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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . - This clause contains a proposal which, to my mind, is a little debatable. It is well, therefore, that the Committee should know that a difference of opinion exists in respect of it. It is proposed to allow spirit which is used for the purpose of fortifying Australian wine to be distilled - in the case of wine spirit - at up to 40 degrees over proof. The present Distillation Act limits the strength at which it may be distilled to 35 degrees above proof. Honorable senators will recognise that the higher the degree of strength at which spirit may be distilled for the purpose of fortifying wine, the greater must be the quantity of alcohol that is put into the wine. For my own part, I think that 35 degrees above proof is a sufficiently high limit to impose, and, perhaps, we may hear from an expert, who, in regard to these matters, is greater than a member of the Tariff Commission, whether it is desirable that we should allow spirit for fortifying wine to be distilled at a strength of 40 degrees over proof.

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