§ 233. “Power vested . . in any . . Officer.”

Section 64 enables the Governor General to appoint political officers to administer such departments of State as may be established. Here is a bare grant of power “to administer.” Sub-section xxxix. comes to the aid of the grant and says that the Parliament may make laws incidental to it and necessary to enable Ministers of State to effectively perform their administrative duties. Similarly by sec. 68 the Command-in-Chief of the naval and military forces is vested in the Governor-General. Sub-sec. xxxix. will enable the Parliament to grant such powers to the Commander-in-Chief as will enable him to efficiently perform the duties of that high office.

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Exclusive powers of the Parliament.

52. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have exclusive power234 to make laws for the peace, order, and good government235 of the Commonwealth with respect to—

  • (i.) The seat of government236 of the Commonwealth, and all places acquired237 by the Commonwealth for public purposes:
  • (ii.) Matters relating to any department238 of the public service the control of which is by this Constitution transferred to the Executive Government of the Commonwealth:
  • (iii.) Other matters239 declared by this Constitution to be within the exclusive power of the Parliament.
UNITED STATES.—To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.—Const., Art. I., sec. 8, subs. 17.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—Clause 53 of the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 defined substantially the same powers in less concise words. It also contained the sub-clause dealing with the alien races within the Commonwealth, which now forms sub-sec. xxvi. of sec. 51. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1891, 701-4.) At the Adelaide session the clause was adopted almost verbatim. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 830-4.)

At the Melbourne session the sub-clause as to alien races was transferred to sec. 51. The clause was then verbally amended. (Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 256-62.) Drafting amendments were made before the first report and after the fourth report.