Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

3 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



"S.L.H." ON WELSH POLITICS. Under the auspices of the Welsh Liberal League a meeting of young Welshmen was held at the National Liberal Club last Tuesday, when an address was delivered by the well-known writer, Mr. Spencer Leigh Hughes, on Welsh Politics." In regard to Welsh politics," said Mr. Hughes, If we leave out one exceptional matter there is nothing very different in it from the Liberalism of English politics. Welsh politics is Liberalism or advanced Radicalism. .It is radical to the core and sometimes, when we consider the way it has been treated by successive Liberal parties, I am amazed at its unflinching devotion to the Liberal party in the Commons. This attachment was openly acknow- ledged by the late Mr. Gladstone, who was very proud of Gallant Little Wales,' and there is no minister more conscious of this devotion than Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, and no doubt that Wales will eventually benefit by such loyalty and fidelity. But at the present time, whatever reform we are interested in, we are met with an obstacle, and Wales fully realizes that. That obstacle is the House of Lords, and when the time comes for C.B. to deal with that institution, I have no doubt that he will have the staunch support of the Welsh nation in the campaign. The last election was undoubtedly a great revolution. To the outside people it was an overwhelming turn over, yet when we look at the state of the Commons from within, the change was not so great after all. It is true that Mr. Balfour was lost in the flood and had to seek a haven of rest in the city. His brother Gerald also lost a seat —though he gained a pension, it is true —and the parties have changed sides in the House, that is all. It is Mr. Balfour that rules the estab- lishment still, and if he does not do it in the Commons, the crack of his whip brings the members of the Upper House to his feet and at his command. At present the great cry of Mr. B. and his friends is Socialism," but I don't think that the Welsh people will be taken in with such hollow, unreal cries. There are Tories in Wales—there are freaks everywhere. They even invade Parliament, but nobody can say why they are there. The other day I was in Cardiff, and I heard of Mr. Gaskell there declaring that all the Liberals of the town were the rift-raff and rag-tag and bobtails. Since then he has expressed his regreat and said that the cause of the expression was that the meeting was dull, and he wanted to liven it up.' When we realize that it was a Conservative meeting, we can well understand its being dull, and that it wanted somebody to liven it up. Jesse Collings had been complaining lately of Mr. Balfour, and saying that they were like a party in the wilderness without a Moses A pretty Moses Mr. Balfour would have made. I respectfully suggest that he should be called Agar, for that king walked delicately, but was I very much cut up' before he ended his days.' "Welsh policy was the policy of all England after all. It resembled the politics of all the island. There is, however, one question that affects Wales more especially, and that is the question of DISESTABLisHMENT. Personally, I am for Disestablishment all round, but in politics we have to do one thing at a time, and do what we can, and no doubt the Liberal party will deal with it at the earliest possible time. It was the Liberal party that disestab- lished the Irish Church, and no doubt the turn of Wales will come soon. Welsh Radicals wanted other reforms, and so do England. Their grievances are very much alike. One of the great problems is the Education problem, and in this I am inclined to believe with Sir Alfred Thomas, that the only safe position is the secular one. Those who will advocate secular education will no doubt be dubbed Atheists, and we shall witness the hypocrisy of these Tories declaiming for the Bible to be taught to little children when many of them really do not believe in it at all. But this will not have any effect on Wales. All such election cries will not go down there. I know the people and the country too well to think that such dodges will affect them. In Wales, as in England, there is a great cry for Land reform, and I am inclined to think there is more need of it in England than even in Wales, with all its squirearchy. Taxation of mining royalties is another matter that presses for reform, and the Licensing question will have the keen support of all Welsh people, as well as the other subjects on the Liberal programme but it must have the one great question, Disestablish- ment first, and it is unfair to put it off in this manner. I know the difficulties of the Liberal party, but are they so large that they cannot be surmounted. In order to press it forward the Welsh party ought to assert itself. There are men in that party able to do it. Some years ago I was asked to name the coming men of the Welsh party, and I selected three at that time who have fully justified my prophecies. The three were Mr. Ellis J. Griffith, Mr. Lloyd- George, and Mr. S. T. Evans. A party that has such men ought to assert itself in politics. You have a cause to fight for, and the men capable to do it, and with the present ministry they ought to achieve a great deal. As I have said, I spent a portion of my time this year in Wales, among its hills and its streams. It struck me to see the mountain streamlet working its way down the narrow valleys, encircling every obstacle, and turning r' Z5 aside to avoid the heavy rocks, yet working its way steadily and surely to the wide ocean that it sought after. So with its politics if they persevere and use the necessary tact and unity to sweep aside all possible obstacles and oppositions they will ere long achieve their destiny as a people.


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