LegCo Paper No. HB 791/95-96
Ref : HB/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee
(1995/96 Session)

Minutes of 19th meeting held in the LegCo Chamber
of the Legislative Council Building
on Friday, 1 March 1996 at 2:30 p.m.

Present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
    Hon CHIM Pui-chung
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
    Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Wing-chan
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon LEE Kai-ming
    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    Hon LO Suk-ching
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Absent :

    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Hon Margaret NG
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP

In attendance :

    ASG2 (Clerk to the House Committee)












(1) Confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting held on 16.2.96

(LegCo Paper No. HB 731/95-96)

The minutes were confirmed.

(2) Matters arising

(a) Meeting with the UK Prime Minister on 4. 3.96

The Chairman referred Members to the Governor’s reply which was tabled at the meeting (Appendix I). After discussion, the Chairman suggested and Members agreed to accept the Prime Minister’s invitation to meet all Members for an hour at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, 4.3.96 at Government House.

Members also agreed that the Chairman should write to invite the Prime Minister to meet Members in public in the LegCo Building, in addition to the meeting at Government House.

(Post-meeting note : The letter conveying Members’ request was issued to the Governor after the meeting, and his reply dated 2.3.96 was circulated to all Members vide LegCo Paper No. HB 793/95-96 on 5.3.96.)

The Chairman said that the Secretariat would ascertain Members’ attendance and advise Government House by 9:00 a.m. on Monday 4.3.96.

Members agreed that the issues to be raised with the Prime Minister should be the same as those contained in the Position Paper of the Members’ delegation to the UK as these issues had remained unresolved. The order of the issues and the Members who would raise the first question on each issue would be as follows :

  1. Vietnamese migrants (Mrs Selina CHOW)
  2. British citizenship (Dr LEONG Che-hung/Miss Emily LAU)
  3. Provisional Legislature and related issues (Dr YEUNG Sum)
  4. Human rights issues (Mr Albert HO Chun-yan)
  5. Hong Kong residents AU Wing-cheung and WONG Chuen-ming’s appeal against conviction in the Philippines (Mr Howard YOUNG)

Approximately 15 minutes would be assigned for each of the first four topics and five minutes for the last topic.

It was also agreed that after the meeting the Members present would discuss an agreed line for Chairman, House Committee to respond to the media on the issues discussed. Thereafter, individual groups and Members were at liberty to speak to the press on their respective stand on the issues.

(b) House Committee delegation to attend the hearing of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva on 3 & 4 March 1996

The Chairman advised Members that, as at the deadline, apart from Mrs Elizabeth WONG, no other Member had indicated interest in joining the delegation.

(c) Black Point 400 kV Power Transmission System

The Chairman referred Members to the Chief Secretary’s reply tabled at the meeting (Appendix II), which suggested that ExCo Members were not aware of the joint request of the Panel on Environmental Affairs and the Panel on Health Services for a meeting with them because the LegCo Secretariat had not formally informed the ExCo Secretariat of the request.

Referring to the relevant extract of the verbatim transcript of the joint Panel meeting concerned, the Chairman said that Miss Christine LOH, chairman of the Panel on Environmental Affairs, had specifically requested the Administration to defer making a submission on the subject to ExCo so as to allow time for Members to put forward a submission to ExCo Members together with a request for a meeting.

Dr John TSE Wing-ling said that the representatives of the Administration present at the joint meeting should be reproved, as they were fully aware of Members’ request for a meeting with ExCo Members before the Administration put the proposal to ExCo, and should have alerted the ExCo Secretariat.

In response to Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo on the second last paragraph of page 2 of the Chief Secretary’s letter, Deputy Secretary General said that it was very common and frequent for

the LegCo Secretariat to contact Government offices and outside organizations by phone. In future, any verbal communication on matters of importance would be followed up by confirmation in writing.

The Chairman said that he would send a letter to the Chief Secretary to put the facts right, together with a copy of the relevant verbatim transcript of the joint Panel meeting. Members agreed. As regards other follow up action, it was a matter for the Panels concerned.

(Post-meeting note : The letter was sent to the Chief Secretary on 2.3.96.)

(3) Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation gazetted on 16 and 23.2.96

(LegCo Paper Nos. LS 92 & 93/95-96)

Members agreed to support the subsidiary legislation.

(4) Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. HB 751/95-96)

Members noted the report and agreed to activate the Bills Committee to study the Road Traffic (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1995, Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Passage Tax) Bill and Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 1995.

(5) Business for the LegCo sitting on 13.3.96

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB 519/95-96)

20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.

(b) Statement

No statement had been notified.

(c) Motions

(i) Resolution under section 7(1) of the Public Finance Ordinance (Cap 2) - to be moved by the Secretary for the Treasury

(LegCo Paper No. LS 94/95-96)

Referring Members to the paper, the Legal Adviser advised that line one of the heading should read "Vote on Account Resolution 1996".

The Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the resolution was to seek funds on account so as to enable the Government to carry on existing services between the start of the financial year on 1.4.96 and the enactment of the Appropriation Bill. This was a routine procedure adopted by the Administration.

