LC Paper No. CB(2) 2230/98-99
Ref : CB2/H/5
House Committee of the Legislative CouncilMembers present :
Minutes of the 34th meeting
held in the Legislative Council Chamber
at 2:30 pm on Friday, 4 June 1999
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Margaret NG Ngoi-yee
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Hon HUI Cheung-ching
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Chin-shek, JP
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon FUNG Chi-kin
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JPMembers absent :
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JPClerk in attendance :
Staff in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM Clerk to the House Committee
I. Confirmation of the minutes of the 33rd meeting held on 28 May 1999
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP
- Secretary General
- Mr Jimmy MA, JP
- Legal Adviser
- Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sung
- Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
- Ms Pauline NG
- Assistant Secretary General 1
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- Miss Connie FUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 3
- Mr Arthur CHEUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 5
- Mr KAU Kin-wah
- Assistant Legal Adviser 6
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Miss Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Ms Estella CHAN
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)4
- Mrs Betty LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1
- Miss Mary SO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 2165/98-99)
1 The minutes were confirmed.
II. Matters arising
(a) Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)
2. The Chairman said that CS had informed him that senior SAR government officials would raise the problem of Hong Kong residents detained in the Mainland with the Central Government whenever they visited Beijing.
(b) Banking (Amendment) Bill 1999
(Letter from Hon SIN Chung-kai dated 29 May 1999)
3. The Chairman said that Mr SIN Chung-kai had proposed to withdraw his suggestion made at the last House Committee meeting that a Bills Committee be formed to study the Banking (Amendment) Bill 1999.
4. Mr NG Leung-sing expressed support for Mr SIN's proposal. Dr LI Kwok-po added that as the banking industry supported the Bill, he did not see the need for a Bills Committee.
5. Members agreed to rescind the decision to form a Bills Committee to study the Bill.
III. Business arising from previous Council meetings
(a) Legal Service Division's report on bills referred to the House Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
Volunteer and Naval Volunteer Pensions (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 201/98-99)
6. Referring to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to empower the Secretary for Health and Welfare (SHW) to make orders to adjust the rates of pensions, gratuities and other allowances in accordance with the percentage increase for civil service pensions, and to make them effective from the same date. The Bill also proposed that since the adjustments would only reflect the increases approved under the Pensions (Increase) Ordinance, the tabling of the adjustments before the Legislative Council for separate scrutiny would be dispensed with.
7. The Legal Adviser informed members that the Legal Service Division had raised queries with the Administration as to why there was a need to empower the SHW to update the amounts of minor disablement gratuities to members of the volunteer forces who suffered disablement during actual service in the war years, having regard to the fact that 54 years had lapsed since the end of the Second World War. The Administration had replied that even as late as 1994-1999, nine new claims under the Ordinance had been received and the latest claim for disablement gratuity was approved in 1995. The Legal Adviser added that the Administration's explanation was acceptable from the legal point of view.
8. The Chairman said that the Administration had briefed the Panel on Welfare Services on the Bill on 11 January 1999.
9. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill could be resumed.
(b) Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 2 June 1999 (gazetted on 28 May 1999)
(LC Paper No. LS 197/98-99)
10. The Legal Adviser introduced the paper which detailed the eight items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 28 May 1999.
11. The Chairman said that the Declaration of Constituencies (District Councils) Order 1999 would be studied by the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation relating to District Councils election.
12. Members did not raise any queries on the remaining seven items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.
13. The Chairman reminded members that the deadline for amending the subsidiary legislation was 30 June 1999 or 7 July 1999, if extended by resolution.
14. The Legal Adviser said that commencing from 11 June 1999, Legal Supplement No.2 of the Government Gazette would be made up of Parts A and B. Part A would contain the subsidiary legislation which was to be laid on the table of the Council at its next meeting following the date of publication of the Supplement, whereas Part B would contain Legal Notices which were not required to be tabled in Council.
IV. Further report by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
Adaptation of Laws (No. 7) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 203/98-99)
15. The Legal Adviser said that with the Administration's clarification on the substitution of "other countries" by "places outside Hong Kong" in section 18(1)(h) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance and the proposed Committee Stage amendments (CSAs) to amend the references to "territory outside Hong Kong" in the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance in line with a similar adaptation in the Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998, the Legal Service Division was of the view that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
16. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill could be resumed.
