INTOXICATING LIQUIDS PASSING INTO STATE WHETHER LAW RELATING TO SPIRITS DISTILLED IN VICTORIA APPLIES TO SPIRITS PRODUCED IN OTHER STATES AND INTRODUCED INTO VICTORIA
CONSTITUTION, ss. 109, 113 : DISTILLATION ACT 1901. Part V : CUSTOMS AND EXCISE DUTIES ACT 1890 (VIC.) : LICENSING ACT 1890 (VIC.)
Messrs Joshua Brothers Proprietary Limited in a letter to the Minister for Trade and Customs state that by a provision of the licensing law of Victoria no spirits for purposes of human consumption may leave the distillery till they have been at least six months in bond, and that to the best of their knowledge no such rule applies to spirits distilled in other States and imported into Victoria and that as a consequence their competitors in other States are enabled to send out their product brand new and by saving the heavy expense of six months bonding can and do undersell them (Joshua Bros) in the Victorian market, and ask that the six months disability should be made to apply alike to all spirits whether produced within the Commonwealth or imported from foreign countries.
The Minister forwards the papers to me with the following minute:
I shall be glad to be advised as to the position which seems unfair to Messrs Joshua. Section 113 of the Constitution (for which I believe Mr Deakin was responsible) no doubt makes intoxicants from other States subject to Victorian laws as if they were Victorian produce. But-
- what are these laws on this point, and
- by whom and how can they best be enforced?
The law affecting the Messrs Joshua to which they refer is the first paragraph of section 198 of the Victorian Licensing Act 1890, No. 1111:
No permit for the removal of spirits manufactured in Victoria for human consumption shall be granted by any Inspector of distilleries or other officer until a period of six months shall have elapsed from the date of manufacture of such spirits.
The permit referred to in this provision is the permit under section 99 of the Victorian Customs and Excise Duties Act 1890, Part II. This permit must be taken to have been superseded by the Commonwealth Distillation Act 1901, Part V which allows spirits to be removed from a distillery on an entry being passed (no permit being necessary) and by regulation 81 which requires spirits to be removed from the distillery forthwith after duty has been paid. I am of opinion therefore that the above provision has no effect.
Section 113 of the Constitution does not seem to affect this particular case. It provides that intoxicating liquids passing into any State or remaining therein for use, consumption, sale, or storage, shall be subject to the laws of the State 'as if such liquids had been produced in the State'.
The provision of the Victorian law as to spirits produced in Victoria having become ineffective, nothing remains on which section 113 can operate.
[Vol. 2, p. 103]