LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 126/96-97

Ref : CB2/H/5

Legislative Council House Committee

Minutes of 2nd meeting
held on Friday, 11 October 1996 at 2:30 pm
in the Legislative Council Chamber

Members present :

    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
    Hon CHIM Pui-chung
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    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 Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    Hon LO Suk-ching
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Members absent :

    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
    Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Hon LEE Kai-ming
    Hon Margaret NG
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP

Clerk in attendance :

Mrs Justina LAM
Assistant Secretary General 2

Staff in attendance :

Mr Ricky C C FUNG
Secretary General
Mr Jimmy MA
Legal Adviser
Mr LAW Kam-sang
Deputy Secretary General
Mr LEE Yu-sang
Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
Miss Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1
Assistant Secretary General 3
Ms Bernice WONG
Assistant Legal Adviser 1
Ms Kitty CHENG
Assistant Legal Adviser 2
Miss Connie FUNG
Assistant Legal Adviser 3
Mr Stephen LAM
Assistant Legal Adviser 4
Mr Arthur CHEUNG
Assistant Legal Adviser 5
Ms LEUNG Siu-kam
Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
Ms Kathleen LAU
Chief Public Information Officer
Mrs Percy MA
Chief Assistant Secretary (House Committee)
Mrs Eleanor CHOW
Senior Assistant Secretary (House Committee)

I Confirmation of minutes of meeting held on 4 October 1996

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 70/96-97)

The minutes were confirmed.

II Matters arising

(a) Report on Chairman’s meeting with the Chief Secretary

(i) Legislative Programme for 1996-97

2. Regarding members’ concern that a large number of bills would be introduced towards the end of April 1997, the Chairman said that the Chief Secretary had clarified that only bills which were really urgent would be introduced as late as the end of April 1997. The Administration would endeavour to introduce bills as early as possible.

(ii) Bills Committees

3. The Chairman said that the Chief Secretary had raised concern about the slow progress of the work of Bills Committees. The Chairman suggested and members agreed that in the event that a Bills Committee had serious differences with the Administration over points of principle, the chairman of the Bills Committee should report to the House Committee so that the problem could be brought to the attention of the Chief Secretary.

(iii) Administration’s comments on draft minutes of meetings

4. The Chairman said that the problem of late response of the Administration to draft minutes of meetings had been conveyed to the Chief Secretary. Members agreed that reasonable deadlines should be given for the Administration to comment on draft minutes of meetings.

(b) Employment (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996

5. The Legal Adviser said that members considered the above Bill together with the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill at the House Committee meeting on 20 September 1996, and agreed to support the above Bill in principle, pending a further report from the Legal Service Division. As the Administration was still considering whether amendments to the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1996 were necessary, and in order not to delay the enactment of the above Bill, members’ support for resumption of the Second Reading debate was recommended at this stage. Members agreed.

III Legal Adviser’s report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 9 October 1996 (gazetted on 4 October 1996)

(LegCo Paper No. LS 7/96-97)

6. Members agreed to support the subsidiary legislation.

IV Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 91/96-97)

7. Members noted the position report.

8. The Chairman referred members to the Chief Secretary’s letter of 4 October 1996 and sought their view on the two points raised in the last paragraph of the letter i.e. to restrict the number of new Member’s Bills to be introduced into LegCo, and to introduce a system to set priority among Member’s Bills.


9. Members were of the view that it was their constitutional right to introduce Member’s Bills. Moreover, in most cases, the introduction of Member’s Bills was prompted by the Administration’s unwillingness to introduce legislation to address Members’ concerns. Members also agreed that the priority of Member’s Bills should be in accordance with the date of introduction of the bills, and any request for priority scrutiny on special grounds would be considered by the House Committee, as in the case of Government Bills. The Chairman would convey members’ views to the Chief Secretary.

10. Given the large number of bills which must be scrutinized and passed before 30 June 1997, the Chairman requested Members to give early notice of bills that they wished to introduce.

11. In response to Mr CHAN Kam-lam, the Chairman said that the Administration had been requested to provide further details about bills which must be enacted in this session and that he would raise the matter with the Chief Secretary on every possible opportunity.

V Legal Adviser’s report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order 42(3A)

(a) Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996

(LegCo Paper No. LS 5/96-97)

12. Referring members to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the Bill was to implement recommendations made by a committee of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. Professional bodies such as the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society had been consulted and had indicated support for the Bill. The Legal Service Division was still scrutinizing the Bill and would prepare a further report to the House Committee.

