GOVERNOR Mr Chris Patten last night made another impassioned plea for Beijing to begin early talks on his democracy proposals while admitting they would be ''extremely difficult indeed''. He said talks would bring advantages - giving China the chance to explain what it would do about the 1995 elections. It would allow China to discuss exactly how the through train and transitional arrangements might work and how legislators elected in 1995 would be affected, he said. ''I hope that we can solve these problems swiftly,'' he said. ''I am sure that we will be able to put them behind us in due course.'' Speaking to a large audience of government ministers, diplomats, MPs, academics and journalists at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Mr Patten stressed that once the problems over talks were out of the way, Hongkong's future was ''extremely bright''. His keynote speech went over most of the ground from the original publication of his democracy proposals last October, to the present impasse with China. He stressed the moral side of the argument and the importance of the freedom Hongkong now enjoys. ''Discharging our responsibilities to Hongkong faces us with a long agenda of arduous choices,'' he said. Making clear that there were some principles he was not prepared to back down on, Mr Patten added: ''In order to make those choices in the long-term interest of the people of Hongkong, it is important to remember the importance of bottom lines and of values.'' ''If there are values that we have to hold on to, at least the minimum value would be to try to ensure that the last elections under British sovereignty are clean and fair and not rigged.'' Mr Patten was given a long ovation by the audience which included senior figures from the Hongkong and Far East departments of the Foreign Office and Joint Liaison Group head, Mr Tony Galsworthy. He stressed there was a danger in talks starting too late because of the 1995 elections, adding: ''I think the Chinese officials most involved in monitoring Hongkong affairs appreciate the urgency for having arrangements in place with a decent interval before they actually happen.'' Asked later whether there would be any softening of the British insistence that Hongkong officials have equal status in any talks, Mr Patten said: ''It is our position that Britain should be represented as it always has been - as it was in the negotiations on the Joint Declaration, as it is in the Joint Liaison Group.'' He had stated unequivocally that the talks were between two sovereign powers, and one aspect of that was that a sovereign power could choose who represented it. The Governor added: ''But I don't want to push that matter too hard in case it makes talks about talks about talks too difficult.'' He said he had difficulty in understanding what the snag was. A spokesman in Beijing's Foreign Ministry had even said that Hongkong officials should not have the right to talk if there were negotiations. China was being very ''curious'' about this, said Mr Patten. Mr Patten later went on to a meeting with the head of the British-Hongkong Parliamentary Group, Mr Timothy Renton, MP, followed by meetings with Conservative Party officials. Today, his programme will be dominated by a speech on the free market system to the influential Conservative Reform Group.