12 April 2020

[Historical Files] Governor Chris Patten's Inaugural Speech, 9 July 1992

Governor Chris Patten's Inaugural Speech, 9 July 1992



Sir David, Baroness Dunn, ladies and gentlemen,

I am very grateful to the Chief Secretary and to Baroness Dunn for their kind and eloquent words. It was a particular and an attractive pleasure to hear Baroness Dunn twice. [laughter] Sir David and Baroness Dunn are two of Hong Kong's most eminent servants. I greatly look forward to working with them, and to their wise counsel.

I am greatly honoured today to assume the responsibility of the Governorship of Hong Kong - one of the world's greatest cities.

Hong Kong has been made great not by the accidents of geography but by its most formidable assets, the enterprise, the energy, the vitality and industry of its people, living, working and prospering within a framework of sound administration and the rule of law.

You, the people of Hong Kong, have created here at the heart of Asia a wonder of the world, one of the most spectacular examples of the virtues of free economy known to man.

Now the people of Hong Kong face a further task, I am privileged to share it with you for the next five years. Our task for the future is as momentous as your achievements in the past. It is a task that will require all the qualities you have already shown - resilience, determination, drive - only in still greater measure. It is a task which, when we accomplish it successfully - as we are going to do - will provide a shining example to the world of partnership and co-operation between peoples and nations for the good of all.

What we have to do in the closing years of this tumultuous century is to turn from earnest hope to firm reality, that historic and far-sighted concept - "One Country, Two Systems".

When we have achieved that, we will have fulfilled the promise enshrined in the Joint Declaration, a stable and prosperous Hong Kong whose future - founded in that Declaration - is secure; a Hong Kong that cherishes and maintains its present lifestyle; a capitalist heart beating the centre of Asia, pumping prosperity ever more widely.

That achievement will be good for the people of today's Hong Kong; good for the people of Hong Kong of tomorrow; good for China; good for Britain; good for the close relationship between our two ancient civilizations; and it will - as the new century unfolds - be good for the world.

As you know, as Sir David mentioned in his own remarks, I don't come today as a stranger to the territory. I have visited Hong Kong both as a backbench Member of Parliament and as a Minister. But I have never lived here, and nor has my family - my wife, Lavender, my daughters Laura, Alice and Kate (who is not here today but reported to be somewhere between Uruguay and Paraguay). They will join me in expressing our enthusiasm at the prospect of making our home in Hong Kong and getting to know the people who live here.

I am, of course, very much aware of the considerable achievement of my predecessor. Lord Wilson has been a friend for many years. He was an excellent Governor of Hong Kong, marvellously supported by Lady Wilson. I know that they are held in high regard and much affection. Throughout his distinguished career as diplomat and then Governor, Lord Wilson has done as much as any man to strengthen the bonds between Britain and China to the benefit of Hong Kong; to try to ensure that our nations understand one another better; and above all to serve you, the people of this territory. He has been an exemplary career of public service.

For my own part, I pledged myself to devote all my energy to representing the interest of the people of Hong Kong as strongly and as wisely as I can.

I will stand up for Hong Kong as you would wish me to do, courteously and firmly.

I said a moment ago that we must turn "One Country, Two Systems" from aspiration to reality. But let us begin with this question. What are the hallmarks of Hong Kong's system?

The bedrock, the bedrock of your way of life is the rule of law that guarantees fair and equitable treatment for everyone. It governs all your dealings, personal and financial. You have an independent Judiciary in which every individual can have confidence. Because no one is above the law. No politician, no business leader, no citizen, no Governor. Because no one is above the law, the law serves everyone.

People of Hong Kong enjoy the freedom to go about your business without constant interference from the Government. You enjoy freedom of worship and freedom of speech.

You have as well a Government in which there is democratic participation by the people of Hong Kong at every level, a Government supported by a fine public service.

Flourishing in this environment, Hong Kong is the best example in the post-war world of an open market economy. It is open in two senses: open to all the many talents of those who work in it and open to the world with which it trades with such spectacular success.

They are the distinctive qualities of our system. The Joint Declaration guarantees that they will all be preserved for the future. Looking to that future, I would like to make five brief points this afternoon.

First, we can best secure our future tomorrow by our success today. That is true of our economy and it is true of our Government. The strongest safeguard for our governing institutions will be the effectiveness, vigour and the good sense with which they operate. All of us who participate in the running of Hong Kong have serious work to do. I look forward to co-operating with those who share my aim - to do everything we can to improve and strengthen the Government of Hong Kong in the unique circumstances in which history has placed us. Those circumstances require a spirit of mature co-operation in the business of Government. 

