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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) - - If I had my way I should strike out the words "pure " and "standard," in the definition proposed by the Commission. The use of the word "standard" conveys nothing to the public. They know the meaning of the word " brandy," and they understand what we mean when we declare that brandy shall be spirit distilled from the juice of the grape; but the word "standard" is mere surplusage. Why should we use the word " pure" ? Are we going to allow the Commonwealth label to be applied to something that is impure? To my mind, the words "Australian brandy" are sufficient.

Senator Fraser - The addition of the word "pure" would do no harm.

Senator PLAYFORD - It would serve no useful purpose. The fact that the Commonwealth label is applied to certain spirits will be sufficient to indicate to the general public that it is pure.

Senator Story - We need To distinguish the pure brandy from the blended brandy

Senator PLAYFORD - That distinction is secured by the use of the word "blended" in the second definition. I agree with Senator Symon that, the word "standard" is unnecessary, and I also think that the word " pure " is not wanted. Our definition is " Australian Standard Brandy," and its purity will be guaranteed by the Commonwealth certificate.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia) [3.56]. - I agree that the word " wine " should be' eliminated from the second definition unless it appears in the first. As a matter of fact, however, .it is quite unnecessary. I am confident that I am expressing the views of the brandy makers of South Australia, who have won the reputation of producing a pure article, when I say that we do not need a label with a long title. We might as well have the words " Australian Brandy Pure and Simple " as '' Pure Australian Standard Wine Brandy." These proposed additions may be mere trifles, but they are impediments to trade. . Long titles occupy much space on a label, and I suggest that the words " Australian Brandy " are sufficient. We ought to teach the people that they are applied to only the very finest brandy produced. I agree with the Minister of Defence as to the desirableness of eliminating the word "standard," since it conveys nothing to the public. On the other hand, the use of the word "pure" would mean something to them, and, therefore, whilst I do not think it is necessary, I am prepared to agree .to its insertion in the definition. The certificate of the Government officer is an indication of purity, but still, as I have said, the word " pure " is intelligible, and conveys something to the consumer. We apply to the definition of the inferior article the word "blended," and, although I do not like if, I recognise that we must have something to indicate that it is not pure Australian brandy. May I add that I recognise the care and attention of the Tariff Commission in dealing with this matter, and hope that the members of it will not think that our criticisms are uncalled for? If the word "pure" be inserted, I shall move the omission of the word " standard."

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