Welsh in Education and Life (1927)

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

Preface (page xviii)
Part I Introducton, historical and general (1)
Part II The present position (82)
Part III Problems and lines of solution (180)
Summary of principal recommendations (307)
Appendices (316)
Index (339)


Part I of this report contains a useful history of education in Wales.

It is interesting to compare this report, whose aim is the promotion and preservation of the Welsh language, with Education in Wales (1848), in which Commissioners of Inquiry were required to report on 'the means afforded to the labouring classes of acquiring knowledge of the English language'.

John Owen (1854-1926), the Chair of the Committee which produced this report (until he died in November 1926) read classics and mathematics at Jesus College Oxford and began his teaching career while still a graduate. In 1879 he was appointed Professor of Welsh at St David's College, Lampeter (now the University of Wales Trinity Saint David) and was ordained in the Anglican church. He became Bishop of St David's in 1897.

The report contains many Welsh words, for which my spell-checker was useless! I have done my best to ensure that they are accurately rendered here, but if you spot any errors, do please let me know. Contact details are here.

The text of Welsh in Education and Life was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 31 December 2022.

Owen Report (1927)
Welsh in Education and Life

Report of the Departmental Committee appointed by the President of the Board of Education to inquire into the position of the Welsh language and to advise as to its promotion in the educational system of Wales

London: His Majesty's Stationery Office 1927
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]



To be purchased directly from HM STATIONERY OFFICE at the following addresses:
Adastral House, Kingsway, London WC2; 120 George Street, Edinburgh;
York Street, Manchester; 1, St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff;
15 Donegall Square West, Belfast;
or through any Bookseller.


Price 1s 6d Net; or
2s 6d Net, Cloth Bound.


[page ii]


The estimated gross cost of the preparation of the appended Report (including the expenses of the Witnesses and Members of the Committee) is 1,515 13s. 5d., of which 264 12s. 9d. represents the gross cost of printing and publishing this Report.

Expenses of Committee1,217 15 4
Neostyling33 5 4
1,251 0 8
Report264 12 9
Total1,515 13 5

A Welsh translation of this Report will also be on Sale,

[page iii]



List of Members and Terms of Referencexvii



1 Conceptions of language development relevant to the history of the English language not necessarily true in the case of Welsh in Wales.
2 Gradual rise of prestige of English in the curricula of schools and colleges in the nineteenth century.
3 Decay of Welsh from being the language of the aristocracy, to the final ousting of the language from the schools.
4 Position of Welsh in the European family of languages.
5 Historical crises through which the Welsh language has passed.
6 Welsh a sufficiently dignified language to form a university subject of study.
7 The place of philology in Welsh studies in the past. The Bulletin of the Board of Celtic studies.
8 Intimate connexion between the Welsh language and Welsh culture.
9 Position of the language in the Bardic system of education.
10 Education in Wales in medieval times. Position of the language on the eastern border.
11 Hywel Dda and the Welsh codes.
12 The Welsh Bards in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: the Statute of Gruffydd ap Cynan.
13 Cultivation of Welsh by the Princes and nobility.
14 Ascendancy of the language from Dafydd ap Gwilym to Tudur Aled.
15 Effect of the Tudor accession upon the language. The warning of William Salesbury.
16 Passages from the works of contemporary writers deploring the attitude of the people towards Welsh.
17 Conflicting motives.
18 The Welsh grammars of Dr. Gruffydd Robert, and Siôn Dafydd Rhys. Attitude of these writers towards the Welsh language.

[page iv]

19 Establishment of the Tudor Grammar Schools in Wales.
20 Rise of the commonalty and the creation of a new class of landlords.
21 Decay of the Welsh language among higher and lower classes.
22-23 Influence of the translation of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer upon the spoken language.
24 Standardisation of a literary style of spoken Welsh greatly aided by the classical Welsh of Bishop Morgan's Bible.
25 The Welsh of the Bible the standard Welsh which was once the language of culture throughout Wales.
26 Popularity of the first people's edition of the Bible.
27 The Welsh language in the 17th century.
28 Pioneers of the 17th and 18th centuries.
29 The influence on the language of religious movements and of the presses in Wales.


30 Griffith Jones, Llanddowror.
31 His Catechetical Schools.
32 The principle of "Mother tongue first".
33 Success of the Circulating Schools.
34 Robert Jones, Rhoslan.


35 Intimate relations between the free schools and the Revival.
36 Influence of the pulpit. The Sunday Schools of Thomas Charles.
37 Their influence upon the preservation of the language.
38 Arguments for teaching Mother tongue first.
39 Influence of the Sunday Schools on the educational life of Wales.
40 William Williams, Pantycelyn. The classical revival of the 18th century.
41 Establishment of the Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1751, and of the Gwyneddigion, 1771.
42 Lady Llanover. Rev. Thomas Price. Foundation of Llandovery Collegiate Institution.
43 Extension of the language in the 19th century.

[page v]

44 Reasons for divorce of Welsh from practical education in the early 19th century.
45 Emrys ap Iwan and Dr. Lewis Edwards. Their opposing views.
46-47 The work of O. M. Edwards and Sir John Morris-Jones.


48 Elementary Education: the British and Foreign Schools Society: the National Society.
49 Canon Richard Newcome: his advocacy of the Welsh language.
50 Commission of Inquiry, appointed 1846.
51 Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth: his views on the Sunday Schools.
52 The School in its relation to the State, the Church and the Congregation, 1847.
53 Findings of the Commissioners, 1847.
54 The Commissioners' views on the Sunday School in Wales.
55 Dr. Rowland Williams: his advocacy of the teaching of Welsh as a first language in Elementary Schools.
56 Conclusion drawn from the 1847 Report by Welsh intellectual leaders.
57 Opening of the Training College, Caermarthen, 1849. Position of bilingual instruction in the curriculum.
58 The revised Code of 1861, and its effect on the teaching of Welsh.
59 Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889. Welsh in the County Schemes.
60 Founding of the Welsh Collegiate Institution, Llandovery 1848. Provisions of endowment Deed.


61 Conclusions of the 1847 Commission.
62 Departmental Committee of 1880.
63 Founding of the Society for Utilising the Welsh Language in Education. Influence of the "translation" tradition in language teaching.
64 D. Isaac Davies's pamphlet Tair Miliwn 0 Gymry Dwyieithog yn 1885.
65 Henry Richard and the 1886 Commission. Place of Welsh in the new Code.
66 Advocacy of the Direct Method in Welsh teaching by H.M. Inspector, 1900.

[page vi]

67 Charter of University of Wales, 1893. Institution of the Central Welsh Board, 1896. Formation of the Welsh Department, 1907.
68 Unification of the Welsh Secondary Schools. Position of Welsh in these schools.
69 Education Act of 1902. Adoption of Welsh Schemes by Authorities.
70 Rise of the Welsh Societies. Their aims, policy and influence.
71 Formation of the Undeb Cenedlaethol Cymdeithasau Cymraeg, 1913. The Welsh Language Society.
72 The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. Its aims.


73 Eisteddfod y Beirdd, Society of the Gwyneddigion, 1771.
74 The Cambrian Society of Dyfed, 1818.
75 Increasing English tone of the Eisteddfodau between 1819-1830.
76 Services of the Eisteddfod to the Welsh language. The work of Thomas Stephens, Gweinydd ap Rhys, and Charles Ashton.
77 Influence of local Eisteddfodau and "literary competitive" meetings. Their connexion with the Sunday Schools.


78 Mysteries, passion-plays, moralities, anterliwtiau, Twm o'r Nant.
79 Influence of the Methodist Revival on Welsh popular drama.
80 The National Eisteddfod and the Drama. Dramatic societies in Wales: their effect on the Welsh language. Need for a professional travelling company. Lord Howard de Walden.
81 Retrospect.
82 Duty of the present generation.



83 Linguistic statistics.
84 Variation of percentage of Welsh speakers in the Counties.
85 Comparison of the last four censuses.
86 Decrease in the number of Welsh speakers.
87 Position of Welsh in the Welsh-speaking Counties.
88 Tendency to stabilisation in industrial areas.
89 Welsh speakers per square mile.

[page vii]


90 Gradual recognition of Welsh in the Code.
91 Encouragement of Welsh by the Welsh Department.
92 Extracts from the Code.
93 Provisions of the Code from 1907 onwards.
94 Regulations for Secondary Schools and Training Colleges.
95-96 The Welsh Inspectorate and its influence.
97 Area Reports issued by the Board.
98 Report under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889.
99 Rural Lore Scheme and Short Courses.
100 Welsh in the Intermediate Schools.
101 Welsh in the Training Colleges.
102 The work of Sir O. M. Edwards and Sir Alfred Davies.


103 Questionnaire issued to Authorities by the Committee.
104 Increasing importance attached by Authorities to the teaching of Welsh.
105 Education Act, 1902. The preparation of schemes.
106 Influence of the English tradition in the Schools.
107 Problems arising out of the 1902 Act, and their effect.
108 Need for Schemes and Curricula Sub-Committees.
109 Position of Welsh in the Counties.
110 Welsh in Secondary Schools.
111 Need for constant revision of schemes.
112 Dearth of adequately trained teachers.
113 Supply of teachers.
114 Provision of Welsh books and apparatus.
1I5 Problem of the over-crowded curriculum.
116 Effect of anglicising influences of the past.
117 Importance of local tradition.
118 Need for continuity in Welsh teaching.
119 Importance of giving publicity to experiments in Welsh teaching.
120 Welsh as a medium of instruction.
121 Welsh in Secondary Schools: the influence of authorities.
122 Employment of peripatetic teachers of Welsh.
123 The Board's policy of decentralisation.


124 Importance of the training of teachers.
125 Training Colleges and Departments.

[page viii]


126 (a) Welsh as a class subject.
127 The Board's Teachers' Certificate.
128 Low standard in Welsh among entrants to Training Colleges.
129 Diversity of practice in the treatment of Welsh.
130 (b) Training in method of teaching Welsh.
131 Provision for training in Method.
132 (c) Welsh as a medium of instruction.


133 Training Departments of the University Colleges.
134 Provision of the course of instruction.
135 Statistics relating to Aberystwyth and Swansea Colleges.
136 Observations on the evidence submitted by the Training Departments.
137 Reasons why Welsh-speaking Elementary Teachers should pursue a course in Welsh.
138 Influence of the Village Schoolmaster.


139 Statistics of migration supplied by the Colleges.
140 Method adopted by English Authorities of selecting candidates.
141 Staffing of Secondary Schools.


142 Growth of Welsh studies in the Colleges.
143 Freedom of the Colleges to frame their own courses of study.
144 Welsh as a medium of instruction.
145 Staffing of the Welsh Departments.
146 Dearth of published texts.
147 Board of Celtic Studies: University Press.
148 National character of the University of Wales: its services to Welsh scholarship.
149 Need for assimilating the non-Welsh members of the College staffs to the life of Wales.


150 Types of Classes recognised by the Board.
151 Statistics.
152 Popularity of the Adult Education Movement: Coleg Harlech.
153 Welsh subjects preferred in rural areas.

[page ix]

154 Experiments in the use of Welsh.
155 The work of the Welsh classes.
156 University Memorandum on Adult Education.
157 The work of the National Library of Wales.


158 Introductory.


159 St. David's College, Lampeter. St. Michael's College, Llandaff.


160-161 Aberystwyth, Bala, Bangor (Baptist), Bangor (Independent), Brecon, Cardiff, and Caermarthen Colleges.
162 Statement on Welsh in the Theological Colleges.
163 Criticisms.


164 Teaching of Welsh in the past, and causes of present unsatisfactory position. Undeb Athrawon Cymreig.
165 Divergent views on the attitude of Teachers.
166-167 Views of H.M. Inspectors, and their recommendations.
168 Opinion of witnesses.
169 Evidence of individual teachers. Experiments in Welsh teaching.
170 Attitude of parents.


171 Services of the Church in Wales to the language in the past: present position.
172 Nonconformist Churches: their policy in the face of linguistic difficulties.
173 The case of Monmouthshire: the problem of the young worshipper.


174 Its unique position in Wales: its services to the Welsh language.
175 Effect of Anglicisation on the Sunday Schools.
176 Influence of preaching on the Welsh language.
177 Cultural activities of the Churches.
178 Competing claims of secular organisations.
179-180 Publications connected with the Churches.

[page x]


181-183 Resolutions of the National Union of Welsh Societies.
184 Recommendation of the Committee.


185 Need for co-operation of publishers, teachers and authorities.
186 Representations of Publishers.
187 Increase of Welsh books in recent years.
188-189 Difficulties caused by linguistic conditions and poor demand.
190 Scarcity of books for young pupils: books required for use in Elementary and Secondary Schools.
191 Dictionaries.
192-193 Necessity for liberal book grants.
194 A certain minimum of book grant should be reserved for the purchase of Welsh books.
195 Suggestions for improving the supply of Welsh books.


196 Statute 27. Hen. VIII, ch. 26, section 20.
197 Appointment of Judges in Wales.
198 County Court system.
199 Present practice at Quarter Sessions. Desirability of provision of a statutory Welsh form of Oath and Affirmation.
200 Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1837.
201 Services of Interpreters at Assizes and Quarter Sessions.
202 County Courts, Police Courts and Coroner's Courts.
203 Legislation affecting Wales. Recognition of the Welsh language.
204 The Welsh Board of Health.
205 War Savings Campaign. King Edward VII. Welsh Memorial Association.
206 Practice of Government Departments.
207 Local Administration.


208 Report of H.M. Inspector.
209 Role of the Schools.
210 Broadcasting.
211 Anglicisation of rural Wales.
212 Results of economic interchange of population between England and Wales.

[page xi]

213 The National Eisteddfod.
214 The Welsh Press.
215 Disappearance of the dosbarthwr.
216 Distribution of Welsh books.


217 Welsh resistance against hostile influences in the past.
218 Need for individual effort if Welsh is to survive.
219 The Committee's task contrasted with that of the English Committee. Report of Modern Languages Committee.
220 Welsh the national birthright of the Welsh people.
221-222 The value of Welsh as a language.
223 Influence of the idiom of thought on the idiom of speech, and on culture.
224 The anglicised parts of Wales: their position in Welsh life.
225 Their contribution to English culture.
226 Importance of a knowledge of Welsh for the interpretation of Welsh life.
227 General failure of Welsh plays in English.
228 Characteristics of Welsh culture.
229 Position of Music in Wales.
230 Arguments for the greater utilisation of Welsh in education.
231 Welsh on the hearth.
232 Quality of contemporary Welsh literature.
233 Need for a refined standard of Welsh speech in the schools.
234 The pulpit tradition of refined Welsh.


235-236 Position and importance of the Elementary Schools in the life of Wales.
237 Dependence of Secondary upon Elementary Schools.
238 The contribution of the Sunday Schools in the past.
239 The Elementary School the key of the position.


240-241 Classification of the linguistic districts.
242-243 (a) Districts in which the population is predominantly Welsh speaking.
244 The language of the Infant School.
245 Treatment of the monoglot English child.
246 Upper departments: necessity for co-ordination.
247 Introduction of English as a second language.
248 Direct method of language teaching.

[page xii]

249 Extent of instruction in Elementary Schools.
250 Welsh as a medium of instruction.
251 Results of adoption of full Welsh schemes.
252 Apathetic attitude of certain authorities.
253 Necessity for an adequate supply of trained teachers.
254-255 (b) Districts where there is a fairly strong proportion of Welsh speakers, the rest of the people being either anglicised Welsh or of Welsh descent.
256 Problem of the Welsh-speaking child in anglicised areas.
257 Welsh cultural traditions in these districts.
258 The teaching of Welsh in these districts.
259-260 The problem of mixed classes.
261-263 Suggestions as to method and duplication.
264 Home language.
265 (c) Districts where English predominates or is the sole language.
266 Importance of the school in these districts.
267 Language of the Infant School.
268 Importance of qualified, enthusiastic teachers.
269-270 Arguments for the teaching of Welsh in English areas.
271-273 Central Schools.


274 The free place examination: English the examination language.
275 Recommendations.
276 The case of arithmetic.
277 Views of H.M. Inspector.
278 Views of Welsh Secondary Schools Association.
279 Suggestions by the Committee.


280--281 Report of the Committee on Modern Studies.
282 Views of witnesses.
283 Comparison of conditions in Welsh and English Schools.
284 Statistics of Welsh-speaking pupils in Secondary Schools.
285 Problems arising from inequality in distribution of Welsh speakers.
286 Welsh in the Secondary Schools.
287 Summary of replies to the Central Welsh Board's questionnaire.
288-289 Welsh as a medium of instruction.
290 Reasons for restricted use of Welsh as a medium.

[page xiii]

291 The Central Welsh Board and its advocacy of Welsh.
292 Policy of the Welsh Department, Board of Education.
293 Welsh at the School Certificate stage.
294 Suggestions by the Committee.
295 The difficulty of Welsh compared to French.
296 Circulation of a Welsh vocabulary to schools suggested.
297 The Higher Certificate of the Central Welsh Board.


298 Attempts to utilise Welsh as an examination language.
299 Scripture, History and Geography.
300 Secondary Schools Examination Council.
301 Qualification of Secondary Schools staffs.
302 The problem of mixed classes.
303 Evidence of the Assistant Masters' Association.
304 The problem of the overcrowded curriculum.
305 Aims in Welsh teaching in the Secondary School.
306 The place of Welsh in citizenship.
307 The cultivation of a Welsh atmosphere in the schools.
308 Influence of the Secondary School.
309 The case of monoglot English pupils.
310 Aims and methods in Welsh teaching.


311 The work in the Infant School and the Upper Departments.
312 Necessity for a comprehensive scheme in Welsh.
313 Importance of revision.
314 Co-ordination of the teaching of Welsh throughout County areas.


315 Modern methods in language teaching.
316 Need for training in oral expression.
317-318 The direct method of Welsh teaching.
319 Creation of a Welsh atmosphere in the classroom.
320 Organisation of Welsh teaching in the school.
321 Individual methods of language teaching.
322 Variety in lessons.
323 Aims of oral instruction.
324 Phonetics.
325 Translation from Welsh into English.
326 Translation from English into Welsh: views of Jespersen.
327 Aims in language study.
328 Dangers of dependence upon text-books.

[page xiv]


329 Position of Welsh in the overburdened curriculum.
330 The inclusion of Welsh an educational gain.
331 Value of Welsh and English compared.
332 Intellectual training derived from the study of Welsh.
333 Time required in Elementary and Secondary Schools for the study of Welsh.
334-336 Position of Arithmetic in the school curriculum.
337 Welsh as a medium of instruction.
338 High standard attained by schools where generous provision is made for Welsh.


339 The Schemes of the Parents' National Educational Union.
340 The Dalton plan.


341 Wide variation in qualifications of teachers.
342 Preliminary training of teachers.
343-344 Position of Welsh in Training Colleges.
345 Instruction in methods of language teaching.
346 Summer schools, evening classes and refresher courses.
347 University Training Departments.


348 The promotion of the study of Welsh dependent upon the policy and efforts of the University and its Colleges.
349-350 Staffing of the Welsh Departments; dearth of textbooks.
351 The competing claims of philology and literature.
352-353 The use of Welsh in Departments other than Welsh: courses in Citizenship.
354 Music: Welsh in the social life of the Colleges.
355 Committee on Welsh orthography.
356 The question of compulsion.


357 Welsh as a medium: the need for text-books in the language.
358 Possibility of extending the use of Welsh as a medium: the demand for economics.
359-360 The preparation of text-books in Welsh.
361 The study of Welsh literature in Extra-Mural classes.
362 The drama in Adult Education.
363 Suggestions by the Committee.
364 The educational work of the churches.

[page xv]


365 Work of the libraries before the establishment of the National Library of Wales.
366 The libraries at Cardiff and Swansea.
367 County Library Schemes: statistics.
368 Importance of school library in rural areas.
369 Provision of Welsh books.
370 Loan collections.


371 Welsh and the adolescent.
372 Suggestions to Welsh Societies.
373 Activities of Welsh Societies.
374 Provision for the Young.
375 Suggestions as to Junior Branches.
376 Dramatic Companies.
377 Women's Institutes.
378 The Boy Scouts' Association: Girl Guides.


379 Musical culture in Wales.
380 Divorce between literary and musical culture in Wales.
381 Trend of present musical festivals in Wales,
382 The Council of Music, University of Wales.
383 Recommendations.


384 Position of the language in agriculture.
385 Rural Agricultural Education.
386 Suggestions.


387 Linguistic Divisions of Wales.
388 Welsh as a commercial asset.
389 Comparative value of French and Welsh.


390 Welsh-speaking areas.
391 Bilingual and English-speaking areas.
392 Intermarriage of English and Welsh persons.
393 Influence of the school.
394 Need for co-operation of parents.

[page xvi]

395 Apathy of parents.
396 Need for a changed attitude of mind.
397 Welsh atmosphere in the home.
398 Influence of the mother.


399 Recommendations.

Summary of Principal Recommendations.

[page xvii]


Constitution of the Committee
*The Right Rev. The LORD BISHOP OF ST. DAVID'S, D.D. (Chairman).
The Hon. W. N. BRUCE, C.B., LL.D.
Mr. E. T. DAVIS, M.A.
Professor W. J. GRUFFYDD, M.A.
The Rev. Canon MAURICE JONES, D.D.
*The Rev. THOMAS REES, M.A., Ph.D.
Alderman W. C. WATKINS, J.P.
Mr. G. PRYS WILLIAMS, H.M. Inspector of Schools.
Mr. P. A. LEWIS (Secretary).

*Since deceased.

Terms of Reference

To inquire into the position occupied by Welsh (Language and Literature) in the educational system of Wales, and to advise how its study may best be promoted, in educational institutions and classes of all types, regard being had to -

(1) The requirements of a liberal education.
(2) The needs of business, the professions and public services.
(3) The relation of Welsh to English and other studies.

[page xviii]




My Lord,

We have the honour to present to you our Report in pursuance of your reference to us of the 23rd March, 1925.

The terms of reference were as follows:-

"To inquire into the position occupied by Welsh (Language and Literature) in the educational system of Wales, and to advise how its study may best be promoted in educational institutions and classes of all types, regard being had to:-
(1) the requirements of a liberal education;
(2) the needs of business, the professions, and public services;
(3) the relation of Welsh to English and other studies."
We desire at the outset to record our satisfaction at finding that our main task under this Reference was to be that of advising how the study of the Welsh Language and Literature may best be promoted. In the past much time and effort have inevitably been expended in Wales on a general insistence on the claims of Welsh to recognition in our educational system, and too little consideration has been given to the practical steps to be taken to give it an adequate place and to bring it into a proper relation to other subjects of study and to the everyday life of the people. The present Reference, therefore, by its assumption that the study of the Welsh Language and Literature is an essential element in the educational system of Wales,

[page xix]

marks the entrance upon a new stage in the treatment of a subject of deep importance and interest to the Welsh people. We are sensible that the restriction of our Inquiry in this way has materially helped us by concentrating our attention and that of our witnesses on the practical object set before us.

We have met on 35 days, on 26 of which oral evidence was heard, and, in addition, Sub-Committees met on 18 days. The number of witnesses examined was 170; their names and, where they appeared in a representative capacity, the names of the bodies represented, are given in Appendix I to this Report, together with a list of the bodies and persons who submitted statements in writing but did not give oral evidence.

We followed the example of the recent Departmental Committee on Secondary Education in Wales in visiting Wales and thus "coming into contact with the mind and sentiments of the Welsh People in their native setting." We arranged with the Local Education Authorities for the holding of public conferences at Cardiff, Swansea, Caermarthen and Aberystwyth in South Wales, and at Wrexham and Bangor in North Wales. At Bangor the proceedings were conducted almost entirely, and at Caermarthen and Aberystwyth to a large extent, in the Welsh language. We were greatly impressed by the remarkable interest shown at all these conferences by large audiences composed of persons of all ages and varied callings, and we desire to record our gratitude to the Local Authorities concerned and to their Officials for the great pains they took to make the conferences a success, as they undoubtedly were. A further conference at Pontypridd was proposed, but was precluded by the General Strike.

We took advantage of these visits to take the greater part of our oral evidence in the neighbourhood of the witnesses.

In the course of our sittings we have had to deplore the death of two of our members. Principal Thomas Rees, an

[page xx]

able and most valued colleague, to whose untiring efforts the appointment of the Committee was in large measure due, died in the summer of 1926. Our Report, in the composition of which he had been assigned a prominent part, has suffered from his untimely removal.

In November of the same year our revered Chairman, the Bishop of St. David's, was also taken from us. It was felt throughout Wales that his selection to preside over the Committee was singularly happy, and there has been universal regret that he was not spared to carry out his work to its end. He had, however, brought us successfully within sight of the end of our labour, and it has been largely due to his wise counsel and to his singular power of making people think more of their points of agreement than of their differences, that we have come with so much unanimity to our conclusions upon a number of problems which from their very nature presented many controversial elements.

We desire in conclusion to express our thanks to our Secretary for the thoroughness and courtesy with which he has discharged duties of a varied and exacting nature, and in particular for the most valuable help he has given us in the preparation of our Report.


Readers of this Report should clearly understand that this Committee was appointed to advise the President of the Board of Education, and has no executive or legislative powers. Its findings are recommendations addressed to the President, and through him to Local Authorities, University Authorities, the Welsh people, the press, the general public, the teachers, and all whom it may concern. All the authorities, bodies, and persons mentioned above may have some power to contribute to the results desired by this Committee; but nothing can be achieved without combined and harmonious effort of all who desire the ends envisaged by the Committee.

[page 1]



1. It would be well, at the outset, to notice a common misapprehension as to the position which the Welsh language has occupied in the history of Welsh culture. It has been too easily assumed that the conceptions of language development which are true in the history of the English language must be true of Welsh also; this is an assumption which has been greatly strengthened of late years by the insistence of English teachers on the inadequate place which their native language occupies in the educational system of England. The admirable Report of the Departmental Committee on the Teaching of English was particularly welcomed in Wales, as it seemed to show in England a close analogy to certain conditions in Wales, and, by association, induced in Welsh minds a hope that the solution of the problems connected with the teaching of Welsh would be equally easy. We would wish to state here that we have found the English Committee's Report helpful, because it has given definition to the rather vague criticisms and ideas of remedy in the minds of all those who are interested in education. It has also done great service by that elucidation of principles which must be preliminary to all inquiry, and has proved a mine of fact and suggestion in which we have not hesitated to dig.

