03 March 2020

[Historical files] Sir MacLehose's Statement on 5 Nov 1977 on Partial Amnesty of Police Officers

港督麥理浩昨夜發表重要聲明

今年以前所犯貪污廉署不再受理投訴

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成立兩個特別委會監管廉政公署工作

簡悅强爵士任主席 另一個高登任主席

1977年11月6日 星期日 華僑、工商日報綜合
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(特訊)港督麥理浩爵士昨晚在一項聲明中宣布:廉政公署將不受理任何在一九七七年一月一日之前所犯罪行的投訴及證據。但那些經已被接見、通緝及逃離本港的人士則不包括在內。

而一個由簡悅强爵士任主席的委員會將會成立,以監管廉政公署處理其屬員的投訴。

港督在昨晚八時四十五分由港督府發出的聲明如下:本人在昨日錄影及於今晚播出的一個電視訪問節目中曾指出,在對付貪污問題方面,已有重大的進展,而警隊目前的情況是大部份的警務人員均無需感到恐懼的,我可以說,所有公務員的情況亦是一般無異。

我認為如果能在此闡明一下本人的意思以及含意是有幫助的。這是因為顯然有眾多皇家香港警務人員現正感到恐慌。他們恐怕現時可能會因很久以前所犯的輕微過失而被追究。其他以前從未有牽涉貪污的人對於其同僚所受的威脅,無論其觀感正確與否,則均感到關注。

但我相信所有警務人員及公務人員都認為必須維持大有改進的誠實標準,他們認為此舉是有利於全體公務人員及整個社會,而且他們對於不論任何性別之人士,在處身於這個新環境下,仍然濫用他們的地位,都感到不應予以寬恕。當然也會有人不同意這種看法,他們就是那些小數有罪者,他們最關心的是要逃離檢控,或回復他們以往的陋習。

你們都知道,姬達須直接向本人負責。鑑於目前的進度,我們本來準備要宣布廉政公署,將集中處理現時的貪污事件,而大致來說,現時已達到肅清所有貪污公務人員的階段,而對於過去犯法的投訴,在普通情形下就不會予以受理。我們認為這項宣布,將會大大減輕公務員的憂慮。我們已準備在明年春作此項宣佈。但由於近日發生的事件,而且只有數個月的差別,我認為立即宣佈是會有助於現時的情形。

因此我要向所有有關人士說:今天廉政公署對於有關一九七七年一月一日之前所犯罪行之投訴或證據,在普通情況下將不予受理,惟那些經已被接見之人士,已被通緝之人士以及現時不在香港之前任公務員則屬例外。我不將那些經已被接見之人士包括在內,是因為認為執行法例之工作(無論是由警務人員或廉政公署人員負責執行),是不應該受到未經法律規定之行動所阻礙的。

我說:「在普通情況下將不予受理」,因為間或會發現嚴重的罪行,如不受理就會受到非議,而且如不採取行動,則市民定不能容忍。但遇到有此類案件時,必會先與本人諮商。

對於廉政公署在進行調查對所採用之方式及程序,有人感到關注,而這些方式及程序曾被指稱為不適當及不合法的,現時已設有一個以高登爵士為首之行政立法兩局非官守議員所組成之委員會,負責監管有關處理市民對警務人員之投訴。

現時政府又正在設立另一個由簡悅强爵士任主席之委員會,負責監管廉政公署處理對其屬員之投訴。。任何人士如認為收到不適當的待遇時,可向行政立法兩局非官守議員辦事處投訴。本人已訓示律政司對該委員會在執行職務時給予所需之協助。

律政司於下星期四立法局施政報告辯論會時,將會對此等問題作進一步之闡述。
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7 November 1977 - Statement from Governor at LegCo
"Government and community cannot yield to the corrupt says Governor"


I would like to make a statement.

On the Saturday evening I announced a new policy with regard to ICAC operations. I did say in the following terms: ‘all concerned may take it that as from now the ICAC will not normally act on complaints or evidence relating to offences committed before 1 January 1977 except in relation to persons who have been interviewed, persons against whom warrants have been issued, and persons now outside Hong Kong. I except persons who have already been interviewed because I do not think that anyone would accept that law enforcement operations, whether by the Police or by the ICAC, should be halted by extra-legal action. I say ‘will not normally act’ because occasionally an offence may come to light which is so heinous that it would be unthinkable not to act and the public would not tolerate failure to act. But in any such case I will be consulted first.’

This, of course, applied to the members of all public services, and to the public, and not just to the Police Force.

Our object has always been to cleanse the public service and to continue prosecutions for past offences until acceptable standards had been achieved. We had never envisaged prosecuting everybody who had ever committed any offence. In view of the great improvement in the standards of honesty achieved, particularity over the last two years, I had expected before long to take a step of the sort announced last Saturday. This would make it possible to concentrate on maintaining standards for the future, rather than to continue to impress the need for honesty by prosecuting people for offences committed in the past, and thus turn over a new leaf in the history of the public services. However, in the circumstances that had arisen, I judged that this relief should be granted immediately. Apart from these exceptions, it has removed all cause for fear from all who keep straight.

