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Thursday, 16 August 1906

Mr McCAY (Corinella) .- I find it difficult to follow the reasons given by the departmental officers for objecting to the proposal of the Commission, unless their contention is that, under the proposal of the Government, the supervision necessary would be less than that which would be required under the Commission's proposal. I presume, however, that, if the duty were reduced to 6d. per gallon, no more supervision would be necessary than has been requisite with a duty of is. per gallon, and I would remind the Committee that we have not heard of any substantial (frauds. I cannot see at present how the degree of supervision, is affected by the alteration in method. If it be not affected, then it is clear that the departmental minute is entirely irrelevant to the proposed alteration. In that case, we have to turn to the point raised by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo that, under the Government proposal, wine makers on a large scale will be able to obtain spirit for fortifying at a less rate per gallon than will those carrying on business on a small scale. We desire that our small manufacturers shall grow into large manufacturers rather than that the large manufacturers should expand their operations at the expense of those in a smaller way of business. Consequently, unless there is. some very substantial difference1 in the 'degree of supervision required under the two systems, T trust that the Government will adopt the recommendation of the Tariff Commission. After all, the departmental minute has probably emanated from one officer, and it seems to me that it has nothing to do with the case since, under either proposal, there must be supervision.

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