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§ 373. “Uniform Duties of Customs.”

UNIFORM.—The word “uniform” here is merely descriptive. The absolute constitutional requirement that all federal taxation, whether through the customs or otherwise, shall be uniform, is contained in sec. 51—ii., where the gift of federal powers of taxation is expressly qualified by the words “so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States.”

DUTIES OF CUSTOMS.—Customs are here mentioned alone, and not in connection with excise, for a very simple reason. It was necessary to define the time at which


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the provincial duties of customs and excise should cease; and the time so fixed (sec. 90) is the time of “the imposition of uniform duties of customs.” Under sec. 55, which requires that laws imposing taxation shall deal with one kind of taxation only, customs duties cannot be included in the same bill with excise duties; and though the Commonwealth will doubtless resort to both modes of taxation, and the two bills will probably be passed at the same time, it was obviously necessary to make the termination of provincial customs and excise, and the inauguration of intercolonial free-trade, depend on a single, not a double, event.

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