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THE ACT OF UNION.
THE ACT OF UNION. The Act of Union between England and Wales was the title of an interesting and learned paper read before the Cymmrodorion Society, at Chancery Lane, on Friday, May 8th, by Mr. W. Llewelyn Williams, M P. Mr. Herbert Lewis presided, and, in introducing the lecturer, remarked, We are always delighted to see Mr. Williams in the House of Commons, yet, I am almost tempted to say that I am more delighted to see and hear him at the Cymmrodorion Society. Is it not a fact that we Welshmen are longing for a man who can portray to other nations the charm and characteristics of the old country—the Wales of long ago —of legend and of song ? We know but little of it, but the charming glimpses we have had, from time to time, by Mr. Williams at these gatherings make us yearn for more." He trusted that he would be able to do for Wales what Scott had done for Scotland and that, when he retired on his old age pension, he would be able to devote his later years to the enrichment of our literature and historical research. Mr. Williams said it was hardly correct to describe the Act of Henry VIIL, which was passed in 1535, as an Act of Union. It was rather an incorporation of Wales in England. The change effected by the Act was the most silent of all revolutions. Glyndwr's rebellion showed the Lancastrians the in advisability of entrusting the Welshmen of that time with the power of a representative govern- ment but there was a record that, in the year 1322, twenty-four representatives from North Wales, and six from South Wales, had been summoned to Parliament. Great though the defects of the statute were, it conferred great benefits upon the Welsh people. It extended the English laws to Wales, and stated that justice should be administered in the law courts. English was made com- pulsory in the Welsh law courts under George III. It might be true that the Welsh did not fully understand the English land system of the day, and the creation of a landless peasantry caused a difficulty. But, for the first time, the Welsh were treated upon an equality with the English. Before that time Wales was the most lawless part of the United Kingdom. It should be remem- bered, however, that before that time there was no local administration of justice in Wales, except by the lords marchers; and the Bishop of Lichfield was constantly complain- ing that the Welsh squires kept open houses for thieves. Entrusting the people with the power of trial by jury was justified, as it effected a miraculous change in the country, and 40 years later Dr. Powell spoke with wonder about that change. While the country was but small, it produced a large number of great men, who, however, were limited in their opportunities. The Act led to a recrudescence of the Cymric spirit, which was the most abiding feature of Welsh civil life to-day. Dr. Henry Owen said that, speaking on behalf of Henry VIII., who was said to have invented modern Wales (laughter) that Monarch did the best he could. All that many people knew of him was that he was married a great deal—(laughter)—but he was no dummy as a Monarch, and they should remember that his father was born in Pem- broke, which was so much to his credit (laughter). Reference was made to the rough characters that the lords marchers harboured, but he thought that in those days the duty of one lord marcher was considered to be to have a quarrel with the next lord marcher (laughter). Therefore, those ruffians were sometimes very useful (laughter). The lecture was further commented upon by Mr. Ernest Rhys, Rev. H. Elvet Lewis, Sir John Williams, Mr. Herbert Roberts, M.P., Rev. D. Lewis, Mr. Jenkin Thomas, Mr. T. H. W. Idris, M.P., Mr. J. T. Lewis, and Mr. T. H. Davies. The Chairman, replying to a vote of thanks, referred to the education movement in Wales. He hoped to heaven that before much longer, in the interests of Wales, they would have an elementary system of education in which all could work together hand in hand and heart to heart.
LABOUR NOTES FOR LONDON WELSHMEN.
