THE GOSPEL OF BIGOTRY To the Editor Sir,— Will you kindly allow me to reply to Mr. Gwilym Hughes' onslaught on myself and Y Darian," of which I am editor, in your last issue ? I appreciate his high opinion of the paper, but I am at a loss to understand why what he calls vagaries in a single issue should have been made an excuse for such sarcasm. Had he paid a little more attention to the things which puzzled him, he would not have been so astonished. After praising a leading article in which I had condemned the gospel of bigotry," he passes on to a short note which I had appended to a paragraph, written by a correspondent, referring to a certain appointment which was about to be made in my native place. The appended note ran Can there possibly be any one in Llandovery who dreams of appointing an Englishman to this position? If so let a Sinn Fein be established there forthwith, and let the traitors be hanged on the walls of the old castle. Their betters have been hanged there." Mr. Gwilym Hughes seems to think that this paragraph is an example of the gospel of bigotry which I have always protested against. It is rather a protest against that servile spirit which is fast crushing out the soul of Wales. Surely, he did not think that I was serious about the Sinn Fein and the hanging? They were simply used to indicate the contempt I and many others would have felt had such an appoint- ment been made. There could have been no shadow of an excuse for appointing any one to that position who did not know Welsh- without which he could not sympathise with the needs and aspirations of Wales-be he Englishman or Welshman. Perhaps after I have informed Mr. Gwilym Hughes what has been going on in Llandovery in the sacred name of education, he will not be so astonished at what he was pleased to describe; as a "blood- thirsty outburst on my part. Llandovery is a small country town with which the most precious names in the history of Wales are associated. The ruins of an old castle are in the town; Ty'r Ficer is still there; Tonn is within half a mile, Ystradwallter within a mile, Pantycelyn and Cefnarthen are near, and Castell Dinefwr within a few miles. In fact, there is not a neighbourhood in Wales which has a greater wealth of historical associations. Let Mr. Gwilym Hughes just think for a moment what a splendid basis for the education of boys and girls could have been found in the history of their neighbourhood alone. What a valuable inspiration to young lives would have been an insight into the lives of these men who transformed Wales But alas we were told nothing about the story of the old castle, nor of the abode and doings of Tywysogion y Deheubarth; we were told nothing about the Tonn and the publications that emanated from the early Press there Ystradwallter to us was simply an ordinary farm-house. As far as the school was concerned, we would not have known why a certain large house in the town was called Ty'r Ficer," nor would we have taken any interest in Pantycelyn. Neither the old Vicar nor Williams, Pantycelyn, was ever mentioned in school, and the language in which the former wrote Cannwyll y Cymry," and the latter poured forth sweet immortal strains was banned in school. It was at our peril we uttered a word of it. The result was that the majority of us left school with no intelligent grasp of English, and under the impression that it was something low and vulgar to speak Welsh. It was when I began to take an interest in Welsh literature, under the guidance of a cultured old miner, that I also began to take an interest in English and had to do for myself what the school ought to have done. It was then the tragedy of education dawned on my mind, and it is with a sore heart I always think of what we were deprived of in the name of education yn Llanymddyfri We were simply robbed of our birthright by a foreign system of education and its paid servants. Hence my contempt for anything that would perpetuate the tragedy. Perhaps you will allow me here to refer to an article in the Western Mail for November 1st, under the heading-" Protest from a rural district." I would rather describe it as the cowardly moan of a shirker. To show the emptiness of this article I need only mention that the writer persists in making use of that old bogey- Wales for the Welsh." I have never met a man nor a body of men who ever put forward this demand. The advocates of the claims of the language, literature and ideals of Wales are not fools. Let it be plainly under- stood that attributing this cry to the friends of Wales is simply a device of their enemies to discredit them. But this correspondent of the Western Mail has discovered another cry, viz., Welsh for Wales," which, says he, "is the corollary of Wales for the Welsh." How mightily clever! He has found the corollary to a cry that never existed I defy him to bring forward proof that there ever was a cry of Wales for the Welsh." As to the other cry Welsh for Wales." any Welshman worthy of the name will stand up for that. It does not involve such tragic consequences as the correspondent of the Western Mail attributes to it. Just fancy a man who poses as the friend of Wales taking it upon himself to warn the nation against the peril to its own sons and daughters of having a proficient knowledge of their mother tongue. Was there ever such bare-faced audacity? He stigmatises as hvper patriots and "self-advertising faddists those friends of Wales who are in educational circles labouring to res- tore to the Welsh language its proper place in the schools and in the life of the nation. He also falsely accuses them of decrying English ii! order to attain their ends. I defy him again to point to a single instance of a responsible man having decried English in order to ad- vance the claims of Welsh. The claim which has often been made, and as often substantiated, is that a thorough knowledge of one's native tongue is the best preparation possible for the acquisition of English and other languages. Generations of Welsh boys and girls have been systematically and cruelly robbed of this valuable asset. I quite believe the Western Mail correspondent when he says that some country schoolmasters with whom he had discussed the matter were of opinion that the free use of English was essential. No one has ever denied the value of English, but it is a great pity that some of these country schoolmasters arc unable to perceive the value of its own language to a nation. I wish my own English were a great deal better than it is, and it would have been better had my own language not been discarded and banned in the schools of Wales. I have nothing but scorn for these teachers who deliberately impress upon their pupils', mind that the language of their own country is something low and vulgar. And what an ugly idea of education has prevailed in Wales, and still clouds the mind of this coriespondent of the Western Mail? Accord- ing to him, the best use our schools can be put to is to prepare the children of Wales for careeis beyond their own borders." This is the tragic blunder of the past. Our system of education was moulded to help the few favoured ones to get on in the world. It did so in my native place, but it did nothing to enrich and brighten life for the vast majority of us whose only ambition was to be good workers on the land or in the coal mine. I am glad that this monstrous idea of education is passing away. Those who advocate the teaching of Welsh in the schools of Wales will not be called self-advertising faddists much longer. It is not a disadvantage, but rather an advantage of the highest value for a Welsh child to be acquainted with the language, literature and history of his own nation and country, and he is a traitor who would persuade him otherwise. Deprived of these essentials he can never stand as a Welshman "alongside the other children of the Empire." After stigmatising the advocates of Welsh as faddists, decrying Welsh as useless and highly commending the most barbarous idea of education, it is amusing to read at the end of his letter in the Western Mail: If we are true to these ideals, we shall not fail in our duty to the Welsh child and to the Welsh Nation." God save us, I say. To return to the Welsh Outlook, it puzzles me to know how Mr. Gwilym Hughes could describe as a vicious kick at the hapless Sais," the paragraph which began What man with any backbone could fall down on bended knee, etc." The words clearly referred to the base, servile attitude of many Welshmen when they come in contact with an Englishman-an attitude which Englishmen them- selves often look upon with disgust. An Englishman when he comes into a neighbourhood is often rushed into positions which he has no right to occupy, and people very often have to suffer in consequence of this slavishness. Again, as to my description of the author of a certain Bolshevic pamphlet as a penbwl o Sais," this author, with- out any inquiry, had published abroad what was untrue about myself and Y Darian. Was there anything extraordinarily sinful in calling this man a blockhead or a dolt ? Mr. Gwilym Hughes takes strong exception again to the descrip- tion of certain advocates of Bolshevism as unclean toads (not frogs as translated by Mr. Hughes frogs— brogaid— are not un- clean). I was thinking of the conduct of a Bolshevic Councillor in a public house in Swansea, who for intolerable impudence had a thorough good thrashing administered to him by another man, and I could not think of a more apt description.