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and the danger that it might unduly restrict the right of appeal in cases where the interests of foreigners or British subjects outside Australia were affected.

The Bill was introduced into Parliament with amendments to secure Her Majesty's prerogative to grant special leave of appeal from the High Court of the Commonwealth or the Supreme Court of any State to the Privy Council. But the discussion with the delegates continued, and two successive compromises were arrived at. First, the appeal on Constitutional questions was made dependent on the consent of the Executive Government or Governments concerned, and finally was made dependent on a certificate to be granted at the discretion of the High Court.

No other amendments of any consequence were made by Parliament in the Bill as received from Australia, except that provision was made for the inclusion of Western Australia as an original State, provided that Her Majesty was satisfied that the people of that Colony had agreed thereto prior to the issue of the Proclamation.

The Queen caused to be sent to Australia, for presentation to the Commonwealth Parliament, a duplicate of the Commission issued for the formal declaration of Her assent to the Act, together with the pen, inkstand, and table used on the occasion of its signature. She subsequently presented a duplicate of the Proclamation bringing the Act into force, duly signed and passed under the Great Seal.

Constitution of the Commonwealth.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia is contained in the Act of Parliament 63 & 64 Vict., cap. 12. The opening part of the Act recites that the union is to be indissoluble and provides for the admission of other Australasian Colonies and possessions of the Queen. It makes provision for the proclamation and date of establishment of the Commonwealth, declares the binding force of Commonwealth laws, and makes definitions. The Federal Council of Australasia Act, 1885, is repealed, and the Commonwealth is declared to be a single self-governing Colony for the purposes of the Colonial Boundaries Act. The proclamation was made on 17th September, 1900, constituting the Commonwealth as from 1st January, 1901.

The leading features of the Constitution proper are as follows:

The Parliament consists of the King, a Senate and a House of Representatives. The GovernorGeneral acts for the King.

The Senate consists of six members from each State. The number may be increased or diminished, but so that the equal representation of the original States is maintained, and no original State has less than six Senators. Qualifications for Senators are the same as those for Members of the House of Representatives, as given below. Senators are chosen for six years. The qualifications of electors for the first Parliament were those for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State in which the elector was competent to vote. In the first Parliament of the Commonwealth the Franchise Act, 1902, unified the franchise for both Houses, on the basis of universal adult suffrage.

The House of Representatives has approximately twice as many members as the Senate, and the number of members for each State is in proportion to the population, but not less than five for any State. The qualifications of electors

are as stated in the preceding paragraph. Each elector is to vote only once. Qualification of a Member to be (a) 21 years of age; (b) to be an elector or entitled to be; (c) resident 3 years; (d) natural born or naturalised 5 years.

House may continue to exist for 3 years from first meeting, but may be dissolved sooner; number of members may be increased or diminished by Parliament, subject to the Constitution.

The general powers of the Parliament are grouped under 39 headings, the principal of which are to make laws for trade, taxation, bounties, borrowing, postal services, naval and military, census and statistics, currency, banking, insurance, insolvency, corporations, divorce, marriage, invalid and old age pensions, immigration and emigration, quarantine, industrial disputes, railways, &c. Exclusive powers are held in regard to the seat of Government, State departments transferred, and other matters declared by the Constitution to be within the exclusive power of the Parliament.

Money Bills may not originate in, nor be amended by, the Senate, which House may, however, return the Bill requesting any omission or amendment, Equal power with the House of Representatives is possessed in respect of all other proposed laws. Tacking Bills are prohibited.

Provision for Dead-locks. -Joint dissolution, and if again passed in Lower House and rejected in Senate a joint sitting to be held, and if passed by an absolute majority of total number of both Houses, disputed Bill to become law.

A Bill having passed both Houses the GovernorGeneral shall either assent, withhold assent, reserve the Bill or return it and recommend amendments.

Executive power vested in King and exercisable by Governor-General in Council, who may appoint Ministers of State.

