Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

10 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

Welsh Liberal Council.


Welsh Liberal Council. THE CHURCH BILL. The annual meeting, of the Welsh National Liberal Council was held at Llandrindod on Saturday. Lord St. David's (senior vice- president) presided and proposed that the amended scheme of organisation recom- mended by the Executive Committee be adopted. Representatives from East Rhondda, wished to rescind a. clause providing for representa- tion of Labour, Free Church, and temper- ance organisations at special conventions. An amendment was also proposed that the National Council shall meet twice in each year. Other speakers advocated quarterly meetings of tho Council, and Mr. J. Hugh Edwards, M.P., supported a compromise by having two meetings each year, one in Aug- ust and one in the winter, a great public meeting to be held in connection with the latter.—Tho amendment in favour of two meetings of the Council each year was car- ried. co Officers were elected as follows:—President, the Right Hon. D. Lloyd George. M.P.; vice- presidents. Lord St. Davids, Sir Francis Ed- wards, and Lord Clwyd; hon. treasurer, Major Breese, M.P. Lord St. Davids (in acknowledging his re- election as senior vice-president) said his desire was to unite aJl sections. He had seen a good deal in the papers lately about a Centre Party. He did not believe in centre parties. It was necessary to have a coalition to wind up the war, but in the long run the count-y would divide in tho middle. He did not know how they would divide in the future, but whicheer way the Tories went he would go the other way. (Applause.) The Executive Committeo was re-elected on the following basis:—36 representatives from the constituencies; the Chairman and Secre- tary of the Welsh Liberal Parliamentary Party; and 22 elected by ballot (twelve of the latter being women). Mr. J. Hugh Edwards, M.P., proposed the following resolution:—" In View of the great patent s.nd high prospective values of the Crown lands in Walea, and especially bearing in mind the doubtful character -of alleged manorial and similar rights claimed and ex- ercised by private individuals, this Council urges the necessity of completing the work of the Welsh Land Commission by pursuing fur- ther enquiry and promoting the necessary legislation."—The proposition was carried. Major Breese proposed a resolution express- ing profound gratitude to the President, the Prime Minister, for his immense services as the leading representative of the British Empire at the Peace Conference, congratu- lating him on the successful issue of his tiro- less efforts, and pledging earnest support in his endeavours to secure better, happier, and more cordial relations between tho several classes of neople at home.—The proposition was carried. Mr. Llewelyn Williams proposed a. resolu- tion -strongly disapproving of le Welsh Church Temporalities Act, passed into law last week. It was, ho said, a betrayal of the best interest of Wales. It was a re-endowment of thtj Church in Wales by a Government pro- posal, with a Prime Minister from Wales, and the agreement had been accepted by the majority of the Welsh members. It gave the lie to everything they had heard on Welsh Liberal platforms since 1868. It told the world that majority of the Welsh mem- bers, with three shining exceptions—Haydn Jono3, David Davies, and Sidney Robinson- knew better thnn their old leaders. Mr. Aeron Thomas (Swan50a), another ex- Welsh M.P., ,.r)conded the prorosition. He said he had always been taught, and reason told him, that any money given by the State to support religion was an endowment. That appealed to him as a boy on the Cardigan- shire hills, a.nd it was a creed he had never yet seen anything to controvert. H would have preferred the question to have been left for Wales to fight out. Lord St. Davids said the question was settled, whether they liked it Or not. It was settled either rightly or wrongly, and they would hear no more about disestablishment and disendowment, so far as it had gone. That being so. was it not their business to pull the Liberal Party in Wales together and get ahead? From that point of view would it not be to let the dead past bury its dead? Mr. -T. Hugh Enwards-I want to speak. Lord St. Davids—I know you do, and no dcubt you have a very able and complete answer which you would Jike to deliver, and then we shall a lot more speeches. No, I move the previous question. That was at once seconded in several places, and carried with only two dissentients. Mr. J. Hugh Edwards, M.P., who had no opportunity of replying to Mr Llewelyn Wil- liams, has made the following statement:—I strongly feel that Lord St. David's per- mitted Mr Llewelyn Williams to make his attack on the Welsh members he ought to h:1."e given the Welsh membftra who were present an opportunity to renl A full and erfectivo reply could easily hafre been made. The Welsh 'Church Act, T914, is to 00 put ;nto force without any organic change of any kind in its structure. True. the Welsh Church wil) gain financially; but it. must not be for- gotten that she is legally entitled to such gain under the provisions of the original Act, which sneeifically provided for the commutation of the life interests of tho Welsh clergy on the basis of the value of tithe as determinod by the septennial average at the time when the Act should come into force. The late Parlia- ment fixed the value of tithe for purposes of redemption at £109 per cent., but unfortun- ately it did not bring the commutation of tithe as directed in the Welsh Church Act within the scope of the measure for fixing the monetary value of tithe. Consequently, the Welsh Commissioners will 'be required to commute the life interests at the rate of JE136 per cent. Had they been able to commute on fie of C109 instead of £136 per cent., Mr. Williams and his friends would have had no word of criticism. The Treasury has made good the difference by a monetary grant, so that the Welsh County Councils will not be required to bear the loss. The bulk of the members and of the representatives of the Welsh Free Church Council agreed to accept the proffered grant. Mr. Aeron Thomas publicly confessed that in the Hrcnmstanees he preferred to see the Welsh Church Act dropped altogether, and the long st-uggle for disestablishment fought out again. In that statement he has crystallised the issue as it presented itself to Welsh mem- bers, but thev decided it was in the highest interests of Wales to effect a settlement of a controversy which has embittered the life of Wales for more than half a century. WELSH M.P.'s PROTEST. Majior David Davien, Mr Haydn .Tonps and Mr. Sidney Robinson have published the fol- lowing letter: — Nothing can be gained by prolonging a controversy on the Welsh Church Bill bu-, some comment is due from us on the reply from the Chairman and Secretary of' Vhe Party t-o (JIUr communication of the II h inst. Ycur correspondents challenge us to assort that either of the two fundamental principles of the W6l»h Church Act, 1914-viz., ,3.) that the Church in Wales should be dis- established, a.nd (b) that its endowment pre- vious to a eerta. n date should be secularised— are violated by the amending Bill. Surely the answer is obvious. The arHiciaJ compensation of the Church out of the Brit'sh Treasury for the loss of :.110 secularised endowments is a clear violation of the fundamental principles of the original Ao\ It also involves the prin- ciple. of State endowment cf religion, to which Ncnoo<nform's:,s have always' been resolutely opposed. They further assert that thd real of the situation is that the Act of 1914 must be put into operation or it must not. We agree; but our contention is that it can- not be, and is not put into operation without I fundamental change, and ihei new Bill makes mos) important changes in it—e.g., by amend- ing the provisions of the Fifth Schedule, and thus providing a reserve fund for tho Church against which there are no charge T~. would have been in coscrnance with the spirit and the lefe er of the original Act, and politically more decent to have applied the Tithe Act, 1918. and to have changed the rate of interest to five per cent., than to have burdened the British taxpayer to the extant of a million pounds merely to ease an inconvenient political siuation. The taunt- that we voted in the same Lobby as Lord Hugh Cecil and Lord Robert Cecil does not disturb us. There are only two Lobbies—and on this occasion one of them was fcr the supporters of an unjust com- promise the other for thor.e who adhered to a. fair and reasonable set'Jement based tLUOD. firmly established principles. We are content to leave our actions and our motives :0 the judgment of the Welsh people.


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