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Thursday, 20 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) - - I freely admit that the Tariff Commission has blundered, so far as this question is concerned. We came to the conclusion that all these spirits would be improved by being matured in wood, forgetting that gin, which is highly rectified and colourless, would be injuriously affected by being so treated. Senator Smith's criticism was quite justified. If these words were allowed to remain in the item injury would be done to the industry. They should not appear in the schedule, as the effect of storage in wood would be to cause the discoloration of gin without any value being added to it by reason of its having matured for the period fixed.

Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - Is any gin distilled in Australia?

Senator CLEMONS - I believe that a fairly large quantity is distilled in Queensland. In any case, the Tariff Commission in this respect made a mistake.

Senator Lt.-Col.GOULD (New South Wales) [11.10]. - I am glad to have SenatorClemons' admission that a misunderstanding on the part of the Tariff Commission arose in connexion with the proposal that gin should be matured in wood. It has been clearly demonstrated by some of the leading scientists in Great Britain that gin does not require to be matured for two years, and that it loses its commercial value by being stored in wood, since it not only becomes discolured, but has a tendency to deteriorate.

Request agreed to.

Item, as . requested to be amended, agreed to.

Items1 8 to 10 agreed to.

Item 11 -

Spirit for fortifying Australian wine, subject to Regulations, per proof gallon, 6d.

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