Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. CB(2) 714
Ref : PLC/HC/4
House Committee of the Provisional Legislative CouncilMembers present :
Minutes of the meeting held at the Legislative Council Chamber at 4:45 pm on Friday, 5 December
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Hon IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, JP
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon YUEN Mo
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon KAN Fook-yee
Hon LO Suk-ching
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Members absent :
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Clerk in attendance :
Staff in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Clerk to the House Committee
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP
- Secretary General
- Mr Jimmy MA
- Legal Adviser
- Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sang
- Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- Ms Bernice WONG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 1
- Miss Anita HO
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Miss Connie FUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 3
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mr Arthur CHEUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 5
- Ms Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Miss Odelia LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)1
- Mr LAW Wing-lok
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5
- Mrs Betty LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1
- Mr Paul WOO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)5
- Mrs Eleanor CHOW
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
- Ms YUE Tin-po
- Senior Assistant Secretary (C)3
I.Confirmation of the minutes of the 27th meeting held on 28 November 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 690)
1.The minutes were confirmed.
Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration
(a) Registration of electors
2.The Deputy Chairman reported that the Administration had sent out letters to inform persons eligible for permanent resident status to obtain such status by 16 January 1998 in order that they could remain in the Provisional Register. It would not be necessary for such persons to complete voter registration forms again. Announcements of Public Interest on this requirement would be broadcast on the English channels of radio stations.
3.The Deputy Chairman added that the Administration had confirmed that an application for permanent resident status could be processed within six weeks. Additional staff had been deployed to enable the Immigration Department to meet this target.
(b)Tabling of reports in Council
4.Regarding Mr Eric LI's concern that some statutory organizations might have difficulty in meeting deadlines for tabling annual reports and statements of accounts in Council after 8 April 1998, the Deputy Chairman said that the Administration would seek legal advice on whether the tabling of such reports could be deferred until the commencement of the First Legislative Council.
III.Business arising from previous Council meetings
(a)Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 3 December 1997 (gazetted on
28 November 1997)
(PLC Paper No. LS 55)
5.The Legal Adviser said that the 11 items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 29 November 1997 could be separated into three groups to facilitate discussion. The first group comprised five Regulations concerning veterinary surgeons. Three were Amendment Regulations made under the Supplementary Medical Professions Ordinance (Cap. 359) which sought to amend the respective principal Regulations by repealing the references to " duly qualified veterinary surgeons' and substituting " registered veterinary surgeons'. There was one Amendment Regulation made under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134) which sought to repeal the term " approved veterinary surgeons' and substitute it with " registered veterinary surgeons'. The remaining Regulation prescribed the fees, which were set at levels sufficient to achieve full cost recovery, payable under the Veterinary Surgeons Registration Ordinance (96 of 1997).
6.Referring to the second group of subsidiary legislation, the Legal Adviser explained that the Amendment Order made under the Civil Aviation Ordinance (Cap. 448) amended the Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 to require an aircraft registered in Hong Kong to use the nationality mark of the People's Republic of China. The Declaration made under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance declared a part of Sugar Street on Hong Kong Island a hawker permitted place while the Notice made under the Tax Reserve Certificates (Fourth Services) Rules fixed the rate of interest payable on tax reserve certificates issued on or after 1 December 1997 at 6.24% per annum .
7.The third group of subsidiary legislation comprised a Commencement Notice made under the Non-Local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 493) and two Commencement Notices made under the Non-Local Higher and Professional Education (Appeal Board) Rules and the Non-Local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Rules.
8.Members raised no queries on the above items of subsidiary legislation.
(b)Human Organ Transplant Ordinance
Human Organ Transplant Regulation
(PLC Paper No. LS 49)
9.The Chairman said that he had raised certain queries regarding Form 1 in the Schedule to the Regulation with Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fan, Chairman of the Human Organ Transplant Board. Mrs LEUNG said that she would consider amending the Form.
10.The Legal Adviser said that as there was no House Committee meeting on 12 December 1997, the proposed amendments could be circulated to Members prior to the Council meeting on 17 December 1997 if the Member was able to submit the amendment resolution by the deadline for notice on 10 December 1997.
11.The Chairman added that he would move a motion at the Council meeting on 17 December 1997 to extend the scrutiny period of the Regulation to 7 January 1998, if necessary.
IV.Further business for the Council meeting on 10 December 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 397)
12.The Chairman drew members' attention to two revised questions (Question Nos. 6 and 7) and six new questions (Question 15-20) set out in the paper.
