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Thursday, 16 August 1906


Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister of External Affairs) . - The departmental report with regard to this proposal is as follows : -

The allowance of drawback of duty on spirit used in fortifying wines would probably cause a further loss of ^4,000, but the proposal itself is open to considerable objection, inasmuch as it "would be impossible, unless the whole process of fortification and subsequent export was conducted "under the supervision of an officer, to ascertain the quantity of spirit entitled to drawback. As the effect of the proposals to reduce the duty on spirit for fortification to 6d. per gallon, and "to give drawback, would be to reduce the revenue now derived from spirits used in fortifying wine to a nominal amount, it would seem preferable to allow all spirits for fortification free of duty, subject to the condition that the expense of the officer supervising operations would be charged against the person using the spirit, to an extent not greater than 6d. per gallon on the spirit used.


Mr McLean - Would not that proposal give the big man a preference. The cost of supervision in the case of a large vineyard would not be as great as it would be in the case of a small one.


Mr DEAKIN - I thought that the point made by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo was probably correct, but the official comment is that there is a strong objection to the proposal of the Commission, because, unless the whole process of fortifying and exporting were conducted under supervision, there would be a difficulty in determining the duty entitled to drawback.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But there must be supervision in either case.


Mr DEAKIN - I undertake to have the matter carefully looked into before the provisions relating to it in the Bill are dealt with.







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