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Friday, 29 May 1914

Senator BLAKEY - During my short stay in this august Chamber, I have never evaded, as far as I could possibly avoid it, giving a vote on any question. When I took up my newspaper this morning, and learned that a very vital question, namely, the abolition of preference to unionists, was decided here last night, in rather a hurried, and, if I may say so, summary manner, I regretted very much that I was not present to vote, one way or the other. I informed the Whip of our party that I was going away to keep a prior appointment to address a public meeting at Preston, and that was the cause of my absence. I had not, and I think nobody else had, the slightest idea that events were going to take the trend they did last night. I want to put it on record, that, if I had been here, I would not have had the slightest hesitation in voting against the first reading of the Bill. I do not want anybody to say that I was not present because I was not game to vote on that question. I only want to make my position clear.


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