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Thursday, 16 August 1906

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister of External Affairs) - I move -

That paragraph 2 be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new paragraph " 2A. Blended grain brandy, distilled partly from grape wine and partly from grain, and containing not less than 25 per cent, of pure grape wine spirit (which has been separately distilled by a potstill or similar process, at a strength not exceeding 40 per cent over proof), the whole being matured by storage in wood, for a period not less than two years, and certified by an officer to be brandy so blended and matured, per proof gallon, 12s."

If honorable members compare the proposed new paragraph with paragraph 2 of the motion, they will see that we now propose to make the duty relate to " blended grain brandy" instead of to "blended brandy," and to provide that the spirit shall be distilled partly from grape wine and partly from grain, instead of partly from grape wine and partly from other materials, which would include beet, potatoes, molasses, &c. The spirit to which the duty of 12s.per proof gallon will apply must have 'been distilled at a strength not exceeding 40 per cent., the original proposal being 35 per cent.

Mr Storrer - Why is grain substituted for "other materials"?

Mr DEAKIN - Because it is intended to exclude beetroot, potato, and sugar spirit. As the honorable member may know, grain spirit costs from 2s. 6d. to 3s. per gallon to produce, whereas molasses spirit costs only10d. or1s. Spirit can also be made from various fruits at very low cost. Partly for this reason, and partly because it is contended by some experts - although there is a conflict of opinion) - that the grain spirit is not only more expensive, but is purer and better than the other spirits referred to, it is proposed to adjust the duties.

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