Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. CB(2) 160
Ref : PLC/HC/4
House Committee of the Provisional Legislative CouncilMembers present :
Minutes of the meeting held at the Legislative Council Chamber at 2:30 pm on Friday, 15 August 1997
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Hon IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon KAN Fook-yee
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Members absent :
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, JP
Hon YUEN Mo
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon LO Suk-ching
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Clerk in attendance :
|Mrs Justina LAM||Clerk to the House Committee
Staff in attendance :
|Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP||Secretary General (Acting)
|Mr LEE Yu-sang||Legal Adviser (Acting)
|Mr Stephen LAM||Senior Assistant Legal Adviser (Acting)
|Mr LAW Wing-lok||Assistant Secretary General 3 (Acting)
|Miss Anita HO||Assistant Legal Adviser 2
|Mr Arthur CHEUNG||Assistant Legal Adviser 5
|Ms LEUNG Siu-kum||Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
|Ms Kathleen LAU||Chief Public Information Officer
|Mrs Percy MA||Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5
|Mrs Eleanor CHOW||Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
I.Confirmation of the minutes of the 14th meeting held on 8 August 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 128)
1.The minutes were confirmed.
Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration
2.The Chairman said that the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS) had advised that the Administration was reviewing the 27 items of Government bills and subsidiary legislation which should have been dealt with by the former Legislative Council. The Administration would draw up a list of bills which were considered to be absolutely necessary to be dealt with by Provisional Legislative Council (PLC). The list would be sent to PLC as soon as possible. She also agreed that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the Administration would not introduce bills into the PLC after mid-February 1998.
3.The Chairman said that the Administration would let Members have the draft subsidiary legislation on the Mandatory Provident Fund System by mid-October 1997.
III.Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation to be tabled in Council on 20 August 1997 (gazetted on 8 August 1997)
(PLC Paper No. LS 14)
4.The Acting Legal Adviser said that of the four items of subsidiary legislation, three were Commencement Notices. He drew members' attention to the Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 1997 (94 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 413) which sought to rectify a procedural error. The Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 1997 (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 378 of 1997) ('the previous Notices') was signed by the former Attorney General on 29 June 1997, but the Ordinance was published in the Gazette on 30 June 1997. Under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1), there was no power to appoint a commencement date before an Ordinance was published in the Gazette. To remove doubt on the validity of the previous appointment, the Secretary for Justice had appointed 8 August 1997 as the day on which the same provisions named in the previous Notice (i.e. section 14 and section 4 of Schedule 2 of the Ordinance) came into operation.
|5.The Acting Legal Adviser explained that the sections dealt with legal costs relating to the sale of units in new developments. In response to Mr CHAN Wing-chan's question, the Acting Legal Adviser said that he believed that the procedural error was unprecedented. The Legal Service Division was seeking clarification from the Department of Justice regarding the impact of the two commencement dates. He would provide a further report at the next meeting.||LA|
6.Members raised no queries on the other items of subsidiary legislation.
IV.Further business for the Council meeting on 20 August 1997
Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
- Legislative Council Bill
- Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997
7.The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into the Council on 20 August 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 22 August 1997.
V.Business for the Council meeting on 27 August 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 82)
8.The Chairman said that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been scheduled.
- Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
9.No notice had been received.
- Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
- Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1997
- Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997
10.The Chairman said that Members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debates on the above Bills be resumed. He added that the Bills Committee on the Electoral Affairs Commission Bill would report its work under agenda VII(b) below. The Administration had intended that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 27 August 1997, subject to members' support.
- Two resolutions under section 31 of the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance (Cap. 174) and section 3(4) of the Legitimacy Ordinance (Cap. 184) - to be moved by the Secretary for Security
(PLC Paper No. LS 15)
11.The Acting Legal Adviser said that the two resolutions sought to increase fees collected by the Immigration Department under the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance and Legitimacy Ordinance. The proposed increases were intended to achieve full cost recovery and would take effect from 3 October 1997. The legal aspect of the resolutions was in order.
12.Members raised no queries on the resolutions.
- Resolution under section 5(3)(b) of the Public Bus Services Ordinance (Cap. 230) - to be moved by the Secretary for Transport
13.The Chairman said that the Subcommittee formed to study the resolution had just concluded its study and would report at the next meeting.
14.The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above resolutions was 20 August 1997.
- Member's motions
VI.Advance information on motions for the Council meeting on 3 September 1997
- Motion on "Assisting Hong Kong's farming and fishing industries"
15.Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr LO Suk-ching.
- Motion on "Resolving the flooding problem in North-West New Territories"
16.Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Dr TANG Siu-tong.
17.The Chairman informed members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the motions was 20 August 1997. The normal speaking time limits would apply.
20.The Chairman advised members that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments, if any, to the above motions were 19 August 1997 and 27 August 1997 respectively.
- Motion on "Setting up of 'Paradise for the Elderly' "
18.Members noted that Mr WONG Siu-yee had given notice to move the above motion.
- Motions "Supervising the ticketing systems and the fares of railways"
19.Members noted that Mr LAU Kong-wah had given notice to move the above motion.
22.Summarising the deliberations of the Bills Committee, Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the Bills Committee, said that the provisions of the Electoral Affairs Commission Bill were mostly modelled on the former Boundary and Election Commission Ordinance and that the Electoral Affairs Commission would be required to report its recommendations to the Chief Executive by 31 October 1997.
- Position report on Bills Committees/Subcommittees
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 111)
21.Members noted the report.
- Report of the Bills Committee on the Electoral Affairs Commission Bill
23.He added that the Bills Committee would move Committee stage amendments (CSA) to include, among others, Hong Kong delegates to the National People's Congress, Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conferences and former members of the Executive Council as persons not eligible for appointment as members of the Electoral Affairs Commission.
24.In response to the Bills Committee, the Administration had agreed to move CSAs to reduce the margin rule (i.e. deviation between the population per seat in each geographical constituency and the average population per geographical seat) for demarcation of geographical constituency boundaries from 25% to 15%.
25.The Bills Committee recommended that the Second Reading on the Bill be resumed on 27 August 1997, subject to the CSAs being in order. A written report would be prepared for the next House Committee meeting. The Chairman said that the President had agreed in principle to extend the deadline for giving notice of CSAs to 5:00 pm , Thursday, 21 August 1997.
26.The meeting ended at 2:58 pm.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
20 August 1997