THE CROWN COLONY of HONG KONG - A guide for H. M. Forces | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

THE CROWN COLONY of HONG KONG - A guide for H. M. Forces

I acquired this on eBay a few years ago. It was printed in August 1945 by the Government Press in Colombo, for servicemen in the British Armed Forces who were heading to Hong Kong.



  • China P.4
    • Population ; Waterways ; Climate 
  • China’s Story P.6
  • What the Chinese are like P.9
    • Religions and Superstitions ; “Face” and Rice Bowls; The Family; Reading, Writing, and Speaking ; Chinese Art
  • How China is Governed P.17
  • Life in China P.18
    • The Average Home; Farming; Food; Drinks ; Women ; Entertainments
  • How not to Spend Your Money P.20
  • Health and Sanitation P.20
    • Night Soil; Waste, Garbage and Refuse; Sanitation of Food ; Water
  • You have been Warned ! P.22
  • Chinese Weights and Measures P.23
  • Hong Kong P.24
    • History ; Government; General Description ; Population ; Education ; Health ; Trade ; Currency ; Weights and Measures ; Entertainment
  • Do’s P.28
  • Dont’s P.28


This book has nothing to do with military operations.

It deals only with civilian life in Hong Kong and China, and with the way you should behave to the Chinese population.

This book has been written for the guidance of H.M. Forces and must not be shown to the local community.



YOU are going to Hong Kong which is a British Crown Colony. It lies on the south coast of China and the population is mainly Chinese. This booklet will tell you a little about China as well as Hong Kong, with the object of helping you in your dealings with the people you will meet.

The people of China and Hong Kong have suffered greatly at Japanese hands. They deserve your help and sympathy. This booklet will give you some useful facts about the Chinese and will help you to get on with them.

Your reception by the Chinese will probably be enthusiastic. There will be genuine pleasure and heartfelt warmth in their greeting. Remember, however, that only Hong Kong is part of the British Empire and that the next thought of the people of China will be to return to conditions as they were before 1937. Once the novelty of your coming has worn off it is only natural that they should become preoccupied with their everyday affairs.

In China and Hong Kong, as in all countries occupied by the Japanese, the people have been obliged to resort to all kinds of ruses merely in order


to exist. Such an existence has left many Chinese people, including children, with ideas about law and order which are in sharp contrast with their orderly habits before the Japanese occupation. Make allowances for this.

Avoid Politics. You should avoid being dragged into political discussions. The Chinese naturally have their own political problems, but most of these are far from easy for a foreigner to understand, even if he knows the country well.

British forces have always been stationed in Hong Kong and will so continue. It is up to each one of you to do everything possible to make the Chinese there think of us as friends and not as “occupying forces”.


China is at once a continent and a country. It is not with a single European country that we should geographically compare it but with Europe as a whole. It is the Chinese provinces, over twenty in number, which are comparable, alike in size and population, to the individual countries of Europe. Only two are smaller than England. Several are larger than Great Britain. Szechwan, the largest of the historic provinces, is approximately the size of Sweden but has nearly ten times its population. The distances which separate Stockholm, London; Berlin, Moscow, and Rome, are roughly the same as those which separate the greatest regional centres of China: 


Peiping (Peking) in the far north, Nanking and Shanghai near the eastern seaboard, Hankow in the centre, Chengtu in the extreme west, and Canton in the extreme south.

Population. The population, although still not exactly known, is almost certainly over 425 millions, as compared with a European total (excluding Russia) of about 400 millions.

The provinces of Fukien, Chekiang, and Kiangsu contain about 75,000,000 people, and are among the most densely populated regions in the world.

Waterways. The most important river in China— and, indeed, in the whole world, for its supports far more human beings than any other river—is the Yangtse (Son of the Ocean). The Yangtse runs from west to east right through the centre of China, falling 16,000 feet to the sea, over a distance of 3,400 miles. There is also the Hwang Ho (Yellow River) in the north, sometimes called “China’s sorrow” because of its habit of flooding. The third great river of China is the West River or Si-kiang. It rises in the mountains of south-west China and. flows east to the sea near the city of Canton.

