Printing block with an image and text of 'The Blood Vote' poster, first drawn during World War I in support of the campagin against conscription. The image was reprinted in the Seamen's Union Journal, circa 1969. It is one of a collection of 29 printing blocks used in the publication of the Seamen's Union Journal between 1965-1985.

'The Blood Vote' features verse by W.R. Winspear and a cartoon by Claude Marquet of a deeply worried woman casting a 'Yes' vote while Billy Hughes, Australia's labor prime minister and supporter of conscription, looks on gleefully. It was originally printed as a leaflet by Fraser & Jenkinson in Melbourne, 1917 and authorised by J. Curtin, Secretary for the 'National Executive'.

'The Blood Vote' was widely-published in papers such as The Australian Worker, The Westralian Worker and The Catholic Press. It was also posted directly into letterboxes. A campaign to counter its influence included letters of protest to newspapers and a pro-conscription version by Janet E. Stinson. One correspondent wrote: 'I had a letter left at my house this morning called "The Blood Vote", postage not paid. As I have an only son and two grandsons at the front, I think the above circular a downright insult to anyone having relations or friends at the front. I ask any reasonable man, is it humane or right to turn one's back on them and vote "No." The above document has emanated from rebels and traitors to their country. - Yours, etc., - W. BANNISTER. Mason street, Newport'. (Williamstown Chronicle, 28 Oct 1916)

Physical Description

Metal plate with photoengraved image, attached to a wooden block, wrapped in brown paper with copy of image on block attached to the front. Images features 'The Blood Vote' cartoon and verse.

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