The exceptions were deliberately intended to be very small. One was – and I quote – ‘persons who had already been interviewed’. This does not mean anybody to whom an ICAC officer has spoken at any time. It means only persons who have been interviewed by an ICAC officer, whether or not following arrest, and to whom during that interview allegations had been made that they had committed an offence. The number of such people is small, probably not more than 200 within a force of 20,000.

Another exception was an offence committed before this year, which came to light, and was so heinous that it would be unthinkable not to act. To ensure that in no circumstances would this exception be used to undermine my general intention, I stated that if there was such a case it would have to be referred to me. And this made clear that I expected the number of cases to be negligible, and in fact none is known at this moment.

Other exceptions related to the obvious cases of persons for whom warrants had been issued or person now outside Hong Kong.

Although there was nothing in the statement that would inhibit ICAC from ensuring that the improvement achieved would be maintained, or that suggested that our determination to maintain a clean public service was abandoned or diminished, I think its timing and its content came as a shock to the public. Although the reasons for it have been sympathetically understood, many were worried that it had been made at all, or that it went too far. But certainly, no one has suggested that it should have gone further – quite the contrary.

My statement has been under consideration by the different associations of the Police Force. Honourable Members and the public will be concerned to learn that informally it was suggested that it did not go far enough; that pressure should be maintained on the administration by demonstrations and progressive refusal of law enforcement until all current interviews, charges and court proceedings now in course were dropped.

I have no doubt that these ideas were propagated by the less than one per cent who under the exceptions I have mentioned remain in fear of prosecution, and insofar as they are supported by others it is because of a mistaken sense of temporary euphoria or solidarity. I assure them it is time very soberly to consider their position. It is for the Police to answer to lawful authority and to enforce it − not to answer to a small self-interested group.

The idea that pressure can achieve further concessions of this sort would result from a complete misconception of the mood of the Government and the community. It would also ignore the true interests of at least 99 per cent of the Police Force itself. Needless to say it totally ignores the true interests of Hong Kong where the enforcement of law and order and the achievement of acceptable standards of honesty have made such strides in recent years. Concessions to such demands under pressure would invite pressure on other issues; next, it would be the suppression of ICAC itself, possibly to have persons in prison released, and so on, until we had a situation in which the law was being administered in the interests of the corrupt. I know this is not what most of the Force and their families want, but this is where they would be led if the Government were to give any further ground. To do so would yield to anarchy and to anarchy there can be no concession. I am confident in this I am speaking for the entire community, young and old, rich and poor.

I hope that wiser counsels will now prevail. But it is as well that all should realize now, before irrevocable action is taken that we cannot accept that policemen who do not accept lawful authority, or who support others in not doing so, or continue to dominate lawful authority by means of pressures, should remain in the Force, and be paid by the public. In the present circumstances powers available are too slow and ponderous. Honourable Members will therefore be invited this afternoon to amend the Police Force Ordinance to grant powers of summary dismissal.

I very much hope it will not be necessary to use these powers. I hope, as I say, that wiser counsels will prevail and that the dialogue proceeding will continue. I can also ensure all concerned that these powers will not be used in respect of anything that has happened so far, and they will not likely be used in the future.

I am glad to say in conclusion that a meeting was held between the Deputy Commissioner of Police and representatives of the various Police associations during most of today. The meeting agreed that the Commissioner should issue a statement that will be made shortly, recording a pledge of full loyalty to the Commissioner and a pledge that in future all issues would be pursued through established constitutional channels, and by no other means, and certainly not by the process of any protest public gatherings.

As I have only just heard this statement I am unable to comment on it, but I feel it right that Honourable Members should know of it before passing to the Bill before them. I still think that the powers that the amendment will confer and desirable, though the outcome of this meeting does offer additional hope that they will not need to be used.
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警聲特刊,一九七七年十一月八日一九七七年十一月七日立法局會議港督麥理浩爵士演詞************************


上星期六傍晚,本人就廉政公署之行動發表了一項新政策,其內容如下:「我要向所有有關人士說:今天廉政公署對於有關一九七七年一月一日之前所犯罪行之投訴或證據,在普通情況下將不予受理,惟那些經已被傳訊之人士,已被通緝之人士以及現時不在香港之前任公務員則屬例外。我不將那些已被傳訊之人士包括在內,是因為認為執行法例之工作(無論是由警務人員或廉政公署人員負責執行),是不應該受到未經法律規定之行動所阻礙的。我說:「在普通情況下將不予受理」,因為間或會發現嚴重的罪行,如不受理就會受到非議,而且如不採取行動,則市民定不能容忍。但遇到有此類案件時,必會先與本人諮商。」

