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Tuesday, 19 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - So far as I can see there is more than the Minister (Senator Russell) suggests in connexion with this amendment, because the clause in effect validates the collection of higher duties, and also, by the- second paragraph, the collection of lower duties.

Senator Russell - I am informed that this amendment is purely consequential on account of a prior amendment made in connexion with the South African rates. It is a newgroup, and the drafting is necessary to enable the present arrangements with South Africa to continue until this Act is proclaimed..

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I thank the Minister for the information, ' but I am rather reluctant to assist in passing a validating clause until I know more about it, because the commercial community may have an injustice inflicted upon it in certain circumstances. The second paragraph appears to validate the Minister's action in allowing any goods to be taken from bond for home consumption at a lower duty than this Bill imposes. I have no objection to that, because I believe the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) possesses not only the confidence of members of Parliament but of the commercial community. I. would, however, like an assurance from the Minister that no validation of either higher or lower duties will in effect inflict any injustice on the commercial community by way of litigation.

Senator Russell - This refers only to the schedule. There is a general Customs Act covering the points mentioned by the honorable senatorwhich will not be amended.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the Minister is prepared to give me theassurance I desire, I shall be satisfied.

Senator Russell - I am prepared to do that.I shall give a fuller reply later.

Request agreedto.


Introductory paragraphs agreed to. division (1) - ale, spirits and beverages.

Item 1-

Ale and other beer, porter, cider and perry, spirituous : - (A)* In bulk, per gallon, British, 2s.; intermediate, 2s. 3d.; general, 2s. 6dAnd on and after 17th September, 1920, per gallon, British, 2s. 6d. ; intermediate, 2s. 9d.; general, 3s.

(u)   In bottle*, per gallon, British, 2s. 6d.;° intermediate, 2s. 9d. ; general, 3s. And on and 'after 17th September, 1920, per gallon, British, 3s.; intermediate, 3s. 3d.; general, 3s. Gd.

*Six reputed quarts, or 12 reputed pints, or 24 reputed half-pints, to be charged as 1 gallon,

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