1970年3月25日英国驻香港商务专员Blackwell致电英国外交部远东司司长James Murray，说起他与香港政府在是否应同香港左派团体接触上出现不同看法，他想接触，但港府希望他不要接触，为此他请求英国外交部就此问题作出裁决。Blackwell说他到香港不久，就分别收到香港中华总商会和马可波罗俱乐部邀请赴宴。他从改善英国和中共关系的角度出发打算接受邀请，但是港府最高层明确向他表示希望不要赴宴，因为港府认为中共试图以此利用和挑拨香港政府和英国政府之间的分歧，港府还特意命令港警政治部（即Special Branch，专司情报和反间谍工作）于3月20日向Blackwell提供对马可波罗俱乐部系由新华社香港分社一手操纵的评估报告。
4月份英国外交部助理次官Wilford（即assistant under-secretary）到访香港期间，获悉Blackwell的信后即出面处理此事。Wilfor先后与Blackwell、港府政务司长（即Colonial Secretary）Hugh Norman-Walker、港府政治顾问（即Political Adviser，这是英国外交部驻香港的首席代表）Arthur Maddocks讨论此事。政务司长Walker说他不能指示Blackwell该怎么做，但希望Blackwell能与港府政治服务保持密切联系。Wilford认为Blackwell可以与左派团体接触，但要把握分寸不能过头，而且事后要向港府和外交部汇报，必要的话也要告知港警政治部。
Hong Kong Department
FEH 2/13 14 May, 1970
Thank you for your letter to James Murray of 25 March, about the approaches you have had from left-wing organisations.
Michael Wilford has told me that he discussed this with you when he was in Hong Kong recently and that he later raised the matter with Hugh Norman-Walker and Arthur Maddocks. I understand that the Colonial Secretary said that he liked, not unreasonably, to keep an eye on contacts between Hong Kong Government officers and organisations of the kind mentioned in your letter. During the 1 October Celebrations officers of the Hong Kong Government were obliged to inform the Secretariat of invitations which they had received and the Secretariat decided which invitations should be accepted and by whom. The Colonial Secretary added that he could not, of course, give instructions to you on matters like this, though he always hoped you would keep in close contact with the Political Adviser. Wilford said that he judged, from what the Colonial Secretary had told him, that there would be no objection to you having contacts with either of the two bodies mentioned in your letter, so long as you did not overdo things and, equally, so long as the outcome of any meetings was reported privately to us and to the Hong Kong Government. The Colonial Secretary confirmed that this was the situation.
Wilford subsequently spoke to Maddocks and told him what the Colonial Secretary had said, and I understand that he agreed that he would discuss the matter further with you in the light of the Colonial Secretary’s conversation with Wilford. We assume that the matter is now satisfactorily settled.
So far as reports on any contacts you may have are concerned, it seems to us that Special Branch (in the light of their letter of 20 March) will be interested rather than the reverse.
(E. O. Laird)
(to: ) J. K. Blackwell, Esq., CBE.,
British Trade Commission,
Queens Road Central,
BRITISH TRADE COMMISSION IN HONG KONG
7th Floor, Shell House, Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Mail Address: P.O. Box No. 528, Hong Kong
Cable Address: “Uktrade Hongkong”
Since I have been in Hong Kong, I have received a couple of approaches from left-wing (presumably Communist front) organisations. The first was to the annual dinner of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the second to a dinner and film given by the Marco Polo Club.
My personal inclination was to accept both invitations, the first in my capacity as a Trade Commissioner and the second as an 'old China hand’ and at the express invitation of a Professor Chan, formerly of Hong Kong University whom I had met on board ship on my last journey out to Kong Kong.
The Head of the Economic Survey Section of this office, Douglas Spankie, with whom I have discussed this question, feels very strongly that these invitations represent to some extent a thaw in our relations with the Chinese and to turn them down would be tantamount to a rebuff and be altogether unhelpful if our policy is to try to improve relations.