V. Further business for the Council meeting on 9 June 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 1696/98-99)
17. Members noted the two new oral questions to be asked by Mr LEE Wing-tat and Mr YEUNG Yiu-chung, and one new written question to be asked by Mr SIN Chung-kai.
(b) Members' motions
18. Members noted Miss Emily LAU's proposed amendment to Mr CHAN Kwok-keung's motion on "Civil service reform" tabled at the meeting.
VI. Business for the Council meeting on 16 June 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 1697/98-99)
19. Members noted that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written ) had been scheduled.(b) Bills - First and Second Readings
(i) Import and Export (Amendment) Bill 1999
(ii) Protection of Non-Government Certificates of Origin (Amendment) Bill 1999
(iii) Adaptation of Laws (No. 16) Bill 1999
(iv) Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1999
20. Members noted that the above four Bills would be introduced into the Council on 16 June 1999 and considered by the House Committee on 25 June 1999.
(c) Bills - resumption of debate on Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading
(i) Labour Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1999
(ii) Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1998
(iii) Adaptation of Laws (No. 15) Bill 1998
(iv) Roads and Tunnels Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1999
21. The Chairman said that members agreed at previous House Committee meetings that the Second Reading debates on the above four Bills be resumed.
(d) Government motion
Resolution under section 23(3) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) - to be moved by the Secretary for Transport
(LC Paper No. LS 195/98-99)
22. The Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the proposed resolution was to seek the Council's approval to further extend, for two years up to 20 June 2001, the period during which the number of registered public light buses might be limited. He added that the legal and drafting aspects of the proposed resolution were in order.
23. Members did not raise any queries on the proposed resolution.
24. The Chairman reminded members that the deadline for giving notice to amend the proposed resolution was 9 June 1999.
(e) Members' motions
(i) Motion on "Excess tariffs collected by the CLP"
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 1711/98-99 dated 4 June 1999 tabled at the meeting)
25. The Chairman said that in speaking on the motion, members should be mindful of the provision in Rule 81 of the Rules of Procedure. He asked the Secretary General to explain the restriction stipulated in Rule 81.
26. The Secretary General said that in approving Mr LEE Cheuk-yan's motion, the President was aware that the subject of Mr LEE's motion was related to Chapter 5 of Report No. 32 of the Director of Audit which was being studied by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The Secretary General explained that Rule 25(1)(e) of the Rules of Procedure stipulated that a question should not refer to proceedings in a committee before that committee had made its report to the Council, but there was no similar provision in the Rules of Procedure which applied to motions. The President therefore had no power to disallow Mr LEE's motion. The Secretary General added that, when debating Mr LEE's motion, members should observe Rule 81(1) of the Rules of Procedure which stipulated that Members should not speak on evidence taken before a committee as well as the documents presented to the committee, except in the case of meetings of the committee held in public, before the committee had presented its report to the Council. The Secretary General pointed out that if Members failed to observe Rule 81(1), they might be subject to censure by the Council under Rule 81(2) of the Rules of Procedure.
27. Miss Emily LAU said that debating in Council matters which were being studied by the PAC or a select committee was contrary to the convention that members of the PAC or a select committee should not divulge their views to the public before the PAC or the select committee submitted their reports to the Council. In view of the fact that the PAC was appointed by the Council to consider the reports of the Director of Audit, Miss LAU enquired whether all seven members of the PAC should abstain from voting on Mr LEE's motion if they chose not to participate in the motion debate, and whether the PAC should abide by the result of the motion debate in drawing up its conclusions and recommendations. She also expressed concern that if the conclusions and recommendations of the PAC were different from the result of the motion debate, it would give a conflicting message to the public about the Council's stance on the issue.
28. Assistant Secretary General 3 said that the President had the same concern as Miss LAU's. The Secretariat had explained the problems to Mr LEE Cheuk-yan. However, as the Rules of Procedure did not forbid Members from debating in Council matters which were being studied by a standing committee, Mr LEE had opted to go ahead with his motion because it was not in breach of the Rules of Procedure. Hence, it was for Members to decide how the motion should be treated if Members also found the situation unsatisfactory. At the same time, the Clerk had advised Members that the President intended to invite the Committee on Rules of Procedure to consider the procedural issue arising from this case.
29. Mrs Selina CHOW said that holding a debate in Council on matters which were under investigation by a standing committee was undesirable, as such a debate would defeat the purpose of setting up the standing committee and also undermine its work. Mrs CHOW hoped that members would consider the matter carefully.
