LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2225/95-96
Ref : CB2/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee

Minutes of special meeting held in the LegCo Chamber
of the Legislative Council Building
on Friday, 27 September 1996 at 2:30 pm

Members present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    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 CHIM Pui-chung
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    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 Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon LEE Kai-ming
    Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    Hon Margaret NG
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling

Members absent :

    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Hon LO Suk-ching
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Staff in attendance : ASG2 (Clerk to the House Committee)















The meeting observed silence for one minute in memory of
Mr CHAN Yuk-cheung who passed away on 26 September 1996.


The Chairman referred members to Miss CHAN Yuen-han’s letter tabled at the meeting (Appendix). Members agreed that the Chairman should on behalf of members write to the family of Mr CHAN and Mr FONG Yue-yuen who was injured in the incident. In response to some members, the Chairman said that according to the Administration, an inquest into Mr CHAN’s death might be necessary, depending on the outcome of a post-mortem examination to be conducted in that afternoon. The relevant authorities would arrange for the early disposal of Mr CHAN’s body for the funeral ceremony. Arrangements had also been made for Mr FONG’s family to visit Mr FONG in the hospital in Japan.

(1) Confirmation of minutes of meeting held on 20 September 1996

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2160/95-96)

The minutes were confirmed.

(2) Matters arising

(a) Report on Chairman’s meeting with the Acting Chief Secretary

(i) Legislative programme for 1996-97 and priority of Government bills

The Chairman said that he had requested the Acting Chief Secretary to give early notice of bills in the pipeline and their relative priority. He asked members who intended to introduce Member’s bills to do the same.

On Miss Margaret NG’s suggestion of splitting the Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996, the Chairman said that the Administration had not agreed to this course of action, as there was sufficient interest in all the provisions in the Bill and there had been wide public consultation on the provisions which lasted for almost two years.

(ii) Population policy

The Chairman said that on members’ concern about the discrepancies between population projections and population estimates, the Acting Chief Secretary had advised that an information paper prepared by the Administration had explained the causes leading to the discrepancies. All Branch Secretaries and Heads of Departments were aware of the discrepancies and used up-to-date and realistic statistics in the planning of facilities and services. On the question of coordination, while population census was within the Secretary for Financial Services’ policy area, branches and departments did their respective planning on the basis of census statistics.


Mr LEE Wing-tat was not satisfied with the response and urged that the Chief Secretary be requested to look into the matter further as such discrepancies would have serious implications on housing and transport projects which involved long-term planning. The Chairman agreed to pursue the matter further in writing.

(iii) Handling of issues involving other councils and statutory bodies

The Chairman said that the Acting Chief Secretary had advised that as there were no policy branches dealing with the two Municipal Councils, Members who were from the Municipal Council constituencies could provide the necessary link to deal with policy issues relating to the two Councils. The Chairman suggested that members consider whether a subcommittee under the House Committee could serve as an appropriate forum for discussing specific Municipal Council policy matters which fell outside the scope of any Panel and which was not within the policy area of any Branch Secretary.

(b) Handover Ceremony

The Chairman said that he and some Members had attended a briefing by the Administration in the morning concerning the agreement reached by the British and Chinese Governments on the Handover Ceremony. The

Administration would submit a funding request for the Ceremony to the Finance Committee in October. According to the LegCo Brief distributed to members before the meeting, Hong Kong would have to meet the costs of certain items, in line with established international practice.


Some members were concerned that Hong Kong would have to pay for such costs and was uncertain as to whether the funding arrangement was in line with international practice. Members agreed that the Panel on Home Affairs should discuss the funding request first before consideration by the Finance Committee.

(c) Report of the Hong Kong-Japan Parliamentarians Committee - Diaoyu Islands

On behalf of Mr Allen LEE, chairman of the Committee, Mr Ronald ARCULLI reported the following deliberations of the Committee at its meeting held on 23 September 1996 -

  1. a trip to Japan should be made by members of the Committee to meet the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of the Japanese Government and members of the Japan-Hong Kong Parliamentarian League to reflect the sentiment of the Hong Kong community over the Diaoyu Islands issue;
  2. the trip should be open to all Members, and the expenses borne by participating Members;
  3. the two-day trip should be undertaken sometime between 6 and 14 October 1996, subject to consultation with the Consulate-General of Japan, and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo.


