LegCo Paper No. HB 430/95-96
Ref : HB/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee
(1995/96 Session)

Minutes of 12th meeting held in the LegCo Chamber
of the Legislative Council Building
on Friday, 5 January 1996 at 4:50 p.m.

Present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
    Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon LEE Kai-ming
    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP

Absent :

    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon CHIM Pui-chung
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon CHAN Wing-chan
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon LO Suk-ching
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon Margaret NG
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

In attendance :

    ASG2 (Clerk to the House Committee)

SG (Acting)













(1) Confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting held on 15.12.1995

(LegCo Paper No. HB 348/95-96)

The minutes were confirmed.

(2) Matters arising

Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1995

Road Traffic (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995

Mr Zachary WONG Wai-yin suggested and Members agreed to set up a Bills Committee to study the Bills. The following Members agreed to join the Bills Committee : Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, Mr Zachary WONG Wai-yin, Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung and Mr IP Kwok-him.

(3) Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation gazetted on
15, 22 and 29.12.95

(LegCo Paper Nos. LS 49, 52 & 54/95-96)

The Legal Adviser introduced the Papers and said that the majority of the items of subsidiary legislation were related to the localisation of various Merchant Shipping legislation which involved no new policy matter.

Members noted the Chairman’s advice that the Legal Service Division would report further if any follow-up action on the subsidiary legislation was necessary and that item 14 of LegCo Paper No. LS 54/95-96 was related to increase in charges.

Subject to there being no queries to be raised by Members, it was agreed that the subsidiary legislation be supported.

(4) Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. HB 400/95-96)

Members noted the report and that the Bills Committee to study the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1995 could be activated.

(5) Further business for the LegCo sitting on 10.1.96

(a) Government Motion

Resolution under section 79G(9) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221) - to be moved by the Attorney General

(LegCo Paper No. LS 51/95-96)

Referring Members to the Paper, the Legal Adviser said that the resolution was consequential to the work of the Bills Committee to study the Criminal Procedure Bill 1995 in the last LegCo session. The resolution dealt with technical steps for implementing special court procedures for vulnerable witnesses and did not introduce any new policy matter which the Bills Committee had not considered. He recommended and Members agreed to support the resolution.

(b) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Road Traffic (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1995

(ii) Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Passage Tax) Bill

(iii) Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 1995

(iv) Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1995

(Member’s bill to be introduced by Mr Michael
HO Mun-ka.)

(v) Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bill

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (Merger of Subsidiaries) Bill

(Member’s bills to be introduced by Dr David K P LI.)

The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 10.1.96 and considered by the House Committee on 12.1.96.

(c) Member’s Motion

Resolution under section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) - to be moved by Mr LEE Wing-tat

Mr LEE Wing-tat, chairman of the Subcommittee, said that the Subcommittee did not find the fare increase proposed by the Hong Kong Yaumati Ferry Company, Limited justified and

would recommend moving a motion to repeal the Order. Members also noted that Mr CHAN Kam-lam would move a separate motion to lower some of the proposed fare increases.

In response to Mr CHAN Kam-lam on the sequence of debating the two motions, Acting SG advised that under Standing Order No. 69, the President would be guided by the practice and procedure of House of Commons i.e. in the absence of any dissenting voice, a joint debate would be held on the two motions. In line with the usual practice for dealing with motions which were related to the original text, Mr LEE Wing-tat’s motion would be moved and voted upon ahead of Mr CHAN Kam-lam’s motion.

The Members present agreed that a joint debate should be held on the two motions.

(6) Business for the LegCo sitting on 17.1.96

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB 321/95-96)

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

(b) Statement

No statement had yet been notified.

(c) Government Motion

No motion had yet been notified.

(d) Motion debate on "Formulation of long-term industrial policy"- to be moved by Mr CHAN Kam-lam

(e) Motion debate on "Protection of civil rights in Hong Kong" - to be moved by Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo

The Chairman reminded Members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the motions was 10.1.96.

(7) Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on 24.1.96

(a) Motion debate on "Visa-free entry to UK"

Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr Howard YOUNG.

(b) Motion debate on "Freezing of government, public bodies and private utility companies’ fees and charges, and public housing rentals"

Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr SIN Chung-kai.

The Chairman advised Members that the deadlines for giving notice of the above motions and of amendments, if any, were 9.1.96 and 17.1.96 respectively.

(8) Reports by Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees

(a) Report by the Subcommittee to study Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicle) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulation 1995

Mr CHAN Kam-lam, chairman of the Subcommittee, reported that the Subcommittee had agreed at its meeting on 4.1.96 to support the proposed taxi fares increases. Hence it was not necessary to extend the scrutiny period of the Regulation. A report containing the detailed deliberations of the Subcommittee would be issued to Members shortly.

In response to Mr SZETO Wah, Mrs Selina CHOW and Mrs Miriam LAU said that the taxi renter and owners had agreed to make adjustment to the rental charges after the income of taxi drivers had stabilized.

(b) Report by Panel on Manpower - Fact finding visit to Australia and New Zealand to study implementation of legislative provisions to deal with age discrimination in employment

(LegCo Paper No. PL 446/95-96)

Mr LEE Cheuk-yan, a member of the Panel, informed Members that the visit to Australia and New Zealand was initiated by the Administration in order to study legislative provisions in these countries which dealt with age discrimination in employment. He said that the areas to be studied were relevant

to the deliberations of the Panel on age discrimination in employment and that issues which would arise from the visit would likely be followed up by the Panel in due course. A joint visit with the Administration would foster mutual understanding and facilitate subsequent discussion with the Administration on related issues.

In response to Mr Edward HO, ASG1 said that, according to the Administration, after studying the overseas legislation, the provisions that were most relevant to the Hong Kong situation were those that had been adopted by Australia and New Zealand. Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo was also of the view that these countries were advanced in providing protection against age discrimination, and that lessons could be learnt from the visit.

