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Friday, 18 November 1927

Senator CHAPMAN (South Australia) . - I have heard nothing officially from the Viticultural Council of South Australia about this mutter; but I feel so strongly concerning it that I must support* the remarks of Senator Barwell. I am indeed surprised that the Minister for Trade and Customs should have said that in imposing this duty the Government was only getting a little of its own back. > I remind the Senate that, although during the last three years bounties have been paid on wine exported, the excise duty on the spirit used for fortifying that wine represents a much greater sum of money.

Senator Needham - What amount has been paid as bounty on wine?

Senator CHAPMAN - I have not the figures with me, but the honorable senator may find them in a recent issue of Hansard, in reply to a question I asked.

Senator Sir HENRY Barwell - The bounties amounted to about £200,000, whereas the excise duty totalled about £1,100,000.

Senator CHAPMAN - That excise duty has to be borne by the wine industry. The Minister now proposes to place a further burden upon it. The Tariff Board in its last report admits that increased duties result in higher prices being charged for commodities. Then we have Arbitration Court awards and Wages Boards determinations, which further increase the price of commodities. The result is that costs of production continue to rise until further duties are sought. The cost of production in Australia is now so great that it has been found necessary to assist some of our primary industries' by the granting of bounties. The cost of production in Australia is so high that only about 4 per cent, of our exports represent manufactured goods.

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