WAR PRECAUTIONS: IMMIGRATION: DELEGATION OF MINISTERIAL POWERS BRITISH SUBJECT ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA REQUIRED TO TAKE OATH BEFORE BEING PERMITTED TO LAND: EFFECT OF TEMPORARY VISIT ASHORE BEFORE LANDING': WHETHER MINISTER CAN DELEGATE POWER TO PREVENT INTENDING IMMIGRANT FROM ENTERING COMMONWEALTH
IMMIGRATION ACT 1901-1920, ss. 3, 3J: WAR PRECAUTIONS ACT REPEAL ACT 1920, s. 9(1)
The Secretary, Department of Home and Territories, has submitted the following memorandum to me for advice:
With reference to section 9, sub-section (1) of the War Precautions Act Repeal Act 1920, which reads:
When any British subject arrives from overseas at any port in the Commonwealth, a prescribed officer may require him, before he is permitted to land in the Commonwealth, to make and subscribe an oath or affirmation in the form in the Schedule to this Act.
I shall be glad to learn whether the phrase 'before he is permitted to land in the Commonwealth' would preclude an officer from taking action under this provision after the person has landed at a port of call in Australia but prior to his landing at the port of his intended debarkation. For example, in the case of a British subject arriving via Fremantle and booked through to Sydney, if he landed during the vessel's stay at Fremantle and resumed his journey in the same ship, could he be required say at Adelaide to take the oath?
Another point on which advice is desired is whether in the case of a British subject who is an 'immigrant' but not a prohibited immigrant under section 3, paragraphs (a) to (gg) inclusive of the Immigration Act 1901-1920, the Minister could delegate power under section 3J of the Act to an officer with a view to preventing the immigrant from entering the Commonwealth pending consideration as to whether he should be required to take the oath or not.
In my opinion the expression 'permitted to land' in section 9 of the War Precautions Act Repeal Act 1920 relates to any 'landing' of the person whether at a port of call or at the port of final destination. The fact that a person had temporarily gone ashore at a port en route without being called upon to comply with section 9 does not debar an officer from taking action at the port of destination.
The Immigration Act 1901-1920 contains no express power whereby the Minister may delegate his authority. Any action under section 3J must, I think, be taken under direction of the Minister and relating to a specified intending immigrant.