THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM IN WALES A CREED, a cause, is greater than the men who espouse or reject it. In speaking of Liberalism, it is not essential to tack the term on to names. Its motto of "Peace, Retrenchment and Reform will do for every age. Like religion, it is flexible, but unbreakable. Why is it spoken that Liberalism is blighted and decadent? It is due to the transformation that took place in December, 1916. That transformation was worked by the instru- mentality of newspaper staffs, both in England and France. Asquith never was an adept at newspaper propaganda, and during an important epoch, the Press dominated the political situation. That is one reason why an enlightened democracy should generate the force that will adminster the knock-out blow to Machiavellian political tactics. It is not only necessary that the right thing is done, but that the right thing is done in the right way. It is in fact in the highest degree necessary to assert and demonstrate that we refuse to be governed by an associated Press. Lately it became helpful that one should trace Asquith's political record. The temperature along those paths was cold but bracing. One could not avoid being struck by a piece of advice which he gave to the students of Aberdeen University in his rectorial address in 1910 : Keep always with you the company of great thoughts, the inspiration of great ideals, the example of great achievements, the consolation of great failures." The last phrase is heroic. The Khaki Election and Coupon Election were clanging successes, but there is something in the ring of them that makes one suspicious and uneasy. To the Liberal party in each case there was left the consolation of a great failure." It does not matter one bit whether Asquith is returned to power, but it does matter that some one who bears the Liberal banner should scale the heights. Why not merge ourselves in the Labour Movement ? Because Labour will not have us. Like an unnatural child disowning its parents they will not have us, because they seek class legislation, and not the good of the many. Y cwbl i fi ar gweddill i Shoni 'mrawd." Let it be assumed that the break in 1916, and the deposi- tion of Asquith was unavoidable, and necessary. It is possible to suppose that men like Asquith, Grey, Simon, McKenna and Runciman, had not the adaptability and flexibility to tether the Tory party, and to appease a wrathful Press, and both at the moment were necessary to prosecute the war. Oxford and Cambridge graduates of high degree are planed into a common pattern. Their very training becomes an impediment to original and daring adventure. It is a Cromwell or a Chamberlain or a Lloyd George who will do or die." If, when Parnell found himself and his cause face to face with ruin, Gladstone had had the ready resource and adaptability of Lloyd George, he could have saved the situation, and Ireland's redemption might have been then accomplished. But Gladstone was shackled by the legacies of Eton and Oxford, and by the intangible hand- By J. M. Howell, Aberayron. cuffs of precedent and procedure. To get at Parnell required more media than are required to-day to com- municate with the nether world. We will presume that Lloyd George was the man of the hour, that he alone, by temperament and gifts, was fitted to range King, Lords, Commons, Press, People into one win-the-war phalanx,-to weld the heterogeneous elements into a fighting weapon it does not follow that Liberalism is to be left dying in the blood welter. Grey and Asquith sounded the tocsin on a right worthy note. Liberals loved, fought, and died for their country. They have a share in the inheritance of victory, and they have a quite forgivable objection to being couponed and par- celled. Lloyd George has necessarily formed new and honour- able obligations. For a long long time he may justly say- the work of the Coalition has not been completed. I still re- quire the help of Coalition-Unionists and Coalition-Liberals to accomplish the purposes for which we fought. It is also evident, that by means of the political com- bination, and under the stress of unprecedented events, certain legislative enactments of a progressive and valuable character, have been placed on the Statute book, which would not otherwise have been possible. And yet, in the meantime, the whole lump of dough is being leavened by the spirit of Conservatism. The unconscious evidence for this statement carries greater weight than any sworn evidence. Under the auspices of Conservative Associations, meetings are being held in support of the Coalition Govern- ment. Liberal Associations are dumb. Why? This, then, is the situation Deliverance will not come from above. It must come from the people. People cannot be saved in the mass. The individual has to think it out. And each constituency will have to work out its own salvation. What is going to happen ? No one knows. Hence, the duty of thinking out our problems for ourselves. Liberalism is a spirit- renaissance. It is greater than Labour, as the soul is greater than the body, though they are indissoluble. Cardiff cherishes a kind of Welsh Nationalism of its own, which is supposed to be a corrective for all ills. Cardiff is buried in Glamorganshire. Glamorganshire is lost in industrialism and commercialism. Imagine a Welsh Parliament elected upon the basis of population, and the Wales that is Wales perishes in glare and smoke. The political world is corrupted. It means a pursuit of pelf and profit. Miners, railwaymen, engineers, and even teachers concentrate their efforts on advancing their class interests. It is each for himself and Allah for us all." Liberalism is being impeached by many people who believe, and because they believe, that power has passed out of its hands. There are yet in the land a remnant of seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to opportunism.