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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . - I should like to point out what would be the result. If we allow raw spirits distilled from grape wine to be passed into consumption at the rate of 11s. per gallon whilst we impose a duty of 10s. per gallon upon similar spirit which has been matured in wood for two years,- no distiller will deliberately begin to mature any grape wine spirit until the two years have expired. If he is given his choice between paying us. on his raw spirit and getting off with a payment of 10s. by keeping it for two years in the wood, he will undoubtedly prefer to pay the 11s.. The result will be largely to defeat the object we have in view, which is to induce distillers to keep their brandy two years in wood to mature.

Senator Playford - We do not want to penalize them.

Senator CLEMONS - The Minister is doing worse. He is inducing them not to keep their brandy two years in wood. They would sooner pay ns., and allow it to go into consumption forthwith, than keep it two years and pay 10s. If the Minister knows anything about ordinary business, and the rate of interest, he will see that that is what would probably happen. The Minister is really acting against his own intentions in making it so easy for distillers to sell their spirits raw. If the Excise is made 12s. it will induce them to begin maturing their brandy much sooner than if we left the rate as it stands. I suggest that to Senator Playford. The imported spirit will still have to pay 14s.

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