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Thursday, 28 July 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - At one time the definition of the quality of spirits was not a.s complete as it might have .been, but nowadays there -.are standards of quality laid down for whisky, brandy, and rum. Brandy that does not comply with the Australian standard - that is not pure grape brandy made under certain conditions - is dutiable when not exceeding the strength of proof at 43s. a gallon; but brandy of the Australian standard, which has been made under conditions similar to those applying in Australia, is dutiable at 30s. a gallon. Most of the imported brandy pays 40s. a gallon under sub-item g.

Senator Benny - But the Department is content with the certificate of a French mayor as to compliance with Australian conditions.

Senator RUSSELL - No.

Senator Benny - That has been the case.

Senator RUSSELL - We are now making a very definite attempt to encourage Australian industries, and we are making sure that the certificates are what they should be.

Senator Benny - -Why not raise the duty to insure that the proper standard will be observed?

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Sub-item g refers to "other" spirit.

Senator RUSSELL - It applies to imported brandy which does not comply with Australian conditions - that is, which is not pure grape brandy.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - What about the maturity of the imported spirit?

Senator RUSSELL - It must be at least two years old.

Senator Benny - I think that subitemG must apply, to other kinds of spirit than brandy, whisky, gin, and rum.

Senator RUSSELL - My statement was quite correct. Brandy that does not comply with the Australian standard - that has not been manufactured under conditions similar to those enforced in Australia, and has not been matured for two years - is dutiable at 43s. a gallon.

Request negatived.

Item agreed to.

Item 4 (Amylic alcohol and fusel oil), item 5 (Collodion), and item 6 (Wood naphtha, &c), agreed to.

Item 7 (Bay rum).

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