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MR. OLIVER'S REPORT.--In November, 1899, in view of the fact that the Parliament of New South Wales might be called upon to offer or recommend a site for the seat of Government, the Government of New South Wales appointed Mr. Alexander Oliver, the President of the Land Court of that colony, as a Commissioner to enquire into and report upon the suitability of sites. He inspected a number of sites and took a quantity of evidence; and in his report, which was laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly on 30th October, 1906), he reported favourably upon three sites, in the neighbourhood of Orange, Yass, and Bombala respectively.

MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCE. - It would seem that the distance of 100 miles from Sydney is to be measured in a straight line, in accordance with the provisions of sec. 34 of the Imperial Interpretation Act, 1889 (p. 793, supra). Distances mentioned in Acts of New South Wales are measured by the nearest road (Interpretation Act (N.S.W.), 1897, sec. 35); but that can hardly be relied upon to show a "contrary intention” within the meaning of the Imperial Act.

$ 478. “ And shall be Vested in and Belong to the

Commonwealth." The grammar of this section is by no means clear, Is it the "seat of Government” or the territory” within which the seat of Government is situated that is to be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth? In the clause as framed by the Convention it was clear that the “ territory” was to be vested in the Commonwealth, and it is submitted that this is the true reading of the section. That is to say, the words “and shall be vested," &c., are part of the relative sentence “ which shall have been granted,” &c., referring to the antecedent “territory.”

It is clear from this construction that the Commonwealth acquires under this section territorial rights only, and not proprietary rights. What the Commonwealth may acquire under section 51 – xxxi. is “ property;' what it acquires under this section is “territory." Landowners or Crown Lessees within the territory chosen for the seat of Government will not be dispossessed unless the Federal Parliament chooses to dispossess them. The result of the transfer of territory will be that instead of holding from the Crown, as represented by the Government of New South Wales, they will hold from the Crown as represented by the Government of the Commonwealth ; and the Commonwealth, in the exercise of its exclusive jurisdiction over the teruitory, will be free to resume so much of the privately opened land as it requires, in accordance with laws passed under the power of “eminent domain" (sec. jl - xxxi.), and subject, of course, to the constitutional requirement of just compensation.

Crown LANDS -- The meaning of the provision that Crown lands shall be granted without payment therefor is not clear, and seems to involve some confusion between territorial and proprietary rights. It may be construed to apply to lands which are Crown lands within the meaning of the Crown Lands Acts of New South Wales ; or it may- :-as Mr. Oliver suggests in his report-apply only to vacant Crown lands. It does not appear to mean that the occupation of Crown tenants is necessarily to be disturbed by the acquisition of the territory. It is perhaps intended to mean that the rights of the Crown, in any lands whatever, shall not be the subject of compensation, although the proprietary rights of individuals, if their land is resumed, must be dealt with on just terms (sec. 51-xxxi.). Mr. Oliver, however, suggests that in the case of lands which are not “Crown lands” in the ordinary acceptation of the term, the State may be entitled to compensation for the loss of its rights of taxation.

EXCLUSIVE POWER. — The seat of Government, when determined by the Parliament and duly acquired, becomes subject to the jurisdiction of the Feileral Parliament, which has exclusive power to make laws for its peace, order, and good government. (See notes to sec. 52—i.)

Power to Her Majesty to authorise Governor-General to appoint Deputies.

126. The Queen may authorise the Governor-General to appoint any person, or any persons jointly or severally, to be his deputy or deputies 479 within any part of the Commonwealth, and in that capacity to exercise during the pleasure of the Governor-General such powers and functions of the Governor-General as he thinks fit to assign to such deputy or deputies, subject to any limitations expressed or directions given by the Queen ; but the appointinent of such deputy or deputies shall not affect the exercise by the GovernorGeneral himself of any power or function.