On the other hand, I have been given clearly to understand by the Hong Kong Government, at the highest levels, that my presence at such crypto-Communist functions would be viewed very unfavourably. I understand the main reason for this attitude is that they possess secret information that the Chinese Government are under the impression that there is a dichotomy of policy towards China as between H. M.G. and the Government of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Government claim to have evidence that the Chinese Government are convinced that my own appointment here, in view a) of my seniority compared with my predecessor and b) of my former residence in China signifies a more forthcoming attitude towards China by H.M.G. The Hong Kong Government are, therefore, apprehensive lest any move by me which suggested any divergence of view between H.M.G. and themselves, such as contacts with organisations which are viewed with disfavour by the Hong Kong Government, would only reinforce the Chinese Government’s (mistaken) impressions.
In view of this clearly expressed recommendation and of the fact that my work here as a commercial officer would only benefit marginally, if at all, by such contacts, and might well be seriously impaired if I incurred the ill will of the local government, I have, therefore, refused these two invitations. I have also not so far paid a formal call on the Chinese Chamber of Commerce which I would normally have done for purely commercial reasons.
I must admit, however, that this failure to accept the hand of friendship (even if the friendship may not be above suspicion) goes against the grain and is contrary to all my diplomatic instincts. On the other hand, I realise that the Hong Kong authorities have their problems and I would not wish to exacerbate them. In any case, I have to live and work in this Colony and I naturally wish - and need - to keep on good terms with the authorities.
As, however, there may be wider political aspects of this matter which extend beyond the limited confines of Hong Kong, I would like to refer this question to you for an official ruling.
You doubtless know all about the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Marco Polo Club but I enclose a photocopy of a Hong Kong Police report on the latter.
JKB: jms Senior British Trade Commissioner
(to: ) James Murray, Esq., C.M. G.,
Far Eastern Department,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
London, S.W .1.
Telephone: H-234011 POLICE HEADQUARTERS,
Extension: 396 ARSENAL STREET.
REF. No. c/14/486 HONG KONG.
20th March, 1970
Subject: Marco Polo Club
To: The Senior British Trade Commissioner,
British Trade Commission,
Room 707, Shell House,
Queen's Road, Central,
This self-styled club has been active in the Colony since July, 1957 and is well-known to Special Branch. It is a Chinese communist front organisation operating directly under the aegis of the New China News Agency (N.C.N.A.), Hong Kong Branch, and is headed ostensibly by Percy CHEN @ CHAN Pei Shi (7115/0612/1102), the pro-communist lawyer. The main organisers are TAM Kon (6223/1631) @ Arnold TAM, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of N.C.N.A. and PUN Tak Shing (3382/1795/5116), Chief Editor of N.C.N.A. Other prominent local communists connected with the club are:-
(a) FEI Yi Man (6316/1774/3046) Publisher of Ta Kung Pao.
(b) MA Ting Tung (7456/1694/2767) General Manager and Assistant Managing Director of the Managerial Department of Ta Kung Pao.
(c) Dr. LAM Hon Cheung (2651/3352/7022) Publisher of Global Digest.
(d) WONG Sui Kwan (7806/0340/0971) Editor of Eastern Horizon.
(e) CHEUNG Sum Hong (1728/1800/1660) Proprietor, Gems of the Orient.
Many other officials appear by invitation at the club's meetings.
2. The club has held monthly gatherings since its inauguration in 1957, with a break between January, 1967 and January, 1970. These meetings usually take the form of a luncheon or dinner, often with a Chinese film as entertainment. In 1966 the club took on a much stronger political flavour and by January, 1967, MAO badges and books were being distributed to guests. The latest information on the club indicates that the organisers have been instructed to spread their net as wide as possible amongst the local diplomatic and press community and to keep the political content of the meetings at a low level. The next meeting is scheduled for 26th March, 1970, in the Mandarin Hotel.
3. You may care to inform your officers of the above. I should be grateful, however, if you would not name Special Branch as the source. No evidence of attempted compromise of guests has come to my notice. Guests will, however, be subject to communist propaganda in one form or another, and may be invited to attend similiar functions, possibly in the N.C.N.A. itself. They will, in addition, undoubtedly come under the scrutiny of Chinese communist officials, and may be asked for their views on current political matters, as well as questions on their own personal backgrounds.
4. I should be interested to learn of any reports of these functions, particularly if any new trend is apparent, which may come to your notice.
for Director of Special Branch