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Thursday, 3 December 1936


Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [11.42].- I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to define more specifically the powers of the GovernorGeneral to make regulations providing for the control of air navigation. Section 4 of the Air Navigation Act 1920 authorizes the Governor-General to make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to the Convention for the regulation of aerial navigation and also for providing for the control of air navigation in the Commonwealth and the territories. The High Court, in the Henry case, upheld the power of the Governor-General in so far as regulations to give effect to the Convention and in relation to the territories are concerned. The purported power as to the Commonwealth generally was considered to be too general, inasmuch as such a power would cover intra-state operations not arising under the convention. It is clear, however, that theCommonwealth has power to enact legislation as to air navigation as incidental to the trade and commerce power in section 51, paragraph 1 of the Constitution. Under that paragraph, the Commonwealth may make laws with respect to trade and commerce with other countries and among the States. The bill proposes that the Governor-General's regulation-making power should be defined with reference to this power in section 51 (1). In other words, it is proposed that, instead of the power being over the control of air navigation in the Commonwealth, it will be in relation to trade and commerce with other countries and among the States. In future, therefore, it will be permissible for air navigation regulations to be made to give effect to the Convention and in relation to the territories, and also in relation to air navigation having an interstate and foreign trade aspect.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.







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