CANADA.--It shall be lawful for the Queen, if Her Majesty thinks fit, to authorize the Governor

General from time to time to appoint any person or any persons jointly or severally to be his Deputy or Deputies within any part or parts of Canada, and in that capacity to exercise during the pleasure of the Governor-General such of the powers. authorities, and functions of the Governor-General as the Governor-General deems it necessary or expedient to assign to him or them. subject to any limitations or directions expressed or given by the Queen ; but the appointment of such a Deputy or Deputies shall not affect the exercise by the Governor-General himself of any power, authority, or function.--B.N.A.

Act, 1867, sec. 14. HISTORICAL NOTE.-Clause 2, Chap. VII., of the Commonwealth Bill of 1891, was in almost identical words, and was adopted verbatim at the Adelaide session, 1897. At the Melbourne session, suggestions by the Legislative Assembly of South Australia, to limit the provision to a single deputy for the whole Commonwealth, and to omit the concluding sentence, were negatived. (Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 712-3.) Verbal amend ments were made after the fourth report.

$ 479. “Deputy or Deputies."

The Deputies provided for in this section are quite distinct from the ActingGovernor-General, or Administrator of the Government of the Commonwealth, referred to in sec. 4, supra. An Acting-Governor-General is appointed by the Queen, and acts only in the absence or incapacity of the Governor-General, or during a vacancy in the office; and while he so acts, he has all the powers of the Governor-General. (See Notes, sec. 4, supra.) A Deputy, on the other hand, is merely a person to whom the Queen may enable the Governor-General himself-subject to the Royal instructions – to delegate particular duties in particular localities. The immense area of the Commonwealth may make it convenient that some of the powers of the Governor-General, in some parts of the Commonwealth, should be thus exercisable by deputy.

This provision has been adopted from a similar section in the Canadian Constitution, respecting which Mr. Wheeler has the following note:

“Does this mean that there may be two persons with power to exercise one function? The clause provides that the Governor-General may appoint a deputy and may at the same time reserve the power of himself exercising the functions. (Att. Gen. Canada v. Att.-Gen. Ontario, 1892, 3 Ont. App. 6 ; 19 Ont. Rep. 47. See where a Deputy-Governor acted, Rey. v. Amer, Feb. 23, 1878, 42 Upp. Can. Q. B. at p. 408)." (Wheeler, C.C., 10.)

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Aborigines not to be counted in reckoning population. 127. In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives 480 shall not be counted.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—In the Commonwealth Bill of 1891, Sir Samuel Griffith, in Committee, added a new clause as follows :-“ In reckoning the numbers of the people of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives of Australia shall not be counted." (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1891, pp. 898-9.)

At the Adelaide session, 1897, the same clause was adopted, with the omission of the words “ of Australia.” In Committee, Dr. Cockburn urged that natives who were on the rolls ought not to be debarred from voting ; but it was pointed out that the clause did not affect their rights. (Conv. Deb., Adel., p. 1020.) At the Melbourne session, a suggestion by the Legislative Councils of New South Wales and Tasmania, to insert " and aliens not naturalized,” was negatived. (Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 713-4.) After the fourth report, the words “of the Commonwealth or inserted.

were

§ 480.

“Aboriginal Natives." The following figures show the number of aborigines enumerated or believed to exist in each Australasian Colony in 1891 :

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101,596

In most, if not in all, of the colonies, this enumeration was incomplete. In Victoria, whilst only 565 (including half-castes) were enumerated, 131 are believed to be in existence. In Queensland no attempt wrs made to enumerate or estimate the number of aborigines, therefore the number returned in 1881—which is believed to understate the truth-has been repeated. In South Australia the aborigines were not regularly enumerated, the figures given being derived from estimates. In Western Australia only civilized aborigines were enumerated. In the numbers given for that colony 575 are half-castes. In Tasmania there are no longer any aborigines of unnixed race, the last male having died in 1869 and the last female in 1876. There are, however, a few half

With the Maoris of New Zealand, 40 Morioris are included. These are the last surviving aboriginal inhabitants of the Chatham Islands, which are a group lying about 360 miles to the east of New Zealand, and form a dependency of that colony: (Mr. J. J. Fenton, Assistant Government Statist of Victoria, 1899.)

castes,

CHAPTER VIII. -ALTERATION OF THE

CONSTITUTION.

