today.

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Until 1924, when Stubbs Road was opened, it was the only means of transport to the Peak. The subsequent construction of Magazine Gap Road and the closing of the Peak Hotel detracted greatly from its traffic. Nevertheless, a fifteen minute service of 97 cars daily was maintained from 6 a.m. to 12.15 a.m. until the Japanese attack on Hong Kong. During the hostilities considerable damage was done to the track, engine house and other installations. After repair, a limited service was run during the Japanese occupation until August 1944, when opera- tion ceased altogether.

The liberation of the Colony found the workshops stripped of equipment and tools and the Company's premises looted. Reconstruction was delayed by lack of equipment until Novem- ber, 1945, but on Christmas Day of that year a service of 25 cars daily was started again. At first traffic was entirely casual, but, with the repair of houses on the Peak, regular traffic grew and many workmen began using the cars daily. This service has been gradually increased until now 43 cars a day are run and extra cars whenever fine weather and holidays attract the casual traffic, on which the tramway now relies to a great extent. Regular traffic has declined during 1947 (particularly traffic to the mid-levels) but casual traffic has been heavier this year than during 1946.

Reconstruction, within the limits of the materials and spare parts available, has continued throughout the year.

The spare

car has been almost entirely rebuilt and is now in service. The other cars are to be reconditioned as soon as possible.

Bus Services.

Bus services in Kowloon and the New Territories are maintained by the Kowloon Motor Bus Company and on Hong Kong Island by the China Motor Bus Co., in accordance with franchises granted by the Government. Both companies have been hindered by the unsatisfactory supply position in fully reopening their bus routes and services; particularly difficult was the delivery of bus chassis from the United Kingdom and tools and machinery. The use of makeshift buses constructed from lorry chassis with built-on superstructure, was begun as an emergency measure in 1946, but it had to continue through 1947 in order that adequate services to cope with the traffic might be maintained. In Kowloon, 68 buses and 75 improvised buses were employed, and almost all pre-war bus routes were restored and a number of new bus routes between Kowloon and the New Territories were instituted. On the Island two further bus routes were resumed and the position is now that the 7 principal routes in operation before the war are once again open for traffic. 30 buses ordered during the Military Administration were delivered to the Kowloon Bus Co., and a further order for 50 buses including 20 double deckers, was placed during the year. The China Motor Bus Co. was not so fortunate in its deliveries of buses ordered from England.

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Operating costs in both companies increased during the year, principally on account of a rise in wages agreed between the company and the employees during the year. The heavy traffic which was experienced on all routes enabled the companies to absorb this increase in running costs without transmitting it in the form of increased fares to the public, and the general level of fares is about 100% greater than before the war. The Kowloon Bus Co. was able to make substantial reductions on the fares on suburban routes.

Other Vehicles.

A notable increase in the number of vehicles using the road was remarked during the year. At the end of 1947 the number of load-carrying vehicles had risen from 1,152 to 2,338. Taxis and public cars also showed a large increase totalling 595 against 195 at the end of 1946. The number of private cars registered with the Police was 3,714 compared with 1,450 in 1946: 393 motor cycles were also registered.

POST OFFICE.

General.

The Postmaster General, is responsible not only for the maintenance of the postal services within the Colony as well as outside, but also for the Government telecommunication service and the operation of the broadcasting stations (Z.B.W. and Z.E.K., Hong Kong). In the sphere of telecommunications he is also responsible for co-operation between the Government and Cable and Wireless Ltd. in whose hands commercial radio services lie.

The Postal Services.

These functions of the Post Office are discharged through the main post office situated in the centre of Victoria and 8 sub- offices, 3 of which are situated within the urban area on Hong Kong Island and 5 in Kowloon. This is still below the 1941 establishment. The year 1947 saw a steadily increasing business in practically every department of postal work. Receipts and dispatches of air and sea mail and of parcels were, on the whole, rather more than twice as large as in 1946, and there was also a large increase in the sale of stamps. The most remarkable feature of the increased activity of the post office was the enormous traffic in insured parcels despatched from the Colony- an increase over 1946 figures of 5,800 per cent. This is largely accounted for by the great number of food parcels despatched to the United Kingdom. Many airlines, of several nationalities, are used by the postal administration of Hong Kong for the dispatch of mail and the Colony is linked with almost all parts of the world. Apart from the very numerous services to cities in China, some of which operate as many as 4 times a week,

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URBAN COUNC.L PUBLIC LIBRARIES

(daily to Canton), twice weekly services are maintained to the United States via Manila and Honolulu and to the United Kingdom via Bangkok, Rangoon, Calcutta and Cairo, or alternatively, via Saigon and Paris. At Cairo mails connect for the whole of the African Continent. Times vary according to the weather, particularly in the summer when flying conditions. are sometimes far from ideal, but the average time from posting of a letter in United Kingdom to its receipt in Hong Kong is seven to ten days. Seamails are much less certain, depending as they do upon the somewhat irregular movements of shipping, and delays are liable to occur. On the average, the time taken for a letter or parcel by seamail is in the region of six weeks though times substantially less and substantially greater have been recorded. The postal service was severely tested early in the year when the termination of the lengthy shipping strike on the West Coast of America flooded the Colony with enormous quantities of delayed mail. Eusiness in the Money Order Office has also been brisk and there was an increase of almost 200% in the value of postal orders cashed in the Colony.

Telecommunications.

A close degree of co-operation exists between the Govern- ment Telecommunications Service and Messrs. Cable and Wireless Ltd. in the provision of telecommunications services for all purposes within and without the Colony. Commercial fixed point radio services are operated by Cable and Wireless Ltd. and are controlled from a central telegraph office in Victoria. The transmitters and receivers for these services are at the Government Radio Stations at Cape d'Aguilar and Victoria Peak where they are operated on behalf of Cable and Wireless Ltd. by personnel of the Government Telecommunications Depart- ment. Plans are at present being made for further development in this co-operation involving expansion at Cape d'Aguilar to the transmitters, accommodation and staff quarters: Cable and Wireless Ltd. will share the expense. Apart from this technical assistance to Cable and Wireless Ltd. the Government Tele- communications Department runs itself a marine radio service and an air radio service as well as having wide responsibilities for the maintenance of Government X-Ray equipment, licensing of radio transmitters and receivers and surveying all aeroplane and ship wirelesses. The marine radio service operated by Government broadcasts weather and typhoon warnings to shipping and acts as a channel for the passage of official and private messages between the Colony and ships at sea. It is also through this channel that incoming weather reports from ships are received. The service is maintained on both medium and short wave. The functions of the air radio service are principally to control the regularity and safety of air services between the Colony and other airports. A limited service for private messages to passengers is provided. Direction finding and navigational aids are also operated by this service. Since the reoccupation of the Colony aeronautical radio services had

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been predominantly dependent upon assistance from the Royal Air Force, but in the middle of 1947, the general demobilisation programme of the R.A.F. necessitated the withdrawal at short notice of their personnel from the air radio organisation. They have now been replaced by civilian operators: a 12-hour air radio service is maintained.

A considerable amount of new equipment has been installed by the Telecommunications Department during the year under review. This equipment includes short-wave marine service transmitters, various transmitters for the air radio service, a number of medium frequency air beacons as well as several receivers for all services. In addition, V.H.F. radio for the Police Force was greatly developed during the year and a system of communication now exists between Police launches and cars and a central control room in the city. This service has been of enormous benefit to the Police in the rapid detection of crime. The department also operates a large network of cables for telegraph station remote control, broadcasting and telephones. Extensive reconstruction of overhead routes

routes in the New Territories was carried out during the year mainly to effect improvements to Police communications.

The greater part of the traffic handled by Cable and Wireless Ltd. is by means of wireless telegraphy but the company's cables to Singapore and Manila are also being operated satisfactorily. The submarine cables to Shanghai which are owned jointly by Cable and Wireless Ltd. and the Great Northern Telegraph Company have not yet been restored. A radio-telephone service between Canton, Hong Kong and Manila was opened towards the end of the year.

Broadcasting.

a Government sub- Broadcasting is in the hands of department under the control of the Postmaster General. Transmissions are made from two stations, Z.B.W. (845 k/cs.) which is an English language Station and Z.E.K. (640 k/cs.) Short-wave from which are made broadcasts in Chinese. transmissions are also made from Z.B.W. on a frequency of 9.52 megacycles. The short-wave transmitter is that which was in use before the war, but the other transmitters have been installed since the reoccupation of the Colony. The power of all transmitters is low, being about 2 kilowatts.

