Ffynh 8T

What is and has been our programme? First of all stands the establishment of complete civil and religious equality. Non- conformity is the religion of the working men of Wales, and to demand equal treatment for the Free Churches in every school maintained out of public funds, and equal position for those Churches in the eye of the law in all things is simply to put forward the claim that the religious institutions of the people shall not be regarded as inferior by the State to those patronised by the aristocracy of the land.

What is our next legislative idea? The emancipation of the Welsh peasant, the Welsh labourer, and the Welsh miner from the oppression of the antiquated and sterilising and humiliating system of land tenure. Who are more concerned in the success of this part of our programme than the workmen of Wales? Both villager and town workman are vitally interested in the settlement of this problem. The present state of things on the land means that the sustenance of the labouring man is often sacrificed to the sport of the idle few; that almost as large a share of the produce of the soil goes into paying for the permission to cultivate it as is allotted towards maintaining the labourers who till it through the sweat of their brow; that the continued enjoyment of the fruits of the labour of the whole of the rural community may depend upon the caprice of one man. Surely this is enough matter of itself to call for reform. But that is not all. The man who flees from this tyranny into the town is preceded by it there into the recesses of its darkest slum.

What more have we inscribed on our Welsh national programme? There is the calling in of the aid of the State, which means the concentrated power of all, to assist the moral reformer in the creation of a nation of sober people. How? By removing the temptation to inebriety by interposing legal obstacles in the way of excessive drinking; by so improving the conditions and environments of the people that the despair of squalor shall not drive them to drink. Drink has kept the workmen of this country back a whole generation on the road to progress. It is also an essential part of our national programme to bring the best and highest educational facilities within the reach of the poorest child in the land. We have already done more to achieve this object within the last thirty years than any nation in these islands, but we have only just begun. There is nothing more essential to the permanent emancipation of the working classes of this country than that they should be thoroughly trained in the schools of the land for the struggles in front of them. To crown all, we seek the extension of the powers of self-government to Wales so as to enable her sons and daughters to manage her affairs without hindrance or embarrassment from those who possess neither the time nor the inclination to attend to them, or even to acquire any adequate knowledge as to what these affairs are. No candidate can ever hope successfully to contest an industrial constituency in Wales who does not pledge himself unreservedly to advance these reforms to the best of his power and opportunity.I cannot imagine any genuine Labour candidate desiring to do anything else. Therefore I say confidently that the Labour movement contains no menace for Welsh nationalism.

(Lloyd George, speech to Welsh National Liberal Council, Cardiff, 11 October 1906, South Wales Daily News, 12 October 1906 [Tip: daliwch Ctrl a chliciwch dolen i'w agor mewn tab newydd. (Cuddio tip)] )