Members noted that according to the latest news, the Parliament of Japan had just been dissolved earlier that day, and that 20 October 1996 was set as the date for a general election. They agreed that the proposed trip should be postponed until after the election. Since the delegation was proposed to be open to all Members, they also agreed that the delegation should be in the name of the House Committee.

In response to some members’ comment on the proposal that the delegation should be self-financed, Mr ARCULLI said that members of the Committee felt that while it was right for Members to reflect the sentiment of Hong Kong people over the Diaoyu Islands issue to Japan, as the issue was not directly related to Hong Kong, the use of public funds to finance the delegation might not be appropriate. A few members were of the view that the delegation should be partially financed subject to availability of funds.

In response to the Chairman, the Secretary General said that of the provision of $400,000 earmarked for Members’ overseas visits for the 1996-97 financial year, members had agreed to set aside $80,000 for each of the three delegations to attend the hearings of the United Nations Committees in Geneva, and $160,000 for a delegation to attend the House of Commons debate on Hong Kong, if such a debate were to be held. Mrs Miriam LAU advised members that a delegation of the Panel on Transport to study mass transit systems and transport facilities in overseas countries might also be undertaken in the current financial year, and urged that funds be made available for the purpose.


After some discussion, members agreed that the question of funding for the proposed delegation to Japan should be referred to The Legislative Council Commission for consideration.

(d) Quota of Bills Committees

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2180/95-96)

The Secretary General introduced the paper which was prepared by the Secretariat in response to members’ request for information to assist them in deciding whether the number of Bills Committees in action at any one time should be increased from 15 to 18. He pointed out that the statistics on attendance rate had not included occasions where informal discussion sessions of committees were held instead of formal meetings owing to the lack of quorums. Taking into account the number of time slots available and the number of regular meetings already scheduled such as LegCo sittings, meetings of the Finance Committee, the House Committee and Panels, etc, it was likely that there would be clash of meetings, if more Bills Committees were to be activated. In response to the Chairman, he said that a bid of $1.5 million for additional staff resources (excluding payment for simultaneous

interpretation service) would have to be made to cope with the increased number of Bills Committees.

Mr Edward HO and Mr IP Kwok-him had reservations about the proposal, having regard to problems such as the availability of Members in attending meetings, the difficulty in forming a quorum due to clash of meetings, and the fact that some members might be deprived of the opportunity to join a Bills Committee. They suggested that bills which should be enacted before 1 July 1997 should be given priority and, that Bills Committees should expedite their scrutiny. Mr LEE Wing-tat said that members of the Democratic Party were in support of the proposal but he appreciated the problems faced by Members who were not affiliated to any groups. Mr Bruce LIU sing-lee and Miss Margaret NG supported the proposal, but Miss NG said that efforts should be made as far as possible to avoid scheduling two meetings within the same time slot.

The Chairman put the proposal to vote. There were 11 votes for, and 14 votes against, the proposal. The Chairman declared that the proposal was defeated.

(3) Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation to be tabled in the Legislative Council on 2 October 1996 (gazetted on
20 September 1996)

(LegCo Paper No. LS 216/95-96)

Members agree to support the subsidiary legislation.


Regarding Miss Margaret NG’s comment on the inaccurate Chinese translation of some of the terms in the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, the Legal Adviser suggested and members agreed that this should be followed up by the Subcommittee on Authentic Chinese Texts of Existing Legislation.

(4) Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2168/95-96)

Members noted that one Bills Committee had completed work and that the vacant slot would be allocated to the next Bills Committee on the waiting list i.e. the Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996.

(5) Business for the LegCo sitting on 9 October 1996

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 1112/95-96)

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

(b) Statement

No statement had been notified.

(c) Motions

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

(LegCo Paper No. LS 214/95-96)

Members agreed to support the resolution.

(ii) Resolution under section 12 of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 419) - to be moved by the Secretary for Health and Welfare

(LegCo Paper No. LS 215/95-96)

Members agreed to support the resolution.

