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Friday, 20 June 1902

Mr V L SOLOMON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I am rather puzzled by the wording of this clause, and it strikes me that we are attempting to legislate somewhat beyond our authority. How can we pass an Act " to authorize and require " State officers to furnish any information which the Commonwealth may wish to obtain ?

Mr McCay - We can require any citizen of the Commonwealth to do anything we wish.

Mr V L SOLOMON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - No doubt that is a very definite statement on the part of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, but it strikes me as being very bad law. Where is the utility of embodying in a statute a provision that requires officers in the employ of the States to furnish any information which we may demand 1

Mr Deakin - The Constitution provides that -

This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State, and of every part of the Commonwealth.

Mr V L SOLOMON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Does the AttorneyGeneral hold that that somewhat broad interpretation would entitle us to enforce officers solely engaged in State duties to undertake work involving, perhaps, a considerable amount of time and trouble, without the concurrence of their direct employers, and without their authority ?

Mr DEAKIN - We could do it without the concurrence of the States, but that would be a very high-handed and unjustifiable exercise of power. We should probably obtain the consent of the States to the employment of their officers, and pay the latter for their services.

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