Lords push for passports

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 January, 1994, 12:00am

SENIOR Exco member Lady Dunn and other peers intend to mobilise MPs to try to pressure the British Government to grant passports for Hong Kong's ethnic minorities.

The committee stage of the private bill on passports was approved in the House of Lords yesterday (Hong Kong time).

''I talked to quite a few members of the Lords after the debate and a few of us thought that we should start lobbying in the Commons and get a few senior members to get a debate going there and maybe even try for a private member's bill,'' Lady Dunn said.

Shadow foreign secretary Jack Cunningham has said he will support the bill and hoped Labour would also take up the issue.

Lady Dunn said she had warned the British Government that the issue would not go away. ''As long as we don't give up I think there is a reasonable chance. It is a very pure and simple and moral case and that is why there is such support.'' Lady Dunn also said she believed there might be a case that the British Government was breaching international law over its treatment of minorities.

Despite the backbench Bill having completed its committee stage, Home Office Minister of State Earl Ferrers said it would be ''inappropriate'' to change the existing arrangements.