I have been asked to advise as to whether it would be constitutional to provide:
Opinion Number. 1737
BANKING: POWER TO PROHIBIT TRADING BANKS TRADING WITH CERTAIN PUBLIC AUTHORITIES: MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS AND STATES: POWER TO PRESCRIBE THAT BANKING BUSINESS OF SUCH AUTHORITIES WILL BE EXCLUSIVELY WITH COMMONWEALTH BANK: EXTENT OF BANKING POWER: POWER TO PROHIBIT BANKING IN GENERAL AND PARTICULAR BANKING
CONSTITUTION s 51(v), (xiii) : POSTS AND TELEGRAPH ACT 1901
Opinion Number. 1738
NATIONALISATION OF COAL INDUSTRY: ACQUISITION AND OPERATION BY COMMONWEALTH OF PARTICULAR COAL MINES IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN SUPPLY OF COAL FOR ITS OWN NEEDS: EXTENT OF DEFENCE POWER: EXTENT OF DEFENCE POWER IN PEACETIME: ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY ON JUST TERMS
CONSTITUTION s 51(vi)
I am in receipt of your letter of 5th January relative to your earlier request for an opinion as to whether there is any legal impediment to action by the Commonwealth Government to nationalise the coal industry if it should desire to do so.
Unfortunately, I have been away from the office for some time in consequence of a surgical operation which took place early in November. I have only within the last few days returned to the office. I regret that there has been considerable delay answering your letter.
Opinion Number. 1739
BANKING POWERS IN PEACETIME: "BANKING":
REGULATION OF INTEREST RATES, CREDIT POLICY, OVERSEAS EXCHANGE AND INVESTMENT, TRADING BANK RESERVES: FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS OTHER THAN BANKS: POWER TO REQUIRE TRADING BANKS TO DEPOSIT SURPLUS INVESTIBLE FUNDS WITH COMMONWEALTH BANK: REQUIREMENT THAT TRADING BANKS MAINTAIN MINIMUM RESERVE AT COMMONWEALTH BANK: WHETHER ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
CONSTITUTION s 51(i), (ii), (iv), (xii), (xiii), (xvi), (xx), (xxix), (xxxi), (xxxix): BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT 1867 (30 Vict. c. 3) s 91(15), (16), (19): ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT 1901 s 15A: MONEYLENDERS ACT 1927 (U.K.) (17 & 18 Geo. V c. 21) s 4(3): MONEY LENDERS ACT 1938 (Vic) s 24(2): CO-OPERATION ACT 1923
The Treasurer has asked a number of questions relating to the constitutional powers of the Commonwealth, in time of peace, with respect to banking and certain other cognate financial matters. To answer these questions has required extensive investigations, not only into some more or less uncharted fields of Australian constitutional law, but also into some branches of the constitutional law of the United States and Canada. It will be necessary to state my opinion at some length.
Opinion Number. 1740
INCOME TAX: PROPOSAL TO ALLOW CONCESSIONAL DEDUCTION TO RESIDENTS OF CERTAIN AREAS: DISCRIMINATION BASED ON GEOGRAPHICAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DISABILITIES: WHETHER PROHIBITED AS DISCRIMINATION OR PREFERENCE
CONSTITUTION ss 51(ii), 99: INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT ACT 1936
The Commissioner of Taxation has forwarded the following memorandum to me for advice:
A draft Cabinet minute has been prepared proposing amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act, one of which is to allow an income tax deduction to all taxpayers residing in certain defined areas of the Commonwealth. The relative part of the draft minute reads as follows:
The proposals contained in this submission are that some measures of relief from taxation should be granted–
Opinion Number. 1741
AUSTRALIAN NATIONALITY: WHETHER AUSTRALIANS HAVE, IN LAW, A NATIONALITY AS DISTINCT FROM A BRITISH NATIONALITY: LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF CANADIAN AND SOUTH AFRICAN LAWS CONFERRING ON CANADIANS OR SOUTH AFRICANS NATIONAL STATUS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF BRITISH SUBJECTS: EFFECT IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: POWER OF COMMONWEALTH TO PASS LAWS RELATING TO AUSTRALIAN NATIONALITY
NATIONALITY ACT 1920: CANADIAN NATIONALITY ACT 1921(Can): IMMIGRATION ACT 1927 (Can): UNION NATIONALITY AND FLAGS ACT 1927 (South Africa)
I forward herewith, for such action as you consider appropriate, a copy of correspondence with Mrs B. of Sydney on the question of whether Australians have, in law, a nationality as distinct from a British nationality.
For your information, I append a statement of the position as it appears to me.
In his radio reply Dr. C. stated, inter alia, that Australians have no legal nationality and that there is not an Australian nationality as distinct from a British nationality.
