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Short Title

1. This Act16 may be cited as the Commonwealth17 of Australia Constitution18 Act.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—Clause 1 of the draft Bill framed by the Sydney Convention of 1891, and usually known as “The Commonwealth Bill of 1891,” declared that “This Act shall be cited as The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.” In Committee, Mr. James Munro proposed “Federated States” in lieu of “Commonwealth.” On a division, however, “Commonwealth” was retained by 26 votes to 13. (Conv. Deb., Syd. [1891], pp. 550–7.)

At the Adelaide Session of the Convention of 1897, the clause as framed in 1891 was adopted verbatim. In Committee, Mr. Symon proposed to omit the words “Commonwealth of,” leaving simply “Australia;” but this was negatived. Mr. Walker proposed to substitute “Australasia” for “Australia,” but this also was negatived. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 616–9.) At the Sydney Session, a suggestion by the Legislative Council of New South Wales, to substitute “Dominion” for “Commonwealth” was negatived. An amendment by Mr. Barton, to omit “The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia,” and substitute “The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act,” was agreed to, in order to distinguish between the Act as a whole and the Constitution embodied in the Act. (Conv. Deb., Syd. [1897], pp. 224–5.)

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