Climate. Winters in China are considered cold for their respective latitudes, but the summers are uniformly hot, although not extremely so. December, January, and February are the coldest months with a mean temperature between 38° and 50°(F). The hottest months are June, July, and August with a 


temperature between 75° and 100° (F.). The high humidity of summer, coupled with the high temperatures of that season, makes the coastal areas of central China very uncomfortable.

Typhoons may cross the coasts of central China at any time during the late summer and early full months. They are severe storms and affect the coast of China about six times each season.


Traditional Chinese history is classified according to dynasties. Commencing with the Hsia dynasty (2205-1766 B.C.), the Chinese were settled in the upper valley of the Hwang Ho or Yellow River, in occupation of that part the country now known as Kansu, Shensi, Shansi, and Honan.

During the Chow dynasty (1112-256 B.C.) China’s, three great philosophers lived, viz., Laotze (about 600 B.C.), Confucius (551-479 B.C.), and Mencius (372-289 B.C.).

The Tsin dynasty (255-206 B.C.) though of short duration, produced one Emperor of note viz., Tsin Shih Huang-ti (221-210 B.C.) whose name is famous for three exploits, namely, the consolidation of the Empire by sub-dividing it into 36 provinces, the building of the Great Wall of China, and the burning of China’s classics.

The Han dynasty maintained its hold on the Empire in its two branches, Western and Eastern


Han, from 206 B.C. to 221 A.D. During this dynasty the provinces now known as Fukien, Kwangtung, Yunnan, Szechwan, and Liaotung (now part of Manchuria) were incorporated with the Empire, and the removal of the capital from Sianfu, in Shensi, to Lohyang, in Honan, took place in 25 A.D. Years of peace, during which the nation prospered, alternated with incursions by the nomad Tartars. Numerous public works were undertaken and the classics were restored and engraved on stone.

On the fall of the Han dynasty the Empire was divided into three kingdoms. At this period the incursions of the Tartar tribes from the north became more serious until, in 317 A.D., they established themselves permanently in north China.

For the next five centuries the history of the Empire is one of internal discord and rebellion, with, for the most part, shortlived dynasties. One only, the Tang dynasty (618-907), lasted for any considerable period.

The Sung dynasty (960-1279) at first had its capital at Kaifeng in Honan, but early in its history the Tartars proved formidable neighbours. In 1125 A.D. the Kin Tartars founded a kingdom (with its capital later on at Peking, now known as Peiping), and before these invaders the Chinese retired south of the Yangtze with Nanking as their capital. In 1270 the Mongols, who had overthrown the Kin Tartars, overran the Empire, and in 1280 the Mongol dynasty under Kublai Khan was established; during his


reign Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller, was received at the Peking court.

In 1368 a successful revolution once more established a Chinese dynasty, the Ming (1368-1644), and the Mongols were driven from the country. Between 1618 and 1644 the Manchus made constant attacks on the Empire, and in the latter year entered Peking and established the Manchu dynasty.

In 1911 the Chinese overthrew the Manchu dynasty and attempted to establish a modern nation with a republican government. For 15 years it was racked by rivalry between war-lords and civil war, and torn by the intrigues of rival imperialist powers, particularly Japan. By 1927 the Kuomintang or Nationalist Party (now known as the Chungking Government) with which the Communist Party had joined succeeded under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek in capturing Shanghai and establishing its hegemony over eastern and central China. The alliance between the two parties ended violently, with the Communist Party driven underground, and the government of the Kuomintang, established in Nanking, achieving international recognition.

The new government, under a party dictatorship, attempted vigorously to unify China. At the same time China suffered 10 years of bitter civil war between Kuomintang forces and the Communists and repelled aggression from Japan to which it lost Manchuria in 1931. The Communists were finally


driven from their base in Kiangsi and pursued across the length of China until they ultimately established themselves in a new base in northern Shensi. To-day there is a sharp political controversy between the Kuomintang and the Communists. What will happen no one can say.


