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!WALES OR WHITEHALL? i CARDIFF CONFERENCE. WELSH BISHOPS PRESENT. | HOME RULE FOR THE SCHOOLS." ADDRESS BY MR. LLOYD-GEORGE I Great interest was manifested at Cardiff on Friday in the proceedings ai the con ence called by Lord Mayor Hughes to con- sider toe formation of a Welsh National Education Council. ConsiderabLe feeling had been exhibited during tne ]>•.». in Liberal and Nonconformist circles in the Principality at the alleged exclusion from the list of invitations of men who, throughout, have been in the thick of the fight," and the iear that the inclusion of prominent Churchmen and Conservatives really meant a compromise over the education controversy. The conference opened at 10.30 at the Town Hall'. The Lord Mayor presided and amongst those present were the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Llovd-George, M.P.), who really threw out the suggests- of a Welsh Education Counc l), Mr. Bryn- mor .It as, M.P., Col. Ivor Herbert, M-p., MT. D. A. Thoa^is, M.P., Bishops of St. David's St. Wph and Ll&ndaff, Principal Edwards (Welsh Baptist Union). Mr.. Ll. Williams, M.P., the Ro^n Catholic Bishops Williams, M.P., the Ro^n Catholic Bishops of Newport and Menevia. M-ivnr of 1 sea, Aid. R. Martin, Councillor Tutton (Swansea Corporation). Mr. T. J. Williams (Maesvg-,verr;en», Sir John T. T-. Llewelyn. Bart (one of the representatives of Glamor- gan), Rev J. Towyn Jones, Mr. Tom Job- and Rhvs Nicholas (Nationai Union of Tea- chers), etc. T"le Lord Mayor extended a welcome to the conference, which he said was abso- lutely unique in the history of Wales, -he conference might haiTe far-re"chins resuSts. and he believed that the proceedings would be conducted in such a way as to show their deep interest for the well-be ng of their beloved conntrv. (Applause.) THE RESOLUTION AND THE SCHEME. Mr. D. Brynmor Jon -i then moved "That this conference is of opinion that 't is expedient to create a Council for Wales, representing Welsh "illcation Authorities, which shall have powers to supply and to a±~ the supply of education oi aSl kinds n Wales and Monmouthshire, to whicfi shall be delegated the powers of the Board of Education in regard to public education ;n WaJes and Monmouthshire, and otheT powers relating to education now exercised by the Home Office and Board of Agrieul- ture, together with the powers of the Cen- tral Wellsh Board as to intermediate educa- tion, and to which may be granted such incidental powers as may be necessary for the discharge of its functions." The resolu- tion, said the hon. member, wa.s the natural and logical outcome of the educational move- ment which, commencine more than sixty years ago, had brought into existence within the last 25 years what they called the ) Weigh educational edifice." A more comprehensive scheme was thought neces- 3ary, and it wa £ felt desirable tnat they should not run any risk of a non-party mat- ter be' g made a party question. On that ground it was felt that their Conservative friends were their felSow countrymen, and that it was only fair that they should take some of the representatives of the minority and invite them to join the Welsh Liberal members in their efforts to perfect this Welsh system of education by united effort. (Hear, hear.) They had to limit the representation of the minority, and so they thought they could not conceive any better method of begin- ning first of all by inviting all the defeated candidates a.t the last General Election, for they, as Welsh members, were persuaded that in the interests of education in Wales they could not ignore the co-operation of all classes of Welshmen, without distinction or of creed. (Hear, hear.) For that reason, the Roman Catholics and others bad been invited. The council that was proposed to be established would notf in any way in- volve the inter'orcnoe with the Welsh Uni- volve the inter'orcnoe with the Welsh Uni- veraity or the tilree national Colleges, and j would not interfere with the rights of the < individual local education authorities under < the Awts o. 1902 and other Education Acts. How that might be affected by the provisions j of the Bill that the President oi Education t proposed to introduce he did not know, but] the general effect of the scLeme "that we pro- I pose is to substitute in regard to the local education authorities this National Council s for the Board of Educat;on." (Hear, hear.) The Council would have nothing to do with the management of the elementary schools or N.e question of hours, these being sub- I ject to the general law, or religious instruc- 1 tion, or any cf the theory or difficult matters t that iiact been the topics of much-heated dis- suasion. Tha powers of the new Council 1 might be divided tVus:—(l;The powers now 1 exercised by certain departments of the 1 State which would be d^ egated to it; (2), «■ the powers of the Central Welsh Board, 1 which would be transferred to if; and (3) certain further powers for effecting the ob- jects which the County Councils could per- form more efficiently and economically jointly rather than severally—by co-opera- | tion rather than by individual action. There were other powers in regard to science and art and education in regard to too Board I of Agriculture, and the transference of 1 those powers to the new Council would, of 1 course, involve the right to dispense the I' Parliamentary grants both for secondary and elementary