Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. CB(2) 574

Ref : PLC/HC/4

House Committee of the Provisional Legislative Council

Minutes of the meeting held at the Legislative Council Chamber at 3:45 pm on Friday, 7 November 1997

Members present :

Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Hon IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon KAN Fook-yee
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon LO Suk-ching
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk

Members absent :

Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP

Clerk in attendance :

Mrs Justina LAM
Clerk to the House Committee

Staff in attendance :

Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP
Secretary General

Mr Jimmy MA
Legal Adviser

Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
Deputy Secretary General

Mr LEE Yu-sang
Senior Assistant Legal Adviser

Ms Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1

Assistant Secretary General 3

Miss Anita HO
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

Mrs Anna LO
Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)

Ms Kathleen LAU
Chief Public Information Officer

Mr LAW Wing-lok
Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5

Mrs Betty LEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1

Mrs Eleanor CHOW
Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8

I.Confirmation of the minutes of the 23rd meeting held on 31 October 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 519)

1.The minutes were confirmed.

II.Matters arising

  1. Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)
    1. Introduction of legislation into Council
    2. 2.Regarding legislation intended to be dealt with by the Provisional Legislative Council (PLC), the Chairman said that the Administration would introduce all bills before the end of February 1998 and gazette all subsidiary legislation by mid-March 1998 at the latest. In addition, the Administration would present the draft subsidiary legislation on the Mandatory Provident Fund System before the end of November 1997.

    3. Delay in presenting papers to Panels by the Administration
    4. 3.The Chairman said that CS had undertaken to remind policy bureaux to present papers to PLC Panels as soon as practicable. He added that CS had requested that in normal circumstances, 10 days' notice of a Panel meeting be given to the Administration. The Chairman stressed the need for cooperation between the PLC and the Administration and asked that he be informed should delay in presenting papers to Panels occur again.

  2. Chief Executive's Question and Answer Session
  3. 4.The Chairman said that a Chief Executive's Question and Answer Session would be held on 15 January 1998. Members would be advised of the topics for the session nearer the time.

  4. Employment (Amendment)(No. 5) Bill 1997
  5. 5.The Chairman said that he would ask the Administration to explain why it had decided to defer the resumption of Second Reading debate on the Employment (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 1997, which was scheduled to take place on 5 November 1997.Chairman

III.Business arising from previous Council meetings

Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 5 November 1997 (gazetted on 31 October 1997)

(PLC Paper No. LS 44)

6.The Legal Adviser explained that the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) (Legislative Council) Regulation set out the procedure for the preparation and publication of a provisional register and a final register of electors for geographical constituencies for the 1998 Legislative Council election. He pointed out that although the provisions of the Regulation were broadly similar to those of the former Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) Regulation, there were some new provisions in the current Regulation as detailed in the paper. He added that the Regulation had already come into operation on 5 November 1997.

7.The Deputy Chairman said that although the Regulation had come into operation, he suggested that a subcommittee be formed to study the Regulation given its importance. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join the subcommittee : Mr IP Kwok-him, Mr James TIEN, Mr Henry WU, Mr YEUNG Yiu-chung, Mr CHENG Kai-nam and Mr Howard YOUNG.

8.The Legal Adviser said that a set of regulation on arrangements for registration of electors for functional constituencies and the Election Committee was being finalised and would probably be gazetted in the following week. He suggested that this set of regulation should also be studied by the newly formed subcommittee. Members agreed.

9.The Chairman reminded members that the deadlines for giving notice to amend the Regulation on 3 December 1997 or to extend the scrutiny period to 10 December 1997 were 26 November and 28 November 1997 respectively. If the scrutiny period was extended, the deadline for giving notice to amend the Regulation on 10 December 1997 was 3 December 1997.

10.Members raised no queries on the other 11 items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.

IV.Further business for the Council meeting on 12 November 1997

  1. Questions

  2. (PLC Paper No. CB(3) 322)

    11.Members noted the new Question 3 to be asked by Mr CHENG Kai-nam as detailed in the paper.

  3. Bill - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
  4. 12.The Chairman said that the Administration had given notice to resume the Second Reading debate on the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 1997 on 12 November 1997.

V.Business for the Council meeting on 19 November 1997

  1. Questions

  2. (PLC Paper No. CB(3) 323)

    13.The Chairman said that 20 questions (6 oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.