2. It is now clear that "the 'Position of English in the educational system of England' has scarcely any history"*, and that the belief in its paramount importance in English education is of comparatively late growth. In the centuries immediately after the Norman Conquest, English occupied an inferior position, being regarded as the vernacular of the lower classes, and was, therefore, ousted from cultured society by the language of the governing class, which was

*Report of the Departmental Committee to inquire into the position of English in the educational system of England, p. 27.

[page 2]

French. In the next periods, which saw the standardisation of the East Midland dialect and the re-emergence of English as the official language of the country, it was entirely neglected in education in favour of Latin, which became the ordinary language of intercourse in school and university. Welshmen who still smart under the remembrance of the "Welsh Note" will be interested to know that in the sixteenth century, a precisely similar institution was found in English schools. "'It is a usual custom in schools', says Brinsley, 'to appoint Custodes or Asini to observe and catch them who speak English in each form, or whom they see idle, to give them the Ferula' ... At Eton the custos was practically the dunce, and one of the ways by which the opprobrious name could be acquired was by talking in English."* Close as the analogy suggested by these facts seems to be between the cases of English and Welsh, yet, historically, the fates of the two languages have been dissimilar. Modern English began by being the despised patois of the lower classes; it became later the common tongue of all who dwelt in the realm of England. When thinkers and educationalists gradually reacted against the idea that culture could be acquired only through Latin, the English tongue became the ordinary language of the school, and, in the elementary schools established at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the National Society and the British and Foreign Society, it was the sole language of instruction. Nowadays it is rightly claimed by all English teachers that its study is an incomparable and indispensable means of imparting whatever culture may be acquired in school and college, that its accurate comprehension and skilful use should be the chief aim of all scholastic endeavour.

3. Let us now turn to the case of Welsh. At a period in its history corresponding to the time when English was regarded as almost a slave vernacular, Welsh was the language of aristocracy and continued to be so till some

*Ibid., pp. 37-8.

[page 3]

time after the accession of Henry VII. When, later, the reaction occurred in Wales, as in England, against the Latin of the Grammar Schools, Welsh did not, like English, regain its position in academic life. What happened was that English thenceforth became the Latin of Wales; when penalties were inflicted for speaking Welsh in the schools, it was not in favour of Latin, as in England, but in favour of English. We are, therefore, in Wales only just now emerging from the atmosphere of false doctrine from which England delivered itself nearly two hundred years ago. And rightly to appreciate the difficulties with which the educational reformer in Wales has to contend, it is necessary to compare them, not with the difficulties of his colleagues in modern England, but with those of the early English reformers of centuries ago. If we bear this in mind, it may help us to see the matter in true perspective, and may perhaps hearten us in face of our difficulties.

4. Of material dealing directly with the position of the Welsh language in the life of the nation in the early centuries, very little is available; the matter was taken for granted, and it probably never occurred to any of the early writers that comment was necessary. It will be, therefore, useful to sketch in a few words the position of the Welsh language as a member of the European family, to give a brief account of its history at different periods, and to show how the facts of its history concern us to-day.

Welsh belongs to the Celtic division of the Aryan languages, a division which is more nearly related to the Italic than to any other; that is to say, it is probable that an Italo-Celtic group first of all separated from the parent stock as a single entity and that the Italic and Celtic languages were divided from each other at a later period. The Celtic languages, like the Italic, fall into two main sections, the Q group and the P group, the former consisting of Goidelic,* the parent of the Irish language in

*A term invented by Sir John Rhys to distinguish the primitive parentage of Irish.

[page 4]

all its forms - Irish Gaelic, Scotch Gaelic, and Manx, and the latter consisting of Gaulish* and British, the parent of Welsh, Breton, and Cornish. Now it is important to notice that the position of Welsh in the latter group corresponds in all essentials to that of the Irish of Ireland in the former group; it is only by bearing this in mind in all its implications that we may avoid the serious error into which even philologists of repute have fallen, who, unconsciously biassed by the virtual absence of literature in Breton and Cornish, have regarded the wealth of literature in Welsh as something exceptional and even freakish; even Welsh literary critics of the type of Thomas Stephens constantly show surprise at the literary output of their native country. From a conception of Welsh literature as "exceptional", the passage to "accidental" is easy and insidious, and we have all settled down to what appears an ineradicable habit of seeking explanations in external circumstances whenever, in any period, the output of literature has been notably great either in quantity or quality. Thus, Irish influence in the twelfth century, French influence in the thirteenth, English influence in the fourteenth and other centuries, the Protestant Reformation and the Bible in the sixteenth, the Puritan movement in the seventeenth, the Methodist Revival and the Classical Reaction in the eighteenth, and all manner of influences in the nineteenth and twentieth, have been adduced as prime causes of the "extraordinary" vigour of Welsh literature at different periods. Of course, these great movements and influences have been the occasions and possibly the stimuli of new adventures in literature and of consequent new vigour in both the written and the spoken language, but we shall never be able to take a wide and reasonable view of the Welsh language and its literature until we realise that from the very first beginnings of its history, Welsh has been one of the great literary languages of the world, and that its use as an instrument of culture and enlightenment must not be

*No cognisance is here taken of a possible Q language in Gaul, as the matter is still obscure.

[page 5]

measured by the subordinate and insignificant political position of the country in which it was, and is, spoken. Welsh social history can neither be learnt nor taught unless it is clearly understood that the history of Wales is the history of the language. It has survived, among a great part of the people who have from time immemorial spoken it, not merely as the vernacular of every-day life but as the instrument of the highest culture of which the Welsh nation was, from time to time, capable. It has survived not because in certain crises in its history a fortunate series of accidents prolonged its life - to argue thus would show an ill appreciation of the facts of biology - but because it contained in itself a primal vitality, and felt itself to be the heir de jure and de facto of the whole British tradition so far as it was Celtic. Welsh has lived because it had in itself an abundance of life, and the "fortunate" accidents, of which we have written, did no more than give it at different periods a wider scope for its inherent vitality.

5. It may be well here to summarise briefly the historical crises through which the Welsh language has passed, though these "unfortunate accidents" which hindered its full growth will be often mentioned in other portions of the report. "The persistence of Welsh in a substantial area of Southern Britain, notwithstanding the pressure, through many centuries, of other dominating languages, has often been called a marvel, not to say a miracle."* First of all came the Roman conquest. "For three hundred years, from the age of Agricola to that of Maximus, Latin was the language of authority and culture in the western hills."* But the British tongue survived, so that the ordeal through which it had to pass, appears to-day purely beneficent; that is the evidence of the large Latin element which has enriched its vocabulary, and the disciplined artistry of some of the earlier poetry of Wales, notably the englynion cycle which centres round the more settled Roman district of Pengwern at the axis of the

*Professor J. E. Lloyd's Memorandum to the Committee.

[page 6]

communications between North and South Wales and modern England. Next came the Dark Ages, when two events threatened the language, namely, the conquest and settlement of the western districts by the Irish, and what was much worse, the isolation of Wales from the rest of Europe, which was the result of the English conquest. "Welsh was not seriously threatened at this period by foreign influences, but it was in some danger of dying of inanition. Literature was at its lowest ebb, though a thin thread of bardic tradition was kept alive."* Then came another crisis, the advent of the Normans. Their attempt to conquer North Wales failed, but in South Wales, "Brecknock, Gwent, Glamorgan and the fertile lands around Milford Haven passed into Norman hands before the end of the twelfth century, and never again came under Welsh rule; in these regions Welsh ceased to be a court language, and its continued existence depended upon the hold which it exercised over the minds of the people. Yet though Flemish and English colonies soon displaced it in the Gower peninsula and in 'Little England beyond Wales', elsewhere in South Wales it kept its foothold and once again showed its inherent strength."* The next crisis was the most serious of all, the accession of Henry Tudor to the throne of England. "The whole policy of the Tudor Sovereigns was to make England strong enough to meet any attack from the Continent, and, therefore, there must be perfect unity within the kingdom. A strong united loyal nation was deemed possible only by complete uniformity in religion, language, habits and laws. They desired to bring about the unity of England and Wales by placing the Welsh on exactly the same footing as the English, and to convert them ultimately into Englishmen. The Welsh system of local government and all Welsh usages must go in order that the people might be completely anglicised."† The use of the Welsh language was officially and definitely discouraged.


†Canon John Fisher's Memorandum to the Committee.

[page 7]

The Act of Union (27 Hen. VIII., Cap. 25, §20) provided that "No Person or Persons that use the Welsh speech or Language shall have or enjoy any Manner Office or Fees within this Realm of England, Wales or other the King's Dominion upon pain of forfeiting the same Offices or Fees unless he or they use and exercise the English speech or Language." It is, perhaps, too easy for us in the twentieth century to censure the Welsh people for acquiescing in, and even acclaiming these measures of virtual repression, but we should realise that the accession of Henry VII was regarded throughout Wales as the fulfilment of the great prophecies of the past,* and that the Welsh trusted that all the Tudor measures were genuinely meant to benefit Wales, as indeed they were, and could not foresee the result of the great influx of Welshmen into places of power at court, in the navy, the army, and the civil service, "a movement that reached such a pitch that Humphrey Llwyd was able to say in 1568 that most of the civil and canon lawyers of the realm were Welsh.† Thus began the assimilation of the English and Welsh upper classes which has become so marked a feature of Welsh life and which left Welsh, with its rich literary tradition, to the care of the humbler ranks of society. For two hundred years the language had a hard struggle for existence."‡ It will be our duty, as a Committee of Inquiry, to suggest, if we can, how the latest and probably the most serious trials to which the language has hitherto been subjected may be met with equally happy results. We refer in particular to the industrial movement and the educational awakening. There should be no more reason to fear the results of these influences than of those which we have already named.

6. Like Irish, then, Welsh is not merely the chief language or dialect among a group of related languages

*See, for instance, Elis Gruffydd's story (Report on Welsh MSS.I.221; Llenyddiaeth Cymru, 1540-1660, pp. 13-4.) in which it is suggested that Henry VII and not Owen Glyndwr was the deliverer prophesied by the Welsh bards.

Commentariolum, ed. Moses Williams, p. 77.

‡Prof. J. E. Lloyd's Memorandum.

[page 8]

or dialects, but it forms the only storehouse of the immemorial traditions of the British tongue; it is in fact the British tongue developed, harmonised, and adapted by the usage of the centuries. We must here, in justice to the reference of our inquiry, endeavour to state clearly what this means in terms of similarity and contrast with the history and present position of other languages. When the University Colleges of Wales were first established, and for many years afterwards, the term "Celtic" was regarded as a kind of "blessed word", a symbol of scholarship and serious study. It was thought (and it is still thought in some quarters) that it conferred a greater dignity on learning than the mere names "Welsh" or "Irish", and this, coupled with the prestige of the existing Celtic Chair at Oxford, doubtlessly explains why one of the four University Colleges has a Professor of "Celtic", though the subject and scope of his work are precisely similar to those of his colleagues at other colleges. Even in 1921, when the Faculty of Arts at our newest University College was established, it was at first proposed by the governing body of the college to call its Welsh Chair the Chair of Celtic. Too much stress cannot be laid upon the point; real Welsh scholarship has suffered enormously and, in our opinion, continues to suffer from this half-formed feeling that "Welsh" itself is neither sufficiently wide in its scope nor sufficiently dignified to form a full university subject and to make the utmost demand on the learning and energy of professors and students. We forget that, at best, the term "Celtic" is a mere abstraction; there is no language, no literature, called "Celtic". Whatever meaning the term may have in its relation to linguistic studies depends on a knowledge and a study of the individual languages called Celtic, and no one may claim to be a Celtic scholar who is not fully conversant with the whole of at least one of the two languages Irish and Welsh - accidence, syntax, and idiom. The term "Celtic" is used in purely linguistic connections; there is no Celtic literature; there is only the literature of Irish and Welsh, and the small

[page 9]

modern literature of Scotch Gaelic and Breton. The full force of our contention might be better understood if we could for a moment imagine the Universities of England establishing a "Teutonic" instead of an English chair, or if we could suppose that English scholars, whether linguistic or literary, deemed that there was insufficient material in the study of mere English, and laid all the stress on "Teutonic learning", or, further, acclaimed as great authorities on the English language or the German, men who could neither read nor write English or German. Yet this is precisely the confusion of thought that exists in many quarters in Wales to-day. This unnatural and undignified attitude of Welshmen towards their own language has resulted in the widespread belief that real scholarship must be sought outside Wales itself, among those who, while unable to read or write a single Celtic language, can en revanche call themselves "Celtic" scholars. These remarks, however, must not in any sense be taken as belittling the vastly important work of men like Zeuss whose Grammatica Celtica gave a stimulus* to the scientific study of Welsh, or to the services of Heinrich Zimmer, Kuno Meyer, Dr. Thurneysen, and others, but the real significance of Zeuss for Welshmen is that he made possible the labours of Sir John Rhŷs and so led to the present revival in Welsh studies. Neither is there any criticism here implied of the achievement of French scholars, whose names are well-known in Wales, and who have to a great extent broken the spell of the dreary German scholarship by interesting themselves in matters of literature, history, and syntax, as well as of phonology, and by regarding Welsh as a living tongue, the historical and uninterrupted expression of a nation's thought.

7. This insistence on "Celtic" has been a great drawback to the course of education in Wales, in that university and to a lesser extent, secondary school studies, have tended

*Here again it should be noticed that the first stimulus was given by a Welshman, Edward Lhuyd (1660-1709) who is the father of all studies pertaining to the languages of the Celtic group.

[page 10]

to become at best a mere science, and ceased to be an art - thus running counter to the traditional culture of the country. Great weight has been attached to barren philological speculations, and the usual name given to the linguistic course in the University was not even "grammar", but it was boldly called "philology". Welsh students, therefore, in the past, seem to have spent most of their time on morphology and phonology, and a perusal of the examination papers of the Honours grade in the University of Wales discloses the fact that, while the study of literature seems to be coming into greater prominence, real grammar, that is, more especially, the matter of syntax and idiom, is still impeded by this monstrous load of philological learning. We do not underrate the value of a purely linguistic study as a scientific training; but here we are concerned with showing why a good deal of even well-informed opinion in Wales should be invited to reconsider its position, in view of what the Welsh language, both historically and actually, is. We must here refer to another serious break with tradition which, for good or evil, was certainly made under the influence of the "Celtic" illusion - namely that all teaching of Welsh and all learned articles written about Wales and the Welsh language were until lately quite inconceivable except as written in English or in some language other than Welsh. A complete and very welcome change has been made during the last few years, and the Committee hails with pleasure the publication, in the Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, of learned articles of the first rank on grammar and philology, written and printed in Welsh. This step has been taken by the editors because, we may assume, they could not regard seriously any student of Welsh philology and grammar who could not read articles dealing with his subject in the tongue in which he professed special competence. In short, those responsible for the Bulletin have definitely ceased to regard the study of Welsh as merely "Celtic".

8. And now, what do we mean by saying that Welsh like Irish is the storehouse of immemorial tradition? We

[page 11]

mean that whatever culture and knowledge, whatever expression of the commerce of thought between man and man had been acquired at any period by the British-speaking people, may be found represented in the language of modern Wales, and in that alone of the British group of tongues. Unfortunately, the literatures of both Breton and Cornish are negligible, (though there are signs that this will not long be true of Breton), and it is in Welsh alone that we must seek the historical development of the contribution which the British Celt has made to the ideas of mankind, and the study neither of philology nor even of the ascertained facts of history will give the Welshman that feeling of unity with the past which a thorough and organic knowledge of the language can give. This is of course true of all national languages, but in the case of the two leading Celtic languages it has a special significance. The whole culture of Wales, when Wales was politically significant as an independent principality, was not only intimately connected with the literature enshrined in the Welsh language, but dependent on a minute knowledge of the language itself, and on a carefully fostered taste trained to discriminate between good and bad Welsh, not as grammarians, but as artists and poets, discriminate.

9. With the system of education in Wales we are not primarily concerned, but only with the place of the Welsh language in that system. Unfortunately, our means of knowing what manner of schools there were in the WaIes of the Princes is exceeding meagre, and the course of our inquiry has brought no new light on the matter. Of the bardic system, which we presume to have absorbed into itself most of the learned energies of the nation, we know a little more, and it may be useful here to name some of the chief sources from which students of the future may derive light on this still obscure point. They are: (i) a few references in the classical writers to educational organisation under the "Druids" - a term which we may use for convenience, but with no acknowledgment that the classical authors had any very clear views of what the Druids were;

[page 12]

(ii) the references in Irish to literary institutions in Ireland analogous to those in Wales; (iii) the Welsh Laws, where the social status of the different grades of bards is amply if not very clearly defined; (iv) the rules passed by different early eisteddfodau, with the sanction of the Government, concerning the admission and recognition of bards, especially the so-called Statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan; (v) the licences issued to the bards, as, for instance, that issued to Gruffudd Hiraethog and signed by Lewys Morgannwg in 1546; (vi) the Rules of the Church concerning bards and minstrels, which, though not of course of Welsh origin, had a profound influence on the final form of organised bardism; of these the Penitential of Thomas de Cabham, Bishop of Salisbury*, is a good example. We can here only indicate briefly a few general conclusions which may help us to a fuller appreciation of the place of the Welsh language and its study in the organised life of the nation before the accession of the Tudors.

10. The organisation of the bards in late medieval times represents a curious amalgamation of cross divisions, strikingly similar to that which seems to have taken place in Ireland. On the one hand, we have traces of a purely legal (and, originally, possibly a religious) division, whereby the bards are classified according to their social status and to the grade in society to which they address their work; on the other hand, they are also classified according to their proficiency in song and in their knowledge of the Welsh language. This latter scheme of classification, with which alone we are at present concerned, is, indeed, defined in some detail in the different documents. It appears that all the educational activity of Wales in the days of its independence was entrusted to two well organised and powerful corporations, the Church and the Bards, and that instruction was imparted by the monastic schools on the one hand, and by the disciplinary course of the bards on the other. Now, all the evidence of the early literature

*Given in full in Chambers's Medieval Stage, II. p. 262.

[page 13]

seems to show that in both these types the study of the Welsh language was of prime importance, and that in the bardic schools it was paramount. As to the monastic schools, the vast amount of religious poetry, both original and translated from the Latin, and the energy which the monks devoted to the copying of purely secular prose and poetry (as, for example, the Red Book of Hergest), prove that even here the Welsh language was, next perhaps to Latin, the chief object of study. The evidence goes to show that in these schools, right up to the time of the Tudors, English was not accorded even the place which a foreign language occupies in the schools of to-day. Or, to put it plainly, English in Wales up to Tudor times occupied precisely the same position as Welsh did in England. Further, the immense prestige with which bardic studies had invested the language seems to have given it in Wales a higher place in the monastic schools than the native tongue generally occupied in other countries. No Latinist of any importance after Gildas (c. 500-c. 570) was produced in Wales,* because, though there may have been other reasons, the native tongue had a dignity not accorded to it in any other country and had a vitality which could make the utmost demand on the energies of those who spoke it. It would be well, however, to guard against a possible error, and to suggest, tentatively, that in Gwent and Morgannwg and in other parts of Wales which had lost their native government at an early date, the position of the language was not so exalted. Welsh was certainly at this time the common vernacular of the whole of modern Monmouthshire and great parts of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Shropshire, but no early literature has survived from the eastern portion of these regions, and the evidence of such documents as Adam of Usk's (c. 1352-c. 1430) epitaph at Usk,† and the inscription on the rood-screen of Llanfair

*It is doubtful if either Geoffrey of Monmouth or Giraldus Cambrensis was Welsh-speaking. In any case, they were products of the Norman culture.

Y Cymmrodor, XXXI, 112-134.

[page 14]

Waterdine Church,* seem to show that, while the traditional respect paid to Welsh was still strong enough in Eastern Gwent and in Shropshire to secure that a lawyer's epitaph and the record of a gift, should be in Welsh and not in Latin, accurate knowledge of the syntax and orthography of the language had been lost. It is important to remember this in view of the remarkable literary revival of Glamorgan in the succeeding centuries, as it proves that, as long as spoken and written Welsh is vigorous in any one part of Wales, it is possible for other regions that have lost that vigour to regain it fully under more favourable circumstances in the future.

11. Later generations of Welshmen, accustomed since Tudor times to see all initiative in social, political, (and, up to the eighteenth century, religious) matters originating in England, are unprepared to find in the Welsh language of independent Wales an instrument exquisitely perfected by circumstance and use to the expression of whatever form of energy distinguished the life of Wales at any period in its history. We are so used to think of any laws that we may have in the Welsh language as "translated from English", we are so inured to the inadequacy of a language that has not for many centuries been used as a social and political instrument, that we accept as inevitable those terrible Welsh versions of the Railway Companies' Bye-Laws, and of the Regulations of many Government Departments. We forget that, in the early ages, the laws of Wales were not written in Latin and translated into Welsh, but were necessarily and inevitably first written down in Welsh by the scholars whom Hywel Dda (d. A.D. 950) or some other law-giver summoned to make the code. Reading the different versions of the Welsh Laws, we are struck by the significant fact that here is no striving and straining to twist word and idiom to meet the punctilious demands of legal expression, but that, on the contrary, the language in which the laws are written has ample reserves, and is more than adequate

*Y Cymmrodor, XXVI, 88-114.

[page 15]

to its purpose. We find, in fact, that even the Laws show the exuberance and exultation of the artist just as truly as the Mabinogion do, and that the magnificence and majesty of the Welsh Codes are the fruit of a rich, ample, and well-ordered culture, among a people speaking and hearing a language which, when other modern tongues were regarded as despicable vernaculars, was exalted in its own home to a degree elsewhere unequalled. Those who drew up the Laws were, in the first instance, artificers of cunning Welsh, as jealous in guarding the ancient customs and precepts of the language as in conserving the usages and maxims of the common law; in short, it is clear that the jewel of Welsh life and culture, during the period of independence, was the Welsh language.

12. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries we have comparatively plentiful evidence to show that the Welsh bards, for the purpose of discipline and education, as well as for purely bardic reasons, formed a close corporation. They were the keepers of the ancient learning and tradition of Wales. The gentry, whether of Welsh or Norman origin, whether Glynn or Salesbury, Morgan or Stradling, Bodwrda or Burkinshaw, were their patrons and disciples, and shared in the secrets of their craft. Their rights and privileges were clearly defined and jealously guarded, and no one could qualify as a bard of any degree unless he had received instruction from a Pencerdd (Chief of Song). Unfortunately, we possess little information concerning these bardic schools, but we have many copies of the grammar used by the penceirddiaid.* In the form in which we have it, it was an adaptation of Donatus's Latin Grammar, which was used in medieval schools, but it is clear that the Penceirddiaid imparted the greater part of their instruction orally. The disciple had to master the twenty-four metres, and the "Statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan " shows what metres had to be learnt before the disciple could obtain the different degrees. They were

*See Sir John Morris-Jones's Cerdd Dafod, pp. 139-42.

[page 16]

Instructed how to compose odes on various occasions; for what qualities precisely a man may be praised, and for what qualities a woman; how a horse should be described and how a greyhound; how it was unworthy of both poet and patron and subversive of well-regulated poetry to give a man of mean birth, however rich or honest or virtuous, the meed of praise reserved for those of noble blood; what limits of decency must not be passed in a love-song or a satire, and what hyperbole is desirable in an elegy. The vocabulary and the syntax, too, were as jealously guarded and fostered; like the figures of speech which were the flowers of poesy, they were traditional and therefore, in time, tended to become archaistic. With an adequate knowledge of those and other matters, a man might obtain a degree at an eisteddfod, and no one might go on circuit at Christmas and Easter and Whitsuntide unless he had obtained his degree.

13. Thus it will be realised that the use of Welsh was not only a social and national concern; it was the main concern of the learned. Further, it was an organic part of the art of living well and honourably; its study, therefore, was an art and not a science. Grammar and rhetoric were not meant as merely linguistic studies; they were used, definitely and consciously, as part of the artist's material, and to a Welshman of this period there could be no meaning to the term "correct Welsh" other than "Welsh of the Pencerdd". The language was, in fact, the one avenue of the national artistry. Painting and sculpture and native architecture were unknown; all the energies and enthusiasms, which in modern life usually flow into these channels, were diverted into that of the language as an instrument of thought. All emotion and vision that might come to a Welshman's life had, if outwardly expressed, to travel along the path of the Welsh language. It is, therefore, not strange that the greatest princes in the land should deem it an honour to be accounted poets. The political significance of Owein Cyfeiliog, Prince of Powys, (d. A.D. 1197) and of Hywel ab Owen, Prince of Gwynedd

[page 17]

(d. A.D. 1170) is no longer remembered, nor will it ever be fully known, but their poems are a lasting memorial to the splendour and regality of their minds. Not that these great princes were less concerned than their peers with the manly deeds of war; they were both famous warriors, and Hywel died fighting on the battlefield of Pentraeth; but the Welsh language and its poetry were their particular delight, and Hywel, at least, far surpassed the penceirddiaid who had taught him their art in the exquisiteness of his poetry. Neither was it in poetry, in the vaguer sense, that they sought their pleasure and renown; their concern was Welsh poetry, and very particularly the Welsh tongue. Time and again, in instances too numerous to mention, the bards praise their patrons for the style of their spoken Welsh, and those who wrote rhieingerddi (praise of women, "Frauenlob") find no greater proof of the worthiness of their ladies than in the soft and cultured voice which made still more exquisite the familiar sounds of the Welsh tongue.

