LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2532/96-97
Ref : CB2/H/5
Legislative Council House Committee
Minutes of 28th meeting held on Friday, 30 May 1997 at 2:30 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 SZETO Wah
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
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, OBE, FEng, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
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 Lawrence YUM Sin-ling
Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JPClerk in attendance :
Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
Staff in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Assistant Secretary General 2
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG
- Secretary General
- Mr LAW Kam-sang
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sang
- Legal Adviser (Acting)
- 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
- 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 23 May 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2441/96-97)
The minutes were confirmed.
Report on Chairmans meeting with the Chief Secretary
(a)Subsidiary legislation to be tabled in LegCo after 21 May 1997
2.The Chairman referred members to the Director of Administrations letter dated 28 May 1997 advising that a total of 26 items of subsidiary legislation would be introduced into LegCo after 21 May 1997, and that 12 of these items would be introduced on 17 June 1997.
||3.Taking into account the number of subcommittees and Bills Committees in action, the number of bills to be introduced pending Joint Liaison Groups agreement, and the limited time available for scrutiny before the end of the session, the Chairman suggested that LegCo should only scrutinize subsidiary legislation which had to be passed before 1 July 1997. Members agreed that the Administration should be requested to provide a list of such items. The Chairman would raise the matter with the Chief Secretary.|
(b)Supreme Court Civil Procedure (Use of Language) Rules - tabled in LegCo on 21 May 1997
|Panel on AJLS
||4.Referring to her comments made on the Rules at the meeting on 23 May 1997 (paragraph 14 of the minutes), Miss Margaret NG said that she had subsequently received further views from the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association. She opined that the most expedient way of dealing with the matter was for the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services to discuss it with the Administration at its meeting scheduled for the following Monday, 2 June 1997. Members agreed. Miss NG said that a report would be made to the next House Committee meeting.|
5.Members noted that the deadlines for giving notice of amendments to the Rules, and extending the scrutiny period to 23 June 1997 were 10 and 12 June 1997 respectively. Members agreed that the scrutiny period should be extended if necessary.
(c) Resolution under section 100A of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1)
6.The Chairman said that the Administration had deferred moving the resolution which was originally scheduled for the sitting on 14 May 1997, pending scrutiny by Mr Ronald ARCULLI.
||1. 7.Mr ARCULLI said that the resolution proposed to increase 61 items of statutory fines on an inflation adjustment basis. In view of the hefty increases in some of the fines, he and some members would like to scrutinize the resolution in detail. Having regard to the limited time available for scrutiny, he suggested and members agreed that the Administration should be requested to advise whether there was any urgency for the resolution to be passed before the end of the session. The Chairman agreed to raise the matter with the Chief Secretary.|
(d) Valedictory speeches at the last sitting
8.The Chairman said that members had divergent views on the subject which was discussed at a previous meeting. He sought members views on whether there should be valedictory speeches at the last sitting, and if so, whether the speeches should be made in the context of a motion debate.
9.Members agreed that there should be a motion debate to enable Members to make valedictory remarks. As to whether one of the two debating slots should be allocated for the motion debate, Mr IP Kwok-him opined that it would be unfair to do so as this would deprive Members of the opportunity of sponsoring motion debates, and that it should be up to the two Members who had been alloted slots to decide whether he/she would like to sponsor the "valedictory" motion. Some members suggested that a third motion debate should be held, and that the motion should be couched in neutral terms and moved by the Chairman of the House Committee. Mr CHAN Kam-lam was concerned whether the subjects of the motion debates would be very similar, given that the occasion was the last sitting of the session. Mr Ambrose LAU had reservations about holding a third motion debate as there would be a large number of bills to deal with. Mr CHENG Yiu-tong suggested that a third motion debate should be held, unless one of the two Members who had been allocated the slots was willing to sponsor a debate on the valedictory motion. Members agreed.
||10.In view of the large number of Members Bills which would have Second Reading debates resumed at the last sitting, Mr LEE Cheuk-yan suggested that Members motions with legislative effect and Members bills should be dealt with ahead of debates on motions without legislative effect. Members agreed that the President should be consulted on the suggestion.|
III.Legal Service Division reports on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 28 May 1997 (gazetted on 23 and 24 May 1997)
(LegCo Paper No. LS 220/96-97)
11.Members noted the report and raised no query on the subsidiary legislation.
