LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 582/96-97
Ref : CB2/H/5
Minutes of 9th meeting
held on Friday, 29 November 1996 at 3:40 p.m.
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 NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
Hon Edward S T HO, 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 Emily LAU Wai-hing
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
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
Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon LAW Chi-kwong
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LO Suk-ching
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon TSANG Kin-shing
Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling
Members absent :
Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon LAU Chin-shek
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Margaret NG
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
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- 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 22 November 1996
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 510/96-97)
The minutes were confirmed.
II Matters arising
Report on Chairmans meeting with the Chief Secretary
2. Referring to the Director of Administrations letter of
21 November 1996, the Chairman said that he had advised the Chief Secretary that there were always good reasons for the House Committee to decide to set up Bills Committees. The Chief Secretary had emphasized that the Administration had no intention to circumvent normal procedures. The aim was to move things along. The Chairman said that the Administrations proposal would be discussed in detail under agenda item IV below.
III Legal Service Division report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 27 November 1996 (gazetted on 22 November 1996)
(LegCo Paper No. LS 49/96-97)
3. The Legal Adviser drew members attention to the Television (Royalty and Licence Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 which proposed a reduction of the maximum rate of advertising royalties from 10% to 9% and an increase of the annual licence fee for a commercial television broadcasting licence to $1,843,000. He said that the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport had addressed the Council on this Regulation at the sitting on 27 November 1996. The Chairman supplemented that an amendment to the Television (Royalty and Licence Fees) Regulation was repealed by LegCo on 29 November 1995.
4. The Legal Adviser said that queries had been raised with the Administration on certain aspects of the Food Business (Urban Council) (Amendment) (No 3) Bylaw 1996. A further report would be provided to members if necessary.
5. Members did not raise any queries on the subsidiary legislation.
IV Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 511/96-97)
6. Members noted the report.
7. Members discussed the Director of Administrations letter of 21 November 1996 which proposed that members should consider raising their queries on the following Government Bills, on which Bills Committees had been formed or were expected to be formed, directly with the Policy Branches concerned. Members views were as follows -
Consumer Goods Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996
Toys and Childrens Products Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996
Employment (Amendment) Bill 1996
Employment (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996
Dentists Registration (Amendment) Bill 1996
Veterinary Surgeons Registration Bill
8. Members agreed that since LegCo had received representations on the above Bills, they should not be dealt with in the way proposed by the Administration.
Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill
9. The Chairman said that Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung had indicated at the last meeting that the details and policy aspects of the Bill should be studied by a Bills Committee. Members agreed.
10. In response to Mr SIN Chung-kai, the Chairman said that the House Committee had agreed at its meeting on 8 November 1996 to endorse the revised priority list proposed by the Administration, and as a result, this Bill had been accorded a higher priority.
Firearms and Ammunition (Amendment) Bill 1996
11. The Chairman said that the Panel on Security was briefed on the subject on 12 February 1996, and that Mrs Miriam LAU had suggested the setting up of a Bills Committee. To facilitate members consideration of the Administrations proposal, the Chairman said that information on whether the concerns raised by the Panel had been addressed by the Bill would be helpful.
Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 1996
Panel on Environmental Affairs
12. The Chairman said that Dr John TSE who suggested the setting up of a Bills Committee had requested priority be given to the scrutiny of this Bill. The Chairman had discussed Dr TSEs suggestion with the Chief Secretary who did not consider the Bill urgent. Since no relevant Panel had been consulted on the Bill, members had agreed at the last meeting that the Bill should be discussed by the relevant Panel first. Subject to the agreement of the chairman of the Panel on Environmental Affairs, the Bill would be discussed by the Panel at its regular meeting in January l997. The Chairman said that the Panel should report to the House Committee on whether further study by a Bills Committee was necessary.
Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Planners registration (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996
Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996
13. The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting to support the two Bills in principle, subject to a further report from the Legal Adviser on the drafting aspects.
14. The Chairman requested the chairmen and deputy chairmen of the following Bills Committees (BC) to report on work progress -
Environmental Impact Assessment Bill
15. Mr Edward HO, Chairman of the BC, explained that there had been some difficulties in scheduling meetings due to the unavailability of some members and clash of meeting schedules with other committees. A meeting had been scheduled for 3 December 1996 to consider, inter alia, amendments proposed by Miss Christine LOH.
