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The material in this work for the most part deals with the author's own experiences and gives his views on problems which were discussed in Cabinet meetings, or his treatment of events with which he had direct contact and of which he had personal knowledge. The record was made the day of the event, except that in respect to broad movements it was made at the end of an appropriate period, which accounts for the differences in tenses.

The record is a partial one only, for the author noted only the more novel or striking happenings falling under his direct observation or jurisdiction, and it is necessarily partial because he made no attempt except incidentally or occasionally even to indicate the views or to deal with the activities of other members of the Cabinet. He offers it, not as a complete or balanced account of the events, but as a contemporaneous record which may help to fill in the picture of eight important years and be of value to the historian.

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