The Hong Kong Match Factory – 1949 strike, 64 workers imprisoned

Hong Kong Match Factory, Headline Detail, Strikers Imprisoned Sunday Herald 1.1.1950

Hong Kong Match Factory, First Paragraph Detail, Strikers Imprisoned Sunday Herald 1.1.1950

HK Sunday Herald 1st January 1950

STRIKERS GET THREE MONTHS IN PRISON

“Sixty-four men and women strikers of the Hong Kong Match Factory were sentenced to three months hard labour at Central yesterday.

The strikers on Friday had refused to sign a bond of $50 to be of good behaviour for two years following a disturbance they created in the Factory’s offices in the Bank of East Asia Building.

Yesterday the Magistrate, Mr A.D. Scholes, gave the strikers another chance to sign the bond.

They all refused and were sentenced to three months hard labour.

They were also recommended for banishment at the expiration of their sentence if they were not born in Hong Kong.

Inspector Dewer told the Magistrate that the defendants were ordered to sign a bond on Friday and they had all refused.

“I am asking your worship for a prison sentence and a reccomendation for banishment at the expiration of their sentence.

From the attitude of the defendants, it can be seen that they are taking the law into their own hands to defy law and order in the Colony,” concluded Inspector Dewar.

Mr Scholes then instructed Mr Lam, the Chui Chow interpreter, and Mr Lau, the Cantonese interpreter, to ask the defendants individually whether they were willing to sign the bond.

The defendants were asked one by one and they all replied that they were not willing to sign the bond.

Addressing the defendants, Mr Scholes said that law and order in the Colony must be maintained.

The defendants had all refused to enter a bond of good behaviour and not to break the law of the colony.

People such as they are not wanted in the Colony, he said. People in the Colony must abide by law and order.” HK Sunday Herald 1st January 1950

This article was first posted on 30th March 2017.

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