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Monday, 24 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) - - If I know what this means, and I think I do, I ought, perhaps, to say something about it. I believe that Senator Guthrie is an ardent protectionist, but anything more disastrous to the cause of protection than the proposal he has made could hardly be conceived. The whole object of the amendment is simply this: Certain people - I do noi know whom - are making scents from Australian herbs or ingredients, or from imported herbs or ingredients, or from a mixture of both, and their object in getting Senator Best to move the request for this; amendment is to penalize any one who tries to make scent from anything except anAustraliangrown ingredient. We have provided that the Excise duty on spirits used" for making scent shall be 10s. per gallon, and this is an effort to make any one who dares to use anything but an Australiangrown ingredient in, the manufacture of scent pay 15s. per gallon on the spirits used. If Senator Guthrie's proposal were adopted, the result would be that whenever any spirits were used for the making of scent from ingredients imported, or from Australian and imported ingredients mixed, the Excise duty would be 5s. per gallon, and if the spirits were used with Australian ingredients only, it would be 10s. per gallon.

Senator Guthrie - No, the honorable senator has got it the wrong way about.

Senator Trenwith - Senator Guthrie's suggestion is that spirits used with Australian and imported, or with imported ingredients only, in the manufacture of scent, should pay an Excise duty of 10s., as proposed by the schedule, and if used only with Australian ingredients, should pay an Excise duty of 5s.

Senator CLEMONS - The amendment means something like this : A man is building a table, and intends to varnish not only the legs, but the top of it. If he uses Australian-grown timber for the legs, and is foolish enough to use imported timber for the top, he will have to pay half as much again for the varnish which he applies all over thetable, as he would have to pay if he used only Australian wood in its construction. The amendment requested is a very small affair, and I think also that it is inadvisable to penalize a man who desires to make good scent by the use, perhaps, of 25 per cent. of imported ingredients with 75 per cent. of Australiangrown ingredients.

Senator Staniforth Smith - What does the honorable senator propose ?

Senator CLEMONS - That we should leave the schedule as it is, and should not say to the manufacturer of scent who ventures to use any ingredients brought from abroad in order to make good scent, that he shall pay on the spirit he uses a penalty of half as much again as the duty which he would be required to pay if he used only Australian ingredients. The scent manufacturers have already an enormous advantage, since the present duty gives them a margin of 15 per cent. protection.

Senator Trenwith - The present duty gives them a protection of 25 per cent., but under this Bill they will have a margin of 15s. per gallon.

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