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Wednesday, 2 June 1926

Senator McHUGH (South Australia) . - As the debate proceeds we acquire a little more information. Incidentally we have had lectures from some of our Puritan friends on the Government side of the chamber. For instance, Senator Payne has lectured all and sundry. He may avoid the use of whisky, but I do not know that he lectures against gambling.

Senator Payne - I wish the honorable senator would stick to the item.

Senator McHUGH - The honorable senator will do nothing for any other State unless he can get something for Tasmania, and, as he cannot see anything in the proposed duties on whisky to the advantage of his own State, he gives us one of his occasional lectures. I hope that in future he will be consistent, and as he has become a real Puritan, I hope that he will go outside and talk against gambling.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Newlands - The honorable senator must desist from personal observations.

Senator McHUGH - I have a circular, which contains the following: -

It is now generally recognized that the majority of the Scotch whiskeys now on the Australian market are blended spirits, consisting of approximately 25 to 30 per cent. pure malt whisky, and the balance silent or neutral spirit.

Senator Ogden - We can safely contradict that.

Senator McHUGH - It will be something to contradict. The letter which the honorable senator read seemed to be a " frame-up " for this debate.

Senator Ogden - I should not be surprised at the honorable senator getting that impression.

Senator McHUGH - It gave more than one honorable senator that impression. I believe it was a " frame-up " for the distinct purpose of defeating this item in the schedule.

Senator Thompson - It is quite reasonable to suggest that, to sell an article at 8d. would bring more trade than would the selling of it at1s.

Senator McHUGH - Senator Ogden, in reading the letter, said that these people wanted to increase the price from 8d. to 9d.

Senator Ogden - No. I said that they wanted to increase it from 6d. to 8d.

Senator McHUGH - Thatwas not the impression the honorable senator conveyed. He said, first of all, that the price was 6d., and that later on these people wanted to raise it from 8d. to 9d. As a matter of fact, they were anxious to get the price back from 9d. to 8d. In some places, it had risen to 9d., and they were energetically seeking to reduce it to 8d.

Senator Ogden - Does the honorable senator mean that I framed this up?

Senator McHUGH - No. But I believe that it was a " frame-up " on the honorable senator.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to8 p.m.

Progress reported.

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