Welsh Journals

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BOMBSHELL, says Brooke Snubs, red tape and reign of 'Whitehallism' Why I Resigned HUW T EDWARDS I DO NOT suppose that any public body has ever started to function in the face of such unpopularity as the Council for Wales-un- popularity stemming mainly from a certain lack of appreciation about the role and function of the council. It was never intended that the council should be anything more than a standing advisory committee on Welsh affairs, and, on reflection, perhaps the use of the title 'Council' by the Government was quite unintentionally misleading. The Council was in no sense a Parliament, neither did it possess a single executive function. It was established purely to advise the Government on the impact of government activities on the people of Wales. Another criticism which has often been made against the Council is that it is not an elected body but is composed of persons nominated by the Government. But the fact is, of course, that rarely, if ever, will one find an advisory body constituted on the elective principle, because the whole idea of constituting an advisory committee is to secure that all interests are covered regardless of geography, party, creed, etc. It has also been held against the Council that it met in private and that the Press were excluded from the meetings-someone once described it as a Star Chamber. But here again this charge shows a lack of understanding of the work of the Council which can only be carried on effectively if there is free and frank discussion between members. Any advisory body such as the Council should be one in which there is no loss of face as a result of a defeat in friendly argument and in which members can speak their minds without an eye to the gallery. I was very proud indeed when the Prime Minister asked me early in 1949 to be the chairman of the newly-formed Council for the first year of its life. It will be a constant source of gratification that since that