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Commonwealth not to give preference.

99. The Commonwealth shall not412, by any law or regulation of trade, commerce, or revenue413, give preference414 to one State or any part thereof415 over another State or any part thereof.

UNITED STATES.—No preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce, or revenue, to the ports of one State over those of another.—Const. Art. 1, sec. 9, sub-sec. 5.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—The Clause in the Bill of 1891 provided that “Preference shall not be given by any law or regulation of commerce, or revenue, to the ports of one part of the Commonwealth over those of another part of the Commonwealth.” A second paragraph (also from the United States Constitution) that vessels bound to or from one port of the Commonwealth need not enter, clear, or pay duty in another port, was struck out in Committee. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1891, pp. 833–5.)

Adelaide Session, 1897.— At Adelaide, the preference clause was adopted almost in the words of 1891, but having appended to it a provision (which had previously formed


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a separate clause; see Hist. Note to sec. 92) that federal or State laws derogating from freedom of inter-state trade should be void. There was little objection raised to the prohibition of preferences by the Commonwealth, the debate being almost wholly on preferences by States. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 1070–85.)

Melbourne Session, 1898.—At Melbourne, Mr. Barton proposed the clause in a sweeping form, providing that all Federal or State laws giving a preference to one State over another should be void. The debate again turned almost wholly on preferences by States. (See Hist. Note to sec. 102.) Finally Mr. Barton (Debates, pp. 1319, 1337) proposed the clause in its present form, forbidding the Commonwealth to give preferences. After various amendments dealing with State preferences had been dealt with, the clause was carried. (Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 1250–1370, 1409–1506; supra, p. 199.)

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