THE WELSH OUTLOOK The Editor does not necessarily identify himself with the opinions oj contributors to "The Welsh Outlook" Editorial responsibility is limited to the views expressed in the Notes of the Month," and in the unsigned article immediately following. NOTES OF THE MONTH The Welsh We understand as we are going to Press Party that the Welsh party, or what is generally described as such, has at last managed to elect a Chairman, Mr. Tom Richards, a choice which few will be disposed to criticise, yet it is obvious that serious difficulties were encountered before Mr. Richards was discovered. At one time it was seriously suggested that the wisest course would be the appointment of three Chairmen, representing the Labour, Liberal and Con- servative sections respectively, each of whom would act in turn. There were obvious disadvantages to this course- one in particular being the current impression that the Chairmanship-hitherto of course sole and undivided in its function and dignity-is a stepping stone to a high honour. But the difficulty is a clear indication of the cause of the party's hopeless ineffectiveness,-that it has no governing and co-ordinating principle of action and no common policy. However diverse the elements com- posing the party might be, if it were united in its demand for national autonomy, or had an agreed policy on purely Welsh matters, there would have been no difficulty in finding a Chairman. The Irish Party was for a generation much more heterogeneous in its character than the Welsh group even at this moment, but its agreement on the ques- tion of Irish Home Rule made it the most perfectly dis- ciplined political unit the House of Commons has ever seen. The Welsh Liberal Members it is reported have elected Mr. Vaughan Davies as their Chairman. Oh the shades of Henry Richard and Tom Ellis. The Party It is, of course, common knowledge that and the in the last session of Parliament attempts Future were made to induce the party to re- organize itself, so as to increase its efficiency as a political instrument, but the proposals were greatly resented by some of the members as a reflection on their past activities, and an impertinent interference with their historic habits. It was suggested that the Party MARCH, 1919. should set up a numbe; of sub-committees to deal with the various questions coming up in Parliament affecting Wales, and ultimately to evolve a definite Welsh policy in regard to them. It was also suggested that a paid officer should be appointed whose business would be to assist the Party and its Sub-Committees in this work, and also to keep it in touch with the various organisations in the country interesting themselves in these matters. We sincerely hope that this scheme will be revived at an early date, and that a sincere effort will be made to co-ordinate the work which is being done at present in Wales in con- nection with the vast number of the reconstruction problems arising out of the present situation. We understand that the immediate appointment of a paid secretary is contem- plated, but his functions should be something more than the furnishing of materials for members' correspondence, which appears to be the main intention at the moment. A Lost We are convinced that there is in Wales Opportunity every desire to give the Welsh members every chance to make good, but it is pathetic to find them so early in their first session sacrificing merrily one of the finest opportunities ever given to a party. The Government were forced owing to the pressure of public business to introduce new rules of procedure which. among other things, by withdrawing the estimates (with the exception of those for the Fighting Forces) from the consideration of the House of Commons itself and referring them to a Standing Committee only, affected the historic constitutional principle that grievances should be re. dressed before supplies were granted. We-were surely not too sanguine in expecting some vigilant Welsh member to point out that the real solution for the problem of the con- gestion of public business was not to be found by loosening the control of the House, but by devolution of powers all round. Still nothing of the kind was done, and Sir Edgar Jones seems to have been enthusiastic in favour of the new arrangement so as to get something done." Many