WHETHER FUNDS RAISED BY LOCAL COMMITTEES CONSTITUTE MONEYS RECEIVED BY EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT OF COMMONWEALTH
CONSTITUTION, s. 81: AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS' REPATRIATION ACT 1917, s. 12 (2): AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS' REPATRIATION REGULATIONS 1918, reg.26 (a)
The Comptroller, Department of Repatriation, has forwarded, for advice as to whether the contention of the Department of the Treasury is correct, the following memorandum received from the latter Department:
I desire to draw your attention to clause 26 of the Regulations under the Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Act 1917, more particularly to sub-clause (a), which empowers a Local Committee to raise funds for disbursement at its discretion for the benefit of soldiers or their dependants.
It appears that moneys thus collected by Local Committees will come within the definition of section 81 of the Constitution, and, therefore, will require to be incorporated in the Treasury accounts.
Sub-section (2) of section 12 of the Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Act 1917 provides as follows:
Subject to the regulations, a Local Committee shall have power to raise and control funds for the district for which they are appointed and to disburse those funds within that district . . .
Regulation 26 (a) gives a Local Committee power, as regards the area for which it is appointed, to 'raise' funds for disbursement at its discretion for the benefit of soldiers or their dependants.
The question is whether these funds are 'revenues or moneys' within the meaning of section 81 of the Constitution.
In 1901 the then Attorney-General, Mr Alfred Deakin, gave as his opinion that 'the words "revenues or moneys" in section 81 of the Constitution mean "revenues or moneys in the nature of revenue", and that moneys received by the Executive Government need not be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund unless they are in the nature of revenue'.(1)
In my opinion, funds raised by Local Committees are not in the nature of revenue, and I think, therefore, that the funds need not be incorporated in the accounts of the Treasury.
It is also, in my opinion, extremely doubtful whether the funds in question are revenues or moneys received by the Executive Government of the Commonwealth, but it is unnecessary in the present case to express an opinion on this point.
[Vol. 16, p. 231]
(1)See Opinion No.12.