LC Paper No. CB(2) 251/99-00
Ref : CB2/H/5
House Committee of the Legislative CouncilMembers present :
Minutes of the 4th meeting
held in the Legislative Council Chamber
at 2:30 pm on Friday, 29 October 1999
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, SBS, JP
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, SBS, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, SBS, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming, JP
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Margaret NG
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon HUI Cheung-ching
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam, JP
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 Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, SBS, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, GBS, JP
Hon FUNG Chi-kin
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JPMembers absent :
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JPClerk in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Clerk to the House Committee
Staff in attendance :
- 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 Anita HO
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mr KAU Kin-wah
- Assistant Legal Adviser 6
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Miss Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Mr LAW Wing-lok
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5
- Miss Mary SO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
I. Confirmation of the minutes of the 3rd meeting held on 22 October 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 194/99-00)
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 indicated that the Administration was considering views received in its consultation exercise on the draft Securities and Futures Bill and would introduce the Bill by the end of the year.
(b) Consultation Paper on the Urban Renewal Authority Bill
3. The Chairman said that at the last meeting, he had suggested various options for studying the Urban Renewal Authority White Bill for members' consideration. These included either setting up a subcommittee under the House Committee to study the White Bill, or referring the White Bill to the Panel on Planning, Lands and Works or a subcommittee under the Panel for study. He added that he had also asked members to consider whether a motion along the lines such as "This Council notes the Urban Renewal Authority White Bill" should be moved by him on behalf of the House Committee at a Council meeting before the end of the public consultation period on 3 December 1999.
4. Mr Edward HO, Chairman of the Panel on Planning, Lands and Works, said that the Administration had briefed the Panel on the White Bill at a meeting on 28 October 1999. In response to Panel members' comments that the consultation period was too short, the Administration had undertaken to consider extending the consultation period to allow more time for interested parties to give views. Mr HO added that the Panel would like to recommend that a subcommittee be formed under the House Committee to study the White Bill, and that a motion debate on the White Bill should be sponsored by the House Committee Chairman. Members expressed support for the Panel's recommendations.
5. The following members agreed to join the subcommittee : Mr HO Sai-chu, Mr Edward HO Sing-tin, Mr LEE Wing-tat, Mr James TO Kun-sun (as advised by Mr LEE Wing-tat) and Dr TANG Siu-tong. The Chairman said that the Secretariat would issue a circular after the meeting inviting Members to join the subcommittee.
6. The Chairman suggested that the subcommittee should become the Bills Committee to study the "blue" Bill upon its introduction into the Council and that membership should be re-opened. Members agreed.
7. The Chairman sought members' views as to when the motion debate on the White Bill should take place. He suggested that an appropriate date would be the Council meeting on 24 November 1999 as the debate slots for that meeting had yet to be allocated.
8. Mr LEE Wing-tat was of the view that the motion debate should take place on 1 December 1999 to allow the subcommittee more time to study the White Bill. Mr Edward HO echoed Mr LI's view.
9. Assistant Secretary General 3 informed members that the Administration intended to resume the Second Reading debate on the Provision of Municipal Services (Reorganization) Bill on 1 December 1999. He said that members might wish to take this into account in deciding the date for the motion debate.
10. Mr LEE Wing-tat suggested that the motion debate should be held on 8 December 1999 as it was likely that the Administration would extend the consultation period.
11. The Chairman proposed that the Administration be asked to extend the public consultation period by two to three weeks. Members agreed. The Chairman said that he would convey to CS members' wish to hold the motion debate on 8 December 1999 at his next meeting with CS.
12. The Chairman further suggested that -
- only one Member's motion debate, in addition to the motion debate on the White Bill which would go first, should be scheduled for the Council meeting on 8 December 1999;
- the debate slot for the motion debate on the While Bill should not be counted as the Chairman's own debate slot as an individual Member; and
- no amendments should be proposed to the motion.
Members expressed support for the above suggestions.
(c) Motion on "The user-pays principle" to be moved by Mr James TIEN Pei-chun on 3 November 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 146/99-00)
13. The Chairman drew members' attention to the amendment to the motion proposed by Mr Gary CHENG.
III. Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 27 October 1999 (gazetted on 22 October 1999)
(LC Paper No. LS 20/99-00)
14. The Chairman introduced the paper which detailed the seven items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 22 October 1999.
15. Referring to the Post Office (Amendment) Regulation 1999 (L.N. 178 of 1999) (Commencement) Notice 1999, the Chairman said that the subcommittee formed to scrutinize the three items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 9 July 1999 and 20 August 1999 had submitted a report to the House Committee on 8 October 1999 recommending that the Post Office (Amendment) Regulation 1999 be supported. The Chairman explained that the Amendment Regulation provided that the Postmaster General might issue money orders for payment in a place outside Hong Kong.
