Opinion Number. 1567

Subject

EXCISE EXCISE: NON-EXCISABLE BEVERAGES: LOW-ALCOHOL CONTENT BEVERAGES: POWER TO ENACT LAWS PREVENTING PERSONS WHO MANUFACTURE IN AUSTRALIA NON-EXCISABLE PRODUCTS FROM DESCRIBING SUCH PRODUCTS AS ‘ALE’, ‘BEER’ AND ‘STOUT’: WHETHER INCIDENTAL TO IMPOSITION OF DUTIES OF EXCISE

Key Legislation

Customs Act 1901 : Post and Telegraph Act 1901 ss 40, 41, 52

Date
Client
The Secretary, Postmaster-General

I refer to your memorandum, No. G. 34/4992, dated 18 June 1934, forwarding copy of the newspaper Industrial Worker which was received by post from Chicago and addressed:

Mrs. C.,

XX W … Street,

Perth.

The newspaper is published outside Australia, and bears the imprint ‘Official Organ of the Industrial Workers of the World.’

On p. 1 of the publication there is an appeal to workers to spread the ‘Special May Day Issue’ among workers, and to ‘fan the flames of revolt till they burn high and far’.

Again on p. 4, under the title ‘I.W.W. Preamble’ the following passage appears:

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common …

Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the wage system.

I am of opinion that this publication comes within the class of publications the importation of which is prohibited under the Proclamation issued under the Customs Act on 28 July 1932.

In my opinion, therefore, the above mentioned newspaper can be dealt with under sections 40, 41 and 52 of the Post and Telegraph Act 1901–1934.

[Vol. 27, p. 504]