LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 1013/95-96
Ref : CB2/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee
(1995/96 Session)

Minutes of 22nd meeting held in the LegCo Chamber
of the Legislative Council Building
on Friday, 12 April 1996 at 3:50 p.m.

Present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Wing-chan
    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon LEE Kai-ming
    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    Hon LO Suk-ching
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon Margaret NG
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Absent :

    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon CHIM Pui-chung
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok

In attendance :

    ASG2 (Clerk to the House Committee)



LA (Atg)


ASG2 (Des)







(1) Confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting held on 29.3.96

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 946/95-96)

The minutes were confirmed without amendment.

(2) Matters arising

(a) Fire Service (Installation Contractors) (Amendment)

Regulation 1996

Timber Stores (Amendment) Regulation 1996

Noting the Chairman’s advice that Mr Ronald ARCULLI had no queries on the Regulations, Members agreed to support the Regulations.

(b) Emblem design for Legislative Council

The Chairman said that The Legislative Council Commission had reaffirmed its recommendation to adopt the design proposed to Members at the House Committee meeting on 15.3.96. The House Committee was requested to indicate whether to support the proposed design. The matter would not be pursued further if Members decided not to support the design.

The proposal to adopt the proposed design for LegCo was put to vote. There were 10 votes for the proposal, 16 votes against it and two abstentions. The Chairman said that, under the circumstances, The Legislative Council Commission would not pursue the matter further.

Referring to a recent press report on a Member’s alleged comment that the cost involved in the emblem design competition was about $1 million, the Chairman advised Members that the total cost was in fact less than $30,000.

(c) Display of publicity materials in public places

The Chairman said that, in response to some Members’ concern about the criteria adopted in approving the contents of display materials in public places, he had raised the matter with the Chief Secretary on 1.4.96. The Chief Secretary had provided the following additional information :

  1. a pilot scheme (to restrict the display of publicity materials to specifically designated spots) would be launched in

    Wanchai this summer. Following a quick assessment to be conducted on the pilot scheme, a territory-wide scheme would be implemented in early 1997;

  2. the Administration intended to lift the ban on non-event related publicity materials; and
  3. the Administration would give a briefing on the matter to the Panel on Information Policy at its next meeting on 3.5.96.

Miss Emily LAU and Dr John TSE Wing-ling would like to know why Wanchai district had been chosen for launching the pilot scheme. They pointed out that the district was not representative, because of its lack of public housing estates.

The Chairman agreed to reflect Members’ view to the Chief Secretary.

(3) Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation tabled/to be tabled in the Legislative Council on 3.4.96 and 24.4.96 (gazetted on 29.3.96 and 3.4.96)

(LegCo Papers Nos. LS 111 & 114/95-96)

The Acting Legal Adviser drew Members’ particular attention to item 4 of LegCo Paper No. LS 111/95-96 which involved increase in fees charged by solicitors in respect of non-contentious trade mark and patent business.

Members agreed to support the subsidiary legislation.

(4) Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 977/95-96)

The Chairman informed Members that as one Bills Committee was reporting back at the meeting, the Bills Committee set up to study the Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1996, a Member’s bill introduced by Mr LAU Chin-shek, could be activated. As Members had previously agreed that the policy aspect of the Bill should be discussed by the Panel on Transport while the Bills Committee was awaiting for a slot, and the Panel would hold a special meeting on 16.4.96 to discuss the Bill, he invited Members’ views as to whether the Bills Committee should be activated at this stage.

Mrs Selina CHOW said that, under the revised procedure, the policy aspects of a Bill should be first discussed by a Panel. Since a number of Bills Committees would conclude their study shortly, she suggested that the vacant slot could be taken up by another Bills Committee on the waiting list, pending deliberation of the Panel on Transport on the Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1996. Her view was shared by Mr IP Kwok-him and Miss Margaret NG who said that the revised procedure should apply to both Government and Member’s Bills.

Mr LEE Wing-tat and Mr Michael HO Mun-ka said that the vacant slot should be allocated to the Bills Committee to study the Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1996, in anticipation of the deliberation by the Panel on the policy aspects of the Bill at the meeting to be held on 16.4.96. Mr LAU Chin-shek also supported this view.

On the timing for the Bill to be handed over to the Bills Committee, Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, chairman of the Panel on Transport, said that this would depend on the outcome of the Panel meeting on 16.4.96. She was however concerned about the situation that Panels would be under undue pressure in arranging special meetings for deliberating policy aspects of bills in a relatively short time.

Members noted that, according to the Position Report, two Bills Committees would conclude their work and report to the next House Committee on 19.4.96.