The Chinese have yellowish skins, but often the tinge is no darker than in sallow Europeans. Their hair is black and straight, their eyes look slit, and their hands and feet narrow and slender. For centuries it was customary to bind the feet of girls to make them small, and it was common for men to carry about with them little wooden balls, which they rolled between their fingers to make the hands supple. These customs were practised chiefly by the well-do-do, but it has been suggested they may in part account for the slender hands and small feet of the race. Two things that every visitor observes, we should learn now: the amazing patience of the Chinese, whatever they have to bear, and their ready cheerfulness.
Religious and superstitions. Speaking generally, religion is the driving power in everyday life throughout the East. This is true also of China, but the very practical disposition of the people and the teaching of old philosophers like Confucius and


Mencius has helped to make the Chinese very tolerant . The bitter religious rivalries of India have no counterpart in China.

Confucianism is not really a religion, but a general guide to right conduct towards others. Before the time of Confucius there were wise men who followed Tao, in many respects a beautiful and true attitude towards life. From this arose the religion known as Taoism, but while there have always been learned Chinese who study the difficult ideas of Taoism the vast majority accept only the magic and trickery that in the course of time developed from it. To-day Taoism is largely a matter of astrology, and lucky and unlucky days, times, and places, especially those due to the supposed influence of water and wind. The Chinese masses fear devils of various sorts, and have strangely simple schemes for outwitting the evil ones—a child should not be dressed in fine clothes because a spirit would see that the child is precious and therefore do him some harm; an only son (while still a child) may be dressed as a girl because an evil spirit would delight to injure an only son; a mirror is protection against devils since devils are frightened when they see themselves. Taoist priests carry on a brisk trade in the sale of charms, and for a few dollars will sell anyone what they pretend is the best day for a wedding or a funeral. For every Taoist temple in China there are ten Buddhist temples, because Buddhism with its hope for a future life, its quiet meditation, and its emphasis


on peace fits in with older Chinese beliefs and with the Chinese temperament.

These are the three main religions of China. Many Chinese practise all three at the same time. In many homes you will find a shrine for the ancestor-ceremonies of Confucius, a Kitchen God bought at a Taoist temple and displayed on the walls of the living-room and a scroll or pictures of Buddhist hells. In the changing modern world, however, these ancient religions of China are to some extent losing their hold.
Christianity had early contacts with China, but it is only in comparatively recent years that missionaries have gone to China from many countries. They have served China well, especially in medical work and in education.

“Face” and Rice Bowls. What the Chinese call “face-saving” or simply “face” is common in all countries, but for various reasons is carried to extreme in China. As an example, if a bad official has to be dismissed, the Governor sends for him and very politely, and in a roundabout way, hints that he will have to go. The official then sends in his resignation (knowing it to be inevitable). The Governor (with every intention of getting rid of the official) publicly appeals to the official not to resign, declaring that it will be almost impossible to get on without him. Of course the official insists on resigning knowing that he must). In this way, the dismissal


is made without the official losing “face”. The Chinese idea of “face” is important, and the failure of western government and travellers to recognize this has been the cause of much trouble in the past. All too often Europeans have shown a bluntness in speech that to the Chinese seems like the rudeness of barbarians. The Chinese consider that courtesy is a great virtue, and that rudeness and ill-temper are disgraceful.

To lose face is very bad, but it is almost as bad to be the cause of someone else losing his “face”. In any dispute the self-respect of both parties must be preserved even at the expense of what we in the West consider plain justice. It is not that the Chinese fail to understand the difference between right and wrong, but they consider it more important that men should live in peace and harmony. One result is the frequent use of peacemakers, who find some way out of a dispute without either party losing “face”.

Public opinion is very strong in China. It often restrains men from wrongdoing, but it also makes the individual too concerned with what the majority think and not sufficiently concerned with what is right and what is wrong.

