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§ 457. “Raise or Maintain.”

A State is forbidden without the consent of the Federal Parliament to raise or maintain any naval or military force. This inhibition, coupled with sec. 51—vi., has the effect of conferring on the Federal Parliament exclusive power with respect to naval and military forces. The negation in this section is so strong, “no State shall raise or maintain,” that it begins to operate immediately on a colony becoming a State; thereafter it will render the raising maintenance of naval and military forces by a State absolutely illegal. The inhibition, however, is accompanied by the condition that it may be removed with the consent of the Federal Parliament.




  ― 949 ―

Sec. 69 provides that the departments of naval and military defence in each State shall be transferred to the Commonwealth on a date to be proclaimed by the Governor-General. A question arises as to the position of the existing naval and military forces in the different colonies during the period after the establishment of the Commonwealth and before the actual transfer. No permissive law can be passed until the Parliament meets; and it can hardly be intended that during that interval the maintenance of the existing forces is illegal. It has been suggested, in order to meet this difficulty, that “maintain” should be read as subsidiary to “raise,” so that the words should mean “no State shall raise or (having raised) maintain.” The difficulty could, of course, be evaded by the transfer of the defence departments simultaneously with the establishment of the Commonwealth.

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