Opinion No. 1
NAVIGATION AND SHIPPING
WHETHER FEES COLLECTED BY REGISTRAR OF SHIPPING PASS TO COMMONWEALTH : WHETHER COMMONWEALTH HAS POWER TO DIRECT DISPOSAL OF SUCH FEES
CONSTITUTION, ss. 69, 89 : INTERPRETATION ACT 1889 (IMP.), s. 18 : MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT 1894 (IMP.), ss. 4. 62
15 March 1901
The Collector of Customs of New South Wales performs the duties of Registrar of Shipping under the Merchant Shipping Act 1894. He has since 1 January 1901 ceased to pay his collections as Registrar into the State Treasury and contends that they are appropriately those of the Commonwealth and not of the State.
In this he appears to me to be right. Where, as at Sydney, there is a Collector of Customs he is the only person authorised to render the services and collect the fees for rendering them under the Merchant Shipping A ct 1894,5 7 & 5 8 Vic. c. 60, section 4.
The Department of Customs and Excise of New South Wales having been transferred to the Commonwealth on 1 January 1901 (63 & 64 Vic. c. 12(1), section 69) the fees earned by the Collector and his assistants as officers of the Department are naturally paid into the Commonwealth Treasury by him.
All parts of a dominion under a central legislature are deemed one British possession though there may be a local legislature as well (52 & 53 Vic. c. 63(2), section 18).
The Executive Government of the Commonwealth is therefore empowered under 57 & 58 Vic. c. 60, section 62, to direct as to the disposal of the collections. In this case they must be credited to the State of New South Wales under and subject to 63 & 64 Vice. 12, section 89.
[Vol. 1, p. 40]