State departments of Customs and Excise transferred to Commonwealth on its establishment. Departments of posts, naval and military defence, light-houses, &c., and quarantine, on a date or dates to be proclaimed (Posts, telegraphs, &c., and naval and military defence became transferred to the Commonwealth on 1st March, 1901; quarantine on 1st July, 1909; and lighthouses, &c., on 1st July, 1915).

High Court of Australia established; appellate and original jurisdiction.

Collection of Customs to pass to Commonwealth. Customs and Excise duties to be uniform, and intercolonial free-trade established within two years after the establishment of the Commonwealth, after which period the Federal Government shall have exclusive power to levy such duties and to grant bounties on the production or export of goods. Western Australia may continue duties in force on intercolonial goods at the establishment of uniform tariff for five years, subject to reduction of onefifth each year.

Of the net revenue from Customs and Excise not more than one-fourth to be applied by Commonwealth towards its expenditure. This holds good for the first 10 years and thereafter until the Parliament provides otherwise (Braddon clause).

Right of States to reasonable use of river waters for conservation or irrigation reserved.

Inter-State Commission provided for to regulate trade and commerce, and prevent discriminations being made by any State which may be deemed unreasonable or unjust to any other State. This Commission was established in 1913 and functioned till 1920, since which date no further appointments have been made.

Constitutions, powers, and laws of States pro-, directions (a) Trade and Commerce (b) Corporatected. State Debts may be taken over. tions (c) Industrial Matters and (d) Trusts and Monopolies. The result would have been a great change in section 51 of the Constitution. The object of B was to give the Commonwealth the power of making laws for, or assuming control of, any business or industry which was declared by resolution of both Houses to be the subject of any monopoly. Both resolutions were rejected by a large majority. At the general election of 1913 (May 31st), six questions were submitted to referendum; each question representing a proposed alteration of the Constitution, on which the electors were asked to decide. Of these, five were the old questions of 1911 re-submitted, and the sixth dealt with railway disputes. All the proposals were again rejected, but by much smaller majorities than in 1911.

Referenda were taken on 19th December, 1919, regarding a constitutional extension of Commonwealth powers in legislation and the nationalisation of monopolies. In each case the majority of votes was not in favour of the proposed extension.

On 4th September, 1926, a referendum was taken regarding an alteration of the Constitution in relation to the extension of legislative powers in regard to (a) Industry and Commerce, and (b) Essential Services. In each case the majority of votes was not in favour of the proposed extension.

Admission of new States provided for. Commonwealth to protect States against invasion or domestic violence.

Seat of Government to be in New South Wales, not less than 100 miles from Sydney, and to be within Federal territory. Parliament to meet at Melbourne until it meets at the new capital. The first session of Parliament at the Federal Capital City (Canberra) was opened by H. R.H. The Duke of York (now H.M. King George VI) in May, 1927. An alteration diminishing the proportionate representation of any State, or the minimum number of representatives of a State, or altering its limits, or in any way affecting the provisions of the Constitution in relation to it, shall not become law without the approval of a majority of the electors of such State.

The financial portion of the Act is too intricate to be briefly summarised. See Sections 81-105 of the Act.

Constitution may be altered by an absolute majority of each House; then to be submitted to electors, and if in a majority of States a majority of electors voting approve, also majority of all electors approve, then the change may be made. In case of a dead-lock between the two Houses, renewed after three months' interval, the GovernorGeneral may submit the question to the electors in each State qualified to vote for the Lower House.

