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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) - - We shall place ourselves in a very peculiar position, if, after leaving out the word " wine " in our description of " Australian Standard Brandy," we retain it in the description of " Australian blended brandy."

It is proposed to insert the word "wine" in the description of the inferior article, and to leave it out in the case of the superior product, and my contention is thai if the word is used in one case, it should certainly be employed in the other.

Senator Playford - The honorable senator insisted upon retaining the word " standard."

Senator CLEMONS - I did not understand that the use of the word " standard " would preclude us from using the word " wine " also.

Senator Playford - The word " standard " should have been struck out in the first instance, and the word " wine " inserted 'in its place.

Senator CLEMONS - But that course has not been pursued, and I see no reason why the word "wine" should be retained in this case. If the descriptions are allowed to stand as at present, the sale of the superior article will probably be prejudiced, because the public may think that Australian blended wine brandy is at least wine brandy, whereas the standard spirit mav not be.

Senator Playford - But it has to be certified as " pure " brandy.

Senator CLEMONS - It .may be considered pure spirit, but distilled from something other than wine. Under the circumstances, we should stultify ourselves if we retain the word " wine " in the definition of Australian blended brandy.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia) [4.40]. - We are dealing with this. clause in such a way that when the Bill gets on- to the statute-book, whatever it indicates with regard to brandy, it will certainly indicate to those who' know something about the subject that we in the Senate do not know much about it. Is there anything, permitted to be called brandy under the Excise Hill which is not made from wine?

Senator Macfarlane - Then why put in " wine " ?

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - I think it is ludicrous to have it in. If the Minister of Defence had assisted me to strike out the word " standard " in the previous definition, it might have been wise to insert "wine" in its place. But, inasmuch as, under the Bill, nothing is entitled to be called brandy that is not made from wine, the word ' ' brandy, ' ' whenever used on any of the labels, must of itself mean a spirit distilled from wine either under such conditions as entitles it to be called " Pure Australian Standard Brandy " - which is a pretty big mouthful - or " Blended Brandy," which is inferior. Nothing is gained by having the word "wine" in this definition. It may mislead, because some people may think that a blended brandy is better than a pure brandy. The word is superfluous. Furthermore, in the opinion of distillers and other persons in the trade, if we insert the word " wine," their customers, who do not know so much as experts in the business, will be inclined to think that blended wine brandy is made wholly from wine. A seller in a bar may say to a customer, ' ' You want Australian brandy, and you are prepared to pay the highest price for it ? Well, here is a pure blended wine brandy - none of your ' standard ' here." And the customer will buy it, thinking he is getting the best. I quite agree that the word "wine" should be omitted.

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