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Thursday, 16 August 1906

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) .- I am in accord with those who believe that the term "brandy" should not be applied to any spirit other than that distilled from pure grape wine.

Mr Deakin - Would the honorable member also apply that condition .to imported spirits?

Mr JOHNSON - Yes. The term " brandy " is a misnomer when applied to any other than grape spirit. Honorable members may know that the term " brandy" is of German extraction, and means burnt wine. Therefore, in essence, brandy is wine, and any spirit made from grain cannot correctly be designated brandy. If we place the Commonwealth stamp of approval upon mixtures of grape spirit and grain' spirit, we shall probably create a false impression in the minds of consumers. Very few persons who drink brandy take the trouble to inquire as to the constituents of the liquor. They take it for granted when they see " brandy " on the label that they are getting brandy. whereas, under the proposed Government indorsed qualified descriptions they will be getting spirit which cannot, in any sense, be called brandy. The Government should not lend themselves to any such deception. I do not think we should use the word "brandy" in connexion with the term "blended," except when it is applied to spirit distilled from .grape wine. If we are going to adopt any distinctive label for what are erroneously termed blended brandies, that is to say, for beverages which are composed partly of grape wine spirit and partly of grain .spirit, we should employ .some such term as " snake-juice," and add to the description " rank poison." Then we could feel assured that the consumers would know what they were drinking. If they have a fair idea of the character of the . beverage which they are consuming we shall probably find that the demand for that -class of spirit will fall off very considerably.

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