education, and also the de- termination of the conditions governing the distribution ol those grants. The Council ] would have the right of inspection and the appointment of the inspectors, and aiso powers in regard to the education of the ( blind and deaf children. They were not asking that all the powers oi the Board of Fdn cation should be trajasferred to the tw Welsh National Council, and he j thought that a proposed body of 90 men elected directed by the people (because they would be appointed bv the county councils), could not undertake tbe powers for instance of the charity commissioners. Ihe Council, however, would have powets to estab^h training colleges for teachers tor the benefit of the inhabitants of Waxes end Monmouth- shire. As to the financial part ot the scheme the proposed new council would receive such moneys as now received by the Board of Education, except those in respect of the We&h University and the constituent col- leges, and he estimated the amount at pre- sent a.t £800,000 a year. The Council did not ask for full rating powers, but he thought the National Council should have the power to supplement that income by Bending a precept to the local rating author- ities for the general purposes of education In Wales. The constitution of tie proposed Council, he suggested, might be left over for the present, tjough he said it would be obviously unfair that Glamorgan and Monmouthshire should be placed in the same petition as the other counties of Wales that the rates, influence and interests of two such populous counties should be subordin- ated to the rural part of Wales. (Heai, hear.) They bebeved, therefore, that a scheme that wwild secure, real equalitv was not difficult to devise. There was one'other important point, and that was as to whether the \atiooial Coancil have the power of co- oDtirlg members. If they limited the Coun- cil entirely to the elected of foe county councils it would not be possible, for in- stance to have any women on the new Council In conclusion, he expressed the belief that the present afforded a remark- able and unique opportunity of eetabhshmg an institution that would be of incalculable advantage to Wales. (Applause.) Mr. Herbert Roberts, M.P., seconded, and said the boon of self-government in educa- tion in Wales was within their reach. Col. hOT Herbert, M.P., supported. Aid. Blaady Jenkins thought the whole question came back to the representation of the conference. The conference, however, were disposed to discuss the new scheme, a-nd Mr. Brymnor Jones, answering questions, said that the limit of the new rating powers should be Id. ai least. At present there was no provision foT co-optation. Aid. RatTan (Risca) advocated co-optation of women, and pointed out that the door should be open to workingmen repre&entA- thnee by paameui to membra^ 11 i Mr. Nicholas (Llandilo) said that the re- solution all depended upon the details of t>he scheme—upon representation and the powers and duties that such Council re- cedved.—(Mr. Brynmor Jones Hear, hear.) —The basis of the only scheme that had yet been submitted to the County Councils was grossly unfair 10 the largest and most typical county (Carmarthen) in South Waies. If he assented to a new scheme, it was entirely in the abstract so far as Carmarthen was con- cernecl, for the Welsh Council should be one that was in touch with Welsh national sentiment—real Welsh ideas. (Hear, hear.) The ratable value qualification in wie old scheme was grossly unfair to agricultural W ales, and thai should be guarded against in any future scheme. It war, rather shoot- ing in the air as to what the new scheme was going to be. (Cries of "Hear, hear.") Bishop of Llandaff understood they were only to ask for Wale« the same privileges as were accorded to Scotland, but the Scotch system was totally different to the schema admirably put forward by Mr. Brynmor Jones. Th > resolution was to support edu- cation of all kinds. Mr. Lloyd-George: To aid the supply, which is different. Bishop of Llandaff asked what sort of body was to be the controlling power in the matter, and was it suggested that the whole of the powers of the Board of Edu- cation should be transferred to the new Welsh Council. If the latter, then re thought it was a big. order. Bishop of St. Asaph said they could not hope for educational progress in Wales un- less they enlisted alii the best intellectual capacity m the Principality. The resolu- capacity m the Principality. The resolu- tion, he agreed, was a far-reaching one and he was reminded of the Latin proverb, "Make haste slowly." He suggested the appointment of a committee to report as to details. ADDRESS BY MR. LLOYD-GEORGE, M.P. Mr. Lloyd-George, very cordially re- ceived, said he was there as a member of the Welsh party and was not making my sort of declaration on behalf of the Govern- ment. He agreed they should not commit themselves to a.ny details until they saw them. There was a general agreement upon the most important points, and that it was desirable to delegate to some body in Wales the control of education. Their most vio- lent critics acceded to that and Glamorgan were the most violent cf a-ll; and so eager that for months they were trying their best to thwart it. (Laughter and "No. no.") The scheme bad been drafted by other people, and he accepted it, but ne was certain that the Welsh members wer? not wedded to their own phraseology. He did wish, however, that the people