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Tuesday, 14 August 1906

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - That will not deal with the difficulty.

Mr Deakin - Tt will deal with one of the difficulties, and if we get one out of the way we shall have less to deal with.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It will not overcome the .whole of one of the difficulties raised. There is still the question of spirits on order or on. the water to be considered.

Mr Deakin - The officers propose that we should make provision for that in the Customs Bill which has already been drafted.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why touch the matter here at all if it can be dealt with in the Bill ? I should think that that is the proper place in which to deal with it.

Mr Watson - If it is wrong to poison people at all, why should- we poison them to-day.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not the question. The honorable member's proposal will do nothing to rid them of the poison. The question is whether a practice which has continued now for some years shall continue until due notice is given to those interested.

Mr Watson - In other words, we should let them bring in as much as they like for another year or two.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Surely it is a matter of fair play.

Mr Watson - Does the honorable member propose to do the same with regard to the Excise?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There is no analogy between the two cases.

Mr Watson - They could keep it in bond here.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - When we "are imposing new, and in some respects severe, conditions, the least we can do is to give those interested due notice. I suppose that nobody desires to deal harshly with people. After we have made their occupation legitimate no one wishes i.o abruptly deprive them of anything they are already in the enjoyment of, except in a fair and proper way. The honorable member for Bland had better leave this matter to be dealt with in the Bill to which reference has been made. I should like again to appeal to the Prime Minister to allow the whole question to stand over until to-morrow, when I understand he has in contemplation the bringing down of some amending proposal.

Mr Deakin - If there are any to be brought down then?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister of Trade and Customs' indicated to-day very clearly that there would be some amendments.

Mr Deakin - There is only one of importance, affecting the Excise ; the other is, I think, a verbal amendment.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The amendment suggested with respect to the relation of the blended article to the pure article is, I should think, an amendment of prime significance.

Mr Deakin - Let us dispose of the amendment of the honorable member for Bland, ' as amended, and then we can adjourn. 3

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not object to that.

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