(b) Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996

(LegCo Paper No. LS 4/96-97)

13. The Legal Adviser said that the purpose of the Bill was to put the Hong Kong Institute of Education under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC) and to bring its Ordinance in line with the ordinances of the seven other tertiary institutions funded by UGC. The Legal Service Division was seeking clarification from the Administration on a few points and would submit a further report to members.

(c) University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Bill 1996 - Member’s Bill introduced by Dr David K P LI

(LegCo Paper No. LS 10/96-97)

14. The Legal Adviser said that the object of the Bill was to remove the Council of the University from the procedure for the award of honorary degrees. The University had been

advised of the technical problem mentioned in paragraph 13 of the paper and it would consider taking necessary action in due course.

15. Members agreed to support the Bill.

(d) The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia Bill - Member’s Bill introduced by Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung

(LegCo Paper No. LS 8/96-97)

16. The Legal Adviser informed members that the drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.

17. Members agreed to support the Bill.

(e) Public Order (Amendment) Bill 1996 - Member’s Bill introduced by Mr James TO Kun-sun

(LegCo Paper No. LS 11/96-97)

18. Introducing the paper, the Legal Adviser drew members’ attention to the appendices which set out in detail the legal and policy arguments of the Member in charge of the Bill and the Administration, and views of the LegCo Panel on Security. He suggested to defer a decision on the Bill to allow members more time to consider whether a Bills Committee should be formed. Members agreed.

VI Business for the LegCo sitting on 23 October 1996

(a) Questions

(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 50/96-97)

19. The Chairman advised members that in line with convention, 20 questions for written reply, and no questions for oral reply, had been scheduled for the sitting at which the debate on the Motion of Thanks would be held.

20. The Chairman urged members to send in their draft questions to the Secretariat as early as possible before the deadline to allow time for the Secretariat to process the questions and for the Administration to prepare replies.

(b) Statement

21. No statement had been notified.

(c) Motions

(i) Resolution under section 16(3) of the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (Cap 403) - to be moved by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

(LegCo Paper No. LS 9/96-97)

22. The Legal Adviser advised members that the resolution was legally in order. Members agreed to support it.

(ii) Motion on "Appointment of select committee" - to be moved by Mr IP Kwok-him

23. Members noted that the wording of the motion had been considered at the last meeting on 4 October 1996.

(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

(i) Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1996

(ii) The Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill

(iii) Employment (Amendment) (No 4) Bill 1996

(Member’s Bill to be introduced by Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung)

24. The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 23 October 1996 and considered by the House Committee on 25 October 1996.

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

(i) Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1996

(ii) Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1996

25. The Chairman said that members agreed to support the above Bills at the last meeting on 4 October 1996.

(f) Debate on Motion of Thanks

26. The Chairman said that the Administration would respond to the debate at the sitting on 23 October 1996.

27. The Chairman advised members of the President’s decision on the arrangement for debating the Motion of Thanks at the sitting on 16/17 October 1996.

28. Members noted that unlike motion debates held at each sitting which required Members to give notice of amendments to the motion, Members may move amendments to the Motion of Thanks without notice under Standing Order No. 6(6). The President was of the view that it would not be appropriate for him to propose a joint debate on the motion and its amendments because the amendments moved in the course of the joint debate without notice could not be included in the middle of the debate. The President would therefore adopt the conventional procedure for debating the Motion of Thanks whereby after the mover of the motion had moved the motion, Members would be called to speak in the usual manner at the discretion of the President. As and when a Member moved an amendment, other Members shall then debate the amendment. After Members had finished their debate on the amendment, a vote would be taken on the amendment first. Depending on the result of the vote, Members would resume their debate on the original motion or on the motion as amended.


29. Members noted that the Secretariat would issue a note to Members setting out the procedure in detail.

VII Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on 30 October 1996

(a) Motion debate on "Dialogue with the Chinese Government"

30. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung informed members that he would revise the wording of his motion.

(b) Motion debate on "Review of the operation of the Trading Fund Scheme"

31. Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr CHAN Kam-lam.

32. The Chairman advised members that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments to the above motions, if any, were 14 October 1996 and 23 October 1996 respectively, and that the normal speaking arrangements should apply.

VIII Reports of Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees

(a) Report of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services - Terms of Reference

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 85/96-97)

33. The Chairman said that Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo had requested that discussion of the paper be deferred.