Members who supported the proposal said that a joint visit was cost effective and would enable the relevant parties to look at the issues from different angles.

Mrs Selina CHOW raised a point of principle. She was concerned whether Members should participate in a visit undertaken by the Administration. Mr CHAN Kam-lam shared Mrs CHOW’s view. He questioned whether joint visits with the Administration would become a standard practice in future and whether Members participating in the visit would be able to give objective views on the issues studied. He felt that interested Members should join the visit in their personal capacity.

A few Members said that joint visits with the Administration would not become a norm and that the House Committee would consider each case on its own merits.

After some discussion, Miss Emily LAU suggested and Members agreed that the joint visit should include staff from the Secretariat which could conduct an independent study to facilitate further deliberations by Members.

After some further discussion, the majority of the Members present decided by voting to support the proposal for Members to participate in the visit.

In response to the Chairman, Acting SG reported that funds were available from the vote on Members’ overseas visits. Members agreed that the budget for each Member joining the visit should not exceed $31,000, subject to a ceiling of $50,000 for the whole group. A staff member from the Research and Library Services Division of the Secretariat would accompany the group.

Mr LEE Cheuk-yan and Mrs Elizabeth WONG indicated their wish to participate in the visit.

(c) Report by Panel on Home Affairs - Human rights protection and post-1997 human rights reports to the United Nations

(LegCo Paper No. PL 466/95-96)

Mr Albert HO Chun-yan, chairman of the Panel, introduced the subject and urged Members to support the Panel’s proposal for the House Committee to request the UK Government to move a resolution, the draft wording of which was at Appendix B to the Paper, at the next annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights in March 1996.

Mr LEE Cheuk-yan supplemented that the purpose of the resolution was to express concerns about the proposal by the former Preliminary Working Committee in relation to the Bill of Rights, and about post-1997 reporting requirements for Hong Kong under the two international covenants i.e. ICCPR and ICESCR.

The Chairman asked Members to consider whether to support the proposal and the draft wording of the resolution. Subject to Members’ view, the matter could be raised with the Foreign Secretary during his meeting with Members on Monday, 8.1.96.

Mr Howard YOUNG was in support of the proposal, but questioned the appropriateness for LegCo to draft the wording of the resolution. He made some comments on the draft. Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee and Mr CHAN Kam-lam indicated that they had some reservations about the draft wording of the resolution. Mr Martin LEE did not think that this should cause too much concern as the wording of the resolution was only drafted for the consideration of the UK Government. A few Members were also of the view that, without the draft wording of the resolution, the proposal could not be put in prosper perspective.

In response to Mr Bruce LIU, Mr Albert HO Chun-yan said that Mr LEE Cheuk-yan had prepared the draft wording of the resolution at the suggestion of the Panel, which was considered acceptable by him. However, the Panel had not had an opportunity to discuss the draft resolution.

Mr IP Kwok-him was not in support of the proposal. He felt that the concerns raised should be reflected directly to the Chinese Government, instead of through a motion to be moved by

the UK Government in the UN. While Mr Albert HO Chun-yan agreed that there should be direct communication with the future sovereign power, he said that the present proposal related to only one of the channels to pursue the matter.

After some further discussion, the majority of the Members present decided by voting to support the proposal and the draft wording of the resolution at Appendix B to the Paper. Members also agreed to Mr Martin LEE’s suggestion that Members who would like to propose amendments to the draft wording of the resolution should submit them to the House Committee for endorsement.

The Chairman said that he would let the Foreign Secretary have copies of the correspondence between himself and the UK Prime Minister on the subject of post-1997 human right reports, together with details of the present proposal.

(9) Any Other Business

Proposed topics for the meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 8.1.96

Members agreed to the following grouping and order of raising the topics with the Foreign Secretary :

  1. British nationality (first question to be raised by Miss Emily LAU)
    1. British Nationality Selection Scheme - that Britain should honour her moral commitment to accept more Hong Kong people under the scheme (Mrs Selina CHOW)
    2. British citizenship (Miss Emily LAU)
  2. UK-Sino-Hong Kong relations (first question to be raised by Miss Christine LOH)
    1. China-Hong Kong relationship (Dr David K P LI)
    2. Co-operation with Preparatory Committee (Mr Howard YOUNG)
    3. Clarification on Britain’s understanding of respective roles to be played by the Foreign Office, the Hong Kong Government, the JLG, the Preparatory Committee to ensure a smooth transition for Hong Kong (Mr Paul CHENG Ming-fun)
    4. Implementation of Sino-British agreements on cooperation (Mr David CHU Yu-lin)
    5. Provisional legislature for Hong Kong (Miss Christine LOH)
  3. Human Rights (first question to be raised by Mr Albert HO)
    1. Reports on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Dr LEONG Che-hung)
    2. Human rights protection, particularly in relation to amendment of laws which threaten press freedom (Miss Emily LAU)
  4. Visa-free entry to UK for holders of HK SAR passports (first question to be raised by Mr CHAN Kam-lam)
  5. Vietnamese boat people (first question to be raised by Mr Allen LEE)
  6. AU Wing-cheung and WONG Chuen-ming, Hong Kong citizens jailed in the Philippines (first question to be raised by Mr Howard YOUNG)
  7. Detention of Hong Kong citizen AU Fook-hung (alias CHUNG Siu-hung) by authorities in China (first question to be raised by Mr LEE Wing-tat)

In view of the number of topics to be raised, Members agreed that the Foreign Secretary be requested to extend the duration of the meeting by 15 minutes. The Secretariat would relay Members’ request to Government House.

The meeting ended at 6:20 p.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
10 January 1996

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