South Wales Liberal Federation. In 1892 it had been remarked that Cardiff was lost to Welsh nationalism,! and in 1896 at a conference at Newport, Alderman Robert Bird of Cardiff told Lloyd George that the cosmopolitan population of the great towns of south Wales would never submit to Welsh domination. "Lloyd George was howled down and the prospect of national unity vanished."2 This deep-seated regionalism may have had something to do with the rejection by the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, in 1897 and again in 1902 of petitions from the corporation of Cardiff for recognition as a city, for populous and prosperous as it was, Cardiff was surpassed in size by many towns in the United Kingdom, which, like it, did not rank as cities. In 1905 the attempt to secure city status was resumed, though regionalism was as rampant as ever in Wales, expressing itself now in the triangular contest between Cardiff, Swansea and Aberystwyth over the location of the proposed National Museum and National Library. Cardiff, led by its active Welsh-speaking Unionist Mayor, Robert Hughes, was fighting on two fronts, to beat off Swansea's efforts to secure the Museum and to counter the claims of Aberystwyth to the Library. In June 1905 the verdict of the Privy Council Committee was announced. Cardiff was to have the Museum but the Library was to go to Aberyst- wyth. The loss of the battle for the Library was a blow to civic self-esteem only partially compensated by the winning of the Museum. This defeat, however, seems to have acted as a spur. When Welsh members in parliament had urged the establishment of a National Library and Museum in Wales they had been told to "find their capital" Because there was no capital the institutions were dispersed. The lesson could not have been ignored by the civic leaders of Cardiff. At all events, the setback contained in the Privy Council adjudication was followed within a few weeks by the renewal of the effort to obtain city status. 1 K. O. Morgan, Wales in British Politics 1868-1922, (Cardiff, 1963), p. no. 2 ibid., p. 163. 3 Western Mail, 23 October 1905.