THE matter of the Governor's taxes first became a subject of public debate months ago. The Queen had just volunteered to pay tax and the question arose of whether the Governor of Hongkong, one of very few of her subjects still exempt from tax, should not follow her example. However, the decision was put off ''pending further advice from London''. That was revised on February 3, when Mr Hamish Macleod told Legco the decision would be taken after the publication of the Queen's Memorandum of Understanding on her tax payments. The report on the Queen's taxes was published a week later but the issue ofMr Patten's tax stayed on the back burner. But now it is coming to the boil. Following legislator Mr Frederick Fung Kin-kee's decision to raise the matter again, the Governor announced the appointment of a committee of three to consider it. But since no deadline has been set for the completion ofits inquiries, we wonder whether the creation of the review committee was anything more than a delaying tactic. The more so since it is understood the three wise men were approached weeks ago but nothing further was done until their appointment was confirmed during the week. There are many questions which need to be asked. If the Governor were to pay tax, details of what part of his pay should be taxed and at what rate need to be worked out. Also to be considered is the matter of whether his salary package should be increasedto cover his new tax-burden. Should the taxpayer be asked, in effect, to pay the Governor's taxes for him, on the grounds that he was lured here in part on the promise of a tax-free package? That should be for the review committee to examine. Yet its remit has been left so vague that individual members will have to decide for themselves whether these issues are even to be tackled - whether they need to go beyond a simple ''Yes'' or ''No'' answer. The least the Governor should have done, if he wished to avoid giving the impression of prevarication, was to give the wise men a clear remit and a firm deadline. But, following the Queen's example, he should also have decided the matter in principle before setting up the committee to look at the details. Having set himself up as a man of the people prepared to abandon the colonial pomp and circumstance of his predecessors, the Governor should live up to his image by volunteering to pay the tax. But even if he chooses not to pay up, he does not have the option of not taking the decision at all.