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Friday, 2 September 1921

Senator BENNY (South Australia) . - When the item, Brandy, was before the Committee in connexion with the Tariff, I moved that the duty be 33s. per gallon, and intimated that growers had informed me that

French brandy, being accepted by the Customs officers on a. certificate of the local mayor, was coming into competition with the local product which is made from the purest grape spirit. This handicap on the Australian industry is very considerable, because the local manufacturers have to supply the genuine article whereas the light French brandies are not made from grape wines at all. The Minister then in charge of the Bill (Senator Russell) was good enough to say that he would satisfy me on the point I had raised. I believe efforts are being made to overcome the difficulty, and that in future the certificates must be furnished by a properly authorized officer of the Department. I have been in conversation with several of our growers on the Murray where over 700 settlers are producing Doradiila grapes, and I am advised that it is essential that the industry should be adequately protected. The Doradiila grape produces the purest brandy in Australia. In view of the. fact that the Committee would not give this protection when this matter came before us in connexion with the Tariff, I suggest that the Minister should move to reduce the Excise duty. This would place us in a better position. Instead of 27s., the Excise should be 2s. less. The difference between the Excise and the Customs duty would probably have the effect of giving security to our growers..

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