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Wednesday, 18 November 1914

Senator LONG (TASMANIA) - Last session, when the question of the national regiments, more particularly the wearing of kilts, was under consideration, I made an interjection which I find has caused considerable pain to Scottish people in Tasmania. When Senator Pearce was speaking in opposition to an order by the ex-Minister of Defence authorizing the wearing of kilts, he stated that the Scottish regiments had always acted most gallantly on the field of battle, and led the' way. I, in a very jocular manner, and without any desire to detract from the splendid manner in which the Scottish regiments have always conducted themselves on the field of battle said, ' ' Away from the field." Several letters have reached me from Tasmania in which regret has been expressed by Scottish people that I made the interjection. I have now to express extreme regret for having reflected, as my interjection did, on the courage of Scotchmen generally. I had not the slightest desire to detract in any way from the very gallant manner in which we know, and history tells us, Scotchmen have invariably conducted themselves on the field of battle. On the contrary, I have always entertained the highest possible respect for Scottish people in every capacity, and I regret very much that my jocular interjection was taken seriously, and has had the effect of hurting the feelings of many of my good Scotch friends.

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