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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (1:42 AM) . - It appears that the Government are now, with the assistance of Senator Pratten, practically' doubling the duties upon perfumed spirits.

Senator Pearce - The purpose of the request is to correct an oversight which should have been rectified in another place.

Senator GARDINER - The effect of the amendment made elsewhere was to reduce the rates. 'Why should the Government now seek to reimpose the higher Tariff ? What is now sought is to add the fixed duty to the ad valorem rates. The two combined will be altogether unreasonable.

Senator Pearce - But that combination will not be the extent of the actual protection, because local users of spirit will have had to pay Excise duty equivalent to the fixed rate on imported spirit.

Senator GARDINER - Evidently, in the course of consideration elsewhere it was considered that the old duties were too, heavy; therefore they were reduced by 15 per cent, all round. The request now before the Committee is, in effect, to add to the rates respectively 20 per cent., 25 per cent., and 30 per cent.

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