LegCo Paper No. HB 68/95-96
Ref : HB/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee
(1995/96 Session)

Minutes of 4th meeting held in the LegCo Chamber
of the Legislative Council Building
on Friday, 27 October 1995 at 4:52 p.m.

Present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)

    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    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 CHIM Pui-chung
    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 Wing-chan
    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 CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    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 Margaret NG
    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
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Absent :

    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan

In attendance :

    ASG2 (Clerk to the House Committee)


LA (Atg)












(1) Confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting held on 20.10.95

(LegCo Paper No. HB 48/95-96)

The minutes were confirmed.

(2) Matters arising

(a) Briefings by the Chief Secretary

The Chairman said that the Chief Secretary had advised that the first briefing for Members would be held in early December. She would welcome suggestions from Members on the topic(s) for the briefing. Members who had suggestions to make were asked to inform the Chairman or ASG2.

(b) Land Survey (Fees) Regulation

Mr Ronald ARCULLI reported on behalf of Mr Edward HO who was then not at the meeting. As Mr Ho needed more time to consult the industry and report back, Mr ARCULLI suggested and Members noted that the scrutiny period of the Regulation might need to be extended from 15 November 1995 to 22 November 1995.

(c) Nomination for Committee on Members’ Interests

The Chairman invited Members to nominate another Member to replace Ms Christine LOH. Mr Lawrence YUM
Sin-ling was nominated and accepted the nomination.

(d) Nomination for Bilingual Laws Advisory Committee

The Chairman invited Members to nominate another Member to replace Dr Philip WONG. In response to the Chairman, the Legal Adviser briefly explained the work commitment of members of the Committee. Members noted that representatives of the Legal Service Division also attended the meetings of the Committee on a regular basis.

Mr CHAN Kam-lam was nominated for appointment to sit on the Committee and accepted the nomination.

(e) Appointment of Chairman of Public Accounts Committee

Members endorsed the election of Mr Eric LI as the chairman of the Committee for appointment by the President.

(3) Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 25 & 26.10.95

(LegCo Paper No. LS 14/95-96)

At the suggestion of Mr LEE Wing-tat and Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Members agreed to set up a subcommittee to study the Building (Administration)(Amendment) (No. 3) Regulation 1995 and the Marine Fish Culture (Amendment) Regulation l995 which involved fees increases. The following Members agreed to join: Mr Edward HO, Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip, Mr LEE Wing-tat, Mr TSANG Kin-shing and Mrs Elizabeth WONG.

Members agreed with the Chairman’s suggestion that a subcommittee should be set up only in respect of certain subsidiary legislation which raised specific concerns.

Mr LAU Chin-shek said that LegCo should discuss the question of increases in fees for public services in the light of the present state of the economy and the unemployment situation. Mr NGAN Kam-chuen would also like to discuss the user-pay and cost-recovery principles and the rate of return. Members agreed that the matter should be followed up by the LegCo Panel on Financial Affairs .

(4) Further report by the Legal Adviser on outstanding bill

Air Passenger Departure Tax (Amendment) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. LS 16/95-96)

The Legal Adviser referred Members to the Paper which contained the Administration’s reply to the various issues raised by Members at the last meeting. Members agreed to support the Bill.

(5) Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. HB 53/95-96)

Members noted the position report.

Mr LEE Wing-tat said that the Administration should be requested to introduce more bills at the beginning of the session to avoid "bunching" towards the end of the session . The Chairman said that he had already raised this subject at his first regular meeting with the Chief Secretary, and would reiterate Members’ concern.

(6) Outstanding business for the LegCo sitting on 2.11.95

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

(a) Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Bill 1995

(b) Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill 1995

The Chairman said that Members had, at the last meeting,

agreed to support the above Bills.

(7) Business for the LegCo sitting on 8.11.95

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB 86/95-96)

The Chairman said that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.

(b) Statement

No statement had yet been notified.

(c) Motion

Resolution under section 100A of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordnance (Cap. 1) - to be moved by the Secretary for Security

(LegCo Paper No. LS 15/95-96)

The Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the resolution was to increase the statutory fines for immigration-related offences to restore their real value. The drafting of the resolution was in order.

Mr LEE Cheuk-yan suggested and Members agreed to set up a subcommittee. Members also agreed that the Administration be requested to defer the motion which was intended to be moved at the LegCo sitting on 8.11.95. The following Members agreed to join: Mr James TO, Mr LEE Cheuk-yan, Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo, Mr CHENG Yiu-tong, Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee and Miss Margaret NG.

(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Medical Registration (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995

(ii) The Non-Local Higher Education and Professional Education (Regulation) Bill

The Chairman informed Members that the above bills would be introduced into LegCo on 8.11.95 and be considered at the House Committee meeting on 10.11.95.

(e) Motion debate on "Hong Kong’s economy" - to be moved by
Mr Allen LEE

(f) Motion debate on "Reduction of taxes" - to be moved by
Mr James TIEN

Mr James TIEN said that he had amended his motion by deleting the reference to "1.5%".

The Chairman advised Members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments to the motions, if any, would be 31.10.95, and that the normal speaking time and arrangement should apply to the debates.

(8) Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on 15.11.95

(a) Motion debate on "Old Age Pension Scheme"

Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr LEE Cheuk-yan.

(b) Motion debate on "Urban renewal policy"

Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr James TO.

The Chairman said that the deadline for the Members concerned to give notice of the motions was 30.10.95.

