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Wednesday, 15 August 1906

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) .- The view of the honorable member that grape spirit only should be used in the production of brandy is worthy of commendation ; but whilst I think that the nature of a blend should be clearly stated on the label, I have vet to learn that it is undesirable to be able to obtain a good article at a low price.

Mr Hutchison - But this is to be a nasty thing sold cheaply.

Mr FISHER - I have been searching for any evidence that molasses spirit is bad. It is not as good for certain purposes as a spirit made from the grape, but-

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why should we allow a blend to consist of 75 per cent. of rice spirit if we are not going to permit the use of molasses spirit for blending purposes ?

Mr FISHER - I do not think we should be justified in excluding one particular spirit.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Not if it were equally wholesome.

Mr FISHER - Quite so. I fully recognise the care which the Commission has bestowed on its work, and the extent of the expert evidence given before it; but I think that it is, to say the least, singular if the opinions of its members can be swayed by the fact that certain honorable members have not risen to protest against the exclusion of molasses spirit. If the Commission are sure of their facts, surely it should make no difference to them whether 10 or 100. men oppose their proposal. It has no evidence that is opposed to the manufacture of spirit from molasses, and I hold that we should not penalize such a spirit because of its cheapness.

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