Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

11 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



--0---------MAKING CHICKENS…




_I HOME RULE FOIl WALES. WELSH PUBLIC OPINION ON THE QUESTION. A superficial observer of Welsh life, or one who did not possess tbe key to the inner and deeper sentiments of the Welsh people, would have been apt to come to the conclusion but a very short while since that there was nothing in Wales approaching a desire for any measure of Home Kale. That such a conclusion would have been not only unfounded, but absolutely incorrect in point of fact, was abundantly manifest to those who kept themselves in close touch with the people, and who were in the habit of keeping themselves informed of the feel- ings and sentiments which, though for the time dormant, were ready to spring into active life under favourable circumstances. Tbe publication of Mr W. J. Parry's draft ot a bill providing for Home Rule for Wales has afforded the necessary impulse to bring the question prominently to the front. It is possible that many, perhaps the majority, of those who favoured Home Rule for Wales might not possess very clearly defined notions as to the form which a measure of autonomy for Wales should assume, but that such a measure was, and is, ardently hoped for is now becoming every day more and more evident. Mr Parry's Bill will serve an excellent purpose if only in aifordiug a text for discussion. With all its details few will, perhaps, be prepared to agree. With some it goes too far, with ochers not far enough. But the funda- mental principle underlying the whole, the right of the Welsh people to manage their own mterual affairs, aad not to be compelled to wait until Parliament has bad time to deal with everybody else's business, is heartily endorsed by tbe Welsu people. The Bancr, in the issue in which it announces the enlargement of the paper to the extent of sixteen columns, emphatically endorses the pro- posal. Though it does not deal exhaustively with the subject, it gives a summary of the pioposed measure, and says, We are patriotically in- debted to Mr W, J. Parry for this measure of Home Rule. Though it will be necessary to modify some of its provisions before itcunbe passed into law, its lunJamental principles are undoubtedly good." Y. Genedl Gymreig ("The Welsh Nation," Nationalist,), iu the course of an article dealing exhaustively with tins subject, says:—"The English National Liberal Federation has adopted Home Rule, not only for Ireland, but also for Scotland and Wales, among the subjects on which the next Liberal Government will legislate. Mr Gladstone in his recent speech at Manchester gave bis undoubted sanction and approval to such a measure of Home Rule for Waies." It then proceeds to contrast the respective actions of the North aud the South Wales Liberal Federations in dealing with this question,and thus continues —"All reforms pass through three separate stages, in the first stage the proposal is laughed at and ridiculed as a vain ana impractic- able dream. Iu the second stage all attempt IS made to convince its supporters that they are wrong. In the third stage the opponents be- come supporters, and declare they have always been iu favour of the principle—and then tue measure becomes law. Home Rule for Wales lias pissed through the first of these stages—it has uutiived the ridicule once cast upon it as au impracticable idea; it is evident that it is uow undergoing the second stage, aud beiug sub- jected to the criticism of politicians who have no sympathy with it. Home Rule for Wales does not unply separation from Eugland, nor an inten- tion to set up a Principality independent of the British Empire. All we ask is the right to legislate for ourselves ou questions which only affect us. Let.then, every local society discuss the matter and thoroughly ventilate it. The Welsh press must direct public attention more fre- quently and more distinctly to the subject. Better days are about to dawn upon Wales. Let us do our best to justify the increased confidence which will shortly be reposed in us. Theu, when tbe Celtic nationalities in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are allowed to mauage their own affairs, there will be found in those countries far greater attachment to the Imperial Government, aud a more real union between them and the English nation than at present exists." Tbe cautious and diplomatic Tysl a'r Dydd says —" Mr W. J. Parry's propose a bill grautiug Home Rule to Wales will souu be the one subject of discussion throughout the Principality. We do not expect it will be favourably received by all but theu what scheme ever cunceived by any man could be acceptable to everybody We do not believe Mr Parry's measure to be perfect, but it contains matters which will certainly attract attention, induce investigation, and elicit the yiews of tue uation's politicians." The Oswestry Advertiser says;—"Mr Parry, "ice-cuaaluau of Lilt: Carnarvonshire Couaty Council, has drafted the cutliues of a Home Rule Bill for Wales. Wbeu Mr Gladstone