13.Mrs Selina CHOW said that Mr Allen LEE was seeking the President's permission to ask an urgent question concerning the cyanide spill incident under Rule 24(4) of the Rules of Procedure at the Council meeting on 10 December 1997. As Mr LEE was unable to attend the meeting, he had asked her to seek members' support for him to ask the question as it was of an urgent character and related to a matter of public importance.
14.Dr Raymond HO opined that as the incident involved health and environment issues, it should be discussed at a joint meeting of the relevant Panels.
15.The Deputy Chairman said that according to information provided by the Fire Services Department, the site of the cyanide spill had been cleaned up and was considered sufficiently safe. He added that the Panel on Security should be involved in following up the matter.
|16.A few members pointed out that the asking of an urgent question on the cyanide spill incident served to demonstrate the Council's concern about the matter. It would also provide an opportunity for the Administration to inform the public of the immediate measures taken to ensure public safety and help allay public fear.||CAS(2)1
17.Members agreed that Mr LEE's request to ask the question at the Council meeting on 10 December 1997 be supported. Members also agreed that relevant Panels should follow up the matter.
18.Referring to his question on the same subject matter which he submitted to the Secretariat the day before, Mr CHAN Wing-chan enquired how his question would be handled. Assistant Secretary General 3 explained that Mr CHAN's question had joined the queue in the normal manner. In the event that the President allowed Mr LEE to ask the question on 10 December 1997, Mr CHAN's question might be out of order if his question had been fully answered at that meeting.
(b) Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
(i)Cross-Harbour Tunnel (Cross-Harbour Tunnel Regulations) (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (Amendment) Bill 1997
(ii)Tate's Cairn Tunnel (Tate's Cairn Tunnel Regulations) (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (Amendment) Bill 1997
19.The Chairman said that the Administration had given notice to resume the Second Reading debate on the above two Bills on 10 December 1997.
(c) Members' motions
(i)Resolution under section 34(4) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) - to be moved by Hon Edward HO
20.The Chairman said that Mr Edward HO, Chairman of the Subcommittee on four Buildings (Amendment) Regulations gazetted on 7 November 1997, had given notice to move a motion at the Council meeting on 10 December 1997 to extend the scrutiny period of the Regulations to 17 December 1997. He added that the Subcommittee would make a report under agenda item VI(c).
(ii)Two resolutions under section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) - to be moved by Hon Henry WU
21.The Chairman said that Mr Henry WU had given notice to move amendments to the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) (Legislative Council) Regulation and the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration) (Electors for Functional Constituencies) (Voters for Subsectors) (Members of Election Committee) (Legislative Council) Regulation. The amendments sought to repeal used in the Regulations and substitute it with .
V.Business for the Council meeting on 17 December 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 398)
22.The Chairman said that 13 questions (6 oral and 7 written) had been tentatively scheduled. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of questions scheduled for the Council meeting on 17 December 1997 was 8 December 1997.
(b)Bill - 1st and 2nd Readings
Protection of the Harbour (Amendment) Bill 1997
23.The Chairman said that the Protection of the Harbour (Amendment) Bill 1997 would be introduced into the Council on 17 December 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 19 December 1997.
(c)Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
24.No notice had been received.
25.The Chairman said that although the Rules of Procedure stipulated that 12 days' notice would be required for moving resolutions, it had been the agreed practice with the Administration that 20 days' notice would be given for Government resolutions to allow Members and the Legal Service Division adequate time for scrutiny. He pointed out that less than 20 days' notice had been given by the Administration for 14 out of the 15 resolutions on the agenda. As a result, the Legal Service Division was not able to provide reports on a number of resolutions.
26.In respect of the following resolutions on which Legal Service Division reports were available, members raised no queries -
- Resolution under section 43 of the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Ordinance (86 of 1997) to be moved by the Secretary for Security;
- Resolution under section 30 of the Public Finance Ordinance (Cap. 2) to be moved by the Secretary for the Treasury;
- Resolution under section 23 of the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 1115) to be moved by the Secretary for Trade and Industry; and
- Resolution under section 29 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138) to be moved by the Secretary for Economic Services.
27.As regards the resolution under section 7A of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance, the Legal Adviser informed members that no information about the two judges, except their names, was given.
|28.Referring to the three resolutions made under the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation Ordinance and the Mass Transit Railway Ordinance, the Legal Adviser said that clarification was being sought on some general and specific aspects of the Amendment Bylaws. He would make a further report to the House Committee.
29.Referring to the five resolutions under the Bankruptcy Ordinance, the Legal Adviser explained that the resolutions sought to make consequential amendments to the Bankruptcy Rules arising from the enactment of the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 as well as to repeal the Meetings of Creditors Rules which were being re-enacted as part of the Bankruptcy Rules. The Legal Service Division had yet to study the resolutions fully and prepare a report for the House Committee.