Wireless listening in Hong Kong has shown a substantial increase not only over last year but also by comparison with pre-war figures. The number of wireless licences issued has increased steadily at the rate of 1000 per month and in December 1947, 21,886 licences were in force. This is 50% more than before the war. One of the greatest drawbacks experienced by the broadcasting service since the reoccupation of the Colony was the difficulty of arranging "live" studio programmes as many

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people had gone on leave after internment and had not returned. But the year 1947 has seen the return of much local talent, and this, together with the receipt of many B.B.C. Transcription Service records, has done much to raise the quality of the broadcasting productions. It has also been possible on this account to make a slight increase in the hours of broadcasting. Some difficulty was experienced during the year in maintaining adequate supplies of Chinese gramophone records on account of the disruption of production during the war, but there is reason to hope that the situation will improve gradually during the next few months. News bulletins are issued at lunch time on the short-wave transmitters in English and the Cantonese, Mandarin and Swatow dialects. In the evening the station relays the B.B.C. news in Cantonese and the English news and News Summary in the overseas service. Use has also been made of United Nations relays but this has been limited on account of the unsatisfactory reception. Plans are being laid for the extensive use of the broadcasting station as a medium for education.

Telephones.

An automatic public telephone service is provided by the Hong Kong Telephone Co. Ltd. In 1941 the company was serving 14,000 lines on Hong Kong Island and 5,100 on the mainland, as well as a system of 500 government and military lines on a separate automatic exchange. The company's equipment suffered neglect and under-maintenance during the Japanese occupation and a large amount of moveable stores and equipment was lost but every effort was made during 1946 to cope with the ever increasing demand for telephone services. Altogether, by the end of 1947, some 15,000 exchange lines had been put into service and 110 private branch exchanges of all sizes installed. Nevertheless, it is still not possible to supply service on demand, as replacements for out-worn equipment are subject to considerable delays in delivery. These difficulties have, for the time being, prevented the planned expansion of the service to 28,000 lines. The Peak Exchange and exchanges at Tsun Wan, Fanling and Taipo which were destroyed in 1941, are being rebuilt and a 12-storey building is to be erected in Kowloon during 1948 for the purpose of housing an additional exchange to cover future development on the mainland and to provide accommodation for the company's staff. During the year under review radio-telephone services between Hong Kong, Manila and Canton were re-opened. The cost of service which had risen in 1946 to 50% above 1941 rates, was maintained at that figure in spite of the continuing general rise in the cost of materials and operation throughout the year 1947.

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RESEARCH

Chapter 12.

During the years prior to the war a good deal of research was carried out in fisheries and marine biology, in natural history and in archaeology. A summary is given below with references to the more important publications in these fields.

Fisheries and Marine Biology.

Research in these subjects began in 1930. Large collections of fish and other marine organisms were made and studied by experts in several countries. Many papers were published in the "Hong Kong Naturalist" on the results of this work, including more than 200 pages on the fishes of the China Seas and a similar number of pages on other marine fauna and flora. These papers provide a useful background for present and future fisheries research.

Early in 1938 Government made a small grant to the Hong Kong University which enabled the salary and expenses of Mr. S. Y. Lin, a Chinese research worker, to be met. Mr. Lin carried out a very careful and thorough survey of the marine fishing industries of Hong Kong and also of fish culture in fresh-water and brackish water ponds in the New Territories. Papers on this work and on other aspects of local marine biology were published in the first two numbers of the "Journal of the Hong Kong Fisheries Research Station", in February and September, 1940. A book on the "Common Marine Food Fishes of Hong Kong" was published and was sold out; a second enlarged edition, in which 50 species were described, appeared in March, 1940. Another book was in the press dealing with the crabs, prawns and shell-fish of the Colony but the manuscripts and proofs were lost as a result of the war. A small fisheries research staff was appointed and plans were prepared for the building by Government of a Fisheries Research Station on Hong Kong Island. Research meantime continued at a temporary field station and in the Biology Department of the University. Unfortunately in the subsequent hostilities all preserved specimens, records and books were completely destroyed. In 1941 the Hong Kong Govern-

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ment voted the sum of $220,000 to cover the cost of the building of a Fisheries Research Station, and building was commenced on a site near the village of Aberdeen in the autumn. This was interrupted by the Japanese attack on the Colony. During the months immediately preceding the Japanese attack research was carried out on the tanning of nets and on the extraction of oil from the livers of different local fish. This work showed that it was possible to increase greatly the efficiency of the Chinese method of tanning by a small and easily grasped modification, and, secondly, that the livers of large sharks yielded oil very rich in vitamin A. Enough livers were obtained to yield a quantity of valuable oil suitable for hospital use and a small reserve of this oil was built up against an emergency. Mr. Lin, who during the Japanese occupation remained in Hong Kong, was able to continue the manufacture of this oil and to supply Stanley Internment Camp with it through the medium of the International Red Cross. Thousands of internees received the oil as a prophylactic against vitamin A deficiency and it proved of great value in the treatment of tropical ulcers and eye troubles caused by the deficiency of this vitamin in the camp diet.

Natural History.

The flora of Hong Kong has been very fully, though not completely, described in the "Flora Honkongensis" by G. B. Bentham, published in 1861 and in the "Flora of Kwangtung and Hong Kong" by S. T. Dunn and W. J. Tutcher, published in 1912. Attention has in particular been paid in recent years to the flowering shrubs and trees and the orchids; numerous papers in the "Hong Kong Naturalist" and three small books have been published on these plants. The only book published on the fauna of the Colony was one on the "Butterflies of Hong Kong" by Mr. J. C. Kershaw in 1905. This book has been out of print for many years and is extremely scarce. Attention has been paid in particular to the snakes, birds, mammals and butterflies, and many papers have been published. There is a need for a comprehensive natural history book dealing with the more conspicuous flowers and trees, the commoner insects and the larger animals.

Archaeology.

Prior to 1932, Dr. C. M. Heanley, Mr. W. Schofield and Professor J. L. Shellshear, D.S.O., had made some investigations into local archaeology, and in that year Father D. J. Finn, S.J., began an intensive study of the subject. Between 1932 and 1936 he published in the "Hong Kong Naturalist" thirteen detailed and very fully illustrated articles (245 pages) on his own discoveries which he correlated with archaeological work on the Chinese mainland. Serious research on this subject suffered a set-back in 1936 with the death of Father Finn, but his work had drawn the attention of archaeologists in all parts of the

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world to this corner of East Asia. Father Finn's conclusion as to the date of the sites which he excavated was that they were representative of the middle of the first millenium B.Č., and extended over the third quarter of that period. Since Father Finn's death, Father R. Maglioni has done some work in Hong Kong and considerably more in Kwangtung province, and has correlated the archaeology of Hong Kong with that of the mainland. His most recent paper appeared in the "Proceedings of the Third Congress of Prehistorians of the Far East", Singapore, January, 1938.

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Religion

الخالياا

The

Chapter 13.

Quite a wide variety of religions is represented in Hong Kong. By far the most numerous in their followers, of course,

are the Chinese creeds, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, and altogether about 150 Chinese temples are registered with the Secre- tary for Chinese Affairs under the provisions of Ordinance No. 7 of 1928 which requires the registration of all Chinese temples.

Christian Churches are well represented and there is a substantial number of churches in all parts of the Colony belonging to the Anglican Church of China, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Free Churches, all of which include English and Chinese speaking sections. There is also a Russian Orthodox Church in the Colony. The Indian Community has four places of worship, the Sikh Temple, two Mosques and a Parsee Temple. The greater part of the Indian population of Hong Kong is Muslim (about 1,100); Sikhs and Sindhis with about 300 each are also well represented. The Sikh temple which was standing before the war was destroyed during hos- tilities, but has now been replaced.

There is a Jewish Community of about 100-120 mainly composed of merchants. The community is very old, dating back to the foundation of the Colony. One synagogue is maintained.

The physical damage wrought upon the Christian churches of Hong Kong by the war and the Japanese occupation was not inconsiderable. St. John's Cathedral, seat of the Diocese of Victoria and South China, was heavily damaged, and the Free Churches also suffered badly. On the other hand most of the churches of the Chung Hwa Sheng Kung Hui, or the Chinese- speaking section of the Church of China, remained intact. At the same time there has been a marked resurgence of spiritual feeling and from all sides come reports of churches packed to overflowing every Sunday morning. Attendances at churches were at their greatest just after the liberation, and a slight falling-off has occurred, but on the whole, churches are fuller now than at any time before the war. The Church of China claims an increase since the war varying from 25% to 50% from congregation to congregation in the number of communicants and candidates for confirmation, while the Catholic Church

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estimates that its following in the Colony is no less than the 22,000 recorded before the war. Methodism also flourishes and resort has been had to the expedient of an 8.30 a.m. service at the Methodist Church in Wanchai in order to relieve pressure on the main noon-day service.

