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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator HIGGS (Queensland) .- I regret very much that the Government have not seen their way to follow, as nearly as possible, the recommendations of the Tariff Commission with regard to these details. I do not for a moment suggest that there is any infallibility about the Tariff Commission, or any of its members; but I think that, when the Commission has, after a great deal of labour and consideration, arrived at a certain decision, the Government ought to respect that decision. In connexion with pure grape brandy the Tariff Commission suggested that the Government certificate should, in the first place, be " Pure Australian Standard Brandy," and that with regard to the blended spirit, the certificate should be "Australian Blended Brandy." As to pure malt whisky, we suggested the words " Pure Australian Malt Whisky," and, as to blended whisky, the words " Australian Blended Whisky." Our idea was that the public would get to know that " Pure Australian Standard Brandy " was the purest article, and that the words " AustralianBlended Brandy " would convey that it was brandy of an inferior qualify.

Senator Trenwith - A departure from the standard.

Senator HIGGS - Yes, a departure from the standard. In all probability, not only the label, but the prices, would indicate the different qualities ; because we may take it that " Pure Australian Standard Brandy " would be1s. or 2s. per bottle dearer than " Australian Blended Brandy." The Government have omitted the word " pure " from the first label, and left it "Australian Standard Brandy," and in the second label - the label which is to be attached to the bottle containing inferior brandy - they have inserted the word " wine." In my opinion, this is calculated to mislead the public in favour of the blended brandy. The label attached to the superior brandy would not contain any reference to wine, whereas the label attached to the inferior quality would contain such a reference, and so give people the impression that Australian blended wine brandy was better than Australian standard brandy. I move -

That before the word " Australian," line 8, the word "Pure" be inserted.

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