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Tuesday, 18 September 1906

Senator TRENWITH (Victoria) . - I did not intend to speak on this issue, but the extraordinary argument presented by Senator Millen renders it necessary that I should say a few words.

Senator Lt Col Gould - As a Victorian ?

Senator TRENWITH - No ; as a member of the Federal Parliament. The allegation has been made that this Bill is introduced in order to restore a Victorian industry, and the inference has been conveyed that if it had not been a Victorian industry that was to be restored, this action would not be taken at this time. To start with, the Bill does not deal with' any particular spot , in Australia, but with the whole of the Commonwealth. It happens just now that sugar is made in Queensland and New South Wales, and not in the other States. That is merely an accident.

Senator Lt Col Gould - An accident due to nature.

Senator TRENWITH - No. We can make beet sugar in Victoria., and I am sure that in parts of South Australia cane sugar can be produced as well as in Queensland.

Senator Col Neild - No, not in any part of South Australia

Senator TRENWITH - I shall not contest that point.

Senator Col Neild - It could be produced in the Northern Territory.

Senator Millen - Perhaps the honorable senator will answer this question : I understand that his contention is that as duties are levied on articles without reference to locality, my argument therefore fails. Will he say that, although in the imposition of the duty no reference is made to Queensland, the duty imposed on sugar is not a distinct aid to that State?

Senator TRENWITH - It is undoubtedly, but it is an aid to Australia, and if, as might easily happen, the sugar mill at Maffra were to start working again, we should immediately feel the benefit of the dutv on sugar.

Senator Millen - It is not likely to start.

Senator TRENWITH - We cannot say what is likely to happen. The fact is that at present molasses spirit is made almost exclusively im New South Wales and Queensland. It is urged that molasses spirit is as good for all the purposes for which spirit is used as grain spirit and wine spirit. If that contention is correct-

Senator Playford - And it is not.

Senator TRENWITH - Then the argument is sound that there should be no differentiation.

Senator Drake - The Excise Bill provides that in the case of blended whisky 75 per cent, may be silent spirit produced from grain.

Senator TRENWITH - I purpose dealing with the facts as thev are. ' The allegation is that molasses spirit is as good for all the purposes for which spirit is used as grain malt, or wine spirit. If that allegation is correct, and is based upon fact, the argument is sound that there should be no differentiation.

Senator Drake - Hear, hear. I claim the honorable senator's vote.

Senator TRENWITH - That allegation is proved .to be incorrect.

Senator Millen - If it is correct, the honorable senator must see the position I take up.

Senator TRENWITH - I am coming to Senator Millen's argument, but I wish to clear the ground as I go on. If I can get my honorable friends opposite to admit that molasses spirit is not as good for all purposes for which spirits are used, as are grain, malt, and wine spirits, we come then to another phase of the question. This is a Bill to protect the production of spirit in Australia.

Senator Millen - Of "spirits" without differentiation between one and another.

Senator TRENWITH - I rose to show why there should be such a differentiation. This Bill is to protect the production of spirits in Australia, and protection, is introduced, if at all, because it is necessary. That will, I think, be assumed. It has been shown indisputably that molasses spirit does not require the protection .that is required for grain, malt, and wine spirits.

Senator Millen - This will be the first time the honorable senator gave a vote in favour of a low measure of protection.

Senator TRENWITH - I say to Senator Millen that I should be prepared to give as much protection as possible to every form of Colonial production. I am, however, dealing with the Bill as it is presented to us, and I feel certain that Senator Millen will not support a reduction of the proposed Excise dutv on molasses, though he would like to increase the Excise dutv .on other spirits. If there is any need for this Bill, it is to protect, and it has been proved indisputably that spirit produced from molasses does not require the protection which is required by spirit produced from malt and wine.

Senator Drake - But is it a correct principle to handicap the' raw material from- which the desired product can be made at the least cost?

Senator TRENWITH - The honorable senator forgets my first proposition - that if molasses spirit is as good as any other for all purposes for which spirit is used, there is no need for differentiation. I propose to snow that it is not as good. Before you can put grain spirit on the same footing as molasses spirit, you must distil it up to a very high percentage of alcoholic strength, when it will have lost all the properties which make it valuable for whisky production. That is to say, you1 can. by distillation, make grain spirit as bad as molasses spirit. But that is no reason why we should make it as bad.

