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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2105

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I address a question to the Minister for Customs and Excise. I refer to the reply which I received from the Minister to question on notice No. 380 in which I asked whether the Government, when in Opposition, had asserted that if elected to the Treasury bench it would promptly remove the existing 25c per gallon excise charge applicable to wine and would not impose any alternative form of taxation on the wine industry. I then referred to the steep- -

The PRESIDENT - Order! You need not refer to it in this question. Just ask the question.

Senator LAUCKE - I ask: Has the Minister noted that the Premier of South Australia has referred to the fact of the alternative imposition on the industry in terms that he has been 'put in a position of personal dishonour and bitterly resents it'? He also said: 'I have been put in a position I would not have believed possible. I express my sense of shame at what has happened. No one can say that the removal of the brandy differential and the revaluation of wine stocks are not new imposts. ' I ask: How does the Minister reconcile this reply with the reply in which he said that there was no election promise to be honoured?

Senator MURPHY -I have read the newspapers, and I have also read what has been said by the Premier of South Australia. I do not have anything to add to what was said by me. I understand that there has been discussion on this matter between the Prime Minister and the Premier of South Australia.

Senator LAUCKE -Mr President,I wish to ask a supplementary question.

The PRESIDENT - If you consider that the Minister has not answered your question fully, you may ask a supplementary question.

Senator LAUCKE - My question has not been answered at all.

The PRESIDENT - Very well.

Senator LAUCKE - Will the Minister for Customs and Excise take action to give effect to an honourable promise- a promise of honourwhich was given in this matter?

Senator MURPHY -I do not have anything to add to what was said by me. The honourable senator is well aware of the public discussion which has taken place on this matter. Any decision in this affair is a matter for the Cabinet.

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