mentioned the matter at Manchester his words were care- fully chosen. He spoke of the subject of Homo Rule or of provision in the direction of Houie Rule for Wales,' aud it is probable that the majority of intelligent Welshmen look forward to a, National Council, made up perhaps from the Cuuuty Councils ot the principality, as the form of Home Rule which is most suuuble to their needs. But a great deal will depend upon the action of the Imperial Parliament. At the same time it is amusing to observe the way in which the proposal for Home lule 10. Wales is met by a paper like the Times. Our centeuiporary writes ut the out-cry for Home Rule ou the pate of the ridiculous tribal patriots ot Wales,' and proceeds to say that a separate Parliament and Govern- ment for tbe numerically insignificant portion of the population of this island are things too plainly absurd to be seriously en. tertained by anybody but a vernacular 'orator.' Vernacular orator' is good. But the vernacular writer' of the Times, iu his tine phrensy of indignation against people who are ridiculous enough to speak the r own language, seems to come very near absurdity himself iu dealing with population. Wales has a population of 1,360,513, or,including Monmouth, 011,571,780, wluclJ 18 not a "ery insignificant population t: vu for a separate crown, to say nothing or a separate parliament. Montenegro has only 220,000 in- oauitant., and a number of the smaller Uertcaii States would have to be added together before they equalled Wales; but, pitting these aside, there are several European kings with subjects not very greatiy in excess of the population 01 the Principality. Denmark has 2,130,100; Greece has about the same, 2,187,208; ana Servia has still less, 1,975,060. -Lim popular notion, there- fore, that Wales is too small for a Parliament entirely bUs to the ground, and the writer iu the affords one more example of the invincible ignorance which is shown by that journal in dealing with Weish subjects. A Welsh Parliament, if it is ever asked for, must be opposed for other reasons, of which, we have no wish to deuy, it is quite possible that many may be fouud but it will oe time euough to liuu them wheu a serious demand for Home Rule of this kiud arises in the principality." The writer uf the Welsh notes in the Liverpool Mercury thus expresses himself" The cry uf Howe Rule for Wales has for some time lJeen raised in public meetings, but hitherto no one had formulated a definite plan or echeme. This omission has been tilled by the vice-chairman of the Carnarvonshire County Council, who has drawn up a bill to grant Home Rule to the prin- cipality. The publication of this draft scheme has already led to considerable discussion, and although the Tory flouts at the idea of JE1 a day allowed to each member of the proposed provin- cial parliament, it must not be forgotten that payment or members is already one ot the planks of the Liberal programme. The ultimate result of the Home Rule agitation in Wales will depend on the alternatives offered to Wales when Home Rule is eiven to Ireland. If it be possible to devise a scheme which will give Ireland Home Rule and retain the Irish M.P.'8 at Westminliter,lt may well be that Welsh Home Rule will be indefinitely postponed. If, however, it be found that this is impossible without introducing a Federal Home Rule Bill, it will then be a matter of vital interest for Wales to decide whether she will join with England or elect to stand alone. The forward wiug of the Liberal army in Wales is strongly in favour of the latter alternative, and it cannot be denied that from the point of view of Welsh Liberalism much is to be said in favour of their view. Before Home Rule can be adopted as a practical reform in Wales, oue condition must first be fulfilled, and as yet this condition has not obtaiued the consideration which it deserves. Until the financial aspect of the question is fully and completely worked out, Welsh Home Rule cannot be said to be a real issue before the country. He will perform a meritorious service who will enter into the statistics of the problem and compare the counties of Wales with the counties of England iu population, rateable value, income tax, &c. Until this is done, and done carefully, it will be impossible to form an opinion as to the effects which Home Rule will have npon the prosperity of Wales. Will the proposed change lead to an increase or decrease of taxation in Wales 7 Will the burdens of Imperial taxation and the money exacted from the province of Wales for purposes of Imperial defence be such as to improve the position of the inhabitants of WalesThese are questions which must be fully answered before a serious politician can take up an attitude of approval or opposition towards Welsh Home Rale. In this, as in every other case, the burden of proof is on him who advocates a change. Let the champions of Welsh Home Rule grasp the problem, let them study and explain the financial issues involved, and, when this is done, they may confidently appeal to the verdict of their fellow-countrymen."