St. John's Cathedral for some time after the liberation of the Colony was used for services by the Free Churches and also by Chaplains of H.M. Forces, but the rehabilitation of the Methodist Church in Wanchai and the provision of a new Naval Chapel in Wellington Barracks (which is shared by all deno- minations) has terminated the necessity for such an arrange- ment. The shell of the Cathedral itself was rehabilitated during the year at a cost of $135,000. The next step will be the restoration of the interior including the bells and the organ.

The Roman Catholic Church maintains 12 public Churches in Hong Kong and Kowloon and many Chapels in different villages in the New Territories, and supports now an establish- ment of 150 priests and 270 Sisters which is substantially more than before the war. In the Church of China the Diocese of the Bishop of Hong Kong extends far beyond the borders of the Colony to cover the provinces of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Kweichow and Yunnan. Due to the increase in work in the western parts of the Diocese, a sub-division has been made whereby the latter two provinces have been formed into a district known as the Yun-Kwei District. An indication of the increasing volume of work is that during the year under review it became necessary to consecrate an Assistant Bishop. A new development is that now, instead of each parish being responsible for the payment of the stipend of its clergy, the responsibility devolves on the Diocesan Office, although each parish contributes 60% of its weekly collections and yearly donations.

The Churches play a very full part in the educational, social and charitable work of the Colony. Many charitable institutions and much relief work are undertaken by them, but, as social welfare is the subject of another chapter in this report, no detailed mention of particular activities is included in this section. Among the charitable ventures are numbered the Salvation Army Children's Home and the special relief work for the poor and destitute carried out by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The educational work is done mainly in the Grant-in-Aid Schools, which are referred to elsewhere in this report: a new departure in 1947 was the establishment of six primary schools for workers' children undertaken by the Bishop of Hong Kong in conjunction with labour unions. The social

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activities of the Churches are too numerous to mention but among them two of the most active are the Catholic Centre, which houses a chapel, library, reading room, lecture halls, etc., and the Sailors' and Soldiers' Home run under the auspices of the English Methodist Church.

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END OF PART II

PART III

THONG KONG

Deep

Frontier

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Scale

CasHe Peak

80

Kamlin

Tai Mo Sh

Spar

Tolo

Kowloon

Lantau

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Victoria

Stanley

GEOGRAPHY

Mirs Bay

Chapter 1.

Hong Kong lies just within the tropics, on the south-eastern coast of the Chinese Province of Kwangtung, and east of the Pearl River estuary. The Colony includes Hong Kong Island (32 square miles), on which is situated the capital city of Victoria, the ceded territory of Kowloon (34 square miles) Stonecutters Island (square mile) and the New Territories which consist of the remainder of the mountainous peninsula of Kowloon together with numerous islands (355 square miles) leased from China on 1st July, 1898, for 99 years. The total area of the Colony is thus roughly 391 square miles, a large proportion of which is steep and unproductive hillside. The leased territories include also the waters of Deep Bay to the west and Mirs Bay to the east.

Hong Kong Island is eleven miles long from east to west and varies in width from two to five miles. It rises steeply from the northern shore to a range of treeless hills of volcanic rock of which the highest point is Victoria Peak (1,823 feet) near the western end. Between these hills and the harbour lies the city of Victoria. The oldest part of the urban area ran up the steep hillside for hundreds of yards in narrow stepped streets and terraces, but the modern town stands mostly on a strip of reclaimed land averaging 200-400 yards wide which extends 9 miles along the southern shore of the harbour from Sulphur Channel to Lyemun Pass.

Between the island and the mainland of Kowloon lies the harbour, a natural and almost landlocked anchorage about 17 square miles in area, and of a width varying from one mile to three miles. The entrance from the East is by a deep water channel through Lyemun Pass, five to nine hundred yards wide.

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On the western side the harbour is protected by a group of islands pierced by channels of various depths. The largest of these islands is Lantau which is more than twice the size of Hong Kong Island. This harbour, lying midway between the main ports of Haiphong in Indo-China and Shanghai at the mouth of the Yangtze River, has become the gateway to South China and has grown to be one of the greatest seaports in the world.

The ceded territory of Kowloon originally consisted of a number of low dry foothills running southward from the escarpment of the Kowloon hills in a V-shaped peninsula two miles long and nowhere more than two miles wide. Most of these foothills have now been levelled and the spoil used to extend the area by reclamation. The town of Kowloon now covers the whole of this peninsula and a part of the leased territory to the north of it. It contains the Colony's main industrial area, one of the two principal commercial dockyards, wharves for ocean-going ships, and a large residential suburb. Its population in 1941 threatened to overtake that of Victoria. The terminus of the Kowloon-Canton Railway, which connects at Canton with the network of the Chinese railways, is at the extreme southern tip of the peninsula. The Unicorn range of hills, even more precipitous though less high than those on the island, forms a barrier between Kowloon and the remainder of the Kowloon Peninsula.

A large part of the New Territories, both islands and main- land, is steep and barren. Before the war considerable areas were afforested, but one of the unfortunate results of the occupation of the Colony by the Japanese was the felling of the vast majority of the trees for firewood, with the consequence that now only a few isolated woods remain, principally in the vicinity of villages. The highest point is the mountain called Taimoshan (3,130 feet) which lies seven miles northwest of Kowloon. To the northwest of this mountain, and extending to the marshes on the verge of Deep Bay stretches the Colony's largest area of cultivable land. The eastern half of the New Territories mainland is covered by irregular mountain masses deeply indented by arms of the sea and narrow valleys. Wherever cultivation is made possible by the presence of flat land and water, villages exist and crops are raised. Intricate terracing brings the maximum land under cultivation and the Chinese farmers, though ready to adopt any modern methods which are suited to local conditions and whose value has been demonstrated to them by practical tests, find in fact that there are few directions in which their traditional methods can be improved upon.

The New Territories include 75 adjacent islands many of which are uninhabited. Productive land is even scarcer than on the mainland and the estimated island population of 60,000 includes many fisherfolk living aboard their boats. Lantau, the largest island, is well watered, but the gradients are such that even the patient Chinese farmer has been able to secure only a few precarious footholds and there is little cultivation. Well-

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wooded ravines and scrub-covered spurs, where wild boar and barking deer are plentiful, slope steeply upwards to a bold and lonely skyline. The island of Cheung Chau, although quite small in area, maintains a thriving community and is an important fishing centre. Another still smaller island, Ping Chau, is the site of a match factory. Most of the remaining islands are very small, the smallest inhabited island being Ngai Ying Chau with an area of 81⁄2 acres and a population of three and sometimes five.

The climate is sub-tropical and is governed to a large extent by the monsoons, the winter being normally cool and dry and the summer hot and humid. The north-east monsoon sets in during October and persists until April. The early winter is the most pleasant time of the year, the weather being generally sunny and the atmosphere dry. Later in the winter cloud is more frequent, though rainfall remains slight; in March and Warm April long spells of dull overcast weather may occur. southerly winds may temporarily displace the cool north-east monsoon during this period and under these conditions fog and low cloud are common. From May until August, the prevailing wind is the "south-west" monsoon, a warm damp southerly or south-easterly wind blowing from equatorial regions. Winds are more variable in summer than in winter, for the south-west monsoon is frequently interrupted. The weather is persistently hot and humid and is often cloudy and showery with frequent thunderstorms. The summer is the rainy season, three quarters of the annual rainfall falling between the months of May and September. The mean annual rainfall is 84.26 inches.

From June to October Hong Kong is most liable to be affected by typhoons, although they are sometimes experienced before and after this period. A typhoon whose centre passes over or near the Colony is accompanied by winds of hurricane force, resulting in widespread damage on sea and land. Although the loss of life on such occasions among the boat people, which in olden days was very heavy, is now minimized by an elaborate system of warnings, there are always a number of boats which fail to get to the specially constructed typhoon shelters in time. Sixteen such disasters have occurred in the last sixty-four years. Spells of bad weather and heavy rain and strong winds are normally experienced several times in each summer owing to the passage of typhoons at varying distances from the Colony.

The mean monthly temperature varies from 59°F in February to 82°F in July, the average for the year being 72°F. The temperature does not frequently rise above 95°F, and very seldom falls below 40°F. In spring and summer the humidity is persistently high, at times exceeding 95%, while in the early winter it may fall as low as 20%. The mean monthly duration of sunshine varies from 94 hours in March to 217 hours in October.

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Rainfall during the year under review was unusually high. During the four months from June to September, it was 30 inches above the average, but this was somewhat offset by deficiencies in the first four and the last three months of the year. Altogether, the year's rainfall was 18 inches above the average. Sunshine also was lacking, only the months of February, March, October and December showing an excess. The total of 1,760 hours was almost exactly 200 hours below the average. This, combined with the high rainfall, made 1947 the wettest and dullest year since 1920.