An admirable Chinese trait is the strong disapproval of anyone who “breaks a man’s rice bowl". The Chinese character for cooked rice also means a meal, and if you want to know what time a man dines you


ask what time he eats his rice. So in China to break a man’s rice bowl is to deprive him of his means of living. The Chinese delight in bargaining but a bargain must not be driven so far as to ruin a man, i.e., break his rice bowl. When motor cars were first seen in China there were many accidents because the Chinese pedestrians had never had to dodge anything quicker than a wheelbarrow. If a man is run over and badly injured, the Chinese have no doubts as to the responsible party. The unfortunate man may have been drunk, but because his rice bowl is broken it is up to the motorist to keep the man (and any dependants) till he can work again.

The Family. In all parts of the East the family as a group is more important than with us. The teaching of Confucius increased this importance so that the continuance of the family became a ruling idea in Chinese life. Matters which we decide for ourselves are settled in China by the family elders or parents. Most marriages are settled by the family, sometimes when the boy and girl concerned are still in their cradles. A boy’s career is fixed for him; and when a girl marries she transfers her loyalty from her own family to that of her husband, and must undertake definite duties not only to her husband but to the members of his family. It is usual in China for married sons to go on living with their parents, the wives being “adopted” into the same home.


What we call “ancestor-worship" was customary in China long before the time of Confucius. The ceremonies are performed partly to keep fresh the memory of those who are dead, partly because the spirits of the dead can help the family, but more especially because it is believed, the dead will suffer in the next world if the ceremonies are neglected. One ceremony consists in putting such food as cooked rice and tea in front of the tablets, which are kept in the sitting-room and on which are the names of five generations of ancestors; some of the living then kneel before the tablets and bow low, after which the food is eaten by the family in a ceremonial meal.

Every Chinese man is very anxious to have a son to continue the family and to perform the ceremonies so necessary for his comfort in the next world when his turn comes to die. This accounts for the importance of boy babies; a large family of girls is a misfortune.

Much of the culture of China comes from, and has been preserved by, the large old families. Changes are, however, taking place rapidly. Shopkeepers and business men no longer look for the bulk of their trade from a wide circle of relations. Within the family itself the authority of the elders is less. Young men and women are demanding the right to settle their own affairs, and many parents consult their children’s wishes where formerly the welfare of the family would have been the only thing considered.


Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Chinese books all begin at what we call the back; but of course to a Chinese all our books begin by what they call the back. We read from the left of the page to the right, the Chinese read from the top to the bottom, beginning at the top right hand corner.

There is no alphabet in Chinese. Often the characters are built up from two or more simple characters; thus, if you make the character for a roof and put below it the character for “pig” you have a new character meaning “home”, for pigs are very common in China. But if instead of “pig” you put under the roof the character for “woman” you get the character “peace”.

Beautiful writing is much admired in China. The characters are written with a brush pen in black ink moistened from a solid block—very much as we use a paint box. Unfortunately fountain pens are rapidly taking the place of the brush pen.

Printing from blocks was used in China about A.D. 550. A hundred years later movable types of baked clay came into use. (Britain had to wait till the fifteenth century before printing came into use).

Although the written language is the same all over China the spoken language varies. The character which looks like an open square means “mouth” to every Chinese who can read; but when men are talking, the sound they make to indicate “mouth” may be quite different in different parts of China. Numerous local dialects are spoken in China, but


for the purpose of classification, five main dialects may be distinguished: the Hakka, Fukienese, Cantonese, Wu, and Mandarin dialects. Educated elements of the populace usually speak and understand Mandarin in addition to their native dialects.

In English many words may be rightly pronounced in different ways e.g. castle may be cas-sl or cah-sl without changing the meaning of the word. In Chinese the tone in which a word is spoken may alter the meaning. The same two Chinese words may mean “hoist the flag” or “hang the wife” according to the intonation—so you need to be rather careful.

A Chinese dictionary has about 40,000 characters, but of these only about 4,000 are in common use, and many people manage quite well with 1,500.

