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Wednesday, 15 August 1906

Mr HUTCHISON (Hindmarsh) . - I should like to know whether, under the suggestion of the Prime Minister, spirit made from molasses could be used as a blend in brandies which are placed upon the market?

Mr Deakin - Not in brandies which are labelled by the Commonwealth.

Mr HUTCHISON - But we should not permit this cheap spirit to be put into anything which is called brandy.

Mr Deakin - If the honorable member wishes to prevent that, he must accomplish his object in the Bill in which these resolutions will be incorporated.

Mr HUTCHISON - If honorable members will look at progress report No. 2 of the Tariff Commission-

Mr Watson - Under the Government proposal, molasses spirit could not be called brandy. It can merely be sold as spirit, and it will have to pay an Exciseduty of 13s. per gallon. Surely that ought to satisfy the South Australians.

Mr HUTCHISON - It does not satisfy me. If honorable members will turn to progress report No. 2 of the Tariff Com mission, under the heading of " Spirits and the Distillation of Spirits," they will find that brandy which is made entirely from wine spirit is to have an advantage conferred upon it by being labelled " Pure Australian Standard Brandy." If honorable members turn to the next paragraph they will see that another class of brandy, which is to be blended with a different spirit - and this is why I wish to prevent the use of molasses spirit for blending purposes - is tobe labelled "Australian blended brandy." That will be very confusing. If we are to allow a blend containing only 25 per cent. of grape spirit to be placed on the market we should not permit it to be described as brandy.

Mr Johnson - I fail to see what difference it makes whether the spirit mixed with pure grape spirit is distilled from molasses or grain.

Mr HUTCHISON - If the honorable member were engaged in the industry he would quickly recognise the difference. There is no reason why we should allow anything but pure grape brandy to be labelled " brandy."

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Quite so; but if we do allow a blend to belabelled "brandy," why not allow a blending of grape spirit with any spirit to be labelled "Australian blended brandy"?

Mr HUTCHISON - I object to molasses spirit being used in blending. If a blend containing only 25 per cent. of pure grape spirit is to be labelled " Australian blended brandy," it* should bear a statement to the effect that it contains only 25 per cent, of pure grape spirit. The public would then know what they were buying, and a blend so described would find but few purchasers. I do not think that honorable members recognise the full significance of the Prime Minister's proposal. His object is a good one, but I do not think that he proposes to go far enough. There is no reason why we should permit a blend which contains only 25 per cent. of pure grape spirit to be labelled "brandy."

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