who were criticising should put forward some alternative scheme. It was so easy to criti- cise—he knew that himself—(laughter)—and so difficult to construct. For ten years he had been criticising, and he was now find- ing ou1» how easy it was to criticise, and "0 difficult to put up a scheme that would meet the criticism of the intellect. He could not subscribe to the doctrine that he was there merely as a Welshman. That was THE WAY HE SET UP AN ULSTER IN WALES. He appealed for a broad-minded view of the matter—not for facLons, fragments, or sec- tions. As regarded details, it was a matter which they were going to press on the Gov- ernment. They wanted a load-lme in the matter. (Laughter.) They must excuse him for speaking departmentally, and had no doubt he would be told, "You are sub- merging the disc." (More laughter.) He suggested that the details should be sub- jected to future discussion. He admitted I that the Bishop of Llandaff had reasonably criticised the words, "And to aid the supply of education," and to submit "Or to aid the supply," would the criticism. He could quite und- rstand certain people say- ing that the grea.t question of trusts could not possibly be entrusted in the present heated atmosphere to the new Council, and that it would be asking too much for the power to be conferred on a body of that character. Until the controversy was set- tled he would eliminate all considerations of that under the scheme. It was not sug- gested, be went on, to set up a new rating authority, nor was it suggested lj add any new rating powers at all. It was very de- sirable tha.t details should be discussed by a committee which be trusted would be repre- sentative of urban and agricultural bodies, and representative also of both parties, if it was necessary to have another conference to settle these details, then let them have it. But it was those kinds of things that could not be settled in a single day. Rev. Towyn Joi-es continued the discus- sion. BISHOP OWEN NON-COMMITTAL. Bishop of St. David's appreciated the feel- ings that prompted the invitation to nirn to attend tha conference, and agreed that the resolution did not go far enough into de- tail to enable to commit himself one wav or another. He therefore adopted a non-committal attitude, but would take time to consider the resoluLMc. Mr. Brynmor Jones had mentioned a consultative commfl- tee. Was that to be confined to the mem- bers of the Council? Mr. Brynmor Jones: That would be left to the Council. Bishop Owen: My point is as to the ques- tion ot experts—men who have taken part in Welsh education for the past 00 years. Mr. Brynmor Jones explained what be said was tha.t the consultative com- mittee should have freedom on the lines and the Board of Education Committee, which included outsiders. Bishop Owen went on to say that he thought it was a serious mistake to go very much further in f the movement without clearing their minds as to the relation the new Council was to have to the University of Wales. It was alao a very large matter indeed to do a wav, with one stroke, with the affellant powers of the Board of Education. He was not pre- pared to commit himself to it that day. He admitted it was an honest attempt to im- prove Welsh education, but there were as pects of it which required due consideration, and be wanted to be satisfied that the edu cationaJ price paid was not too great, and that they did not lose any assistance they now had in solving the great problem befoit them. In other words, he wanted to be satisfied that before they cut the cable with the Board of Education they were not mak- ing a serious mistake. Candidly, he did not think they had in Wales the experience a.nd power necessary to work a scheme like that without the assistance of the Board of Education, though he thought the time would arrive when they would have to thank the University of Wales. PRACTICAL UNANIMITY. In the course of discussion the Bishop of St. David's intimated that he would accept too principle of the first portion of the reso- lution down to the words "Monmouthshire" if the motion were divided. Mr. Lloyd-George thought- the suggestion an adiwsrB>ble one, and this was carried un- animousiv- In further discussion, during which the conference shewed impatience to get to the Lord Mayor's repast, the second portion, of the resolution was made to read: "That this conference is of opinion that to the Council shall be delegated certain powers of the Board of Education/' etc. Thief was carried with the dissect of the three Ormarthon defegabe^ The afternoon was devoted to the ap- pointment of the committee, etc. The Bishop of St. David s, Bishop of Llan- daff, Sir John Llewelyn, Col. Wright., and Mr. Ernest Helme did not vote for the second part of the resolution. The Bishop of St. Asaph had left the room early in the pro- ceedings. APPOINTING THE COMMITTEE. After about an hour's discussion, a. reeolu- tion was passed appointing a drafting com- mittee, consisting three members of County Councils and County Borough Councils, two to represent the majority and one the minor- ity in each case; three members of the Central Welsh Board, and six Welsh mem- bers of Parliament, three Welsh peers and one representative from each autonomous area; the committee to be elected before May 24th, and the Lord M&yor of Cardiff is to convene a meeting at Llandrindod as goon as possible aftenrwds.

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