Chinese Art. An over worked Chinese mother making straw sandals for her children will find time to embroider on them some simple design, perhaps a crane, which suggests to the Chinese long life. Sometimes a farmer colours the yoke of his buffalo and a fisherman carves the prow of bis boat. In many simple ways the ordinary Chinese folk practise art.

Music has played a big part in Chinese life for more than 4,000 years, but modern Chinese music is very different from ours.


Great artists who flourished in China in various ages worked in many materials, such as pottery, porcelain, bronze, jade, ivory and lacquer.

Most of the great Chinese painting perished long ago, but those that remain are very attractive. The portraits seem to be almost alive and the figures of men and animals are full of vigour.


The National Government is a one-party organisation whose authority is granted by a party congress. The highest government agency is a Supreme National Defence Council. Its membership is almost identical with that of the Governing Executive Committee of the party (the Kuomintang or People’s Party). The Chairman of the Supreme National Defence Council, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, is also President of the National Government, and often holds other important positions in the government.

The administrative organs of government consist of a Military Affairs Commission and five yuan or branches—Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Examination, and Control. The Military Affairs Commission is charged primarily with military affairs, but it often deals with social work, relief, and economic matters.

The Executive Yuan, the president of which corresponds to our Prime Minister, includes several ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Interior, Finance, Education, Communications, etc. The Ministry of


the Interior forms the apex of the system of provincial and local governments. The Finance and Education Ministries are also important in relation to local government as a result of their control over the centralized system of taxation and public schools.

The other four yuan are at present less important.

The larger towns in China such as Shanghai, Canton, and Nanking are controlled by a Mayor.


The Average Home. The average Chinese house has three rooms. There is a large living room, which opens on to the narrow road, and which is used as a guest-room, dining-room, sitting room, and work-room. Its furniture is like ours but less comfortable, chairs have straight backs and wooden seats, tables are plain and usually square; walls are unpapered.

Behind the large room is a small kitchen one-third filled by the cooking stove. Behind the kitchen is a large bedroom which may be partitioned. Until children are about eight years old they sleep in the same hard, springless bed as their parents ; then they are promoted to a separate bed in the same room. Boys sometimes sleep in the living room.

Farming. About 360 million Chinese live on farms, but the farms are very unlike those of England, America, or the Dominions. They are much smaller, and the farmers live mostly in villages.


Food. The Japanese have looted all sources of food supply and in most places food is scarce. In normal times the average Chinese has three meals a day. Breakfast is of thin rice porridge and preserved salty cabbage. Lunch is often a picnic meal eaten in the fields or factories. In the evening the whole family dine together : meat and fish are eaten at this meal, but meat is rather a treat. The staple food is rice, except in North China where its place is taken by wheat.

Drinks. The ordinary Chinese family drinks tea without sugar and milk. Chinese wine is also a favourite, but for an Englishman an acquired taste. If there is any left you will find it a potent spirit which must be treated with caution.

Women. The Chinese woman is quiet, domesticated, and reserved in manner. She does much of the hard work as well as doing the work of the house. You must be prepared to see a man sitting in a bus whilst his wife stands up. In the towns, of course, things are different and women go to restaurants, cafes, and cinemas, and join the ordinary social life as they do in Western Europe.

Beware the women of the streets. As in other occupied territories, you must remember that Japanese garrisons have been here for a few years before you.


Entertainments. The Chinese like going to the cinema and Chinese Theatre. In the large towns the people amuse themselves as much as we do in London, with the difference that in the summer they dance and dine in restaurants out-of-doors.

In the country it is quite different, the country people work too hard to have time for entertainment in our sense of the word.


Under wartime conditions the black market flourishes in China, and it will probably still exist when you go there. You should avoid it. Since in every country there are dishonest people, attempts will no doubt be made to sell you antiques, pottery, jade, ivory, and small bronze figures. You should not buy them. In the first place, they are almost certainly fakes ; in the second, unless you are an expert at bargaining with Chinese you will pay through the nose for anything you buy.


