Proclamation of Free Port (Hong Kong)
By Sir Charles Elliot, &c., &c., &c.
It is hereby declared to the merchants and traders of Canton and all parts of the Empire[Note 1] that they and their ships have free permission to resort to and trade at the port of Hong Kong, where they will receive full protection from the high officers of the British nation, and Hong Kong being on the shores of the Chinese Empire, neither will there be any charges on imports and exports to the British Government. It is further clearly declared that there will be an immediate embargo upon the port of Canton and all the large ports of the Empire[Note 1], if there be the least obstruction to the freedom of trade and intercourse with the port of Hong Kong. Persons bringing information to the British officers which shall lead to the detection of pirates will be liberally rewarded, and the pirates will be taken and delivered over to the officers of the Chinese Government for punishment.
(signed) CHARLES ELLIOT
At Macao, this 7th day of June, 1841.
- The "Empire" means the Great Qing.