LC Paper No. CB(2) 363/98-99
Ref : CB2/H/5
House Committee of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the 9th meeting
held in the Legislative Council Chamber
at 2:30 pm on Friday, 25 September 1998
Members present :
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
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 James TO Kun-sun
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Hon HUI Cheung-ching
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Chin-shek, JP
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Members absent :
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
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, 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
- Ms Bernice WONG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 1
- Miss Anita HO
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Mr KAU Kin-wah
- Assistant Legal Adviser 6
- Mrs Anna LO
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Miss Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Ms Estella CHAN
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)4
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)5
- Mrs Constance LI
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)2
- Mr LAW Wing-lok
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5
- Mrs Betty LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1
- Miss Mary SO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
I. Confirmation of the minutes of the 8th meeting held on 18 September 1998
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 308/98-99)
1. The minutes were confirmed.
II. Matters arising
Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)
2. The Deputy Chairman said that CS had undertaken to remind policy bureaux to as far as possible present legislative proposals to the relevant Panels in the first instance. CS had, however, pointed out that it might not be appropriate to do so for simple or urgent bills.
3. The Chairman said that he had conveyed to CS members' concern over the delay in the completion of the review of 17 ordinances binding on the Government but not on the relevant PRC organs. CS had explained that the delay was due to the fact that policy bureaux had taken longer than expected to examine this complicated issue.
4. The Chairman informed members that he had written to the Chief Executive requesting him to consider extending the duration of the question and answer session on 8 October 1998 to two hours.
III. Business arising from previous Council meetings
IV. Further report by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
- Legal Service Division's report on bills referred to the House Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
Securities (Insider Dealing) (Amendment) Bill 1998
(LC Paper No. LS 26/98-99)
5. Referring to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the object of the Bill was to amend the definition of "judge" in section 2(1) of the Securities (Insider Dealing) Ordinance (SIDO) to include a deputy judge of the Court of First Instance, so as to enlarge the pool of eligible candidates for appointment to the Chair of the Insider Dealing Tribunal.
6. Miss Margaret NG asked whether the Administration had intended to include "former deputy judges", i.e. district judges who were appointed deputy judges but retired before being appointed permanent judges of the Court of First Instance, as potential candidates for appointment to the Chair of the Insider Dealing Tribunal. The Chairman suggested and members agreed that the Legal Adviser should seek clarification from the Administration and make a further report to the House Committee.
- Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 23 September 1998 (gazetted on 18 September 1998)
(LC Paper No. LS 35/98-99)
7. Members did not raise any queries on the four items of subsidiary legislation detailed in the paper.
Fisheries Protection (Amendment) Bill 1998
(LC Paper No. LS 36/98-99)
8. The Legal Adviser referred to the Administration's reply dated 23 September 1998 which set out the justification for giving the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries the power to make subsidiary legislation involving criminal sanctions. Members raised no queries on the Administration's reply and agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill should be resumed.
9. The Chairman said that the delegation of powers which involved the imposition of criminal liabilities to a government official at head of department level should be the exception rather than the rule. Members agreed.
V. Further business for the Council meeting on 30 September 1998
VI. Business for the Council meeting on 14 October 1998
- Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation to be tabled in Council on 30 September 1998 (gazetted on 25 September 1998)
(Legal Notice Nos. 318 to 322 tabled at the meeting)
10. The Chairman said that as the next meeting of the House Committee would be held on 23 October 1998, the Legal Adviser would make a verbal report on the subsidiary legislation gazetted on 25 September 1998, so as to facilitate members' consideration at this meeting as to whether a subcommittee should be formed to study the subsidiary legislation.
11. The Legal Adviser informed members that the five items of subsidiary legislation were -
12. The Legal Adviser said that items (i) - (iii) in paragraph 11 above did not involve any major policy changes while items (iv) and (v) dealt with matters of a technical nature. In his view, a subcommittee needed not be formed to study the five items of subsidiary legislation concerned.
- Immigration (Amendment) Regulation 1998 made under the Immigration Ordinance (L.N. 318);
- Aviation Security Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 1998 made under the Aviation Security Ordinance (L.N. 319);
- Specification of Public Office made under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (L.N. 320);
- Admission and Registration (Amendment) Rules 1998 made under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance (L.N. 321); and
- Rules of the High Court (Amendment) (No.3) Rules 1998 made under the High Court Ordinance (L.N. 322).
13. Members raised no queries on the subsidiary legislation.
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 308/98-99)
14. Members noted the two new questions (Nos. 4 and 9) set out in the paper.
VII. Business for the Council meeting on 21 and 22 October 1998
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 309/98-99 (revised) tabled at the meeting)
15. The Chairman drew members' attention to the new question (No. 9) set out in the paper.
- Bills - First and Second Readings
(i) Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998
(ii) Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Bill 1998
16. The Chairman said that the two Bills would be introduced into the Council on 14 October 1998 and considered by the House Committee on 23 October 1998.
- Government motion
Resolution under section 7 of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap. 59) - to be moved by Secretary for Education and Manpower
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 325/98-99 tabled at the meeting)
17. The Legal Adviser said that the resolution sought the Council's approval for the Construction Sites (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 1998 made by the Commissioner for Labour on 22 September 1998 under section 7 of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance. The purpose of the new Regulation was to improve the safety of and protection for persons working at height. He added that as the Administration's notice for moving the resolution at the Council meeting on 14 October 1998 was only received on the day before, the Legal Service Division would need more time to study the Regulation before a report could be made for members' consideration.
