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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) (Minister for Trade aud Customs) .- The honorable member for Gippsland (Mr. Paterson) referred to the power that is being given to the Minister to cancel licences. It is similar to that provided in the excise and the beer excise acts, a power that has never been abused, arid is not likely to be abused under this measure. The honorable member for Angas (Mr. Gabb) raised the subject of the registration of growers. A grape-grower has to register only when he produces grapes for use in the manufacture of wine. If he produces currants that are to bc used as dried fruits, he must register under the Dried Fruits Act, but he has not to deregister simply because he grows grapes that are used in the manufacture of wine. He pays no fee to register, but has only to fill in a simple form stating bow many tons he has sold and to whom rho sale was made. Four-ninths of the money raised under the proposed flat rate will go into the trust fund, as was the case with the excise duty on fortifying spirit. As to conferring with the growers, the senior inspector of excise is constantly in touch with them in South Australia and other States. I have received deputations from growers in the Great "Western and Rutherglen districts, and from the Hunter Valley, and the views that they expressed wore taken into consideration by the Government when framing this measure.

Mr Gabb - The inspector would noi disclose any knowledge that he possessed as to the contents of this bill.

Mr FORDE - As a good public servant he recognizes that he is an adviser to the Minister of the day ; also that thi9 bill concerns a matter of public policy, which he was not privileged to divulge. I regret that I cannot enlighten honorable members as to the rate of excise that will be charged. It will be brough down in a schedule in the course of a few weeks.. I assure honorable members that their representations on behalf of the producers of light dry wines will be taken into consideration.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 (Parts).

Mr Gabb - I should like to know whether it is any use my asking to have i user ted a part relating to dealers.

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