16. The Chairman reckoned that the clash of committee meetings was sometimes unavoidable but pointed out that the chairman or deputy chairman of a committee should have final say on meeting dates. Members who had views on a bill but could not attend the meeting should let the BC have their views in writing. In addition, if consensus was unlikely to be reached with the Administration or amongst members of the BC over a bill, the bill should be debated in Council.
17. Dr LEONG Che-hung, Chairman of the BC, said that the Administration had taken some time to obtain the information requested by the BC from UK. The BC would continue discussion with the Administration.
Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1996
18. Mr Zachary WONG, Chairman of the BC, said that the BC which was held in abeyance had scheduled a meeting for 12 December 1996 to consider a further research report.
19. The Chairman said that a vacant slot would arise at the next meeting to accommodate the reactivation of the BC.
Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996
20. Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the BC, said that the BC would report to the House Committee in early December. Mr Eric LI supplemented that the Hong Kong Society of Accountants was satisfied that the amendments proposed by the Administration had addressed its concerns.
Housing (Amendment) Bill 1996
21. Mr FUNG Kin-kee, Chairman of the BC, said that the BC had agreed to circulate amendments proposed by three members of the BC to other members for consideration and subject to there being no further requests for meetings, the BC would report to the House Committee.
Banking (Amendment) Bill 1996
22. Dr HUANG Chen-ya, Chairman of the BC, said that a further meeting might be required to consider the Administrations finalized Committee stage amendments.
Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996
23. Mr Eric LI, a member of the BC, advised that the Bills Committee had concluded its deliberations and that no further
meeting was required. Committee stage amendments had been circulated to members. Members noted that the Chairman of the BC would make a verbal report to the House Committee on 6 December 1996.
24. The Chairman said that the slot vacated by the BC would be allocated to the next BC on the waiting list i.e. the BC on the Consumer Goods Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996 and the Toys and Childrens Products Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996.
V Further reports by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bill
(a) Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. LS 53/96-97)
25. The Chairman informed members that the Hong Kong Bar Association, the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre had been consulted and indicated support for the Bill.
26. The Legal Adviser said that the drafting of the Bill was in order. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(b) Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment)
(No 2) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. LS 54/96-97)
27. The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting to support the Bill in principle.
28. The Legal Adviser said that the Administration had considered comments raised by the Legal Service Division and agreed to move amendments to the Chinese text of the Bill to achieve consistency in translation. The Legal Service Division would follow-up on some technical points and would report to the House Committee at the next meeting.
VI Legal Service Division report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order 42(3A)
(a) Television (Amendment) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. LS 50/96-97)
29. The Legal Adviser briefly introduced the objects of the Bill. The Chairman advised that this Bill was one of the 41 Bills which had to be passed before 1 July 1997.
30. The Chairman added that Dr Samuel WONG had written to him requesting that a Bills Committee be set up to study the Bill. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee : Mrs Selina CHOW (as advised by Mr Ronald ARCULLI), Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip, Miss Emily LAU, Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo (as advised by Mr Albert CHAN), Mr MOK Ying-fan, Mr NGAN Kam-chuen and Mr Lawrence YUM.
(b) Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. LS 36/96-97)
31. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill did not introduce any new policy and that the drafting aspects were in order.
32. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(c) Travel Agents (Travel Industry Compensation Fund (Amount of Ex-gratia Payments and Financial Penalty) Rules) (Amendment) Bill 1996 - Members Bill introduced by Mr Fred LI Wah-ming
(LegCo Paper No. LS 51/96-97)
33. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to make any ex-gratia payment under the compensation fund equal to the full amount (instead of 80%) of the outbound fare in respect of which an application for the ex-gratia payment was made. The Bill was legally in order.
34. Mr Howard YOUNG said that the Travel Industry Compensation Fund Management Board (the Board) had written to him requesting that the Board be given a chance to present the view of the industry to members. He suggested
that a Bills Committee be set up to study the Bill. His suggestion was supported by Mr Eric LI ka-cheung.
35. Mr Fred LI said that the Panel on Trade and Industry had discussed the subject on a number of occasions. According to his understanding, the Administration was prepared to support 90% as the maximum rate of the ex-gratia payment. Having regard to the large number of Bills Committees currently on the waiting list, he requested members to defer for a week a decision on the suggestion of setting up a Bills Committee, so as to allow time for him to separately discuss with the Administration and the Board.
