Governor's speech at Inauguration Ceremony
Following is the speech delivered by the Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, at the Inaugural Ceremony at City Hall on November 19, 1971:
I am most grateful for the general remarks of Sir Hugh, Sir Albert and Sir Cho-yiu. Your remarks and the reception we have received since we landed have deeply touched my wife and myself. It is indeed wonderful to come home to Hong Kong again after all these years.
I am proud to have been appointed to the governorship of this colony. It has been impressed on me in my travels how well-known and respected Hong Kong is throughout the world for its success, and for the happy example which it presents of multi-racial operations.
I realize the weight of responsibility for its well-being that now devolves on me. I am profoundly conscious of how well my friend and predecessors, Sir David Trench, bore his responsibility; and on taking up this office. I would like to pay tribute to the determination with which he upheld the interests of the Colony.
Though I have visited Hong Kong at fairly regular intervals, I have not lived here since 1962. I have no illusions that Hong Kong to which I now return is the same as that I used to know. The statisticians have explained, for example, that since then economic activity has trebled, consumption of electricity has trebled, and bank deposits have quadrupled.
As I crossed the harbour today, I could see for myself that factories and great buildings have multiplied. It has always been a Colony which has earned admiration for the success, courage and ingenuity with which it has faced and overcome great problems.
Now it has taken its place as one of the great cities in the world, a manufacturing and trading centre of very considerable international significance, a growth area which is without parallel, a port and communications and tourists centre of importance — one could continue the list indefinitely.
My first task will be to do all I can to ensure that this growth and expansion continue. Economic prosperity provides the only foundation on which all our hopes for the future can be built.
In the past few weeks, there have been worrying signs that protectionism, especially in our main market, has re-emerged in the world and threatens our prosperity and that of many others. It is my fervent hope that this phase will prove temporary, and that the world will return to comparatively liberal trading conditions. It is such conditions which have fostered the extraordinary rapid growth of economic activity in the world in the last 25 years.
It is in the highest interest of Hong Kong, indeed it is in the highest interest of the world, that they should be maintained.
As Hong Kong has become more prosperous, it has been possible to look beyond the bare necessities of existence and devote more resources to improving conditions of life. Great strides have been made. I look forward to hearing more about these developments and the policies behind them, particularly those concerning housing, medical services, social welfare and education including, of course, technical education, and how they and other policies to be developed can show increased benefits to the people of the Colony in the next few years.
Our object is prosperity with social progress. I am very conscious of the fact that this can only be based on the confidence generated by sound administration, political stability and, above all, law and order. I have heard of concern about recent trends in the observance of law and order. Here again, I look forward to hearing what policies are planned to bring about an improvement.
I fully realize that in Hong Kong this problem is as complex as it is in most other great cities, and that solutions are not easy. Certainly in finding them the active cooperation of all responsible people is vital.
I arrive at a period of rapid change in the world, and, in particular, in the Pacific area. Hong Kong can only benefit from the new situation. Its main characteristic is recognition of the facts of international life and this should encourage calmer and more productive relations in the area.
I am confident that Hong Kong will continue to flourish and grow in this new climate, to find new outlets and new profit for the skill and ingenuity of the people, and to improve the conditions of their life. One day let them more nearly match the beauty of the sea and mountains that surround us.
It will be my purpose not only to maintain our present level of development but also to encourage both Government and the community to further progress so that the people of Hong Kong will find it an even better place to live in.
This, ladies and gentlemen, will be my object in the years ahead.
Ends/Friday, November 19, 1971
Issued at HKT __:__