30. Mr LAU Kong-wah said that Mr LEE's motion had put members of the PAC in a difficult position, as the PAC had not completed its work on Chapter 5 of Report No. 32 of the Director of Audit. Mr Fred LI concurred with Mr LAU. Mr LI further expressed concern that the result of the debate on Mr LEE's motion might affect the conclusions and recommendations of the PAC, thus undermining the credibility of the PAC. Mr Martin LEE echoed Mr LI's concern.
31. Mr Andrew WONG opined that the President should have regard to the rule of anticipation in considering whether Mr LEE's motion should be allowed to be debated in the Council. In his view, if a standing committee was studying the matter and that a report on its deliberations would be submitted to the Council, the matter should be deemed to have been set down for debate in Council. Mr WONG further said that if a Council had taken a decision on Mr LEE's motion following a debate at a Council meeting, it would not be possible for the PAC to proceed further with its work.
32. The Secretary General responded that the rule of anticipation was intended to ensure that the matters under consideration by the Council would not be unnecessarily duplicated. He explained that given that a bill was more effective than a motion, a debate in Council on matters relating to a bill before the Council would not be allowed. Similarly, as a motion was more effective than a question, the asking of a question the content of which was substantially the same as the terms of a motion would not be allowed. He was of the view that the example cited by Mr WONG clearly did not fall within these situations.
33. Mr Martin LEE suggested that consideration could be given to amending Mr LEE's motion. Mr CHAN Kam-lam expressed support for Mr LEE's suggestion. Mr CHAN further suggested that, as an alternative, the House Committee could convey members' views expressed today to Mr LEE Cheuk-yan so that Mr LEE could decide whether he would withdraw his motion. If Mr LEE declined to do so, members could refrain from speaking and voting on his motion.
34. Mr NG Leung-sing opined that after Mr LEE's motion had been debated and voted in the Council, it would serve no useful purpose for the PAC to continue its discussion on Chapter 5 of Report No. 32.
35. Dr Raymond HO suggested that the Chairman should consider moving a motion to adjourn the debate on Mr LEE's motion at the Council meeting on 16 June 1999.
36. Mr Andrew WONG said that Mr LEE could move another motion if he agreed to withdraw the notice of his original motion.
37. Mrs Selina CHOW said that as the deadline for giving notice of the motion had already expired, it was not possible for Mr LEE to change the subject of his motion now. Mrs CHOW suggested that members could consider allowing Mr LEE to have the first available motion debate slot should he agree to withdraw the notice of his motion.
38. The Secretary General said that subject to the agreement of the House Committee, the President could be asked to waive the notice requirement for Mr LEE to move another motion at the Council meeting on 16 June 1999.
39. Assistant Secretary General 3 advised members that when Mr LEE first submitted his motion, the Secretariat had advised him of the possibility that his motion might involve procedural problems. On the day of the deadline for notice, Mr LEE submitted another motion and indicated that if the President ruled his original motion out of order, he would seek to proceed with his second motion. Assistant Secretary General 3 pointed out that as the President could not disallow Mr LEE's original motion, his alternative motion had not been considered by the President.
40. The Chairman sought members' views on which of the following two options should be adopted -
- the Chairman of the PAC to move a motion without notice at the Council meeting on 16 June 1999 to adjourn the debate on Mr LEE's motion until after the PAC had tabled its report in Council, if Mr LEE declined to withdraw his motion; or
- the House Committee to request the President to waive the notice requirement for Mr LEE to move his alternative motion for debate at the Council meeting on 16 June 1999, if Mr LEE agreed to withdraw his motion on "Excess tariffs collected by the CLP".
41. Mr LEE Kai-ming expressed support for both options.
42. Mr CHAN Kam-lam expressed objection to option (b) on the ground that it would set a bad precedent.
43. Mr Albert HO and Mrs Selina CHOW expressed support for option (b). Mrs CHOW added that given that the President had approved Mr LEE's motion and that Mr LEE had indicated that if his original motion was not approved by the President he would be willing to move his alternative motion, there were adequate grounds for adopting option (b) on a one-off basis.
44. The Chairman suggested to take a vote on option (b). Members agreed. The results were 24 members voted in favour, 1 member voted against and 10 members abstained.
45. Miss Emily LAU informed the meeting that Mr LEE Cheuk-yan had been advised of members' concern and he had agreed to withdraw his original motion.