Two questions, both dealing with finance, were submitted to a referendum concurrently with the Federal elections of April 13th, 1910. The first provided that the Commonwealth should take the whole of the revenue from Customs and Excise, and pay to the States a sum equal to one pound five shillings per annum per head of their population, to be determined according to the latest available Commonwealth statistics. A special payment was to be made to Western Australia, in view of the large contribution per capita made by that State to the Customs revenue. It was intended that this arrangement should take the place of the Braddon clause but it was rejected by the electorate. The Surplus Revenue Act, 1910, retained to the Commonwealth for ten years the whole of the Customs and Excise Revenue, subject to each State receiving an annual payment equal to 258. per head of the population of the State. This arrangement continued in force, until 1st July, 1927, when it was abolished by the States Grants Act. By the Financial Agreement Acts, 1928 and 1929, provision was made for the payment to the States of fixed annual amounts towards the interest on State debts. Special allowances are still made to South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The second proposal related to the conversion of the State debts. The Constitution provided for the conversion of all the debts existing at the time of Federation, and it was the object of the second proposal to amend the Constitution so as to give the Commonwealth unlimited power to assume all State debts existing at any time. This proposal was passed. Two more 'proposed laws" for the alteration of the Constitution were submitted to referendum on 26th April, 1911. They were :4. Constitution Alteration (Legislative Powers) 1910, and


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B. Constitution Alteration (Monopolies) 1910. The object of A was to extend the legislative powers of the Commonwealth Parliament in four

In pursuance of a referendum held on the 17th November, 1928, the Constitution was altered by inserting a new section authorising the making of agreements between the Commonwealth and the States in relation to the taking over of State debts by the Commonwealth and the borrowing of money by the Commonwealth and the States. By an agreement entered into in 1927 and validated in 1929 the Commonwealth has taken over the State debts and provision has been made for the establishment of a Loan Council to exercise control over borrowing by the Commonwealth and the States and for the establishment of a sinking fund for the redemption of loans.

On 6th March, 1937, proposals were submitted to the electors for the alteration of the Constitution to provide for Commonwealth control of Aviation and Marketing. In the case of Marketing the majority of votes was against the proposed alteration, while in the case of Aviation, although the total votes gave a favourable majority, the proposal was defeated as in the majority of States the majority of electors was not in favour of the amendment.


It will be observed from the summary given above that the Constitution follows that of the United States rather than that of Canada so far as the distribution of Federal and State powers is concerned. The matters belonging to Commonwealth are limited to those expressly specified, and in other respects State powers are maintained. But its general political scheme rests on the doctrine of the constant responsibility to Parliament of an Administration formed with the approval of the Representative of the Crown.

The Governorships of the States are still filled by the Crown, and the Governors correspond on State business directly with the Secretary of State. The Governor-General is, however, kept informed of the correspondence passing between the Governors of the different States and the Dominions Office.

Legislation, &c.

Until 1927 the Parliament of the Commonwealth sat in Melbourne, but since May, 1927,

the sittings of the Commonwealth Parliament have been held at Canberra, Federal Capital Territory.

The subjects engaging the attention of the Federal Parliament have been numerous and important. A record of legislation enacted from the inauguration of the Commonwealth to 1915 is given in the 1920 edition and from 1916 to 1920 in the 1923 edition of this work.

The following is a summary of the more important legislative enactments of the Commonwealth Parliament during the year 1936:

(i) Air Navigation Act. Modifies the power of the Governor General to make regulations with respect to the control of air navigation by restricting power to control in relation to trade and commerce with other countries and among the states.

(ii) Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Act. Further

extends the benefits to returned soldiers who are permanently unemployable or who are suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and extends the existing benefits provided for returned nurses.

(iii) Financial Relief Acts. Embody the proposals of the Government for relief from the provisions of the Financial Emergency Acts for the year 1936-37. (iv) Income Tax Assessment Act. Consolidates and amends the law relating to the imposition, assess ment, and collection of Income Tax. The Act is the outcome of the work of the Royal Commission on Taxation which issued four reports during 1934.

(v) Nationality Act. Gives effect to articles 8, 9 and 10 of the convention concluded at the Hague in 1930 concerning certain questions relating to the conflict of nationality laws.

(vi) Northern Territory Representation Act. Confers the right on the representative of the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives to vote on motions for the disallowance of ordinances of that Territory.

(vii) Primary Producers' Relief Act. Alters the amount appropriated for the year 1935/36 in payment of a subsidy on fertilizer used on pasture and other crops (except wheat) from £275,000 to "such sums as are necessary " and extends the period within which applications for the subsidy are to be lodged. (viii) Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act. Reduces from nine to four weeks the period within which arguments in favour of and against proposed laws for the alteration of the Constitution are to be forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer.

