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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) . - I wish to ask a question of Senator Symon. I am aware that it is not usual to ask for legal advice in this Chamber, and the honorable and learned senator might claim that, as my question raises a legal point, he should not answer it. Suppose we adopt the suggestion to designate the firstquality article as "Australian brandy," and we have another under the description "Australian Blended Brandy." It is possible that a man would be supplied with blended brandy when he expected to be supplied with pure standard brandy?

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - "Australian brandy."

Senator McGREGOR - Yes ; but would not both be Australian brandies?

Senator Best - Not according to law.

Senator McGREGOR - I am very doubtful as to what the Courts of law might decide as to the meaning of "Australian." They might decide that blended brandy would be Australian brandy, and there is no doubt that it would be, because it would be entirely composed of a distillation from wine or the lees of wine. I think it would be far better, in the interests of the public, to use the term " Pure Australian Standard Brandy " to indicate the article of first quality. If that were done, a publican could not excuse himself by the subterfuge that both were " Australian " if he did not give a customer the first-quality article. So far as the word "Australian " is concerned, it might be argued' that some Court of law would be prepared to decide that there is no virtue in its use in this connexion.

Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - Is there no virtue in the word " Scotch," as applied to whisky?

Senator McGREGOR - I am not talking of whisky now, but of brandy. I think it would be in the interests of the public to insert the word " pure " in the designation of the article of first quality, and I should be prepared to agree to the insertion of the word " wine " in describing both articles, or to its omission from the designation of both.

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