PLACING RESTRICTIONS ON TEARGAS EXPORTS AND CROWD CONTROL TECHNOLOGY TO HONG KONG ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 162
(House of Representatives - October 15, 2019)

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[Pages H8124-H8127]
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PLACING RESTRICTIONS ON TEARGAS EXPORTS AND CROWD CONTROL TECHNOLOGY TO 
                             HONG KONG ACT

  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 4270) to prohibit commercial exports of certain nonlethal 
crowd control items and defense articles and services to the Hong Kong 
Disciplined Services, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4270

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Placing Restrictions on 
     Teargas Exports and Crowd Control Technology to Hong Kong 
     Act'' or the ``PROTECT Hong Kong Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 
     along with human rights organizations, has called for an 
     investigation of the use of crowd control tactics used in 
     Hong Kong which fall short of international standards, 
     including the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law 
     Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of 
     Force and Firearms for Law Enforcement Officials.
       (2) United States companies have reportedly provided the 
     Hong Kong Police Force with munitions and non-lethal crowd 
     control equipment that were reportedly used by the police.
       (3) Hong Kong citizens and the international community have 
     called for changes to the Hong Kong Police's crowd control 
     tactics and these requests have gone unheeded by the Hong 
     Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

     SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

       It is the policy of the United States--
       (1) to restrict the export of security assistance and crime 
     control and detection instruments and equipment to any 
     government that engages in a consistent pattern of gross 
     violations of internationally recognized human rights, 
     consistent with the requirements of section 502B(a) of the 
     Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2304(a)); and
       (2) to use export controls on crime control and detection 
     instruments and equipment to deter the development of a 
     consistent pattern of human rights abuses, distance the 
     United States from such abuses, and avoid contributing to 
     civil disorder in a country or region, in accordance with 
     section 742.7(b) of part 774 of subtitle B of title 15, Code 
     of Federal Regulations.

[[Page H8125]]

  


     SEC. 4. PROHIBITION ON COMMERCIAL EXPORT OF COVERED DEFENSE 
                   ARTICLES AND SERVICES AND COVERED MUNITIONS 
                   ITEMS TO THE HONG KONG POLICE.

       (a) In General.--Beginning on the date that is 30 days 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act, except as 
     provided in subsection (b), the President shall prohibit the 
     issuance of licenses to export covered defense articles and 
     services and covered munitions items to the Hong Kong Police.
       (b) Waiver.--The prohibition under subsection (a) shall not 
     apply to the issuance of a license with respect to which the 
     President submits to the appropriate congressional 
     committees, not fewer than 30 days before the date of such 
     issuance, a written certification that the exports to be 
     covered by such license are important to the national 
     interests and foreign policy goals of the United States, 
     including a description of the manner in which such exports 
     will promote such interests and goals.
       (c) Termination.--The prohibition under subsection (a) 
     shall terminate on the date on which the President certifies 
     to the appropriate congressional committees that--
       (1) the Hong Kong Police have not engaged in gross 
     violations of human rights during the 1-year period ending on 
     the date of such certification; and
       (2) there has been an independent examination of human 
     rights concerns related to the crowd control tactics of the 
     Hong Kong Police and the Government of the Hong Kong Special 
     Administrative Region has adequately addressed those 
     concerns.

     SEC. 5. REPORT ON COVERED DEFENSE ARTICLES AND SERVICES AND 
                   COVERED MUNITIONS ITEMS EXPORTED TO THE HONG 
                   KONG POLICE.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the 
     Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the heads of 
     other relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall 
     jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 
     report that lists and provides a description of all covered 
     defense articles and services and covered munitions items 
     exported to the Hong Kong Police during the five-year period 
     ending on such date of enactment.
       (b) Form.--The report required by subsection (a) shall be 
     submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified 
     annex.

     SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
     ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
       (A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
     Representatives;
       (B) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
       (C) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of 
     the Senate.
       (2) Covered defense articles and services.--The term 
     ``covered defense articles and services'' means defense 
     articles and defense services designated by the President 
     under section 38(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 
     U.S.C. 2778(a)(1)).
       (3) Covered munitions items.--The term ``covered munitions 
     items'' means--
       (A) items controlled under section 742.7 of part 742 of 
     subtitle B of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations (relating 
     to crime control and detection instruments and equipment and 
     related technology and software); and
       (B) items listed under the ``600 series'' of the Commerce 
     Control List contained in Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of 
     subtitle B of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations.
       (4) Hong kong.--The term ``Hong Kong'' has the meaning 
     given such term in section 3 of the United States-Hong Kong 
     Policy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. 5702).
       (5) Hong kong police.--The term ``Hong Kong Police'' 
     means--
       (A) the Hong Kong Police Force; and
       (B) the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force.

     SEC. 3. DETERMINATION OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS.

       The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of 
     complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall 
     be determined by reference to the latest statement titled 
     ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation'' for this Act, 
     submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the 
     Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such 
     statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Sherman) and the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include 
extraneous materials on H.R. 4270.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Pelosi), Speaker of the House, a woman who has 
dedicated decades of her life to the fight for human rights.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank him for his support of democracy and democratic freedom in Hong 
Kong.
  I want to salute my colleague, Representative Smith of New Jersey, 
with whom I have worked for decades on this subject, whether it is for 
religious freedom or freedom of expression in China.
  I thank Mr. McGovern for his important leadership as chair of the 
China Commission and as chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights 
Commission.
  Right now, we are on the PROTECT Hong Kong Act, as amended, by Mr. 
McGovern, and I rise in support of that legislation and, indeed, the 
bills that are on the floor to support democratic freedom in Hong Kong.
  Mr. Speaker, for 4 months, the young people of Hong Kong have sent a 
stirring message to the world that the dreams of freedom, justice, and 
democracy can never be extinguished by injustice and intimidation. The 
extraordinary outpouring of courage from the people of Hong Kong stands 
in stark contrast to a cowardly government that refuses to respect the 
rule of law or live up to the ``one country, two systems'' framework, 
which was guaranteed more than two decades ago.
  In 1984, before the United Kingdom transferred Hong Kong to China, 
the Chinese Government promised a high degree of autonomy for the 
territory in the Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, 
providing for an independent executive, legislature, and judiciary; 
ensuring the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion; 
prohibiting the central government, the Chinese Government in Beijing, 
from interfering in the affairs that Hong Kong administers on its own 
according to the Basic Law; and pledging a path to universal suffrage.
  In 1997--that is when we were here doing this--when the handover 
occurred, America was hopeful that the people of Hong Kong would 
achieve this high degree of autonomy that they were promised, and this 
was a promise that was participated in by the U.K. Government. Today, 
we must sadly conclude that China has broken that promise.
  For years, the people of Hong Kong have faced a barrage of unjust and 
harsh restrictions on their freedoms, and those who have stood up for 
their rights have been met with a cruel crackdown.
  In Congress, Democrats and Republicans, in the House and in the 
Senate, stand united with the people of Hong Kong. If America does not 
speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, 
then we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights anyplace 
in the world.
  Since Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, many of us, in a bipartisan way, 
have been fighting this fight, and we have seen that commercial 
interests always win. It is always about the money.
  I lost my innocence on human rights in America and China all those 
years ago when I saw that, while we talked a good talk, when it came 
right down to it, it was always about the money.
  Again, to those who want to take the repressive government's side in 
this discussion, I say to you: What does it profit a person if he gains 
the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul?
  We do not want to lose the soul of our country for commercial 
interests, whatever those commercial interests may be.
  It is interesting to hear people say we have to know both sides of 
the story. Do you want to hear both sides?
  One side is a very repressive regime that is crushing democratic 
freedoms in Hong Kong at the same time that they have tried to destroy 
the culture, the language, and the religion, all at the same time as 
they incarcerate in reeducation camps more than 1 million--it could be 
3 million--Uyghur Muslims in China, or they repress religious freedom 
there. The list goes on and on.
  And the other side: young people speaking out for freedoms, 
democratic freedoms, in Hong Kong. They are so impressive.
  Mr. Smith and I have worked, as Mr. McGovern has, with some three 
generations, starting after Tiananmen Square and tanks rolling over 
young people who spoke out for democratic freedoms in China; the next 
generation, a couple, 15 years later; and now this generation of young 
people, so impressive are they that even the more senior

[[Page H8126]]

freedom fighters in Hong Kong are impressed by their courage and their 
stick-to-itiveness.
  Today, the House is proud to pass the bicameral and bipartisan Hong 
Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to reaffirm America's commitment to 
democracy. And that doesn't mean a democracy like this. It means 
democratic freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law in the face of 
Beijing's crackdown.

