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§ 358. “Transfer of Property of State.”

OBJECT OF SECTION.—The general principle embodied in this section is that the lands, buildings, and other public property used by the transferred departments shall be taken over by the Commonwealth, and paid for at their fair value; but the necessary provision for this is complicated by two circumstances.

In the first place, property used by a transferred department is not always exclusively so used; the department may occupy part of a building the rest of which is occupied by a department not transferred, or it may make use of property which belongs wholly to another department. For example, telegraph lines in many cases run along the railway lines, and many post and telegraph offices are situated upon railway premises.

In the second place, all the property used in connection with the collection of customs on the inland borders will not be required by the Commonwealth after inter-colonial freetrade is established, and therefore only needs to be transferred for a limited time.

The section is therefore framed so that property used exclusively by a transferred department shall be vested at once in the Commonwealth, either permanently or temporarily as the case may be; whilst property used, but not exclusively, by a transferred department may be acquired by the Commonwealth at its option.

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