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THE WELSH OUTLOOK The Editor does not necessarily identify himself with the opinions of contributors to "The Welsh Outlook." Editorial responsibility is limited to the views expressed in the Notes of the Month," and in the unsigned article imm:diately following. NOTES OF THE MONTH Local By far the most important Parliamentary Legislatures event of the past month was the debate in the House of Lords on the 5th March on Lord Brassey's motion That for the purpose of (a) securing prompt and efficient handling of pressing domestic problems and better control over public expenditure, and (b) enabling the Imperial Parliament to devote more atten- tion to the general interests of the United Kingdom and matters of common Imperial concern than is possible under the present system of a single Parliament and Cabinet, the establishment of local legislatures throughout the United Kingdom is an urgent necessity." Lord Brassey's main argument rested on the congestion of public business- he did not once refer in his speech, we believe, to the inherent claims of separate and distinct nationalities-but he made an overwhelming case even on that partial basis. And indeed there are at present signs that the future will see a much more serious state of affairs than exists now. Even in the few weeks which have passed of the present session of Parliament, Bills have been introduced for the establishment of a Ministry of Health and a Ministry of Transport, while anyone who has followed the astounding evidence given before the Coal Commission will have no difficulty in believing that the Government will have to establish some control of the mines within the next few months. The results of the reforms in procedure estab- lished at the beginning of this session-although it is early to judge — do not seem very promising. It will soon be unnecessary to argue for devolution-the Imperial Govern- ment will snatch at it as a drowning man at a life-belt. Objections We deal elsewhere with the flippant and and the amateurish speech made on the occasion Answers lay the Lord Chancellor, but we must here refer our readers to the two most important contributions made to the debate by Lord Bryce and Lord Charnwood respectively. Lord Bryce's eminence APRIL, 1919. as a Constitutional lawyer and historian gives particular weight to his illuminating criticisms of the scheme of devolution, viz., that it would probably lead to protracted litigation between the local and the central legislatures on the subject of the definition of their respective powers and areas of action, that it would multiply executives and administrations, and that, owing to the great inequalities in size, population, and wealth among the different areas, it might lead to instability and even to actual conflict. But Lord Charnwood, also an eminent historian, made what seems to us to be a complete reply to these criticisms. He pointed out that from the very nature of the case, litigation of the kind suggested could hardly arise simply because, in theory, there would be no bounds to the province and sphere of the Imperial Legislature, that the multiplication of executives was actually proceeding at present (e.g., under the Health Bill), and as to instability owing to variation in size he effectively cited the Federation of the United States with a State like New York or Illinois in population as large as Scotland or the whole of Canada, and another State like Rhode Island in area and population as large as a good sized English county-and yet there is no friction and why should there be ? Wales and the The Welsh Members are to be congra- Health Bill tulated on the persistence of their efforts on behalf of a separate Welsh administra- tion under the Ministry of Health Bill,and their experi- ence in this connection ought surely to convince them that by the application of sufficient pressure almost anything can be squeezed out of a Government. As we go to press, however, the situation is very confused and uncertain. We know that a separate Board of Health will be established for Wales, but its action and powers may in any year be varied at the discretion of the Minister of Health. We must say that this seems somewhat sinister to us. The presentation of white elephants is a favourite method of