PREFERENCE TO ONE STATE OVER ANOTHER STATE WHETHER PROPOSED TELEGRAPHIC SERVICE LIMITED TO CERTAIN OFFICES AMOUNTS TO
CONSTITUTION, ss. 51 (v), 99
The Secretary, Postmaster-General's Department, asks for advice on the question raised in the following memorandum:
- I am to inform you it is proposed to introduce into the Commonwealth a system of de-ferred telegrams or night letter telegrams and it is considered that the most suitable man-ner of making the first trials would be to restrict the service to certain offices, preferably those open continuously.
- As however the question arises as to whether such action might not be regarded as contrary to the Constitution, I shall be glad if you will kindly favour me with your opinion on this point before the proposal is further detailed.
In my opinion the action proposed would not in any way be contrary to the Constitution.
The Department has full power to determine what offices shall be open for a par-ticular class of telegraphic business.
Perhaps the Department has in mind section 99 of the Constitution which provides that:
The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade, commerce, or revenue, give preference to one State or any part thereof over another State or any part thereof.
In the first place, I do not think that the action proposed would be a 'regulation of trade, commerce, or revenue' within the meaning of the section; but even if it were, the selection of a class of offices such as is suggested would not be a preference within the meaning of the section.
[Vol. 10, p. 393]