29 JULY 1989, Page 27

Hong Kong difficulties

Sir: In defence of the Government's refusal to grant the right of abode in Britain to Hong Kong British Dependent Territory citizens, the Foreign Secretary said in the House of Commons on 13 July: 'The practical difficulties of accommodating hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, made that impossible to contemplate.' Does the Government find it easier to contemplate the practical difficulties which three and a quarter million British citizens, deprived of the right of abode in Britain, will face in accommodating themselves to Chinese sovereignty under a government such as that which now rules in Peking? It is hard to resist the conclusion that the Government does find it easier, and does so because they are only Hong Kong Dependent Territory citizens.

Christopher New

Chairman, Working Group on Democracy in Hong Kong and Right of Abode Hong Kong University Staff Committee on Current Chinese Affairs, Department of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong