Hong Kong maintained domestic stability and a low crime rate despite the tumultuous circumstances of the 1950s intrigues those for whom periods of modernisation are usually associated with rising crime, internal turmoil and social instabilities. Local elections for the Urban Council were planned for 1952, a wider franchise recommending itself to the then governor, Sir Alexander Grantham, as a substitute for the higher-level constitutional reform demanded by significant numbers of the population. The presence of rival political groups within the territory lent a political dimension to local issues throughout the 1950s, as a series of small skirmishes punctuated Hong Kong’s fragile post-war internal stability and security. ‘Instability in China, which had such an impact on social, political and economic life in Hong Kong in the late 1940s, propelled increasing numbers of refugees to the colony in the early 1950s. Domestically, there was also always a possibility that the simmering conflict between Nationalists and Communists would trigger disorder within the colony.