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Department of External Affairs, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Health, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Repatriation (The Navy, Army and Air Force are now in one Department, i.e., Defence).

Customs Duties.

The Customs Tariff in force in Australia is the Customs Tariff, 1933-1938. Amendments to the Schedule to the Tariff were made by Resolutions introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament on 4th May, 1938, 21st September, 1938, and 17th November, 1938. These Amendments are subject to ratification by the Parliament.

The Australian Customs Tariff has been built up in conformity with the policy of protection of Australian industries and preference to goods the produce or manufacture of the British Empire, and with due regard to the revenue aspects. The United Kingdom and Australia Trade Agreement Act, 1932, lays down the principles for the determination of the margin of preference to be accorded to goods the produce or manufacture of the United Kingdom.

The British Preferential Tariff applies to goods the produce or manufacture of the United Kingdom, and subject to the condition that the goods have been shipped in the United Kingdom to Australia, and have not been transhipped, or if transhipped then only if it is proved satisfactorily that the intended destination of the goods when originally shipped from the United Kingdom was Australia. The provisions of the British Preferential Tariff may also be applied wholly or in part to any part of the British Empire, and a number of non-self-governing British Colonies and Protectorates are now obtaining the benefits of these provisions in respect to certain specified goods.

The Intermediate Tariff which was a feature of the Australian Customs Tariff until the 14th October, 1932, was again introduced on the 28th November, 1935, insofar as certain items subject to treaty negotiations were concerned in order to facilitate the implementations of Trade Agreements. The benefits of the Intermediate Tariff may be extended to any country by proclamation.

Following on the completion in 1936 of Trade Agreements with Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France and the Union of South Africa, the benefits of the Intermediate Tariff in respect of certain goods were extended to these countries. At the same time and

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reductions in the rate applied to United Kingdom goods including various lines dutiable under items deemed to be protective in their incidence and also under items carrying revenue duties.

Certain goods have, mainly in the interests of the primary industries, been exempted from payment of primage duties, whilst other goods, principally machines and tools of trade not manufactured in Australia are liable to 4% primage when subject to the General Tariff and are exempt when subject to the British Preferential Tariff. Various classes of raw materials are also exempt or are subject to reduced rates of primage duty.

Goods of New Zealand origin are exempted from the payment of primage duties in accordance with the Trade Agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

Papuan and New Guinea goods are also exempt from the payment of primage duty.

Reciprocal Agreements. A reciprocal trade agreement between Australia and New Zealand has been in force since 1922 under which special Tariff rates are granted on certain goods and the British Preferential Tariff is extended to all other goods imported from the Dominion of New Zealand. A new agreement was made in 1933 and extended in 1934.

In 1925 a trade agreement between Australia and Canada was consummated. This, however, covered only a limited number of items. In 1931 a new trade agreement between Canada and Australia was concluded under which practically all goods of Canadian origin were accorded preference. Amendments were made to this agreement in 1934, 1936 and 1937 and the schedule at present in operation is known as the Customs Tarif (Canadian Preference) Act, 1934-1938.

Certain goods, the produce of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea, are admitted into Australia free of duty in conformity with the Customs Tariff (Papua and New Guinea) Preference Act, 1936.

In addition (as quoted previously) reciprocal trade agreements have been concluded with Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France and the Union of South


Exchange Adjustment. A Customs Tariff Exchange Adjustment Act is also in operation which provides for certain deductions from the amounts of duty payable on goods which qualify for admission under the British Preferential Tariff and which come within certain items regarded as protective items. These deductions are made in accordance with the following provisions :—

(a) Whenever at the date of exportation of any such goods Australian currency is depreciated to the extent of not less than sixteen and twothirds per centum in relation to the currency of the British country from which those goods are imported, a deduction from the amount of duty payable on those goods in accordance with any law of the Commonwealth for the time being in force imposing duties of Customs (other than primage duty and duty imposed by the Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act, 1921-1933, or any Act amending or in substitution for that Act) or in accordance with Customs Tariff proposals shall be made of

