Opinion No. 1036
CONFERRAL OF COMMONWEALTH POWERS ON STATE OFFICERS: FEDERAL-STATE CO-OPERATION IN DEALING WITH STEALING ON WHARVES
CUSTOMS ACT 1901
07 January 1921
The Comptroller-General of Customs
The Acting Comptroller-General, Department of Trade and Customs, forwards the following letter from the Premier of Western Australia for advice:
Arrangements have been made by this Government for the appointment of a special staff of police at Fremantle to deal with pillaging of ships' cargoes, and such staff has already been brought into being.
In connection with this matter, and as a result of conferences that have taken place with representatives of the shipping companies in this State, it has been suggested that the State Police should be armed with the same powers of search as are granted to Customs officials under the Customs Act. To enable this to be done it has been pointed out that a very short amendment of the Customs Act would be necessary and I should be glad if your Government could see its way clear to agree to such legislation being introduced at an early date.
In my opinion the State of Western Australia already possesses full power to legislate in regard to pilfering, and to give to its Police officials such powers of search as are necessary. If, however, it is desired to co-operate with the State in regard to this matter, I think the attached draft amendment(1) of the Customs Act would enable this to be done.
[Vol. 17, p.190]
(1) The proposed amendment, in the form of a new section (278) to be inserted in the Act, read:
‘The Governor-General may from time to time make arrangements with the Governor of any State with a view to co-operating with the State in the prevention and detection of offences against this Act or against any State Act, and for this purpose may confer on any State officers all or any of the powers conferred by this Act on officers of Customs‘.