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Thursday, 20 May 1926

Senator CRAWFORD(Queensland-

That the bill be now read a second time.

This is a very short measure. It deals with only one item, and the proposed alteration is set out in the schedule as follows : -

2.   By omitting the whole of sub-item (p) and inserting in its stead the following sub itum . - -

(p)   Absolute alcohol and white spirit for use in universities for scientific purposes,subject to regulations - Free."

Under the 1912-4 Excise Tariff, absolute alcohol for use in universities for scientific purposes was admitted free of duty, subject to regulations. Universities use white spirit as well as absolute alcohol for scientific purposes, but they were compelled to pay duty at 38s. per proof gallon under excise item 2 (o) - Spirits, n.e.i. To produce white spirit from absolute alcohol it is necessary only to leave the container unstoppered for a time or to add water. This method of obtaining white spirit free of duty is, however, wasteful, and is not in accordance with the intention of the 1921 Excise Tariff. Since it is necessary for universities to be supplied with while spirit for research purposes, at as low a cost as possible, it

Las been decided to submit to Parliament a proposed alteration in excise item 2 (c), whereby white spirit will be permitted to be cleared free of duty for universities, subject to regulations. This will remove the disability under which universities have been labouring for some considerable time.

Debate (on motion by Senator Needham) adjourned.

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