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Tuesday, 20 October 1931

Mr BERNARD CORSER (Wide Bay) .- I move-

That the sub-item be further amended by adding the following: - "And on and after 21st October, 1931- (e) Blended whisky, distilled partly from barley malt and partly from other grain, containing not less than 25 per cent. of pure barley malt spirit (which has been separately distilled by a pot-still or similar process at a strength not exceeding 45 per cent. over proof), the whole being matured by storage in wood for aperiod of not less than three years, and certified by an officer to be whisky so blended and matured -

(1)   If bottled under customs or excise supervision subject to such conditions as to the bottling and as to the strength of the spirits as are prescribed by departmental by-laws, per proof gallon, 28s.

(2)   If not bottled under customs or excise supervision, per proof gallon, 33s.".

I move this amendment to rectify an excise anomaly which has been in existence for a number of years. No doubt the Minister is conversant with the facts. At present the higher duty on blended whisky as against pure malt whisky prevents the blending of our potstill and patent-still whisky with other whiskies, a process which is essential if we are to produce a palatable whisky in Australia. Pot-still whisky is not consumed to any great extent, either in Australia or in any other part of the world. The differentiation in the excise of 23. a gallon as between pure malt whisky and blended whisky, has materially interfered with the sale of whisky produced in Australia from our own grain. The same rate of excise should apply to both pure malt whisky and blended whisky. If the amendment is carried, a great impetus will be given to the local industry.

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