Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. 421/96-97
Ref : PLC/HC/4
House Committee of the Provisional Legislative Council
Minutes of the meeting held at the Main Hall, Huaxia Art Centre, Shenzhen at 4:35 p.m. on Saturday, 7 June 1997
Dr the Honourable LEONG Che-hung (Chairman)
The Honourable IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
The Honourable WONG Siu-yee
Dr The Honourable HO Chung-tai
The Honourable NG Leung-sing
Prof The Honourable NG Ching-fai
The Honourable LI Ka-cheung, Eric
The Honourable LEE Kai-ming
The Honourable Mrs TU, Elsie
The Honourable Mrs LAM, Peggy
The Honourable WU, Henry
The Honourable NGAI Shiu-kit
The Honourable YUEN Mo
The Honourable MA Fung-kwok
The Honourable CHEUNG Hon-chung
The Honourable Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
The Honourable MOK Ying-fan
The Honourable HUI Yin-fat
The Honourable CHAN Choi-hi
The Honourable CHAN Wing-chan
The Honourable CHAN Kam-lam
The Honourable TSANG Yok-sing
The Honourable FUNG Kin-kee, Frederick
The Honourable WONG Ying-ho, Kennedy
The Honourable YOUNG, Howard
The Honourable YEUNG Chun-kam
The Honourable YEUNG Yiu-chung
The Honourable LIU Sing-lee, Bruce
The Honourable LAU Kong-wah
The Honourable LAU Hon-chuen, Ambrose
The Honourable CHENG Ming-fun, Paul
The Honourable KAN Fook-yee
Dr the Honourable LAW Cheung-kwok
The Honourable TAM Wai-chu, Maria
The Honourable TIEN Pei-chun, James
The Honourable CHU Yu-lin, David
The Honourable HO Sai-chu
The Honourable HO Sing-tin, Edward
The Honourable LI Kwok-po, David
The Honourable LEE Peng-fei, Allen
The Honourable Mrs CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, Selina
The Honourable TANG Ying-yen, Henry
The Honourable ARCULLI, Ronald
The Honourable LEUNG Chun-ying
The Honourable Mrs LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, Sophie
The Honourable CHAN Yuen-han
The Honourable CHENG Kai-nam
The Honourable WONG Wang-fat, Andrew
Dr The Honourable WONG Yu-hong, Philip
The Honourable CHIM Pui-chung
The Honourable LAU Wong-fat
The Honourable Mrs LAU Kin-yee, Miriam
The Honourable CHOY Kan-pui
The Honourable CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr The Honourable TANG Siu-tong
The Honourable FOK Tsun-ting, Timothy
The Honourable NGAN Kam-chuen
The Honourable LO Suk-ching
The Honourable TAM Yiu-chung
Clerk in attendance:
Staff in attendance:
|Ms Pauline NG||Clerk to the House Committee|
|Mr Arthur CHEUNG||Legal Adviser
|Miss Salumi CHAN||Committee Clerk 2
|Mr Raymond LAM||Assistant Committee Clerk 5
I.Confirmation of the minutes of the 7th meeting on 31 May 1997
(PLC Paper No. 371/96-97)
The minutes were confirmed.II.Matters arising
III.Business arising from previous Council meetings
- Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Secretary for Policy Co-ordination of the Chief Executive's Office
2.The Chairman reported that the Chief Executive's (CE's) Office planned to present the Oaths and Declarations (Amendment) Bill 1997 to the Council on 14 June. He also understood from the Secretary for Policy Co-ordination that a "Reunification" Bill would likely be put before the Council for three readings on 1 July 1997 to confirm the bills passed by the Council before 1 July and to introduce other matters which ought to be put in place at the establishment of the HKSAR. In order that Members of the PLC could express views on the "Reunification" Bill prior to its three readings on 1 July, some form of consultation would have to be done beforehand. He would consult the President and the CE's Office as to what type of forum would be most appropriate to allow Members to express views on the Bill.
- Report of the Task Force on the Logistical Arrangements for 1 July 1997
(PLC Paper No. 388/96-97 under the cover of PLC Paper 394/96-97 tabled at the meeting)
3.The Chairman referred members to the report which outlined the deliberations of the Task Force on the Logistical Arrangements for 1 July 1997 (the Task Force) on the matters to be considered in determining the venue for holding the Council meeting in the early hours of 1 July 1997. Members noted that as it was the President who would finally make the decision on the meeting venue, the Task Force would present all the relevant points to the President for her consideration.
IV. Business for the Council meeting on 14 June 1997
- Legal Advisers' reports on bills referred to the House Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
- Immigration (Amendment)(No. 3) Bill 1997
(PLC Paper No. 372/96-97)
4. The Legal Adviser advised that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were still being scrutinized in detail. However, in view of its complexity and importance, he recommended and members agreed that a Bills Committee be formed as soon as possible to study the Bill.
