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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (2:52 AM) . - Sub-item a relates to pharmaceutical preparations, patent and proprietary medicines, drugs and other medicinal preparations. The industry is a fairly considerable one of its kind, and has been labouring under many disadvantages. It cannot continue in its present anomalous position. I move -

That the House of Representatives be requested to amend sub-item a by making the duties British, 30 per cent.; intermediate, 35 per cent. ; general, 40 per. cent. ; and by adding at the end of the sub-item the words: - "with an additional duty if spirituous, as follows: - If containing not more than 20 per cent, proof spirit, per gallon, British, 4s.; intermediate, 4s. ; general, 5s. ; and for every additional 20 per cent, or fraction thereof of proof spirit, per gallon, British, 4s.; intermediate, 4s.; general, 5s.

Now, if a local chemist or a manufacturer desired to make a cough mixture he would have to pay Excise and import duties on some of the ingredients he has to import, totalling 34s.1d. on the quantity contained in two gross of bottles, but if a similar quantity of cough mixture were imported ready for use, the ad valorem duty would be 19s. 10d., as duty would not be paid on the alcoholic contents. The local manufacturer is, therefore, handicapped to the extent of 14s. 3d. on the quantity mentioned. I could quote many illustrations, but I believe honorable senators realize the fairness of making an adjustment in the direction I have indicated.

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