Senator Millen - This is a new plea for impurity.

Senator TRENWITH - The question is, what is impurity? I heard a very interesting illustration on the point, which I present to the Senate. At Mount Lyell, they mine for copper, and they find that the copper is impregnated with impurities which have to be removed. Those impurities are gold and silver. Experts take the precaution to refer to them as ." so-called impurities." You can get pure alcohol, but pure alcohol is not whisky.

Senator Millen - Is that why the Government propose to keep spirits in bond for two years; - in order to get the gold out of it?

Senator TRENWITH - I am dealing with the matter from my own, point of view. I am urging that pure alcohol is not whisky, brandy, or rum.

Senator Lt Col Gould - You do not destroy your copper bv taking the gold and silver out of the copper ore.

Senator TRENWITH - You make it less valuable, though not less valuable as copper, I admit. We are dealing with the production of spirits which go into human consumption. .Without arguing whether whisky is a good thing or a bad thing, there is a large number of persons who require it and who are prepared to pay for it. When we are legislating with respect to the means by which they shall be furnished with it, we should take every precaution to see that they get what they pay for. Senator Best gave the illustration of butter and margarine. It is as wrong to give a person butter who asks for margarine as it' would be to give him margarine if he asked for butter. People are deceived and defrauded if they do not get what they ask and pay for. What this Bill provides is that those persons who like pure whisky, brandy, and rum shall have the means of obtaining those commodities as produced in Australia; and that those people who like blended brandy and whisky, shall be able to obtain those commodities also. I fail to see how the persons now engaged in the production of molasses spirit will be injured unless, as has been insinuated, it enters into a commodity that is sold for what it is not.

Senator Millen - That is what I say.

Senator TRENWITH - If that be so, what we want to do is not to alter the differentiation, but to insert some provision to prevent that fraud. True whisky, the experts say, is made from malted grain. But a large number of people do not like pure whisky. They like a blend made from malted barley and grain. If they gel what they ask for there is no fraud.

Senator Staniforth Smith - But it ought not to be sold as whisky.

Senator TRENWITH - It is to be sold under a name that is easily understood. If people want it they ought to be able to get if.

Senator Millen - If I like a blend containing molasses spirit, why should I not be allowed to get it?

Senator TRENWITH - I do not see why the honorable senator should not.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator is trying to crush out that industry.

Senator TRENWITH - If the industrywas not crushed out with a protection of is., I fail to see how it will be crushed out by having a protection of 2s. I think it can easily be shown that the molasses spirit is likely to fulfil its proper mission in becoming an article of industrial consumption. There is an enormous field for development in that respect. We have seen that an enormous quantity of molasses spirit purchased by Joshua Brothers has been sold as methylated spirit.

Senator Millen - What figures show that an " enormous " percentage of it is sold as methylated spirit?

Senator TRENWITH - If I remember rightly, Mr. Brind stated that he did not believe that any considerable proportion of molasses spirit entered into the production of whisky or brandy.

Senator Millen - So far as I have read the Tariff Commission reports, no figures are given to show what proportion is used.

Senator Best - That information was not asked for by the Commission, but I have produced it to-day.

Senator TRENWITH - In answer to a question before the Tariff Commission, Mr. Joshua said that the molasses spirit purchased by him had been principally used for methylation..

Senator Drake - That is .not correct, because we know that in one year only 73,000 gallons were methylated out cf 182,000 purchased-.

Senator TRENWITH - The figures quoted by Senator Best showed that a great proportion was methylated. In one year 11,000 gallons were sold as spirits of wine. A considerable proportion was sold as rum, which is the legitimate use of molasses spirit as an article of human consumption.

Senator Drake - In 1905, 133,000 gallons were not methylated out of 182,000 purchased. .

Senator TRENWITH - It rests with the honorable senator to show what has become of it. The point - 1 urge is that molasses spirit receives under this Bill ..such an additional protection as under existing circumstances is shown by the evidence to be adequate. Grain spirits also get an additional protection ; not as much as molasses spirit, but sufficient to reestablish the production cf grain spirits in Australia instead of our importing them from abroad. The spirits that we are now getting from abroad are to a large extent cheap and inferior. The probability is that this Bill will lead to' the production of better Australian spirits. The people who consume brandy and whisky will get what they ask for instead of getting adulterated stuff. What is distilled in Australia will be made under Customs supervision, and therefore the consumer who is now being badly treated, and is probably being injured in his health, will have an assurance that such will no longer be the case.