During the year no typhoons passed close enough to the Colony to cause gales, although threats of typhoons continued. until well on in December.

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"South side of Hong Kong Island looking east from above Aberdeen."

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FONG KONG

FLORA & FAUNA

Chapter 2.

To a botanist the flora of Hong Kong is exciting; to one whose knowledge of flowers is limited to a nodding acquaintance with the common herbs of England it is at first sight a little disappointing. In England herbaceous plants are dominant; for example primroses, violets, bluebells and the countless weeds of wayside and cornfield-poppies and silverweeds, scarlet pimpernel and blue cornflower. In Hong Kong, shrubs predominate and herbs are inconspicuous, with a few striking exceptions. The proportion of woody species to herbs in this Colony is as one to two, a much higher proportion than in temperate countries.

The standard flora of the island, "Flora Hongkongensis", was published as long ago as 1861. Its author, G. B. Bentham, was a distinguished botanist with considerable experience of other floras; some of his comments are of sufficient general interest to quote: "One is struck with the very large total amount of species crowded upon so small an island, with the tropical character of the great majority of species, with the large proportion of arborescent and shrubby species and with the very great diversity in the species themselves". "In its general character the Hong Kong flora is that of tropical Asia of which it offers in numerous instances the northern limit . the flora of the damp wooded ravines of the North and West will be found to be closely allied to that of North-east India, .. the Hong Kong specimens, when specifically identical, generally showing a less luxuriant vegetation, larger flowers and other peculiarities attributable, no doubt, to a more open situation. Other species in considerable numbers have a much more tropical character extending with little variation over the Indian Archipelago, the Malayan Peninsula and even to Ceylon and Tropical Africa without penetrating into the continent of India . . . Notwithstanding the prevailing idea of the close connection of the flora of Japan and Hong Kong, I cannot enumerate 80 species known to be common to the two countries."

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The late Mr. L. Gibbs mentioned that once in a single acre in the New Territories he had found more species of ferns than exist wild in the whole of the British Isles. This super- abundance of kinds of plants makes their study arduous. In England there are two native oaks and one hybrid; here there are 21 species. Because our oaks are evergreen, like the Holm oak cultivated in England, they are not easily recognized as such. They do bear acorns, as do all oaks, but few people look for these. There are 22 species of fig which vary in size from the large Chinese banyan to small shrubs growing in well- watered valleys; they all bear figs but, as most are small, they may not be identified as figs, unless split open with a penknife. There is an amazing wealth of flowering shrubs and trees, many with very beautiful flowers, many with very fragrant flowers. Some are easy to place in their correct families; for example, the common wild Gordonia looks like and is related to Camellia, and the wild roses are unmistakably roses. But most are not so easy to name. They include a Magnolia, a Michelia with large white flowers, a Rhodoleia with groups of rose-madder coloured petals surrounded by golden bracts, an Illicium with cherry pink flowers, a Tutcheria with large Camellia-like flowers, white tinged with gold, and with masses of tangerine orange stamens. A Local Styrax with fragrant flowers is reminiscent of Halesia, the American Snowdrop tree. Six species of Rhododendron grow wild in the Colony; of these one is extremely abundant, another so rare that it is only known to exist on one shoulder of Victoria Peak, Hong Kong. The Heather family is represented by a very lovely Enkianthus which bears beautiful pink bells in early spring at the time of the Chinese New Year. The Chinese name "tiu chung", hanging bells, is a good one. Flowering at the same time is a Litsea with small creamy white and exceedingly fragrant flowers. There are no wild Hydrangeas but this family is represented by Dichroa with small blue flowers and bright blue berries.

Many local shrubs and a few herbs have very beautiful and striking fruits, all the colours of the rainbow being represented. Red is the colour of the berries of many of the wild hollies-- none of which have prickles-among them Ardisia which is very abundant and Chloranthus which is the most holly-like of the berried plants. Orange is a common colour of fruits including the large orange-like fruits of Melodinus, the smaller fruits of Strychnos, enclosing strychnine-bearing seeds, and the berries of the wild Kumquat. The winged fruits of Gardenia, with persistent sepals projecting like feathers from a shuttle- cock, change to orange and red when ripe, and yield a yellow dye. Yellow is the colour of numerous fruits mostly with long and elusive names; one of which is Maesa which abounds on shady hillsides. Green is characteristic of many fruits and berries which are mostly inconspicuous in consequence; among them are those of Mussaenda, the Buddha's lamp. Blue is not such a common colour: many berries are black with a bluish waxy deposit. Probably the only true blue is that of Dichroa a close relative of Hydrangea. Purple, violet and mauve are

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characteristic of the fruits of the different species of Callicarpa which are better known in gardens in England than in their native land. The fruits of Dianella, in the lily family, are a deep and glorious purple. Many berries are black, a common example being those of Raphiolepis the so-called Hong Kong hawthorn. The only wild Jasmine has glossy black fruits as has also the commonest of the wild Persimmons.

Some fruits have very characteristic shapes. Those of Desmos resemble bunches of strings of threaded peas. They start green, change to yellow, and not content with that colour rapidly turn orange, red and purple and finally when ripe are almost black.

Numerous plants have fruits either poisonous, or edible, or useful for medicine or dyes. Strophanthus and Strychnos are Edible both common here; Cerbera is abundant near the sea. fruits include those of a wild Jack fruit, Artocarpus, which when ripe resemble misshapen apricots, and are delicious. The fruits of the Rose-myrtle contain raspberry coloured flesh in which are enclosed numerous seeds: they can be made into excellent jelly. Several species of Persimmon are wild but their fruits are too astringent to be eaten. A wild banana bears fruits filled with very hard black seeds surrounded by a little sweet pulp. Several species of bramble are abundant, one of which has bright red black-berries which though palatable are hard to collect as the vines are very prickly.

There are numerous plants which closely resemble their English relatives. Old Man's Beard, the common clematis of the English hedgerow, has five close relatives here. All possess white flowers with the fragrance characteristic of the genus. They are the only common representatives of the buttercup family which is abundant at home. Four wild violets occur in the Colony; like the English dog violet they are scentless, but they are attractive and easily recognized. The one English honeysuckle has five relatives here, with white or yellow flowers; most have flowers larger than the wild woodbine. They are fragrant and have the attractive Chinese name of "kam ngan fa", gold and silver flower, given because of their change in colour with age from white to yellow. The wild roses of England have several cousins here including a species with large white flowers common in the New Territories and now com- pletely naturalized in some of the Southern States of U.S.A. where it is known as the Cherokee Rose.

One very beautiful Iris grows wild in many parts of the Colony, probably further south than any other true iris is to be found wild. The flowers are nearly three inches across, pale violet-mauve with deep violet, orange and yellow markings.

A very lovely Lily grows wild on the hillsides, with individual flowers as much as seven inches long; the white segments may have a purple stripe on the inner surface, and the anthers when split disclose bright orange pollen. By the sea grow a wild Crinum with white fragrant flowers and

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Bellamcanda in the Iris family with orange flowers spotted with red. The Chinese Bell-flower is common on the hillsides in many localities.

In damp ravines there is found a Didymocarpus with lilac flowers, related to the greenhouse Gloxinia; and at least one Begonia, as well as a fragrant leaved rush, Stag's horn mosses, numerous Orchids, giant aroids, tree ferns and countless kinds of smaller ferns including Maidenhair and the local Royal ferns. On the hillsides English bracken-a very cosmopolitan plant may be seen growing together with the so-called Hong Kong bracken, Gleichenia, and a fragrant leaved myrtle called Baeckia. All three are cut and used as fuel by the Hakka women of the villages.

Mammals.

The mammals of the Colony are mainly noctural and are rarely seen except at night on the roads when caught by the headlights of a car. Tigers visit the Colony nearly every winter and take an occasional buffalo or pig: at least once since the foundation of the Colony a tiger has visited the island, and during the Japanese occupation stories of an invader loose on the island penetrated even to the heart of the internment camp at Stanley. Leopards are much rarer. The Chinese Small Spotted Tiger Cat, a savage animal slightly larger than a domestic cat, is also found.

Three Civet cats occur-the Indian Civet which is rare; the Gem-faced Civet which occurs more often, and the Little Spotted Civet which is common. The Gem-faced is a palm civet and climbs trees in search of fruits and berries. The Crab- eating Mongoose has occasionally been seen. The Ferret Badger, a small and savage animal which looks and smells like a cross between a ferret and a badger, is quite common; it lives on fruits and small creatures. The Otter, though no longer to be found on the island, occurs in certain districts on the main- land and on Lantau Island. The South China Fox, a little greyer than the red fox of England, occurs on the Island and on the mainland. Dholes occur in the hills of the mainland but are never seen in large packs: they resemble Alsatian dogs but with much shorter legs, and are rather greyer than the Indian wild dog.