                              {time}  1615

  And Beijing thinks that they can rule because of money. It always 
comes down to that. I thank Chairman McGovern and Congressman Smith for 
their work to ensure an honest accounting of the situation in Hong 
Kong, and to ensure accountability for those responsible for the 
crackdown.
  We are grateful to Chairman McGovern for his leadership on this 
PROTECT Hong Kong Act which suspends sales of crowd control technology 
and other equipment to the Hong Kong Police Force, as Mr. Sherman 
pointed out earlier. I thank Mr. Sherman for his work on this and thank 
him for his resolution calling for the Hong Kong Government to address 
protestors' demands and condemning police brutality, in addition to 
China's efforts to falsely accuse U.S. diplomats of fueling unrest.
  Last week, Martin Lee, the grandfather of Hong Kong democracy--we 
started working with him decades ago--said: ``We fear Hong Kong will 
become just another Chinese city.'' That means one without any of the 
freedoms that they were guaranteed. The future of Hong Kong, the future 
of autonomy, freedom, and justice for millions is at stake.
  America must stand with Hong Kong. It is very interesting that in the 
first weeks of the demonstration, the first months of the 
demonstration, 2 million people, mostly young people, were in the 
streets. And people were saying: Oh, my heavens, 2 million people 
turning out. And you remember that 2 million is 25 percent of the 
population of Hong Kong which is 8 million people. It is 25 percent of 
the population that was in the streets. And the beat goes on.
  Hopefully, they will hear from this Congress our support for their 
human rights, and that we will not sell our souls for money at the 
expense of our values.
  I also want to thank the distinguished chairman of the committee, Mr. 
Eliot Engel, for his leadership on all of this over time. I urge an 
``aye'' vote on all of the above to join in bipartisan, bicameral 
support for the people of Hong Kong.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern), the author of this important bill, a 
stalwart supporter of human rights.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from 
California for his leadership.
  I rise in support of H.R. 4270, the Placing Restrictions On Teargas 
Exports and Crowd Control Technology to Hong Kong Act, the PROTECT Hong 
Kong Act.
  I am proud to have introduced this bipartisan legislation, along with 
my colleagues Chris Smith and Ro Khanna, that responds to the excessive 
and unnecessary use of force by the Hong Kong police, targeting those 
engaged in peaceful protest. I want to thank the chairman and ranking 
member of the Foreign Affairs Committee for bringing this bill so 
quickly before the House for consideration.
  The PROTECT Hong Kong Act prohibits U.S. exports of defense articles, 
munitions, and police equipment to Hong Kong. Specifically, it stops 
U.S. exports of teargas, pepper spray, grenades, rubber bullets, guns, 
semiautomatic rifles, and such defense articles and munitions to the 
police.
  Let's be clear about what is happening in Hong Kong right now. 
Millions of people from all walks of life, including: young people, 
students, women, seniors, entrepreneurs, teachers, civil servants, and 
workers are standing up to the most powerful, authoritarian government 
in the world. Protesters have inspired the world as they risk their 
lives, their health, their jobs, and their education to fight for the 
future of Hong Kong. They are savvy and strategic. They are using 
technology to mobilize, stay anonymous, and organize. They are 
capturing and extinguishing teargas containers.
  They have taken down, taken apart, and shown the world increasing 
surveillance cameras that monitor everyday Hong Kongers. They are using 
art, music, laser pointers, and the projection of messages on building 
to highlight their struggle.
  They organized a human chain of 200,000 people spanning 37 miles. 
Tenants in Hong Kong's residential buildings organize the shouting of 
slogans from their windows every night with calls and responses echoing 
throughout the city. The people of Hong Kong have made their voices 
loud and clear.
  But instead of listening to them, the Chinese and Hong Kong 
Governments have mishandled the situation at every turn. The world has 
now seen eyewitness evidence compiled by journalists and the media 
showing that police have used excessive force and used equipment in 
violation of manufacturer guidelines and international standards.
  We have seen the police firing rubber bullets and bean bag rounds at 
peaceful protesters at close range. We have seen them launching teargas 
canisters, from high buildings and directly at individuals, into 
crowded and enclosed areas.
  We have seen them failing to give demonstrators visible and audible 
warning before firing, and we have seen them use batons to beat and 
subdue demonstrators and disperse journalists.
  In fact, the situation has been so bad that in June, the British 
Government suspended export licenses for the sale of teargas and crowd 
control equipment until concerns about human rights abuses are 
addressed.
  On August 13, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called for 
an investigation of the use of crowd control tactics in Hong Kong.
  Enough is enough. It is time for American companies to stop selling 
weapons that are being used to suppress peaceful protests. Instead of 
heeding international calls to stop the crackdown, the Hong Kong 
Government continues to make matters worse.
  On October 1 alone, 269 arrests of protesters, spanning the ages of 
12 to 71 were made. Two teenage protesters had been shot with live 
ammunition, and the uptick of violence against journalists has further 
served to inflame public anger against the government and the police.
  Instead of establishing an independent commission of inquiry on 
police conduct to deescalate the situation, the Hong Kong Government 
has formally invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to ban the use 
of masks during public assemblies. This is an impractical and draconian 
step to move the city closer to martial law.
  The Hong Kong Government should repeal this regulation and refrain 
from bypassing oversight and scrutiny by the legislative council in 
making ad hoc regulations. An intensified crackdown will only escalate 
and promote violence, and further tarnish the reputation of Hong Kong 
and its police force.
  At a minimum, it is beyond time for Congress to send a clear message 
that the United States supports the people of Hong Kong, and that we 
will no longer provide assistance to crack down on pro-democracy 
protesters. I urge all of my colleagues to support H.R. 4270, the 
PROTECT Hong Kong Act.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say, I appreciate and respect the 
eloquent remarks of the Speaker just a few moments ago. We are united 
on Hong Kong. I think that is very clear, and we have been working 
together, along with a number of other Members, including some former 
Members, like Frank Wolf from Virginia, who are united in believing 
that freedom, and democracy, and respect for human rights is 
everybody's business, and everybody is entitled to it. These are God-
given rights. So, again, I want to thank the Speaker for her wonderful 
remarks.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4270, the PROTECT Hong 
Kong Act, sponsored by Chairman  Jim McGovern, and I am very proud to 
be a cosponsor on it. The PROTECT Hong Kong Act mandates export 
restrictions on defense articles and munitions to the Hong Kong police.