14. Throughout the next period, from the great quickening of poetry in the time of Dafydd ap Gwilym (c. 1320-1380) to Tudur Aled (d. 1526), the last of the great master-poets, the Welsh language kept its ascendancy among the leaders. Even half a century later, we find Dr. Gruffydd Robert, Canon of Milan (c. 1530-c. 1612) giving particular praise to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, because his common and usual tongue was Welsh, and even in the seventeenth century a Welsh bishop* deemed the language important enough to be learnt in his old age. It is true that in this, the Cywydd period, the Welsh language did not persist in its splendid aloofness. Before Dafydd ap Gwilym, the bards had avoided English and other foreign words, with the greatest meticulousness,† but

*See Edward Morris's Cywydd, Hen iaith ydwyf nithiedig, which is a valuable document for the history of the language.

†In the earlier period, it was often said by one poet in praise of another that he was diseisnig ('avoiding English') and diwyddelig ('avoiding Irish').

[page 18]

the cywydd literature opened wide its doors to English and French words, not because the Welsh language was anything but abundant in vocabulary, but of set purpose, thus following the rules of prosody of the medieval Latin grammars, which sanctioned and advised the introduction of Greek words when Latin words would not fit the metre. Otherwise the old reverence for the purity of Welsh idiom, and the desire to treat the language artistically, and not scientifically, persisted. The marwnadau (elegies) of the poets supply plenty of proof of this insistence on the artistry of the bard, as when Iolo Goch (c. 1320-c. 1400) says of Dafydd ap Gwilym:

Lluniai wawd wrth y llinyn,
Llyna arfer dda ar ddyn,

"He fashioned song by the measuring-line;
that was a good habit in a man,"

or when Tudur Aled referred to his dead uncle, the bard Dafydd ab Edmwnd (c. 1425-c. 1500):
Saer nid oes, eisiau'r un dyn,
Ar goed awdl na'r gwawdodyn.

"Artificer there is none, for the lack of our chieftain,
on the timber of awdl and gwawdodyn."*

15. The Tudor Accession was the beginning of the end of the ancient culture. We have already mentioned the policy of these Welsh sovereigns who imagined that they were acting in the best interests of their countrymen by suppressing the language, and, incidentally, by encouraging the Welsh to become a nation of courtiers and place-hunters. Whatever their object was, they succeeded, not in making the Welsh a part of the great English nation, but in the greatest disservice of all, in robbing the community of Wales of their natural leaders, by making the language which had been the pride of princes and princesses the vernacular only of those who had not sufficient wealth or ambition to seek their fortunes in England. Towards the end

*Two classes of metre.

[page 19]

of the sixteenth century, Welsh culture was at a very low ebb, because, according to contemporary testimony, all knowledge of, and interest in, the language as an expression of literature had ceased. Indeed, William Salesbury (c. 1520-c. 1595) fears that it may come to an end with his generation. To his countrymen he says:

"Do you suppose that ye need no better words and no greater variety of expression to set out learning and to treat of philosophy and the arts than you have in common use in daily converse when you buy and sell and eat and drink ...? And take this as a warning from me - unless you bestir yourselves to cherish and mend the language before the present generation is no more, it will be too late. And if there be no learning, wisdom and piety in a language, what better is it than the churm of wild fowls or the bleating of beasts?"*
Thus William Salesbury, but the main fact which underlies his chiding was the end of the only two systems of education in the Welsh language which the country possessed - the bardic and the monastic. The intellectual activity of medieval Wales, under these systems, can only be realised by those who are familiar with the contents of our manuscripts of that period, and of the transcripts that were made later. There were treatises in Welsh on theology, philosophy, astrology, botany, and medicine; there were Welsh versions of Greek and Latin authors, and abundant references to the heroes of the classical and romantic epics are found in the works of the fifteenth century bards; there were translations of the Romances that were popular in France and Italy. "It is no exaggeration to say that Wales participated in the intellectual life of Western Europe, and it is only when we realise this and the possibility of development as a free nation, that we see the effect of the Tudor policy in Wales in its proper light. For afterwards English culture came to be regarded as the only kind

*Oll Synnwyr pen Kembero, 1546. (Translated.)

[page 20]

of culture that was possible, and intelligent Welshmen looked upon Welsh as a mere patois and upon pre-Tudor Wales as a land of barbarians."*

16. The miserable condition of Welsh culture and of the Welsh language at this time can best be demonstrated by means of a few quotations from contemporary writers, all of whom, with the possible exception of some of the Roman Catholic writers, were zealous upholders of the Tudor dynasty. First of all Salesbury, whose testimony we have already received; then Richard Davies (1501-1581), Bishop of St. Asaph and afterwards of St. David's, who, in his Introduction to Salesbury's New Testament (1567) speaks bitterly of the abject condition of Wales and its language, where culture and learning, that were once famous throughout the world, are now no more. In 1592 Dr. Siôn Dafydd Rhys (1534-c. 1618) in his Cambrobryiannicae ... Linguae Institutiones, insists that the Welsh language is in danger of extinction, and that his grammar is a belated attempt to save it; William Camden and John Stradling, who write commendatory verses on the work, express themselves to the same effect. Rhys notes how all other civilised tongues contain "all the arts of the world in perfection in printed books." ... "But as for us, Welshmen, some of us like the fine fellows that we are, are becoming so fastidious and so affected and, above all other peoples in the world, so feather-brained that we are in a manner ashamed to speak and converse in our native tongue; yea, and blessed are some of us if we may be so dainty of our tongue as to pretend to have completely forgotten Welsh, and are now able (save the mark!) to speak English, French, and Italian, or any other foreign tongue whatsoever, an it be other than Welsh." (Translated).

He goes on to blame the bards for having so selfishly kept their art a secret, and to describe how the old treasures of Welsh literature were kept in chests and secret places,

*Mr. G. J. Williams's Memorandum.

[page 21]

to be given eventually to children to make dolls or to shopkeepers to wrap groceries or to tailors to cut patterns out of them. So the poets have lost all dignity and worthiness, and the noblemen have entirely forgone their duty to their native tongue. Morris Kyffin (c. 1555-1598) speaks in the same vein:

"In sooth, it is an ill sight to notice so many Welsh Churchmen who live on the price of men's souls, and a host of Welshmen who make a pretence of learning and superior culture, who set no store at all by their native tongue, but are unwilling to speak and ashamed to hearken to it, lest their repute and degree become the meaner thereby; who neither can read nor seek to study aught of profit in Welsh, as if they would have men deem their dignity so high as it would ill beseem them (oh, blessed souls!) so to lower themselves as to touch aught of Welsh learning."*
The Welsh parson whom Kyffin satirises is by this time famous:
"And it is fitting that I should relate to you in this place what wickedness and iniquity were shown by a Welsh Churchman in a session. When mention was made of granting a licence to a craftsman to print Welsh, he said that it were not proper to allow the printing of any Welsh book whatsoever, but he would that all the nation should learn English and lose their Welsh, saying that the Welsh Bible would work no good but much evil. See you, were it not virtuous and natural to be a churchman of that kind? Could the devil himself have said aught more to the point?"†
In the same year, 1595, Huw Lewys (1562-1634), Rector of Llanddeiniolen, in his Perl mewn Adfyd, speaks with equal vehemence of the miserable condition of Welsh literature, and traces the low morality of the country to the

*Deffynniad Ffydd Eglwys Loegr, 1595. (Translated.)

†ibid. (Translated.)

[page 22]

lack of books in the Welsh tongue. Edward James (1570-1610), the translator of the Homilies of 1562, speaks in his Homiliau (1606) of the terrible ignorance of the Welsh clergy. All the printed books of this period bear the same testimony. "Under the Tudor spell, high-placed Welshmen had come to believe that it would be a good thing for Wales if the language were to die. ... Salesbury, in the dedication to his Dictionary (1547), affirms that it was 'most conveniente and mete' that there should be but one language under one king, and he had undertaken the compilation of the Dictionary in order that Welshmen might the more 'spedely obteine the knowledge of the Englishe tonge.' The Act of 1563 which ordered the translation of the Bible and Prayer Book into Welsh, ordered that an English Bible and Prayer Book be procured for all churches, so that the people might 'by conferring both tongues together the sooner attain to the knowledge of the English tongue.' Rowland Vaughan, in 1630, says that 'the anglicised Welsh thought it best that the language should be done away with and exterminated in order that the whole Island might speak English,'".*

17. But the evil was even more deeply rooted than is indicated by these quotations. These very men, whose zeal for the welfare of their countrymen was a consuming fire, must not all be regarded as concerned with the ancient glories of Welsh culture. To many of them, the death of the old tradition was very welcome, for the destruction of a Roman Catholic civilisation would prepare the way for the secure establishment of the reformed religion, and the equally desirable supremacy of the Tudor dynasty. Neither Kyffin nor Salesbury nor Huw Lewys nor Bishop Morgan could see more than one argument, which was in itself all sufficient, for the preservation of the Welsh tongue, namely that the attempt to substitute English for Welsh as the common speech of Wales would be so difficult and so tardy of achievement as to imperil the immortal souls of Welshmen

*Canon John Fisher's Memorandum to the Committee.

[page 23]

during the process.* Even Edmund Prys, Archdeacon of Merioneth (1541-1623), author of the Welsh Psalms of 1621, was under the dominance of the hustling ideas of his times, as may be seen by anyone who has the patience to read through the bardic contention between him and William Cynwal. Although Prys had inherited much of the bardic learning, he did not recognise anything as culture which could not be obtained in the new Grammar Schools and in the English Universities where he had received his education. In the bardic contention he is at pains to show that the Welsh culture of William Cynwal was based on ignorance and superstition. It so happens, however, that the real bearings of this Ymryson, which is in itself a mirror of the revolution in Welsh thought, are obscured by the fact that Prys happened to be a much more astute debater than the gentler and more essentially cultured Cynwal.

18. It was left to the grammarians, and to those more closely connected with Welsh learning in the traditional sense, to see in the destruction of the Welsh tongue an irreparable loss to the nation, quite apart from moral and religious considerations. These were Welshmen who had lived on the Continent, and who, viewing with sympathy national cultures other than that of England, learnt to appreciate the true value of the only thing that Wales could call its own, its language. Dr. Gruffydd Robert, a Roman Catholic divine, who had retired to Italy on the accession of Elizabeth, published the first part of a Welsh Grammar in 1567. In his introduction, he shows that he regarded -

*Vide the Introductory Letter to Morgan's Bible of 1588. A like view was held by the anti-clerical John Penry. First stating and then replying to objections to his plan for more preaching, and that in the Welsh language, he says "The Word in Welsh neither must nor can be forgotten. Must not, because all should be brought to speak English, of the condition the truth were made known unto them. I would it were brought to pass. And shall we be in ignorance until we all learn English? This is not Her Majesty's will we are assured. Raise up preaching men even in Welsh, and the uniformity of the language will be sooner attained." The Æquity of an Humble Supplication (1587) Reprinted. A. J. Grieve, p. 46.

[page 24]

as indeed we should expect of an adherent of the old faith - the bardic learning and discipline of pre-Tudor Wales as something of which to be proud, and as it was, therefore, the duty of Welshmen to continue the use of the language, he wrote his Grammar in Welsh and not in Latin or English. Siôn Dafydd Rhys, who had graduated in medicine at Siena in Italy, manifested the same spirit. He published in 1592 his Welsh Grammar to which we have already referred, with a valuable introduction written in vigorous Welsh to explain his purpose. He desired to bring the Welsh language "out of the sheer darkness in which it remains, and to restore it to its old perfection and worthiness." He refers to the wealth of the bardic tradition, which would be the glory of the scholars of other nations, and to the selfishness of the bards in keeping their art a secret:

"But were they, after the example of the Greeks and the Latins, and the custom and usage of every common tongue that followed them, to set out in print, in sight of the world the fairness and beauty of Welsh poetry, ... then would the nobility of England and Wales, and foreigners too, be so amazed at the sight of such beauty in the Welsh language and of the skill and craftsmanship of the bards, that they would be as desirous of our language as we are to embrace and use theirs."
"These two scholars, who had come under the influence of the Renaissance, show us what the attitude of cultured Welshmen towards their language and traditions might be if those who had gone to the Grammar Schools and the Universities, and had embraced English Protestantism, had not been subject to the anglicising influence of the time."* It is interesting to compare the attitude of Dr. Robert with that of William Salesbury when he published his Dictionary in 1547.

19. Some of the Bishops at first opposed the anglicising influence of the Tudors. "The Bishop of St. Asaph had

*Mr. G. J. Williams's Memorandum.

[page 25]

a certain cleric named Bagshaw, a Master of Arts, but English speaking. The Bishop objected to his preferment because the parishioners were 'Wallici Homines Wallicam loquentes linguam et non aliam.'"* However, this was not typical of the times. The Court of the Council of the Marches was first tentatively instituted by Edward IV about 1471, but not seriously used as an instrument of government till some thirty years later, though Henry VII must have had such a policy in contemplation when in 1493 he sent his son Prince Arthur to hold his Court at Ludlow. This vice-regal institution with its chief seat at Ludlow, but occasionally moving to Shrewsbury, Bewdley and other border towns, introduced anglicising influences among the Welsh gentry, and stimulated the growth of an official lawyer class who found English the language of advancement. Apart from the secular education given in Monastic institutions (of which we know comparatively little) Wales had very few schools, in the ordinarily accepted sense, in pre-Reformation times. There were probably Cathedral schools at Llandaff, St. Asaph and St. David's from somewhat early times, and the chantry certificates record a free school at Montgomery, while as against this probable total of three schools for Wales, Shropshire had in the reign of Edward VI seven free or endowed schools, and Herefordshire more than twice that number. With the accession of Henry Tudor, Welsh parents began sending their boys to schools across the border to Shrewsbury, and later to Westminster. Moreover, the earlier Grammar Schools in Wales were founded in towns not far removed from the English border. Thus, the collegiate (or monastic) foundation at Abergwili near Caermarthen was removed by Henry VIII in 1542 to Brecon and the reason for its removal was stated in its charter as being that "our subjects in the southern parts of Wales [that is, really, south-west Wales] are not able to educate their sons in good letters, nor have they any grammar schools ... but they are so

*Albany v. Bishop of St. Asaph, 27. Eliz. From Mr. Evan J. Jones's Memorandum.

[page 26]

little skilled in the vulgar tongue of England that they are not able to observe our statutes, and that which they ought and are bound to perform, they are unable to understand, on account of ignorance of the English language."* The only other school founded by the King in Wales, namely that of Abergavenny in 1543, was placed still nearer the English border. Following these, Friars' School, Bangor was founded by Geoffrey Glynne in 1557, Presteign in 1565 by John Beddoes, and Ruthin in 1590 by Dr. Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster. The establishment of the Grammar Schools at once completed the divorce between the people and their language.* Between 1571 and 1621, 1,184 Welshmen had matriculated at Oxford and Cambridge,† and we must, on the evidence available, regard all those Welshmen, together with the far larger number who passed through the Grammar Schools (of which there were at least eleven in 1621), as for the most part arrayed against the old Welsh culture, which, in their judgment, suffered from two serious evils; it was papistical, and it was a definite hindrance to the acquirement of the English tongue and to preferment under the Government. In these circumstances, it seemed that nothing short of the timely intervention of Providence, almost amounting to a miracle, could save the language among the common people. Among the nobility and gentry, it was already more than moribund; for the gwerin there was still hope if the miracle could take place. That "miracle" which Welsh sentiment has persisted in regarding in the light of a direct act of God, did take place - the Bible was translated into Welsh. Before, however, we consider further the importance of the Welsh Bible, it will be well to pause for a moment to state the problem of the Welsh language, as it presented itself towards the end of the sixteenth century.

20. In the position of the language at that time, we may see the symbol of the fIrst beginning of the future

†*Sir Thomas Phillips's Wales p. 370.

Mr. E. J. Jones's Memorandum.

[page 27]

Wales, that remarkable democratic community which reared itself upon the ruins of the old aristocracy. As the Tudor period was drawing to a close, we begin to discern a division in the Welsh nation of which there had before been no evidence in chronicle or literature;* it was becoming a nation of two classes, y gwŷr mawr, the squirearchy on the one hand and the gwerin, the commonalty, on the other. It is true, of course, that certain political factors entered into the question - the gwerin would not have found its identity at so early a date if the old aristocracy, to which it had owed absolute allegiance, and which in the old times had stood for whatever was valuable in Welsh life, had not been largely supplanted, as owners of wealth, by the class of professional lawyers and land-tenure experts who formed so notable a feature of life in Tudor Wales. So it was that in this period Wales did not evolve a middle class; those who, as a middle class, would have proved the bulwark of the language, fell upon the lands of the church and of the old aristocracy, and themselves became, by purchase and chicanery, a rich landed class with no traditions of culture or service. Some of these newly-rich, such as Thomas Prys, son of the notorious Dr. Ellis Prys of Plas Iolyn, carried on to the next generation the old poetic and cultural traditions, but on the whole it may be said that the members of the new gentry were déracinés, a class without roots in the national past, and therefore without much prospect of bearing fruit in the future. Towards this new gentry, who now, for the first time in North Wales, became landlords in the English sense of the term, supplanting the old tribal leaders, the people felt no great affection. Gradually the commonalty became mere tenants, instead of being members of a community of which the gŵr mawr was head; and that severance between rich and poor began which proved to be the most powerful hindrance to the preservation of the old culture of Wales.

*The Lollardic and apparently democratic character of much of the so-called Siôn Cent poetry of about 1380 to 1420 was largely due to English influence.

[page 28]

21. For now we begin to have two ignorances instead of one. On the one hand, the owners of the land, the only form of wealth which was at the time of any consequence, had definitely chosen to forget the language of their fathers; in their train straggled the small professional class - lawyers, doctors, and excisemen - who had sprung from the gwerin, and who looked forward to a second generation free from all trammels of Welsh. On the other hand, the common people, untutored by the experience of the more cultured and uncorrected by their own natural leaders, had come to speak a degenerate and illiterate patois, in which purity of vocabulary and grace of idiom counted for nothing. We have seen how William Salesbury complained of this Welsh that was "no better than the churm of wild fowls or the bleating of beasts." "The language inevitably, as the result of anglicising efforts, became very corrupt, both as regards vocabulary and idiom. The number of English-borrowed words in the Welsh literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is very large, but there is no book with the high percentage found in Cannwyll y Cymry. This was avowedly written for the common people, only however to show how corrupt the every-day speech had become, at any rate in Caermarthenshire ... From the great number of English words in the language, and the fewness of the books published in it for a hundred years from the middle of the sixteenth century, we must conclude that the language was in a parlous condition. It was largely disused as an instrument of culture both by writers and people of education."* So among the higher classes we find that the Welsh language was dead; among the lower an ancient and cultured tongue had degenerated into a crude patois. Neither the one class nor the other read any Welsh books; the invention of printing had as yet done nothing for Wales.

22. Now came that act of God - for it is surely right that we should view the matter as the traditional sentiment

*Canon John Fisher's Memorandum. Cf. also "The Welsh Language in the 16th and 17th Centuries" by Ivor James.

[page 29]

of the Welsh people demands - that intervention of Providence which alone could at this extreme crisis restore the language by supplying the cure for the two kinds of ignorance which overshadowed the nation. It was something that could both refine the corrupt Welsh of the peasantry, and also restore for the other classes a standard of literary Welsh so as to make it once more a speech worthy of being used by the cultured. That supremely important event was the Welsh translation of the Bible, and, in a degree that is not yet fully appreciated, that of the Book of Common Prayer. The New Testament was translated by William Salesbury, helped by Richard Davies, Bishop of St. Davids, and Thomas Huet, Precentor of St. Davids (c. 1530-1591), and published in 1567; in the same year was published the Welsh Book of Common Prayer, translated by Richard Davies. In 1588, William Morgan (c. 1541-1604), afterwards, successively, Bishop of Llandaff and St. Asaph, aided to some extent by Edmund Prys, published the whole Bible in Welsh; this is substantially the Welsh Bible of to-day, revised and amended in 1620 by Dr. John Davies. Rector of Mallwyd (c. 1570-1644), but fathered by Richard Parry, Bishop of St. Asaph, (1560-1623), Davies's coadjutor. In 1621 was published the Salmau Cân, a metrical version of the Psalms, by Edmund Prys, Archdeacon of Merioneth.

23. The Protestant Reformation thus went a long way to counteract the secular policy of the Tudor Sovereigns. It brought with it two innovations which may be regarded, from our point of view, as its two most important distinctions; it insisted on a liturgy in the common language understood of the worshippers, and it claimed that Holy Writ should be available in that language. As to the former, the importance of the Prayer Book has been insufficiently emphasised, and we should pause to consider what an immense effect the constant reiteration of the prayers and the psalms must have had on a nation whose essential artistry thirsted for beautiful thoughts clothed in beautiful words, on a people that heard at last, as a common

[page 30]

occurrence, their own language which was becoming harsh from disuse, invested every Sunday and oftener with the glamour and dignity associated with divine worship. We speak here of the spoken rather than the written language, for it was the Prayer Book and Edmund Prys's Psalms that checked the tendency that the Welsh language was beginning to show of splitting up into different dialects. It is important to note, at this point, that we must not consider the Welsh dialects in the same light as the English dialects, and must not be influenced by the eloquent championship which the English dialects have lately found. In England, their history goes back to a period long before the rise of standard English; they have even an extensive and distinguished literature of their own, and it was only a series of accidents that led to one particular dialect among many being adopted as the language of national culture. In Wales, however, we find no trace of dialect before the end of the fifteenth century when Welsh was the language of all classes. The bards of Glamorgan were indistinguishable in vocabulary, accidence, and syntax, from the bards of Gwynedd, just as the written English of the northern Wordsworth is indistinguishable from that of the Londoner, Keats. It was the dire confusion that followed the end of the old Welsh culture which gave occasion for the spread of dialectal differences. That the process of differentiation was checked is in a large measure due to the standard which the Prayer Book imposed on all ministers as they uttered the spoken word in public, and on all congregations as they spoke their part in the service of the church. It was impossible, for instance, for the people of Gwynedd and Morgannwg, who change the final unaccented e into a not to use the correct form, when they sang the 18th Psalm in Prys's version:

Pan ydoedd fwyaf ofn y bedd
    A gwaedlyd ddiwedd arnaf,
or for the people of Powys who change final unaccented au and ai into e to do so as they sang the 23rd Psalm:
Yr Arglwydd yw fy mugail clau,
    Ni ad byth eisiau arnaf.

[page 31]

The very people who had listened with hushed awe to the majestic accents of the Latin service and had, by a natural process of association, invested that language with the solemnity and dignity of the ritual which it expressed, now heard their own familiar and common Welsh clothing with perfect fitness the holy mysteries. On one side, at least, the language had been restored to its pristine state; it became, and has to this day remained, the language of worship.

24. If the Welsh people should after his day ever become a Bible-reading people, Bishop Morgan, in giving his countrymen the Bible in Welsh, was necessarily creating a standard language. That the Welsh people did become the greatest Bible-readers of modern Europe was a fact beyond his control, but what was within his control was the standard and quality of the language he employed. It is possible to conceive of a well-intentioned person like Rhys Prichard, Vicar of Llandovery (c. 1577-1644), the author of Cannwyll y Cymry, to which reference was made above, deliberately choosing to translate the Scriptures into the particular form of spoken Welsh best understood by the greatest number of the uneducated Welshmen of his day; to do, in fact, what William Salesbury in his New Testament of 1567 partly attempted. That classical Welsh is "too hard" for the common people is an argument which is continually reiterated in Wales, and, during the literary revival of the last twenty years, it has been used times without number against those whose care it has been to restore the old standards. It required a keen consciousness of language and style and a penetrating judgment not to choose as the language of the Welsh Bible the facile but corrupt diction which we see, for instance, in the Book of Elis Gruffydd. It is probable that, if Morgan had done so, the Welsh language would by this time have gone the way of Cornish, because the breach between modern Wales and the pre-Tudor culture would have grown wider and wider with the passage of time. Morgan, however, deliberately chose the language of literature, which had become

[page 32]

standardised to an amazing degree of precision, under the hand of the bards from Dafydd ap Gwilym onwards. In this period extensive vocabularies and grammars had been compiled, which rested entirely on the works of the bards and recognised no authority save theirs, and Morgan, by the aid of these, by his own reading, and almost certainly under the guidance of Edmund Prys, had made a close study of his models. And when the Welsh Bible was issued in 1620 in a final and authoritative form, the revision was made by Dr. John Davies, lexicographer and grammarian, who may be said to have done something more than merely laying the foundations of modern Welsh studies. Davies was a meticulous scholar; he approached his task in the spirit in which one of the old bards would have approached his patron, and the few colloquial forms* which Morgan had seen fit to adopt were carefully weeded out.

25. We may say, then, that the language of the Welsh Bible is that of the Welsh bards, adapted for use by scholars and artists in prose. A few of the graces and conceits of idiom which were regarded as necessary ornaments in poetry were eschewed, and obsolete mutations which still persisted in verse were dispensed with; otherwise the language was substantially that which was heard, let us say, at the court of Owen Glyndŵr, and differing very little from the Welsh spoken at the courts of the independent princes. There is an erroneous idea abroad, which is largely due to the misdirected energies of that amazing genius, Iolo Morganwg, that because Dr. Morgan was a native of Gwynedd, the language of the Bible is based upon the dialect spoken in that province. We have shown, we hope, that there is not a shadow of truth in that contention; the Welsh of the Bible is the standard unvarying Welsh which was once the language of culture throughout the principality, and which made the language of the Glamorgan bards, Lewis Morgannwg, for instance, undistinguishable in form idiom and vocabulary from that of the Northern

*Such as e for ai in the final syllable of the 3rd person singular of the imperfect tense.

[page 33]

bards, as, for instance, Lewis Morgannwg's contemporary, Gruffudd Hiraethog. In one respect, indeed, Morgan, or rather his predecessor, William Salesbury, had been forced to innovate. Up to this time, Welsh had hardly been used to express abstract and difficult thought; the typical sentence was simple, elaboration depending very largely on co-ordinating conjunctions, and the peculiarity of the Welsh relative clauses made complex prose writing extremely difficult. When it is realised that Salesbury and Morgan were every whit as successful in reproducing the difficult complexities of St. Paul's Epistles as the translators of the English Bible, we can better judge of the excellence of the foundation which the Welsh Bible laid down for the future.

