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Thursday, 16 August 1906


Mr BAMFORD (Herbert) .- We have now an opportunity such as may not again be afforded to us of providing for the building up of a large export trade in good pure brandy. With regard" to blended brandy, it does not matter to me personally whether molasses or other material is used for distillation. The farmers get no benefit from the distillation of spirit from molasses, that being a waste product of the sugar mills.


Mr Deakin - There will be a great demand for molasses spirit as methylated spirit, which is now free of duty.


Mr BAMFORD - Yes. The distillation of spirit in Queensland is now very great, and I am certain that all the molasses spirit made in that State is not used for blending purposes. As a matter of fact, a great deal of it is used for industrial purposes, and, no doubt, the demand for it in this direction will increase. The Government, however, should give a better reason than has been furnished for prohibiting the use of molasses spirit as a blend. If it can be shown that such spirit is' deleterious,I shall be willing to admit that it should not be used. But that has not been statedby either the Prime Minister, the Minister of Trade and Customs, or any of the experts whose opinions have been cited, and if that is the only reason, I maintain that it is an exceedingly weak one. On the other hand, if it is to be differentiated against on the ground of cheapness, I should like to know why it is not proposed to charge different rates of duties on maize spirit, wheat spirit, barley spirit, and malted barley spirit, which differ considerably in cost. Furthermore, potato spirit and beet root spirit, which are quite as costly as wheat spirit or barley spirit, are not allowed to be used. Surely this is an illogical position. In my opinion, the amendment of the honorable member for Hindmarsh should have the support of the Committee. When I have the opportunity, I intend to move the omission of the words " blended wine " from the title of the spirit on which it is proposed that the dutv should be11s. a gallon, because I think that that spirit should be known only as brandv.







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