36. Mr Howard YOUNG suggested that a Bills Committee be set up and put on the waiting list, pending the outcome of Mr LIs discussion with the relevant parties. In the event that the matter was satisfactorily resolved, the Bills Committee would be removed from the waiting list. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee : Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung, Mr Fred LI, Mr Howard YOUNG and Dr LAW Cheung-kwok.
VII Further business for the LegCo sitting on 4 December 1996
Resolution under section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap 1) - to be moved by the Secretary for Economic Services in relation to the Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996
37. The Legal Adviser referred members to the wording of the resolution tabled at the meeting (Appendix) which had been received the day before. The purpose of the resolution was to amend the Chinese text of the Regulation. The drafting of the resolution was in order. The Legal Service Division would issue a written report to members.
(b) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
(i) Crimes (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1996
(ii) The Methodist Church, Hong Kong, Incorporation (Amendment) Bill 1996 - Members Bill to be introduced by Mr LAU Chin-shek
38. The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 4 December 1996 and considered by the House Committee on 6 December 1996.
(c) Bill - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
New Territories Land Exchange Entitlements (Redemption) Bill
39. The Chairman said that members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate of the above Bill be resumed.
VIII Business for the LegCo sitting on 11 December 1996
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 265/96-97)
40. 18 questions (four oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.
41. No statement had been notified.
(c) Government Motion
42. No motion had been notified.
(d) Bill - 1st and 2nd Readings
Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996
43. The Chairman said that the above Bill would be introduced into LegCo on 11 December 1996 and considered by the House Committee on 20 December 1996.
(e) Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
(i) Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill
(ii) Public Order (Amendment) Bill 1996
(Members Bill introduced by Mr James TO)
44. The Chairman said that members had agreed at the meetings on 22 November 1996 and 18 October 1996 respectively that the Second Reading debates on the above Bills be resumed.
(f) Motion debate on "Maintaining Hong Kong-Taiwan Relations"
45. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr Lawrence YUM Sin-ling.
(g) Motion debate on "First Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region"
46. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Miss Emily LAU.
47. The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments to the above motions, if any, was 4 December 1996.
IX Advance information on motion debates for the LegCo sitting on
18 December 1996
(a) Motion debate on "Town Planning Ordinance"
48. Members noted the subject of the motion to be moved by Mr Albert CHAN Wai-yip.
(b) Motion debate on "Regulating credit card business"
49. Members noted the subject of the motion to be moved by Dr LAW Cheung-kwok.
50. The Chairman advised members that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments to, the above motions, if any, were 3 December 1996 and 11 December 1996 respectively.
X Any Other Business
(a) Report of the House Committee delegation to observe the House of Commons debate on 14 November 1996
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 477/96-97)
51. Members noted the report.
(b) Non-Chinese ethnic minorities
(Governors reply of 19 November 1996 to the Chairman on the above subject circulated to members vide LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 499/96-97 dated 21 November 1996)
52. Miss Emily LAU referred members to the Governors reply on members request for the Administration to conduct a registration exercise for the ethnic minorities. She said that, with the exception of the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Hong Kong, members who spoke on the subject in the House of Commons debate were in support of granting full British citizenship to the ethnic minorities. While she noted that Lord Willoughby de Broke had introduced a Members bill into the House of Lords, she was not optimistic about the prospect of the bill. She felt that the only viable solution to the plight of the ethnic minorities was the introduction of a Government Bill. She suggested that the House Committee should pursue the matter further by writing to the Prime Minister.
53. The Chairman said that the Governor had rejected the suggestion of conducting a registration exercise for the ethnic minorities on the grounds that such an exercise would involve considerable resources and that it would be of little practical use. He personally had reservations about the reply.
54. In response to Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Miss LAU said that she did not have an opportunity to lobby the support of the nine members of the Ulster Unionist Party during the delegations recent visit to London.
55. On Mr ARCULLIs suggestion about making reference to the Queens Speech on the subject in the letter to the Prime Minister, the Secretary General said that, as far as he could remember, the Queen did not make any reference to the question of ethnic minorities in her speech at the opening of the Parliament. However, there were reports in the press
about the Queens response to a letter from the ethnic minorities community.
56. After some discussion, members agreed that the Chairman should write to the Queen and the Prime Minister to pursue further the issue of granting British citizenship to the ethnic minorities.
57. The meeting ended at 4:34 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
4 December 1996
Last Updated on 16 August 1999