Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. CB(2) 346

Ref : PLC/HC/4

House Committee of the Provisional Legislative Council

Minutes of the meeting held at the Legislative Council Chamber at 3:12 pm on Friday, 19 September 1997

Members present :

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
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, JP
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon KAN Fook-yee
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon LO Suk-ching
Hon CHOY So-yuk

Members absent :

Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP

Clerk in attendance :

Mrs Justina LAM
Clerk to the House Committee

Staff in attendance :

Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP
Secretary General

Mr Jimmy MA
Legal Adviser

Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
Deputy Secretary General

Ms Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1

Assistant Secretary General 3

Mr Arthur CHEUNG
Assistant Legal Adviser 5

Mrs Anna LO
Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)

Ms Kathleen LAU
Chief Public Information Officer

Mrs Percy MA
Chief Assistant Secretary (2)3

Mr LAW Wing-lok
Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5

Mrs Betty LEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1

Mrs Eleanor CHOW
Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8

I.Confirmation of the minutes of the 18th meeting held on 12 September 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 306)

1.The minutes were confirmed.

II.Matters arising

Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration

(a) Introduction of bills into Provisional Legislative Council

2.The Chairman said that he had reminded the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS) that only two out of the 19 bills had been introduced so far. He added that he would continue to bring this matter up during his regular meetings with CS.

(b)Provisional Legislative Council meeting scheduled for 27 September 1997

3.The Chairman said that he had informed CS that the President had agreed to defer the Council meeting scheduled for 24 September 1997 to 27 September 1997. CS had proposed that the resumption of Second Reading debate, Committee stage and Third Reading on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1997 be dealt with first before the Council dealt with the Legislative Council Bill as proceedings on the latter were likely to be lengthy. Members supported the proposed arrangement. The Chairman said that he would seek the President's permission in this regard.Chairman

4.The Chairman informed members that the President had agreed that the Council meeting on 27 September 1997 would commence at 9:00 am and there would be a lunch break at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm and a dinner break at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm.

(c)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

5.The Chairman said that he had asked CS to invite the Secretary for Security to explain in his speech why the resolutions had to be dealt with by the Provisional Legislative Council and why notice for moving the resolutions had been given and then withdrawn about a month ago.

III.Further business for the Council meeting on 27 September 1997


(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 174)

6.A total of 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been scheduled.

(b) Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading

  1. Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1997
  2. Legislative Council Bill
7.The Chairman said that members had earlier agreed that all remaining stages of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1997 would be dealt with first before the Council proceeded with the Legislative Council Bill at the Council meeting on 27 September 1997.

(c) Members' motions

(i) Resolution under section 39A(3) of the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123) - to be moved by Dr LEONG Che-hung

8.The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting to form a subcommittee to study the Technical Memorandum for Supervision Plans which was issued under section 21 of the Buildings (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 and published in the Gazette on 29 August 1997. He invited Mr Edward HO, Chairman of the subcommittee, to give a verbal report on the deliberations of the subcommittee.

9.Mr Edward HO said that the subcommittee had held two meetings and met several deputations. As the Administration had agreed to amend the Technical Memorandum to address the concerns raised by members and deputations, the subcommittee recommended that the Technical Memorandum should not be repealed but be amended by the Administration at the Council meeting on 27 September 1997. Subject to members' support, the Administration would seek the President's agreement to waive the notice period for moving a resolution on the amendments. Members endorsed the subcommittee's recommendations.

(ii)Resolution under section 34(4) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) - to be moved by Dr LEONG Che-hung

10.The Chairman said that members agreed at the last meeting to form a subcommittee to study the subsidiary legislation relating to fee increases tabled at the Council meeting on 10 September 1997. He had given notice to move a motion on behalf of the House Committee to extend the scrutiny period to 15 October 1997 to allow the subcommittee more time for its work.

(iii)Motion on "Developing Hong Kong's high value-added industries' - to be moved by Prof Hon NG Ching-fai

(iv) Motion on "Formulating comprehensive policies on information technology" - to be moved by Hon CHOY So-yuk

11.Members noted the wording of the above motions.

12.The Chairman informed members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 20 September 1997. The normal speaking time limits would apply.

IV.Business for the Council meeting on 8 October 1997

The Chief Executive's Policy Address

13.Members noted that the Council meeting on 8 October 1997 would be devoted to the Chief Executive's Policy Address and that no other business would be scheduled for the meeting.

The Chairman said that it was likely that the Chief Executive would attend a meeting of the Council in the afternoon of 9 October 1997 to answer questions on the Policy Address from Members. Members would be informed after confirmation had been obtained from the Chief Executive's Office.

14. Mr CHAN Choi-hi suggested and members agreed that the Chief Executive's Question Time should be held on a regular basis. The Chairman said that he would relay Members' request to the Administration. Chairman


(a) Report of the Bills Committee on Legislative Council Bill

(PLC Paper No. CB(2)329. Replacement for page 6 tabled at the meeting)

15.Mr Ambrose LAU, Chairman of the Bills Committee, referred members to the replacement sheet tabled at the meeting and said that the ratios of "6:4:2" and "6:5:1" referred to in paragraph 23(a) and (b) should read "4:6:2" and "5:6:1" respectively. He then highlighted the main issues deliberated by the Bills Committee which were set out in detail in the paper.

16.Mr LAU said that in addition to the Committee stage amendments (CSAs) proposed by the Administration as detailed in the paper, the Administration would also move a CSA to clause 13 to address members' concern over the Administration's original proposal that a LegCo Member who changed his/her foreign nationality to Chinese nationality would be disqualified. He added that he would move a set of CSAs on behalf of the Bills Committee and that 13 other Members had also given notice to move separate sets of CSAs to the Bill.

17.Mr Frederick FUNG asked whether the Preparatory Committee's Decision on the Specific Method for the Formation of the First Legislative Council of the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China was legally binding and if so, whether Members would be permitted to vote against the proportional representation system proposed in the Bill, as such an action would be contrary to the decision of the Preparatory Committee.

18.The Legal Adviser said that the decision adopted by the Preparatory Committee was made under and in accordance with the authority of the Basic Law and the National People's Congress. It had the force of law and was binding on the Executive Authorities and the Legislature. On the other hand, Members had the right to vote against any legislative proposal put before the Council. If Members voted against the proportional representation system, it would be a matter for the Executive Authorities to decide how to deal with such a situation.

19.Mr NGAI Siu-kit said that Mr FUNG had voted against the decisions of the Preparatory Committee on other occasions and he failed to see why Mr FUNG could not vote against the proportional representation system if he so wished.

(b) Election of members for appointment to the Committee on Rules of Procedure
(PLC Paper No. CB(1) 208)

20.Referring members to the paper, Assistant Secretary General 1 explained that under the proposed procedure for the election of Members for appointment to sit on the Committee on Rules of Procedure, 12 Members would be elected by way of nomination made orally at an open meeting of the House Committee. The Chairman added that the membership of the Committee should be ideally broadly representative of the membership of the Council. Members endorsed the paper.

21.The Chairman advised members that the election of members of the Committee would be conducted at the House Committee meeting on 17 October 1997.

22.The meeting ended at 3:45 pm.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
30 September 1997