Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 19 May 1936


Senator E B JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - On the last occasion on which the Senate dealt with excise duly on tobacco, I voted with Country party senators in favour of a duty which would give the greatest benefits to the growers. For similar reasons I shall support the request moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings). I am surprised to learn from the Minister (Senator A. J. McLachlan) that, on the portion of Australian leaf used in blended tobacco excise duty is not charged at the lower rate of 3s. l0d. per lb. If that is so, it will be easy for this committee to remedy the position, whether or not the request moved by the Leader of the Opposition is carried. If it be carried, the honorable senator can move a further request to make the item read : " Tobacco, manufactured n.e.i., in the manufacture of which Australian leaf is used in part, on the proportion of Australian leaf used per lb. 3s.". I would support a proposal on those lines. , On the other hand, if the request moved by the Leader of the Opposition is not carried, the item could be amended to read : " Tobacco manufactured n.e.i., in the manufacture of which Australian-grown leaf is used in part, on the proportion of Australian leaf used per lb. 3s. 10d."


Senator Brennan - How could that proposal, possibly be carried out from an administrative point of view?


Senator E B JOHNSTON - I do not think it would offer any difficulty at all to our excise officials. Already, when Australian leaf goes into a factory, there has to be some check 'on it to see whether it is used in the manufacture of exclusively Australian tobacco or otherwise. I can see no reason why the Australian tobacco-grower should not get the benefit of the lower excise rate, should, perhaps, three-quarters 'of the leaf used in manufacture be Australian leaf. Indeed, I believe that the majority of members of Parliament thought that this contingency was now provided for in the way I suggest. I am surprised to hear that this i3 not so. In these circumstances, it is no wonder that the use of Australian leaf has fallen off so rapidly compared with the proportion used in manufacture in 1930-1931. On the last occasion we considered the excise duty on tobacco in company with all Country party senators. I voted in favour of a differentiation of ls. 6d. in excise duty rates in favour of Australian leaf, as against imported leaf. I hope the committee will agree to a proposal on these lines which will effect a slight reduction of some of the heavy taxation imposed on smokers and, at the same time, help a valuable primary industry.







Suggest corrections