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§ 409. “The Power of the Parliament … Extends.”

This section is purely declaratory; it does not purport to give any new power to the Parliament, but merely to authoritatively explain and interpret the extent of the power already given by sec. 51—i. It is in effect a definition clause, declaring that trade and commerce includes traffic by water as well as by land, and also includes traffic on railways owned by the Government of a State.

The power of the Parliament to make laws with respect to trade and commerce is expressly limited, by sec. 51, to “trade and commerce with other countries, and among the States.” It follows that the application of that power to navigation and shipping, and to State railways, is limited in the same way, and does not extend to shipping or railways which are employed in the purely domestic traffic of a State. In this respect the powers defined in this section resemble the powers which in the United States are held to flow, without any such definition, from the trade and commerce power itself. (Cooley v. Port Wardens, 12 How. 299.) Less closely they resemble the powers given in Canada; for although s. 91 of the British North America Act gives the Dominion exclusive power to legislate in respect of “navigation and shipping,” with no limitation to foreign and inter-provincial trade, yet some such limitation is subsequently imposed by sec 92 of that Act.

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