(b) Report of the Subcommittee on Procedural Matters - Updating of House Rules

(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 90/96-97)

34. Referring members to the paper, the Chairman advised that except for item (g) which concerned the renaming of the Panel on Recreation and Culture to the Panel on Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, all other changes had been agreed to by members and put into practice in the last session. The Subcommittee on Procedural Matters had also considered and endorsed the draft House Rules on 8 October 1996.

35. Members endorsed the paper.

(c) Interim report of the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation gazetted from 5 July 1996 to 13 September 1996

36. Mr Ronald ARCULLI, chairman of the Subcommittee, gave a verbal report on the deliberations of the Subcommittee on the following two items (which were introduced into LegCo on 10 July 1996 and the scrutiny period of which was extended to 16 October 1996) -

  1. The Subcommittee had agreed to support the amendment to the Mental Health (Amendment) Regulation 1996 to be moved by Mr James TO Kun-sun at the sitting on 16/17 October 1996. The Administration had also indicated agreement to the resolution.
  2. The Subcommittee concluded that since there was insufficient time to consider the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996 and the subsequent amendments proposed by the Administration, a motion should be moved to repeal the Rules at the sitting on 16-17 October 1996; otherwise, the Rules would become effective on 1 November 1996.

37. Mr ARCULLI suggested and the meeting agreed that a separate subcommittee, with the same membership as that of the current Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation, should be formed to continue discussion with the Administration on proposed amendments to the Prison Rules.

IX Any Other Business

(a) Election of Members to The Legislative Council Commission

(LegCo Paper No. AS 12/96-97)

38. The Chairman declared the following eight Members elected members of The Legislative Council Commission -

    Mr Edward S T HO
    Miss Emily LAU
    Mr LEE Wing-tat
    Mr Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Mr IP Kwok-him
    Mr LAW Chi-kwong
    Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Mr MOK Ying-fan

(b) Matters relating to the introduction of Member’s Bills

(Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung’s letter of 2 October 1996 refers)

39. After introducing his letter, Mr LEUNG said that he was concerned about the time taken by the Administration to give its view on whether his Housing (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1996 had any charging effect, and whether the Administration had deliberately delayed the processing of the Bill. He asked members to consider whether it was necessary to impose a deadline for the Administration to reply.

40. The Chairman said that it had been a practice for the President, although not required under the Standing Orders, to take into account the Administration’s view before giving his opinion on whether a Bill had any charging effect. In respect of the 22 bills to be introduced in the current session, the average time taken by the Administration to respond ranged from one week to about two months, depending on the complexity involved.

41. Mr Michael HO had reservations about the proposal to impose an arbitrary deadline for the Administration to respond and suggested that the President be consulted.

42. Mr Bruce LIU echoed Mr LEUNG’s view and said that the Administration should be requested to reply within a reasonable period of time. He would also like to know the number of Member’s Bills currently awaiting the Law Draftsman’s certificate and those pending the President’s ruling on charging effect.


43. The Chairman undertook to discuss the matter with both the President and the Chief Secretary.

(c) House Committee delegation to Geneva to attend the hearings of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)on 2 and 3 October 1996

44. Dr John TSE, the only Member of the delegation, gave a verbal report as follows -

  1. the eight points made in the House Committee’s submission had been endorsed by the UNCRC;
  2. the UNCRC was particularly concerned that in its regular review of legislation and policy, the Hong Kong Administration did not accord priority to consider the possibility of establishing an independent monitoring body on the rights of the child. UNCRC recommended the establishment of an independent mechanism to specifically monitor the execution of Government policy in relation to the rights of the child;
  3. the UNCRC recommended that the UK Government should submit a concluding report as at 30 June 1997 on the measures taken to give effect to the Committee’s recommendations;
  4. the UNCRC had noted the special situation facing Hong Kong after the change of sovereignty on 1 July 1997, and urged the UK Government to discuss with China matters relating to the continued application of the Convention to Hong Kong and to the future reporting arrangements.

In the light of his experience, Dr TSE suggested the
following -

  1. any future delegation of a similar nature should comprise at least two Members to facilitate lobbying work;
  2. written submission should be sent only shortly before the hearing, and that the submission should not be too lengthy.

45. The meeting ended at 3:50 pm.

Legislative Council Secretariat
16 October 1996

Last Updated on 16 August 1999