[[Page H8127]]

  As the largest protest movement Hong Kong has ever seen continues 
into its fifth month, major concerns have arisen about the Hong Kong 
police's independence and professionalism. The people of Hong Kong are 
rightfully furious about well-documented cases of excessive force, 
brutal tactics, and the tolerance of violence against protesters and 
journalists by the government.
  The Hong Kong police's actions are now a cause in and of themselves 
of protest. There has been widespread police misuse of crowd control 
equipment and less lethal weaponry, including incidents that have 
seriously injured journalists. Police have used teargas, rubber 
bullets, water cannons, sponge grenades, pepper spray, and batons 
against demonstrators, some of which, indeed, are American-made 
equipment. In recent weeks two protesters have been shot with live 
rounds.
  Meanwhile, while we discuss a move to ban the sale of such offensive 
equipment, the Hong Kong Government, via executive fiat, has 
simultaneously moved to ban the use by demonstrators of defensive 
equipment used to protect themselves against police attacks; namely, 
gas masks and face masks.
  The PROTECT Hong Kong Act will prohibit the issuing of licenses for 
the export of munitions and crowd control equipment to the Hong Kong 
police. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of 
Commerce and other relevant Federal agencies, will also be required to 
issue a report on what has been sold to the Hong Kong police over the 
past several years.
  These prohibitions will remain in effect until these incidents are 
independently examined and the Hong Kong police have demonstrated truly 
professional conduct.
  In sum, the U.S. should not be complicit in any way, shape, or form 
in violence being used to squash the legitimate demands guaranteed to 
the Hong Kong people by international treaty. That is unacceptable, and 
it is contrary to U.S. interests, and it is contrary to U.S. law.
  I strongly support unanimous support for this measure, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Engel), the chair of the full Foreign Affairs Committee, a 
stalwart supporter of human rights.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for yielding to me. He is a 
valued member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Let me start by 
thanking Mr. McGovern for his hard work on this legislation.
  The relationship between the United States and Hong Kong is rooted in 
our shared values. Among them are a fierce belief in the freedom of 
speech, and the right to assemble. That is why the American people are 
so troubled by the images coming out of Hong Kong lately.
  Hundreds of thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets 
have been met with increasing violence by the Hong Kong Police Force. 
These pro-democracy activists faced teargas, pepper spray, and rubber 
bullets by the police force sworn to supposedly protect them.
  I remember when China took over Hong Kong from the U.K. and said that 
they would adhere to a system of two systems in China, and that the 
people of Hong Kong would have freedom like they had before to speak 
their mind. And here it is, probably about 20 years later, and that is 
already being eroded, taken away, and the people of Hong Kong see that 
they were promised something which isn't being brought forth from the 
Beijing regime.