In response to Mr Edward HO, Assistant Secretary General 2 said that the revised procedure agreed by the House Committee was that Panels should be consulted on all major and potentially controversial legislative and financial proposals before these were introduced into LegCo and the Finance Committee. However, it might be necessary for Members to adopt some flexibility during the transitional implementation period. Deputy Secretary General supplemented that, in order to avoid unnecessary delay in processing Member’s Bills, the Secretariat had adopted a practice of issuing letters to Members who intended to introduce Member’s Bills and asking them to consider the need to consult the relevant Panels in the first instance. Should the Member consider that there was no need to consult the Panel, it was for the House committee to decide whether the Bill involved major and controversial issues and should therefore be referred to the Panel.

Having regard to Members’ views, the Chairman suggested and Members agreed that the Panel on Transport would hold its special meeting as scheduled to study the policy aspects of the Public Bus

Services (Amendment) Bill 1996 before handing it over to the Bills Committee. Members who had agreed to join the Bills Committee could attend the Panel meeting on 16.4.96 at 10:45 a.m. Meanwhile, the vacant slot would be allocated to the Bills Committee to study the Evidence (Amendment) Bill 1996.

(5) Legal Adviser’s report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order No. 42(3A)

(a) Electricity (Amendment) Bill 1996

(LegCo Paper No. LS 113/95-96)

Referring Members to the paper, the Acting Legal Adviser said that the Panel on Economic Services had been briefed on the proposals in the Bill at its meeting on 11.3.96. In view of the wide implications of the Bill, he suggested and Members agreed to set up a Bills Committee to study the Bill.

Mrs Selina CHOW said that apart from herself, Mr Henry TANG Ying-yen, who was not at the meeting, would like to join the Bills Committee. Mr LEE Wing-tat said that Mr TSANG Kin-shing, who was then not at the meeting, would also like to join the Bills Committee.

(b) Firearms and Ammunition (Amendment) Bill 1996

(LegCo Paper No. LS 116/95-96)

The Acting Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to tighten the existing statutory controls on firearms and ammunition. The Panel on Security had been briefed on 12.2.96 and the Chinese version of extract of the notes of the meeting was tabled (Appendix). The Legal Service Division was still scrutinizing the technical aspects of the Bill and would submit a further report.

Mrs Miriam LAU anticipated that some shooting clubs and licensed dealers of arms might wish to give views on the Bill. She suggested and Members agreed to form a Bills Committee to study the Bill. The following Members agreed to join : Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, Mr James TO Kun-sun and Mr David CHU Yu-lin.

(c) Import and Export (Amendment) Bill 1996

Control of Chemicals (Amendment) Bill 1996

Reserved Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1996

Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 1996

Toys and Children’s Products Safety (Amendment) Bill 1996

Consumer Goods Safety (Amendment) Bill 1996

(LegCo Paper No. LS 112/95-96)

The Acting Legal Adviser said that the main object of the six amendment bills was to plug the legislative loophole in enforcement. The amendment was purely technical and did not involve controversial matters of policy.

Mr James TO said that he would need more time to study the Bills and related case law. Members agreed to defer a decision for two weeks.

(d) Housing (Amendment) Bill 1996 - Member’s Bill introduced by Mr LEE Wing-tat

Housing (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996 - Member’s Bill introduced by Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee

(LegCo Paper No. LS 115/95-96)

The Acting Legal Adviser advised that the Panel on Housing had been briefed on the policy aspects of the two Bills on 1.4.96.

Mr LEE Wing-tat suggested and Members agreed that a Bills Committee be set up to study the Bill. The following Members agreed to join : Miss Emily LAU Wai-hing, Mr LEE Wing-tat, Dr Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung, Mr David CHU Yu-lin, Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee and Mrs Elizabeth WONG.

(6) Business for the LegCo sitting on 24.4.96

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 636/95-96)

The Chairman said that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.

(b) Statement

No statement had been notified.

(c) Government Motion

No motion had been notified.

(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996

(ii) Plant Varieties Protection Bill

(iii) Consumer Goods Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996

(iv) Toys and Children’s Products Safety (Amendment)
(No 2) Bill 1996

(v) Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Amendment) Bill 1996

The Chairman said that the above Bills would be considered by the House Committee on 26.4.96.

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

(i) Town Planning (Amendment) Bill 1995

(ii) Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment)
Bill 1996

(iii) Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) Bill 1996

(iv) Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill 1995

(v) Betting Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995

(vi) Intellectual Property (World Trade Organization Amendments) Bill 1995

(vii) Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1995

(viii) Road Traffic (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995

(ix) Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 1995

The Chairman said that Members had agreed at previous meetings to support the above Bills.

(f) Motion debate on " Access to Executive Council papers by the Public Accounts Committee" - to be moved by Mr Eric LI

Mr Eric LI briefed Members on the background leading to the motion debate.

(g) Motion debate on "Assistance to chronically ill persons" - to be moved by Mr MOK Ying-fan

Members noted the wording of the above motion.

The Chairman said that the deadline for giving notice of amendments of the above motions was 17.4.96.

