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1Home Rule for Wales.:


1 Home Rule for Wales. THE DISESTABLISHMENT QUESTION. (By EDW. T. JOHN.) The events of the last three months have. demonstrated that the Federal solution of our legislative difficulties commends itself not only to the Nationalists of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, but also to leaders of both Unionist and Radical thought in England. Mr T. P. O'Connor's elucidation of the Federal nature of the Home Rule desired for Ireland has, he claims, received the enthus- itasic endorsement of Canada, Scotland has by the unanimous vote of the representatives of its Liberal Associations declared for tedcral Home Rule for Scotland, a declara- tion supported by a great popular gathering of over 4000 people in Glasgow, while the Anglesey and Denbigh Boroughs Associa- tions have intimated their support of a similar policy for Wales, the Welsh Liberal press with practical unanimity and many of tne Welsh Members of Parliament having also expressed their agreement. There is, however, undoubtedly need for guaraing against the issues being confused, and it is well that Liberai electors in Wales should bear in mind that the solution pro- I posed abolishes entirely the hereditary quali- I fication for legislation, discards wholly in the four national Legislatures anything in the form of Second Chambers, seeks for the national Legislatures very wide powers, in- cluding in Wales the question of THE RELATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE. contemplates for these Chambers a triennial period based c n adult suffrage, but in order to maintain fully Imperial unity concedes to an elected Imperial Senate the right of veto and revision, but witholds from it any power of initiation in domestic affairs The effect of this would be that with the election of the first Liberal Imperial Senate, which will be little else than the present House of Com- mons, reduced somewhat in numbers and reinforced by such cf the peers as secure election, the wishes of Wales as regards dis- establishment would prevail. It is only fair to point out that under this system England will enjoy as complete a measure of self- government as the other countries, and will, in the elected Senate, still maintain the pre- ponderance to which her greater population entitles her. In Lhe main however, the legislative work of the respective national Legislatures will no doubt be endorsed by an elected Senate. The need for some such scheme of devolu- tion is demonstrated by the mere enumera- tion of the questions immediately waiting the attention of Parliament, such as the representation of Labour in Parliament, the payment jf members, and the political activities of trade unions, the enormously complicated task of recasting our Poor Law system, the devising of methods of industrial insurance which will materially diminish the effects of unemployanent without militating against the efficiency of our friendly society system, the great problem of unemployment itself, for which Labour Exchanges at best can be but a palliative, and which probably can only be successfully dealt with by a wider application of the principles of Mr. Lloyd George's Development Act, the re- modelling b-yth of local government finance and, indeed, local government itself, the former acutely urgent by reason of the great burdens now resting upon the localities, the reconsideration of our licensing arrange- ments, left unreformed by the rejection by the Lords of the Licensing Bill, the removal of the open sore created by the Education Act of 1902, and after the Census of 1911 a large measure of redistribution of seats—all questions of general interest wholly apart from the special needs of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The case for devolution is overwhelming. On the ofth-r hand, with these domestic questions dealt with by the home Legis- latures, the Imperial Parliament, consisting of an elected Senate only, would be able to give continuous and more adequate atten- tion to foreign affairs, to the well-being of the great dependency of India, to our rela- tions, commercial and other, with the over- seas dominions, and the maintenance in adequate strength and efficiency of the army and navy. I am sure I only express the sentiments of \\elsh Radicals generally when I deplore the small amount of thought and arttention given by Parliament, as at present constituted, to 1he interests of the teeming millions of India—it amounts to a very gross and scandalous neglect by the British demo- cracy of one of its most sacred duties. I am not at all sure that Welsh Radicals approve of the existmg method by which the control of foreign affairs is so largely with- drawn from the cognisance of Parliament. An Imperial Senate would undoubtedly con- stitute a foreign affairs committee, which would closely watch our foreign relations, and might reasonably be expected to see that peace was not disturbed without adequate cause. In a word, the time has come when Great Britain can, almost with common consent, rearrange her legislative machinery upon lines of BUSINESS AND COMMON SENSE. In this great reform I hope Wales will take no mean share, and I trust that the meeting of the Welsh Nation?.] Liberal Council may not be much longer deferred. While it is no doubt inevitable that the Chancellor should refrain, under existing circumstances, from attending gatherings involving important political pronouncements, Wales should be permitted to express its views upor a situa- tion of surpassing interest. LLanidan Ilall, .Anglesev

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Poor Law Reform.

I Hockey.