It is contended by the representatives of some of the shipping companies that deserters from British ships cannot be treated as 'prohibited immigrants' under the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, nor the companies be made liable under that Act in respect of deserters-this contention being founded on the argument that such deserters can only be dealt with under the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, sections 223, 224.
Opinion Number. 51
DESERTERS FROM BRITISH SHIPS WHETHER PROHIBITED, IMMIGRANTS
IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION ACT 1901, s. 3 : MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT 1894 (IMP.), ss. 223, 224
Opinion Number. 52
IMPOSITION OF UNIFORM DUTIES OF CUSTOMS DISPOSITION OF REVENUES BEFORE IMPOSITION AND DURING FIRST FIVE YEARS THEREAFTER
CONSTITUTION, ss. 89, 92, 93
Opinion Number. 53
COMMONWEALTH PROPERTY LIABILITY FOR WATER RATES : PAYMENT ACCORDING TO FLOOR SPACE . POWER OF COMMONWEALTH TO LEGISLATE FOR SUPPLY OF WATER
The Mackay Water Authority has rendered a voucher for £12, being rates for the Custom House on 4,799 square feet at 5s per 100 square feet.
The Sub-Collector on 3 March wrote informing the Town Clerk that rates could only be charged by meter; but the Town Clerk replied that the Municipal by-laws provide that all charges to Government buildings should be made on the superficial area of the floor, and that the Council intends to adhere to this system, and will refuse to supply water on any other terms.
Opinion Number. 54
DEFENCE FORCES WHETHER COMMISSIONS GRANTED TO MILITARY OFFICERS PRIOR TO TRANSFER OF MILITARY FORCES TO COMMONWEALTH SHOULD BE ISSUED BY GOVERNOR-GENERAL OR STATE GOVERNORS : RETROSPECTIVE APPOINTMENTS
In the several States a number of commissions granted to military officers prior to the transfer of the Military Forces to the Commonwealth (1 March 1901) have not yet been issued.
In some of the States such commissions have been issued subsequently to 1 March bearing the signature of the State Governor. All such commissions are so worded as to date antecedent to 1 March, though the date of signature is subsequent.
Opinion Number. 55
CUSTOMS DUTY WHETHER COMMONWEALTH HAS POWER TO IMPOSE DUTY ON GOODS BELONGING TO AND IMPORTED BY STATE GOVERNMENT : WHETHER IMPORT DUTY IS TAX ON PROPERTY
CONSTITUTION, ss. 51 (ii), (xxxi), 53, 55, 85, 93, 106, 107, 114 : INCOME TAX ACT 1842 (IMP.) : BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT 1867 (IMP.), s. 125 : CUSTOMS TARIFF ACT 1897 (CAN.)
The question is whether the Commonwealth can constitutionally impose import duties on goods belonging to and imported by the Government of a State.
Section 114 of the Constitution provides as follows:
A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth . . . impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.
The question resolves itself into this: Is an import duty a tax on property within the meaning of this section?
Opinion Number. 56
PRODUCTION OF TELEGRAMS AUTHORISATION BY POSTMASTER-GENERAL IN INTERESTS OF JUSTICE
POST AND TELEGRAPH ACT 1901, s. 127
The Commissioner of Police at Perth, Western Australia has requested the Deputy Postmaster-General to let him have an original telegram forwarded over the signature of A.B. on 6 March from Fremantle to C.B., Kalgoorlie; also the undelivered reply to same of 7 March for court purposes, A.B. being in custody.
Opinion Number. 57
EXCISE DUTY REBATE ON SUGAR FOR EMPLOYMENT OF WHITE LABOUR IN PRODUCTION OF SUGAR CANE : WHAT AMOUNTS TO WHITE LABOUR : ABORIGINES, HALF-CASTES
EXCISE TARIFF 1902
With reference to the provision of the Tariff which allows a rebate of excise duties on sugar 'on all sugar cane delivered for manufacture, and in the production of which sugar cane white labour only has been employed', the Minister for Trade and Customs asks to be advised on the following points:
Opinion Number. 58
TELEGRAPHIC AND TELEPHONIC SERVICES WHETHER POSTMASTER-GENERAL HAS POWER TO LOP TREES ON STATE RAILWAY PROPERTY
POST AND TELEGRAPH ACT 1901, s. 87
The Postmaster-General asks to be advised whether section 87 of the Post and Telegraph Act applies to trees growing on the railway property of a State.
Opinion Number. 59
CUSTOMS DUTY DATE OF IMPOSITION : RETROSPECTIVE LEGISLATION
CUSTOMS TARIFF 1902 : FINANCE ACT 1901 (IMP.).ss. 2, 3
The Customs Duties Bill(1) as at present drafted purports to impose duties of customs as from 8 October 1901.
If it becomes law in that form I think that it must be conceded that the imposition of uniform duties dates from that date, unless it is beyond the power of the Parliament to pass a law in that form.
Opinion Number. 60
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS POSITION OF COMMONWEALTH AND STATES IN RELATION TO INTERNATIONAL SANITARY CONVENTION : ADHERENCE : IMPLEMENTATION : COMMONWEALTH AS CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN STATES AND OTHER POWERS : TRADE AND COMMERCE : QUARANTINE : SANITATION OF SHIPPING
CONSTITUTION, ss. 51 (i). (ix). (xxix), 98
The Prime Minister wishes to be advised what legal or constitutional difficulties if any exist to the adherence of the Commonwealth to the Venice International Sanitary Convention.(1)
This matter is distinctly one of the external affairs of the Commonwealth which should be dealt with by its Government.
Any neglect to adhere to the Convention or comply with its requirements might seriously injure the trade and commerce of Australia of which the Commonwealth is sole guardian.