THE Government is expecting major battles to get many of its bills through the new Legislative Council, according to a confidential internal circular obtained by the Sunday Morning Post. It warns that at least 39 bills in the target legislative programme will prove highly or moderately controversial in the coming Legco session. Only 13 are expected to go through largely unopposed. A sanitised summary of the circular will be published with the Governor's policy address on Wednesday. However, the full version predicts potential battles with the democrats over telephone tapping and expanding the ombudsman's remit, car retailers over plans to prevent price-fixing and gun owners and dog lovers over new ownership restrictions. Other likely flashpoints include plans to amend the law on treason and sedition, moves to legalise donations to legislators, the long-postponed Broadcasting Bill and measures to liberalise the subscription television market. The list warns that the Government's social welfare legislation, designed to provide more protection for the young and mentally handicapped, is expected to come under fire for being too late and inadequate. Tough measures against foreign workers are proposed, with a bill to force employers to check travel documents of employees not holding permanent identity cards. The programme reveals that the administration has bowed to pressure in some areas, agreeing to the Democratic Party's call for bilingual safety labelling of consumer goods and for improved maternity protection. It has also responded to demands from women's groups to make it easier to convict rapists by abolishing the requirement to warn juries about the uncorroborated evidence of a sex attack victim. Sixty-eight bills are provisionally scheduled before next February, but are not rated in order of controversy. Another 52 are being considered for the second half of the coming legislative session, with officials carefully listing how much opposition they may face. Deputy Director of Administration Paul Tang Kwok-wai, whose office compiled the list, said 'some may fall by the way' since the legislative programme was 'ongoing and fluid'. The number of bills finally passed is not expected to be much more than the 104 in last year's session. In some cases, policy branches may even change their minds about introducing a bill. 'We are concerned this has got into your hands because it's an internal document,' Mr Tang said. 'But there is nothing sinister about it. We need to have an assessment of what problems might arise so we can argue our case properly when we go to Legco.' Only 50 bills will be detailed in the public version of the legislative programme's highlights, to be released this Wednesday, nor will any dates or indications of areas of controversy be included. But Mr Tang insisted that no bill would be kept secret just because it was controversial. Officials yesterday refused to comment on most parts of the programme for fear of being seen to leak anything from the policy address. But an annex to the circular reveals that many wish to push their bills through particularly fast, with nine appeals for early slots. These include Secretary for Transport Haider Barma, who wants the surviving part of his proposals to cut traffic congestion passed before next March's budget. His proposals remove tax perks for company cars and make it easier for the Government to raise licence fee and tunnel tolls. He also fears that a later bill, to bar car sellers from 'artificially suppressing' vehicle retail prices, will be attacked as a money-making bid. The target programme reveals widespread concern that legislators may hijack bills and try to extend them. It warns that plans to allow the ombudsman more flexibility in his investigation procedures and include more organisations within his remit, will be highly controversial, with Legco likely to try to amend the bill to include the police and Independent Commission Against Corruption, which the Government opposes. Fears are expressed that the Democratic Party will amend a proposed telecommunications bill - needed for new mobile networks - to sharply restrict phone-tapping. There are also warnings that a bill to give more rights to the mentally handicapped, by distinguishing them from the mentally ill, will prove highly controversial and be attacked by parents' groups as 'long overdue'. Legislation to prohibit convicted offenders from acting as child minders may prompt demands for compulsory registration, which a Health and Welfare Branch spokesman yesterday said they would oppose. Even mundane matters are seen as potentially controversial. Officials fear dog-owners may oppose a bill to regulate the keeping and control of dangerous breeds such as pit-bull terriers, while those with a 'special interest in shooting' will be unhappy at a bid to strengthen licensing control over firearms and regulation of gun clubs. More sensitive is a bill to legalise donations to sitting legislators, municipal council and district board members, which may be illegal because of their status as 'public officers' in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Now being considered by the Constitutional Affairs Branch, which provisionally plans to table it in May, the target programme warns that this bill is likely to prove highly controversial. Tentatively scheduled for July 1996 is a more sensitive bill to enact provisions on treason and sedition compatible with the Basic Law, which can continue beyond 1997. This is still being discussed in the Joint Liaison Group and cannot be introduced without Beijing's blessing. There are another 13 localised laws listed as awaiting China's consent.