26. "It was not until 1630 that the Bible actually came into the hands of the people, the Crown 8vo. Bible referred to by Vicar Prichard as 'y Beibl bach i'w gael er coron.' This first people's edition immediately created a great thirst for the Bible, and several popular editions of the Scriptures appeared before the end of the century. The people had now the Bible in their houses, and they began to study it for themselves. It was in the only language that they could understand and think in. It became at once the most popular book in the language, and soon created an extensive literature, not immediately of original works, but of translations of theological and religious books - by English Churchmen mainly. Supporters of the Reformation as well as of the Counter-Reformation made considerable use of the language as the most effectual medium for teaching and influencing the people. The translation of the Bible was the means of producing a vast literature. It was very largely theological and religious, and the Welsh may be said to have become a people of one book."* As to the effect of the translation upon the life of the language, Canon Fisher gives it as his opinion "that Welsh would never have become the organ of literary expression that it is to-day but for the Bible translation. It would most

*Canon John Fisher's Memorandum.

[page 34]

probably be undergoing a lingering death. It had undoubtedly within it the seed of decay in the 16th and 17th centuries."*

27. Throughout the 17th century the language was in a state of suspended animation. The translation of the Bible and Prayer Book had, for a time, saved its life, but it was still in grave danger. The leaders lived in an atmosphere of tense expectancy; the greatest writer of the period, the mystic, Morgan Llwyd O Wynedd (1619-1659) insistently repeats that Wales is waiting for the breaking of the dawn; he knew that no people could live unchanged in that pitiful apathy which was the prevalent mood of his time. Later Welsh writers maintained that Llwyd, by mystical insight, had foretold the Great Revival, and though his words cannot be definitely said to refer to the coming event, the whole suggestion of his exhortatory works is of tense and eager expectancy. Whatever might happen to shake Welsh life out of its apathy, it is certain that on its form would depend the fate of the Welsh language. It was a case of kill or cure: one kind of revolution, such as a great awakening among the already anglicised aristocracy, would certainly bring about the doom of Welsh, which, under the pressure of later conditions, would inevitably go the way of Cornish. If, on the other hand, the still Welsh-speaking commonalty could be awakened, they would be forced to express their new life in the only tongue known to them, and the Welsh language would stand another chance of making itself master of the social environment.

28. Much pioneer work was done by Rowland Vaughan (1590-1670), Stephen Hughes (1623-1688), Thomas Gouge (1609-1681), and others in the seventeenth, and Ellis Wynne o Lasynys (1671-1734) in the first years of the eighteenth century. These men furnish excellent examples of the biological value of doing the first and obvious duty, though there be no vision of the wider issue, and no conception of the greater results which must, in time, inevitably follow


[page 35]

the "low aim" conscientiously and unselfishly pursued. Those men, on the whole, like their predecessors of the sixteenth century, had no conception of Wales as a nation, and consequently but little patriotic enthusiasm, in the modern sense of the word, for the Welsh language as the expression of nationality. What they were concerned with was the obvious deadness of the Welsh to all religious and intellectual movement; this alone they saw, but they proceeded to deal with it. They produced books in the Welsh language, not to preserve the language, but to save the souls of the Welsh people. When Griffith Jones of Llanddowror established his Circulating Schools a few years later, his attitude was in every respect similar.

29. The labours of the pioneers were at last rewarded when a great religious movement swept from England over the Welsh border, and gave the Welsh people what for two centuries they had lacked - a tongue. An overwhelming desire possessed the people to break through the long dumbness; the forces that had been so long pent up broke out. The whole nation began to shout; at first, to shout for their lives, but later to shout for joy of release. The particular form which the great movement, sensed by Morgan Llwyd, took, was of all forms of activity the most likely to revive the Welsh language. The Welsh suddenly became an articulate nation; the printing presses worked at full speed to supply the insatiable demand for books; all over Wales men began to assemble to speak and hear the words of joy which gave the Welsh language a new content. A great movement had, fortunately, taken place among the commonalty; in the future, when the Industrial Revolution should invade South Wales, and when later the educational movement should beget a new middle class, all Wales, with its language, was ready for it; all Wales, that is to say, that had felt the effects of the Great Revival. For some reason or other, Monmouthshire and Radnorshire were little touched by it, and they gradually relapsed into a greater dumbness than even that of the seventeenth century.

[page 36]


30. Among the pioneers of the Revival we have already named Griffith Jones of Llanddowror. It is no disparagement of his predecessors or of those that followed him, to say that Wales and the Welsh language are very largely what they are to-day because of Griffith Jones and of the conviction which came to him that the crying need of his countrymen, in his day, was Welsh schools where his people could be taught to read the Bible in their own language. From his own experience Griffith Jones had learnt in how short a time Welsh people, old and young, could be taught to overcome the initial difficulties of reading their mother tongue. His "first attempt" was "tried with no other fund to defray the expense of it than what could be spared from other occasions out of small offertory by a poor country congregation at the Blessed Sacrament."* He himself was endowed with the greatest gifts of the born teacher - gentle courtesy, a warm sensitive heart and a quick imagination. He found that many of his pupils "could in six or eight weeks' time not only read tolerably but repeat by heart all the Church Catechism in their native language."

31. So immediate and so plentiful were the fruits of his labours that he was encouraged to start not one, but many other schools. His clear-sighted practical mind at once grasped the significance of his own experience. He saw the type of school that was best suited for the Wales of his day.

Schools conducted In English had proved to be a failure. The English charity schools, which had been tried, "produced no better effect in country places; all that the children could do in three, or four, or five years (though but few of the poor could stay so long in them) amounted commonly to no more than to learn very imperfectly to read some easy parts of the Bible, without knowing the Welsh of it, nor the meaning of what they said when they

*Letter 30/3/1738.

[page 37]

repeated their Catechism: nor should this be thought strange considering they were learning to read an unknown language and had none to speak it to them but the master." His schools therefore must needs be conducted in Welsh. They were to be catechetical in character, and of temporary continuance in any one place. The ease with which the reading of Welsh could be taught was one reason for this; another was that in order to reach the scattered rural population over wide areas, effort had to be concentrated and intensive work done for short periods in carefully selected convenient centres. In due course, he came to see too that it was necessary to train his teachers in his own methods. In 1739 fifty of these teachers had completed their training. "Some are here still" he writes "and more to come."*

32. Griffith Jones was no fanatic, nor was he prejudiced in favour of Welsh. In pursuing his supreme aim - the spiritual welfare of his fellow countrymen - he unhesitatingly and with the unerring judgment of the sound educationist employed "in bilingual districts masters qualified to teach both." (i.e. Welsh and English).† His views on what language it was most appropriate to use in any particular school are perfectly clear; they are, again and again, forcibly and convincingly expressed in his annual letters or reports. "I shall beg leave" he says" to premise that I am not at present concerned what becomes of the language (i.e. Welsh) abstractedly considered."‡ Nevertheless he points out repeatedly the economy of time and effort that came from employing Welsh for the attainment of his great object, and he asks "shall we be more concerned for the propagation of the English language than the salvation of our people?" "Sure I am the Welsh charity schools do no way hinder to learn English, but do very much contribute towards it; and perhaps you will allow, sir,

*Letter 28/11/1739.

Welch Piety, Vol. 1. 1744/45 p. 3.

Welch Piety. Vol. 1. p. 30.

[page 38]

that learning our own language first is the most expeditious way to come at the knowledge of another, else why are not your youths in England, designed for scholars, set to learn Latin or Greek before they are taught English?" Again "you will observe the difference between three or four months, in which time the people learn to read well their own language and the three or four years they must be to learn an unknown language, where there are no opportunities to converse in it."

33. The success of the Circulating Schools was phenomenal. Between 1737 and 1760 - the year before Griffith Jones died - 3,185 of them had been established, and 150,212 scholars had attended. But statistics alone can give no adequate indication of the silent revolution that the schools wrought in the minds and souls of the common people of Wales. Griffith Jones's own letters bear testimony to the thirst for enlightenment which he and his fellow workers found among the poverty-stricken peasants, and to the sacrifice they made out of their beggarly earnings to hire substitutes for the short period during which they could themselves attend the schools. "Some thousands more", he says, "have been stirred up to learn of one another at home, whose strait circumstances would not permit them to be longer at all at school."

34. Not the least striking evidence of the value set upon the schools is the authentic story of the youth of eighteen - a joiner's apprentice - who twice travelled on foot the whole way from Caernarvonshire to Laugharne - a distance out and home of over three hundred miles on each occasion - to seek help. He was Robert Jones, Rhoslan. In 1820 he published his Drych yr Amseroedd in which he tells the story of the Circulating Schools and the great Revival as they appeared to him - "the history of a wonderful time - the time of the new birth of the common people of Wales to a higher and better life" (Owen Edwards, preface to Drych yr Amseroedd 1899.). In 1760

[page 39]

there were 215 schools with 8,687 scholars distributed over every county in Wales except Radnor and Flint. "At his death," Griffith Jones "left in the hands of his friend Madam Bevan upwards of 7,000 to be applied by her to further the case of the Circulating Schools, and that lady, who died in 1779, gave the books and estate of the late Griffith Jones and also the residue of her own estate for the use of the Welsh Circulating Charity Schools, so long as the same should continue and for the increase and improvement of Christian knowledge."* One of the trustees of the will of Madam Bevan possessed herself of the property thus bequeathed, and, having refused to apply it for the charitable purposes directed by the will, the schools were closed for many years. Before the schools closed they had blazed a trail throughout the length and breadth of Wales along which the successors of Griffith Jones - the leaders of the Methodist revival - marched triumphant.


35. "Notwithstanding all, the beginning of the Revival can be attributed to the free schools."† The schools had opened the eyes of the people. At last they had begun to perceive something of the beauty of the Welsh version of Holy Writ. It ceased henceforth to be to them a mere talisman as it once was, to exorcise evil spirits, and a spell to cure cattle disease. It became a living thing, potent in its vitalising influence upon their own higher selves. To know it as they did at first was a knowledge of culture. When under the powerful stimulus of the Revival and in moments of exaltation the great hymn writers came to give expression to their own most intimate emotions, its language was fused in the alembic of their own minds into something strangely new, with a lyrical fervour that captured the ear of their countrymen and held them in thrall. Even so was it with the passionate oratory of the great preachers. "It was the preaching of Daniel Rowlands and the songs of

*Sir Thomas Phillips' Wales, p. 285.

Drych yr Amseroedd, 1898, p. 44.

[page 40]

Pantycelyn that made the age in which they lived as notable as any that ever was in Wales." (Charles of Bala). It was at a later date that the Bible became the armoury whence in the bitter strife over doctrine and tenet all parties alike drew their weapons. With such matters the earlier leaders of the Revival were but little concerned.

The relations between the schools and the Revival are thus seen to be very intimate. The schools had broken up the fallow and when the younger men came to sow their seed they too, humanly speaking, found their inspiration in Griffith Jones. Griffith Jones's preaching at Llanddewi Brefi profoundly affected Daniel Rowlands, just as that of Rowlands at Defynnog affected Howell Harris, and he in his turn at Talgarth changed the course of Pantycelyn's life. Later, with insight akin to genius, Harris recognised that the "gift of song" was Pantycelyn's.

36. In the pulpit was found a fresh force to fortify the position gained by the language through the schools. It acquired in discourse a status, and in lofty appeal a prestige, which it had never had before, and which it has not lost since. No one denomination had a monopoly of the pulpit in this sense. Each of them had its great preachers, its "stars" whose names were household words throughout the whole country among all denominations alike. Their ministry was largely itinerant, and their eloquence penetrated into the remotest corners. Contemporary accounts of the effects of these powerful sermons are doubtless exaggerated in matters of detail. They are often couched in terms that sound perhaps strange and unfamiliar now. Another leader who came directly under the influence of Daniel Rowlands was Thomas Charles of Bala. In some respects his work in its permanent value was greater than that of any of the other reformers. With his name the Welsh Sunday school is indissolubly connected. Recent enquiry has thrown new light on the origin of Sunday schools in Wales and elsewhere; but however deep the obligations of Wales may have been to other pioneers, within and without her own borders, the fact remains that

[page 41]

"its unique character in Wales as an educational institution" is due in the main to the great force of Thomas Charles's personality, and his rare constructive organising ability. He started to work on the same lines as Griffith Jones, whose schools had ceased to circulate, by establishing day schools with itinerant teachers who stayed for six or nine months at one time in the same place. Before he could begin, he had himself actually to instruct the man he was sending out to teach. In the wake of these schools night schools arose to carry on the work already begun by them.

37. Often enough the Sunday school was the nucleus from which a Church developed. The schools were open to all, irrespective of age or creed. They imposed no tests of orthodoxy; they called for no subscription to a distinctive formulary. The one condition of membership was that implied in a desire to learn; attendance was voluntary, and all service was willing service, a labour of love. All such social distinctions as existed without were obliterated within the school. There was equal opportunity for all. Classes were small; teacher and taught came into close intimate contact one with another, and there was real education. As there was no "leaving age" the "duration of school life" was in many cases one of many decades. Many references to these little schools are found in the works of those who lived through the terrible years of the early nineteenth century. In a short time they were thoroughly organised as units, consolidated into groups and closely articulated with the whole work - not of the Calvinistic Methodists only, but of practically every denomination in Wales. Charles succeeded in doing what his predecessors had each failed to do - to make his schools live and flourish after he himself had passed away. Their beneficent influence has been incalculably great, and not least upon the preservation of the language. They came to form the national system of education, as comprehensive in scope as the nation itself, and more characteristic of its best life than perhaps anything else it has produced. This

[page 42]

happened because Thomas Charles saw as clearly as his exemplar Griffith Jones had seen, the necessity of teaching Welsh children and adults in Welsh.

38. "At first," says Charles, "the strong prejudice which universally prevailed against teaching them to read Welsh first, and the idea assumed that they could not learn English so well if previously instructed in the Welsh language, this, I say, proved a great stumbling block in the way of parents to send children to the Welsh schools; together with another conceit they had - that if they could read English they would soon learn of themselves to read Welsh; but now these idle and groundless conceits are universally scouted. This change has been produced not so much by disputing, as by the evident salutary effect of the schools, the great delight with which the children attended them and the great progress they made in acquisition of knowledge."* This long letter with its reasoned argument and solid sound sense shows how carefully the Sunday schools were planned and how "well and truly laid" were their foundations. It explains their success. By inference, also, it discloses the reason why the day schools for many a long year failed so lamentably to fulfil any useful educational purpose.

39. It is of the utmost importance to bear in mind the dominating influence of the Sunday school and its ancillary organisations in the educational life of Wales during the greater part of the nineteenth century; otherwise it will be impossible to understand the seeming apathy of the people towards the neglect of the language in the day schools. Welsh views of what constituted education and of whose concern it was to provide it, were, during the greater portion of last century, in no wise different from those that prevailed in England, except perhaps that in Wales a much sharper line of distinction was drawn between "schooling" and "education". In Welsh, too, "education" and

*Letter to Mr. Anderson, 1811.

[page 43]

"culture" are not so apt to be confused as they sometimes are in English. The literary movement also, as well as the Eisteddfod, came under the influence of the Sunday school.

40. The Great Revival created the material of a new literature. After the old bardic tradition had decayed with the defection of the upper classes, Wales found itself for the first time in history almost without a living literature. The common people had not yet been united in one national endeavour, and had not evolved a new culture of their own. Beneath the surface, it is true, there was some movement; it is probable that it was during this period of dumbness that most of the Penillion Telyn (the Folk Poetry) which have a splendour of their own, were sung. These stirrings, however, did not reach the surface of the national life until the great religious upheaval had taken place. It was then that William Williams, of Pantycelyn, gave voice to that hidden poesy and, in his hymns, laid the foundation of the later lyric; it was he, and he alone, who made possible the development of modern poetry in the free metres. At the same time, when the common people were thus seeking expression, a great revival took place in the poetry of the old aristocratic tradition. This had definitely passed from the hands of the official bards, the last of whom, Siôn Dafydd Las, died in 1691, and now a few scholars, Gronwy Owen, Lewis Morris, Ieuan Fardd and others, under the influence of the classical school in England, took up again the old tradition, and so brought about what is known as the Classical Revival. It was a new and ampler presentation of the ideas which had dominated Welsh poetry since the sixth century.

41. This Classical Revival had its patriotic and antiquarian side. It was definitely concerned, for the first time in Welsh history, with the preservation of the Welsh language, apart from any consideration of utility such as influenced men like Griffith Jones. The outward sign of this new patriotism was the establishment of a Welsh Society in London, the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, which

[page 44]

was founded under Royal Patronage in 1751, and later of the Gwyneddigion, founded in 1771. We shall refer later (§72) to the good work done by the Cymmrodorion Society, but here we have to point out a certain peculiarity in all "learned Societies", as contrasted with the more popular Welsh Societies to be described later. They had, as we have said, a tendency towards antiquarian research, and this, though it gave encouragement to scholarship, had an evil effect in diluting the purer patriotism of the founders. The Cymmrodorion Society, in particular, included among its members many who could not speak the Welsh language, and who therefore found in its antiquarian side sufficient to satisfy all the demands made upon them by their country. To this day, the type of Welshman made possible by the learned Societies exists. He is generally more concerned with the skulls of dead Welshmen than with the brains of the living; guessing at the meaning of inscriptions exposes him to less danger of ridicule than attempting to speak or write the living language. We feel it our duty to mention this in passing, as there always has been, since the eighteenth century among "superior" people a tendency to treat the Welsh language, and indeed Welsh history, as interesting "specimens", to be exhibited for the delectation of the curious, and to be unemotionally studied at a distance. While this work is necessary to scholarly research at the Universities and elsewhere, it must be insisted that it is no more likely to contribute to the preservation and enlargement of Welsh than are the activities of the Classical Association to restore the use of Latin as a living language.

42. In the early nineteenth century great efforts were made on behalf of the language by a circle of scholars and literary men who gathered round Lady Llanover (1802-96). This lady was of English origin, but she conceived the idea of making the Welsh language, so far as it lay in her power, not only the common language of daily life, but the official and standard language of Wales. Her attitude throughout her long life, from which she did not relax, was never to speak English to anyone who could speak Welsh, and never

[page 45]

to appoint to offices under her control in Wales any person who could not speak Welsh. She established and endowed an Anglican Church at Abercarn, in Monmouthshire, to provide Welsh services for the Anglicans in that part of the county, and when the incumbent was reported to her to have introduced English into the service, she without hesitation transferred the building and endowment to the Calvinistic Methodists, on condition that they used the Book of Common Prayer for public worship in the church. To this day there is a flourishing Welsh Church at Abercarn, and the village of Llanover where her mansion was situated has a Welsh Chapel, and the inhabitants for the most part are still Welsh speaking, though Llanover is in the very heart of English Monmouthshire. Associated with her were many men of note, particularly the Rev. Thomas Price (Carnhuanawc) (1787-1848). It was largely through the instrumentality of these men that the Eisteddfod, in its present form, was evolved. Not the least of the results of their work was the foundation of the Welsh Collegiate Institution at Llandovery as a Welsh vernacular school (§60).

43. The nineteenth century, then, saw a very great extension in the use of the Welsh language, particularly among the lower classes. We who to-day lament an anglicised Glamorgan and Monmouthshire look back with regret upon the time when the new industrial districts of Morgannwg and Gwent were the strongholds of the Welsh language, and of Welsh literature and culture. It is significant that there is hardly a tombstone in Wales before the nineteenth century which bears a Welsh inscription. It was in that century that Welsh was first, since Tudor times, recognized as a language fit for all the intercourse of social life and for all solemn occasions; the dignity which it had acquired in the pulpit gave it the right of entry to every circle which the common people controlled. It was in that century that Welsh-speaking bishops were appointed for the first time since the accession of the House of Hanover; it was at the end of the century that Welsh was at last recognized in the schools.

[page 46]

44. It took a long time for the Welsh nation to realize that the language that was good enough for public worship was also good enough for public education and for social intercourse. Even the great literary men of the early nineteenth century, whose fame depended solely on the Welsh language, wrote their letters generally in English. Eisteddfod adjudications were both written and delivered in English by such men as Eben Fardd and his contemporaries. Even that enlightened educationalist, Dr. Lewis Edwards (1809-87), was singularly unenlightened on the question of the teaching of Welsh; he could not conceive of a University in Wales in which the Welsh language should be taught. He was obsessed with the idea that Welsh was the language of religion, and therefore relegated its study to the Sunday school, which was in a flourishing condition in his day. The only writer of note in the earlier part of the nineteenth century who had any views on the utilisation of Welsh in education was Samuel Roberts (1800-85), but his political and social activities left him no opportunity of seriously pursuing the matter.* This extraordinary obtuseness on the part of the best men of the nation is one of the curious problems of history; we of to-day find it impossible to imagine the conditions which could explain their attitude. A few reasons, however, may be tentatively suggested. (1) Welsh, in general,

*There were some earlier advocates of this policy who deserve to be mentioned, such as the political reformer Morgan John Rees, who in 1793 in Y Cylchgrawn, a Welsh magazine which he edited, asked "Why are we, Welsh people, more foolish than any other nation, adopting the grotesque plan of teaching our children in a foreign language before they are taught their mother tongue? Why do we not all, without exception, learn first to read the language we best understand?" Also the bard and schoolmaster Dafydd Ddu Eryri who, with his brother, published in the same year An Easy Guide to Welsh Reading, and mooted a proposal to start a society which should help to establish schools in which every child might learn to read Welsh (see Wrappers to Nos, 2, 3, and 4 of Cylchgrawn); the divine Dr. T. W. Jenkyn of Homerton Academy (see Seren Gomer, 1820, p. 33) and Joseph Davies (d. 1831), a young Liverpool solicitor, who had enlightened views on language teaching.

[page 47]

was in a very flourishing condition especially as regards the number of books published and the general interest in literature; there was therefore no great anxiety as to its future. (2) They were concerned with the dissemination of knowledge among the Welsh people, and they regarded the acquisition of English as an indispensable preliminary. (3) Education, that is, the new education provided by the State, was regarded as an entirely English product. It was a "blessing" from over the border and in their gratitude they were not inclined to criticize it for such a small fault as the neglect of Welsh. (4) Welsh was the language of religion and of the great solemnities. The connection between religion and education, especially among the Nonconformists, had not yet been established. Unconsciously they regarded Welsh as a hieratic language.

45. It was not till the end of the century that a feeling began to grow among thinking men that all was not well. Some indication of the uneasiness is to be found in the work of the different Societies presently to be mentioned, but the first definite pronouncement was made by Emrys ap Iwan (1851-1906). Emrys ap Iwan was a man of great originality of judgment, and naturally inclined to rebel against the easy assumptions of the Welsh thought of his time. Dr. Lewis Edwards was anxious to establish Methodist Churches using English throughout the length and breadth of Wales, in order to meet the needs, not so much of the anglicised Welsh, who were not at that time such a problem as they are to-day, as of the English settlers in Wales. There was a similar movement among the Independents, especially in South Wales where it was sponsored by Dr. Thomas Rees, Swansea, and David Rees, Llanelly, and helped financially by wealthy Congregationalists in England, such as Samuel Morley, John Crossley of Halifax, and H. O. Wills of Bristol. The policy of the past had been to offer such strangers the hospitality of the Welsh Churches, and those Englishmen who availed themselves of it soon became as Welsh as the rest of the congregation. The churches had thus been a most effective agent in the

[page 48]

spreading of the language and in the cymricisation of the English, who, without exception, were among the most enthusiastic in the cause of the language. Emrys ap Iwan saw that all this would be reversed; the new Methodist policy would, he maintained, establish a nucleus of Englishmen in such essentially Welsh places as Caernarvon, which would in time be a most powerful agent in the anglicisation of Wales. In his campaign against the "Inglis Côs" ("English Cause") as he called it, he suffered much persecution at the hands of leading Welshmen, among whom not the least was Dr. Lewis Edwards himself. It drove him, however, to think of the matter in its wider aspect, and the result was a series of articles in which he advocated the teaching of Welsh in all the schools in Wales. We shall not assert too much if, remembering that there were no Intermediate Schools in Wales when he first began his campaign, we say that all the recommendations in this report only set out in detail the policy which Emrys ap Iwan had found necessary for the preservation and utilisation of the Welsh language.

46. The weakness of all the efforts which we have briefly described above was their divorce from any conception of practical education. Most of those who championed the cause of the Welsh language were themselves self-educated, and had therefore but little direct contact with contemporary educational ideas. Towards the end of the century, however, in the fulness of time, Wales produced a man of real genius, who was also a teacher, and whose love for the Welsh language was like a devouring flame. This was Owen Morgan Edwards (1858-1920), Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. Even before he had completed his undergraduate course, he had begun the long fight for the recognition of his native language which only terminated with his death. In 1891 and 1892, he established two new magazines devoted to his policy, and these he continued to edit during his lifetime. His great literary gifts, his intense personality, and his wide vision, soon gained the heart of the whole nation; in a few years after he had begun his life's

[page 49]

work, "Pwnc yr iaith'; (the language question) was discussed in every corner of Wales. Emrys ap Iwan's great fame was posthumous; his mordant wit and his rather austere culture had failed to arouse his countrymen. Owen Edwards, on the other hand, though possibly less of a pure llenor than Emrys ap Iwan, woke up something in the consciousness of his country which had been asleep for many centuries. It is yet far too early to make even a rough estimate of his influence; many have acclaimed him as the greatest Welshman of the century, and all are agreed on the beneficial effect of his work on Welsh life and literature. Meanwhile, to remind ourselves of the complexities of Pwnc yr iaith, it is well to bear in mind that Owen Edwards was a candidate for the Chief Inspectorship of the Central Welsh Board, when it was first established - and that he was rejected. It is perhaps vain to speculate on what might have been the difference to the prospects of the Welsh language if this greatly gifted man had been appointed to the Chief Inspectorship of the Central Welsh Board in 1896. There were of course other weighty issues to be considered on that occasion; but in view of the striking results achieved by him as Chief Inspector of the Welsh Department of the Board of Education from 1907 to his death, lovers of the cause may well be pardoned their regret that he was not given the opportunity of bringing his unrivalled powers and qualifications to its service in the previous decade.