Senator Lt Col Gould - No.

Senator TRENWITH - We make provision for labelling under Government supervision, and we. may depend upon it that when that supervision exists people will not buy the stuff that is not. properly labelled. Therefore we do get an assurance that the consumers of these articles will not be treated in future as they are treated now. In addition, the Bill tends to develop an industry that has, immense possibilities, not merely in the production of whisky and brandy for drinking pur- poses, but in the production of alcohol as an article of fuel.

Senator Col Neild - Whisky makes a few-ill !

Senator TRENWITH - I believe that the whisky we get at present makes a good many fellows ill, but the whisky they will get under this Bill willmake fewer ill. The world is looking forward to obtaining a more convenient and readily-appliable fuel, and the production of alcohol from such material as molasses, corncobs, and other thingsthat in themselves are a nuisance, will lead to profit and to expansion of trade in these directions.Formerly the material from which molasses spirit was made was a source of trouble and a cause of loss. That is to say, it had to be disposed of by the expenditure of labour. It was a. trouble to the sugar refiners. Now that it is being turned into spirit it is yielding a fairly good profit, because it can be produced for 6d., and is sold for 9d. per gallon. It is converted into a source of profit and usefulness instead of being, as it was, a nuisance and source of trouble. The Bill will probably lead to the development of the distilling industry throughout Australia, and to an anxious quest for other such waste material which may be converted into useful commercial products. I look forward to a very much larger development in distilling in the not distant future in the direction of industrial alcohol.

Senator Staniforth Smith - Not distilled from grain.

Senator TRENWITH -It will be made, I believe, from maize cob, which, I am told, is very rich in alcohol. At the present time, it is a very great trouble to the raisers of maize, because it is difficult to burn, and is absolutely useless as manure. But it is quite possible that if we develop, by further protection, the distilling industry, we may have in that and other directions an increased source of profit and an increased power of development in other departments of industry. Therefore, I hope that the Bill will be carried. I trust that the difference of 4s. per gallon between the highest class of locally made spirit and the imported spirit will be maintained. I am not particularly wedded to the difference of only 2s. between the lowestclass of locally made spirit and the imported spirit, but I would urge upon those who are afraid that we shall lose revenue by the Bill as it is, that it would be a greater departure to go still further and lose 2s. more on each gallon of molasses spirit distilled, as we would require to do in order to remove the differentiation without injuring the protection on the other spirits that are admitted by all the experts to be necessary to meet the wants of the people. So far as I can see, all the experts agree that in order to make whisky or brandy, the distiller must have malt, grain, or wine, that no matter how he may try, it cannot be made from silent spirit; and even if it could be so made, I go the length of stating that if there were still some persons who wanted the other, we would have no right to force upon them the product of silent spirit. The question of whether it is wholesome or not has been raised. Tomatoes are probably as wholesome as raspberries. It is said sometimes that raspberry jam is made from tomatoes. But any person who sold as raspberry jam the product of tomatoes would leave himself liable to a prosecution for fraud, and properly so, too, because, although they may be as wholesome - perhaps more wholesome - tomatoes are not raspberries. In the same way, silent spirit is not whisky. It is absurd, therefore, to say that the Bill is introduced merely to bolster up a Victorian or other State industry. It applies to the whole of Australia.

Senator Turley - It contains no guarantee that the public will get a good quality of whisky.

Senator TRENWITH - I am prepared to go to any length with my honorable friends to provide that whatever may be sold shall be that which it professes to be.

Senator Drake - Strike out " 25 per cent.," and insert "whollv."

Senator TRENWITH - No. If the distillers choose to distil from molasses only, I see no reason why they should not do so, but it should be made imperative on their part to call the spirit what it is.

Senator Drake - We have no evidence that spirit distilled from molasses is more hurtful than spirit distilled from grain.

Senator TRENWITH - Senator Higgsproduced some medical testimony, but I am not urging that it is hurtful. There is a decided difference between spirit distilled from malt and silent spirit.

Senator Drake - ComDare two things which are comparable - whisky and rum.

