LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2340/96-97
Ref : CB2/H/5
Legislative Council House Committee
Minutes of 26th meeting held on Friday, 16 May 1997 at 3:05 pm
in the Legislative Council Chamber
Members present :
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)Members absent :
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
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 Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, OBE, 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 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 Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon LAU Chin-shek
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Margaret NG
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon TSANG Kin-shing
Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
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 Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon LO Suk-ching
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling
Clerk in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Assistant Secretary General 2
Staff in attendance :
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG
- Secretary General
- Mr Jimmy MA
- Legal Adviser
- Mr LAW Kam-sang
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sang
- Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Assistant Secretary General 1 (Acting)
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- Ms Bernice WONG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 1
- Ms Kitty CHENG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Miss Connie FUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 3
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Ms LEUNG Siu-kum
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Ms Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Mrs Percy MA
- Chief Assistant Secretary (House Committee)
- Mrs Eleanor CHOW
- Senior Assistant Secretary (House Committee)
I Confirmation of minutes of meeting held on 9 May 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2237/96-97)
The minutes were confirmed.
II Matters arising
(a) Report on Chairmans meeting with the Chief Secretary
Subsidiary legislation to be tabled in LegCo after 21 May 1997
(Director of Administrations letter dated 14 May 1997)
|Chairman ||2.The Chairman advised members some subsidiary legislation would have to be tabled in LegCo after 21 May 1997. He was concerned that members would not have the normal period, i.e. 28 days plus extension by one sitting, for scrutinizing them. He would raise the matter with the Chief Secretary.
(b) Trustee (Amendment) Bill 1997
|Miss Margaret NG||3. Miss Margaret NG said that she had consulted the Hong Kong Bar Association which had raised some queries on the consequential amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court proposed under the Bill. Upon her request, the Legal Services Division was seeking clarifications from the Administration on those points. She would give a further report on the Bill in due course.|
(c) Resolution under section 100A of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1)
4. The Chairman said that at the meeting on 2 May 1997, members agreed to Mr Ronald ARCULLIs suggestion to defer a decision on the resolution. The Administration had agreed to defer moving the resolution originally scheduled for the sitting on 7 May 1997 to a later sitting.
|Mr Ronald ARCULLI ||5. Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that he was still studying the resolution and would report to the House Committee in due course.|
(d) Interception of Communications Bill - Members Bill introduced by Mr James TO
6.The Chairman said that pursuant to the decision of the House Committee at the last meeting, he had again written to the Governor urging the Administration to re-consider immediate introduction of the Bill into LegCo.
7. The Chairman said that Miss Emily LAU had proposed at the last meeting that Mr James TOs Bill on the same subject should be scrutinized ahead of other Members Bills on the waiting list. He pointed out that the proposal, if endorsed, should not affect the order of Government Bills on the waiting list. Should members agree to the proposal, the position of Mr TOs Bill would be advanced from No. 21 to No. 5 on the waiting list, and the Bill that would be affected the most was Miss CHAN Yuen-hans Immigration (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997, the position of which would be lowered from No. 6 to No. 12.
8. After discussion and at the request of Miss LAU, the matter was put to vote. There were 11 votes for the proposal and 14 against it. The Chairman declared that Mr TOs Bill would stay in its present position on the waiting list.
(e) Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 1996
|Chairman ||9.In response to Miss Margaret NG, the Chairman said that he had just received a letter from the Director of the Administration indicating that the Administration was still actively trying to resolve the differences with the Hong Kong Society of Notaries (the Society), and that it had just proposed an additional clause to address the Societys concerns. Mr Ronald ARCULLI responded that the proposed clause should be provided to members of the Bills Committee for consideration. The Chairman undertook to reflect the request to the Administration.|
10.Miss Margaret NG said that in the event that an agreement could not be reached between the Administration and the Society, the Administration should be urged to give notice for resumption of the Second Reading debate on the Bill in the first instance, otherwise, a Members Bill on the same subject should be introduced.
11.The Legal Adviser advised that the Bills Committee should consider holding a further meeting in view of the latest developments. In response to Miss Margaret NG, he said that while a Members Bill could be introduced in principle, there might be practical problems in view of the limited time available e.g. the President having to rule on whether the Bill would have charging effect. He added that the Administration had made it very clear that the Bill had to be passed before 1 July 1997. Mr Ronald ARCULLI added that should a Members Bill become inevitable, the President should be advised of the unique circumstances leading to the Bills introduction and of the urgency for the Administration to provide immediate response on possible charging effect. To further expedite the legislative process, the Member in charge could also resort to completing First, Second and Third Readings at one sitting, subject to the recommendation of the House Committee and the permission of the President.
|CAS(2)3||12.Miss Margaret NG said that there was no cogent reason for the Governor not to give his consent to the Members Bill because the text of the Members Bill, if introduced, would be the same as that of the Government Bill. She agreed that the Bills Committee should resume its discussion with the Administration as soon as possible.|
III Legal Service Division report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 14 May 1997 (gazetted on 9 May 1997)
(LegCo Paper No. LS 206/96-97)
13.The Chairman said that one item of the subsidiary legislation was related to fees payable for taking part in examinations prescribed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and for issue of certificates of registration.