47. It would be impossible to close this brief sketch without a short reference to the work of a living Welsh scholar, Sir John Morris-Jones, the Professor of Welsh at the University College of North Wales. Sir John Morris-Jones was a contemporary and friend of Owen Edwards at Oxford, and, with him and others, founded in 1885 a new Society in the University of Oxford, the "Dafydd ap Gwilym", which is by now famous throughout the Principality. Owen Edwards's work was, in the main, popular; Sir John Morris-jones's concern has been to purify the public taste in literature and to impose a higher standard of

[page 50]

literary production. The extraordinary literary revival of the last twenty-five years owes its intensity to Owen Edwards and its quality to Sir John Morris-Jones. It is certain that the good work of the one would eventually have been in vain, if the other had not insisted, often in the teeth of public opposition and ridicule, that no language deserves to live unless it has fitted itself to be the expression of the scholar as well as of the man in the street, of the aristocrat as well as of the peasant.


48. This is not the place to trace the devious paths along which the State travelled to help to educate the masses until the first Act of Parliament dealing with Elementary Education was placed on the Statute book in 1870. Under that Statute elementary education became largely a matter for state provision and control. From the first decade of the century up to that date every bill that was introduced into Parliament to give to the State some control over education "was sunk by the cross fire of sectarian artillery". The Oxford Movement and the Voluntaryist Movement, which were not unconnected, played an important part in Wales, as in England. This was in part, and perhaps mainly, due to the prevalent conception, fortified by long tradition and prescription, that it was the function and the privilege of the Church to educate the youth of the country.* In the whole political and social philosophy of the time the individual and his liberty as then understood loomed very large. The demand of the labour market for juvenile workers was such as to make it extremely difficult to give the children continuous and systematic education in day schools, especially when the parents themselves were apathetic, and, more particularly in industrial areas, ignorant and dissolute. The lure of wages, direct and crude enough in its obvious effects in

*"La doctrine et information des enfants est chose espirituel", a judgment by a Chief Justice in the 11th of Henry IV quoted by Lord Stanley in the House of Commons in 1839.

[page 51]

England and Wales, had in the latter country a subtler phase, but one that was no whit less pernicious in its effect upon education. It took the form of a specious plea for the suppression outright of Welsh in favour of English, which was held to be the better-paying subject. The fallacious assumption that it is necessary to exterminate one language before another can be learnt vitiated the work of the schools in Wales for the best part of a century. The State began to aid popular education in 1833 when a sum of 20,000 was voted by Parliament "in aid of private subscriptions for the erection of School Houses for the education of the children of the poorer classes in Great Britain." The State, however, had at the time no machinery of its own for the distribution of the money. It therefore relied for its disbursement for years upon the two educational societies - the British and Foreign Schools Society founded in 1808, and the National Society founded in 1811. Now, so far as Wales and the position of the Welsh language in the day schools are concerned, the important thing to remember is that, from its inception, by far the more active of the two Societies in Wales was the National Society. Its devoted endeavours in the pursuit of its high aims were, however, largely nullified because, apparently from the first, it failed to realise the educationally fundamental need of using the Welsh language as the means of instruction in the schools.

49. Canon Richard Newcome preached in the Cathedral Church of Bangor on the 16th of September, 1821, on behalf of the Bangor Diocesan National School. It is worth while quoting at some length what he had to say, for presumably, in making that special appeal he was putting his case at its strongest. After dealing with some of the more general objections to the establishment of schools for the masses, Canon Newcome proceeds to deal with an objection that was characteristically Welsh. He says, "I am not aware of any other objections to these establishments (i.e., National schools) excepting one peculiar to this part of the kingdom, and which, inasmuch as it imputes unholy motives

[page 52]

to the patrons and superintenders of them, cannot too strongly be reprobated. It is that they are conducted under false colours and that their real design is to supress as far as possible the language of the natives. Though it cannot be denied by any reasonable man that a more general introduction of the English tongue is as much to the advantage as it is the anxious desire of the poorer classes, yet that the wild project of suppressing entirely the native language forms the ruling object, the subtle design or the secret wish, of the promoters of the National system, or of our pious prelates, under whose influence it has taken root in this principality, is a charge which they may repel with a just, a holy indignation, for it robs them of their just meed of praise. Their ruling motive is a desire of establishing union of principle and practice in promoting Christian knowledge through the medium of Christian Education in every part of the Established Church. And then as to the result of their exertions (admitting for a moment and merely for argument sake the impropriety of the motive) I may appeal to the experience of those most conversant with the National System in this principality conducted as it is in the English language, whether (so far from effecting the destruction) a better grammatical knowledge of the native tongue of the scholars may not be made concurrent. For how easy, how instantaneous, must be the success and how certain, to apply the faculty of reading once acquired in a language where the written character is the same to that which is already in the mouth of the scholar. Then again as to improvement in religious knowledge (the real object of these schools) it is worth the experiment whether the use of two languages presents not an advantage in proving the intelligence of a learner by an appeal from the language in which the lesson is repeated, to that in familiar use for its meaning - thus more fully attaining the end proposed - superior apprehension of the principles of religion. To promote this result, I repeat it, is the ruling motive of the introduction of National Schools into the principality and not the vain, the unattainable

[page 53]

design of uprooting its ancient language ... But on any view of this subject I trust there are no sufficient grounds for the most zealous admirer of the ancient language of this kingdom, to look with a jealous eye on the institution of which I am this day the advocate."

1846-1847 COMMISSION

(50) The reports of the Commissioners on the state of education in Wales (1847)* is a document of paramount importance in the history of Welsh education during practically the whole of the nineteenth century. In pursuance of proceedings in the House of Commons on the motion of Mr. W. Williams, the member for Coventry, three Commissioners were appointed "to inquire into the state of education in the Principality of Wales especially into the means afforded to the labouring classes of acquiring a knowledge of the English language." Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, who was then secretary to the Committee of Council on Education, issued his instructions to the Commissioners on October 1st, 1846. The instructions are characteristic of the man - liberal-minded, of wide and deep sympathies, and the greatest, as he was the first, of our educational administrators.

51. Had the Commissioners carried out their task less in accordance with the strict letter of the last clause in their terms of reference, and more in the spirit of Kay-Shuttleworth's instructions, their findings would have been no less valuable as testimony to the state of education in Wales than they actually are, while Wales might have been spared the bitterness of a fierce controversy over matters that were irrelevant to the inquiry. Kay-Shuttleworth specifically drew the attention of the Commissioners to the Sunday schools of Wales. We know now how he regarded the

*Known in Wales as Brad y Llyfrau Gleision, "The Blue Books Betrayal," a term formed in parody of Brad y Cyllyll Hirion, "The Long Knives Betrayal," a legendary massacre of the British by the Saxons recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth, probably as an onomastic attempt to explain the name Seaxas (Saxons) by seasas (knives).

[page 54]

Sunday school in England where, in the main, it was, and still remains a school for children, and in that respect very different from the Welsh Sunday school. "The Sunday school was", he says, "the root from which sprang our system of day schools."* "I often think of Bamford, and I should not wonder if among my last thoughts is the Sunday school in the organisation and management of which I, forty-five years ago, received the first impulse to observe, inquire and ponder, on the methods and discipline of schools for the people."†

52. The pamphlet entitled "The School in its relation to the State, the Church and the Congregation", 1847 - attributed to an official source - elaborates this thesis. "The type of this school, i.e., one that is an inseparable element of the organisation of a Christian congregation, has to a great extent pre-determined the constitution of the daily school, and provided the fabric which by a natural transition may be employed in the establishment of an efficient system of elementary instruction tending, in harmony with the Sunday school, to complete the work of Christian civilisation which has been so auspiciously commenced."‡ Herein lies one great difference between the development of the day school in Wales and its development in England. In England there was a "natural transition" from Sunday school to day school, and a "tendency to harmony between them." "One aspect of Dr. Kay's [i.e., Kay-Shuttleworth's] conception of the function of a school especially in smaller places appeals more strongly to us at the present day than it has during some of the intervening decades. He made a great point of the social functions of the elementary schools - the use

*Life of Shuttleworth, by F. Smith, p. 6.

†Ibid, p. 8.

‡This pamphlet was somewhat clumsily translated by Kilsby Jones into Welsh in 1848 under the title "Yr ysgol yn ei pherthynas a'r wladwriaeth yr eglwys a'r Gynulleidfa sef esponiad ar Gofnodau Pwyllgor y Cynhor ar Addysg yn Awst a Rhagfyr 1846 wedi ei gyfiethu o'r Saesoneg". Llundain. Argraphedig gan William Clowes a'i feibion. 1848. Pris Pedair Ceiniog.

[page 55]

of the playground, the intercourse between parents and teachers, the efforts to establish connections between the school and its former scholars. ... He suggested that the schools might be used for many purposes not strictly connected with teaching."*

53. It was the Sunday school that fulfilled practically all these functions in Wales, while the day schools became a thing apart, insulated, alien in outlook and even antagonistic to all that the Sunday school stood for. In their reports, the Commissioners exposed mercilessly the deplorable conditions that prevailed in the day schools of the country. They found bad, insanitary buildings, totally inadequate equipment, unsuitable furniture, a dearth of books, and worst of all thoroughly incompetent teachers. In so far as they were able to test them, the intelligence and acquired information of the pupils were distressingly to seek [sic]. The cumulative effect of their indictment is a devastating condemnation of the condition of secular education in Wales at the time. Their description of the symptoms are doubtless accurate enough. It was when they tried to deal with the causes, and to suggest remedies, that the Commissioners showed on the one hand a lack of perspicacity, and on the other vacillation of mind. All three, as educationists, recognised though but dimly and intermittently, the futility of trying to educate Welsh children by means of a language which they did not understand, and yet they could not away with the notion that the education of the Welsh child consisted in nothing other than in equipping him with a knowledge of English. "I have found no class of schools", says one of them, Mr. H. V. Johnson, in a lucid moment, "in which an attempt had been made to remove the first difficulty which occurs to a Welsh child at the very beginning of his course of instruction in consequence of his ignorance of the English language. Every book in the school is written in English: every word he speaks is to be spoken in English, every

*Board of Education's Report for 1922-23, p. 13.

[page 56]

subject of instruction must be studied in English; and every addition to his stock of knowledge in grammar, geography, history or arithmetic must be communicated in English words. The promoters of schools appear unconscious of the difficulty and the teachers of its removal." Another, and the least competent of them, Mr. J. C. Symonds, says: "They are uttering the words of the Scriptures in English without the most remote conception of their meaning, any more than if they had been reading in Greek." The following passage taken from the report of Mr. R. W. Lingen (later Lord Lingen) is pregnant with significance even to-day: "It would be impossible to exaggerate the difficulties which this diversity between the language in which the school books are written and the mother tongue of the children presents. In proportion as the teacher adheres to English he does not get beyond the children's ears; in proportion as he employs Welsh he appears to be superseding the most important part of the child's instruction. How and where to draw the line, how to convey the principles of knowledge through the only medium in which the child can apprehend them, yet to leave them impressed upon his mind in other terms and under other forms, how to employ the old tongue as a scaffolding, yet to leave if possible no trace of it in the finished building, but to have it if not lost, at least stowed away, all this presupposes a teacher so thoroughly master of the subject he is going to teach and also of two languages most dissimilar in genius and idiom that he can indifferently represent his matter with equal clearness in one as in the other. No teachers less gifted could deal effectually with the existing state of things."

54. Thus reluctantly did the Commissioners suggest the only remedy for the removal of the root cause of all the inefficiency which they found in the schools. Their attitude to the Sunday schools and their work was not dissimilar. They paid their tribute, albeit grudgingly and with reservations, to these schools. Even Mr. J. C. Symonds says, "the general tendency of the Sunday

[page 57]

school is decidedly beneficial. I believe that three-fourths of all the correct answers to me in the day school examinations have been the result of Sunday school teaching." Mr. Johnson speaking of North Wales says, "It is impossible not to admire the vast number of schools which they have established; the frequency of the attendance, the number, energy, and devotion of the teachers, the regularity and decorum of the proceedings, and the striking and permanent effect which they have produced on society." Mr. Lingen sums up his views of the Sunday schools in these words. "They exhibit the most characteristic development of native intellect, and the efforts of the mass of the people utterly unaided to educate themselves upon their own models." It is abundantly clear, on the Commissioners' own testimony, however falteringly given, that the educational principles of Griffith Jones and Thomas Charles were in Wales sound. "The Sunday school system was not in fault." The day school system on the other hand was fundamentally rotten.

55. Even before the issue of the report some of the more prominent leaders of thought in Wales had perceived clearly where the crucial fault lay in the day school. Dr. Rowland Williams was one of them. "Now," he says, " if it be asked in all calmness what is the greatest error in the existing schools in our rural parishes the true, though paradoxical, answer would be, not that it is the want of English teaching as the member for Coventry supposes, but the neglect of Welsh teaching. Let us examine the matter calmly, and allow for argument's sake, that the existence of the Welsh language is a great evil and a drawback to the country. Nevertheless, if children hear one language from their infancy at home, it is in vain that you attempt in the very limited period that you can probably spare for your instructions to familiarise their ear with the sound, and reach the intellect with the meaning of English, as long as it is unaided by the habit of translating what they read. Now let us suppose the system of instruction were so far altered as to be in accordance with nature and

[page 58]

that children were first taught to read the language which they speak at home. Even if we stopped here the progress would be so far real: we should have given the innate faculty of reading, a tool to work with, and our education would not be a thing of shew but of real benefit. But in fact you would have an easy road open to the acquirement of English. But what if, by our neglect of Welsh, we are throwing away a great gift of Providence? Is there any reason why people should not learn and thoroughly understand a neighbouring language without immediately smothering their own? It is just as easy to speak two languages as to speak one. There are many parts of Europe where the peasants do speak two, and are on that account generally remarkable for their intelligence. Nay, by knowing a second language a man is at once in some degree educated and in twice as much an intellectual being."

56. The Commissioners' reports when published were received "with many cries of pain and indignation and fierce controversies were aroused. But whatever difference of opinion there may have been as to the justice of the indictment, there is no doubt that its severity had the inestimable result of making the education question in the widest sense a matter of national concern to Welshmen of all classes, and of giving it the high place in their thoughts and aspirations which it has ever since occupied."* Years afterwards in his novel Rhys Lewis - a social document of the first importance - Daniel Owen drew a picture of the school of his boyhood that corresponded in all essential respects with that drawn by the Commissioners. He, however, drew his with the comprehending eye, and the sure touch of the artist. Besides, he had the divine gift of humour. There is undisputable evidence to show that the intellectual leaders of Wales - Churchmen and Nonconformists alike - drew from the reports the right conclusion with regard to the place which the language ought to have in the schools. They perceived clearly what the Commissioners had but dimly adumbrated. They saw that it

*Charity Commissioners Report, 1898, p. 4.

[page 59]

must occupy in the day schools a place at least equal to that given to English. The pronouncements of Bishop Thirlwall, of Dean Cotton, of Sir Thomas Phillips, of Dr. Lewis Edwards, and others, are unanimous on the matter. It is probable that at no period in the history of Welsh education were the most influential men in Wales more eager than they were then to give the language its due meed in the schools.

57. It was recognised, however, that the first and most urgent need of the country was a more abundant supply of better equipped teachers, and the best energies of all the reformers were immediately directed towards establishing suitable Normal Schools and Training Colleges. In connection with the establishment of the Training College at Caermarthen, opened in 1849, it is noteworthy that Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth wrote in March, 1849, a letter to Sir Thomas Phillips from which the following extracts are taken: "Mr. Longueville-Jones will receive instructions to prepare a paper in Welsh containing one passage to be translated from Welsh to English, and another from English to Welsh, as well as questions on the grammatical constructions of the Welsh passage. Mr. Longueville-Jones will also ascertain whether the colloquial idiom of the Welsh used by such students is such as may be properly employed in school teaching, or is only a vulgar and ungrammatical dialect. I am further to intimate to you that in consideration of the suggestion contained in the Principal's letter, the Lord President will accept a grammatical knowledge of the Welsh language and a familiarity with a good colloquial idiom in lieu of one or two of the subjects; and a less perfect knowledge in lieu of one subject only. These arrangements will sufficiently indicate to you that His Lordship is desirous to promote by means of the teachers educated at the Caermarthen Training school, not only a good grammatical knowledge of the Welsh language and such an acquaintance with English as may render its literature accessible to the common people of the principality, but that he is convinced that it

[page 60]

would be difficult to attain either of those objects separately and that the most effectual means of accomplishing each is the general introduction of an efficient bi-lingual instruction." It is perhaps idle to speculate what the consequences to the education and the language of Wales would have been had Kay-Shuttleworth's enlightened policy been pursued over any considerable number of years. Unfortunately for Wales, because of a serious breakdown in his health, he resigned his post nine months after he wrote to Sir Thomas Phillips. He was succeeded by Mr. R. W. Lingen - one of the Commissioners of 1847 whose interests were centred more in finance than in education. It was he who was responsible for Mr. Robert Lowe's revised Code of 1861.

58. It is well to remember here that under the minutes of a Committee of Council for 1846 the state had at last succeeded through finance in getting a securer grip than ever before upon the schools. How far and for how long Kay-Shuttleworth's encouragement of "efficient bilingual instruction in training colleges" was actually carried out it is impossible to say, but beyond 1861 it could not have gone. The Revised Code of that year was fatal to the use of Welsh in the schools. The grip of the State now became a strangle-hold, and as Welsh was not mentioned in the Code, it was effectually choked out of every school in the land. Whatever advantages may have accrued from the system of "payment by results" - and doubtless there were some - this at least is certain, that in Wales every schoolmaster was henceforth for a generation and more directly, pecuniarily interested in boycotting the language, and in cramming his pupils for the annual examinations. The teachers, being human, succumbed to the remorseless clutch of finance and all the best efforts of the schools were directed to getting "results". Welsh had no chance in this struggle. It disappeared from the time table even of those training colleges where it had once found a place. According to returns, carefully analysed, made by the principals of the Welsh Training

[page 61]

colleges to the Cross Commission in 1888, Welsh does not appear at all on the time table of a single college; nor, in reply to a question as to whether they had any suggestion to make for improving the syllabus, did a single Principal suggest that Welsh should be included. "Results", shamelessly reckoned in terms of finance outweighed all other considerations. The vision of State schools, as conceived by Kay-Shuttleworth, approximating in spirit and outlook to the traditional Welsh centres of popular culture, vanished from sight.

59. In the old Grammar and Endowed schools Welsh had of course no place. Even after the passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act in 1889, when the county "Schemes" came to be drawn up, Welsh was given a very subsidiary place indeed in the curricula of the schools, by these "Schemes." "Although some leading is given with respect (for instance) to Practical Science or Agriculture, the Welsh language is not named except in the detailed schemes of Caernarvon and Denbigh. In Caernarvon after certain compulsory subjects are named, it is stated that instruction may also be given in sundry other subjects which include Welsh grammar, composition, and literature. In Denbigh also Welsh is named only as an optional subject with other languages."* When Wales came to organise its system of secondary education it did not, unhappily, cast its eyes beyond England, and England had at the time no better model of a secondary school to offer than that of the schools governed by schemes under the Endowed Schools Acts 1869 et seq. While it adopted their cumbrous machinery of government and control - necessarily cumbrous because of the State's scrupulous solicitude for Trust funds - Wales adopted also, far too readily, the outlook and initiated too slavishly the methods of English endowed schools. Again, in the subsequent development of its system of secondary education Wales fell a victim to the craving for "results" - though they

*"To-day and To-morrow in Welsh Education", Central Welsh Board, Cardiff, 1916, p. 23.

[page 62]

were not, in this case, so much financial as examination results. In the wild craze for certificates, which are supposed to have commercial as well as educational value, Welsh in countless instances has had to give way to French. The over elaboration of external examinations for the purposes of granting certificates became a burden which seriously threatened for many years to crush out of the schools such Welsh life as they may ever have had; indeed even the Sunday schools were infected by the plague.

60. In the field of secondary education the one outstanding instance of independence of thought, of the courage of conviction, and of faith in the efficacy of the Welsh language as a fit instrument of culture, was the founding of the Welsh Collegiate Institution at Llandovery in 1848. The founder was Mr. Thomas Phillips of Brunswick Square, London, a retired army surgeon. He was in his 88th year when the trust deed was executed on the 25th August, 1847. The school was opened on St. David's Day, 1848. Mr Phillips had previously provided generously for the teaching of Welsh elsewhere and was disappointed that such full use as was possible was not made of that provision. He therefore decided to establish a school where Welsh should not only be taught regularly and systematically, but where also it should, for some portion of every day be "the sole medium of communication". The school was peculiarly fortunate in having as its first Warden the Venerable John Williams, Archdeacon of Cardigan, who, moved by sympathy with the aims of the founder, resigned his post as Rector of Edinburgh Academy which he had held for over twenty years. He was, to quote Sir Walter Scott, "a heaven born teacher" and "the greatest schoolmaster in Europe". The endowment deed states that Mr. Thomas Phillips was "desirous of founding and endowing a Welsh school in the diocese of St. David's for the study and cultivation of the Welsh or Ancient British language and literature, not only as a medium of colloquial communication but as a means of promoting antiquarian and philological investigation in

[page 63]

combination with a good sound classical and liberal education fitting for young men destined for any liberal profession or scientific pursuit to be exercised and followed in the principality of Wales." Section 9 of the endowment deed provides among other things that "the WELSH language shall be taught exclusively during one hour every school day and shall during that time be the sole medium of communication between the school and shall be used at all other convenient periods as far as may be possible as the conversational language of the school so as to familiarise the scholars with the use of it as a colloquial language; and the Master shall at all convenient times give lectures in that language upon subjects connected with philology and upon subjects of science and general knowledge fitting for a ministerial or general education and so give the scholars examples of its use in its higher style as a literary language as the medium of instruction on grave and important subjects." Sect. 10 states that "It is especially enjoined that under no pretence or plea of the study or cultivation of the Welsh language or literature being no longer useful or required shall the object of the founder or the provisions aforesaid for the instruction and education in the Welsh language and the cultivation thereof be disregarded or neglected, but that the same shall at all times be religiously and faithfully observed as a primary and chief intent and object of the institution." Sec. 13(4) provides that "It shall be lawful for the trustees for the time being or the majority of them to alter or vary any of the regulations which shall appear aforesaid and to add or substitute any additional new or other regulations which shall appear to them calculated more effectually to promote the prosperity of the institution and to effect the object of the founder; but so as not thereby to alter or pervert the fundamental character of the school as a Welsh school or to diminish the instruction hereby required to be given in the Welsh language or the cultivation or use of that language." We know in considerable detail from the published writings of its "old boys" what the

[page 64]

curriculum of the Welsh Collegiate Institution was under the conditions laid down by the founder. It compares more than favourably, Form by Form, in quality - if not in extent, even though Welsh was compulsory, with that of the best secondary schools of to-day. We know too the records of the old pupils of those days at Oxford and Cambridge. But there came a day when Welsh was made optional. The Welsh Institution of Llandovery has long been transformed into "Llandovery College" and "the primary intent and object of the pious founder has been with impunity ignored."*


61. The reports of the Commissioners appointed in 1846 (§50 above) could hardly be expected to further Welsh teaching; certain passages show a sympathy with teachers constrained to give instruction in a language foreign to the children, but neither the reference to the Commissioners, nor the Commissioners themselves, nor those with whom they came in contact during their investigations, attributed any value to Welsh in the day schools except as a bridge by which to reach the true goal - the acquisition of a sound knowledge of English. The ignorance and inefficiency revealed in the schools were lamentable, but no improvement was to be expected without a change in public opinion. The Commissioners recognised, however, that it would be of great advantage to a school to have teachers on its staff with a colloquial knowledge of the language.

62. During the following two decades the school supply was slowly improved through the influence of increased government grants, but complete provision was not made

*"The making of Modern Wales". W. Llewelyn Williams, B.C.L. (Oxon.), K.C., 1919, p. 302. As to its Welsh atmosphere as late as 1875 see also Cymru for Feb., 1927, p. 48.

[page 65]

until the Education Act of 1870 had come into full operation. This might have been an opportunity for obtaining an adequate place for Welsh in the Elementary Schools. But the force of inertia was too strong; the schools had too long been cast in an English mould. Successive Codes of Regulations had made no appreciable difference between England and Wales, although the conditions in the latter country called for a very considerable discrimination. Furthermore, the need for a more intelligent system had not yet been fully discussed nor effectively advocated. In 1880, a Departmental Committee was appointed to inquire into the state of Intermediate and Higher Education in Wales. The teaching of Welsh did not specially come into its purview, and the inquiry was concentrated on the objects (1) of supplementing the provision of Higher Education partially supplied by the College at Aberystwyth, which was opened in 1872 and (2) of establishing a system of Intermediate or Secondary Schools. As a result new Colleges at Cardiff and Bangor were opened in 1883 and 1884 respectively, and the Intermediate Education Act was passed in 1889. The establishment of the University Colleges had this great significance for Welsh Education that among the Professors were some patriotic Welshmen who felt that Wales needed in the preparatory stages a system of education devised to suit her needs.

63. Under such influences the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion sent out in 1884 a questionnaire in the first instance to thirty people holding responsible positions in Wales, and then to the heads of Welsh Elementary Schools, soliciting opinions as to whether the system of teaching English was defective, whether English should be taught through Welsh, and whether Welsh should be taught as a specific subject. The first set of replies was almost unanimously in favour of Welsh being introduced into the schools as a subject of instruction. Of the replies received from the Head-teachers about 54 per cent were favourable. Anything like unanimity could hardly have been expected considering that up to that time there had

[page 66]

been very little public discussion of the question and that there was, on the part of many teachers, a natural dread of plunging into the unknown. Sufficient support having thus been accorded to a proposal for giving Welsh a definite place in the educational system of the principality, the next step was to form a Society with the view of promoting that object. This took place at the National Eisteddfod held at Aberdare in 1885, the year following the issue of the questionnaire. The title chosen for the Society was somewhat cumbrous - "The Society for Utilising the Welsh Language in Education", and betokened a certain timidity as if Welsh were to be used mainly for the acquisition of English, which indeed was avowedly in part the aim. The originators of the Society were not acquainted with the methods of teaching which have subsequently come into vogue, and were obsessed with the idea that the Welsh child was to be taught English through Welsh by means of constant translation, and that the English child should, similarly, learn Welsh by the inverse process. The direct method, first evolved by German teachers, was not introduced to the notice of Welsh educationists until 1900. The Welsh title of the above mentioned Society - Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg - was bolder in form, suggesting that the object was to obtain a primary, instead of a subsidiary place for the language.