Senator TRENWITH - I should say that rum is quite as wholesome as whisky.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Why give a larger measure, of protection to the whisky; distiller than to the rum distiller?

Senator TRENWITH - Because it has been shown that rum can be made with the present measure of protection.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator does not apply that argument generally to protective duties.

Senator TRENWITH - It is stated that the distillers have so far overtaken the demand for rum that very little of that spirit is imported. If that be the case, there is enough protection. I have always said that protection is that which protects, and that when there is no importation then, there is enough protection.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Would there not be enough protection with the Excise duty on grape spirit 2s. higher than that on grain spirit?

Senator TRENWITH - I do not think so, because it has been tried. All I am urging is that a duty of 4s. per gallon appears to be necessary to protect wine and malt distillation, that a duty of 3s. per gallon appears to be necessary to protect grain distillation, and that a duty of 2s. per gallon has been proved to be ample to protect molasses distillation.

Senator Givens - The honorable senator is forgetting the main point, that spirit distilled from molasses is just as good for blending purposes as spirit distilled from grain.

Senator TRENWITH - Suppose that it is, it is given enough protection.

Senator Givens - Not the same protection as the other.

Senator TRENWITH - The distillers of molasses spirit are being given a protection of 25. per gallon. With a protection of only is. per gallon they were able to enormously expand their trade.

Senator Drake - -The honorable senator is speaking of rum now. He is continually jumping backwards and forwards.

Senator TRENWITH - I am dealing with the case presented by the honorable senator, namely, that there is no need to differentiate, because the two things are alike. I contend that they are not alike. Of course, they can be made alike by incurring unnecessary expense in connexion with distilling spirits from malt, wine, and grain. By the expenditure of more money it would be possible to make those spirits as little valuable as molasses spirit, but in the condition in which they are ordi narily placed on the market they are more valuable commercially, and they are not at all like molasses spirit, rectified up to 67 or 68 overgroof. Therefore, there is no argument that the two things should be dealt with alike. The strongest argument of all is that, with a protection of is., the molasses spirit industry has developed enormously. It is now proposed to increase the protection to 2s. per gallon, and yet it is said that the Bill is taking away some of the protection. That is so utterly illogical, and, to my mind, absurd, that it ought not to require any argument to refute it.

Senator Col. NEILD(New South Wales) [6.13]. - After listening to the pathetic appeals which have been made on behalf of legislation in the interests of a firm who have given to the world manifest evidence of their inability to conduct their business on, I shall not say sound lines, but in accordance with its interests, I desire to say a few words before a division is taken. It is notorious that, if Joshua Brothers had succeeded in flavoring their output so that persons would have bought it for whisky, we should not have heard of this proposal. It is based on the failure of that firm to flavour their whisky properly. ' I have never heard before of a Ministry trying to force through Parliament a Bill - or, rather, the fragments of a Bill - to benefit one firm, because we know that the whole object for which it was introduced was destroyed by a vote somewhere else. The fragments have been gathered up . and put before us in the interests of Joshua Brothers. It is well known that it is possible to go to almost any wholesale drug store or drysalter and obtain the necessary ingredients tomake a liquor with a specified flavour. Yet Joshua Brothers did not seem to know that. First of all, they put upon the market something which was called brandy, but which every one knows does not taste like brandy ; and it did not go down, notwithstanding the fact that 65,000 gallons of Queensland molasses spirit were used in its concoction. Having failed to place this concocted brandy, we find that a concocted whisky is put on the market, and we have a Bill brought in which only requires 25 per cent, of grain spirit to be used by the firm, and the balance can still continue to be spirit distilled from Queensland molasses.

Senator Playford - The honorable senator Has not read the Bill.

Senator Colonel NEILD (NEW SOUTH WALES) - NEILD.- I have read the Bill ; and, if the Minister thinks that I do not understand English, I shall seek a tutor, not in the direction of a person who is interested in passing the Bill, and whose knowledge of the King's English is perhaps unconsciously tinged by his anxiety to place this shattered bantling upon the statutebook. We have had a pathetic appeal from Senator Best, and an even more pathetic appeal from Senator Trenwith, who is a total abstainer, I believe.

Senator Trenwith - Oh, no.

