title>Diary of a Labour Man: Fulltext of JCPML00398/9.
| PROCLAMATION INVALID. LEGAL OPINION Obtained by
National Executive of Trades Union Interstate Congress
'I have been asked to advise on the constitutionality of the
Proclamation issued by the Governor-General under Sec. 46-59 of Defence
'In my opinion the Proclamation is invalid, and consequently of no
effect. My reason for so stating is that the proclamatory power of the
Governor-General is a matter dependent entirely upon the Commission
constituting his office, and upon any Statute conferring such power.
There is no power to call out the citizens for military service under
his Commission, and the power conferred under the Defence Act is to be
exercised only in strict conformity with that Act, and so far as the
published statements of responsible Ministers have gone, the conditions
of the Defence Act have not been complied with; if this be so the
Proclamation must be held to be invalid.'
ALFRED W. FOSTER, Barrister-at-Law.
2nd October, 1916
'I have read Mr Foster’s opinion regarding the scope and effect of the
Proclamation, and I agree with the view stated by him.'
FRANK BRENNAN, LL.B., Barrister and Solicitor. Melbourne.
“The power of the Governor-General to issue a Proclamation calling upon
persons liable to serve in the Citizen Forces to enlist and serve as
prescribed, can only be exercised in ‘time of war.’
'War,' in the Defence Act has a special definition to mean ‘invasion
or apprehended invasion of or apprehended attack on the Commonwealth,
or any territory under the control of the Commonwealth by an enemy or
Admittedly the powers are not being exercised in a time of ‘war,’
according to the foregoing definition, and are consequently an abuse of
the Defence Act.'
MAURICE BLACKBURN, Barrister-at-Law.
2nd October 1916
Authorised by J. CURTIN
Secretary National Executive.
Union Label. Typographical Australasia.
Fraser and Jenkinson, Print.
343-5 Queens St., Melb.
JCPML. Records of the Curtin Family. Flyer about the conscription issue, 2 October 1916. JCPML00398/9