LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2047/96-97
Ref : CB2/H/5
Minutes of 23rd meeting
held on Friday, 25 April 1997 at 3:00 pm
in the Legislative Council Chamber
Members 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 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 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 Philip WONG Yu-hong
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
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 CHOY Kan-pui, JP
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 LO Suk-ching
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
Members absent :
Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon Margaret NG
Hon TSANG Kin-shing
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
- Mr Jonathan DAW
- Consultant (Legal Service)
- 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)
- Ms Christine LIU
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
I Confirmation of minutes of meeting held on 18 April 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 1948/96-97)
The minutes were confirmed.
II Matters arising
(a) Report on Chairmans meeting with the Chief Secretary
2. The Chairman said that no particular item needed to be reported to members.
(b) Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation
3. In response to the Chairman, Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that the construction industry had requested that a subcommittee be set up to study the Regulation. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join the Subcommittee: Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Mr IP Kwok-him and Dr John TSE Wing-ling.
4. To facilitate the work of the Subcommittee, members agreed that the scrutiny period of the Regulation should be extended to 14 May 1997.
(c) Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1997
5. In response to the Chairman, Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that he had no queries on the Bill. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(d) The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Amendment) Bill 1997 - Members Bill introduced by Mr Paul CHENG
6. The Chairman said that at the last meeting, members had agreed to Mr James TOs suggestion to defer a decision on the Bill.
Mr James TO
7. In response to the Chairman, the Legal Adviser said that the Legal Service Division had not received any request for assistance from Mr TO. Mr Paul CHENG undertook to contact Mr TO, who was not present at the meeting at the time of discussion, to see if he had any queries on the Bill.
III Legal Service Division report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 23 April 1997 (gazetted on 18 April 1997)
(LegCo Paper No. LS 174/96-97)
8. The Legal Adviser said that the Legal Service Division had raised queries in relation to the drafting of three items of subsidiary legislation (L.Ns. 136,137 and 149) and would issue a further report if necessary. Of the 47 items of subsidiary legislation, 26 were related to authentication of Chinese texts of the relevant Ordinances. The Subcommittee on Authentic Chinese Texts of Existing Legislation under the chairmanship of Dr Philip WONG would report on the progress of the Subcommittee to the House Committee in due course.
9. Members raised no query on the subsidiary legislation.
IV Further reports by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
(a) Places of Public Entertainment (Amendment) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. LS 185/96-97)
10. The Legal Adviser said that in response to some drafting points raised by the Legal Service Division on the Chinese text of the Bill, the Administration had agreed to move some Committee stage amendments to the Bill. He added that members had agreed at the last meeting to support the Bill in principle.
11. Members noted that the Administration had given notice for the Second Reading debate on the Bill to be resumed on 7 May 1997.
(b) Merchant Shipping (Collision Damage Liability and Salvage) Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 178/96-97)
12. Referring to the report, the Legal Adviser said that the Legal Service Division was now satisfied that the Chinese text of the Bill was in order, and recommended that members support the Bill.
13. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
V Legal Service Division report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order 42(3A)
(a) Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. LS 177/96-97)
14. The Legal Adviser briefly explained the object of the Bill and that of the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 1997 introduced by the Chairman. He said that a number of representations had been received on both Bills.
15. Members agreed that both Bills should be studied by the same Bills Committee, and noted that according to the priority list of Government Bills endorsed by the House Committee at the last meeting, this Bill ranked 14 on the list of 24 Government Bills for which Bills Committees had been/might be formed. Members raised no objection for the Bills Committee to follow the priority recommended by the Administration.
(b) Public Holiday (Special Holidays 1997) Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 175/96-97)
16. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to declare 1 and 2 July 1997 as general holidays and statutory holidays.
17. Dr Philip WONG proposed to set up a Bills Committee to study the Bill. Members raised no objection. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee: Dr Philip WONG Yu-hong, Mr IP Kwok-him, Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen and Mr CHAN Kam-lam.
18. The Chairman said that the Administration had accorded this Bill high priority.
(c) Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 183/96-97)
19. The Legal Adviser said that in view of the complexity and implications of the Bill, he recommended that members study the Bill in detail.
20. Members agreed to set up a Bills Committee. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee: Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Miss Emily LAU Wai-hing and Mr IP Kwok-him.
21. The Chairman said that the Administration had accorded top priority to this Bill which must be enacted before 1 July 1997. As a slot had been reserved for the study of this Bill, the Bills Committee could be activated immediately.
(d) Buildings (Amendment) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. LS 176/96-97)
22. The Legal Adviser said that as the Bill did not introduce any new policy matter and that its drafting was in order, he recommended that members support it.
23. Mr Edward HO said that he had consulted the Authorized Persons and they had raised no objection to the proposals contained in the Bill.
24. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(e) Weapons of Mass Destruction (Control of Provision of Services) Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 184/96-97)
25. The Legal Adviser said that the Legal Service Division was seeking clarifications from the Administration on some technical points. At the request of Mr James TO who would also like to seek clarifications on some technical issues, an informal meeting with the Administration had been arranged at 9:30 a.m. on 28 April 1997 in Room 218. Interested members were welcomed to attend the meeting.
26. In response to Mrs Selina CHOW, the Legal Adviser said that discussion/meeting with the Administration was part of the process of scrutinizing bills undertaken by the Legal Service Division. The Division would provide assistance to any interested members in their consideration of bills. Mrs CHOW said that discussion of such informal meetings should be confined to technical issues, and not policy issues, of a bill.
27. Members agreed to defer a decision on the Bill, pending a further report from the Legal Service Division.
(f) Family Status Discrimination Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 179/96-97)
28. The Legal Adviser referred members to the paper which set out the objects of the Bill and a comparison between the Bill and a Members Bill on a similar subject.
29. The Chairman proposed that this Bill be allocated to the Bills Committee on the Equal Opportunities (Family Responsibility, Sexuality and Age) Bill, Equal Opportunities (Race) Bill, and Sex and Disability Discrimination (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1996 currently in action. Members agreed.
(g) Interception of Communications Bill - Members Bill introduced by Mr James TO
(LegCo Paper No. LS 180/96-97)
30. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to provide laws on and in connection with the interception of communications transmitted orally, or by post, or by means of a telecommunication system.
31. The Chairman supplemented that as agreed at the last House Committee meeting, he had already written to the Governor urging immediate introduction of the Government Bill on the same subject.
32. Members agreed that a Bills Committee be formed to study the Bill. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee: Mrs Selina CHOW, Miss Emily Wai-hing and Mr IP Kwok-him.
(h) Unfair Dismissal Bill - Members Bill introduced by Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung
(LegCo Paper No. LS 181/96-97)
33. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to provide for the right of an employee not to be unfairly dismissed by the employer and to make provisions for remedies for unfair dismissal. The Legal Service Division recommended the setting up of a Bills Committee to study the Bill. Members agreed.
34. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee: Mr James TIEN Pei-chun, Mr CHAN Wing-chan, Mr Paul CHENG Ming-fun and Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung.
VI Further business for the LegCo sitting on 30 April 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 886/96-97)
35. The Chairman informed members that Mr CHOY Kan-pui and Dr John TSE had given notice to change their questions before the deadline. He said that members should avoid changing questions as far as possible in order not to create unnecessary work for the Administration.
(b) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
(i) Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1997
(ii) Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1997
(iii) Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 1997
(iv) Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 1997
(v) Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1997
(vi) Traffic Accident Victims (Assistance Fund) (Amendment) Bill 1997
(vii) New Territories Land Exchange Entitlements (Redemption) (Amendment) Bill 1997
(viii) Hong Kong Bill of Rights (Amendment) Bill 1997
(Members bill to be introduced by Mr LAU Chin-shek)
36. The Chairman advised that a total of 14 Bills including the above eight Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 30 April 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 2 May 1997.
(c) Bill - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
Hong Kong Institute of Housing Bill
37. The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
VII Business for the LegCo sitting on 7 May 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 887/96-97)
38. 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.
39. No statement had been notified.
(c) Government Motions
(i) Resolution under section 29 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138) - to be moved by the Secretary for Health and Welfare
(LegCo Paper No. LS 182/96-97)
40. The Chairman said that the purpose of the resolution was to seek LegCos approval to increase the fees payable in respect of qualifying examinations for pharmacists and for the issue of certificates.
41. Mr Michael HO said that he had requested the Administration to provide more information about the resolution which was considered to be in order.
42. Members raised no queries on the resolution. The Chairman advised that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the resolution was 30 April 1997.
(ii) Resolution under section 32A(2) of the Television Ordinance (Cap. 52) - to be moved by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport
43. The Legal Adviser said that as the LegCo Brief was only received the day before, he could only give a brief verbal report on the subject. He said that the resolution sought LegCos approval of the Television (Advertising) Regulation and the Television (Programmes) Regulation which set out the requirements relating to advertising material to be broadcast by a licensee of a broadcasting service. As the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the resolution was 30 April 1997, he had asked the Administration to defer moving the resolution to a later sitting. However, the Administration had explained that it had difficulty in doing so because the resolution would have implications on the renewal of television licence of Wharf Cable Limited.
44. The Chairman supplemented that the former Bills Committee set up to study the Television (Amendment) Bill 1996 had not studied the Regulations in detail. He suggested and members agreed to form a subcommittee.
