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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Senator KEANE (VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follows : -

(i)   On 10th December, 1940, approval was given for the elimination of the 20-oz. pot, 20-oz. schooner and10-oz. pot in public bars. These were replaced by the17-oz. schooner and 9-oz. pot which were sold at the old prices of10d. and 6d., respectively. These variations were to offset to some extent the full effect of an increase in excise in September, 1939, of 3d. a gallon and a further increase of 9d. a gallon in November, 1940.

(ii)   Bottles were increased 2d. equivalent to the increase in excise duty. This was a general increase throughout Australia.

(iii)   On 19th December, 1941, following an increase of 3d. a gallon in excise (30th November, 1941) and1d. a gallon for gas used for reticulation, approval was given for the 17-oz. schooner to be reduced to 16-oz. and sold at10d. a schooner. Bottles were increased one halfpenny: equivalent to the increase in excise. The price for bottled beer sold in glasses over the counter remained unchanged.

Spirits -

(iv)   In December, 1940, following the imposition of a further 12s. a proof gallon duty on imported and Australian spirits an increase in the prices of bottled spirits was permitted in accordance with a formula which decreased gross profit margins. Nobbler prices were increased1d. a1-oz nip.

(v)   Owing to the ex-distillery prices of Scotch whisky being increased in the United Kingdom, increases in Australian retailprices of this spirit were permitted to operate from 27th December, 1941. On the same date nobbler prices increased 1d. a nip.

(c)   The overall percentage gross profit margins that Canberra hotelkeepers derive from their bar trade are materially lower than those prevailing before the war. Despite increases in excise, saloon bar prices of beer have not increased since the war.

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