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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - Throughout the discussion of this question we have admitted that spirit distilled from grape wine should have a preference over others. Now the .honorable and learned senator proposes to place spirits wholly distilled from grape wine upon the same footing as the most inferior product.

Senator Clemons - No.

Senator PLAYFORD - Does not the honorable and learned senator see that under the present Tariff spirit wholly distilled from grape wine is subject to a duty of ns. per gallon, whereas spirits n.e.i. have to pay Excise at the rate of 13s. per gallon. Now he proposes to place both spirits on the same plane.

Senator Clemons - No, the Minister does not understand.

Senator Playford - The proviso reads as follows: -

Provided that spirits distilled wholly from grape wine and spirits, n.e.i., may until the thirty-first day of December, One thousand nine hundred and seven inclusive, be delivered at their respective rates of duty specified in the Excise Tariff. 1902.

The rates specified in the Tariff are 11s. for grape wine spirit, and 13s. for the other. The honorable and learned senator now wishes to subject both classes of spirit to the rate of duty fixed in the schedule for spirits n.e.i.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - But the grape wine spirit has not the necessary age.

Senator PLAYFORD - Nor has the other spirit.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - There is no reason why we should allow immature brandy to be placed upon the market.

Senator PLAYFORD - There would be no justification for penalizing grape wine spirit by subjecting it to the duty of 13s. per gallon, payable upon the worst spirit that is passed into consumption. All I am asking is that the present Excise duty shall not be interfered with in respect of spirits cleared out of bond up to the end of 1907, before they are matured for two years in wood. I contend that the spirits should be liable to the present rates of duty.

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