(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996

(ii) University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Bill 1996

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

(iii) The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia Bill

(Member’s Bill to be introduced by Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung)

(iv) Public Order (Amendment) Bill 1996

(Member’s Bill to be introduced by Mr James TO Kun-sun)

The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 9 October 1996 and considered by the House Committee on 11 October 1996.

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

Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1996

The Chairman said that members had agreed at its previous meeting that the Second Reading debate of the Bill be resumed.

(f) Motion debate on "Review and prospects of the manpower resources training system in Hong Kong"

(g) Motion debate on "Disparity of wealth in Hong Kong"

Members noted the wording of the above motions. The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the motions was 2 October 1996.

(6) Reports of Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees

Report of the Bills Committee on Immigration (Amendment)
(No 2) Bill 1996

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2166/95-96)

Referring members to the paper, Mr Ronald ARCULLI reported on the deliberations of the Bills Committee on behalf of Miss Emily LAU, chairman of the Bills Committee, who was not able to attend the meeting.

Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed at the LegCo sitting on 9 October 1996.

(7) Any Other Business

(a) Formation of a subcommittee to follow up the basis for determining sewage charge

(Mrs Selina CHOW’s letter dated 24 September 1996 refers)

Mr Henry TANG Ying-yen introduced the subject on behalf of Mrs Selina CHOW, who was unable to attend the meeting. He said that in view of the considerable resources involved to support the work of a select committee, Mrs CHOW had now proposed the setting up of a subcommittee under the House Committee to monitor the Administration’s review on sewage charge and trade effluent surcharge.

Members generally agreed that the subject was complex and deserved detailed study but held divided views as to whether a subcommittee under the House Committee should be set up for such a purpose.

Some members felt that since the issue had been deliberated on by the Panel on Environmental Affairs, Mrs CHOW’s proposal should preferably be taken up by this Panel. Members who were not members of the Panel could also be invited to attend its meetings when the subject was discussed. Some members however pointed out that a subcommittee would enable interested members to fully participate in its work. Mr Ronald ARCULLI proposed that the subcommittee could aim at completing its work in six weeks, so as to economize on resources.

After some discussion, Mrs CHOW’s proposal of setting up a subcommittee under the House Committee to deal with the subject was put to vote. There were 9 votes for and 10 votes against it. The Chairman declared that the proposal was defeated.


Members agreed that the subject which was related to the purview of a few Panels should be entrusted to the most relevant Panel for follow up and discussed which Panel should take the lead in monitoring the Administration’s review. As views were divided, a vote was taken. There were 4 votes for the Panel on Planning, Lands and Works and 10 votes for the Panel on Environmental Affairs. The Chairman declared that the Panel on Environmental Affairs should take the lead.

(b) Policy briefings

Mr Michael HO Mun-ka was concerned that the Administration had not given sufficient advance notice of the schedule of policy briefings to Members.


The Chairman supplemented that despite the creation of a D2 post in the Administration Wing, communication among the various Branches in the Government Secretariat had not been improved, and that the scheduling of briefings was in fact co-ordinated by the Information Services Department. He would convey members’ concern to the Chief Secretary.

(c) Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House Committee of the 1996-97 session

In accordance with the election procedures set out in LegCo Paper No. HB3/95-96 circulated to members vide LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2094/95-96 on 12 September 1996, Dr LEONG Che-hung took the chair and invited nominations for the chairmanship of the House Committee of the 1996-97 session.

Dr LEONG Che-hung was nominated by Mr CHIM Pui-chung and seconded by Mr Martin LEE and Mr IP Kwok-him, and accepted the nomination.

As the Chairman was nominated for the office, Mr Ronald ARCULLI, the Deputy Chairman took the chair. As there was no other nomination, the Deputy Chairman declared Dr LEONG Che-hung elected as Chairman of the House Committee.

Dr LEONG Che-hung resumed the chair and called for nominations for the deputy chairmanship of the House Committee for the 1996-97 session.

Mr Ronald ARCULLI was nominated by Mr Martin LEE and seconded by Mr IP Kwok-him and Mr CHAN Wing-chan, and accepted the nomination. There being no other nomination, the Chairman declared Mr Ronald ARCULLI elected as Deputy Chairman of the House Committee.

The meeting ended at 4:15 pm.

Legislative Council Secretariat
2 October 1996

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