Senator Col NEILD - I was wondering that the gentleman, reckoned amongst the enthusiastic advocates of temperance, should have such a large and intricate knowledge of the playful methods of making the particular tipples which he was so eloquently discussing. In any case, the honorable senator was as pathetic in his appeal on behalf of Messrs. Joshua's whisky, as was Senator Best.

Senator Givens - How much of Joshua's whisky is distilled from Queensland molasses?

Senator Col NEILD - Certainly a very large proportion. The molasses spirit is bought for about 9d. per gallon, and sold for as many shillings per gallon. This is very profitable ; but it does not seem to satisfy the craving for inordinate returns, and we are asked bv legislation to make those profits larger. I imagine that Messrs. Joshua Brothers have got a bit of a scare since the passing of the Trade Marks Act. and that they are afraid of turning out an v more second-class whisky made from Queensland molasses spirits. The Government are, therefore, moved to bring in a Bill to do exactly what Senator Millen said- - to differentiate between the product of one State and the product of another State. If there ever was a Bill introduced into this Legislature which aimed distinctly at establishing such a differentiation, it is this Bill. I was not an enthusiastic supporter of Federation, and I opposed the Commonwealth Constitution Bill in- the form in which it was placed before the electors.

Senator Walker - The honorable senator was an anti -bil lite.

Senator Col NEILD - I was an ant.1billite, but not an anti-federalist : and only to-day I have heard from an enthusiastic supporter of Federation, as presented in the Constitution Bill, that he is not at all sure but that I was right in the views I. enunciated a few years ago. But we have Federation ; and it is our dutv to maintain as far as possible, as between one State and another, uniform conditions pf manufacture and trade. There is now proposed a preferential duty in favour of Victorian grain spirit as against Queensland molasses spirit.

Senator Givens - And the grain spirit mav be made from the most rubbishy kind of grain, which cannot be used for any other purpose.

Senator Col NEILD - I have yet to learn that spirit distilled from molasses is not just as healthy, if not more healthy, than spirit distilled from weevil-eaten grain. I would back molasses against weevils any day of the week, unless I required animal food. I have some little knowledge and experience of the sugar industry. My late father, Dr. J. C. Neild, was the first man in New South Wales to import and establish a complete sugar plant, but, as is commonly the case with industrial pioneers, he lost heavily in the venture.

Senator Givens - That is why we desire to protect pioneers of industry.

Senator Col NEILD - If we can do so I shall be glad; but I do not know that the industry under the discussion cam be described as a pioneer industry. It seems to be a second-class whisky industry ; and now we are asked to bolster it up in order that those interested may make still larger profits.

Senator Trenwith - Messrs. Joshua. Brothers proved to the Tariff Commission' that they had lost ^60,000.

Senator Col NEILD - That was by distilling from grain of some sort or another; because it is evident that Messrs. Joshua Brothers cannot have lost money by buying molasses spirit at 9d. per gallon, and selling it at 7s. per gallon. They have been making a " pot of money," but they are not content, and are harking after the old dodge of making money two ways. They are not satisfied, but now desire legislative enactment, not only to enable them to make larger profits, but in order that other traders may be injured. In my opinion, that is not fair. We have adopted the present form of Federation, and, as I have already said, it is our duty to equalize the conditions of manufacture throughout the Commonwealth, and not to set up new artificial barriers as a stumbling-block in the growth of that " Federal spirit " of which we have heard so much, and of which so little exists:, and of which we shall see still less if this Bill be passed. This Bill is distinctly aimed at Queensland, and, inferentially, at a small corner of New South Wales, though the latter is scarcely worth mentioning. The Bill is eminently designed to further the interests of a single firm in Victoria. That fact is evidenced by the last interjection from Senator Trenwith. Whose business is being ruined ? It is the business of one firm; and this is a one-firm Bill. I was not elected on behalf of a great State, in order to pass legislation for the benefit of a single firm at the expense of a State and the Commonwealth.

Senator Higgs - This Bill is intended to benefit also the Hunter River Distillery Company and other distillers in New South Wales.

Senator Col NEILD - The Hunter River Distillery Company has not, I think, asked for anything at the hands of this Parliament. That company turns out an excellent brandy distilled from the grape - a brandy which any honorable senator, for either hospitable or .medicinal purposes, might well be satisfied to keep on his premises. I have a bottle at home now, and it is a good brandy. If I am induced to make remarks in this connexion, it is because of the apposite interjection of Senator Higgs.