As to the questions raised by Mr LEE Wing-tat on the differences, if any, between the funding request made last year and this one and regarding the basis for determining advance funding for a 3-month period, the Legal Adviser would seek further information from the Administration and revert to Mr LEE.

(ii) Resolution under sections 53A(4)(e) and 119F(4)(e) of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap 7) - to be moved by Mr James TO Kun-sun

(LegCo Paper No. LS 65/95-96)

The Chairman advised that Mr James TO Kun-sun had given notice to move the motion at the sitting on 13.3.96 and that the first meeting of the Subcommittee set up to study the resolution had been scheduled on 5.3.96. Depending on the outcome of the deliberation of the Subcommittee, Mr TO would decide whether to proceed with the motion.

The Chairman advised Members that if Mr TO decided to proceed as scheduled, the deadline for giving notice of amendment, if any, to the motion would be 6.3.96.

(Post-meeting note : At the Subcommittee meeting held on 5.3.96, Mr James TO advised that he would withdraw the motion and give fresh notice to move the motion at the sitting on 27-28.3.96.)

(iii) Resolution to amend Standing Orders - to be moved by
Dr LEONG Che-hung

The Chairman said that he would move a resolution to amend the Standing Orders to make provisions for moving a motion without notice to shorten the duration of the division bell to one minute where many divisions were anticipated for a sitting.

Members agreed to support the resolution.

(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Evidence (Amendment) Bill 1996

(ii) Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1996

(iii) Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) Bill 1996

(iv) Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996

(v) Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund (Amendment) Bill 1996

(vi) Probate and Administration (Amendment) Bill 1996

(Member’s bill to be introduced by Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee)

(vii) The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects Incorporation Bill

(Member’s bill to be introduced by Mr Edward S T HO.)

The Chairman advised that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 13.3.96 and considered by the House Committee on 15.3.96.

(e) Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading

(i) Gas Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995

(ii) Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1995

The Chairman said that Members had agreed on 16.2.96 and 9.2.96 respectively to support the above Bills.

(f) Motion debate on "Preparatory Committee of the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region" - to be moved by
Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung

(g) Motion debate on "Harbour reclamation" - to be moved by
Miss Christine LOH Kung-wai

The Chairman reminded Members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above two motions was 6.3.96.

(6) Reports by Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees

(a) Report by the Subcommittee to study eight items of subsidiary legislation tabled in LegCo on 24.1.96 and one item of subsidiary legislation tabled in LegCo on 7.2.96

(LegCo Paper No. HB 746/95-96)

In the absence of the chairman of the Subcommittee, Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee reported that the Subcommittee generally agreed to repeal the items of subsidiary legislation under study, apart from the Aerial Ropeways (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996.

On section 2(l) of the Ferry Services (The "Star" Ferry Company Limited) (Determination of Fares) (Amendment) Order 1996 which was related to the fare of the monthly ticket for the route between Hung Hom and Edinburgh Place, Mr Zachary WONG Wai-yin said that the Democratic Party was in support of the introduction of a monthly ticket for the route but would nevertheless move a motion to amend section 2(l) to reduce the proposed rate of monthly ticket from $125 to $100.

The Chairman advised Members that, in view of the number of divisions likely to be claimed on these motions, he would follow the practice and move a procedural motion to shorten to one minute the duration of the division bell in respect of any such divisions.

(b) Report by the Bills Committee to study the Town Planning (Amendment) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. HB 760/95-96)

The Chinese version of the report was tabled at the meeting (Appendix III).

Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip, chairman of the Bills Committee, reported that there were a few proposals in the Bill on which the Bills Committee and the Administration could not agree. The Bills Committee would move Committee Stage Amendments (CSAs) to the Bill. The CSAs agreed between the Bills Committee and the Administration would be prepared by the Administration. Subject to these CSAs being found to be in order, the Bills Committee recommended that the Second Reading debate on this Bill be resumed on 24.4.96.

Members agreed.

(c) Report by the Panel on Housing - Long Term Housing Strategy Review

(LegCo Paper No. PL 889/95-96)

Mr LEE Wing-tat, chairman of the Panel on Housing, introduced the paper which sought the House Committee’s agreement to pursue further with the Administration the Panel’s following requests :

  1. grass-root level representatives should be appointed to the Long Term Housing Strategy Review Steering Group so that its composition would be more representative; and
  2. copies of papers to be considered by the Steering Group should be provided to the Panel.

Mr LEE said that a reply from the Secretary for Housing had just been received before the meeting. The Secretary had agreed to appoint additional members with knowledge and experience of grass-roots interests to the Steering Group, but had declined to release the Steering Group’s working papers to the Panel. Mr LEE said that, as the monitoring body of housing policies, it was necessary for the Panel to have access to the papers to understand the rationale for any proposals made by the Steering Group. He suggested and Members agreed that the

Chairman should write to the Chief Secretary to further pursue the request.

(Post-meeting note : The letter was sent to the Chief Secretary on 2.3.96.)

The meeting ended at 3:30 p.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
13 March 1996

Last Updated on {{PUBLISH AUTO[[DATE("d mmm, yyyy")]]}}