此點當然是適用於全體公務員及社會人士,並非單指警務人員而言。

我們的目的一直都是清理政府部門及繼續對過往的罪行提出檢控,直至達致可被接納的標準為止。我們從未想過要檢控每一個曾有任何違法行為的人。鑒於廉潔誠實的標準已有顯著改善,尤以過去兩年為然,本人曾估計不久即可採取與上週六所宣布者類似的措施。

此舉能使我們今後能集中力量去保持標準,而非藉繼續起訴前曾犯罪的人士,以肅貪倡廉。這樣就可以為公共服務寫下歷史新的一頁。然而鑒於近來事態發展,本人認為有立即頒布特赦的必要。除特殊情形之外,這項決定實際上已消除了所有今後走正途人士的恐懼。

我故意將例外情形減至極少數。其一是「曾被傳訊的人士」,這並非表示任何曾與廉署人員交談的人士,而只指不論在被捕前後曾被廉署人員傳訊,並被指控曾犯罪行的人士。此類人士數目不大,再有二萬人的警隊中,人數可能不足二百人。

另一例外是在今年以前所犯的罪行,經揭發後發覺其性質極為嚴重,如有此情形而不採取行動,實在匪夷所思。但為確保在任何情況下,此類例外不致有違本人原意,故本人當時說,一旦有此種情形出現,必須轉交本人裁奪。這已明確指出,本人預料此類案件少之又少,而且事實上迄今仍未知有此種事情存在。

其他例外則是指已被通緝之人士,或現時潛逃離港之前任公務員。這項決定的理由顯而易見,毋庸贅言。

這項聲明,絕無妨礙廉政公署保持既得成果之意,亦不是說我們已把維持公共服務廉潔的決心放棄或減低。但在這個時候宣布這樣的聲明,市民當感愕然。雖然一般人對其理由已加諒解,但亦有許多人對政府竟然有此宣布表示憂慮,或認為是過分讓步。可是,並沒有人認為政府應作更大讓步。相反的,大家都認為不能再作讓步。

警務人員所組成的各個協會現仍考慮本人的姓名。但仍有人非正式地表示,認為這項聲明中所作出的讓步仍然不夠,應繼續用示威及逐步拒絕執行法例等行動,向政府施加壓力,迫使政府放棄現時在進行中的一切傳訊、控訴及審慎工作。各位議員及市民對此種種當感關切。本人絕對相信這些謬論正由為數不少於百分之九十九的人員所散播,這些人員是我所提及的不受赦免的人。他們仍然恐懼被控。其他人士如果支持這一小撮人,其與共安樂謀團結的真義,相去實何止十萬八千里。

本人因此向他們着重指出,現在正是他們積極冷靜地考慮自己處境的時候。警察隊伍的任務是香合法當局負責和執行法紀,而不是一小部份自私自利的人負責。

以為用壓力就可以獲得進一步讓步的人,完全誤解了政府和社會的態度,亦知警隊內至少百分之九十九人員的真正利益於不顧。不用說這種人更完全忽視了香港的真正利益,本港在近年來在維持法紀及治安以及奠定廉潔風氣方面,已有可觀進展。

在壓力下對這些要求作出讓步,會引致對其他問題的壓力:要求壓倒廉政公署,釋放獄中犯人等等的壓力會接踵而來,終至法律只為維護貪污人士之利益而執行。我確信這不是大部份警務人員及他們的家人所希望見到的。但假如政府再作讓步便會導致這樣的後果,就是向無法無天的人屈服,而對無法無天的人是絕對不能讓步的。本港全體市民不論老少貧富,對此定有同感。

我希望有關人等都能作出更理智的抉擇。無論如何,在他們採取無可挽回的行動之前,他們應該知道我們不能讓拒受合法當局節制的警務人員、或者支持他們不受合法當局節制的人、又或繼續試圖用壓力去左右合法當局的人繼續留在警察隊伍內,及繼續有市民大眾支付其薪酬。目前情況下,政府運用現有權力來對付這各種人員,需時過久,手續亦太繁複。所以今天下午特請各位來商討如何修訂警察條例已賦予警務處長對上述各類不法人員予以立即革職的權力。

我極希望不需要使用此等權力。正如我說我希望有關人等及時醒悟,繼續商談。我同時也要對所有有關人士保證,立即革職的權力,不會運用於迄今發生的事件上,而且將來亦不會輕易運用。

最後本人很高興的告訴各位,副警務處長與各警務人員協會之代表,今日大部份時間在舉行會議。會上獲致協議,認為警務處長應發表一項聲明,內容除聲明各會已對處長全力效忠之外,並保證今後只經由早經確定的正當途徑來解決問題,而不以任何其他方式進行。更絕對不會已舉行任何公共集會抗議之方式進行。警務處的聲明,不一會便會公布。

由於我剛剛獲悉該項聲明,故現在未能作出評論,但我覺得各位議員應該在通過修訂案之前知道有這件事。雖然他們的會議,使我們更有希望,毋須行使法案賦予的權力,不過,我認為這些權力仍然是必要的。

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