To govern - as [inaudible] said* - is to choose and choice is invariably difficult. Good political leadership involves facing up to hard decisions, taking them, setting out clearly what has to be done when all the talking is over, and winning consent for the course that has to be pursued.

That is why I wish, while preserving the authority and the dignity of my office, to make my Governorship as open and assessable as possible. But the ultimate responsibility of leadership rests with me, in what is and in what will remain an executive-led Government.

Secondly, our personal and collective ambitions and prospects are inevitably linked to the success of the economy in which we work. Hong Kong knows better than anywhere that it cannot rest on laurels won in the past. We have to strive continuously to maintain and improve our competitiveness for tomorrow's world, certain of only one thing - that our competitors will certainly do the same. We cannot stand still. We must continue to build for the future. That is why the new airport and all the infrastructure projects associated with it are so important. That is why the Prime Ministers of both Britain and China have expressed their personal commitment to this exciting work. It is a great undertaking worthy of the great city and territory that it will serve.

When the airport and the new airport, and the bridges and the railways, and the land reclamation and the roads, when they are all completed, we know that the whole project will act as a dynamo for further wealth creation, not just in Hong Kong but in Guangdong and more widely in Southern China whose flourishing economic links with the territory are to the benefit of us all. The airport will confirm our place at the crossroads of the Asian economy.

To retain our economic strength, we also have to attend to more parochial but important concerns. We have, for example, to continue to battle against inflation, hard-fought though that battle is bound to be. When the public express anxiety about the rate of inflation, they are wholly right to do so. Inflation is a cunning enemy, an enemy that we ignore at our peril.

Thirdly, it is essential that we remain a low tax economy in which public spending is kept under prudent control. But it is also right that we should be free to use some of the wealth we generate as a community to help those of our fellow citizens who fall by the wayside. And in addition to make our society even more civilized, I know how much this community cares about the education of our children, about the care of the elderly, about housing, about the disabled, and about the environment in which we live. I intend that the Government should attach to these issues the priority they undoubtedly deserve. I look forward to saying more about them in my speech to the Legislative Council in October.

Fourthly, I know as well how much concern ha been expressed in the community about law and order. Hong Kong, it is true, is a safer city than most. Yet that is little comfort to the families and businesses who have been the victims of violent crime. The Government will be relentless in the fight against crime. We should be especially tough against violent crime. The Royal Hong Kong Police Force do a magnificent job. They can count on my staunch support as they go about their sometimes dangerous work. Co-operating closely with the Chinese authorities, we shall work round the clock to beat crime in this city.

My fifth task is perhaps the most vital and challenging of all.

I have heard it said that the relationship between Britain and China, and therefore the position of Hong Kong is still bedevilled by misunderstandings and by a lack of trust.

I will do all I can to remove misunderstandings, and to build up trust. But I make this point with some emphasis, trust is a two-way street. Good co-operation with China is my sincere aim and my profound wish. It is vital for the next five years, vital for the future of Hong Kong.

Let me finally make this clear.

As Hong Kong's Governor I have no secret agenda. You are with me already. My only agenda is the one I have laid before you today. It is clear. It is public. And so it will remain. If you want to know what I believe, if you want to know what I think, if you want to know what I intend to do, read what I say and listen to what I say.

I have no doubt that - God willing (which I say with an emphasis in front of the bishop and the cardinal) - through our own hard work, our own calm judgment, and sturdy determination, we shall carry through this historic task to a conclusion that will rank above all others among this territory's many achievements.

In the next five years and for 50 years and more beyond, the eyes of the world will be on Hong Kong. I am sure that we shall be worthy of our destiny, a symbol of confidence and co-operation for the rest of humanity.

*: The quote is said to be from Pierre Mendès-France, not "Choisseur"

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彭定康督憲致辭全文
粵語譯文來源:https://www.facebook.com/VCRBase/videos/462128487677566/?v=462128487677566

首席按察司楊鐵樑爵士、霍德爵士、鄧蓮如勳爵、各位嘉賓:

我非常感謝布政司同鄧蓮如勳爵語重心長嘅說話。(英有,中略)佢哋兩位都係香港嘅俊彥,一直竭誠為香港服務。我熱切期待同佢哋共事,聽取佢哋明智嘅意見。

香港係世界上最偉大嘅城市之一,今日出任香港總督一職,對我嚟講實在係一項殊榮。香港能夠成為偉大嘅城市,並非因地利而幸至,而係因為珍貴無比嘅資產。喺呢個健全行政架構同法治社會裡面,香港市民生活、工作同共享繁榮。佢哋積極進取嘅精神、充沛嘅活力同幹勁、不斷嘅努力,就係香港彌足珍貴嘅資產。

