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Wednesday, 15 August 1906

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - It appears to me that while the Prime Minister's proposal will in part meet the difficulty as to the want of further classification, it will not meet the criticism offered by the honorable member for North Sydney.

Mr Fisher - It is more clever than equitable.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All three of these classifications exclude molasses.

Mr Wilson - So they should.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If molasses are unfit for the production of brandy it is proper to exclude them.

Mr Hutchison - They are not unfit for a blend, but they are unfit for brandy proper.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - This classification excludes them altogether. The whole question is : ought molasses to be excluded from the making ofbrandy ? I take it that the principle of this classification is to exclude spirit made from molasses as deleterious.

Mr Deakin - Oh, no ; it would not have the right to bear any of these special names, that is all.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Iam afraid that the result will be that the more cheaply produced stuff will compete with the other, and the general public will not trouble much what it is distilled from. They will only, know that it is called brandy, without troubling much whether it is made from grain, grapes, or anything else. The evidence given before the Tariff Commission shows that the public taste is hit by a blend more than by the genuine stuff. The popular brandy is a blended brandy, and it is just possible that we may have a blended brandy that will taste just as well as a better' kind. The more logical course to take would be, if we intend to exclude brandy made from molasses from being officially called brandy, to prevent it going on to the market, as a drink at all. If it is vicious stuff, exclude it from consumption! ; rule it out altogether. If the Government intends to adopt this classification it certainly ought to go further, because, as now proposed to us, it seems to me that it will only be making things worse. The stuff which is not genuine brandy should be ruled out of the market as a drink altogether.

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