30.The Legal Adviser added the report on the resolution under section 29(1) of the Public Finance Ordinance was being prepared. The resolution sought to amend the Resolution of the Legislative Council on the Capital Works Reserve Fund (CWRF) to remove the obsolete provisions on the sharing of income from land premia between the former Hong Kong Government and the HKSAR Government and to provide for such income to be credited directly to the CWRF for the purposes of funding the capital works programme.
31.Members agreed that the Administration should be asked to withdraw the notices for moving the following resolutions at the Council meeting on 17 December 1997 -
- Resolution under section 7A of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance (Cap. 484) to be moved by the Chief Secretary for Administration;
- Two resolutions under section 31(2) of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 372) and one resolution under section 25 of the Mass Transit Railway Ordinance (Cap. 270) to be moved by the Secretary for Transport;
- Five resolutions under sections 36, 113 and 114 of the Bankruptcy Ordinance (Cap. 6) to be moved by the Secretary for Financial Services; and
- Resolution under section 29(1) of the Public Finance Ordinance (Cap. 2) to be moved by the Secretary for the Treasury.
Members also agreed that if the notices for the above resolution were not withdrawn, the Chairman would move a motion to adjourn the debate if the resolutions in question were moved at the Council meeting on 17 December 1997.
[Post-meeting note :Members were advised vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 724 of 9 December 1997 that as the Legal Service Division had completed the report on the resolution under section 29(1) of the Public Finance Ordinance and considered the legal and drafting aspects of the resolution to be in order, the Chairman would not move a motion to adjourn the debate on the resolution at the meeting on 17 December 1997.]
32.Members noted that the Legal Service Division was seeking clarification on a number of specific points relating to the resolution under section 35(11) of the Airport Authority Ordinance. In addition, the Panel on Economic Services had requested the Administration to provide further information about the proposed Bylaw for the new airport which only reached the Secretariat the day before. Members agreed that a subcommittee should be formed to study the resolution. The following members agreed to join the subcommittee : Mr James TIEN, Mr CHAN Kam-lam and Mr YUEN Mo. The Chairman asked the Secretariat to request the Administration to withdraw the notice for moving the resolution at the Council meeting on 17 December 1997.
(i)Motion on " Developing the territory's high value-added industries'
33.Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Professor NG Ching-fai.
(ii) Motion on " Immigration control measures'
34.Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr LAU Kong-wah.
35.The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above two motions was 10 December 1997. The normal speaking time limits would apply.
(a)Position report on Bills Committees/Subcommittees
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 698)
36.The Chairman said that there were two Subcommittees and two Bills Committees in action. In addition, members had earlier agreed to form a subcommittee to study the resolution under section 35(11) of the Airport Authority Ordinance.
37.Dr TANG Siu-tong, Chairman of the Bills Committee on Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997, reported that the Administration had taken over a month to respond to views expressed by the Bills Committee. The Bills Committee would hold a further meeting on 9 December 1997 to consider Committee stage amendments (CSA) to be moved by the Bills Committee.
(b)Second report of the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation relating to Legislative Council election
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 700)
38.Mr IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Subcommittee, highlighted the Subcommittee's deliberations on the Declaration of Constituencies (Legislative Council) Order 1997 and the Legislative Council (Registration of Electors) (Appeals) Regulation as detailed in the paper. Members noted that the Subcommittee had recommended that the two items of subsidiary legislation be supported.
(c)Report of the Subcommittee on four Building (Amendment) Regulations gazetted on 7 November 1997
39.Mr IP Kwok-him, a member of the Subcommittee, reported on behalf of the Chairman, Mr Edward HO. Mr IP said that the Subcommittee had held two meetings with the Administration. No agreement had been reached regarding the timing of submission of the personal particulars of the operators of equipment and mechanical plants used in demolition works. He added that Mr HO had given notice to move a motion at the Council meeting on 10 December 1997 to extend the scrutiny period of the four Amendment Regulations to 17 December 1997 to allow more time for the Subcommittee to consider proposing amendments to the Buildings (Administration) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 1997.
VII.Any other business
Election of Members to the Council of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 666 issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 663 on 26 November 1997)
40.In accordance with the procedures set out in paragraph 3 of the paper, Mr CHAN Kam-lam, Dr TANG Siu-tong and Dr LAW Cheung-kwok were elected to serve on the Council of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
41.The meeting ended at 5:45 pm.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
17 December 1997