previous
next

G. Miscellaneous.

There are two heads of power which may be described as afterthoughts, and are to some extent to be accounted for by a desire to disarm the opposition of those who contended that federation “would do nothing for the people.” They reflect the popular political interests of the time, quite apart from the project of federal union. “Invalid and old-age pensions,” sec. 51 (xxiii.), and “conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes,” sec. 51 (xxxv.), were part of the political programme of some party, if not of all parties, in each of the States; and all were regarding with interest the experiments already made in New Zealand. The latter subject was made one of federal legislative power when such industrial disputes “extend beyond the limits of any one State.” “Invalid and old-age pensions” can no doubt be dealt with more effectively by the Commonwealth than by the State Parliaments. If a State is not to be burdened with pensioners who have resorted to it merely for the pension, it must require a considerable period of residence within its limits as one of the qualifying conditions. But with the nomadic population of the Australian Colonies


  ― 157 ―
such a requirement necessarily excludes from the benefit of the pension large numbers of persons who have “tried their luck” in various parts of the Continent. The Commonwealth Parliament may be satisfied with residence for a specified period in the Commonwealth.

previous
next