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§ 429. “As to Railways.”

PRIVATE RAILWAYS.—That this section applies to the Government railways of the States, whether controlled directly by the Executive Government of the State, or vested in a corporate body of Railway Commissioners, is clear. It seems that the subsequent words, referring to preferences made “by any authority constituted under a State,” are wide enough to include not only Railway Commissioners, but also railway companies incorporated by an Act of the Parliament of a State. The only importance of the question seems to be that if privately-owned railways are not included in this section, they will be subject to the full operation of the trade and commerce power, without limitations which are placed by this section upon the power of the Parliament.

RAILWAYS OF THE COMMONWEALTH.—This section does not apply to railways of the Commonwealth. In the event of railways being owned by the Federal Government, the Parliament could of course impose what prohibitions it pleased; but the Constitution itself imposes an absolute prohibition against any preference whatever being given by the Commonwealth to any State. (See sec. 99, and Notes, § 414, supra.)

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