Mode of altering the Constitution. 128. This Constitution shall not be altered except in the following manner :

The proposed law for the alteration 481 thereof must be passed by an absolute majority of each House of the Parliament, and not less than two nor more than six months after its passage through both Houses the proposed law shall be submitted in each State to the electors qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.

But if either House passes any such proposed law by an absolute majority, and the other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the firstmentioned House will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the first-mentioned House in the same or the next session again passes the proposed law by an absolute majority with or without any amendment which has been made or agreed to by the other House, and such other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the first-mentioned House will not agree, the GovernorGeneral may submit the proposed law as last proposed by the first-mentioned House, and either with or without any amendments subsequently agreed to by both Houses, to the electors in each State qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives.

When a proposed law is submitted to the electors the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes. But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth, only one-half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails.

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And if in a majority of the States a majority of the electors voting approve the proposed law, and if a majority of all the electors voting also approve the proposed law, it shall be presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent.

No alteration diminishing the proportionate representation of any State in either House of the Parliament, or the minimum number of representatives of a State in the House of Representatives, or increasing, diminishing, or otherwise altering the limits of the State, or in any manner affecting the provisions of the Constitution in relation thereto, shall become law unless the majority of the electors voting in that State approve the proposed law.

L'NITED STATES.- The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary,

shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States or by Conventions of three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress : Provided that no amendment, which may made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no State, without its consent, shall be

deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.-Const. Art. v. SWITZERLAND.-The Federal Constitution may at any time be [wholly or partially) amended. Art. 118

A totalrevision is secured through the forms required for passing federal laws Art. 119.

When either House of the Federal Assembly passes a resolution for the (total) revision of the Federal Constitution and the other House does not agree; or when 50,000 Swiss voters demand a stotal) revision, the question whether the Constitution ought to be amended is, in either case, submitted to the Swiss people, who vote yes or no. If in either case a majority of the Swiss citizens who vote pronounce in the atfirmative there shall be a new election of both Houses for the purpose of undertaking the revision.Art. 120.

[A partial revision may take placely means of the popular initiative, or through the forms prescribed for ordinary federal legislation. The popular initiative consists in a demand by 50,000 Swixs roters for the addition of a neu article to the Constitution, or the repeal or modification of certain constitutivnal articles already in force.]

Art. 121. The revised Federal Constitution (or the rerised part thereof) shall take effect when it has been adopted by the majority of Swiss citizens who take part in the vote thereon and by a majority of the States. Art. 123.

[The words in brackets were introduced by the amendment of 1891. See Deploige, Referendum in Switzerland, p. 125.) GERMANY. - Amendments in the Constitution shall be made by legislative enactment. They

shall be considered as rejected when fourteen votes are cast against them in the Federal Council. - Art. 78, sec. I.

The provisions of the Constitution of the Empire by which certain rights are secured to particular States of the Union in their relation to the whole, shall only be

modified with the consent of the States affected. - Art. 78, sec, 2. HistoriCAL NoTE. — The clause as first proposed at the Sydney Convention of 1891 was as follows:

The provisions of this Constitution shall not be altered except in the following manner:

Any law for the alteration thereof must be passed by an absolute majority of the Senate and House of Representatives, and shall thereupon be submitted to Conventions to be elected by the electors of the several States qualitied to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.

The Convention shall be summoned, elected, and held in such manner as the Parliament of the Commonwealth prescribes by law, and shall, when elected, proceed to vote upon the proposed amendment.

And if the proposed amendment is approved by the Conventions of a majority of the States, it shall become law, subject nevertheless to the Queen's power of disallow

unce.

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