  3. Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
  4. 14.No notice had been received.

  5. Bills - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading
  6. 15.No notice had been received.

  7. Motions
    1. Resolution under section 12 of the Trading Funds Ordinance (Cap. 430) - to be moved by the Secretary for the Treasury

    2. (PLC Paper No. LS 43)

      16.The Chairman said that the resolution sought to close the Sewage Services Trading Fund on 31 March 1998. The Administration had briefed the Panel on Environmental Affairs about the proposal on 19 September 1997. The legal and drafting aspects of the resolution were in order.

      17.Members raised no queries on the resolution.

    3. Four resolutions under Section 62 of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel Ordinance (Cap. 203), Section 54 of the Eastern Harbour Crossing Ordinance (Cap. 215), Section 35 of the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Ordinance (Cap. 393) and Section 32 of the Western Harbour Crossing Tunnel Ordinance (Cap. 436) - to be moved by the Secretary for Transport

    4. (PLC Paper No. LS 45)

      18.The Chairman said that the main purpose of the above four resolutions was to amend the respective principal Bylaws so as to allow vehicles carrying fuels, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), for their propulsion only to pass through the four tunnels concerned. The legal and drafting aspects of the resolutions were in order.

      19.Members raised no queries on the above four resolutions.

  8. Members' motions
    1. Motion on " Concern for environmental problems in Hong Kong "
    2. 20.Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin.

    3. Motion on " Increase of bus fares'
    4. 21.Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung.

      22.The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 12 November 1997. The normal speaking time limits would apply.

VI.Advance information on motions for the Council meeting on 26 November 1997

  1. Motion on " Assisting Hong Kong's service industries"
  2. 23.Members noted that Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen had given notice to move the above motion.

  3. Motion on 'sale of public rental flats scheme "
  4. 24.Members noted that Mr Frederick FUNG Kin-kee had given notice to move the above motion.

    25.The Chairman said that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments if any, to the above motions were 11 November 1997 and 19 November 1997 respectively.


  1. Position report on Bills Committees/Subcommittees

  2. (PLC Paper No. CB(2) 523)

    26.The Chairman said that there were two subcommittees and one Bills Committee in action. The subcommittee on subsidiary legislation gazetted on 17 October 1997 relating to fee increases had completed work and would report under agenda item VII(b). Members had earlier agreed, under agenda item III, to form a subcommittee to study the subsidiary legislation on arrangements for registration of electors for the Legislative Council election in 1998.

  3. Report of the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation gazetted on 17 October 1997 relating to fee increases

  4. (PLC Paper No. CB(2) 527)

    27.Mr CHAN Kam-lam reported that the subcommittee had recommended that the eight items of subsidiary legislation on fee increases be supported.

VIII.Any other business

  1. Legislative Council Building Open Day
  2. 28.The Chairman said that The Provisional Legislative Council Commission (the Commission) had decided to hold a Legislative Council Building Open Day on 7 February 1998. He added that detailed arrangements were being worked out by the Secretariat and asked members to forward ideas or suggestions, if any, to the Secretary General.

  3. Relocation of Members' Offices at West Wing, Central Government Offices
  4. 29.The Chairman said that the Administration had proposed that the Members' offices situated at Central Government Offices, West Wing be relocated to Murray Building in July 1998. The Administration's proposal was considered by the Commission on 6 November 1997. Commission members objected to the proposal given that the offices had just been newly fitted out. Relocation would be a waste of public funds.

    30.Members generally felt that the Administration's proposal was ill-conceived and showed a lack of forward planning. Members were of the unanimous view that the proposal was unacceptable and that the House Committee's objection should be made known to the Administration. Members requested that the Administration should consider the provision of a dedicated building for the Legislative Council as a long term solution. The Chairman undertook to reflect members' views to the Administration.Chairman

  5. Protest action by April Fifth Action Group
  6. 31.Mr CHAN Choi-hi asked the Chairman to clarify his remarks to the media regarding the recent protest action by members of the April Fifth Action Group inside the Council Chamber.

    32.The Chairman responded that the Commission had discussed the matter at its meeting on 6 November 1997. He considered it inappropriate for the incident to be further discussed by the House Committee.

    33.The meeting ended at 4:10 pm.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
12 November 1997