5.The Chairman informed members that in response to the circular issued by the Secretariat, a total of 19 Members had indicated interest in joining the Bills Committee. Mr MA Fung-kwok, Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung and Mr Bruce LIU indicated at the meeting that they would also like to join. The Chairman advised that the first meeting of the Bills Committee would be held immediately after the House Committee meeting to elect its Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
- Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) Bill 1997
(PLC Paper No. 373/96-97)
- Judicial Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 1997
(PLC Paper No. 374/96-97)
6.The Legal Adviser advised that the above two Bills only involved technical amendments and did not involve any controversial policy issues. However, there were some technical points to be clarified with the CE's Office. The Legal Adviser recommended and members agreed that it was not necessary to form a Bills Committee to study the two Bills. Members should forward their views on the Bills, if any, to the Secretariat as soon as possible. The Chairman pointed out that the second reading debate on the Bills could be resumed at the Council meeting on 21 June 1997 at the latest.
V. Business for the Council meeting on 21 June 1997
- "Report of the Bills Committee on National Flag and National Emblem Bill and Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Bill" to be presented by Mr HO Sai-chu
7. Members noted that Mr HO Sai-chu, Chairman of the Bills Committee, would present the above report to the Council on 14 June.
- "Report of the Committee on Members" Interests" to be presented by Mrs Miriam LAU
8. Members noted that Mrs Miriam LAU, Chairman of the Committee on Members" Interests (CMI), would present the above report to the Council on 14 June. Mr Bruce LIU, member of the CMI, advised that the report sought to introduce to Members the Guidelines on Registration of Interests, the Advisory Guidelines and the revised Registration Form endorsed by the CMI. He urged members to support the report.
- Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
9. The Chairman advised that no formal notice had so far been received on the first and second readings of bills, but he understood that the Oaths and Declarations (Amendment) Bill 1997 would likely be presented to the Council at this meeting.
- Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
- National Flag and National Emblem Bill
- Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Bill
10. Members noted that the Director, CE's Office had given notice to resume the second reading debate on the above Bills on 14 June and to move Committee Stage amendments (CSAs).
- Societies (Amendment) Bill 1997
- Public Order (Amendment) Bill 1997
11.Members noted that the Bills Committee on the Societies (Amendment) Bill 1997 and Public Order (Amendment) Bill 1997 recommended that the second reading debate on the Bills be resumed on 14 June.
12.Members noted that no notice of motions from Members or from the CE's Office had been received so far.
VI. Report of Bill Committee
13. Members noted that no notice had so far been received on the first and second readings of bills and resumption of debate on the second reading of bills for the Council meeting on 21 June 1997.
14.Members also noted that no notice of motions from Members or from the CE's Office had been received so far.
VII. Any other business
- Report of the Bills Committee on the Societies (Amendment) Bill 1997 and Public Order (Amendment) Bill 1997
(PLC Paper Nos. 375/96-97 and 393/96-97)
15.Ms Maria TAM, Chairman of the Bills Committee, briefed members on the deliberations of the Bills Committee and the CSAs to be moved by the CE's Office, Mr Bruce LIU and Mr CHAN Choi-hi respectively. Members agreed that the second reading debate on the Bills could be resumed on 14 June.
- Proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure
16.Ms Maria TAM, Deputy Convenor of the Working Group on Rules of Procedure, drew members" attention to the Working Group's intention to propose amendment to Rule 65 of the Rules of Procedure to provide for the confirmation of the bills passed on or before 1 July 1997 by way of one or more bills. As it was anticipated that a "Reunification" Bill would be presented to the Council for the purpose and all three readings would be done at the same Council meeting, the Working Group considered that the following restrictions should apply and be provided for specifically for such purposes in the Rules of Procedure:
- the speaking time of each Member be limited to 3 minutes on each occasion;
- subject to a gentlemen's agreement reached amongst members, the number of Members speaking on the Bill be kept to the minimum as far as practicable; and
- only technical amendments be allowed to be moved to the Bill by leave of the President.
17. Members noted that more detailed discussion would be required and the Chairman suggested that these proposals be discussed at the next House Committee meeting. Ms Maria TAM agreed that the resolution to amend the Rules of Procedure could be moved at the Council meeting on 21 June 1997.
- Provisional dates for Council meetings and House Committee meetings (July to September 1997)
18.The Chairman requested members to refer to the meeting schedule tabled at the meeting, showing the provisional dates of Council meetings and House Committee meetings from July to September 1997. He also pointed out that as the Council meeting scheduled for 21 June might extend to the following day, the House Committee meeting would likely be held on 22 June.
(Post-meeting note : The provisional meeting schedule was issued to all Members after the meeting under PLC Paper No. 405/96-97.)
19.The Chairman advised that as agreed by the President, Members could, starting from 1 July 1997, forward questions for Council meetings. Under the circumstances, the first Council meeting for which oral and written questions could be asked would be 16 July. The Clerk suggested that whilst questions should be forwarded to the Secretariat from 1 July onwards, any consultation with the Secretariat on the format of questions could be done before this date, so that the wordings of questions for 16 July could be available for the House Committee meeting on 4 July.
Lunch and dinner gatherings on 14 June and Dinner gathering on 21 June
20.The Chairman reminded members to return the reply slip to the Secretariat by 7 June to indicate whether they would attend the above social functions. He also advised that the dinner gathering on 21 June would be held at the Shangri-la Hotel in Shenzhen.
21.The Chairman advised that as suggested by the President, Members would take a group photo after the Council meeting on 21 June.
22.The meeting ended at 5:10 p.m.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
7 June 1997