LABOUR NOTES FOR LONDON WELSHMEN. While some 3,400 working men at Dundee failed to keep their promise to the Labour candidate, it is gratifying to read that the miners of South Wales have, with a big majority, decided to join the Labour Party. That will mean that, in future, Mabon, Richards, Brace, and John Williams will join the Independent Labour Group. The political education of Mabon is grow- ing very rapidly with the growth of the Labour Movement in Wales. Not many weeks ago he informed the world that he has always been a revolutionary Socialist. In addition to the fact that the miners' representatives will, in future, vote with the Labour Representation Committee Members of Parliament, this vote of the Miners' Federation means that, at least, seven Welsh seats will be contested next election by Labour candidates. These seats are :—Mid- Glamorgan, East Glamorgan, Merthyr Bor- oughs, North and South Monmouth, East Carmarthen, and Brecknockshire. Wales has seen, most probably, for the last time a solid Liberal phalanx returned to Westminster. The workers in Wales are beginning to find out that, so far, Welsh Nationalism has meant nothing more than comfortable posts and offices for a hungry band of young graduates, who are looking for something more adventurous than a Welsh pulpit. MR. LLOYD-GEORGE AS THE FRIEND OF LABOUR. The average Welshman has not yet realised that our National Hero is probably the most valuable asset the English capitalist has discovered for many a long day, and it is capitalism that the worker has to fight. It matters nothing to him whether his employer calls himself Liberal or Tory, they equally agree to sign lock-out notices to force reduc- tion of wages. It is a common fallacy to think that the Liberal Party is a special friend of the worker. The Tory Party, probably, to get even with the Liberal commercial party, has passed 22 out of the 35 Factory Acts that are on the Statute Book. They also gave the worker the Housing Acts of 1885, 1890, 1900, 1903; the Public Health Act of 1875 the Compensation Acts of 1897 and 1900; the Allotment Acts of 1887 and 1890; the Small Holdings Act of 1892 the Trade Union Acts of 1825 and 1875. The riots in the East End during the week, due to the employment of Chinese on English. ships are due to the Merchant Shipping Bill of 1907- 8. Clause II. says that after 1908, 'the Port Authorities in the United Kingdom shall not allow a seaman to sign the agreement if he does not possess a sufficient knowledge of the English language to understand the necessary orders, &c., and here comes the opportunity of the shipowner But nothing in this section shall apply to any British subject or inhabitant of a British Protectorate, or to any Lascar." When a Labour amendment to leave out "or any Lascar," the Liberals, headed by Mr. Lloyd- George, voted against it, and to-day, as nothing in that section shall apply to any British subject or inhabitant of a British Protectorate," John Chinaman, shut out from the Rand, has only to say that he is an in- habitant of the British Protectorate of Shan- ghai, and he can, and is employed to cut down the wages of the English sailor at home. THE WORKER AND OLD AGE PENSIONS. Something similar will happen with regard to old age pensions. Already it has been decided that it shall be a separate Bill, to be brought in during the autumn session and as an ordinary Bill it will have to face the hostile criticism of the House of Commons, and take the risk of being thrown out by the Lords. If it survives that ordeal, it will be found that the worker will receive hardly any benefit at all, as the average age at death of even the skilled worker, who is better housed and better paid, is 55 so that on an average he will have to be dead 15 years before he becomes entitled to receive Mr. Asquith's pension. LABORO PRO PATRIA.
MR. TOM PRICE, the Premier of South Australia, told the Young Wales Society at Liverpool, when dealing with the Welsh Parliamentary party, that if the Welsh movement was to be successful it must have a Welsh policy of its own it must not be a hanger-on of another party. If he were "running the show there should be a dis- tinct Welsh section, all the time looking after the interests of Wales. MR. JOHN ROWLAND, who became private secretary to Mr. Lloyd George when the latter went to the Board of Trade, and who has now gone to the Treasury with his old chief, is-says the Western Mail-a native of Tregaron. Mr. Rowland started making a career in the teaching profession, and was one of the assistant-masters at the Cardiff Municipal Secondary School when Mr. Lloyd-George "discovered" him, a little over two years ago. In that time Mr. Rowland has developed into a diplomat of the most austere and official kind, yet has lost none of the suave geniality which, com- bined with native Cardi shrewdness and wit, enables him to say No in a way that is almost as pleasant as Yes." This, of course, is the pink of diplomatic courtesy. ACCORDING to the annual report of the London City Mission, which was presented at the 2rd Annual Meeting of the Mission on Friday last, the work done under its auspices is very considerable. It employs 409 missionaries, of whom 308 are engaged in house to house visitation. During the past year 599 families have been induced to attend family worship, and 1,417 drunkards have been reclaimed. The missionaries have been the means of restoring 519 people to Church Communion, and they have added 1,483 new Communicants to the Churches. These figures, which rather under-state than over-state the amount of work accomplished, are an eloquent plea for the maintenance and extension of the Mission's valuable operations. Four of the Missionaries employed by this Mission are devoted entirely to look after Welsh people in distress. THE MYSTIC" is continually improving. This interesting and instructive weekly deals with astrological, occult, and theosophical subjects in a most readable manner. In a. recent article, reference was made to the hwyl of the Welsh, who were describe as the most emotional of the races."