(7) Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting
on 1.5.96

(a) Motion debate on "Policy to assist the development of small and medium-size enterprises" - to be moved by Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen

Mr Ambrose LAU said that, having regard to the proposals made by the Financial Secretary in his Budget, he might consider changing the subject of his motion.

(b) Motion debate on " Elderly policy" - to be moved by Dr LEONG Che-hung

The Chairman said that the wording of the above motions would be circulated to Members shortly. The deadlines for giving notice of and amendments to the motions, if any, were 16.4.96 and 24.4.96 respectively.

(8) Reports by Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees

(a) Report by the Panel on Security - Emergency legislation concerning the Privy Council judgment on Vietnamese migrants

Mr James TO, chairman of the Panel, referred Members to

the Secretary for Security’s letter dated 9.4.96 on the Administration’s proposal to amend the Immigration Ordinance pursuant to a Privy Council decision on Vietnamese migrants. The Panel had received a special briefing by the Administration in the morning. According to the Administration, the proposed amendments, in the form of an amendment bill, would be submitted to the Executive Council on 16.4.96. Subject to the Executive Council’s approval for the Bill to be introduced into LegCo, the Administration proposed that the Bill receive three readings at the sitting on 24.4.96. The Panel had yet to come to a view on whether to support the Administration’s proposal to pass the Bill at one sitting. It was agreed that the Panel should further discuss the matter at a special meeting after Members had been provided with the LegCo briefs and the text of the bill. The special meeting would be held on 17.4.96 at 5:30 p.m. The Panel would make a report to the next House Committee meeting on 19.4.96.

The Chairman said that if Members agreed to adopt the one-sitting procedure, the President would be informed. However, even without the support of the House Committee, the Administration was at liberty to proceed with the one-sitting procedure. It was then a matter for the Council to decide.

Miss Emily LAU and Miss Christine LOH had reservation about the Administration’s proposal for the bill to receive three readings at the sitting on 24.4.96, having regard to the time required for detailed scrutiny of the bill and the need for Members to receive deputations, if any.

In response to some Members, Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General 2 provided the following advice :

  1. 7 clear days’ notice was required for proposing amendments to a bill, except with the leave of the President. The deadline for giving notice of amendments to a bill scheduled for resumption of Second Reading debate at the sitting on 24.4.96 was 15.4.96.
  2. After a bill had been introduced into LegCo and referred to the House Committee, the House Committee might allocate it to a Bills Committee for consideration, or might cause it to be considered in such other manner as the Committee deemed fit. Prior to the introduction of a bill into LegCo, the bill could also be studied by a Panel or a subcommittee.

Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee would like to know whether a bill could be re-introduced into LegCo if it had been voted down in the Council. The Acting Legal Adviser advised that, under the Standing Orders, it was for the President to determine whether a bill intended for introduction was substantially the same as one that had been rejected by the Council in the same session. If the President so determined, the bill could not be proceeded with in that session.

(b) Report by the Bills Committee to study the Medical Registration (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 985/95-96)

Mr Edward HO, chairman of the Bills Committee, briefed Members on the deliberations of the Bills Committee. Members of the Bills Committee did not have consensus on the issue of the inclusion of lay members in the Health Committee (Clause 24 of the Bill). At the last Bills Committee meeting, Mr Michael HO had yet to decide whether he would move an amendment to this clause. Subject to a number of Committee Stage amendments agreed between the Bills Committee and the Administration, the Bills Committee recommended that the Bill should have its Second Reading debate resumed on 24.4.96. Members agreed.

(9) Any Other Business

(a) The case of Messrs Paul AU Wing-cheung and WONG


Mr LAU Chin-shek advised Members that he had just learnt that the Supreme Court of the Philippines had decided to release Messrs AU and WONG as there was insufficient evidence against them.

(b) Governor’s Question Time on 18.4.96

The Chairman advised that the Governor had proposed to answer questions on the following topics :

  1. The Governor’s recent visit to London;
  2. Vietnamese migrants;
  3. Most Favoured Nation status for China; and
  4. Protection of intellectual property right in Hong Kong.

Mr LEE Wing-tat and Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip suggested and Members agreed that the Governor be asked if he could also answer questions on the following topics ;

  1. Provisional legislature and Executive Council Members’ stand on the matter; and
  2. Handling of protesters by the Police.

The Chairman agreed to convey Members’ request to the Chief Secretary.

(c) House of Lords Debate

The Chairman said that, according to Public Relations Adviser (PRA) in London Office, a debate on Hong Kong in the House of Lords would be held on 24.4.96. Members who had views on the debate could pass them to PRA direct.

In response to the Chairman, Members agreed that the Chairman and other interested Members could explore the possibility for ExCo and LegCo Members to jointly pursue the granting of British citizenship for the non-Chinese ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. The Chairman would report any progress made at the next meeting.

The meeting ended at 5:20 p.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
17 April 1996

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