(i) one-fourth of that amount of duty; or (ii) twelve and one-half per centum of the value for duty, whichever is the less; and

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The Tariff Proposals of the 6th December, 1934, gave effect, for the first time, to the new principle of imposing rates of duty as recommended by the Tariff Board as in (a) above. Automatic increases in the rates of duty are, however, provided for during any stage in which Australian currency appreciates in relation to sterling, and thereby ensures the pro rata maintenance of the duty level recommended by the Tariff Board in its (b) recommendation for par exchange conditions.

Recommendations of

the Tariff Board in respect of items carrying protective rates of duty given effect to subsequent to the 6th December, 1934, have provided for automatic variations in duties in consonance with fluctuations in the rate of exchange and consequently such items have been removed from the provisions of the Customs Tariff (Exchange Adjustment) Act.

Industries Preservation Act. The Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act, 1921-1933, provides that a special dumping duty may be imposed on goods exported to Australia which are of a class or kind produced or manufactured in Australia, at a price less than the fair market price for home consumption at the time of shipment, or at less than a reasonable price when the importation of such goods is detrimental to an Australian industry. The duty imposed is the amount by which the export selling price to Australia is less than the fair market value or the reasonable price, as the case may be. Goods sold on consignment are dealt with somewhat similarly. A dumping freight duty may also be imposed on goods carried to Australia either free of freight or at reduced rates of freight. The amount of the dumping duty in such cases is equal to the extent of the freight concession granted.

The Act also provides that the Minister for Trade and Customs, after inquiry by the Tariff Board, may impose an exchange dumping duty on goods imported from a country whose currency has depreciated in relation to Australian currency, if the sale of these goods by reason of such depreciation is detrimental to an Australian industry. The amount of the duty may be derived from the formula a-b


(b) Whenever at the date of exportation of any such goods Australian currency is depreciated to the extent of not less than eleven and oneninth per centum and less than sixteen and where a is the nominal par value in sterling of a


unit of the currency of the country of origin, b the value in Australian currency of the same unit at date of exportation, and c the value for duty of the goods assessed in accordance with the Customs Act, 1901-1936. No goods have yet been subjected to this duty. When dumping duties (except exchange

dumping duties) are calculated in any currency other than Australian currency the amount of dumping duty is payable in Australian currency ascertained according to a fair rate of exchange, such exchange rate to be declared in cases of doubt by the Minister.


Full statistics relating to the various States, etc., are given under subsequent headings. It will be convenient, however, to summarise some of the more important statistics for Australia as a whole.

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3,773,801 1,7144,455,005 2,572 5,435,734 8,947 6,629,839

31.3.1901 (Census) 1,354,846, 1,201,070 498,129 363,157 184,124 172,475 3.4.1911 (Census) 1,646,734 1,315,551 605,813 408,558 282,114 191,211 3,310| 4.4.1921 (Census) 2,100,371 1,531,280 755,972 495,160 332,732 213,780 3,867 30.6.1933 (Census) 2,600,847 1,820,261| 947,534 580,949 438,852 227,599 4,850 30.6.1938(Estmtd) 2,718,901 1,867,047 1,003,172 592,292 460,161 234,178 5,769 11,562 6,893,082

Included in South Australia. + Included in New South Wales.

Average Annual Increase of Population in Australia, 1861–1933—By census intervals.

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The referendum of 17th November, 1928, authorised the making of agreements between the Commonwealth and the States in relation to the taking over of State Debts, and by an agreement validated in 1929 the Commonwealth assumed control of the State Debts from 1st July, 1929. The following table shows the complete indebtedness of the States and Commonwealth at 30th June, 1938.

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* Payable in terms of dollars. Converted arbitrarily in this Table on the basis of $4-8665 to £. stg.


Number and tonnage of vessels entered and cleared in Australia :

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