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Thursday, 20 September 1906

Senator DRAKE (Queensland) . - The provision with regard to the method of distillation refers only to the 25 per cent, of pure barley malt spirit. My point throughout is that of this blend 25 per cent, is to be of spirit distilled in a particular way at a low strength to retain the peculiarities which experts speak of as impurities, and which give it a particular flavour.

Senator Clemons - They, will not be retained if it is distilled up to 45 per cent, over proof.

Senator DRAKE - There is a limitation with regard to the method of distillation applying to the 25 per cent., which is intended to retain the impurities which give a distinctive character to the spirit. But with regard to the 75 per cent, of the blend, there is no such provision. It may be a spirit distilled in a patent still or in anyother way whatever, and after it has undergone that process, it is indistinguishable, no matter from what material it has been distilled. It may be distilled from any kind of grain, but if distilled at such a strength as to eliminate the so-called impurities, it will be indistinguishable from spirit distilled from molasses, which all the experts say is as wholesome as spirit distilled from any kind of grain. The experts' say that spirit distilled at a certain strength become absolutely featureless and neutral, and the same whether distilled from one material or another. This item makes provision for the use in the blend of 75 per cent, of that kind of spirit.

Senator Playford - No; of spirit distilled from grain, and it need not be distilled at 75 or 80 per cent, over proof.

Senator DRAKE - I am dealing with the words of the schedule, and I say that with regard to the whole of the 75 per cent, of the blend, there is no restriction imposed as to the method of distillation.

Senator Playford - We do not limit it, but what the honorable senator says will not be done.

Senator DRAKE - If barley be" the grain used, it is possible that it will not be distilled at that strength, but rice or any other kind of grain might be used, and there is nothing in this item to prevent /the blenders putting 75 per cent, of silent spirit into this blend.

Senator Playford - It must be from grain.

Senator DRAKE - I contend that we have no right to discriminate against a spirit equally wholesome which is made from molasses.

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