64. In general, the promoters of the movement hoped to establish a system of education by which all the inhabitants of Wales should be bilingual, possessing a competent knowledge of Welsh as well as English. This point of view was fully developed in a series of letters sent to the Welsh press by the late Mr. Dan Isaac Davies (Sub-Inspector of Schools) and afterwards published as a pamphlet entitled Tair Miliwn O Gymry Dwyieithog yn 1985. In the course of one century the prospective three millions of inhabitants were to be made proficient in both English and Welsh! It was an ambitious ideal and its realisation would be absolutely without parallel in the history of European nations, but the enthusiasm and faith shown by

[page 67]

the author left a deep impression on the Welsh portion of the community and strengthened the determination to obtain from the Government special regulations which would enable a considerable measure of Welsh teaching to be given in the schools.

65. An opportunity for presenting the case for Welsh was offered by the appointment of a Royal Commission in 1886 to inquire into the working of the Education Acts. The presence on the Commission of an earnest and enlightened Welshman in the person of the late Mr. Henry Richard was a guarantee that the Welsh witnesses would have a sympathetic hearing. Mr. D. Isaac Davies himself was one of these witnesses, and his premature death shortly afterwards was attributed to the strain which he had undergone in the preparation of his evidence while simultaneously attending to other heavy duties. The representations made to the Commission bore satisfactory fruit. The Education Department, after receipt of the Report, inserted in the Code provisions to the following effect:

(1) Bilingual reading books could be used in all standards and in all subjects and bilingual copy-books could be used in writing.
(2) A grant of 2s. [10p] per head was offered for Welsh taught successfully as a class subject in conjunction with English.
(3) A grant of 4s. [20p] was offered for each pupil in Standards V, VI and VII who passed in Welsh Grammar treated as a specific subject.
(4) Translation from Welsh to English was accepted in place of English composition.
(5) Encouragement was given to the teaching of the Geography and History of Wales.
66. The advocates of Welsh teaching got practically all they asked for at that time, when the now discarded "payment by results" system was in force. But for many years afterwards no change of practice took place in respect of

[page 68]

the medium through which the general instruction was conveyed. One of H.M. Inspectors of Schools, in a pamphlet which he wrote (in 1900) advocating the Direct Method, made the following statement:

The Society for the Utilisation of the Welsh Language obtained from the Education Department several valuable concessions which have been far more largely made use of than would appear from any official document. The only statistics available are those referring to the number of pupils taking Welsh as a specific subject. In the eyes of many people these results stand for the whole, and some dissatisfaction has been shown at the slightness of the progress therein revealed. It is forgotten that the specific subject is mostly grammar and can only be taken up in the highest standards, also that in small schools, owing to the staff difficulty, specific subjects are very rarely taken up at all. The number of scholars who read Welsh, write Welsh compositions, translate from Welsh to English and vice versa and learn Welsh poetry, is never recorded, but there can be no doubt it is very considerable. Considering the total neglect of Welsh before 1885, the amount of work which has been done during the last fifteen years is creditable, and all the more so since it has been accomplished in the face of immense difficulties as regards the supply of Welsh reading books, all of which had to be called into being during the period mentioned.

To return, however, to the immediate subject, it is to be noticed that, in one respect, there has been no improvement. English continues to be the language in which the lessons are given. The Welsh lessons, if any, are super-added to a purely English curriculum, and the explanatory conversation which is inevitable in the course of the lessons in Welsh grammar, translation, etc., is conducted in English as if the children were English and Welsh were to them a foreign tongue. ... If any place at all is to be assigned to the

[page 69]

mother-tongue in the schools, it ought to be the first place. It is not enough that the child should receive lessons on the mother-tongue; the lessons themselves should be given in it.
These remarks, of course, were meant to apply only to schools which were attended mainly by Welsh-speaking pupils. Their purport was to recommend that not only the Welsh lessons proper should be conducted in Welsh but that other subjects, also, should to a large extent be taught through that medium, where Welsh was the home language of the pupils.

67. The next event of importance was the federation of the already existing Colleges of Aberystwyth, Bangor, and Cardiff into a University by a Royal Charter granted in 1893.

The Intermediate Education Act had been passed in 1889, and, through the machinery thereby provided, schools of a secondary type were established in every county. The Central Welsh Board was instituted in 1895 with powers, conferred upon it by a Statutory Scheme, to inspect and examine the Intermediate Schools. From that date the Welsh system of education may be said to have become established, the only subsequent addition to the structure being the formation of the Welsh Department in 1907, with powers, delegated to it by the Board of Education, to control all grant earning schools in the principality. The two chief officers of the Department, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Owen Edwards and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Alfred Davies, were eminently sympathetic to Welsh ideals, and such modifications were made in the Regulations for Elementary and Secondary Schools as would permit almost any use of the Welsh language which the local authorities could reasonably desire.

68. The institution of the Central Welsh Board was an important step in the unification of the secondary schools of Wales, but there was, as yet, no means of securing a unified system of Welsh teaching for the elementary

[page 70]

schools. Public opinion was already ripe for a drastic change, but the system by which the elementary schools were governed made it almost impossible to effect that change. They were grouped together under School Boards, the jurisdiction of which seldom extended beyond the bounds of one parish, and, in order to inaugurate a system of education in the Welsh language, each one of these petty authorities had to be separately approached and convinced. In spite of the great improvement in the Regulations of the Education Department, practically no progress was made in the elementary schools. That is to say, to put the matter frankly, the teachers were either unwilling or unable to take advantage of the improved conditions; it was clear that the initiative must come, not from the schools themselves, but from the pressure of outside opinion. The general apathy of the elementary teachers and the inability of the public to put any effective pressure upon them had a reaction on the Secondary Schools. For some time after the first Intermediate School was opened in 1894, Welsh was not included in its curriculum, though the Central Welsh Board examined the pupils in that subject; those who took the Welsh papers did so without any preparation in the school. The Secondary Schools were also under the same serious disadvantage as regards government as the elementary; though, in certain respects, they were grouped together under one County scheme, yet in respect of curriculum they were, with the exception of Radnorshire, responsible to the local governors - that is to say, any pressure in favour of the teaching of Welsh had to be exerted on each school separately. In the early years of the twentieth-century then, it seemed that the new movement would come to nothing.

69. The salvation of Welsh education, as far as the language was concerned, was the Education Act of 1902. Certain provisions in that Act raised bitter controversy in Wales, but while the politicians were trying to settle their differences, those whose main concern was education

[page 71]

itself apart from its organization, seized the unexpected good fortune. Now instead of being faced with the hopeless task of convincing hundreds of different authorities, they could confine their attention to about a score. An intensive campaign, inspired by the interest in Welsh created by the new University, was conducted, especially in Caernarvonshire and Anglesey, which up to this time had been very lukewarm in the matter. The battle was soon won, because many of the chief supporters of Welsh teaching were themselves members of the various Education Committees. By 1906, when through the efforts of its first Lord Mayor, Cardiff adopted a scheme of Welsh teaching, the majority of the Local Authorities had been persuaded. The first battle had been won, but, unfortunately, the victory was not followed up. Many authorities, after adopting the scheme, took little trouble to see that it was adequately carried out.


70. No account of the recognition of the Welsh language would be complete without some mention of the Welsh Societies and their work. Under various names - Cymmrodorion, Cymreigyddion, Cymdeithas Gymraeg, etc., they are found in almost every town in Wales. In Welsh-speaking districts, the members meet to discuss in Welsh any topic relating to Wales or the locality, whether literary, historical or musical. In towns like Cardiff or Newport the members are held together, not only by the feeling of nationality, but by the desire to preserve the Welsh language, the existence of which is threatened by the powerful English environment. Societies actuated by a similar motive are to be found in many large towns in England. In all of them the programme of proceedings for the session which generally lasts from Michaelmas to Easter, includes periodical lectures by University professors, literary men of repute, and other persons possessing special knowledge of some subject related to Wales. Even in English or anglicised towns an attempt is made to ensure a

[page 72]

Welsh atmosphere although the members are occasionally permitted to speak in English. Some of the Societies have had a continuous existence for fifty years or more, others have languished, died out and been resuscitated, and yet others owe their birth to the recent Welsh renaissance. The Societies have been known to exercise a decisive influence on Local Authorities when the question of Welsh teaching is in the balance and undoubtedly they help to keep the Welsh language alive in places where it is weak.

71. In 1913 the Welsh Societies formed themselves into a Union (Undeb Cenedlaethol y Cymdeithasau Cymraeg). From evidence submitted by the Union it appears that up to the present 85 Societies have joined it, with a total membership of about 10,000. To quote the memorandum "From the outset, the Union has laboured consistently (1) to promote the formation of new Welsh Societies; (2) to stimulate, direct and to support the activities of the existing Societies; and (3) to concentrate all the force and influence of the movement for the furtherance of its aims on a national basis." Realising that the meetings of the local Societies were rarely attended by young people the Union has promoted the growth of the Welsh Drama movement for the purpose of winning the interest of the rising generation in all Welsh things. "Children's Eisteddfodau, Children's Singing Festivals, where massed juvenile choirs render Welsh Airs and Folk Songs, and performances of Welsh Dramas, specially written for children, now appear on the programmes of many Societies." It is stated that "a vigorous effort has recently been made (1925) by the Union to extend the Welsh Society movement in North Wales." From this it may be gathered that the counties in North Wales, perhaps feeling less insecurity as to the destiny of the Welsh language, had not so generally established these societies which have for one of their chief objects the maintenance of it in full vigour. Among other activities of the Union it must be mentioned that it has established a Welsh Summer School which has been held since 1918 at Llanwrtyd for the benefit of persons

[page 73]

who require instruction in the elements of Welsh as well as of teachers who want an advanced course in Welsh literature and history. Instruction is also given on modern methods of language teaching as applied to Welsh.

A small group of students with a limited membership of 30 was formed at Cardiff in 1918 under the name of "Cylch Dewi" for the purpose of discussing subjects relating to Wales and the language. Among the most important results of their activities must be reckoned the publication of a very valuable series of pamphlets on the teaching of the Welsh language, the influence of the home and allied subjects, with lists of books useful to teachers.

72. The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion which has already been mentioned, was founded in 1751 and revived in 1873 with the object of "bringing into closer contact Welshmen, particularly those resident out of Wales, who are anxious to advance the welfare of their Country. ... Its especial aims are the improvement of Education, and the promotion of intellectual culture by the encouragement of Literature, Science and Art, as connected with Wales." The Society has a distinguished membership, including the Welsh Bishops, the Welsh Peers, University Professors, and members of the learned professions; only about a third of the members are resident in Wales. Several meetings are held in London every year at which papers are read on subjects of literary, historical or antiquarian interest, though other meetings are purely social in character. For many years the Cymmrodorion have held meetings in connection with the National Eisteddfod in which matters of national interest are discussed. On these occasions the people who are drawn in vast crowds to the National festival have an opportunity of listening to what the leaders have to say on different aspects of Welsh culture. All the more important papers are printed, and some of the most valuable contributions to Welsh scholarship have been given to the world by the Society. The Cymmrodorion with their great wealth and prestige have by no means

[page 74]

exhausted the services which they can render the cause of the Welsh language. Lately they have shown a tendency to become more and more antiquarian; this, we think, is a pity, as there already exists the Cambrian Archæological Association which has behind it a long tradition of distinguished work in archæology and antiquities. A strong central society, confining itself to the objects named in the original constitution of the Cymmrodorion, is greatly needed in Wales.


73. The Eisteddfod, as we know it to-day, cannot be traced back further than 1799. The old Eisteddfod y Beirdd of the 15th and 16th centuries was a civil court to regulate the bards and minstrels and to legislate on matters of metre and cynghanedd. In the 16th century the bards used to meet in the houses of the gentry to compete for the mastery in song, and in the eighteenth, as one, of the results of the Classical Revival, such unofficial Eisteddfodau, under the influence of William Wynn O Langynhafal (1704-1760), the grammarian Siôn Rhydderch (1672-1735), and others, were a common feature of Welsh literary life. The Society of the Gwyneddigion, founded in London in 1771, gave prizes at these meetings for poetry and singing to the harp, and that was the modest beginning of the vast and intricate machinery of the modern Eisteddfod. The first meeting under the ægis of the Gwyneddigion was held at Corwen in 1789.

74. The aim of the Gwyneddigion, like the earlier Cymmrodorion Society, was to encourage the Welsh language and literature. A great part of the members consisted of parsons and squires, and it is worthy of note that their patronage of the Eisteddfod was merely the result of their membership; it was not because they could appreciate the value of Welsh literature or because they

*For much of the substance contained in this section, we are indebted to Mr. G. J. Williams's Memorandum.

[page 75]

were desirous of conserving the language. To them all Welsh matters were interesting as antiquities, and a concern about them soon became the hall-mark of a gentleman. This became increasingly clear after the foundation of The Cambrian Society of Dyfed in 1818. Lord Dynevor and the Bishop of St. David's were patrons of this Society, and the leading men of Dyfed, many of whom were unable to speak Welsh, were prominent at the Eisteddfod held by the Society at Caermarthen in 1819. Similar Societies were founded in Gwynedd, in Powys and in Gwent, and it is certain that it was to their activities that the development of the early 19th century Eisteddfod was due.

75. These Eisteddfodau were bitterly attacked by those who held the opinion that any patronage of Welsh literature, even though the motive was solely that of the antiquarian, would prevent the Welsh from learning English. It was demanded that the promoters should clearly define their policy, and demonstrate "that the views of the Society are meant to be confined to the preservation of the Welsh Language in its native purity, merely as a dead language, and some method adopted on the other hand, to promote the use of English."* There was, indeed, a small section of men connected with the Societies who wished to secure a better place for the language in the Church, the Courts and the Schools,† but the Eisteddfodau, under the patronage of the non-Welsh speaking gentry became, between 1819 and 1830, increasingly English. Gwallter Mechain (1761-1849), the most prominent of the literary men connected with the Eisteddfodau, declares that those who, in 1818, were enthusiastic in their promotion, were beginning to be weary, because they "saw the original intentions of the Society being, in one Eisteddfod after another, diverted by the saxonism of traitors from cherishing our own native

*The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XCI. (1821) p. 419.

†For these views see the speech delivered by the Rev. W. J. Rees, Rector of Cascob (1772-1855), in the first meeting of the Gwent Society at Brecon. The Cambro-Briton, iii, pp. 224-33.

[page 76]

gifts to lavishing rewards on the screeching and pipe-tootling of foreigners." This "saxonism" persisted throughout the greater part of the 19th century. The transactions of the more important Eisteddfodau, the addresses of the presidents of all, were in English; the adjudicators took a pride in writing their adjudications in the same language. Even after the establishment of the National Eisteddfod, following the Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858, and, later, of the National Eisteddfod Association, Welsh, in its own native institution, was only a client language; the language of patronage was, and is, English.

76. Nevertheless, the Eisteddfod did a great service to the language in the 19th century. It created a kind of patriotism and some interest in Welsh affairs, though the promoters had but very ill-defined views on the subject. Without the Eisteddfod the national consciousness, on its secular side, had but little expression, and Welshmen had no opportunity of meeting, as Welshmen, to discuss national questions. It created, too, a new literary enthusiasm throughout the Principality, and much literary activity of a local character, as in the districts around Caernarvon, Dolgelley, and Merthyr. It is probable that its greatest service was in offering prizes for essays; it was thus that the history of Welsh Literature came to be written by Thomas Stephens, Gweirydd ap Rhys, and Charles Ashton. Other essays in Welsh were produced by the Eisteddfod on history, archæology, agriculture, geology, economics, and other sciences, so that the language was during this period slowly though not very surely being adapted for the use of the scholar and scientist. Nearly all the more formally technical terms in modern Welsh are the products of the nineteenth century.

77. Though the movements which arose towards the end of the last century for the recognition and the utilisation of the Welsh language cannot be traced to the Eisteddfod, yet it was under its aegis that they were initiated. It was in the Cymmrodorion meeting of the Aberdare Eisteddfod

[page 77]

in 1885 that it was decided to found the Welsh Language Society "to promote the utilisation of the Welsh language in the education of Wales". The credit, however, of the greatest service to the language is not due to the National Eisteddfod, but to the numerous local eisteddfodau and "literary competitive" meetings. After the inauguration of the eisteddfodic movement in 1818, a great number of literary societies sprang up in Wales which held, once a year, an Eisteddfod modelled on the "provincial" eisteddfodau of Gwynedd, Powys, Gwent, and Dyfed. By the middle of the century these meetings had become very popular; there was hardly a village or hamlet in the whole of Wales that did not have its eisteddfod.* The language used at these meetings was Welsh, because, fortunately they only sought the patronage of the common people. To this day, in many towns where Welsh has ceased to be the ordinary language of commerce and social intercourse, it is still dominant in the local Eisteddfod, which thus shares with the Nonconformist Churches the heroic distinction of fighting the battle in the last ditch. The Eisteddfodau completed the work begun in the Welsh Sunday school, and in latter years the great majority of them were organised by the Sunday schools. They gave those who had learnt to read and write Welsh in the Sunday school an opportunity of putting their knowledge to a practical test; they spread among the common people a knowledge of the Cynghanedd and the twenty-four metres, because they offered prizes for awdlau and englynion. From this there grew in scores of districts a kind of literary circle with the local bard as its teacher, and throughout the nineteenth century, such circles were the only schools which attempted to spread among the Welsh people their traditional culture. A very large number of grammars were published during this period, most of them containing the rules of prosody. Judged from a scholar's standpoint, these books were nearly all unsatisfactory, but they kept alive the traditional culture against

*See Mr. D. M. Richards's lists in his Hanes Eisteddfodau (Llandyssul, 1914).

[page 78]

the time when Wales should have developed its system of schools and university. Without them, and without the educational work of the local eisteddfodau, modern Welsh scholarship and the contemporary literary revival would have been utterly impossible.


78. One of the most important results of the educational awakening and the consequent literary revival in modern Wales is the national enthusiasm for the drama. This is all the more noteworthy as the Welsh drama has practically no history. There were undoubtedly in pre-Reformation days, in Wales as elsewhere, many Mysteries and Passion-plays; their existence is proved by the references in the works of the poets. These were in time succeeded by Moralities in which the characters were partly human and partly allegorical. Little is known of the' earlier Moralities or Anterliwtiau (Interludes) as they came to be called later, but in the middle of the eighteenth century they were a distinguishing feature of Welsh life, especially in North Wales, and more particularly in the County of Denbigh. It has already been pointed out that in the eighteenth century the commonalty of Wales suddenly became articulate. On the religious side that awakening was shown in the Great Revival; on the literary and traditional side in the Classical Revival; on its popular side in the Anterliwt, which provided the illiterate but not altogether uncultured masses with a criticism of life which was elsewhere denied them. The best known among the authors of these plays was Twm o'r Nant (1738-1810), born near Denbigh. His plays were written in verse, and were acted by itinerant companies. As each company was usually recruited from one parish, the competitive spirit was keen, and the modern dramatic competitions which are so roundly condemned by some critics rest, therefore, on a very real tradition. The general form of the plots may be gathered from the following list

[page 79]

of characters in one of the plays: Tom Tell Truth, the Witch Poverty, Rhinallt the Miser, Lowri Liw his mother, Ifan the Priest his Brother, Love, and Death.

79. Homely plays of this description in the racy Welsh vernacular had probably a greater effect on the hearers than the more sophisticated drama as we know it to-day would have had. Many Welsh writers have expressed surprise that the Anterliwt did not, as in other countries, develop into a national drama, but a little thought would soon convince us that such a development was hardly possible. In the first place, the intensely puritanical atmosphere created by the Methodist Revival was unfavourable to acting of any sort, and the Anterliwt with the Gwylmabsant went the way of all those traditional practices which were regarded as "pagan" or "popish". In the second place, Wales had not yet developed a national life which was sufficiently distinct to supply the material for a national drama. When the Great Revival had created a new interest, that interest in time bound the nation together and gave it characteristics which naturally led to interpretation and criticism. It is a common complaint of Welshmen against the modern drama that it is almost altogether concerned with the religious life of Wales; that complaint is unreasonable, because it was in religion that the Welsh life, in its most serious aspects, expressed itself, and a national drama that deliberately refused to face reality could only be an artificial tour de force, with a borrowed and reflected life, and destined to an early death. In a very exact sense, it was the educational awakening, looking back and evaluating the religious movement which had given it being, that made the modern Welsh drama.

80. As education spread the prejudice against the drama gave way to more liberal views. The National Eisteddfod towards the end of the century gave prizes for the best Welsh plays, but it was not till 1906 that a play was produced in the Eisteddfod itself. To-day it is a feature of every National Eisteddfod, and the dramatic movement has rapidly grown since 1910. Since that date at least

[page 80]

150 plays have been produced in Wales, some of which are translations of the classics of other nations such as Ibsen's Ghosts and The Pretenders, and Molière's L'Avare and Le Médecin malgré lui. There are now more than 200 dramatic societies in Wales, most of them attached to the several churches. Their effect on the life of the Welsh language is incalculable, and we desire to express our opinion that a good deal more may be done by the different national societies and institutions to encourage this most valuable contribution to our national culture. The movement, at present, seems to be undergoing a temporary check, but the dramas produced are certainly improving in quality. We think that the main reason for the check is not in the plays themselves but in the acting. Welsh companies do not take the trouble which is necessary before a play can be effectively produced; this is perhaps due to the fact that most of them are from rural Wales and have no opportunities of seeing good professional acting. The greatest service to the drama at present would be the organisation and financing of a professional travelling company. As the various dramatic societies are all isolated units, and are not united or affiliated in any organisation, the movement has, perforce, no sort of clearing house or even an information bureau from which they can obtain information or advice on technical or professional matters. An organisation with objects somewhat similar to those of the Village Drama Society in England could, we think, at the present stage, render valuable aid in these and other directions. It might indeed be desirable that the University should take the movement under its tutelage, at least experimentally and for a limited number of years, as part of its extra-mural work, and perhaps appoint a University Adviser in Dramatic Productions. Short holiday schools for producers might be organised with great advantage, and lectures on the more technical aspects of production and stage management might be arranged. Advice might be obtainable on the selection of plays, and the supply of costumes and other stage properties, and there might be drawn up a panel of consultants or experts, any of whom could be invited to

[page 81]

visit rehearsals, as in Musical Festivals. Such work might be carried out under the auspices of the University Extension Board or by that Board in conjunction with the Council of Music. We wish to record here our appreciation of the valuable help which Lord Howard de Walden has given to the drama in Wales by his generous patronage. We hope not only that his interest will be continued, but also that he may extend his beneficent activities by inducing others to co-operate with him in giving assistance, both financial and technical, to the movement.

81. We have now very roughly traced the fortunes of the Welsh language and of Welsh national life, which is inseparable from it, from the time of the early prime of the language, before the accession of the Tudors, through its decline in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, to its amazing revival in the nineteenth century. To-day Wales has a national system of education, a highly developed religious organisation, a really great literature, a national drama, and a new, quickly developing, national consciousness. If, at the present time, the Welsh language through the fault of the schools or of any other organisation, declines, it will decline in the period of its greatest opportunities.

82. The translation of the Bible into Welsh established the Welsh language in its purest and most dignified form for succeeding generations. The religious revival of the eighteenth century led the most serious and enthusiastic minds of the time to value Welsh as an instrument for saving souls. In the nineteenth century the desire for English learning and culture made the new schools a danger to the perpetuation of Welsh. It is for the present generation, not in a retrograde but in a progressive spirit, to foster every means for the expression of the Welsh national being, and to prove that the harmonious development of the Welsh spirit involves no diminution of sympathy or co-operation with the Kingdom and the Empire in which Wales has a vital share. In this work the churches, the societies, the organs of local government, the press, the musicians, the poets, and all men of letters and learning, have their appropriate functions to perform.

[page 82]




. 83. The following table gives the linguistic statistics for the Census of 1921.

Statistics of the Languages (English and Welsh) spoken by the population of Wales and Monmouthshire (above three years of age) as shown in the Census Returns for the year 1921.

[click on the image for a larger version]

84. It will be noticed from an examination of the above table that, in the census returns for the year 1921, 37.4 per cent of the total population of Wales over 3 years of age is shown as Welsh speaking. The returns for each County

[page 83]

in Wales are also shown. From these it will be seen that the percentage of Welsh-speaking people varies considerably as between county and county. Thus, while in Anglesey, Cardiganshire, Caermarthenshire, and Merionethshire, the percentage of Welsh-speaking people is over 80 per cent, in Monmouthshire, Radnorshire and in the County Boroughs of Cardiff and Newport it is below 8 per cent. Although the figures are not shown in the above table, the number of Welsh speakers often varies very considerably as between districts within the same county; this is true notably of the counties of Pembrokeshire, Montgomeryshire, Flintshire and Brecknockshire.

85. The total number of speakers of Welsh enumerated in the last four censuses is as follows:


Thus, during the decade 1891-1901 there was an increase of 30,910 in the number of speakers of Welsh; during that of 1901-1911, an increase of 47,542. In spite, however, of a total increase in population (above 3 years of age) of 143,705 in the decade 1911-1921, the number of Welsh speaking people has dropped to 929,183, which is less by 48,183 than the total number of speakers of Welsh enumerated in the year 1911. It is significant that, while in 1911 no statement as to language or languages spoken was received from 58,517 persons enumerated in the total population, this number rose in 1921 to no less than 101,000. It may nevertheless be presumed that a certain percentage of these had at least some knowledge of Welsh.

