LegCo Paper No. HB 166/95-96
Ref : HB/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee
(1995/96 Session)

Minutes of 7th meeting held in the LegCo Chamber
of the Legislative Council Building
on Friday, 17 November 1995 at 4:35 p.m.

Present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, 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 CHIM Pui-chung
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam
    Hon CHAN Wing-chan
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    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 Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin

In attendance :

    ASG2 (Clerk to the House Committee)














(1) Confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting held on 10.11.95

(LegCo Paper No. HB 127/95-96)

The minutes were confirmed.

(2) Matters arising

(a) Appointment of Chairman of Committee on Members’ Interests

Members endorsed the election of Mrs Miriam LAU as the chairman of the Committee for appointment by the President.

(b) Resolutions under section 7(3) of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap. 59)

Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that he had no further queries on the resolutions.

Members agreed to support the three resolutions which the Administration would move on 29.11.95.

(c) Despatch of Government reports and publications to LegCo Members

The Chairman advised that he had conveyed to the Chief Secretary Members’ concern about being given lower priority than the media in receiving Government reports and publications. The Chief Secretary said that she would ensure that Government reports would be despatched to Members at the same time as, if not earlier than, to the media.

Referring to the press release on the Chief Justice’s views on the Bill of Rights Ordinance issued that morning, Mr Edward HO and a few Members said that they had not been given copies of the press release in time to respond to media enquiries.

CPIO said that the statement had been released by the Government Information Services to the Secretariat by electronic mail at around 11:00 a.m., without prior notice. Her office was made aware of the message at around lunch time. In view of the time constraints and the fact that Members would be attending the Finance Committee meeting in the afternoon, copies of the statement had been placed outside the Ante-Chamber.

Members agreed that, depending on the situation and urgency, press releases from the Government should be faxed to Members’ offices or tabled in the Chamber in future. The Administration should also be requested to alert the Secretariat to important releases in future.

(d) House Committee delegation on the case of Messrs Paul AU Wing Cheung and WONG Chuen Ming

Mr Howard YOUNG, leader of the delegation, referred Members to the Paper. He said that Members would be informed of the response of the authorities in the Philippines once they were received.

He suggested and Members agreed that the Governor be requested to bring the case up with the President of the Philippines during his visit to the Philippines some time next month, as reported in the press. The Chairman would convey Members’ request through the Chief Secretary.

In response to Dr John TSE Wing-ling and Mr IP Kwok-him’s advice that the First Lady of the Philippines would be visiting Hong Kong on 24.11.95 to officiate at the opening of a centre for overseas domestic helpers, Members agreed that Mrs Elizabeth WONG and Mr Howard YOUNG would decide whether a meeting between the delegation and the First Lady should be sought.

(e) Subcommittee to study the Building (Administration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulation 1995

Mr Edward HO, chairman of the Subcommittee, reported that the Administration had advised that the cost of operating the registration system of building professionals and contractors for 1994/95 should be about $3 million, and not $22 million as advised earlier by the Administration. On the other hand, since the revenue for that year was $5.2 million which was above cost, Members of the Subcommittee therefore had reservations about the proposal to increase the fees by about 9%. The Subcommittee had asked the Administration to consider withdrawing the Regulation, failing that the Subcommittee would move to repeal the Regulation. Members endorsed the conclusion of the Subcommittee.

At the suggestion of the Chairman, Members agreed that the Administration should be requested to provide a cost analysis in respect of an item of subsidiary legislation involving fee/charge increase and the cost-recovery principle. The Chairman would raise the matter with the Chief Secretary.

(3) Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 15.11.95

(LegCo Paper No. LS 25/95-96)

The Legal Adviser introduced the Paper. Members agreed to support the subsidiary legislation.

(4) Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. HB 142/95-96)

Members noted the position report.

The Chairman reminded Members that to avoid cancelling meetings due to the lack of a quorum, thus wasting the time of the parties concerned and resources, Members should make an endeavour to attend committee meetings. He also reminded Members to avoid scheduling two committee meetings within the same meeting slot, so as to facilitate Members in attending meetings.

(5) Further report by the Legal Adviser on outstanding bill

Employment (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. LS 29/95-96)

The Legal Adviser said that in response to Members’ request, the Administration had prepared a comparison table between the existing and proposed levels of maximum fines for the offences under the Bill. The legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.

Members agreed to support the Bill.

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

(a) Merchant Shipping (Registration) (Amendment) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. LS 30/95-96)

The Legal Adviser said that this was a technical Bill introduced at the suggestion of the industry. The Bill sought to give a statutory notice period to a registered mortgagee and the owner of a ship before closing the ship’s registration. The Bill involved no serious legal implications. He recommended that Members support the Bill. This was agreed.

(b) Land Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. LS 26/95-96)

The Legal Adviser referred Members to the report and said that the drafting aspects of the Bill was in order.

Members agreed to support the Bill.

(c) Town Planning (Amendment) Bill 1995

(LegCo Paper No. LS 28/95-96)

The Legal Adviser suggested that Members study the Bill in more detail in view of its implications on the judicial system. There had been a problem of interpretation over the legal provisions dealing with membership of the Appeal Board under the Town Planning Ordinance.

Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip suggested and Members agreed that a Bills Committee should be set up. The following Members agreed to join : Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip, Mr LEE Wing-tat, Ms Christine LOH Kung-wai, Mr Bruce LIU Sing-lee and Mr NGAN Kam-chuen.

(7) Business for the LegCo sitting on 29.11.95

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB 171/95-96)

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

(b) Statement

No statement had yet been notified.

(c) Government Motion

Resolution under section 5(3)(b) of the Public Bus Services Ordinance (Cap. 230)

(LegCo Paper No. LS 27/95-96)

The Legal Adviser briefly explained the purpose of the resolution which sought to continue to exclude provisions of the profit control scheme to China Motor Bus which had been granted a new franchise to operate a public bus service. He drew

Members’ attention to the Administration’s policy for excluding any reference to a profit control scheme in processing applications for negotiating new bus franchises, as explained in the draft speech to be made by the Secretary for Transport on the resolution, which had been circulated to Members.

Members agreed to support the resolution.

(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Betting Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995

(ii) Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1995

(iii) Estate Agents Bill

The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 29.11.95 and considered by the House Committee on 1.12.95.

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

Lands Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1995

The Chairman said that Members had agreed at the meeting on 3.11.95 to support the above Bill.

(f) Motion debate on "Vietnamese migrants problem" - to be moved by Mrs Selina CHOW

(g) Motion debate on "Entry visa for Taiwan visitors" - to be moved by Mr Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

The Chairman advised Members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions, would be 22.11.95.

(8) Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on 6.12.95

(a) Motion debate on "Youth suicide"

Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung.

(b) Motion debate on "Employment policy"

Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr CHENG Yiu-tong.

The Chairman referred Members to the wording of the above motions. He said that the deadline for the Members concerned to give notice to the above motions would be 21.11.95.

(9) Any Other Business

Pedal ‘96

The Chairman advised Members of a letter from Mr Peter WONG, a former Member, inviting Members to form a joint LegCo-QMH team to participate in the above charitable event to be held on 20 & 21.1.1996. Members agreed to accept the invitation. The Secretariat would issue a circular to provide details of the event and invite Members’ participation.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Legislative Council Secretariat
22 November 1995

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