(9) Reports by Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees

Report by the Subcommittee to study subsidiary legislation gazetted from 30 June to 6 October 1995

(LegCo Paper No. HB 54/95-96)

Mr Ronald ARCULLI , chairman of the Subcommittee, reported that some members of the Subcommittee had had reservations about the three items of subsidiary legislation set out in the Paper. Mr Edward HO had indicated that he needed more time to consider the Land Survey Ordinance (28 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1995 (L.N. 400) which was related to the Land Survey (Fees) Regulation discussed earlier at the meeting. Members agreed that the scrutiny period for this Regulation should be extended.

Mr James To reported on behalf of Mr Albert CHAN. He said that Mr CHAN had no further queries concerning the Customs and Excise Service Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order l995 (L.N. 452).

Dr HUANG Chen-ya suggested setting up a subcommittee to study the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Calls) Rules (L.N.370). In response to Mr ARCULLI, the Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the subsidiary legislation was to make rules to implement policy matters which had been agreed to when the principal ordinance was enacted.
Dr HUANG said that, according to Mr Eric LI, the Society of Accountants also had some views on the Rules and would soon make a written submission to LegCo. Members agreed to set up a subcommittee. The following Members agreed to join : Dr HUANG Chen-ya, Mr Eric LI, Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo, Dr LAW Cheung-kwok and Mr SIN Chung-kai.

(10) Any Other Business

(a) Agenda items for the House Committee meeting on 3.11.95

The Chairman advised Members that, as the following Wednesday would be a public holiday, the deadline for Members to suggest agenda items would be 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 1.11.95.

(b) Election of Members to The Legislative Council Commission

(LegCo Paper No. AS 43/95-96)

The Chairman said that The Legislative Council Commission comprised the President, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House Committee and not more than eight

Members. As only six nominations had been received by the deadline, in accordance with the resolution passed by the Council on 18.10.95, he had to invite further nominations from the floor at this meeting. He suspended the meeting for five minutes to allow Members to consider the nominations.

On resumption of the meeting, Mr Michael HO who had been nominated, said that he did not accept his nomination and nominated Mr LEE Wing-tat to replace himself. The nomination was seconded by Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong and accepted by Mr LEE.

Mr Paul CHENG Ming-fun and Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung were nominated by Dr YEUNG Sum and seconded by Mr Ronald ARCULLI. Both accepted the nominations.

The Chairman declared the following eight Members duly elected :

    Mr Edward HO

    Ms Emily LAU

    Mr LEE Wing-tat

    Mr Paul CHENG Ming-fun

    Mr IP Kwok-him

    Mr LAW Chi-kwong

    Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung

    Mr MOK Ying-fan

(c) Development of the Legislative Council Committee System

Mr Martin LEE said that the proposal in his Paper would have wide implications on the future operation of LegCo. He suggested that Members consider the proposal carefully and then discuss it at a special House Committee meeting.

The Chairman said that he had advised the Chief Secretary of Mr LEE’s proposal and the Administration would like to be given the opportunity to offer its view. He suggested that the Secretariat prepare a paper explaining the existing system to facilitate discussion. The Administration should also be invited to submit its views towards the proposal.

Members agreed that a special House Committee meeting should be held to discuss the subject. As more Members would be available to meet in the afternoon of 10.11.95, after the regular House Committee meeting, it was decided that the special meeting should be held on 10.11.95.

The Chairman reminded Members that no conclusion would be drawn on Mr LEE’s proposal at the special House Committee meeting, which would facilitate Members to offer their views and to decide on the further steps to be taken.

(d) Verbal report by the delegation to observe the hearings of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva on 19& 20.10.95

With the permission of the Chairman, Ms Emily LAU, leader of the House Committee delegation, made a brief report on the trip and tabled a draft report at the meeting (Appendix). She said that the delegation had attended the hearings of the UNHRC in Geneva on 19 and 20.10.95 and had had an opportunity to meet with the UNHRC informally the day before the hearings. The delegation had made the UNHRC aware of Members’ concern about the post-1997 reporting arrangements. Since the British-Hong Kong delegation had not provided satisfactory answers to many of the questions raised by the UNHRC, the UNHRC Chairman had requested the British-Hong Kong delegation to prepare another report by May 1996 for a special hearing to be conducted by the UNHRC in October 1996. However, the Hong Kong Government seemed to have a different interpretation of the situation and had indicated that it would wait for the official report to be issued by the UNHRC on 3.11.95 for confirmation. She had already informed the UNHRC Chairman in writing of the reaction of the Hong Kong Government and had urged him to clarify the matter in the UNHRC’s official report.

Ms LAU said that the report of the delegation had been compiled by the Public Relations Adviser of the LegCo London Office. Subject to the comments of the other Members of the delegation, the finalized report would be placed in the LegCo Library for Members’ reference. The various issues raised in the report would be followed up by the relevant LegCo Panels. In response to the Chairman, she did not consider it practicable to prepare an executive summary of the report.

Dr YEUNG Sum suggested following up the matter by sending a letter to China urging that early arrangements be made for the post-1997 reporting to UN on the human rights situation in Hong Kong. Ms Emily LAU suggested sending a delegation to China. After some discussion, Members agreed that letters should be sent to the Prime Minister of UK, the Premier of China

and the Governor respectively voicing Members’ concern that early arrangements should be made for the post-1997 reporting on the human rights situation in Hong Kong and suggesting that Members would be willing to send delegations to London and Beijing to make direct representations.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
31 October 1995

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