50 years ago
Hongkong (August 13): Key money for apartments and houses and the prices of second-hand cars and refrigerators are soaring in Shanghai as thousands of Chinese of independent means are flocking back to that city from Hongkong according to arrivals from the north yesterday.
This sudden flow of rich Chinese back to Shanghai is said to be specially heavy in the past three weeks when the international situation began to deteriorate.
Informants told Reuter that these Chinese thought, in the event of another world war, Shanghai would definitely be safer than Hongkong.
Many Chinese are of the opinion that the Korean fighting has given further proof that the British colony is indefensible against a determined attack by a numerically superior force.
This revival of demand for premises is helping hundreds of foreigners who are packing up and preparing to leave the Chinese mainland. The foreign exodus is probably at its peak with an estimated 1,000 awaiting either transportations or the necessary visas, these informants said.
Foreign circles in Hongkong see little prospect of the exodus coming to an end in the near future. The main reason is that there is little chance of the large number of unemployed foreigners finding work again, especially if they are not specialists or professional men.
The Labour Union is insisting that vacancies for clerical, book-keeping and such like jobs should only be filled by Chinese.
Meanwhile, foreign private enterprises may yet be permitted to operate for many more years if Chinese Press reports to this effect are accurate.
These reports said that the transition from the present phase of the New Democracy to Socialism may occupy 'several decades' and during this period the Government will not only tolerate but will encourage private industry. But the development of private industry and commerce, the reports said, must be 'under the leadership of the state economy and within the sphere of benefitting the national welfare'.