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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator MACFARLANE (Tasmania) - - I am inclined to think that we shall do well to retain the provision which has been made for the issue of a Government certificate to Australian blended brandy. It would at least afford some protection to that article. We must recollect that Australian standard brandy will probably be exported, whereas the ordinary brandy of commerce will be a blended brandy. Consequently, it is very important that we should provide for the issue of a certificate.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia) [3.38]. - I think it is rather unfortunate that we should 'use the term " standard " as a part of the name of any brandy. In my opinion, we should merely call it brandy. The clause provides that it must be distilled wholly from grape wine, and that it must be matured and certified. Why, then, should we not call it "brandy"? It is par excellence brandy, and it is a pity to prefix the word " standard " to it. I know of no instance in South Australia in which the word brandy has been associated with an adjective of that kind. We all know what Australian brandy is. We desire to keep it pure-

Senator Playford - We shall have to retain the word " Australian."

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - But we do notrequire to retain the word "standard." Its use implies that we produce a variety of brandies. I think that Australian brandy ought to be the name associated with this particular result of distillation from grape wine. I ask Senator Playford to consider the matter, because at a later stage we may have an opportunity to recast the provision. I am sure that all those who are proud of the brandy which is produced in Australia - as we all are - will be gratified if the Ministerwill agree to eliminate the word "standard," and to call our best production par exellence brandy. Then, in reference to "Australian blended wine brandy," I desire to know why we should adopt a statutory name so long as that. I am not at all sure that the word " blended " ought to be employed. If we permit blended brandy to be sold under that designation, we shall be placing in the hands of dishonest persons an instrument by means of which they will be able to palmoff blended brandy on the public as the purest and best brandy. We know perfectly well that blended whisky is regarded as the best whisky. People have got it into their heads that " blended " spirits are the best and most palatable, and it is proposed to apply the word "blended " to brandy, though not in the same way as the word is applied to whisky. In the case of this brandy it is intended to indicate to the consumer that the spirit is inferior - not really pure brandy. But that, I am sure, would not be the case.

Senator Trenwith - If the word " standard " is allowed to remain that certainly might be the inference.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - We all know that one of the attractive features of the advertised imported whiskies is that they are blended, and are, therefore, supposed to lie finer and better on that account. " Blended " in the case of whisky means the mixing of two or three different whiskies together; but that is not what is meant in the case of the brandy under discussion. What is meant in the latter case is a blended brandy consisting of 25 per cent. of grape wine spirit, the remainder being other grape wine spirit. In the one case, there is a mixture of whiskies, and. in the other case, a mixture of grape wine spirits. The intention is to indicate that the blended brandy is an inferior article, an article that is not made from pure grape spirit. Therefore, I suggest that in the interests of brandy-making in Australia, it would be as well to omit the word "blended," and endeavour to substitute some other word, though what word should be substituted I am not prepared at the moment to suggest.

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