12 JULY 1957, Page 19

SIR,_Perhaps I may be allowed to comment on Mr. George

Edinger's account of his visit to Hong Kong. My qualifications for doing so are based on thirty- one years' service in the colony as an educationist, which service ended in 1945, when the Japanese surrendered and the internees got their freedom. This year I, as a member of the Goodwill Mission to the Generalissimo on Formosa, was able to renew my contact with the island, and so meet many of my former Chinese students.

This is not the best time to estimate the character and quality of Hong Kong. seeing that the Communist revolution in China has had a deep effect on the colony with regard to both population and commerce. Mr. Edinger has collected opinions from Chinese friends, and by his own observations has drawn up his indictment of some features of the colony. Perhaps a more authoritative and better- informed observer might be quoted with regard to Hong Kong, viz. Sun Yat-Sen, the Founder of the Republic. These are his words:

feel as though I had returned home, because Hong Kong and its University are my intellectual birth-place. I have never before been able to answer the question properly, but now I feel I am in a Position to answer it today. The question is, "Where

did I get my revolutionary and modern ideas from?" The answer is, "I got them in this very place, in the Colony of Hong Kong." I am going to tell you,' continued Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, 'how I got these ideas.

'More than thirty years ago I was studying in Hong Kong and spent a great deal of my spare time in walking the streets of the colony. Hong Kong impressed me a great deal because there was orderly calm, and because there was artistic work being done without interruption. I went to my home in Heung Shan twice a year, and immediately noticed the difference. There was disorder instead of order, in- security instead of security. When I arrived home I had to be my own policeman and my own protector. The first matter for my care was to see my rifle was in order and to make sure plenty of ammunition was still left. I had to prepare for action for the night. Each time it was like this, year after year.'

There is much more in this vein, but perhaps this is enoughl--Yours faithfully,

LANCELOT FORSTER Professor (Emeritus) University of Hong Kong