Wild Boar are common in certain districts on the mainland and grow to a large size. The Barking Deer or Muntjac is a common resident; it is very rarely seen in the daytime except during foggy weather; its bark, or cough, is like that of a dog.

The only native monkey is the Rhesus Monkey which is very rare on Hong Kong island and probably extinct on the mainland. It still is to be found on the Lema islands south of Hong Kong. The monkeys in the Kowloon hills near the reservoir are descendants of captive animals released in the first world war.

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Porcupines are resident both on Hong Kong island and on the mainland. A Bandicoot Rat has recently been recorded from both island and mainland. There are no other native rodents, largely because of the number of snakes to be found.

A shrew, closely related to the House Shrew of India, takes the place of house mice. Mice may occasionally be seen; they are not indigenous, nor are the different varieties of grey and black rats which are unfortunately only too common. Rats also

are numerous.

The most primitive mammal is the Scaly Anteater or Pangolin which is on both island and mainland; it lives on termites, ants, grubs, etc. This animal and the Otter are protected by law.

Of the marine animals little is known; whales, porpoises and dolphins may be seen by yachtsmen and occasionally from the mainland. A Dugong, the first recorded from the district for very many years, was caught near Hong Kong in 1940 or 1941 and brought to the island, photographed and stuffed. Two were captured on the west coast of Formosa in 1932 but there are apparently no records for the mainland.

Birds.

The Colony of Hong Kong is a good place for birds; in all approximately two hundred kinds have been identified and in a single day as many as sixty-nine different species have been recognized. There are many places in the world with a richer avifauna but two hundred should provide ample scope for most people. One reason why Hong Kong is such a good place is that the different seasons bring different birds and monotony is thus avoided. There are the resident species that remain with us the whole year; there are the winter visitors which arrive from the far north in the autumn and return thither in the spring; there are the summer visitors which arrive from Burma, India, Malaya and the Philippines in the spring and fly south again in the autumn, and there are the passage migrants. This last group contains those birds which fly over the Colony in spring on their way north and those which cross the Colony on their way south in the autumn. Some of these passage migrants stop in the Colony for a few days en route to rest their weary bodies or to fill their empty crops, and thus there is always the chance on a spring or autumn day of observing a bird new or rare to the Colony. Birds follow regular migration routes but the route followed on the spring migration is not necessarily the one followed in the reverse direction in the autumn. In Hong Kong this is another factor which adds to the variety and wealth of bird life, for a bird seen in spring on its migration north may not pass through the Colony on its way south in autumn when related or even quite different kinds take its place.

A few of the resident species and many of our winter visitors are closely related to the familiar and common English birds. Thrushes are represented in Hong Kong by the resident

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Enkianthus quinqueflorus; the Chinese New Year flower.

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Desmos chinensis; fragrant flowers and ornamental fruits.

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Three swimming crabs; three spot, red and blue.

Chinese Bulbul

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Red-vented, Bulbul.

HONG KON

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Crested Bulbul

Black-naped Oriole

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Little Kingfisher

Black-capped Kingfisher

Six Hong Kong birds.

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Violet Whistling Thrush, and the winter visiting rock and and woodland species and the Chinese Blackbird. The wagtails are represented here by three common winter visitors; the robin-redbreast by the resident Magpie-Robin, and the visiting Bluethroat, Rubythroat and Blue-Tailed Robin; the swallow by the Eastern House Swallow, a summer visitor; the diurnal birds of prey by Kestrel, Peregrine, Buzzard, Sparrow-Hawk, Harriers, Kite, Osprey, and Sea-Eagle; the nocturnal by numerous species of owls. Apart from these there are other birds closely related to English species among the pipits, kingfishers (five species), chats, buntings, gulls, and waders. Among the most conspicuous birds of country and town are the bulbuls of which three species are resident, namely, the Chinese, the Red-whiskered Crested, and the Red-vented. The summer visitors include the Black-naped Oriole, drongos, the Chinese Great Barbet, cuckoos, egrets and pond herons.

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Birds are very conservative in their choice of locality and it is possible to make a list of places and assign to each a list of birds which might be seen there at any given time of the year. For example woodpeckers are habitually, and not unnaturally, to be found in woods, sandpipers in sandy bays, stonechats and redstarts on grassy common land scattered with shrubs. In the New Territories as many as thirteen different types of habitat can be classified and each has its own habitual visitors. The best districts for bird watching in the Colony are: (1) the Ping Shan district stretching from Ping Shan to Mai Po and west to the Mong Tseng Peninsula, an area including the paddy fields, marshes and mudflats of Deep Bay (2) the Lam Tsun Valley, entered from the main road about one mile north of Taipo, and extending to the slopes of Taimoshan and to the pass leading to Pat Heung and Kam Tin (3) the Shum Chun Valley including the low hills and valleys just south of the Chinese frontier (4) the Kam Tin district and the broad expanse of the Pat Heung Valley (5) the foreshore of Starling Inlet in the neighbourhood of Sha Tau Kok, and the bordering paddy fields and woods (6) the Sha Tin district from the Station across to and along the eastern foreshore of Tide Cove.

In each of the above six districts is included a wide variety of the different types of habitat to be found in the Colony.

All resident birds and summer visitors breed in the Colony but we have only records of the nidification of a small proportion of these. The egg-laying season extends from mid-December to the end of August and some species hatch two or three broods so there is plenty of scope for the keen egg-hunter.

The Island of Hong Kong has been made a sanctuary for birds by law, the effect of which is to provide that no bird of any description other than magpies, kites and hawks may be killed, wounded or taken on the Island of Hong Kong. In the New Territories birds are similarly protected with the exception of game birds which may be shot in season by those who hold gun and game licences. These birds include woodcock, snipe, francolin, doves, ducks and geese.

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Snakes.

29 snakes belonging to 20 genera are recorded as existing in the Colony. Of these six are venomous but this does not mean that one of every five snakes seen is a venomous species for the harmless species greatly outnumber the poisonous ones. Probably individuals of the three genera Natrix, Elaphe and Ptyas exceed all the rest put together.

The venomous species are the Hamadryad or King Cobra, the Cobra, a Coral Snake, the Banded Krait, a smaller Black and White Banded Krait and the Bamboo Snake. No adult has ever been known to die from the bite of a Bamboo Snake, the commonest of the venomous species. This snake is bright green above, yellow below with a brown stripe on the top of the tail and often with a bluish nose. It is a pit-viper related to the rattlesnakes of North America and is easy to recognize by the small scales on the top of the head and the pit, or depression, in the side of the head between eye and nostril. The smaller Krait is deadly but fatalities are rare. Cobras can be very savage if cornered but rarely bite people and no deaths are on record. The local cobra when adult is glossy black and can be recognized by its colour and its hood with eye marking and white under head and neck. The larger krait is banded black and yellow, the smaller krait black and white; both have a keel along the back, are day blind and will only bite if severely provoked.

In addition to the front-fanged venomous species there are five other species with fangs at the back of the upper jaw connected by a duct with venom glands. These snakes are harmless to man and would probably find difficulty in injecting venom unless they bit a finger.

The harmless snakes include the primitive Python which grows to a very large size. Another is the primitive and degenerate Iron Wire Snake which grows to a length of a few inches and looks like a piece of iron wire. It is nearly blind, its tail ends in a sharp point and it lives on earthworms.

Sea-snakes visit waters of the Colony in the summer. They are very venomous indeed but are inoffensive creatures and would not attack bathers.

Crocodiles, Turtles and Lizards.

The Estuarine Crocodile used to inhabit the Canton Delta and the Hong Kong neighbourhood but has now apparently been exterminated from the district, no specimen having come to light since 1912. Local belief has it-erroneously-that crocodiles and sharks do not get on well together and the reason why large sharks do not occur in Hong Kong waters is that they fear the crocodiles and do not know that they have left the district. Perhaps the sharks learnt during the war, when there was no dearth of food, that there were no crocodiles, for since then three people have been bitten by large fish; the first accident, and the only fatality, undoubtedly was caused by a

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shark. These "war educated" sharks will gradually be caught and oil, rich in vitamin A, will be extracted from their livers for the benefit of the community, and this infinitesimal risk to bathing will be removed.

The marine turtles are represented by the Green or Edible Turtle, the female of which comes ashore on some of the sandy beaches of the Colony regularly each summer to deposit her eggs, and by the Hawksbill or Tortoise-shell Turtle which may very rarely enter territorial waters.

