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Wednesday, 15 August 1906


Mr FOWLER (Perth) .- I have been rather amused by the remarks of some honorable members, who appear to think that, if the proposals of the Commission are adopted, the pure brandy trade of Australia will be ruined. That industry has by no means been failing* even under the present disadvantageous conditions, and I think that it must be obvious that the recommendations of the Commission would, if carried out, bring about a decided improvement. If the pure brandy trade has prospered under existing conditions, it is reasonable to suppose that it will assume still greater proportions in the future. The whole question resolves itself into whether blended brandy may be re garded as a legitimate article of trade. Whilst my sympathies ran in another direction, I must confess that the evidence given before the Commission compelled me to join in the recommendation placed before Parliament. There is very little doubt that blended brandy is a recognised standard article of trade, and is even asked for by people of a particular taste - a taste which may or may not be vitiated. If blended brandy is to' be regarded as a legitimate article of trade, it was obviously the duty of the Commission not to attempt to impose upon the consumers of that product any greater burden by way of duty than upon the consumers of pure brandy. That was what prompted me to give in mv adhesion to the recommendations of the Commission. At the same time, I recognise that, looking at the matter from the national stand-point, tha pure brandy industry is entitled to the utmost consideration that we can give it. Under the circumstances, I shall vote in favour of the recommendation of the Commission j but I quite realize that other honorable members may have the fullest justification for voting otherwise.







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