16. Members raised no queries on the subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.
17. The Chairman reminded members that the deadline for amending the subsidiary legislation was 24 November 1999, or 1 December 1999 if extended by resolution.
IV. Further report by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
Adaptation of Laws (No.29) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 21/99-00)
18. The Legal Adviser said that with the Administration's proposed Committee Stage amendments detailed in Annex I to the paper, the Legal Service Division was of the view that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
19. Members did not raise objection to the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the Bill.
V. Business for the Council meeting on 10 November 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 130/99-00)
20. Members noted that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been scheduled.
(b) Bills - First and Second Readings
(i) Rehabilitation Centres Bill
(ii) Order of Friars Minor in Hong Kong Incorporation Bill
21. Members noted that the above two Bills would be introduced into the Council on 10 November 1999 and considered by the House Committee on 12 November 1999.
(c) Bill - resumption of debate on Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading
Adaptation of Laws (No.22) Bill 1999
22. The Chairman said that members agreed at the meeting on 15 October 1999 that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(d) Government motion
Resolution under section 4 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (Cap. 525) - to be moved by the Secretary for Security
23. The Chairman said that the purpose of the resolution was to seek the Council's approval of the US Order made under section 4 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance. He added that the subcommittee formed in October last year to study five Orders made under the Ordinance had completed scrutiny of the US Order and would report under agenda item VII(c) below.
(e) Members' motions
(i) Motion on "Land departure tax"
24. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr LAU Kong-wah.
(ii) Motion on "Establishing a dedicated investment promotion agency"
25. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr MA Fung-kwok.
26. The Chairman drew members' attention to the change in the English title of the motion from "Establishing a dedicated investment promotion department" to " Establishing a dedicated investment promotion agency".
27. The Chairman said that the deadline for giving notice of amendments (if any) to the motions was 3 November 1999. The speaking time limits stipulated in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply.
VI. Advance information on business for the Council meeting on 17 November 1999
(a) Bill - First and Second Readings
Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1999
28. Members noted that the Bill would be introduced into the Council on 17 November 1999 and considered by the House Committee on 19 November 1999.
(b) Bill - resumption of debate on Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading
Housing Managers Registration Bill
29. The Chairman said that members agreed at the meeting on 8 October 1999 that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(c) Members' motions
(i) Motion on "Education on media literacy"
30. Members noted that Miss Cyd HO Sau-lan had been allocated a debate slot.
(ii) Motion on "The Government's policy on the engagement of consultants"
31. Members noted that Mr NG Leung-sing had been allocated a debate slot.
32. The Chairman said that the deadlines for giving notice of motions and notice of amendments (if any) to the motions were 2 November 1999 and 10 November 1999 respectively. The speaking time limits stipulated in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply.
(a) Position report on Bills Committees/subcommittees
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 199/99-00)
33. The Chairman said that there were 15 Bills Committees and six subcommittees in action, including the subcommittee on Urban Renewal Authority White Bill formed earlier at the meeting. In addition, 11 Bills Committees were on the waiting list.
34. The Chairman further said that as the Bills Committee on Hong Kong Arts Development Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 would report under (b) below that its work was to be held in abeyance, the vacated slot would be taken up by the Bills Committee on Mass Transit Railway Bill which was at the top of the waiting list.
(b) Report of the Bills Committee on Hong Kong Arts Development Council (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 218/99-00)
35. Mr Timothy FOK, Chairman of the Bills Committee, introduced the paper and said that the Bills Committee had decided that consideration of the Bill should be held in abeyance until the Council had made a decision on the Provision of Municipal Services (Reorganization) Bill.
(c) Second report of the Subcommittee on the five resolutions made under section 4 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (Cap. 525)
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 182/99-00)
36. The Chairman introduced the paper in the absence of Mr James TO, Chairman of the subcommittee.
37. Members noted the subcommittee's recommendation that the resolution on the US Order to be moved by the Secretary for Security at the Council meeting on 10 November 1999 be supported.
(d) Further report of the subcommittee to study three items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 9 July and 20 August 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 214/99-00)
38. The Chairman said that the subcommittee's further report covered the subcommittee's deliberations on the Solicitors (Professional Indemnity) (Amendment) Rules 1999 (the "Amendment Rules"). He added that the other two items of subsidiary legislation, viz. the Post Office (Amendment) Regulation 1999 and Telecommunication (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1999 had already been dealt with in the subcommittee's report made to the House Committee on 8 October 1999.
39. Mr Ambrose LAU, Chairman of the subcommittee, introduced the paper which detailed the subcommittee's deliberations on the Amendment Rules. He drew members' attention to paragraphs 12-15 of the paper detailing the Consumer Council's views on the Amendment Rules and the response of The Law Society of Hong Kong. He added that the subcommittee recommended that the Amendment Rules be supported.
40. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 2:48 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
3 November 1999