ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY H.E. THE GOVERNOR, SIR EDWARD YOUDE, KCMG, MBE, AT THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY IN THE CITY HALL ON MAY 20, 1982
Sir Philip, Sir Sze-yuen, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am very grateful for your kind words and for the warm welcome which has been extended to us. I have just taken the Oaths of Office as Governor and Commander-in-chief. I am proud and honoured to have been appointed to this position. I recognise the heavy responsibility for the good government and well-being of the people of Hong Kong which this office bears and I pledge that I will do my utmost to fulfil it.
Hong Kong has much of which it can be proud. In a highly competitive world the enterprise of its manufacturers and businessmen and the skills and application of its workforce have brought it prosperity and success. This, in turn, has provided the means for remarkable achievements in housing a rapidly increasing population, in the spread of education, the improvement of medical and social services, better recreational and cultural facilities, and impressive transport works. With the expansion of the Legislative Council and creation of the elected element in the District Boards the channels for the expression of the wishes of the people who live here have been widened. From a modest port Hong Kong has grown into a large and modern city ranking with the other great cities of the world. I pay tribute to all those who have worked to achieve this transformation, and particular tribute to my predecessor whose outstanding contribution has been so widely recognised.
Hong Kong has indeed come a long way since I first saw it more than thirty years ago. But there will remain much to be done. In this changing world no society can or should stand still. I come at a time when many important programmes are in progress on which people count for improvement in all that can make Hong Kong desirable as a place in which to work and bring up a family, and a city to be proud of. It will be my constant endeavour to advance these programmes. To support them there will need to be sustained economic growth and an environment in which the drive and enterprise of all those who contribute to that growth can be given full scope.
For this to be achieved Hong Kong will need confidence in its future. It is not surprising, given the circumstances of the lease that this issue should be now be raised. I believe that there are sound grounds for confidence and that the omens are good. The commitment of Her Majesty’s Government to Hong Kong and the interests of its people remains firm. The relationship with the People’s Republic of China on which so much depends has never been more cordial. If there is an issue to be addressed, there is also in addressing it, a common recognition of the vital importance of the continued prosperity and stability of this Territory and a common wish to preserve them. In consequence, I see good reason why confidence should remain high.
The world is going through a difficult economic period and the going may be tough but Hong Kong has shown that it can survive and prosper in hard as well as easy times. In this enterprise, the Government must also play its part in partnership with the private sector.
In all this, I know how much I will need the advice of the Executive Council and the support of the Legislative Council and I thank Sir Sze-yuen for his promised support of Unofficial Members. The Government will depend too on the vital roles of the Urban Council, the District Boards and the many advisory boards who contribute so much to make Government effective and responsive to the interests of the people of Hong Kong. I look forward to working with all the elements of the public service, of whose high quality I am aware and I thank Sir Philip for his expression of their support.
As Governor, it will fall to me, with your support and guidance, to lead the many-sided efforts of your Government. I pledge again that I will do all I can to contribute to their success, to the welfare and prosperity of the people of Hong Kong and to making the future of this Territory a bright one.