The De-naturing Act as passed and the regulations thereunder are undoubtedly too complicated in their character to remain very long in the Statute Books. There has already arisen a cry for simpler regulations which shall place the manufacture of de-natured alcohol on a plane with the practice in Germany, France and other countries which have carried the manufacture and use of alcohol for industrial purposes to a very high plane. Both in England and America the Excise and Internal Revenue regulations have been of very troublesome character, and the production of spirits has been so carefully guarded, watched and checked that the distiller aside from the high tax he has had to pay has been greatly hampered. In Germany and France. however, things are different. There the manufacture of Industrial Alcohol from farm products has been encouraged and as a consequence the regulations are of very much simpler character. In Germany the number of agricultural or co-operative stills is very large and these stills are practically free from the constant supervision of internal revenue officials.
Until the wash passes into the still there is practically no Governmental supervision except as to the proper gauging of the vats and to the proper sealing of all joints or pipes leading from the vats to the still. From that point onward, however, to the final receiver every vessel is locked and sealed and no access to the spirit can be obtained by the distiller. The quantity of spirit distilled and its quality is ascertained by the Revenue Officer from this final receiver and on this spirit so found is computed the vat tax and the distillery tax which have to be paid by the distiller. There are none of the cumbersome regulations regarding the warehouses, storehouses, storekeepers, etc., which are found in our own revenue laws. To provide security against abstraction of wash in the fermenting tanks, reliance is placed upon frequent but uncertain visitations.
There is no question but that in the fulness of time our own laws and regulations will be very much simplified for all industrial plants. An attempt has been made to so simplify the laws by Act of Congress No. 230, approved March 2, 1907 and taking effect on September 1, 1907, the text of which is appended, and undoubtedly other acts will follow as the country becomes more and more sensible of the benefits to be derived from free industrial alcohol. The text of the act is as follows:
An Act to amend an Act entitled "An Act for the withdrawal from bond tax free of domestic alchohol when rendered unfit for beverage or liquid medicinal uses by mixture with suitable denaturing materials," approved June seventh, nineteen hundred and six.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That notwithstanding anything contained in the Act entitled "An Act for the withdrawal from bond tax free of domestic alcohol when rendered unfit for beverage or liquid medicinal uses by mixture with suitable de-naturing materials," approved June seventh, nineteen hundred and six, domestic alcohol when suitably denatured may be withdrawn from bond without the payment of internal-revenue tax and used in the manufacture of ether and chloroform and other definite chemical substances where said alcohol is changed into some other chemical substance and does not appear in the finished product as alcohol: Provided, That rum of not less than one hundred and fifty degrees proof, may be withdrawn, for de-naturation only, in accordance with the provisions of said Act of June seventh, nineteen hundred and six, and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 2. That the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, may authorize the establishment of central de-naturing bonded warehouses, other than those at distilleries, to which alcohol of the required proof may be transferred from distilleries or distillery bonded warehouses without the payment of internal-revenue tax, and in which such alcohol may be stored and de-natured. The establishment, operation, and custody of such warehouses shall be under such regulations and upon the execution of such bonds as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, may prescribe.
SEC. 3. That alcohol of the required proof may be drawn off, for de-naturation only, from receiving cisterns in the cistern room of any distillery for transfer by pipes direct to any de-naturing bonded warehouse on the distillery premises or to closed metal storage tanks situated in the distillery bonded warehouse, or from such storage tanks to any denaturing bonded warehouse on the distillery premises, and de-natured alcohol may also be transported from the de-naturing bonded warehouse, in such manner and by means of such packages, tanks or tank cars, and on the execution of such bonds, and under such regulations as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, may prescribe. And further, alcohol to be denatured may be withdrawn without the payment , of internal-revenue tax from the distillery bonded warehouse for shipment to central de-naturing plants in such packages, tanks and tank cars, under such regulations, and on the execution of such bonds as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury.
SEC. 4. That at distilleries producing alcohol from any substance what ever, for de-naturation only, and having a daily spirit-producing capacity of not exceeding one hundred proof gallons, the use of cisterns or tanks of such size and construction as may be deemed expedient may be permitted in lieu of distillery bonded warehouses, and the production, storage, the manner and process of de-naturing on the distillery premises the alcohol produced, and transportation of such alcohol, and the operation of such distilleries shall be upon the execution of such bonds and under such regulations as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, may prescribe, and such distilleries may by such regulations be exempted from such provisions of the existing laws relating to distilleries as may be deemed expedient by said officials.
SEC. 5. That the provisions of this Act shall take effect on September first, nineteen hundred and seven.
Approved, March 2, 1907.
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