Proposed move bad for public

I STRONGLY object to the impending move of the entire Hongkong Public Records Office to Tuen Mun.

I support better facilities for both the public and staff at the office and I appreciate both the large amount of expensive storage space required by the records and the benefits of consolidated storage.

However, the facility is meant to function as the Public Records Office to preserve and administer historic documentary materials of known or potential value to academics, children doing school projects and individuals with a personal interest in Hongkong's history.

Whilst much of the material comes from Government, some has been passed to the office by other individuals or organisations in the hope that the public would have better access via the records office.

A great part of the government material cannot be seen by the public without special approval of the originating department and, in some cases, cannot yet be seen by anyone outside the Public Records Office. Let such ''closed'' material be stored in TuenMun, but let the open material be kept at an urban location for easier public access. The numbers who use the public reading-rooms (now in the Murray Road car-park, Central) will become far fewer if they must take the bus to Tuen Mun, especially as the records office is only open during normal office hours.

As I very much doubt that the Public Records Office staff clamoured for Tuen Mun, let us hear from some ''policy'' spokesman (in ordinary language please).

ADRIAN THOMAS Jardine's Lookout