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Thursday, 28 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - This is one item upon which we shall have to be particularly careful lest we discourage the bottling industry in Australia by the imposition of duties which, relatively speaking, are not fair ones. Without going into details, I may say that the present duty upon 100 dozen of lime or lemon juice consisting of 26- ounce reputed quart bottles, if all the materials are imported and the juice is bottled in Australia, amounts to £24 17s. ; whereas the duty upon 100 dozen bottles of lime or lemon juice, packed and finished abroad, represents only £21 13s. 4d. Thus we have the anomaly of an imported article, bottled overseas, being admitted at a lower price than it would be charged if bottled here. Is that fair? I think that the Minister might well agree to a slight increase in the duty upon bottled fruit juices. There are a considerable number of persons who grow lemons in Australia, and a big trade has grown up locally in lime juice and lemon squash, as well as a small export trade. I hope that the Minister will meet me in respect of an increased duty upon bottled fruit juices.

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