Opinion Number. 1742
PREFERENCE IN EMPLOYMENT TO DISCHARGED SERVICEMEN
POWER OF COMMONWEALTH TO GRANT PREFERENCE IN EMPLOYMENT TO DISCHARGED SERVICEMEN: DEFENCE POWER: INCIDENTAL POWER: EXTENT OF POWER IN PEACETIME: CRITERIA FOR MEASUREMENT OF REASONABLY NECESSARY PERIOD FOR PREFERENCE
CONSTITUTION s 51(vi), (xxxix)
We have been asked to advise as to whether it is within the powers of the Commonwealth to legislate with regard to the grant to persons who have been members of the Forces, of preference in employment, whether by the Commonwealth or otherwise, for an indefinite period or for a limited period after the termination of the war.
Opinion Number. 1743
TRANSMISSION OF COMMONWEALTH ACTS TO DOMINIONS OFFICE
COMMONWEALTH ACTS: NUMBER OF COPIES TO BE SIGNED BY GOVERNOR-GENERAL: CHANNEL OF TRANSMISSION OF ACTS TO DOMINIONS OFFICE: RESERVATION OF BILL FOR ROYAL ASSENT: EXERCISE OF POWER OF DISALLOWANCE ON ADVICE OF COMMONWEALTH MINISTERS
INSTRUCTIONS PASSED UNDER THE ROYAL SIGN MANUAL AND SIGNET TO THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA dated 29 October 1900 para VII: CONSTITUTION s 59
I refer to the following matters raised some little time ago by the Official Secretary to the Governor-General.
Opinion Number. 1744
NATIONAL MARKETING SCHEMES
NATIONAL SCHEME FOR MARKETING OF EGGS: POWER OF COMMONWEALTH TO IMPLEMENT SCHEME FOR MARKETING OF EGGS ON AUSTRALIA-WIDE BASIS IN POST-WAR PERIOD: DEFENCE POWER: FACILITATION OF RETURN OF AUSTRALIAN ECONOMIC AFFAIRS TO PEACE-TIME CONDITIONS: TRADE AND COMMERCE POWER: REFERRAL OF POWER: REFERRAL OF POWER BY SOME STATES ONLY: FREEDOM OF INTERSTATE TRADE: PREFERENCE TO OR DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN STATES
CONSTITUTION ss 51(i), (vi), (xxxvii), 92, 99: NATIONAL SECURITY (EGG INDUSTRY) REGULATIONS
The Minister for Commerce and Agriculture:
I refer to your letter of 9th January, 1945, addressed to the Attorney-General, forwarding copies of papers received by you from the Egg Producers Council and requesting that the Attorney-General should advise on certain questions formulated by the Council concerning the power of the Commonwealth to implement a scheme for the marketing of eggs on an Australia-wide basis in the post-war period.
Opinion Number. 1745
RE-ESTABLISHMENT AND EMPLOYMENT
RE-ESTABLISHMENT AND EMPLOYMENT BILL 1945: DEFENCE POWER: POWER OF COMMONWEALTH TO PRESCRIBE WAGES AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR RETURNED SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN AS PART OF PREFERENCE PROPOSALS: PROVISIONS INCIDENTAL TO REINSTATEMENT PROVISIONS
CONSTITUTION s 51(vi): RE-ESTABLISHMENT AND EMPLOYMENT BILL 1945
I refer to your memorandum dated 14th March, 1945, in which you ask for advice as to the Constitutional power of the Commonwealth ‘to prescribe wages and conditions of employment for returned servicemen and women, as part of the Commonwealth’s Preference proposals’.
In reply, I desire to inform you that I do not think the Commonwealth’s power to legislate with respect to defence extends so far. In my view, the Commonwealth has no power to prescribe the terms and conditions of employment of persons merely because they were at one time members of the Forces.
Opinion Number. 1746
BORROWING BY STATE GOVERNMENTS BORROWING BY STATE GOVERNMENTS: NATIONAL HOUSING SCHEME: POWER OF COMMONWEALTH TO RAISE FUNDS REQUIRED AND MAKE FROM THOSE FUNDS ADVANCES TO STATE GOVERNMENTS ON STATED TERMS AND CONDITIONS REGARDING REPAYMENT: POWER TO BORROW MONEY ON PUBLIC CREDIT OF COMMONWEALTH: POWER TO GRANT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ANY STATE ON SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS PARLIAMENT THINKS FIT
CONSTITUTION ss 51(iv), 96: FINANCIAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, THE STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES, THE STATE OF VICTORIA, THE STATE OF QUEENSLAND, THE STATE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, THE STATE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, and THE STATE OF TASMANIA dated 12 December 1927
I refer to your memorandum herein dated 4th July, 1945. The question for determination is whether, for the purpose of providing capital funds for housing purposes of the States under the National Housing Scheme, it would be legally in order for the Commonwealth itself to raise the funds required and make from those funds advances to the State Governments on stated terms and conditions regarding repayment.