45. Mr Ronald ARCULLI expressed dissatisfaction that the Administration had given such short time for members to consider the resolution. He was concerned whether the Subcommittee would be able to conclude its study before 30 April 1997. He suggested that the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport should be requested to defer moving the resolution to a later sitting. His view was echoed by Miss Emily LAU who said that if the Administration decided to move the resolution as scheduled, members might have no option but to vote against the resolution. The Chairman said that he would reflect members concerns to the Chief Secretary.
(Post-meeting note : The Chairman was informed by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport that he would be happy to defer the resolution to facilitate members deliberation.)
46. The following members agreed to join the Subcommittee : Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Miss Emily LAU Wai-hing and Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo.
(iii) Resolution under sections 18(1), 19(1)(b) and 36(1)(1) of the Rating Ordinance (Cap. 116) - to be moved by the Secretary for the Treasury
47. Deputy Secretary General informed members that the President had yet to decide whether he would waive the notice requirement for the resolution, which was given after the deadline.
48. The Legal Adviser said that the resolution sought to put into effect concessions to provide relief for ratepayers after the revaluation of rates, as the Financial Secretary had announced in his Budget speech. The Legal Service Division would provide a written report to members.
(d) Bill - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
Places of Public Entertainment (Amendment) Bill 1997
49. The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(e) Motion debate on "Welfare for the elderly"
50. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr CHAN Wing-chan.
(f) Motion debate on "Implementation of mother-tongue education"
51. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mrs Selina CHOW.
52. The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 30 April 1997.
VIII Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on
14 May 1997
(a) Motion debate on "Right of abode"
53. Members noted the subject of the motion to be moved by Miss Margaret NG.
(b) Motion debate on "Civil liberties"
54. Members noted the subject of the motion to be moved by Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong.
55. The Chairman advised members that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments, if any, to the above motions were 29 April 1997 and 7 May 1997 respectively.
IX Position reports on Bills Committees and Subcommittees and Bills which must be passed before 1 July 1997
(LegCo Papers Nos. CB(2) 1983 & 1966/96-97)
56. Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996, said that subject to further comments from members on the revised Rules, the Subcommittee would make a report to the House Committee shortly.
57. The Chairman advised members that the three Bills Committees on the following Bills had concluded their work and agreed to release their slots before the submission of written reports to the House Committee : Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill; Justices of the Peace Bill; and Mass Transit Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1996 and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1996. These three slots, and the one reserved at the last meeting, would be allocated to the Bills Committees on the following Bills -
- Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill;
- Public Holiday (Special Holidays 1997) Bill;
- Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 1997; and
- Housing (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1996 and
Housing (Amendment) Bill 1997.
X Any Other Business
(a) Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 1997
58. Mr LEE Wing-tat, Member in charge of the Bill, said that the Administration had taken a long time to comment on the constitutional implications and charging effect of the Bill, and that the President had ruled on 17 April 1997 that the Bill had charging effect. As he was prepared to revise the Bill by retaining only the part which, in his view, had no charging effect, he would like to seek the House Committees agreement for him to introduce the revised Bill after the deadline of 9/10 April 1997. Members raised no objection to the request.
59. The Chairman said that members had agreed at previous meetings that bills could be introduced after the agreed deadline provided that justifications for late introduction could be given. Moreover, it was the prerogative of the Administration and Members to introduce bills into the Council.
(b) Proposed arrangements for second last and last sittings of 1996-97 Legislative Session
60. The Chairman said that it had been agreed between the Government and the President that the Governors Question Time originally scheduled to be held in the afternoon of 19 June 1997 be advanced to the morning on the same date. The Governor would then join members for lunch in the Dining Hall. Senior Government officials and former Members would also be invited. Members agreed to the arrangement.
61. In anticipation that there would be a large number of bills that would have to be dealt with towards the end of the session and given that sufficient time should be allowed to enable bills passed by the Council to be assented to by the Governor and then gazetted before 1 July 1997, the Chairman sought members views as to whether special arrangement should be made for the last two sittings of the session. After some discussion, members agreed to the following arrangement -
- 17 June 1997 to 19 June 1997 would be reserved tentatively for the second last sitting;
- 23 June 1997 to 27 June 1997 would be reserved tentatively for the last sitting;
- A farewell dinner would be held on 27 June 1997; and
- The question of whether there should be valedictory speeches at the last sitting should be dealt with at a later stage.
(c) Attendance at case conference
62. Mr Zachary WONG said that despite his efforts in the past four weeks, the Legal Aid Department had declined to send representative(s) to attend a particular case conference. The Chairman undertook to raise the matter with the Chief Secretary.
(d) Members attendance at committee meetings
63. The Chairman said that it had been brought to his attention that a Bills Committee had to adjourn earlier than the scheduled time because of a lack of quorum. He had requested the Secretariat to provide weekly reports on Members attendance rates at Bills Committee meetings. He urged members to make the best effort to attend and to stay for meetings.
64. The meeting ended at 4:15 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
30 April 1997
Last Updated on 16 August 1999