Caption A rusting freighter brought 2,700 Vietnam refugees to Hong Kong just before Christmas Eve and a weighty problem to the Government of how to handle this human cargo.  The 4,000-ton Huey Fong was intercepted by Marine Police and Royal Navy patrol boats off Po Toi Island in international waters.  The Government had indicated that it would not allow the refugees to land here.  Firm on its first-port-of-call principle, the Government confined the refugees to the freighter and kept a tight vigil on them.  As investigations deepened, the Government uncovered discrepancies in the master's log book which supported suspicions that international syndicates had arranged for a number of ageing freighters to go to the waters of Vietnam to pick up the thousands of ethnic Chinese who had paid their way out of the country.  These syndicates were reported to have charged each refugee some $7,000 or 10 taels of gold. The way in which the Huey Fong had picked up the refugees - and the conflicting reports given by the refugees - gave weight to these suspicions.  There were mixed reactions among local people on whether Hong Kong should accept the refugees.  Those in favor said we should do it on humanitarian grounds.
Collection Chinese Immigrants from Vietnam to Hong Kong
Ownership/Donor Kiu Chan
Date December, 1978
Physical Description 1 photograph : b&w ; 17 x 25.5 cm.
Summary Crowd shot of refugees on a cargo ship.
Keywords Crowds, Refugees, Cargo ships, Signs, Huey Fong, Po Toi Island
Photo Number V-05