12.The Chairman said that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the subsidiary legislation was 16 June 1997.
IV.Further report by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bill
Marriage and Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. LS 217/96-97, Chinese version tabled at the meeting and at Appendix)
13.The Acting Legal Adviser referred members to the report which contained the reply of the Administration to the various points of concern previously raised by the House Committee.
14.Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 11 June 1997.
V.Legal Service Division report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order 42(3A)
(a)Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. LS 222/96-97)
15.The Acting Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to localize UK civil aviation legislation. Its legal and drafting aspects were in order.
16.The Chairman said that the Bill had to be passed before 1 July 1997. The Administration had proposed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed at the next sitting on 4 June 1997. Members supported the proposal and agreed to make a recommendation to the President.
(Post-meeting note : The President had given permission for the Second Reading debate on the Bill to be resumed on 4 June 1997 and for the deadline for giving notice of Committee stage amendments (CSAs) to be extended to 2 June 1997.)
(b)Judicial Service Commission (Special Provisions) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. LS 224/96-97)
17.The Acting Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to provide transitional arrangement to overcome the problem of quorum for the first meeting of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission to be held on 1 July 1997. The legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
|Panel on AJLS
||18.Mr Andrew CHENG said that as the relevant LegCo Panel had not been consulted on the Bill, he proposed that the policy aspects of the Bill be discussed at the meeting of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services to be held on 2 June 1997. Miss Margaret NG, Chairman of the Panel, agreed that an opportunity should be provided for Members to raise questions on the Bill. Members agreed to defer a decision on the Bill.|
VI.Further business for the LegCo sitting on 4 June 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 1082/96-97)
19. The Chairman drew members attention to the changes relating to questions 1, 2 and 13.
(b) Bill - 1st and 2nd Readings
(i)Supplementary Appropriation (1996-97) Bill 1997
20.The Chairman said that the Bill would be introduced into LegCo on 4 June 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 6 June 1997.
(ii)Official Secrets Bill
21.The Chairman said that Miss Christine LOH, Chairman of the Bills Committee, had asked the Administration to consider deferring the resumption of Second Reading debate from 4 June 1997 to a later sitting. However, the Administration had decided not to make any change.
VII.Business for the LegCo sitting on 11 June 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 1083/96-97)
22.20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively received.
23.No statement had been notified.
(i)Resolution under section 26A(3) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) - to be moved by the Secretary for the Treasury
(LegCo Paper No. LS 226/96-97)
24.Members raised no query on the resolution.
(ii)Resolution under section 23(3) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) - to be moved by the Secretary for Transport
(LegCo Paper No. LS 223/96-97)
25.The Acting Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the resolution was to seek LegCos approval to limit the number of public light bus (PLB) licences at 4,350 for a further period of two years until 20 June 1999.
26.In response to Mr LEE Wing-tat, the Chairman said that the matter had been discussed by the Panel on Transport on 21 February 1997. Mrs Miriam LAU, Chairman of the Panel, said that the Administration had briefed the Panel at the meeting on the outcome of a review on PLB, and the proposal to limit the number of PLB licences was one of the recommendations. Members of the Panel had raised no objection to the proposal.
27.Members raised no other query on the resolution.
(iii) Resolution under section 28 of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance (Cap. 405) - to be moved by the Secretary for Security
(LegCo Paper No. LS 221/96-97)
28.Members raised no query on the resolution.
29.The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 3 June 1997.
