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Thursday, 3 December 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - in reply - Honorable senators need not be apprehensive that the Australian wine and spirit industry will be injured as the result of this agreement. In the case of brandy, the import duty will still be 10s. a gallonmore than the excise on Australianmade brandy. Bearing in mind the excellent quality of the brandy produced in Australia, particularly in the State from which I come, I have no doubt whatever that 10s. a gallon will be sufficient protection. On wine in the bottle, the margin of protection will be 12s. a gallon, equal to 2s. a bottle, which, I am convinced, will provide adequate protection for wine of the excellent quality produced in Australia. If we are to reap the benefits from this agreement which we all desire, we must be prepared to give something away. If France is unable to sell anything to us, it is not likely to go on taking our barley, sheepskins, wool, wheat, &c. The wineproducing industry in Australia is in quite a satisfactory condition. This is a bargain between Australia and France, and does not affect our fiscal arrangements in regard to other countries. I have no doubt that many benefits will be derived, because I know of no nation which responds more quickly than does France to a. friendly gesture, even so small a one as this.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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