Bounties whether queensland government may grant bounty additional to Commonwealth bounty on production of seed cotton in queensland: requirement for consent of both houses of Commonwealth Parliament
Constitution ss 90, 91
The Comptroller-General has asked for advice upon the following question which is set out in a telegram received by him from Mr. Bernard Corser, a member of the Queensland State Parliament:
Does Federal Constitution debar Queensland Government granting bonus on seed cotton produced in Queensland additional to Commonwealth bounty?
The bonus referred to by Mr. Corser would, in my opinion, be a bounty on the production of goods within the meaning of sections 90 and 91 of the Constitution.
Section 90 of the Commonwealth Constitution provides that on the imposition of uniform duties of customs the power of the Parliament to impose duties of customs and of exercise and to grant bounties on the production or export of goods shall become exclusive. The section further provides that on the imposition of uniform duties of customs all laws of the several States, inter alia, offering bounties on the production of goods shall cease to have effect.
Section 91 of the Constitution provides that nothing in this Constitution prohibits a State from granting any aid to or bounty on mining for gold, silver or other metals, nor from granting, with the consent of both houses of the Parliament of the Commonwealth expressed by resolution, any aid to or bounty on the production or export of goods.
In view of the provisions of section 91, a State bonus could not, in my opinion, be granted without the consent of both houses of the Parliament of the Commonwealth expressed by resolution.
It is not the practice of this Department to furnish advice on legal questions for State Members, and this advice is therefore given only for your Department. I assume that, if you consider it advisable to inform Mr. Corser as to the position, you will not quote the advice as coming from this Department.
[Vol. 22, p. 740]