(iv)Five resolutions under sections 113, 114 and 36 of the Bankruptcy Ordinance (Cap. 6) - to be moved by the Secretary for Financial Services
30.The Acting Legal Adviser said that the five resolutions were lengthy and were just received by the Secretariat. The Legal Service Division was still scrutinizing the resolutions, and would provide a written report at the next meeting on 6 June 1997.
||31.In view of the fact that the deadline for giving notice of amendments to the motion was 3 June 1997, the Chairman suggested and members agreed that the Administration should be requested to defer the motion to a later sitting.|
(d)Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
32.The Chairman said that the Administration had already given notice for Second Reading debates on the Bills referred to in (i), (iii) and (v) below to be resumed on 11 June 1997, in order to meet the notice requirement stipulated under the Standing Orders.
(i)Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1997
33.The Chairman said that the relevant Bills Committee would report to this meeting under agenda item IX(b).
(ii)Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1996
34.The Chairman said that Mr LAU Chin-shek, Member in charge of the Bill, had subsequently advised the Secretariat that the Second Reading debate on the Bill would be deferred to 17 June 1997.
(iii)Sex and Disability Discrimination (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1996
35.The Chairman said that the relevant Bills Committee would report on the Bill to this meeting under agenda item IX(c).
(iv) Employment (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 1996
36.The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate on the Bill introduced by Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung be resumed.
(v) Marriage and Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997
37.The Chairman said that members had agreed under item IV that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
38.The Chairman said that the deadline for moving CSAs to the above Bills was 31 May 1997.
(e)Motion debate on "Legislate for protection of overtime work"
39.Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr Andrew CHENG.
(f) Motion debate on "Registration and regulatory framework for Chinese medicine"
40.The Chairman said that members had considered the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr MOK Ying-fan at the last meeting.
41.The Chairman said that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 3 June 1997 and that the normal speaking arrangements should apply.
VIII.Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on
17 June 1997
(a)Motion debate on "Report of the Select Committee to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the departure of Mr LEUNG Ming-yin from the Government and related issues"
42.Members noted the subject of the motion to be moved by Mr IP Kwok-him.
(b) Motion debate on "Settlement of caged men"
43.Members noted the subject of the motion to be moved by Mr David CHU Yu-lin.
44.The Chairman advised members that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments to the above motions, if any, were 31 May 1997 and 10 June 1997 respectively.
IX.Reports of Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees
(a)Report of the Subcommittee on Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2083/96-97)
45.Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the Subcommittee, reported that the Subcommittee had agreed to the proposed amendments as set out in the revised Rules which were tabled in Council on 28 May 1997. Members support to the Rules was recommended.
46.Members raised no queries on the Rules.
(b) Report of the Bills Committee on Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(1) 1716/96-97)
47.Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the Bills Committee, reported on the deliberations of the Bills Committee. He said that the majority of members of the Bills Committee objected to the proposed increase in duty rate on fuel. Mrs Miriam LAU would move a CSA to delete the relevant clause on behalf of the Bills Committee.
48.Mrs Miriam LAU said that the proposed CSA to delete clause 3(c) of the Bill covered four kinds of fuel, namely, aircraft spirit, diesel oil, unleaded petrol and leaded petrol. As it was not the intention of the Bills Committee to object to the proposed duty increase on aircraft spirit, she would revise her CSA accordingly. In response to Mr Fred LIs concern, Assistant Secretary General 3 said that the Secretariat would discuss with the Members concerned the order of moving CSAs to the Bill.
49.Mr Fred LI informed members that Dr LAW Cheung-kwok might propose CSAs to amend the clause relating to decrease in wine duty.
50.Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 11 June 1997.
(c) Report of the Bills Committee on Sex and Disability Discrimination (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 2440/96-97)
51.Dr LEONG Che-hung, Chairman of the Bills Committee, reported on the deliberations of the Bills Committee. He said that apart from studying the Bill introduced by Miss Christine LOH, the Bills Committee was also studying three other related bills.