86. It may be taken for granted that the decrease in Welsh-speaking people noted in the 1921 Census returns is to a certain degree accounted for by the deaths of the monoglot Welsh, a class which will tend to decrease to vanishing point with the spread of education, increased travelling facilities, and the passing of time. The [First World] war,

[page 84]

moreover, has contributed in some measure to the fall in the number of Welsh-speaking people, not only through the deaths of Welsh speakers, but also to some extent by causing a migration of Welsh-speaking people from Wales. It should be pointed out, too, that the 1921 census was delayed until midsummer, when large numbers of English and other non-Welsh speaking visitors were in temporary residence in the seaside and other resorts of Wales. This latter factor would, doubtless, materially affect the drop of 8 per cent noted in the percentage of Welsh speakers in such a typical Welsh county as Merioneth. The rise and expansion of the seaside resorts on the north and west coasts of Wales are factors contributing to the gradual anglicisation of Welsh-speaking districts, and it is probable that many Welsh-speaking holiday makers normally resident in Wales were not included in the Welsh figures on account of absence from home.

87. Still, too much reliance must not be placed upon statistics: it is a commonplace that anything can be proved by figures. High percentages of Welsh speakers still exist in Anglesey, Merioneth, Caernarvon, Caermarthen, and Cardigan, and the bulwark of Monmouthshire against the English tide has still preserved a Welsh-speaking population of 368,897 in Glamorganshire: actually there are more Welsh speakers in Wales to-day than there were thirty years ago.

88. In certain parts of the country, notably in the Rhondda valleys, there are signs that the population is becoming stabilised, and that migration has practically ceased. We were informed by one authoritative witness that "there has been very little migration from England into the valleys since the war began. Some of the enthusiastic Welsh inhabitants feel that the present is a suitable opportunity so far as this valley is concerned, to retrace its steps in the matter of the language and to endeavour to absorb the immigrant rather than allow the immigrant to absorb them."

[page 85]

89. The case for the teaching of Welsh in the populous areas of Glamorganshire is strikingly demonstrated in Appendix No. II. From the return showing the number of Welsh-speaking persons per square mile it will be observed that in Glamorganshire, including the County Boroughs of Cardiff, Swansea, and Merthyr, there are no less than 413 Welsh-speaking people to the square mile, while even Monmouthshire has practically the same number of Welsh-speaking people per square mile as Merionethshire, actual distribution within the County not being taken into account.


90. For fully a generation before the Welsh Department of the Board of Education was set up, the importance of the utilisation of the Welsh language in the education of Welsh speaking children had been pressed upon the Central Authority by persons and organisations interested in Welsh education and conversant with the special needs of Wales - in particular by the Board's own Inspectors. During that period some progress was made towards the due recognition of the language in the Schools. Welsh was mentioned in the Code of Regulations for Public Elementary Schools in 1875. It was given the status of a specific optional subject of instruction in 1890, and in 1893 the Code provided, for the first time, for instruction in certain subjects being conducted in Welsh in Welsh districts. In the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889, the definition of "intermediate education" includes an express reference to the Welsh language and literature, and in many Intermediate Schools Welsh was included in the curriculum in addition to English.

91. The establishment of the Welsh Department in 1907 was an indication that the Board of Education fully accepted the principle that the education of Welsh children should be conducted on lines suitable to the special needs

[page 86]

of Wales, and that the administration of education in the Principality should be sympathetic towards the utilisation of the Welsh language to the full extent demanded by educational considerations. The Welsh Department have accordingly from the outset regarded it as an important part of their duty to encourage the use of the Welsh language side by side with the use of English, wherever the local circumstances made this desirable. They have been guided by the following educational considerations:

(i) That, where Welsh was the language of the home, it should be taught systematically in the Schools, and, especially in the earlier years, used as a medium of instruction in other subjects.

(ii) That full advantage should be taken of the special opportunity that presents itself in Wales of training children in the use of both English and Welsh, thus securing, even for the scholars of elementary school age, the benefits that accrue from acquaintance with two languages and two literatures.

(iii) That, without detriment to the appreciation and study of the history and traditions which are a common heritage of the British people, the Welsh language and Welsh ideas, institutions, and customs should, in the schools of Wales, be held in high honour, so that Welsh children should grow up with their self-respect, and consequently their self-reliance, unimpaired.

92. A brief summary of the steps taken, from time to time, by the Welsh Department is given in the succeeding paragraphs of this section.


Here are reproduced passages from the prefatory notes to the Codes for Welsh Schools for 1907 and 1908,

[page 87]

respectively, these being the two first issues after the formation of the 'Welsh Department:

(a) Extract from Prefatory Note, dated July, 1907

In this first year of the creation of a Welsh Department of the Board of Education some notice should also be taken of the definite place given by the Board, in the schools of Wales and Monmouthshire, to the Welsh Language and Welsh Literature.

The Welsh Language has already been introduced, as a subject and as a medium of instruction, in the schools of almost every County in Wales. This has been done, on the advice of the Inspectors, with the entire approval of the Board. The teaching of Welsh, made necessary by a spontaneous and a very real desire, is fully recognised in Articles 2 and 38 of the Code. In the same Articles it is recognised that any of the Subjects of the School Curriculum, such as History and Geography, and Nature Study and Music, can be taught in Welsh.

The Board have given careful attention to the difficulties of teaching Welsh, even in places where such teaching is necessary as well as desirable. They have therefore made it as optional as the circumstances of the School will permit.

They have also provided means to lessen the difficulties in the future, by giving Welsh a place in the Curriculum of Secondary Schools and by insisting on facilities for teaching it in the Training Colleges. They hope that the Summer Course in Welsh, which is now held annually, and in respect of which grants may be earned under the Regulations for Technical Schools, will materially help teachers who have not hitherto had opportunities for learning how to teach Welsh.

The Board wish that every Welsh teacher should realise the educational value of the Welsh language and of its literature, which, from its wealth of romance and lyric, is peculiarly adapted to the education of the young.

[page 88]

(b) Extract from Prefatory Note, dated June, 1908

In last year's Code, a definite place in the curriculum of the School was provided for the Welsh language. Welsh was, consequently, introduced into many Schools in which it had not been taught before. It is already possible to trace a two-fold effect on the children - an increased interest in their work generally, and a greater appreciation of good English. Careful attention is now paid in the Training Colleges to the teaching of Welsh, and it should not be difficult in the future, as it has been in the past, to secure bi-lingual teachers.

It was not thought necessary, in last year's Code, to state that Welsh-speaking infants should be taught through the medium of their mother-tongue. But the Inspectors of the Board report that, in several Schools, the infants are taught through the medium of a language they do not understand, or that they are taught to read and write two languages at the same time. The result is unintelligent reading; the children get into the habit of repeating words without attaching any meaning to them. The Board have, therefore, introduced a provision that infants should be taught through the medium of Welsh where Welsh is their mother-tongue. It might be advisable, however, that they should receive two or three lessons a week in conversational English by the direct method; but the writing and the reading of a second language should come gradually, after the infant stage. Very general experience shows that the result will be a more speedy and a more perfect acquisition of English.

93. The specific provisions of the Code which related to the position of Welsh, and which have remained unchanged in substance from 1907 onwards, were as follows:
(1) The appended Regulations shall apply to Public Elementary Schools in Wales (including Monmouthshire), with the additions following:

[page 89]

(a) The curriculum should, as a rule, include the Welsh language, the teaching of which should follow generally the lines indicated [in a subsequent article not quoted here].
(b) Any of the subjects of the curriculum may (where the local circumstances make it desirable) be taught in Welsh, but it is not necessary that the Welsh language should be taught in every School or in every class.
(c) Where Welsh is the mother-tongue of the Infants, that language should be the medium of instruction in their Classes.
(d) Provision should also be made for the teaching in every school, of Welsh History and the Geography of Wales.
94. Article 7 of the Regulations for Secondary Schools (Wales) contained the following (underlined) references to Welsh:
The curriculum must provide instruction in the English Language and Literature, at least one Language other than English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Science and Drawing. In districts where Welsh is spoken, the language, or one of the languages other than English, should be Welsh. Any of the subjects of the curriculum may (where the local circumstances make it desirable) be taught, partly or wholly, in Welsh ...
In addition, Chapter VIII of the same Regulations, which deals with the provision for Advanced Courses, places Welsh on an equal footing with English. The main alteration affecting Welsh in the Regulations for Training Colleges (since the establishment of the Welsh Department) was the introduction of a requirement that in Training Colleges in Wales provision must be made for the teaching of Welsh.

[page 90]


95. The main instrument by which the Board are able to influence the curricula and policy of the schools in such a matter as this is, of course, the Inspectorate. The members of the Board's Inspectorate acting in Wales were already in 1907 very largely Welsh speaking, and the attitude of the Inspectorate as a whole towards the subject of Welsh was thoroughly sympathetic. Since the establishment of the Welsh Department, the Board have made it a practice, in appointing new members of the Inspectorate in Wales, to give due weight to a knowledge of Welsh and Welsh conditions.

96. Working under the guidance of the late Sir Owen M. Edwards during his Chief Inspectorship (and later under the guidance of two Divisional Inspectors), H.M. Inspectors in Wales have devoted special attention to the question of Welsh in the Schools. They exercise influence by personal intercourse with Authorities and their officials, and also, of course, with the teachers in the schools themselves. Their influence over the time tables and the curricula of both Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, and their Inspection Reports have also given them opportunities of making suggestions for the improvement of the position of Welsh, which they have not neglected.

97. In addition to the usual School Reports, which touch briefly upon outstanding matters, and do not give full scope for dealing in detail with the difficulties of teaching any one subject, a system of Area Reports was instituted for the purpose of supplying Authorities with a survey of the provision of all state-aided forms of education in their areas, combined with such suggestions, advice, and criticism as were thought appropriate in each case. In the course of the years 1911-1914, area reports of this kind were issued in the case of all the Authorities of Wales. Some of these reports reached the dimensions of pamphlets of considerable size, and in all of them, except in the few areas where Welsh was for local reasons very little taught,

[page 91]

a considerable amount of space was given to the discussion of the problem of Welsh teaching in the area. The series of area reports was brought to a close by the war; otherwise, it had been intended to complete a second series to cover each of the areas once again, and to crown the whole by a General Report, possibly in the form of Subject Reports, dealing with the whole country. In the circumstances of the period which has elapsed since the commencement of the war to the present time it has not, however, been found possible completely to carry out this intention.

Report under the Welsh Act

98. Under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889, it is the duty of the Board of Education to make an annual report to Parliament on the proceedings under the Act. In almost all the reports written since 1907 attention has been drawn to questions affecting the position of Welsh. As the reports have a good circulation among school governing bodies, the Welsh Department believe that their advocacy of the proper treatment of Welsh reaches those in control of the schools, and that this has contributed to some extent to the improvement which has undoubtedly taken place in the use of Welsh in the Intermediate Schools in the last twenty years.

Rural Lore Scheme and Short Courses

99. The object of the Rural Lore Scheme is to encourage Schools, both Elementary and Secondary, to devote a substantial portion of the children's time to the study of their district (including local history, antiquities, dialect, place names, etc.) with a view to increasing their intellectual interest in the familiar surroundings of their homes, and stimulating habits of observation and inquiry. The Scheme has been widely taken up, more especially by Public Elementary Schools. The adoption of a school curriculum on the lines of the Rural Lore Scheme could scarcely fail to have a powerful effect upon the attitude of the children towards their home surroundings, including the native

[page 92]

language and local traditions. As more than five hundred Public Elementary Schools have to a greater or less degree interested themselves in the Rural Lore Scheme, the Welsh Department have felt themselves justified in arranging annually for Short Courses of a fortnight's duration for teachers who have adopted or who desire to adopt the Scheme in their Schools. The courses have been held at Jesus College, Oxford, each year since 1922, and have been attended by approximately 150 teachers. They have been warmly appreciated by all those who have been able to attend them, and much valuable assistance has been given to the desire of the Board to inculcate the higher and more educational aspects of patriotism. Similar Short Courses in Welsh language and literature have also been arranged, each year since 1922, for teachers of Welsh in Secondary and Intermediate Schools, with the object of fostering the use of the best educational methods in Welsh teaching. These courses have been attended by from 34 to 40 teachers each year, and have had, it is believed, the effect of materially aiding teachers of Welsh in their difficult task.


100. The Reports of the Central Welsh Board on Schools taking their examination show clearly that there has been a very considerable increase in the study of Welsh in the schools up to the point at which pupils are presented for the School Examination. For instance, whereas, in 1897, only 31 schools out of 79 offered Welsh in the examinations of the Central Welsh Board, in 1925, 96 Schools out of a total of 116 offered the subject. The number of pupils who took Welsh in the School Certificate Examination in 1908 was 368 out of 1,466. In 1925 the numbers were I,599 out of 3,929 - in percentages of candidates taking Welsh in the examination to the total number taking the examination these figures represent: in 1908, 25.1 per cent; in 1925, 40.7 per cent. The figures relating to the Higher Examination do not show so large a

[page 93]

proportion of pupils presenting Welsh, but as a whole they indicate an undoubted increase in the study of the language in the schools.

101. With regard to the position of Welsh in Training Colleges in Wales the following figures may be quoted. In 1907, out of 177 students who took the Board's Final Examination for the Certificate, only 30, or a percentage of 16.9, took Welsh. In 1925, out of 307 students taking the examination, 145 or a percentage of 47.2, took Welsh. These numbers do not include students who followed a degree course or an alternative examination. It may be added here that both the "Ordinary" and the "Advanced" papers in Welsh at the Final Examination are set in Welsh and answered in Welsh; this is true also of the Certificate Examination and the Preliminary Examination for the Certificate. It is to be remembered that students attending Welsh Training Colleges are not necessarily all resident in Wales, and conversely, that many Welsh students seek and obtain admission into English Training Colleges. The English students in Welsh Colleges will not usually desire to take Welsh from the beginning, though there is nothing to prevent them. The Welsh students in English Training Colleges have not the opportunity of taking Welsh as a subject for the Colleges are naturally not staffed for that purpose. Also, the certificate which all students in the ordinary Training Colleges, and most of those in the University Colleges, expect to obtain, is one which makes them eligible for service in the Elementary Schools of both England and Wales.

102. In closing this section of our Report we desire to place on record our deep sense of the nation's obligation to the late Chief Inspector, Sir Owen M. Edwards, and to the former Permanent Secretary, Sir Alfred T. Davies. By his rich knowledge of, and his great and zealous work for, Wales - particularly for its language and its literature - the former has left an abiding impress upon the educational

[page 94]

policy of the country. The name of the latter will continue to be honourably and specially associated with the consistent and successful efforts made by him to create a higher conception of patriotic effort through the medium of literature artistically produced, and by the intelligent and cultural study of local lore.


103. A questionnaire was submitted to all Authorities in Wales and Monmouthshire. It dealt with the position of Welsh in relation to all those educational activities with which such Authorities are most intimately concerned and with points of contact and co-operation with religious and social organisations. Of 29 Authorities 24 submitted memoranda in reply; fifteen Authorities were invited to send representatives to give oral evidence before the Committee. Opportunity was thus afforded for elucidation and amplification with results which, we believe, have been of benefit not only to the Committee but also to the Authorities, and in some cases copies of official schemes for the teaching of Welsh and supplementary memoranda were submitted. We have had evidence, written and oral, from organisations of Teachers and from members of H.M. Inspectorate, so that we have been enabled to examine the policy of Authorities in the matter of the Welsh language from more than one angle.

104. In the main the evidence indicates a realisation of the importance of giving to and securing for Welsh an adequate place in the educational system, but there are substantial grounds for believing that, in some cases, the full realisation has been of comparatively recent date and coincides with the concentration of public and professional attention on the matter in recent years. One Authority states, in its written evidence, that "the inclusion of Welsh in the curriculum of the Elementary School has always been the declared policy of the Authority, but it

[page 95]

must be confessed that the Authority has not been particularly active in enforcing its policy." This statement might have come with equal truth from a number of Authorities who appear to have been more conscious of the difficulties facing them in the carrying through of soundly conceived schemes of instruction than of the resources of enthusiasm, knowledge, and co-operation ready to be enlisted in support of such schemes.

105. When the responsibility for educational provision devolved on Authorities by the Act of 1902, most of them addressed themselves to a consideration of the position of Welsh in the educational institutions under their control. Schemes were issued to the schools often after consultation with organisations of teachers and with H.M. Inspectors. In most cases these schemes were merely suggestive, and indicative to teachers of the general lines which were to be followed. They were framed in the light of theories of language teaching such as were then current, within the limitations of the exiguous supply of satisfactory books, charts, etc., then available, and limited by the resources of teaching power of those days, but they almost all express, in the preamble, a point of view similar to that of the Glamorgan Education Committee in its official circular in 1905. "The Education Committee attach great importance to the teaching of the Welsh Language and the cultivation of the Welsh spirit more effectually in the schools of the County. They are strongly of opinion that it is of educational and national importance to emphasise the Welsh element in their schools, and by retaining and strengthening links with the past literature and history of the race, to develop both national patriotism and national self-respect." It is of interest to note that a scheme issued to schools in 1906 by an Authority in an industrial area in South Wales where the effect of anglicising influence has, since then, been most marked, concluded with the statement that "The Education Committee desire that children leaving our Elementary Schools should be as thoroughly bi-lingual as possible."

[page 96]

106. In estimating the effect of these schemes, account must be taken of certain powerful influences operating on the schools when this century opened. Much had been done by some School Boards towards establishing a satisfactory position for Welsh, but there is evidence that the "Payment by Results" system gave so much importance to English that many School Boards and Managers of Voluntary Schools, as they were then called, were driven to appoint monoglot Englishmen to the Headships of Schools in purely Welsh areas. We have had evidence of the almost complete anglicisation of such areas within the teaching life of such Head Teachers, especially when they made use of so powerful an instrument of discouragement as the "Welsh Note". Parents quickly accepted facility in the use of English as a prime criterion of the efficiency of the school. Moreover, in the evidence of the Welsh Language Society before the Cross Commission in 1886-8, the main justification for the existence of the Society was claimed to be its insistence that the best approach to the acquisition of English lay, for a Welshman, in a sound knowledge of Welsh. In the schools, in the homes, in cultural Societies throughout Wales, the emphasis was on English: any emphasis given to Welsh was of a purely secondary kind.

107. Since 1902 the problems facing Authorities in the development of adequate educational provision and organisation have been numerous and difficult, and there can be no question that those problems have been allowed to obscure the constant and careful consideration of the position of Welsh in the schools, and the particular problems of the relation of Welsh and English to each other in any effective scheme of language teaching. We say this because there has been so little evidence of the revision of Schemes drafted in those days. It is true that the very reasonable freedom, indeed encouragement, given by the Welsh Department of the Board of Education to Authorities, and by Authorities to their Teachers, resulted in constant watchfulness and revision in some schools. But this

[page 97]

freedom, combined with the apathy and the pronounced utilitarian bias of local public opinion, and with the marked after-effects of inhibitive Codes and Regulations, unquestionably brought Welsh to a position of increasing inferiority in the scale of school subjects in certain areas. We feel that the schools would have been much better equipped to deal with the formidable influences against which they have had to contend, if they had had behind them some indication of constant watchfulness, some strong determination, on the part of the Authorities, local and central, based on a full and informed realisation of the educational implications of the problems.

108. Even after the Education Act of 1902, the previous organisation of Secondary Schools under the Welsh Intermediate Act of 1889 had the effect of leading Authorities to concentrate their attention mainly on Elementary education. The idea of education in separate compartments had bitten deep into our conception of educational organisation, and hence Authorities were unable to view this question of the teaching and development of Welsh as involving one broad, unified process requiring co-operation and coordination, not only between the various branches of the educational system, but also between that system and the various cultural agencies whose aid is so necessary, if education is to be a life-long process. Local Authorities have always had their Sub-Committees for Finance, Buildings, Staffing, Furnishing, etc., but, as far as we are aware, no Authority has had in really serious and active existence a Curricula, Schemes, and Organisation Sub-Committee composed of lay members with teachers and other experts, by whom the general balance of curricula and modern developments in the teaching of the various subjects might be regularly examined. The existence of such Sub-Committees would in no sense have fettered the freedom of Teachers but, on the contrary, would have encouraged initiative and led to a wider diffusion of knowledge and mutual understanding between Teacher and Authority, Teacher and Teacher, expert and general

[page 98]

opinion. It would most certainly have resulted in better schemes for the teaching of Welsh, in a quicker reaction between schools and publishers, schools and training colleges, schools and religious and cultural organisations, and schools and the general public. As it is, the position of the Welsh language in school, home, street, public and religious life, has been seriously undermined because there has been very little co-operation and because we have been confused by hazy conceptions of the true functions of education. The magnificent comprehensiveness of the Education Act of 1918 leaves us with no excuse for narrow views or for failure to co-operate and co-ordinate. It is to be hoped that Authorities and Teachers will not again become so involved in the minutiae of formal and financial organisation that the opportunity will be lost of giving to the strong renaissance of public interest in the Welsh language a wise and well-informed leadership.

109. It is impossible to generalise as to the position occupied by Welsh in the different grades of the educational system of all the Authorities in Wales, for there are wide variations in practice. In Caernarvonshire, for example, with the exception of one or two schools, Welsh is now the medium of instruction in all Infant Departments and holds a strongly entrenched position throughout the Senior Departments of Elementary Schools as well, whereas in Radnorshire, South Pembrokeshire, and the major portion of Monmouthshire, Welsh does not figure on the time tables at all.

110. As to Welsh in Secondary Schools, this has mostly been, in schemes under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889, a matter for Governors and Headmasters acting in concert; in point of fact the preponderant influence has proceeded from the Headmaster. There has been no evidence that Authorities have laid down any regulations for the teaching of Welsh, except in so far as some of them have required a Welsh qualification in Bursars and Student Teachers. We suggest that there is scope for co-operation

[page 99]

and conference within each area without danger to that freedom granted by Schemes, and without prejudice to the functions of the Central Welsh Board. The evidence of Authorities supports the views and statistics of the Board of Education and the Central Welsh Board as to a remarkable increase in the number of pupils taking Welsh to the School and Higher Certificate stages, and as to a marked improvement in the standard and breadth of work done. But the evidence does not show that there has been any general attempt to use Welsh as the medium of instruction in subjects in the curriculum other than Welsh. Where the attempt has been made it has usually been in the Scripture lesson, though Welsh History and Nature Study in a few schools are taught in various degrees, in Welsh. Generally we have received the impression that Authorities have shown timidity in the face of increasing anglicising influence, and too great readiness to retreat before growing difficulties and to restrict the place of Welsh in the schools. In fact, despite one or two isolated bits of evidence, we have been impressed by the absence of any sign of open or latent opposition to any reasonable and well conceived scheme of Welsh teaching which has behind it the driving force of an enthusiastic teacher backed by a sympathetic Authority. The evidence is that parents and public are apathetic in this matter, whilst teachers are, in the main, sympathetic, but rather sensitive, and rather inclined to allow outside opinion to have more weight in the matter of Welsh than would be allowed in any other subject in the curriculum.

111. Authorities have depended mainly on H.M. Inspectors for information how schemes, curricula, etc., issued by the Authority are carried out. In many cases it has been stated that the Welsh schemes are examined periodically by the Authorities' officials, but we are inclined to think that the many administrative duties of these officials cannot allow them time to devote adequate attention to this important matter, except where the Authority has its own Inspectors of Schools or Organisers of Welsh, as, for example, in Glamorganshire, Cardiff,

[page 100]

and Denbighshire. We have gained the impression that the need for constant revision and discussion of schemes, etc., has not hitherto received sufficient attention from Authorities, and therefore, more prominence should be given to Welsh by the Board of Education and the Central Welsh Board in inspection reports on individual schools and areas.

112. The dearth of adequately trained teachers of Welsh in the schools to-day appears to be due in the first place to a failure of many Authorities to insist upon adequate qualification in Welsh as a condition of appointment, and secondly to neglect in insisting that those who were not so equipped should acquire the necessary competence, and that the others should renew and constantly revise their knowledge. No adequate consideration has been given to capacity to teach Welsh in the allocation and distribution of staffs to the schools, and the Training Colleges have not been informed that teachers who expect to teach in Wales must be equipped to teach Welsh and to use Welsh in teaching. Where an Authority has either full control, or a substantial share in the control, of a Training College, it should be easy to secure a supply of teachers of Welsh and thereby ensure the efficient working of even the most advanced policy and schemes in Welsh. There seems to be no national consciousness in the matter of the training and supply of teachers - particularly of teachers in Welsh. In the main, and excluding such Authorities as Caernarvonshire and Glamorgan, Authorities have allowed a narrow, local point of view to restrict their action and have failed to assert a definite policy which would stimulate the teaching and raise the standard of Welsh in the Schools.

113. Apart from the relations between Colleges and Authorities, where Authorities provide Training Colleges in Wales, we have found no indication that Welsh Authorities have profited by the policy which has been pursued for years by many of the leading Authorities in England - that is to secure in advance, by interview at the Training Colleges

[page 101]

the services of the best teachers about to leave those Colleges. This need not necessarily result in a vicious system of "inbreeding". There are obvious advantages in a generously conceived system which will make it easier for trained teachers from North Wales to spend some years in teaching in South Wales and vice versa. It is also good for Welsh teachers to get experience in England and elsewhere, and afterwards to return to their native land. As to the preliminary education and training of teachers, the Bursar and Student Teacher system, which is discouraged under the Boards' new Regulations for the Training of Teachers, made it possible for Authorities to insist on certain qualifications in Welsh - generally the School Certificate of the Central Welsh Board - as essential to apprenticeship. Unless an Authority elects to continue under these (the old) regulations, it will have the responsibility of securing that aspirants to the profession of teaching shall be qualified in Welsh.

