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Councillor Edward Jones and…

1 hA English Constitution.


1 hA English Constitution. Prof. T. A. Levi at Trealaw. The English Constitution; or, A Study of Our Politics," was the subject of a lecture delivered by Professor T. A. Levi at Seion (C.M.) Chapel on Thurs- day evening last. Mr. W. P. Nicholas (Clerk to the Rhondda Council) presided over a large gathering. The proceeds of the lecture were in aid of Mr. Daniel Davies, Trealaw Road, who has been ailing for a considerable time. Prefacing his lecture, the Professor said that he had visited the Rhondda several times, but on this occasion it gave him far more pleasure than usual, because it a was to help a fellow-countryman along. Coming to the lecture, he said he had deliberately chosen a subject that belonged to everybody and in which there was a common interest. He would like all his listeners to keep before their eyes their own native country, and ask themselves what could they do to improve it. Con- stitutional questions, he said, were the topic of the hour but wherever they put their fingers, they could find no such thing as a Constitution in England. America, France, and our Colonies could produce the articles of Constitution on paper, but England was a country with- out one that was written down. The people, said the professor, are the Con- stitution, and it had been our good for- tune that it had never been written down; therefore, it could always be changed to suit the needs of the age. What is it, he asked, that accounts for our greatness p. At the head of the State stood a king, but that king could do no wrong, although -he had a great deal of power in the Constitution. He had power to dismiss the Army or Navy, and set at liberty any criminal without consulting anyone. But there was one thing the King could not do, and that was to make the laws. Next to the monarch came the Upper House, which consisted exactly of 600 members, and we had a better House of Lords than many supposed. The strength of the Upper House was its weak- ness, and unless it bent to the wishes of the people, it would ultimately be swept out of the country and be no more. By- and-by, said the speaker, the people would be passing resolutions to get the House of Lords abolished, but it would be far better to pass resolutions to take the veto out of it. Let the Upper House live, he said, just to please certain parties, but take their sting away. The lecturer next dealt with the Lower House, and stated that some day the House of Commons would really repre- sent the people of the country. Next to the House of Commons came the Courts of Justice and the legal profession, but they did not make the law. Who, then, made the law? It was the people, the electorate. He (the professor) believed in popular government, in a government of the people, by the people; but by the best of the people. The greatest need of Wales at the present moment was to have more faith in the individual power of man. Man comes first, and the law after- wards. The law was a living picture of a man, a shadow cast behind the life of an individual; and man was born with a divine law-making power, a power to maintain his rights, and to cast his law behind him for other men to follow. Votes were given, said the professor, because people were householders and property owners, whereas he considered every man should be allowed to vote; but it was far more important that every vote should have a man. After dealing with the laws of the past, the speaker said he looked forward to the time when every child would be edur- cated free of all cost, when the terms working man and "servant" would be done away with. They. were only remnants of slavery, and some day he hoped there would be a better hope for the working man than an hearth stone when he was alive and a gravestone when he was dead. There was no greater failure, he con- tinued, than the way Ave meted out punishment. People were locked up for wrong committed, but the locking-out was far worse than the locking-in. Scarcely anyone would employ those that had been to a prison. It was true we were now beginning to carry out doctrines of atone- ment in our English prisons. Mr. H. Gladstone, he said, had brought in a law that permitted and tried the art of for- giveness, by which a person could be set free without, a stain upon his character. Although the Act had only been in force for a short while, it had proved a great success. He wished the time would come when a criminal would be regarded and considered capable of being saved and taken, instead of to prison, to an insti- tution where he would be encouraged and made into a new beine. The atonement should be made a fact, not only on a Sunday, but also on a Monday (applause). Votes of thanks brought the meeting to a close.

Mid-Rhondda Free Church Council…


Notes, Notions and Reviews

Literary Societies.

"Studies in Welsh Grammar…

! " Bwthyn Bach y Bryn."

A Child of the People.