  Mr. McGovern's measure would ensure that American companies are not 
contributing equipment for the Hong Kong police to use against 
protesters. This bill also calls on the police to take the steps needed 
to address those issues from within. When there are instances of police 
brutality, there must be prompt, independent investigations and proper 
accountability.
  The PROTECT Hong Kong Act shows the people of Hong Kong that the 
United States stands with them in their fight for their freedoms. It 
makes sure that American companies are not facilitating violence 
against brave Democratic protesters.
  It is a shame that it has come to this, but it is really uplifting to 
watch people possess enormous courage in the wake of having their lives 
threatened. In the wake of having their society destroyed, they stood 
up and they are standing up to the Beijing regime and to the people who 
would try to strip them of their basic freedoms.
  I think that we all, no matter where we are on this planet, have to 
admire the brave people of Hong Kong. We had the good fortune of 
meeting a number of the protesters when Speaker Pelosi called a press 
conference a few weeks ago, and we talked about this bill. It was 
really heartening to be able to speak to these young people one-on-one. 
These are young people who have shown just enormous amounts of courage. 
And they should know that the United States will always support them, 
will continue to support them, and we won't stop until the people of 
Hong Kong have their democracy and the freedom they deserve.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 4270.

                              {time}  1630

  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for 
time, so I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume 
for the purpose of closing.
  The people of Hong Kong have the right to peaceably assemble without 
fear of violence. They need to know that their friends in the United 
States are not providing tools of the violent repression being used 
against them.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support H.R. 4270, and I urge all 
Members of the House to do likewise. I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4270, 
the ``PROTECT Hong Kong Act.''
  H.R. 4270 calls for the President to prohibit the issuance of export 
licenses for nonlethal crowd control items and defense articles to the 
Hong Kong police.
  This prohibition will be terminated once the Hong Kong police have 
stopped engaging in a pattern of gross human rights abuses, and there 
has been an independent investigation conducted on policy brutality.
  During the 2019 anti-extradition bill and pro-democracy protests, the 
Hong Kong Police Force used non-lethal crowd control articles such as 
water cannon trucks, tear gas, rubber bullets, sponge grenades, beanbag 
rounds, batons, pepper spray, pepper balls, and projectile launchers.
  Hong Kong citizens and the international community have called for 
changes to the Hong Kong Police's crowd control tactics and these 
requests have gone unheeded by the Hong Kong Special Administrative 
Region government.
  I applaud the efforts and sacrifices pro-democracy activists have 
made and they ought to know that the United States fully supports their 
desire for freedom and peace, and we strongly condemn the violent and 
oppressive tactics of the Hong Kong police.
  When enacted, H.R. 4270 will prohibit the issuance of licenses to 
export covered defense articles and services and covered munitions 
items to the Hong Kong Disciplined Services.
  As a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security I find 
it important to increase bilateral relations with allies and abroad to 
help eliminate the injustices of the world.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 4270 
to confront the pattern of gross human rights abuses which pose a 
strong threat to the democratic values we work to protect.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Sherman) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 4270, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  The title of the bill was amended so as to read: ``A bill to prohibit 
commercial exports of certain nonlethal crowd control items and defense 
articles and services to the Hong Kong Police, and for other 
purposes.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________