No true tortoises are found here but there is one Large- headed Tortoise, to be recognized by its very long tail and powerfully hooked jaw. Six terrapins or freshwater tortoises occur in the district, of which the commonest is the Asiatic Box Terrapin with a patch of yellow on the top of the head and hence called by the Chinese kam tsin kwai, "gold coin terrapin." Young terrapins of this and other species are offered for sale at the time of the Chinese New Year. Adults are always obtainable in the Central Market and in village markets as they are esteemed as a delicacy by the Chinese epicure. Mud turtles also make good eating and are always to be seen in the markets. Two species occur in the Colony and may occasionally be seen in river or pond. They should be handled with care as they can easily remove a finger in one bite.

Lizards are quite well represented in the Colony. There is the Crested Lizard with a long tail that loves running up and down palm trees; the male can blush very effectively during the breeding season when suitably stimulated. Five species. of geckoes or house lizards are known here; they lay their eggs, the size of peas, between loose bricks, behind the books in a bookcase or even amongst official documents. The skinks or smooth sand-lizards are well represented by ten species. The most beautiful is the Blue-tailed Skink with a brilliant blue tail with four green stripes; in the young the colour is more noticeable than in the adult. There is only one lizard typical of the only family represented in Britain; it is the Long-tailed Striped Lizard and lives on the grassy hillsides.

Frogs.

Seventeen kinds of frogs, toads and newts occur in the Colony including some very interesting species. There is one newt; living_specimens have recently been sent by air mail to the London Zoo. It is black or dark brown and orange in colour and occurs in streams on the island and mainland. The Indian Toad is the only true toad but there are also two species of Spade-foot Toad; these latter live in shady woods on the hill- sides. Though adults are rarely seen their tadpoles are easily found, and are very distinctive as they have curious funnels in front of their mouths.

Eight species of frog occur including the remarkable floating frog which is thoroughly aquatic in habit and may remain floating on the surface of the water perhaps for hours. One tree-frog is abundant; it is usually brown with a curious

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black X on its back. Like other tree-frogs it can change its colour considerably from pale yellow to almost black. Its frothy spawn is deposited on twigs or grass above water; the tadpoles on hatching fall into the water; they are transparent and very fish-like in appearance. The Narrow-headed Frogs are represented by the Chinese Digging Frog which is brown or pinkish above with a large triangular central brown patch and whitish below; this animal digs into mud or earth with its hind feet and gradually submerges itself backwards. Three very beautifully marked small triangular frogs complete the list.

Marine Biology.

The fauna and flora of the seas around Hong Kong are extremely rich in number and variety of forms. This wealth and diversity of life is due to the geographical position of the Colony at the eastern corner of the large land mass of Eurasia washed by waters which are confluent with the North and South China Seas and with the Pacific Ocean. In the summer the waters are tropical with temperatures for four months exceeding 80°F; in the winter, due to cold currents flowing down the coast of China, the temperature at the surface of the open sea drops to 62°F in January and February. Occasionally, perhaps once in 40 years, the water inshore gets much colder and many fish are killed.

The variation in temperature is one of the causes for the bi-annual migration of fish and other fauna that takes place past Hong Kong. The most important fish, one of the croakers called wong fa, migrates as far south as Hainan and north to Korea and Japan. It is caught off Lantau Island in great numbers in the autumn and winter months. The local belief is that these fish gather there in number to hold parliament and to elect their chief. Another very important local fish is the anchovy, kung yue tsai; this also is seasonal, and the pros- perity of thousands of fisherfolk depends on its periodic invasions of territorial waters.

Many excellent food-fishes occur here including pomfret, shad, herring, groupers, grunts, sea-breams, croakers, thread-fin, mullets, wrasse and soles. On almost any day it is possible to see displayed for sale in the market from fifty to a hundred different fish of different shapes and colours. In the summer, tropical fish are commonly seen from the rafts at the bathing beaches and in rock pools, where they vie with the corals and anemones in their vivid colours.

The shellfish of the Colony are as varied and as good to eat as are the fish. At least fifty varieties of crabs, prawns, shells and squids are available at different times of the year. The crabs include several swimming crabs in greens, reds and blues which are excellent eating; there are two spiny lobsters which would satisfy any epicure and prawns ranging in size

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from minute specimens to species as large as any found in the Mediterranean. Prawn sauce and dried squid are two of the commodities for which Hong Kong is rightly famous throughout China.

A study of the crabs of the Colony, of which nearly two hundred kinds have been described, illustrates the key position of Hong Kong for the study of marine biology. Of the species known 49% have been recorded also in the region extending from India to the South China Seas and 43% also from the China Seas north of Hong Kong; the remaining 8% are so far only known to this district.

The seaweeds of Hong Kong have been studied for nearly a century and nearly a hundred species are known. Of these thirty-two are Sargassums; and it might well be true that this group of seaweeds is better known from Hong Kong than from any other such small area in the world.

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Q

HISTORY

Chapter 3.

The area which now forms the Crown Colony of Hong Kong is first mentioned in Chinese histories as part of the territories of the Maan Tribes, who then inhabited the greater part of China south of the River Yangtse. About this early culture little is known, though pottery of the prehistoric period unearthed on the islands of Lamma and Lantao, south and west of Hong Kong Island, indicates the existence of trade with the South at a remote period. The Maan tribes of Kwangtung gradually accepted Chinese culture from the close of the Han dynasty (3rd century A.D.) onwards, and by the end of the Sung dynasty (13th century A.D.) the local people, whatever their racial origin, evidently regarded themselves as Chinese. The last Sung emperor, Ti-ping, in flight from the invading Mongols, made his capital at Kowloon on the mainland just opposite the Island of Hong Kong for a few months before his death in 1278 A.D., and a small hill crowned with prominent boulders was held sacred to his memory until 1943 when the Japanese demolished it.

The Arabs were already known in Canton in the seventh century A.D., but European intercourse with China dates from the sixteenth century when expeditions from the maritime states of Europe-Portugal, Spain, Holland and England- penetrated into Far Eastern waters in the hope of establishing a direct trade by sea with the Moluccas or Spice Islands. At the end of the century, Queen Elizabeth herself addressed a letter to the Emperor of China. Though this letter was probably never delivered it marks the beginning of official support for a whole series of adventurous attempts to share in the trade of the Eastern countries. At the beginning of the next century a monopoly of the East Indian trade was created in favour of "The Governor and merchants of London trading in the East Indies". An early trading station at Bantam in Java soon led to the extension of the sphere of action to Japan and China.

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The Portuguese had already founded the settlement of Macao from Malacca. In 1681 the East India Company secured a house in Macao and a little later an approach was was made to Canton itself. By 1715 a regular seasonal trade had been commenced with a shorestaff residing during the season in the Canton "Factories" and, during the summer months, in the Company's premises at Macao. The French, Dutch and Americans were not long in following the Company's lead, and, by the end of the eighteenth century, Englishmen trading on their own account were beginning to share the benefits of this precarious intercourse.

Two attempts had been made to establish normal official relations with China-by Lord Macartney in 1793 and by Lord Amherst in 1816, but these were rebuffed by the Manchu Court at Peking. The separate trends which British intercourse with China had hitherto taken-the activity of the East India Com- pany, whose monopoly expired in 1831, and the unsuccessful official missions-were united in 1834 by the arrival of Lord Napier in Canton as His Majesty's Chief Superintendent of Trade. Lord Napier's efforts at improving relations with the Chinese authorities failed and he died in Macao in October, 1834. Captain Elliot, R.N., succeeded him as Chief Superintendent and for five years negotiations were intermittently continued while the position of the British merchants became more and more difficult. The ultimate result of this protracted period of undeclared hostilities was the withdrawal of British merchant ships to Hong Kong, a blockade of the Canton River in 1840 and the peaceful occupation in January, 1841, of Hong Kong Island, which was then inhabited by a few fishermen, stone-cutters and farmers and provided a notorious retreat for smugglers and pirates.

The cession of the Island to the British Crown was confirmed by the Treaty of Nanking in August, 1842. The Con- vention of Peking of 1860 added the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters' Island to the Crown Colony and under a further Convention of Peking, signed in 1898, the area known as the New Territories, including Mirs Bay and Deep Bay, was leased to Great Britain for a period of ninety-nine years.

Almost a century of uninterrupted peaceful develop- ment followed the Treaty of Nanking. Hong Kong as a free port became one of the world's greatest harbours and entrepôts; freedom of the port and freedom of entrance and egress for all persons of Chinese race were permitted in accordance with a policy which ensured for the Colony the rôle of entrepôt both for the trade and for the labour of China's southern provinces. Reclamation and afforestation were carried out; a network of motor roads was cut into the hills; public health administration and antimalarial measures combined with the steady and natural growth of the city itself to present in 1941 a picture very different from that of a century earlier. The rich interior of China was connected by railway with the wharves and ware- houses built for the world's shipping; schools and a university were established; Chinese, European and American air lines

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met in the Colony's airport; shipyards which could build the hulls of 10,000 ton ships and docks able to accommodate the world's largest liners were constructed and light industries were born and thrived.