18. The Chairman suggested and members agreed that the subcommittee formed on 18 September 1998 to study the resolution made under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance relating to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Confined Spaces) Regulation 1998 should also study the above Amendment Regulation. Members further agreed that membership of the subcommittee should be re-opened.
19. The Chairman said that the Administration should withdraw the notice for moving the resolution at the Council meeting on 14 October 1998.
20. The Chairman said that several items of subsidiary legislation relating to occupational safety and health matters would be introduced into the Council within the current legislative session. He suggested and members agreed that the subsidiary legislation concerned should also be studied by the subcommittee.
- Members' motions
(i) Motion to be moved by Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
21. Members noted that Prof NG Ching-fai had been allocated a debate slot.
(ii) Motion on "Organ donation"
22. Members noted that Mr LAU Chin-shek had given notice to move the above motion.
23. The Chairman said that the deadlines for giving notice of the motions and notice of amendments (if any) to the motions were 25 September 1998 and 7 October 1998 respectively. The speaking time limits stipulated in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply.
VIII. Panel to undertake issues relating to the overall economic development of Hong Kong
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 310/98-99 (revised) tabled at the meeting)
24. The Chairman said that 15 written questions had so far been tentatively scheduled. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of questions was 12 October 1998.
- Debate on the motion "That this Council thanks the Chief Executive for his address"
25. The Chairman said that he would move the above motion in his capacity as the chairman of the House Committee.
26. The Chairman further said that although Members could move amendments to the motion without notice under Rule 13(3) of the Rules of Procedure, it would facilitate the efficient conduct of the debate on the motion if Members could come to a "gentleman's agreement" and give advance notice of their amendments, if any, to the Secretariat not later than 14 October 1998.
27. Mr SZETO Wah said that although such an agreement would not be binding on Members, he hoped that Members would co-operate and give advance notice of their amendments.
28. In reply to Mr Martin LEE, the Secretary General said that if two or more amendments to the motion were proposed, a joint debate would take place.
(LC Paper No. CB(1) 227/98-99)
29. The Secretary General introduced the paper which detailed a proposal to revise the terms of reference of the Panel on Financial Affairs to include undertaking the role of monitoring issues relating to the overall economic development of Hong Kong and also to change the name of the Panel to "Panel on Financial Affairs and Economic Development".
30. Mr CHENG Kai-nam and Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that their understanding was that at the last meeting, members had agreed to adopt option (c) proposed in LC Paper No. CB(1) 181/98-99 because it would cause the least changes to the present committee structure and that the names of the existing three economy-related Panels would remain unchanged.
31. Mr James TIEN said that expanding the terms of reference of the Panel on Financial Affairs to include undertaking the co-ordinating role should not result in any changes to the respective areas of responsibilities of the Panel on Economic Services and the Panel on Trade and Industry. In his view, the Panel on Financial Affairs should only take up those issues relating to the overall economic development of Hong Kong which fell outside the areas of responsibilities of the other two Panels. Mr LEE Cheuk-yan and Mr SZETO Wah echoed Mr TIEN's view and said that the terms of reference of the re-constituted Panel on Financial Affairs should be re-drafted to avoid overlapping with those of the other two Panels.
32. Mr Andrew WONG said that expanding the responsibilities of the Panel on Financial Affairs should not necessarily result in a change of its name. He added that the Panel on Financial Affairs should be asked to submit reports to the Council periodically on its work relating to the overall economic development of Hong Kong.
33. Dr YEUNG Sum suggested that the Secretary General should discuss the division of work of the three economy-related Panels with the chairmen concerned and provide a further paper setting out clearly the proposed areas of responsibilities of the re-constituted Panel on Financial Affairs. Members agreed.
X. Any other business
- Position report on Bills Committees/subcommittees
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 312/98-99)
34. The Chairman said that four Bills Committees and two subcommittees on subsidiary legislation were in action.
- Report of the Subcommittee on Statutes of the University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Statutes 1998
(Speaking note of Mr Andrew WONG, Chairman of the subcommittee, tabled at the meeting)
35. Mr Andrew WONG, Chairman of the subcommittee, briefed members on the deliberations of the subcommittee as detailed in the speaking note which was tabled at the meeting. He added that a written report would be circulated to members for information as soon as it was available.
36. Members noted that Mr WONG would move a motion at the Council meeting on 30 September 1998 to extend the scrutiny period of the Amendment Statutes to 14 October 1998 and that he would move another motion at the Council meeting on 14 October 1998 to amend the Statute in question.
Election of Member to Committee on Rules of Procedure
37. The Chairman invited members to nominate one Member for appointment by the President to serve on the Committee on Rules of Procedure as Mr LEE Wing-tat had resigned from the Committee.
38. There being two nominations, an election was held. The results of the election were as follows -
- Mr Andrew CHENG received 13 votes; and
- Mr Ambrose LAU received 11 votes.
39. The Chairman declared that Mr Andrew CHENG was elected for appointment to the Committee on Rules of Procedure.
40. The meeting ended at 3:25 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
21 October 1998