THE Clinton administration has said in a report to the American Congress that Governor Mr Chris Patten's blueprint for greater democracy was ''consistent'' with the Basic Law - Hongkong's future constitution. The report, which was submitted to Congress yesterday, also lists the promotion of increased democracy as a major United States policy goal in its relations with Hongkong. This further expression of support for democratic reforms in Hongkong came amidst clear statements of firm backing for the territory by two of President Mr Bill Clinton's top policy-makers. The Secretary of State, Mr Warren Christopher, expressed staunch support for Mr Patten's plan on Tuesday, followed by similar backing a day later from Mr Clinton's top Asia adviser, Mr Winston Lord. But a senior Asia policy aide of former president Mr George Bush, Mr Douglas Paal, warned that the US should stay out of the bitter dispute raging between Britain and China over Mr Patten's controversial reform plan. Mr Paal, who was Mr Bush's Asia director in the National Security Council, said in a speech that the Sino-British row over the pace of reforms in Hongkong was too delicate an issue for the US to become embroiled in. Speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Mr Paal said the US should restrict itself to expressing general support for greater democracy in Hongkong without becoming involved in the details of the Patten plan. Mr Lord adopted a similar position earlier in the day, telling senators that while the Clinton administration supported democracy in Hongkong ''the specific details'' had to be left to Britain and China with Hongkong involvement. Mr Lord, a former US ambassador to China who Mr Clinton has now chosen as assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Senate committee the US should not get involved in the negotiations over greater Hongkong democracy. The report on Hongkong to Congress describes in great detail Mr Patten's controversial reform package and Beijing's angry opposition to it. ''The Sino-British dispute polarised opinion within the Hongkong community,'' it said. The report is required under Senator Mitch McConnell's US-Hongkong Policy Act, signed into law by Mr Bush last year, which forges closer American-Hongkong ties. The report notes that Beijing has voiced strong objections to the McConnell Act on Hongkong, charging that it interferes in China's internal affairs. ''The US government has informed the PRC that the Hongkong Policy Act is fully consistent with the spirit of the Joint Declaration,'' the report states. Reiterating US support for Hongkong democracy the report called for a resumption of the Sino-British talks over the Patten proposals. In other areas the report noted Hongkong's free speech and free press tradition, but said concern about self-censorship was growing as 1997 approaches. Mr Lord said the Clinton administration would press ahead with a Radio Free Asia to promote democracy and would take a tough line with China on issues ranging from the release of political dissidents to the export of prison labour goods.