Senator Higgs - The Hunter River Distillery Company sent a witness, who asked for a monopoly of the term "brandy."

Senator Col NEILD - I do not desire to introduce the question of free- trade and protection ; but this Bill is just an evidence of the " daughters-of-the-horse-leech " principle which attaches to the establishment of Customs duties for the purpose of coddling, industries.

Senator Trenwith - This is a Customs Bill.

Senator Col NEILD - It is supposed to be an Excise Bill, designed for the benefit of the whole of Australia, but it is a Bill which would not have seen daylight if Joshua Brothers had not been inordinately greedy.

Senator Trenwith - - Joshua Brothers are not the only distillers in Victoria.

Senator Playford - There is Brind.

Senator Col NEILD - Apparently there is only one firm interested, because only one firm has been " barracked " for.

Senator Trenwith - Who " barracks " for Joshua Brothers?

Senator Col NEILD - The honorablesenator knows that if I answered his ques-r tion truthfully, there might be a complaint that I spoke offensively,, and, therefore, I do not answer. Why is it that all the arguments this afternoon have had refer,ence to Joshua's whisky? What about Joshua's blandy? The brandy of the firm could not be touched upon, because it isnotorious that it has been largely made out of the very molasses spirit which it is now sought to veto.

Senator Trenwith - That is not so.

Senator Col NEILD - If Joshua Brothers had only had sufficient " save " to 'flavour their liquors rightly, we should not have heard of this Bill. I do not think that it is the duty of the Commonwealth to set up one State against another, and particularly it is not our duty to set up the interests of one firm, or even of twofirms, against the interests of one of the great national industries of Australia. If the sugar industry, with all its ramifications, were taken out of Queensland, there would be created an industrial gap which nothing would fill for many years to come.

Senator Trenwith - We have taken care that there shall not be that gap, by giving a substantial bonus, and I hope we shall continue to do what we can to keep that industry in Queensland.

Senator Col NEILD - Another little " sop to Cerberus "--keeping things going by playing off one industry against another. I suppose that next session we shall haveanother Bill of shreds and patches, the object of which will be to benefit some industry which has been injured by the Bill now before us. This measure is the most eminent example we could have of the mischief of tampering by legislation with the details of commerce and manufacture. The more we so tamper, the more difficulties we create; the result is inevitable. As I said before, this Bill is an outcome of the Trade Marks Act.

Senator Playford - It is the outcome of a Royal Commission.

Senator Col NEILD - I was never infavour of the appointment of the Tariff Commission ; I regarded it as an absolute mistake.

Senator Playford - New South Waleswas represented on the Commission by twomembers.

Senator Col NEILD - Very likely, but I am not such an inordinate New South

Welshman as to suppose that the presence of two members from my State would leaven the whole lump, and make the Commission perfect.

Senator Drake - Those two New South Wales members of the Commission did not recommend this differentiation against molasses spirits.

Senator Playford - Yes, both of them did.

Senator Col NEILD - I find that, strangely enough, this document, which we are told is the report of the Tariff Commission, bears no signatures. There is nothing to show where the document came from, except an intimation that it has been printed and published for the Government of the Commonwealth by J. Kemp, Acting Government Printer for the State of Victoria, and a notification on the front that it is the report of a Royal Commission.

Senator Playford - The signatures are on the document I hold in my hand. The two documents were originally together, but were separated by the Government.

Senator Col NEILD - The document I have is certainly addressed to the GovernorGeneral, but it is a complete document, and, as I say. it bears no signatures.

Senator Playford - What the honorable senator has is the continuation of a document which does bear the signatures.

Senator Col NEILD - To use a common phrase, that is " a black horse of another colour."

Senator Playford - I explained how that occurred in my second-reading speech. The Government could not make public the recommendations as to duties.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.45 p.m.

Senator Col NEILD - A small happening since the adjournment for dinnerhas proved the usefulness that very often attaches to adjournments. They afford opportunities for little explanations that tend to curtail debate. I am happy in having received some very valuable information from the Minister in charge of the Bill on a point which I proposed to discuss. My. mind being now at ease on the matter, it is not necessary for me to occupy the time of the Senate any longer. I have to thank the Minister for the information accorded to me, which has rendered any continuation of my remarks unnecessary.

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