Night Soil. The economic condition of the Chinese people is such that it is necessary to use human excrement for fertilizer. Many of the unsanitary


conditions in the country are due to the manner of disposal of night soil and the buckets or dippers used in handling this material are usually washed in the canal or pond where vegetables are also washed. It is, therefore, essential to stay away from local food and stick to what the mess sergeant gives you. Food that has not been passed by the M. O. is likely to “keep you on the run” and, if you’re unlucky, cause serious digestive troubles. Remember that the human excreta which helped it to grow carries many diseases.

Waste, Garbage, and Refuse. In the villages garbage is usually thrown into the streets or nearby waste lands. The poor inhabitants sift through the material to find anything that can be put to use or that can be burned, such as paper, wood, or partly burnt out coal. The rest is usually left to rot, and if not controlled is the chief breeding place for flies.

Sanitation of Food. Excluding pre-war Hong Kong and Shanghai there is in general no control or inspection of animals or food offered for sale. Animals about to die are slaughtered and sold for food. There is no control of restaurants or eating houses. The dishes are not always washed with hot water, and are often wiped off with a general-purpose rag frequently used also for wiping tables. Soft drinks and ice cream offered for sale are frequently found to contain intestinal bacteria.


Uncooked food and fruit should be regarded with suspicion until properly treated.

Water.—All water supplies should be considered unsafe as found. Most of the water is polluted.

Only drink water that has been passed by the M. O. If you are in a situation where you cannot obtain approved water, then boil local fresh water for at least 10 minutes.

If during the hot weather you look forward to cooling off with a swim in the river or stream, think twice before you do, remember that all kinds of rubbish has been thrown in and night soil buckets have been washed in the water, and that this will result in some kind of unpleasant skin disease.



Yes. you’ll find them in Hong Kong and in every port in China—bad women and bad diseases. Your M. O. will warn you about V. D., but don’t let it stop at that. We’ve won the war, but we are still fighting against V. D. So don’t be silly and lose your health.

Warning should be added against “amateurs” who, in China as in Britain, are the greatest menace to the Aimed Forces.

It is estimated that a large percentage of the Chinese population suffer from V. D. : don’t forget— You have been warned.

If she’s game, she’s got it;
If she’s got it, you’ve had it !




  1 Si-hT’sun                             =  .10936 of a foot
 10 Shi-T’sun = 1 Shi Ch’ih = 1 1/3 metre = 1.0936 feet
 10 Shi-Ch’ih = 1 Shi-Chang = 3 1/3  „    = 10.936 feet
150 Shi-Chang = 1 Shi-Li    = 500    „    = 0.3107 mile


 1 Shi-Liang                        = 31 -25 gs.
16 Shi-Liang = 1 Shi-Chin = 500 gs. = 1.1023 lb.

Capacity : Fluid

1 Shi-Sheng = 1 Litre = 0.22 imp. gallons

Capacity : Dry by Weight.

 1 Sheng          =   .8 kgm   = 1.76 lb.
10 Sheng = 1 Ton  =  8.00 kgm. = 17.6 lb.
10 Ton   = 1 Shih = 80.00 kgm. = 176 lb.
 1 Zar of rice                 = 176 lb.
1 Picul                        = 133.3 lb.
1 Catty                        = 1.3 lb.
2,000 Catties                    1 ton.



History. The Crown Colony of Hong Kong was ceded by China to Great Britain in January 1841 ; the cession was confirmed by the Treaty of Nanking in August 1842, and the charter bears date 5 April 1843.

The peninsula of Kowloon, on the mainland north of the island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain by treaty in 1860, and forms part of the Colony.

By a convention signed at Peking on 9 June 1898, there was leased to Great Britain for 99 years an extensive portion of Chinese territory, mainly agricultural, together with the waters of Mirs bay and Hau hoi wan.

The colony was captured by the Japanese in December 1941.

Government. The pre-war administration was in the hands of a Governor, aided by an Executive Council, composed of the General Officer commanding the troops, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Treasurer, the Secretary for Chinese affairs, and the Director of Public Works and three unofficial members. There was also a Legislative Council presided over by the Governor, composed of 9 official and 8 non-official members.