After Japan invaded China in 1937 the Colony became a refuge for many Chinese and the population grew to over one million and a half. Until the fall of Canton at the end of 1938 valuable war supplies were able to reach China through Hong Kong. With the outbreak of war in Europe in September, 1939, the position of the Colony became precarious, and on 8th December, 1941, the blow fell. Powerful units of the Japanese Army, supported by the Japanese Air Force based on Canton, struck at the Colony. The first attempt of the Japanese to land on Hong Kong Island was repulsed on the night of Dec. 15th- 16th, but a second attempt on the night of the 18th-19th was successful. After some bloody fighting on the Island, the Colony was surrendered to the Japanese forces on Christmas Day. The isolated brigade on Stanley peninsula held out for a further day before capitulating on superior orders.

Hong Kong remained in Japanese hands for over three and a half years. The population fell from more than one and a half million to less than half that number, largely as a result of the ruthless Japanese policy of compulsorily repatriating Chinese to their original homes in Kwangtung.

The Colony was liberated when units of the British Pacific Fleet entered the harbour on 30th August, 1945, about two weeks after the capitulation of Japan. A brief period of Military Administration was followed by the re-establishment of Civil Government on 1st May, 1946.

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4

ADMINISTRATION

Chapter 4.

The Government of Hong Kong derives its constitutional authority from Letters Patent and Royal Instructions issued from time to time and is administered by a Governor assisted by an Executive Council and a Legislative Council. The Executive Council, which is consulted by

the Governor on all important administrative matters, includes the senior Military Officer, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Secretary for Chinese Affairs, the Financial Secretary (who are members ex officio) and such other members, both official and unofficial, as may be appointed. At the end of 1947 there were six official members (including the five ex officio members mentioned above) and six unofficial members, three of whom were Chinese.

The Legislative Council consists of not more than nine official members, including the same five ex officio members listed above, and not more than eight unofficial members. At the end of 1947 there were eight official members and seven unofficial members. The procedure of this Council, with the advice and consent of which all legislation is enacted and by which all expenditure from public funds has to be approved, is based on that of the House of Commons. There are three standing Committees of the Legislative Council-the Finance Committee, the Law Committee and the Public Works Com- mittee and select committees are from time to time set up to advise on matters before the Council.

The English Common Law, together with such United Kingdom statutes as were in force on April 5th, 1843, or have since that date been expressly made applicable to Hong Kong, forms the basis of the legal system, modified by Hong Kong Ordinances of which an edition revised to 1931 was published in 1938. The constitution of the Supreme Court of the Colony is set out in the Supreme Court Ordinance No. 3 of 1873. The law as to civil procedure was codified by Ordinance No. 3 of 1901. The Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890, regulates the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in Admiralty cases.

The system of administration is briefly as follows:

Under the general direction of the Colonial Secretariat the administrative functions of Government are discharged by some thirty departments, all the officers of which are members of the Civil Service. There are five legal sub-departments, excluding the judiciary. Since 1938 the Financial Secretary hast assumed a purely administrative function in the Secretariat and under his direction the Treasury is responsible for the public accounts. The Rating and Valuation Department deals with the assessment and collection of rates, and the Department

146

of Inland Revenue is concerned with the collection of direct taxation levied under the Inland Revenue Ordinance, 1947. The Superintendent of Imports and Exports is charged with the collection of import and excise duties and with the direction of preventive work. The Secretary for Chinese Affairs is a senior administrative officer and has a wide and general respon- sibility in all matters affecting the Chinese community. The Labour Office, first established as a sub-department of the Secretariat for Chinese Affairs in 1938, became a separate and independent department at the end of June, 1946: during 1947 the style and title of the officer in charge was altered from Labour Officer to Commissioner of Labour. The Labour Office is responsible, inter alia, for ensuring that conditions in factories and workshops, particularly with regard to health and safety, are in accordance with the requirements of existing legislation. In cases of trade disputes the Commissioner does not actually arbitrate but provides a channel for the pursuit of negotiations between the parties involved. The Social Welfare Officer operates under the general direction of the Secretary for Chinese Affairs. Among his functions are included protection of women and girls, the inspection of emigrant ships, super- vision of child and juvenile welfare and the general co-ordination of all welfare activities in the Colony. The Medical Depart- ment and the Sanitary Department deal with public health, and the Public Works Department is concerned with roads, buildings, waterworks, piers, Government transport and similar matters.

The Head of the Sanitary Department is, ex officio, the chairman of the Urban Council. This Council's functions and authority are more restricted than its title suggests, and are subordinate in many respects to the executive authority of Government. The Council's power to originate subsidiary legislation in matters concerning public health and conservancy is subject to confirmation by the Legislative Council.

Local administration in the New Territories, which include the many islands within Hong Kong's territorial waters, is in the hands of a District Officer. In addition to his administrative duties this officer is magistrate and land officer for his district, and is empowered to hear small debts cases and to decide sum- marily certain types of cases concerning land. The rural area was formerly divided into two districts, the northern and the southern, each under its District Officer, but since the re-occupation it has so far been found more convenient to have one officer responsible for the whole area. Other permanent departments are: The Audit Department, the Education Depart- ment, which controls the Government schools and supervises all private schools within the Colony, the Fire Brigade, the Harbour Department, the Department of Air Services, the Police Depart- ment, the Railway Department, the Post Office (which controls tele-communication services and broadcasting, but not the telephone service which is maintained by a private company), the Prisons Department, and the Royal Observatory.

147

Since the war a Public Relations Office has been set up. The functions of this office are not to act as merely a govern- ment news agency, for the distribution of official communiqués, but to interpret Government policy to the public where necessary, and to keep Government well informed of public opinion. A public reading room is maintained, and is well patronised. Daily press conferences are held by the Public Relations Officer who also arranges periodical press conferences for Heads of Departments. Another new and senior appoint- ment is that of the Secretary for Development. This officer is responsible for all matters concerning the exploitation of the Colony's natural resources; under his general direction there have been set up four new sub-departments dealing with fisheries, agriculture, forestry, and public gardens respectively. The prewar Botanical and Forestry Department has been abolished and its functions absorbed by these new sub- departments.

A new office, established on 1st January, 1947, is the Statistical Branch of the Colonial Secretariat. This office, which is equipped with a Hollerith installation for the tabulation of information, is responsible for the production of statistical matter of a specific or general nature required by any depart- ment of Government. During 1947, many analyses and reports. were prepared by the Statistical Officer on behalf of various departments apart from the production of information regard- ing the high cost of living required by the Salaries Commission.

Several temporary departments were set up during the Military Administration and continued to function during the year under review. The Department of Supplies, Trade and Industry was established primarily to handle the large volume of supplies imported by Government after the re-occupation; by the end of 1946, normal Government procurement had already been taken over by the Stores Department, but the importation of bulk foodstuffs and controlled commodities on Government account, the administration of an elementary rationing system and the administration of a system of price control remained throughout 1947 in the hands of the Director of Supplies, Trade and Industry.

The Custodian of Property is responsible for the control of both enemy and abandoned property. To a great extent the activities of this department have now run down. During 1947, the disposal of unclaimed abandoned property was almost completed, and the settlement of claims against the department is expected to be finalised early in 1948. The department's responsibility for disposal of enemy property will terminate with the signature of peace treaties. The Quartering Authority is responsible for such improvisation as is possible to meet the serious shortage of European-type accommodation which still exists in the Colony.

148

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ION

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"One of Hong Kong's finest

bathing beaches-Sheko."

Photograph by Hedda Morrison.

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WEIGHTS & MEASURES

Chapter 5.

The weights and measures in use in the Colony consist of the standards in use in the United Kingdom and of the following Chinese weights and measures:-

1 fan (candareen)

.0133 ounces avoirdupois

1 ts'in (mace)

.133

ounces avoirdupois

1 leung (tael)

1.33

ounces avoirdupois

1 kan (catty)

1.33

pounds avoirdupois

1 ta'm (picul)

133.33

1 ch'ek (foot)

pounds avoirdupois

Statutory equivalent 14ğ inches, but in actual practice it varies according to trade from 14 inches to 11 inches. The commonest value is 14.14 inches. The ch'ek is divided into 10 ts'un (inches) and each ts'un into ten fan or tenths.

H.K.$1 = 1/3 (Stg.) = 1/63d. (Aust.)

=

U.S.$0.25.

149

Acces

Chapter 6.

