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Wednesday, 19 September 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South, Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - The position, so far as brandy is concerned, is that at present the Excise duty the distiller has to pay is11s. per gallon.

Senator Clemons - Until the 1st March, 1907.

Senator PLAYFORD - Undoubtedly. But there are conditions attached to the distilling of brandy in the futurewhich were not attached to it before. Senator Clemons' contention is that the proviso to clause 11 will enable the brandy-maker whose brandy has not been stored for two years in wood to be cleared at10s. He will be able to do nothing of the kind. No one can claim that lower Excise unless he has complied with the conditions. The man who takes advantage of the proviso to clause ix until January, 1908, will not be able to get his brandy out of the bonded warehouse unless he pays an Excise of11s.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Under what provision would he pay11s. ?

Senator PLAYFORD - Under the old Act, because he does not comply with the provisions specified in this Bill. Surely it will not be contended that, if he had not complied with the conditions enabling him to get his brandy out of bond at10s., he would have to pay 13s.? That was never intended.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - But that is what he would have to do as the Bill stands.

Senator PLAYFORD - If honorable senators contend that that is the case, there will have to be an alteration. What is intended is that if brandy-makers take their brandy out of bond under the proviso to clause 11 of the Spirits Act, they shall pay Excise under the old rate.

Senator Clemons - Will the Minister look at the Excise Tariff Bill. He will see that clause 2 provides that until the 1st March, 1907, ns. - that is the rate specified in the Excise Tariff 1902 - shall be paid on brandy. I say that, after the 1st March1, 1907, and until the ist- January, 1908, Excise at 13s. will have to be paid.

Senator PLAYFORD - We shall have to alter that date to make it comply with the proviso to clause 11 of the Spirits Bill, and try to fix it up so that there shall be no mistake. But I certainly was under the impression, although I could not point to the clause, that any brandies that were cleared under the proviso to clause 11 would pay a duty of only us. per gallon.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - So they would.

Senator PLAYFORD - Then we do not want anything else.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - But that would not cover the period from March, 1907, to January, 1908, and all the spirits delivered in that period would pay a duty of 13s. per gallon under the n.e.i. provision.

Senator PLAYFORD - I shall have the matter looked into by to-morrow.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia) [11.2]- - I hope that the Minister of Defence will not think of altering the proviso to clause 11, because the concession to the 1 st January, 1908, exists.

Senator Playford - I know that the honorable senator is in communication with persons in the trade, who say that they have not the stocks' and if he will be satisfied that when they clear their brandy under the proviso to clause n they shall pay the. present Excise duty of ns. per gallon, that will be all right, so far as I am concerned.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - I am sure that they would be satisfied with that'; but T shall communicate with them further, and let the Minister know.

Progress reported.

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