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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1926


Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - My question which is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate concerns the economy. With the knowlege that man cannot live by bread alone, will the Minister inform the Senate of the level of consumption of beer, wine and spirits per head of population for the September quarter compared with previous quarters? In view of the quality of the answer which he gave me yesterday, he might also supply to the Senate comparative figures for cigarettes and tobacco for the same period.


Senator MURPHY -As a matter of fact, I have come prepared with some of the figures. In regard to the per capita consumption of beer they show an annual increase from 127 litres in 1971-72 to 141 litres in this financial year. I do not have the figures for wine, but the indications are that they are increasing. The per capita consumption of spirits has increased from 1 litre to 1.3 litres. I think the figure for the consumption of tobacco has remained fairly constant over the last 4 years. Whilst the figures for alcoholic products show some variations because of pre-Budget speculation and so on, they clearly indicate that Australians are drinking a little more than usual, and I can only explain this by saying that they are drinking and they will continue to drink out of joy. It is only in areas where the Liberal and Country parties hold sway that people drink out of sorrow.







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