14. The Legal Adviser added that 15 items were made under the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance which came into operation on 25 April 1997. The remaining items were related to authentication of Chinese texts of existing legislation. The legal and drafting aspects of the subsidiary legislation were in order.
15. Members raised no queries on the subsidiary legislation.
IV Further reports by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
(a) Landscape Architects Registration Bill - Members Bill introduced by Mr Edward HO
(LegCo Paper No. LS 207/96-97)
16.The Legal Adviser introduced the paper. He said that in response to the Legal Service Division, the Member in charge would move some Committee stage amendments (CSAs) which were considered to be in order.
17. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(b) The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Amendment) Bill 1997 - Members Bill introduced by Mr Paul CHENG
(LegCo Paper No. LS 211/96-97)
18. The Legal Adviser said that in response to Mr James TO, Mr Paul CHENG had agreed to move some CSAs to the Bill as set out in the paper.
19.The Chairman advised that Mr Paul CHENG had already given notice for the Second Reading debate on the Bill to be resumed on 28 May 1997.
(c) Child Abduction and Custody Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 205/96-97)
20. The Legal Adviser briefly explained the objects of the Bill. He said that in response to the Legal Service Division, the Administration had clarified that the status of Hong Kong would not be affected by the change of sovereignty after the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Convention) was extended in Hong Kong. The Administration had agreed to move CSAs to the Chinese text. The Bill was legally in order.
21. The Chairman advised members that the Administration had proposed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed at the next sitting on 21 May 1997 to facilitate introduction of the rules of court and extension of the Convention to Hong Kong prior to 1 July 1997.
22.Chairman Members supported the proposal. The Chairman said that a recommendation would be made to the President that -
- the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed at the next sitting on 21 May 1997 provided that the Administration gave 2 clear days notice for the resumption (i.e. by Monday, 19 May 1997) as stipulated under Standing Order No. 42(3B)(e); and
- the deadline for giving notice of CSAs for the sitting on 21 May 1997 be extended to Monday, 19 May 1997.
V Legal Service Division report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order 42(3A)
Outer Space Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 209/96-97)
23.The Legal Adviser said that the Bill had to be passed before 1 July 1997. The Bill sought to localise UK legislation and did not introduce any new policy issues.
24.Mr James TO Mr James TO said that in response to his request, the Economic Services Branch had just provided him with additional information on the Bill. He requested to defer a decision on the Bill for one week. Members agreed.
VI Business for the LegCo sitting on 28 May 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 992/96-97)
25. 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.
26. No statement had been notified.
(c) Government Motion
Resolution under section 296 of the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) - to be moved by the Secretary for Financial Services
(LegCo Paper No. LS 210/96-97)
27.Members raised no query on the resolution.
(d) Bill - 1st and 2nd Readings
Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 1997
28. The Chairman said that the Bill was one of the Bills which had to be passed before 1 July 1997. It would be introduced into LegCo on 28 May 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 30 May 1997.
(e) Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
(i) Mass Transit Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1996
Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1996
29.The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debates on these Bills be resumed on a date to be decided by the Mr Sin Chung-kai, Member in charge of the Bills.
(ii) Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill
30.The Chairman said that the Administration had given notice for the Second Reading debate on the Bill to be resumed on 28 May 1997.
31. In response to Mr Albert CHAN, Chairman of the Bills Committee, the Legal Adviser said that the Administration had agreed to provide its response on possible charging effect of the CSAs to be moved by Mr CHAN within this week.
32. Mr CHAN advised members that some submissions were received after the Bills Committee had concluded its study. In order to address some of the points raised in the submissions, it might be necessary to move amendments to the subsidiary legislation to be introduced into LegCo. Members noted that according to the Administration, the relevant subsidiary legislation would be introduced on 11 June 1997.
(iii) The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Amendment) Bill 1997
33. The Chairman said that this item had already been discussed under item IV (b) above.
(f) Motion debate on "Suppressing property prices"
34. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Miss CHAN Yuen-han.
(g) Motion debate on "Final Report of the Review on Trade Effluent Surcharge"
35.Members noted the revised wording of the motion to be moved by Mr James TIEN (tabled at the meeting).
36.The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 21 May 1997 and that the normal speaking time should apply.
VII Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on
4 June 1997
(a) Debate on a motion to be moved by Mr CHAN Kam-lam
(b) Debate on a motion to be moved by Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung
37.The Chairman said that both members had yet to advise the Secretariat of the subjects of their motions. He advised members that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendment to, the above motions were 20 May 1997 and 28 May 1997 respectively.
38. Members noted Miss Emily LAUs concern about the quorum of the sitting as some members might have to leave the sitting early in order to participate in activities relating to the June 4 incident.