General Description. The'island of Hong Kong is situated on the eastern side of the approach to the estuary of the Chu Kiang, about 70 miles south-east of the city of Canton. The island is an irregular broken ridge, and has an area of about 32 square miles ; it is separated from the mainland by the Lei u mun, a deep, but narrow, anchorage which forms the harbour. The city of Chung wan or Victoria extends about 5 miles along the northern shore of the island.

Hong Kong was the main distributing centre for South China, and a naval and military station of first-class importance.

Population. The estimated population of Hong Kong in 1935, was 966,341 including 21,370 non-Chinese.

Education. There were government schools for children of British parentage, also for Chinese boys and girls, and one school for Indians. The majority of students at Hong Kong University were Chinese.

Health. Hong Kong was a reasonably healthy place before the war, but was only made so by strict control by the Public Health Service, and even so outbreaks of serious epidemic diseases were not unknown. It is almost certain that under Japanese occupation much of this control work has been neglected.


The medical authorities will institute methods of control for your protection. Your inoculations and vaccinations will be a protection against most of the diseases likely to be encountered but you must help yourself if you are to remain healthy.

Keep these points in mind

  1. Anti-malarial precautions will be necessary.
  2. Take your daily dose of mepacrine.
  3. Never drink water or mineral waters not known to be safe.
  4. Never eat food except that provided for you or in eating houses put in bounds.
  5. Avoid all uncooked vegetables or fruit which cannot be peeled.
  6. There are many prostitutes on the streets and 99 per cent of them are infected.


If she’s game, she’s got it;
If she’s got it, you’ve had it!

Industry. The chief industries were sugar refining ship-building and repairing, rope making, tin refining, and the manufacture of tobacco, cement, and knitted goods.


Currency. The currency of Hong Kong was based: on silver. The dollar, which is normally in circulation and which is legal tender to any amount, is the British dollar of 26.957 grammes weight. Subsidiary silver coins of the value of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and one cent pieces in bronze were also in circulation. The Hong Kong dollars is equivalent to about 1s. 3d. at par.

Weights and Measures. The weights and measures consist of the standards in use in the United Kingdom and of the following Chinese weights and measures :

1 fan (candareen) = 0.0133 ounces avoirdupois
1 tsin (mace)     = 1.33     „          „
1 lenng (tael)    = 1.33     „          „
1 kan (catty)     = 1.33     „          „
1 tan (picul)     = 133.33   
„          „
1 check (foot)    = 14 5/8 English inches divided into
                    10 tsun (inches) and each
                    tsun into 10 fan.



  • BE POLITE When the other man offers to shake hands, shake. But remember that shaking hands is not a Chinese custom.
  • BE PATIENT if you find a Chinese hard to understand—he is having difficulty, too!
  • REMEMBER a Chinese is proud of what he owns : to him scrounging also means stealing.
  • REMEMBER that the Chinese like us in many ways, but they also have their own ideas about things. It is up to you to understand and appreciate their point of view.
  • REMEMBER that the word Chinaman is never used in China. They are always referred to as Chinese.
  • REMEMBER that if you scold a Chinese he will grin or laugh. Don’t lose your temper ; he does this to hide his shame.



  • DON’T air your views on quislings or other purely Chinese matters.
  • DON’T admire the baby. The mother will think you are putting the Evil Eye on it.
  • DON’T object to being asked a lot of personal questions : its an old Chinese custom.
  • DON’T overdo the drink. If you get the chance to drink wine, go slow and find out how much you can take.
  • DON’T get drawn into arguments about politics.
  • DON’T be too fresh with the women. In China a catcall is an insult.
  • DON’T allow anyone to borrow or buy your clothing, equipment, or rations.
  • DON’T accept presents from Chinese ; if you do you are putting yourself under an obligation, and will no doubt be asked to grant a favour.
  • Don’t call Chinese “Chinks”.