52.He said that the Equal Opportunities Commission was of the view that any changes to the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance should be considered only after its review on the two Ordinances in December 1997. Some members supported the view. After considering the views of the Bills Committee, the Administration and deputations, Miss LOH would move a number of CSAs to the Bill.
53.He advised that the Bills Committee could not reach consensus on the Bill and recommended that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 11 June 1997. Members agreed.
(d) Report of the Bills Committee on Housing (Amendment)
(No. 2) Bill 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(1) 1696/96-97)
54.Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the Bills Committee, reported on the deliberations of the Bills Committee. He said that while members of the Liberal Party had reservations about the proposed CSAs to delete reference to an additional fine imposed on Housing Authority tenants who made false declarations of household income and assets, he would nevertheless move the CSAs on behalf of the Bills Committee. However, the Administration was opposed to such amendments.
55.Mr LEE Wing-tat added that Members of the Democratic Party had reservations about the proposal to require tenants of different income brackets to pay different levels of rent, and would propose a CSA to the relevant clause.
56.Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 17 June 1997.
X.Position reports on Bills Committees and Subcommittees and Bills which must be passed before 1 July 1997
(LegCo Papers Nos. CB(2) 2464 & 2442/96-97)
57.The Chairman said that two slots had been released by the Bills Committee on Housing (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997 and the Bills Committee on Crimes (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1996. Mrs Miriam LAU added that the Bills Committee on Employment (Amendment) Bill 1996 and Employment (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1996 had also concluded study and agreed to release its slot.
58.In response to Mr LEE Cheuk-yans query on the progress of the Bills Committee on Public Holiday (Special Holidays 1997) Bill, Mr CHAN Kam-lam said that subsequent to the meeting held on the previous Friday, the Administration had provided more information to the Bills Committee. Dr Philip WONG, Chairman of the Bills Committee, had just returned to Hong Kong and had agreed that no further meeting was required.
59.Miss CHAN Yuen-han, Member in charge of the Immigration (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997, said that having regard to the tight time frame and the need for the parties concerned to give their views on the Bill, she had decided not to proceed with the Bill. She added that the SAR Government had agreed that a review on section 61 of the Immigration Ordinance be conducted, and that foreign nationals entering Hong Kong would not be exempted from employment visa under section 61 of the Ordinance.
60.The Chairman said that a total of four Bills Committee slots had now become available. He invited members to give views as to whether any more Bills Committee on the waiting list should be activated, given the limited time available for scrutiny of Bills before the end of the session. He asked members to take into account the following in considering the matter -
- The deadlines for giving notice of resumption of Second Reading debate on Bills and of CSAs for the last sitting on 23 June 1997 were 6 June 1997 and 13 June 1997 respectively;
- The Administration had yet to introduce four bills which were subject to the agreement of Joint Liaison Group (JLG). Scrutiny by Bills Committees might be required;
- The Administration had yet to introduce a number of subsidiary legislation, some of which might require scrutiny by subcommittees; and
- The regular and special meetings already scheduled by Panels.
61.Mr CHAN Kam-lam asked members to make a realistic assessment on their capacity to cope with any additional workload on the basis of the work commitment of Bills Committees and Subcommittees already in action and the number of time slots available for meetings before the end of the session. Mr Ronald ARCULLI added that it was unrealistic to scrutinize complicated Bills on the waiting list, given the limited time available. His view was supported by a few members.
||62.Miss Emily LAU suggested that other than bills awaiting JLGs agreement, no more Bills Committees on the waiting list should be activated. Mr LEE Cheuk-yan said that the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1997 introduced by him, the first one on the waiting list, was quite straightforward and the Bills Committee should not take more than one meeting to scrutinize it. He proposed that the Bills Committee set up for the study of the Bill should be activated. Members agreed. The Chairman would advise the Chief Secretary of members decision.|
63. The meeting ended at 3:40 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
4 June 1997
Last Updated on 16 August 1999