英國政府於1976年時對香港前途的評估

最近英國政府在香港民主進程的位置又再一次受傳媒注意,引起不少討論。九七至今已有十六年,現在的中學生許多都是特區孩子,對英國管治只有想像的機會。剛好今年六月我帶了一批中文大學的學生到訪倫敦的英國國立檔案館,和他們介紹檔案對於全面認識歷史的重要。我在這兒引用一些在檔案館找到的歷史文件,望能給各位多一個角度思考。

文件來自檔案編號 FCO40/701 Planning Paper of Future Progress of Hong Kong part A ,一份有關香港前途規劃的草稿,由外交及聯邦事務部草擬。由於版權所限,不能把照片放上來,只能原文逐字引用。下文為 1976 年3月草稿版本的附錄 B ,提出了香港前途的各種可能:

SECRET

ANNEX B

Alternative Futures for Hong Kong

(a) Continuance of the present status quo up to and beyond 1997 by negotiated and public agreement with the Chinese.

Prospects: Doubtful. Such an agreement would involve overt Chinese agreement to the continuance of colonial status which may be ideologically unacceptable and difficult to defend against Russian propaganda in the Third World. In the UK interest in view of the contingent immigration liability but increasingly difficult to defend politically here against the background of decolonisation generally; and postponement of the problem will not make it easier to solve in the longer term. Dependent on continuance of present Chinese policy into the 21st century and continued control of Peking Government over China generally. Confidence-building in Hong Kong.

(b) Continuance of the present status quo up to and beyond 1997 with tacit Chinese acquiescence.

Prospects: Easier to achieve than (a) but in some ways less favourable to the UK. CHina free to terminate at any time: UK’s ultimate negotiating position correspondingly weaker. Less good for confidence in Hong Kong but tolerable.

(c) Continuance of the Present status quo in exchange for recognition, either explicit or implicit, of Chinese sovereignty and, in the other direction, of UK as good sitting tenants. Probably consequence: appointment of Chinese Government ‘representative’ in Hong Kong.

Prospects: Promising. Probably sufficient to reconcile Chinese ideological and pragmatic desiderata. Confidence-building in Hong Kong; but appointment of Chinese representative could, in certain circumstances, risk erosion of Governor’s position and emergence of dual authority.

(d) As at (c) with freedom to move towards an elective system for the Legislative Council.

Prospects: Less promising than (c) but greatly to HMG’s advantage in making us less answerable for Hong Kong’s internal policies. Tolerable for Hong Kong.

(e) Process of evaluation whereby China gradually increases to cultural economic and political activities leading to appointment of an official Chinese representative.

Prospects: Possible but Hong Kong laws and administration would have to continue indefinitely and appropriate confidence building resources for investors taken by the Chinese. Not as satisfactory from UK point of view as formal arrangements. Probably tolerable for Hong Kong.

(f) UK/Chinese joint administration for a pre-determined (or indefinite) future.

Prospects:  Possible, provided ultimate Chinese sovereignty was recognised: but no real advantage to the UK and probably intolerable situation diplomatically. Very precarious and unlikely to maintain confidence in Hong Kong.

(g) UK withdrawal and recognition of Chinese sovereignty in exchange for Chinese recognition of a “special status” for Hong Kong with local Chinese accruing responsibility for internal government.

Prospects: Less promising than (c) or (d) but a possibility if pragmatic considerations are uppermost in Peking. Solution perhaps most acceptable to HMG but careful explanation would be necessary in Hong Kong and elsewhere if confidence is not to be eroded.

(h) UK withdrawal and negotiated Chinese takeover on an undertaking to allow a reasonable degree of local political and economic autonomy and security for existing population, business enterprises etc.

Prospects:  Probably the negotiated solution most acceptable to China but very difficult to sell to the population in Hong Kong and to investors. If possible at all, the agreement would need to contain firm safeguards which may be difficult to obtain.

(i) UK withdrawal and incorporation in China +- 1997.

Prospects: Remote unless the ideologues take over in Peking and disastrous if they do. Impossible to announce to population in Hong Kong and impossible to implement even gradually without agreement becoming obvious there. Grave political problems for HMG.

(j) Forcible Chinese takeover +- 1997.

Prospects: Remote (as at (h) above) and particularly disadvantageous economically to China. Likely to reduce the immigration liability on the UK but a moral diplomatic and political defeat of incalculable dimensions cf. Singapore 1941. Impossible to contemplate.

先向較年輕的朋友說明一下, HMG 是指 Her Majesty’s Government。從文中可見,英政府最關心的,當然是英國自身的利益,雖然這點也取決於香港社會本身、 英國內部,和國際社會的接受程度。值得注意的,此草稿的來自 1976 年3月,當時毛澤東仍然再生,鄧小平即將第三次下台,麥理浩還未有訪京,然而原來英國內部已經提到一些類似「一國兩制」的猜想。

我不是香港史的專家,要如何把這文件放在更廣闊的脈絡當中理解,各位要找這方面的高手。我僅僅想藉此指出一點:香港有一段殖民史,香港和英國的關係十分複雜,我們不如多看看這方面專家的研究,才再去討論英國在香港民主進程中的地位。口水戰太便宜,香港的過去和未來都值得更嚴謹的討論。

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