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I'"The Liberal Party

I |Welsh Judges for Wales.

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Welsh Judges for Wales. EMPHATIC PROTEST BY CARNARVON COUNTY COUNCIL. At the quarterly meeting of the Carnar- von County Council on Thursday, Alderman J. R. Pritchard presiding, Mr Henry Parry moved "That this Council emphatically protests against the action of her Majesty's judges interfering with' the rights of Welsh- men to give their evidence in the law courts in their native tongue, and strongly urges the Lord Chancellor to arrange for the ap- pointment of judges on the Welsh circuits conversant with the Welsh tongue." In the course of a stirring speech hê said it was full time a stop was put to the practice of using the machinery of the law to kill the Welsh language and to insult the national character. It was impossible for many Welshmen to give evidence in English. The only way in which justice could be ad- ministered in Wales would be by appoint- ing judges who could understand the langu- age used by the people. Over and over again these English judges came to Wales to insult the tv elsh people and to cast a slight upon their character and their veracity. Mr H. Menander Jones, who seconded, said that English judges came to the Princi- pality with the idea that the Welsh language was about to die, and th'at the Welsh people only made a hobby of it. There never was a greater mistake, for the seed of death had not entered into the Welsh language, and the sooner these judges came to know the real state of affairs the better it would be to all concerned. It was said at the end of the last century that the language was dying, but to-day it was as alive as ever. It had now a richer literature and more people spoke pure Welsh than had ever been known. Mr Justice Darling might be the "darling" of some people, but he was not the "darling" of the people of Wales. Why, the other day, after refusing to hear Welshmen give evidence in Welsh in Wales, he heard a ca.se in French and spoke French himself. Others having spoken, Mr Richard Davies (Portmadoc) rose to move an amendment. He spoke in English, but was met with an angry cry of "Cymraeg, Cymraeg." Mr Da- viea said that Englishmen pride themselves on being fair-minded, but when English judges came to Wales to administer justice they seemed to lose all sense of justice on thig particular point (applause). However, be thought the difficulty would be met by the appointment of competent interpreters. There was no work for judges of assize in Wales, therefore why should they ask for a Wolsh-speaking judge ? The language difficulty did not arise in the lower courts, because they county court judges and magi- strates understood Welsh. Mr J. Jones Morris seconded the amend- ment, and said that he often addressed the jury and the judge in the lower courts in the Welsh language, and: that most of the cases were conducted in Welsh. There was no magistrate in Wales who would dare enforce such a ruling as that of Mr Justice Darling, and he was very much surprised that some of the leading counsel of the North Wlaes circuit, who were in court, bad not taken advantage of the occasion to speak strongly upon the matter. Mr J. E. (Greaves, lord-lieutenant of Car- narvonshire, supported the amendment, and, as chairman of quarter sessions, said that in that court every facility was given to speak Welsh. Mr J. 0. Hughes wished to protest. against. the summoning of jurymen from all purts of the county, who, after coming a long dis- tance, are unceremoniously thrust from the box because they could not speak the langu- age of the judge. The amendment was ruled out of order hI the chairman. Mr E. R. Davies (Pwllheli) reminded Mr Jones Morris that they would not have had Welsh county court judges had it not been for an agitation some years ago. Again, it was a great hardship to litigants to be com- pelled to pay interpreters for interpreting evidence given in their own language. It had been suggested tbiat there were no Welshmen competent to sit in courts of as- size (laughter). Why, it was ridiculous to speak so, for they had on the county court benches judges far more capable than some recently appointed to the High Court. Two hundred years ago they had chief justices of North Wales,, whose portraits were on that wall, and Wi going back to say they had no such capable menrnow ? They did natkinei^'ttpon having Welshmen, but upon Welsh-speaking justices,* jgijcb, Mr Dar- lington, a Welsh-speaking Englishman, had been appointed to a Government post in Wales (applause). In South Africa judges were not appointed unless they passed an examination in Dutch, and very rightly so, but were Welshmen to be denied the same justice as that meted to all other subjects of the Queen ? (applause). Mr Issard Davies also supported the mo- tion, but pointed out that Mr Parry should be more consistent, for it was only the other day the gentleman had advocated the ap- pointment of a monoglot English matron to the Carnarvon Workhouse (laugnter). The motion was put to the meeting, and all hands were raised in its favour, except- ing those of Lord Penrhyn and the Hon. F. G. Wynn, who voted against.

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