PRESS

The English-language newspapers at present published in Hong Kong are the "China Mail" (daily, excluding Sundays), the "Sunday Herald" which is published by the same company as the "China Mail"; the "South China Morning Post" (daily, including Sundays); and the "Hong Kong Telegraph", an after- noon paper published daily excluding Sundays The last two papers are produced by one company. There are seven morning and seven afternoon papers, representing all shades of opinion, published daily in Chinese. Of these, the leading morning paper is the "Wah Kiu Yat Po" (). This paper, the "Sing Tao Jih Pao" (E) and the "Kung Sheung Daily News" (I H) form the backbone of the local vernacular press and it is in these three newspapers that Government notices are published. The history of the English newspapers in Hong Kong is a long one, dating back to the earliest days of the Colony. The earliest paper "The Hong Kong Register" was a development of the "Canton Register" which was printed in Canton about 1827 and was the first English newspaper to be produced in the Far East. In 1850 a daily edition was being produced in Gage Street, but three years later publication ceased.

The oldest publication still being produced in Hong Kong is the Government Gazette whose history goes back to the earliest years of the Colony. The Gazette was started in 1841 in Macao for the purpose of publishing such proclamations as the British authorities desired to issue to their merchants who had left Canton. When Hong Kong was ceded, printing presses were imported and a weekly newspaper entitled "The Friend of China and the Hong Kong Gazette" began publication on 17th March, 1842. In 1845 the newly-founded "China Mail" became the vehicle for Government Notifications and the name "Hong Kong Gazette" was dropped by the "Friend of China" which carried on until 1860 before ceasing publication. The first separately issued Government Gazette appeared on 24th September, 1853, and the first Chinese issue of the Gazette on 1st March, 1862.

The oldest English newspaper still in publication is the "China Mail" which began as a four-page weekly on 20th February, 1845. In the '50's the paper became a daily publica- tion specialising in shipping. In 1863 the "China Mail" moved to Wyndham Street behind the old Hong Kong Club (now the King's Theatre) where it remained until 1940 in which year

150

it moved to Windsor House. The same company publishes the "Sunday Herald".

The first Chinese paper to be published in the Colony was the "Wah Tsz Yat Po" (*) which was established very soon after the cession of the Colony, and continued to appear until very recently. Another very old paper, also now out of publication, was the "Ts'un Wan Yat Pổ" ().

Another early newspaper was the "Daily Press" which only ceased publication in 1941. This was the first daily morning paper in the history of the Colony and its four pages in the early days were mainly concerned with ships and shipping. The paper appears to have led a somewhat itinerant existence and changes of premises are frequently recorded. The printing establishment in 1941 was near Jardine's Godown at the corner of Hennessy Road and Percival Street, Wanchai. During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in that year, it was severely damaged by shell fire and burned out. The paper has not been re-established since the reoccupation of the Colony.

The "Hong Kong Telegraph" was first issued on 15th June, 1881 and from its inception was noted for its fearless criticism. This policy led on occasion to serious consequences but it made the paper an organ of more than ordinary value to the public. No worthy cause was unchampioned. The "Telegraph" has changed hands on several occasions and like the "Daily Press", though not to the same extent, has led a nomadic existence. Its latest move was in 1925 to the newly erected Morning Post Building in Wyndham Street (which, incidentally, used to be termed "The Fleet Street of Hong Kong"), its interests having in 1916 been merged with the "South China Morning Post".

"The South China Morning Post" first made its appearance on 7th November, 1903. The paper was originally founded with considerable support from among prominent local residents to support the Reform Movement in China. The "South China Morning Post" has been less subject to moves than its con- temporaries and predecessors. Originally situated in Connaught Road Central, the offices were moved first to Des Voeux Road and then in 1913 to Wyndham Street. There they have remained since, although the offices originally occupied were demolished to make room for the new Morning Post Building which was completed in 1926.

The English newspapers continued to appear throughout the fighting in December, 1941, in spite of bombing and increasing technical difficulties due to the hostilities. During the Japanese occupation of the Colony the Morning Post Build- ing was taken over by the Japanese Propaganda Department and for 44 months housed three newspapers, Japanese, Chinese and English. On the re-occupation of the Colony in 1945, no time was lost in beginning publication again and the leading units to disembark from the relieving fleet were surprised to find that a British newspaper was already being distributed; this was a single sheet "extra" edition of the "South China Morning Post" announcing the impending arrival of the relieving forces.

URB...CO. L PUB.

...

BRARIES

151

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Official Publications.

Historical and Statistical Abstract

of the Colony of

Hong Kong, 1841-1930. Published in

1932.

Administration Reports

.Annual

Blue Book

Annual

Civil Service List

.Annual

Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure

Annual

Government Gazette ......Weekly, or more often as required.

Hong Kong Hansard

Annual

Hong Kong Trade & Shipping Return

.Annual

Hong Kong Trade & Shipping Return

.Monthly

Meteorological Results,

Ordinances of Hong Kong including Proclamations,

Annual

Regulations, Orders in Council, etc.

..Annual

Sessional Papers

Annual

The 1937 Edition of the Ordinances and Regulations of Hong Kong. Edited by the late J. A. Fraser, G.C., M.C., and published in 1938.

Journal of the Hong Kong Fisheries Research Station. Vol. I No. 1, February, No. 2, September, 1940.

Printed by South China Morning Post Ltd., Hong Kong. All the above are published by the Government of Hong Kong.

Other Publications of General Interest.

Bentham, G. B.

1861 Flora Hongkongensis. London, Lovell Reeve. Chater Collection, The

1924 Pictures relating to China, Hong Kong, Macao, 1655- 1860; with Historical and Descriptive Letterpress. by James Orange. London, Thornton Butterworth.

Dunn, S. T. and Tutcher, W. J.

1912 Flora of Kwangtung and Hong Kong. London, H.M.

Stationery Office.

Eitel, E. J.

152

1896 Europe in Asia (History of Hong Kong). Hong Kong,

Kelly & Walsh.

Forster, L.

1933 Echoes of Hong Kong and Beyond. Hong Kong,

Ye Olde Printerie.

Gibbs, L.

1927 Common Hong Kong Ferns. Hong Kong, Kelly &

Walsh.

Heanley, C. M. and Shellshear, J. L.

1932 A contribution to the Prehistory of Hong Kong and the New Territories. (Communication faite au Premier Congrès des Préhistoriens d'Extrême- orient, le 27 janvier, 1932, Hanoi).

Herklots, G. A. C.

1937 Flowering Shrubs and Trees. (First Twenty) Hong Kong, The Newspaper Enterprise. (Second Twenty) South China Morning Post, 1938.

Orchids.

(First Twenty) Hong Kong, The Newspaper

Enterprise.

1941 Vegetable Cultivation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong,

South China Morning Post. 2 Ed. 1947.

1946 The Birds of Hong Kong-Field Identification. Hong

Kong, South China Morning Post.

The Hong Kong Naturalist. Illustrated Quarterly 1930-1941 Vols. I-X. Hong Kong. The Newspaper Enterprise and South China Morning Post, Ltd.

Herklots, G. A. C. and Lin, S. Y.

1940 Common Marine Food-Fishes of Hong Kong. Ed. 2 Enl. Hong Kong, South China Morning Post, Ltd.

Hurley, R. C.

1925 Picturesque Hong Kong. Hong Kong, Commercial

Press Limited.

Kershaw, J. C.

1905 Butterflies of Hong Kong and South-East China.

Hong Kong, Kelly & Walsh.

Norton-Kyshe, J. W.

1898 The History of the Laws and Courts of Hong Kong. 2 Vols. London, T. Fisher Unwin; Hong Kong, Noronha & Co.

Peplow, S. H. and Barker, M.

1931 Hong Kong, Around and About. Ed. 2, Rev. & Enl.

Hong Kong, Ye Olde Printerie.

Sayer, G. R.

1937 Hong Kong: Birth, Adolescence and Coming of Age.

Oxford, The University Press.

153

Tutcher, W. J.

1913 Gardening for Hong Kong. Second Edition. Hong

Kong, Kelly & Walsh.

Williams, M. Y.

1943 The Stratigraphy and Palaeontology of Hong Kong and the New Territories. (Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada. Third Series, Section IV, Vol. XXXVII, 1943-pp. 93-117).

Williams, M. Y. et al

1945 The Physiography and Igneous Geology of Hong Kong and the New Territories. (Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada. Third Series, Section IV, Vol. XXXIX, 1945-pp. 91-119).

Wood, Winifred, A.

1940 A brief history of Hong Kong. Hong Kong, South

China Morning Post, Ltd.

NOTE: As a result of the war, many of the above publications, both

official and unofficial, are now out of print. Those published in the Colony are not likely to be reprinted for some time.

154

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