46. The Chairman said that the President's permission would be sought to waive the notice requirement for Mr LEE to move his alternative motion at the Council meeting on 16 June 1999.
(ii) Motion on "Facilitating the financial industry"
47. Members noted the draft wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr Bernard CHAN. The Chairman reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the motion was 9 June 1999.
48. The Chairman said that the speaking time limits adopted in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply to the debates on the motions to be moved by Mr LEE Cheuk-yan and Mr Bernard CHAN.
(a) Position report on Bills Committees/subcommittees
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 2176/98-99)
49. The Chairman said that there were 15 Bills Committees and four subcommittees in action. As members agreed to rescind the decision to form a Bills Committee to study the Banking (Amendment) Bill 1999, eight Bills Committees were now on the waiting list. The Chairman further said that he would seek the Administration's views on the priority order for scrutinizing the Bills on the waiting list.
50. The Chairman added that members should make every effort to attend meetings of the Bills Committees.
(b) Report of the Bills Committee on Companies (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(1) 1420/98-99)
51. Referring to the report, Mr Albert HO, Chairman of the Bills Committee, said that the Administration had agreed to move CSAs to address members' concerns detailed in paragraphs 7-9 of the paper as well as other CSAs to rectify a technical omission and improve the drafting of the Bill. He added that the Bills Committee had recommended that the Second Reading debate on the Bill should resume on 23 June 1999.
52. Members supported the recommendation of the Bills Committee.
(c) Report of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on Small Claims Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 2180/98-99)
53. Mr TSANG Yok-sing, Deputy Chairman of the Panel, briefed members on the Panel's deliberations on the Bill. He said that as the proposed increase in financial jurisdictional limit of the Small Claims Tribunal from $15,000 to $50,000 would result in about 10 000 cases being diverted from the District Court to the Tribunal per year, members of the Panel had expressed concern about the full utilization of the District Court and had asked that the financial jurisdictional limits of the District Court be increased as soon as possible. As the Administration had undertaken to introduce the District Court (Amendment) Bill in the current legislative session to increase the financial jurisdictional limits for the District Court, the Panel supported the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the Bill.
54. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill could be resumed.
(d) Report of the Bills Committee on Chinese Medicine Bill
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 2179/98-99)
55. Prof NG Ching-fai, Chairman of Bills Committee, said that the Bills Committee proposed to visit the No. 2 Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine on 13 June 1999. He explained that the purpose of the visit was to better understand the regulation of Chinese medicine in Mainland hospitals, in particular the co-operation between practitioners of Chinese and western medicines in attending to patients and the matching efforts of the universities of traditional Chinese medicine in this regard. Members expressed support for the Bills Committee's proposal.
56. Mr Albert HO enquired whether non-Bills Committee members could join the visit. Prof NG replied that a 20-seat coach had been hired for the visit and there were a few seats left. Prof NG added that as the hospital would host a lunch, he hoped that Members who were interested in joining the visit could inform the Bills Committee as soon as possible. The Chairman requested the Secretariat to issue a circular inviting non-Bills Committee members to join the visit.
VIII. Proposed emergency meeting to discuss the impact of the report released by Christopher Cox, a US Congressman, on Hong Kong and the follow-up actions to be taken
(Letter from Prof Hon NG Ching-fai and Hon CHOY So-yuk dated 31 May 1999 attached)
57. Miss CHOY So-yuk said that as the report released by Christopher Cox, a US Congressman, alleged that China had been stealing classified intelligence materials from the US Government, she and Prof NG Ching-fai jointly proposed to urgently convene a special House Committee meeting to discuss the impact of the report on Hong Kong and the follow-up actions to be taken.
58. Mr CHAN Kam-lam said that the Panel on Trade and Industry would discuss the issue of control over trade in strategic commodities on 7 June 1999. Mr CHAN added that non-Panel members were invited to join the meeting to discuss the issue.
59. Prof NG Ching-fai said that the Cox report had not only an adverse impact on trade in Hong Kong, and it had also affected normal scientific exchanges in the academia. He pointed out that since the release of the Cox report, several academics in local universities who had made plans to visit the United States had received letters advising them not to visit the United States at this point in time. He also referred members to an e-mail from a US professor tabled at the meeting (also attached in Annex) which contained the message that his request to come to Hong Kong to attend a science conference had been turned down in the wake of the publication of the Cox report.