各位香港市民,你哋喺亞洲嘅心臟地區創造咗一個奇蹟,將自由經濟嘅種種優點盡顯無遺,成就卓越,堪稱典範。

目前,香港市民要面對另一項艱鉅嘅工作。我感到十分榮幸,能夠喺未來五年與各位一齊承擔呢項重任。呢項關係未來嘅工作,與各位喺過去取得嘅各項成就同樣重要。香港市民一向善用應變,而且意志堅決、幹勁衝天,呢項工作有賴各位將上述優點進一步發揮。我哋將會悉力以赴,定會完成呢項工作,為世界樹立最佳榜樣,說明各國人民同政府為咗大家嘅利益,應該和衷共濟,鼎力合作。

喺呢個風起雲湧嘅世紀接近結束嘅數年內,我哋需要做嘅,係將一國兩制呢個歷史意義重大而且深具遠見嘅構思付諸實行,使熱切嘅冀望成為不可推翻嘅事實。

當我哋達到呢個目標嘅時候,就得以履行《聯合聲明》嘅承諾,即係香港得以繼續享有安定繁榮,而香港以《聯合聲明》作為根據嘅前途亦會穩定。香港市民所珍惜嘅現有生活方式亦得以維持不變。作為亞洲區樞紐嘅香港,將會保持資本主義制度,並且將繁榮傳播開去。

呢項成就不但會對會對今日嘅香港人有利,而且對明日嘅香港人、中英兩國,以及對促進呢兩個文明古國嘅緊密關係都有裨益。而且隨住新世紀嘅展開,呢項成就對整個世界亦有益處。

正如你哋所知,而頭先霍德爵士都有提過嘞,我今日唔係第一次踏足香港。我曾經先後以英國國會後座議員同部長嘅身分訪問香港。不過我同家人都從未喺呢度生活過㗎。諗到日後喺香港居住,有機會認識呢度嘅人,我同內子林穎彤、小女麗思、雅思,同今日無跟我哋一齊嚟香港嘅潔思,都感到非常興奮。

上任總督成就卓越,政績彪炳,呢點我十分清楚。衛奕信勳爵係我多年朋友,佢係一位傑出嘅香港總督,而衛奕信勳爵夫人一直給予佢全力支持。我知道佢哋係深受市民尊崇同愛戴嘅。衛奕信勳爵喺擔任外交職位及其後出任總督期間,表現出色,佢致力鞏固中英兩國嘅關係,以促進香港利益,加深中英兩國了解。呢個為本港市民盡心服務。佢喺上述各方面所作出嘅貢獻,無人能出其右。佢實在係公職人員嘅典範。

至於我本人,我誓必竭盡所能,堅強而明智咁奮力代表香港人嘅利益。

我定會禮貌而堅定咁挺身維護香港,唔會辜負大家嘅期望。

我剛才講過,我哋必須將一國兩制呢個冀望變為事實,但我哋首先要問——香港嘅體制究竟有乜嘢特色?

香港現時嘅方式,係建基喺法治之上嘅。法治保證人人得到公正同平等嘅待遇,亦都係規管大家一切人際同財務交往嘅。香港擁有獨立嘅司法部,值得每一個人信賴。由於無一個人能夠凌駕喺法律之上,因此法律係為每一個人服務嘅。

香港人擁有自由去做自己嘅事,唔會處處受到政府干預。你哋都享有信仰自由同言論自由。

此外,香港政府讓香港人喺每個階層嘅事務都有民主參與,並由一群優秀嘅公職人員輔助。

香港喺咁樣環境下茁壯成長、欣欣向榮,係戰後實施開放市場經濟嘅最佳例子。開放嘅意義可以從兩方面嚟講嘅,就係對喺香港工作嘅多方面人才開放,以及對香港從中取得驕人成績嘅世界貿易開放。

呢啲都係香港體制嘅特色。《聯合聲明》保證呢啲特色日後將會全部保留。展望未來,我想喺今日簡略提出以下五點:

第一,我哋可以用今日嘅成就作為未來嘅最佳保證。呢一點對香港嘅經濟如是,對香港政府亦都如是。我哋嘅管治機構亦可以用現時運作嘅效率、幹勁同睿智,作為日後最強而有力嘅保證。因此,我哋所有參與香港嘅人都身負重任。我本人嘅目標係喺歷史所造成嘅獨特環境之下,竭盡所能,改善同鞏固香港政府。我更渴望與抱持同一目標嘅人士衷誠合作,喺上述環境之下,我哋必須以明智、慎重嘅合作精神嚟處理政府事務。施行管治就係要作出選擇,而選擇往往係十分困難嘅。英明嘅政治領袖要面對難以決定嘅問題,並且作出決定。喺一切討論成為過去之後,就有清楚訂定必須進行嘅工作,並為所需採取嘅路向爭取認同。因此,我希望喺維護香港總督嘅威信同尊嚴嘅同時,能夠盡量開明同聽取各方面嘅意見。不過,喺現時以至日後仍然會係行政主導嘅政府裡面,最終嘅領導責任仍然係由我肩負嘅。

第二,我哋個人及共同嘅抱負同前途,與我哋工作於其中嘅經濟體系所取得嘅成就必然係息息相關嘅。香港比任何地方更清楚知道,唔可以滿足於以往所取得嘅成就。我哋必須繼續努力,維持並提高我哋嘅競爭力,以應付明日世界挑戰。而且,可以肯定一點就係,我哋嘅競爭對手亦都會係咁做。我哋唔可以停滯不前,我哋必須要繼續為未來努力建設。因此,新機場及所有關連嘅基建工程都非常重要。呢一點亦係英國首相同中國總理親自對呢項令人振奮嘅工程作出承擔嘅一個原因。呢項龐大嘅計劃確實切合香港呢個偉大城市嘅需要。我哋知道當新機場、新港口、大橋、鐵路、填海工程同道路工程相繼完成之後,呢整套計劃將會成為一股動力,進一步創造財富,不單惠及香港,甚至遠達廣東及華南地區。而我哋大家亦可分享到中港兩地經濟活動蓬勃發展嘅成果。新機場嘅落成啟用,將奠定香港處於亞洲經濟中樞嘅重要地位。要保持香港嘅經濟實力,我哋仲需要處理香港本身嘅一啲重要事項。舉例嚟講,我哋要繼續打擊通脹,儘管嗰一場必定會係一場硬仗。市民對通脹率表示憂慮係大有道理嘅。通脹係一個狡詐多端嘅敵人。我哋若掉以輕心,就會自食其果。

第三,我哋必須維持低稅率經濟,並確保公共支出受到審慎控制。呢點係至為重要嘅。但我哋應該可以運用社會共同創造嘅部分財富,去幫助嗰啲需要援手嘅市民,使我哋嘅社會更加美好。我知道香港市民十分關心子女嘅教育、老人嘅照顧、房屋、弱能人士,以及生活嘅環境等等。我認為政府應優先處理呢啲問題。我期待喺十月嘅立法局會議席上詳細討論呢啲問題。

第四,我知道本港市民對治安問題甚表關注。香港與大部分城市相比,無疑係較為安全,不過對暴力罪行嘅受害家庭同商業機構嚟講,呢個事實並不能令佢哋感到絲毫安慰。政府會鍥而不捨打擊罪案,更會特別強硬對付暴力罪行。皇家香港警務處人員嘅表現極為出色。佢哋執行任務時有時會遇到危險,但佢哋嘅工作必定得到我全力支持。我哋會同中國當局緊密合作,日以繼夜撲滅罪行。

我嘅第五項任務大概係至為重要同最具挑戰性嘅。我曾經聽聞過中英兩國嘅關係仍然因為種種誤會同互不信任而出現問題,以至香港嘅處境亦受到影響。我定會竭盡所能,消除誤會,建立彼此間嘅信任。不過信任係雙方面嘅。與中方衷誠合作,係我摯誠嘅目標,深切嘅願望。喺未來五年,呢點係不可或缺嘅,對香港嘅將來亦極為重要。

最後我要清楚咁話畀大家知,身為香港總督,我並無乜嘢隱秘嘅任務。我嘅任務已經喺今日講咗畀大家知㗎嘞,不但清楚明確,而且係公開嘅。而家係咁,將來都係咁。我深信,假若得到上天垂顧,憑住努力工作、冷靜判斷同堅定決心,我哋必定能完成呢項具有歷史意義嘅任務,而所取得嘅成果會較諸香港以往嘅各項成就更為卓越。喺未來五年,以至五十年,及更長嘅日子裡面,香港將會成為全球目光嘅焦點。我確信我哋唔會辜負上天嘅旨意,一定會完成任務,定會成為全人類信心同合作嘅標誌。

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