VIII Reports of Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees
(a) Report of the Panel on Health Services - Nurses Registration (Amendment) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2275/96-97)
39. The Chairman said that as Mr Michael HO, Chairman of the Panel, had declared interest as the LegCo representative for the nursing functional constituency, he had chaired the Panel meeting held on 12 May 1997 when the Bill was discussed. The deliberations of the Panel were focused on the composition of the Nursing Council and the removal of minimum age requirement for enrolment. He pointed out that the nurses associations/unions had divergent views which would unlikely be resolved. As the policy aspects of the Bill had been thoroughly discussed, the Panel was of the unanimous view that further scrutiny of the Bill by a Bills Committee was not required, and recommended that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
40.The Legal Adviser advised that the Legal Service Division was still discussing the drafting aspects of the Bill with the Administration, and would report to members if necessary.
41. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed subject to the Legal Service Divisions advice that the drafting aspects of the Bill were in order. They also agreed that the Bills Committee formed to study the Bill should be removed from the waiting list.
(b) Report of the Bills Committee on Patents Bill
(LegCo Paper No. CB(1) 1585/96-97)
42. Mr Ambrose LAU, Chairman of the Bills Committee, reported on the deliberations of the Bills Committee. The Administration would move a number of CSAs to the Bill. The Bills Committee recommended that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 28 May 1997.
43. Members agreed with the recommendation of the Bills Committee subject to the Chinese version of the CSAs being in order.
(c) Report of the Bills Committee on Railways Bill
(LegCo Paper No. CB(1) 1582/96-97)
44. Mr CHAN Kam-lam, Chairman of the Bills Committee, reported on the Committees deliberations. He added that in response to the Bills Committee, the Administration would move a number of CSAs to the Bill.
45. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 4 June 1997.
(d) Report of the Bills Committee on Registered Designs Bill
46. Mr CHAN Kam-lam, Chairman of the Bills Committee, reported that the Bills Committee had concluded its study and agreed to release its slot pending report to the House Committee on 23 May 1997.
(e) Report of the Bills Committee on Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill
47. Mr LEE Wing-tat, Chairman of the Bills Committee, said that the CSAs proposed by the Administration had been circulated to members of the Bills Committee for consideration. As no further meeting would be required, the Bills Committee had agreed to release its slot pending report to the House Committee on 23 May 1997.
IX Position reports on Bills Committees and Subcommittees and Bills which must be passed before 1 July 1997
(LegCo Papers Nos. CB(2) 2269 & 2242/96-97)
48.The Chairman said that three slots had become available at this meeting. They would be allocated to the Bills Committees on the following Bills on the waiting list : Dogs and Cats (Amendment) Bill 1996, Veterinary Surgeons Registration Bill and Housing (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997.
X Any Other Business
(a) Report of the Select Committee to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the departure of Mr LEUNG Ming-yin from the Government and related issues - Proposed motion debate on 18 June 1997 on report of Select Committee to be tabled in Council
49.Mr IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Select Committee, said that the Administration had produced the relevant ICAC report to him. The work of the Select Committee was near completion. The Select Committee would table its report in Council on 11 June 1997. In addition to addressing the Council on the report on 11 June 1997, he would move a motion, on behalf of the Select Committee, for the purpose of debating the report at the sitting on 18 June 1997. The wording of the motion would be couched in such a way so that Members could give their views on the report. As two Members had already applied for motion debates for the sitting on 18 June 1997, he would like to seek the House Committees view on the matter.
50.The Chairman said that under Standing Order No. 14, a Member presenting a report to LegCo could address the Council on the report and other Members might ask short questions on the address for the purpose of seeking elucidation on any matter raised in the address, but no debate might arise from such an address. Hence, Members wishing to have the matter debated might initiate a motion debate in the Council. As Mr Ambrose LAU and Mr David CHU had applied for debating slots in respect of the sitting on 18 June 1997, he sought members views on whether one of the two debating slots should be allocated to the debate on the Select Committees report; or whether the debate should be held in addition to the two motion debates presently allowed for a sitting.
51.Mr LEE Wing-tat said that the arrangement adopted for the motion debate on "Annual Report on Hong Kong 1996 to Parliament" moved by the Chairman of the House Committee should apply to this case as the motion to be moved by Mr IP was on behalf of the Select Committee. His view was echoed by Miss Emily LAU.
52.Members agreed that one of the two debating slots for the sitting on 18 June 1997 should be allocated to Mr IP Kwok-him and that the motion should be moved before the other motion at the sitting.
(b) Resumption of Second Reading debates on bills at the last two sittings
53.Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that the dates of the last two sittings should be fixed as soon as possible as this would affect the Administration and members consideration as to when to resume Second Reading debates on bills. Mrs Selina CHOW said that in view of the progress of some of the Bills Committees, it might be necessary to seek the Presidents approval to waive the notice requirement for resumption of Second Reading debates on some Bills.
54.Chairman The Chairman said that as only a few more Bills Committees were likely to be activated, he would discuss with the Chief Secretary the position of Government Bills on the waiting list.
55.The meeting ended 4:00 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
21 May 1997
Last Updated on 16 August 1999