60. Mr CHAN Wing-chan and Mr NG Leung-sing expressed support for holding a special House Committee meeting to discuss the matter.
61. Mr Ronald ARCULLI considered it more appropriate for the Panel on Trade and Industry to discuss the matter first, given that a meeting had already been scheduled for the following Monday. Mr James TIEN shared Mr ARCULLI's view. He added that inviting deputations from universities to make submissions would not serve any useful purpose.
62. Prof NG Ching-fai disagreed with Mr TIEN. He pointed out that the Cox report involved trade as well as other issues. However, he had no objection to the matter being discussed by the Panel on Trade and Industry in the first instance.
63. Mr NG Leung-sing said that if members came to a preliminary view on the Cox Report, consideration could be given to requesting the Chinese diplomatic channel in Hong Kong to convey members' response on the Cox Report to the US Government. Mr MA Fung-kwok suggested that the House Committee should send a letter to the US Congress. Ms CHOY concurred with Mr MA and added that a similar letter should be sent to the US President.
64. Mr ARCULLI said that he would need to study the 700-page Cox report in detail before he would put his signature to the letter. In his view, the Panel on Trade and Industry should deal with the matter first and submit a report to the House Committee for consideration. Miss Emily LAU and Mr Kenneth TING echoed Mr ARCULLI's views.
65. The Chairman said that in his view, any matter falling within the terms of reference of a Panel should be handled by the relevant Panel in the first instance as far as possible. He suggested that the Panel on Trade and Industry should first discuss the matter on 7 June 1999 and submit a report on its deliberations to the House Committee on 11 June 1999. Members agreed.
IX. Any other business
Early Circulation of Wording of Amendments to Motions
(Letter from Hon Martin LEE dated 2 June 1999)
66. Mr Martin LEE suggested that in order to allow more time for Members to prepare for a motion debate, the draft wording of the proposed amendments, if any, to a motion should be circulated to Members as soon as possible.
67. The Secretary General explained that upon receipt of a proposed amendment to a motion from a Member, the Secretariat would need to process the proposed amendment and, if necessary, consult the Member or his assistant on the wording of the proposed amendment before it was submitted to the President for approval. This consultation process could be time-consuming if the Member concerned could not be contacted. The Secretary General further said that it would be for Members to decide whether a proposed amendment to a motion should be circulated to Members immediately upon receipt by the Secretariat, without processing and prior to the President's determination of the proposed amendment under Rule 30(3) of the Rules of Procedure.
68. Assistant Secretary General 3 said that a Member who was successful in obtaining a debate slot would be informed about three weeks ahead of the date of the Council meeting at which the debate on his motion would take place. However, formal notice of the motion in draft form was usually received on the day (normally a Tuesday) of the 12 clear days' notice deadline. The draft motion would then be processed by the Secretariat and issued to Members, normally on or before the Friday in the same week, after approval had been given by the President. Members would have four clear days until the Wednesday in the following week to propose amendments to the motion. After a proposed amendment had been processed by the Secretariat and approved by the President, the approved wording of the proposed amendment would, in 85% of the cases in the current session, be issued to Members on the Friday before the relevant Council meeting, thus allowing Members three clear days to prepare for the motion debate. He suggested that a copy of the approved wording of the proposed amendments could at the the same time be tabled at the House Committee meeting taking place on the same day it was issued.
69. Mr Ronald ARCULLI suggested that the deadline for giving notice of amendments to motions should be six clear days, instead of five as currently provided under Rule 29(6)(a), in order to allow more time for the Secretariat to process amendments to motions submitted by Members. The Chairman responded that he did not see the need to amend the Rules of Procedure.
. Miss Emily LAU said that the crux of the matter was the time taken for the Secretariat to consult the Member concerned on the wording of the proposed amendment. If the Member cooperated with the Secretariat, there would be little problem for the proposed amendment to be processed by the Secretariat and issued to Members promptly.
70. The Chairman proposed that, as suggested by Assistant Secretary General 3 in paragraph 68 above, the approved wording of a proposed amendment to a motion should be tabled at the House Committee meeting immediately preceding the Council meeting at which the motion debate was scheduled to take place. However, if a proposed amendment was still being processed by the Secretariat, the proposed amendment in its original form should be tabled. Members agreed.
71. The meeting ended at 4:15 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
9 June 1999