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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . -The proviso to this clause was allowed to be inserted pro forma on the understanding that we should have the right to discuss it on its merits at this stage. The only difference of opinion among honorable senators was as to the duty that should be paid on spirits distilled from grape wine and spirits n.e.i. The proviso practically enacts that the rate of duty for the grape wine spirit shall be us. per gallon. When we were discussing the schedule we decided to strike out the original item 3, on the ground that the spirit there designated was of a hybrid character, and should be dutiable at the rate fixed for spirits n.e.i. As the clause now stands, however, the duty payable upon such a mixture would be only 11s. per gallon.

Senator Playford - That is under the present Tariff.

Senator CLEMONS - Exactly. No one wants to make a difference of only1s. in the rate of duty payable upon our best brandy and that imposed upon the worst spirit to which we afford any recognition. I would suggest that the proviso should be altered to make it read - " may until the thirty-first day of December, One thousand nine hundred and seven inclusive, be delivered at the rate of duty provided in the schedule hereto for spirits n.e.i."

That provision would only apply until 1907, and I think that the rate of duty provided for is a fair one to impose upon spirits which are almost entirely n.e.i., and which represent the lowest form of spirits to which we. give recognition in the schedule. By increasing the duty we shall be offering some inducement to those who hold spirit to mature it. for two years in the wood.

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