114. The plea that the supply of suitable primers, general or supplementary readers, textbooks, apparatus, etc., for the teaching of Welsh is inadequate has been advanced by almost all. Evidence on this point leads us to believe that Authorities are not fully aware of the extent, high quality, and constant increase in the supply of such books and apparatus. It does not appear to have been sufficiently realised that, as Authorities and Teachers largely create the demand which determines the extent and quality of the supply, there is therefore urgent need for co-operation between Authorities, Teachers and Publishers with more scope for the influence of the informed opinions of experts. Teachers, individually and through Associations, have represented to us that the amounts allocated annually by Authorities for the equipping of schools with books and apparatus are especially inadequate where schools attempt to include courses in Welsh in their curricula, and that this allowance is always the first object of attack in a policy of economy. As to the first point, we find the policies of Authorities vary. Some

[page 102]

allow a special supplementary requisition allowance for Welsh: others impose no definite limit on expenditure; others have a definite per capita allocation, taking no account of whether Welsh is, or is not, included in the curriculum. While fully realising the difficulties of Authorities in the matter of expenditure, we strongly press that the question of a supplementary allowance for Welsh should be explored carefully by an expert Committee such as we have suggested. Above all it is of importance that there should be a full realisation of the futility of providing excellent schools, with keen and efficient teachers, if the tools of education are poor in quality and inadequate in supply.

115. We have been told again and again that the curriculum of the average school is so overcrowded that the time devoted to Welsh cannot be increased without detriment to some other subject or subjects. We think that this belief constitutes one of the strongest impediments to the extension of the use of the Welsh language in the schools. Agreement is general amongst Authorities that Welsh ranks higher in importance than many other subjects in the curriculum, but there has been a reluctance to suggest subjects which might be sacrificed in order that room, or more room, might be found for Welsh. But in the face of the steady effort of an enthusiastic and well informed body of teachers who have given special consideration to the aims and methods of language teaching, this problem presents no terrors: we have had remarkable and convincing testimony of this. There still persists very widely in the school a tendency to divide off knowledge into compartments each fitting into a neat little space in a school time table, and this appears to be largely responsible for the plea of overcrowded curricula. We welcome a strong movement towards a recognition in school organisation of the essential unity of knowledge. As an instance we may adduce the tendency in all schools to bring together History, Geography, and Literature in one group of humane studies, and its increasing strength will help the schools to deal with the traditional and deep-rooted worship of superfluous

[page 103]

minutiæ, as for example in Arithmetic, to which they have been driven in the past. Our witnesses were in substantial agreement that no less important than an adequate place for Welsh in the schools is that a Welsh spirit shall pervade school and playground. The prevalence of such a spirit depends on the competence and enthusiasm of Teachers and, before it, time-table difficulties will disappear. There can be no question as to the strength of the belief, rarely expressed but very generally held, that the time given to Welsh is time taken from the study of English and other subjects in the curriculum which are thought to yield a return of higher economic value. We have observed that this opinion is not without weight amongst Authorities. In the face of this belief, we can only express our view that it is for teachers to prove that children can attain to a high standard in both English and Welsh within the limitations of an average well-balanced curriculum and within the period of the ordinary school "life".

116. In the section on the policy of the State, we have shown how the period of inhibitive codes and regulations has been succeeded by a policy of enlightened encouragement. (†91) Authorities acknowledge the absence of restriction of late years, but they have been very definite in their evidence as to the effects, still only too patent in the schools and the areas they serve, of the anglicising tendency of the past on the present generation of teachers and parents. Knowledge of this should prove how powerful an instrument is a definite policy consistently pursued. No good purpose would be served by allotting blame for apathy to the three parties exercising the directive functions in education - Authorities (representing the public), teachers, and parents. There is apathy - we should have been glad to have found evidence of less. There is enthusiasm and interest - its volume is but little recognised and has encouraged us greatly. Amongst parents much of the apathy is due to that inertia, or timidity, which prefers to leave all to the expert.

[page 104]

117. Authorities have not reported any decline in the schools of interest in Welsh life and institutions. Nevertheless despite encouraging examples in individual schools and in certain areas, we have not felt that there is a sufficient recognition of such important aids as the following: satisfactory text-books and reading books in Welsh History, including the presentation of outstanding events in dramatic form, especially such as are of local interest; Geography and Literature, the school eisteddfod in Welsh, morning devotions in Welsh, Welsh songs and poetry, connection between the schools and Welsh Societies outside the school, local museums, Rural Lore schemes, etc. We have had evidence of complete ignorance of local tradition in the schools of towns and villages the names of which are imperishable in the history of Wales. It is a duty of Wales to ensure the continuity of such inspiring memories. Very little appears to have been done by Authorities in conjunction with Welsh Societies and experts to encourage the publication of books suitable for schools based on local material such as can be found in local and national libraries and museums, and, for example, in the report of the Welsh Commission on Ancient Monuments. But it is not enough to secure the publication of such books. They must live to real purpose in the schools. We welcome the efforts of the National Museum and Library to get into touch, by means of loan collections, with the schools.

118. Whenever a proposal is put forward for the more effective teaching of any subject in the school curriculum, it is at once claimed that an increase of teaching staff will be necessary to secure that end. In view of the stringency of the present financial position and the difficulties caused thereby for Authorities, it was not to be expected that Authorities would support such a claim for Welsh with any enthusiasm. Nor, indeed, have they done so in their evidence. If, as many of them contend, the better promotion of the Welsh language can be secured without any marked increase of staff, then there is obviously thrown upon them the need for the more adequate

[page 105]

distribution and efficiency of the existing teaching power. This implies not only insistence on a real test of satisfactory knowledge of Welsh, and power to teach it in candidates for appointment, but also on a better provision for the maintenance of that standard. As language is essentially the basic subject of the school curriculum, so should the language teaching be the prime consideration in the staffing of any school whether the pupils be mainly Welsh, or mixed, or English. We conceive this to be specially important in Infant schools and departments and in small rural schools where one teacher may be in charge of a group of children of three, or even four, classes. The importance of a continuity of policy in the teaching of Welsh in Infant and Senior Departments of the same school has not always had the attention it demands.

119. Whilst Authorities have brought to our notice individual teachers and individual schools conducting valuable experiments in the teaching of Welsh we have not observed that these experiments have been given the publicity and the examination in conference which they deserve. Having approved of an experiment, the Authority might well issue to all its schools printed periodical reports and invite suggestions and criticisms.

120. The extent to which Welsh is used as a medium of instruction in Elementary and Secondary Schools in each Authority's area naturally varies very considerably. In the areas in which anglicisation is most complete, e.g. Radnorshire, South Pembrokeshire, East Monmouthshire, parts of Flintshire and Denbighshire, and in some schools in certain districts of Glamorgan, Welsh is not taught. In the remaining part of Wales its place is strongest in the Infant Schools, but there is a great variety of practice and great uncertainty of attitude from school to school. Whilst we would deplore any rigid uniformity within the schools of any area, we are convinced that there is ample scope and urgent need for the elaboration of general principles to meet local circumstances which, after all, do not vary greatly within the main categories in any one area.

[page 106]

Denbighshire, for example, classifies its schools as Welsh, Bilingual, and English. Given such a classification, steps should be taken to secure that appropriate treatment of the problems in schools should be clearly prescribed according to the category into which they severally fall.

121. As to the amount of Welsh taught in Secondary Schools the examination statistics of the Central Welsh Board provide almost complete evidence, for it is, unfortunately true that such schools appear to find but little time for the teaching of Welsh except for examination purposes. In view of the fact that the curriculum of a Secondary School is a matter for Governing Bodies, in the main, and is influenced by the policy of the Central Welsh Board, we suggest that the influence of the Authorities can be best exercised through an Advisory Committee as recommended by the Departmental Committee on Secondary Education in Wales.* As the product of Secondary Schools becomes increasingly proficient in Welsh, so will the demand for Welsh become greater and the Welsh atmosphere more definite in those schools. Authorities have their opportunity for influencing national policy in Higher Education, through their representatives on the Central Welsh Board and the University Court. In the provision of Adult Education, Authorities take a share with the University and such bodies as the Workers' Educational Association and the Young Men's Christian Association, in organising classes, and such classes naturally depend on local demand. As the teaching of Welsh in Elementary and Secondary Schools increases in extent and efficiency, and as the duration of school life becomes longer, so will the demand for courses in Welsh, and for courses in other subjects through the medium of Welsh, increase.

122. Reference must be made to those areas where Welsh is taught by peripatetic teachers. In Newport where 3,687 out of 8,013 children are stated to be

*Report of the Departmental Committee on the Organisation of Secondary Education in Wales, paragraph 89.

[page 107]

learning Welsh, the scheme is described as follows: "The present arrangement is that five peripatetic teachers are engaged, each of whom works on a separate time table and visits the schools in accordance therewith. Each class receives three half-hour lessons per week on a syllabus which has been approved by H.M. Inspector. On a child's first admission to school, parents are asked whether they desire that it be given instruction in the Welsh language and are required to sign a form signifying their intention on that point. In addition to the peripatetic teachers, the members of the ordinary staffs of the Schools who are capable of giving this instruction are required to take their share in imparting the same." Cardiff has a Superintendent of Welsh instruction, devoting his whole time to the work and supported by 36 peripatetic teachers of Welsh. About half a dozen of the younger of these teachers were specially trained in methods of teaching Welsh whilst at Training Colleges, but the bulk are described as "Certificated Teachers with a good knowledge of Welsh who have had to gain from their experience what was denied them in their College Training". Each of these teachers is in charge of the Welsh (including Welsh History) teaching of one or two departments. Four periods of half an hour each per week are generally given in the lower classes and four periods of three quarters of an hour each in the upper classes. When a child enters an upper department its parents are asked whether they desire it to take Welsh. Over 50 per cent as a rule reply in the affirmative. Whereas in 1906 five teachers taught Welsh, under this system, to 1,000 children, thirty-six teachers now teach it to 12,000 children. This policy is adopted because children whose parents elect that they shall take Welsh are in a considerable minority and spread over a large number of schools, and because the supply of class-teachers competent to take Welsh is small. Despite the excellence of the work done by these peripatetic teachers the policy cannot be recommended except as temporary where such special conditions prevail, and meanwhile the Authority should be

[page 108]

building up a strong reserve of Welsh teaching power. Even so, it is only practicable in thickly populated areas.

123. Authorities have of late years enjoyed the widest freedom to foster the Welsh language within their areas. The Board's new policy of decentralisation, as evidenced in the "Programme" policy to commence in 1927 and in the new Grant Regulations, provides still wider scope for initiative and experiment; and the responsibilities of Authorities towards the Welsh language are to that extent increased. The end of each "Programme" period should find each Authority with a body of recorded progress which will form the material for a new programme of experiment, advance, and consolidation.


124. The promotion of the study of Welsh in the schools must ultimately depend upon an adequate and regular supply of teachers who have been systematically trained to teach the language, and are capable of cultivating in their pupils the ability not only to speak and write Welsh clearly and correctly, but also to appreciate the literature in which that language finds its highest form of expression. The training of teachers for this particular purpose is therefore of essential importance, and a close inquiry was made by the Committee into the character and scope of the preparation which those who are entrusted with the teaching of Welsh in our Elementary and Secondary Schools have been and are now receiving.

125. There are in Wales to-day, six Training Colleges, viz.: Bangor Church (Women), Bangor Normal (Men and Women), Barry (Women), Caermarthen (Men), Caerleon (Men), and Swansea (Women). In addition to these, there is a Training Department attached to each one of the University Colleges, at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, and Swansea. It has to be borne in mind, however, that the Elementary Schools in Wales and elsewhere are by no means exclusively staffed by Certificated Teachers, and

[page 109]

that a large proportion of those employed in teaching have been neither at a Training College nor in a Training Department and cannot, therefore, be said to have received any systematic instruction in the art which they are called upon to practise. Many again of the older teachers, who are now Heads of Schools, had left college before Welsh was included in the curriculum and are therefore not adequately equipped to teach the language; although, in justice to this type of teacher, it must be allowed that some of the most enthusiastic and successful teachers of Welsh in the Principality never had a day's instruction in the language during their College career.


(a) Welsh as a class subject

126. Although Welsh as a subject has had, intermittently, some place in the curricula of the older Colleges for many years, having been taught at Caermarthen in 1850, at Bangor (Church) since 1885 and at Bangor Normal since 1889, it was not until 1907, when the Welsh Department of the Board of Education was created, that any definite recognition of the problem existing in Wales is to be found in the Education Code, and it was not until 1909 that Welsh was included as a subject for the Teachers' Certificate of the Board. Before this date what teaching of Welsh there was in the Colleges had been entrusted to some member of the staff who was in charge of another department, but had a working knowledge of the language, or to a visiting teacher; but subsequent to that date, most of the Colleges have instituted full-time and well qualified lecturers in the subject, although in Bangor (Church) College the teaching of Welsh is still left in the hands of a visiting teacher.

127. The Welsh Syllabus laid down by the Board of Education in 1909 aimed at giving the students a good command of literary Welsh and at creating in them an appreciation of the best products of Welsh literature. Two

[page 110]

courses were included in it, an Ordinary and an Advanced Course, called at first Elementary and Higher Courses. The Ordinary Course covered the detailed study of certain Welsh Texts, such as Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi in a modernised version, a more general study of Welsh authors in prose and verse from Dafydd ap Gwilym downwards, a Prose anthology, and the translation of unseen passages in Welsh and English and the outlines of Welsh Grammar. The Advanced Course demanded, in addition to the ground covered by the Ordinary Course, a wider knowledge of the more modern Welsh prose and verse writers, a study of an Anthology of Welsh verse, and an outline course on the structure and idioms of the language. Colleges, under Article 48 of the Board of Education's Regulations for Training Colleges, have for some years been allowed to draw up their own syllabuses and to appoint external examiners, subject to the approval of the Board. Advantage has been taken of this privilege by one College which has drawn up a scheme for the teaching of Welsh, with emphasis on the value of special training and making the Oral test an important part of the Final Examination. This plan also gives scope for individual schemes of work which make for greater initiative and keenness on the part of students. It is quite evident that since 1909 the Board of Education have given every encouragement to the teaching of Welsh in the Training Colleges.

128. It must, moreover, be emphasised that they are seriously handicapped in their task by the meagre knowledge of the language which many of the so-called Welsh-speaking students possess when they enter College. It is a common complaint that a large proportion of them are unable to express their ideas clearly in Welsh, that their vocabulary is limited owing to the lack of wide and regular reading, and that their knowledge of idiom is poor, because of insufficient practice in speaking the language. And yet in the space of two years the College is expected to train them all alike to be competent teachers of Welsh, whereas, with the majority, time that ought to be

[page 111]

devoted to increasing their knowledge and improving their style has to be spent in teaching them to express themselves with tolerable correctness and facility. This points to inadequate teaching of Welsh in the Elementary and Secondary Schools, and it would seem futile to expect a supply of fully equipped teachers in Welsh from the Training Colleges until a very substantial improvement in the teaching of Welsh has taken place in the schools.

129. The Colleges naturally vary in the extent to which the freedom granted by the Board is utilised, and that mainly, but not wholly, because of the different linguistic conditions which prevail in the districts in which they are situated. In one College only do all the students take a course in Welsh. In the others the study of Welsh is generally confined to those who have some previous acquaintance with it, although one of these has a Beginners' class for those who desire to acquire a working knowledge of Welsh, which class was in 1925 attended by 27 students. The Colleges also vary in their treatment of their Welsh speaking students. While some insist on every such student taking Welsh as a subject, others allow freedom of choice, and in one College, out of 23 Welsh students, only 13 were taking a course in the language. There would appear to be a wide diversity of opinion among the Principals of the Colleges as to the advisability of attempting to teach Welsh to students who have little or no previous acquaintance with it. Some maintain that every student, whether Welsh-speaking or not, can benefit substantially from pursuing a Beginner's Course in Welsh, but other Principals strenuously contend that the teaching of the rudiments of any language does not lie within the province of a Training College and that the attempt is a waste of time which should be devoted to subjects likely to be of far greater utility to the future teacher.

(b) Training in the Method of teaching Welsh

130. Comparatively little attention seems to have been given by the Board of Education, until fairly recently,

[page 112]

to the training of students in methods of teaching Welsh. This was probably due to the notion still widely prevalent in Wales, and illustrated by the flimsiness of the Welsh test applied to candidates for teaching posts by Authorities, that the ability to speak Welsh implies competence to teach it. It was apparently understood in the past that opportunities for gaining experience in the teaching of Welsh should be provided for Welsh students in School practice, and a question on methods of teaching the language was sometimes included in the Welsh paper, and advanced students could also take the "Bilingual Problem in Wales" as a special course of study, but training in the art of teaching Welsh appears not to have been taken seriously either by the Board or the majority of the Colleges before 1921. In that and every subsequent year, a question on the Direct Method as applied to the teaching of Welsh was included in the paper on "The Principles of Teaching" set in the Final Certificate Examination. Again in Special Course A of "The Principles of Teaching Course", which is concerned with the detailed study and the practice of the methods of teaching a selected subject to advanced scholars in Elementary Schools, the examination deals mainly with the art of teaching the particular subject chosen. Since 1921, Welsh is one of the special subjects that may be selected for this purpose, and some promising students have exercised the option, although out of 400 students who left the Colleges in July, 1925, only 9 took this paper. A further advance was made in the 1926 Syllabus of the Board of Education which allows Welsh Training Colleges, should they so desire, to provide an additional course in Bilingual Education, aiming at giving students definite guidance in methods of teaching Welsh language and literature in (a) Welsh-speaking areas, (b) English-speaking areas, (c) Bilingual areas.

131. Training in the art of teaching Welsh now appears to be obtaining some recognition in the Colleges, but has not yet received its due place, although some give more attention to it than others. In every College courses of

[page 113]

lectures are provided in which the student is trained to teach Welsh in Elementary Schools, a distinction being usually made between the methods applicable to schools in which Welsh is the mother tongue and those applicable to schools where it is taught as a second language. The lectures are supplemented by Demonstration and Criticism lessons in which both the lecturer and students take part. The school practice enables students to acquire facility in teaching Welsh and lessons are given by them in the particular schools utilised for this purpose, often in the presence of the lecturer who is there to criticise and to offer suggestions. The notes of the lessons so given are usually written in Welsh.

(c) Welsh as a medium of instruction

132. Welsh does not seem to be used to any appreciable degree as a medium of instruction in subjects other than those relating to the language itself, partly because the classes in which the other subjects are taught invariably contain students who are not familiar with Welsh, and partly because many of the lecturers are unable to use the language for such purposes. In one College students with an adequate knowledge of Welsh have been formed into groups for the study of certain subjects as, e.g. History through the medium of Welsh. Those who can do so, also write their essays in Welsh.


133. There is a Training Department for Teachers in connection with each of the constituent Colleges of the University of Wales where graduates of the University in Arts and Science and some others, who for one reason or another have failed to proceed with their degree courses receive a year's professional training for work as Elementary or Secondary School teachers. Every Training Department contains on its staff one or more members specially qualified to lecture on methods of teaching Welsh, and in this respect the situation is generally satisfactory.

[page 114]

134. The students on entering the Training Department vary considerably in their knowledge of Welsh, as many graduates in Arts will have specialised in the language in their Degree Course, while those who have graduated in Science will have been precluded from doing this. It is maintained, however, that no difficulty is experienced in training them all alike as teachers of Welsh, if they have come from Welsh schools and from a Welsh environment. It is important, we think, that the methods of teaching Welsh should form part of the training of Science students. Welsh is not taught as an academic subject in these Departments, their function being training in the methods of teaching. A distinction is made between students preparing for work in Elementary Schools and those destined for Secondary Schools. At Aberystwyth every Welsh-speaking student of the former class follows a course of lectures on Methods of Teaching Welsh, while in the case of the Secondary students this is confined to those who have already taken the language in their Degree Courses. The lectures are supplemented by Demonstration and Criticism Lessons in Welsh, followed by discussions, and lessons are regularly given by the students in the practising schools under the supervision of the lecturers.

135. At Aberystwyth, out of 94 students, 39 only are Welsh speaking, 28 being found in the Elementary Section, where they all receive training in Methods of Teaching Welsh, and 11 in the Secondary Section. The majority of the students in training attend a course of lectures on the History of Education in Wales. There is also a Course in Phonetics in the University College which must benefit the study and teaching of Welsh in common with other languages. At Swansea, out of 30 Welsh-speaking students, 15 take a course in the teaching of Welsh. Welsh is used as the medium of instruction in all the Welsh-method courses, in the Criticism Demonstration lessons and in the lessons given in the practising schools. At Bangor the language is used to convey instruction in other subjects in one particular school (Portmadoc).

[page 115]

136. The above are the facts, as we have been able to gather them from the evidence, concerning the position of Welsh in the Training Colleges and Departments. The general impression, however, which we have formed from a careful perusal of the memoranda and from listening to the different witnesses is that all is not as it should be in these Colleges. There is a great divergence between college and college with regard to Welsh teaching, and, unless we are to think that in some of them, the provision made for Welsh teaching and training is far more than adequate, we must assume that in others it is quite inadequate. Some of the Training Departments in the University Colleges seem to be under-staffed for this purpose, with the result that many students who have taken Final Welsh in their degree course, are, for lack of supervisors, allowed to leave college without any practical instruction in Welsh teaching. In some of these Departments teachers undergoing training for the Elementary Schools are, in practice, allowed to make their own choice between their two Final subjects, and though they are instructed in the teaching of both, it often happens that they confine themselves to the less difficult of the two, which is generally not Welsh, when they come to the practical application in the demonstration schools. It should be understood that teachers intended for Elementary Schools receive an all-round training in all subjects, but it is obvious that only those who have taken Welsh up to a high standard in their degree course can profitably receive instruction in the teaching of that language, and as these in some of the larger Departments are very few in number, it seems a pity that they should not be compelled to undergo a special training in Welsh. The quality of the lectures on Method and of the practical instruction of the Supervisors given in the Training Departments of the University Colleges is of a very high order, and much advance has been made in the subject during the last few years, but yet we feel that if Welsh is to be effectively taught in the Elementary Schools, and if our suggestions are to be even approximately carried

[page 116]

out, the Training Departments will, for the next few years, be compelled to pay special attention to those students who have included Welsh in their degree Course. Secondary teachers, in these departments, because they have taken Welsh as their one Honours subject, are specifically trained in the teaching of Welsh, and we can speak in terms of great praise of the results, as exemplified in the high standard of the work done in the Secondary Schools by teachers who were trained in the University Colleges. But the Elementary teacher has been compelled - perhaps of necessity - to dissipate his energies among so many subjects, that his training in Welsh has not received that specific attention which seems, at the present time, necessary.

137. It is a disturbing and discouraging fact that, especially in South Wales, the proportion of Normal Students who take Welsh in their degree Course is very small. Whether this is due to a fault in the Secondary Schools, which supply nearly all the candidates for the Training Departments, we are unable to judge, but a radical change must take place somewhere before anything approaching a satisfactory general system of Welsh teaching is possible. The reason that makes it necessary that every Welsh-speaking Elementary teacher in Wales should take Welsh as a subject in his degree Course has never been given sufficient prominence, and we therefore make no excuse for stating here what may seem to some too obvious to mention. It is quite possible for a teacher to teach Arithmetic in an Elementary School without having taken Mathematics in his degree Course, or to teach English Composition without having taken English, or even to teach elementary History without having taken History, provided that in all these subjects he has received instruction in the methods of teaching. With Welsh the case is different; as a general rule, no person who has not pursued Welsh in his preliminary course is fitted to receive instruction in the methods of teaching the language or is, therefore, fitted to teach it in the schools. As so few teachers take Welsh in their degree Course, and so few therefore are trained as teachers of the

[page 117]

language, it must follow that many teachers in the schools who attempt to teach Welsh have received no training whatsoever in the subject. Before we leave this matter, it may be well to specify one reason for the small proportion of students taking Welsh in their Course, in the hope that the authorities may devise some means of counteracting the evil. The standard of attainment among candidates for the Normal Training Departments in the University Colleges is now so high that they are almost all potential Honours Students. They therefore start upon their course with the intention of taking Honours, and consequently of receiving Secondary Training. As only specialists in Welsh will as a rule be called upon to teach the language in a Secondary School, they feel they can with impunity omit it from their degree schemes. But, for various reasons, towards the end of their first and second year, the majority of the students find themselves unable to take Honours, and have therefore to undergo Elementary instead of Secondary Training, with the result that, it being now too late to start on a new subject, they are faced with the prospect of becoming teachers in Elementary Schools where Welsh forms a large part of the curriculum, without having received any instruction in the language itself or in the methods of teaching it.

138. We have dwelt at length on the training of Elementary teachers, because, partly, the nature of their work has certain definite aspects of its own, and because the position of the Schoolmaster in a Welsh village is, and has always been, peculiar. He is not merely the pedagogue whose work is finished when the School is closed at four o'clock. He is the social, and educational leader and adviser of the community, and sometimes even shares with the minister the privilege of spiritual guidance; for in time, most of the adults will have passed through his hands. He is generally the secretary and organiser of the intellectual activities of the village; he even makes wills and advises, in general, on all the various concerns of the people. He is the guide of the young literary aspirant, and many a man

[page 118]

in Wales has achieved greatness who was first inspired by his Schoolmaster, not during his school years, but in early manhood. It seems then, a pity that the Colleges should pour out upon Wales a large number of men who may perhaps greatly surpass the superannuated Sgŵl as teachers of Arithmetic and English, but who, not having kept abreast of the great advances recently made in the study of Welsh language and literature, cannot hope to occupy his position as leader in the intellectual concerns of his neighbours.


139. If the schools of Wales, Elementary and Secondary, are to benefit by the efforts of the Training Colleges and Training Departments to produce teachers who are competent to teach Welsh efficiently, employment must be found for them within those schools, and apparently this is the exception and not the rule. There is ample evidence from all quarters that the great majority of Elementary teachers and often the best of them, are attracted to posts in English schools, although the position with regard to Secondary Schools is not quite so serious. That the migration of teachers to England has assumed such proportions as to be a grave menace to the educational efficiency of Wales and a substantial hindrance to the progressive teaching of Welsh in the schools, is made abundantly clear by the statistics supplied by the different training institutions. At Bangor of 62 students who completed their training in 1924 and 1925, and were employed in Elementary Schools, only 13 found posts in Wales, and of these 8 represented the lower half of the pass list. Again, of the 49 to whom the College awarded a special Certificate (in addition to that given by the Board of Education) 5 only are teaching in Wales. On the other hand, out of 36 students who found employment in Secondary Schools, 19 are teaching in Wales and 17 elsewhere, so that 53 per cent of the Secondary School teachers remain in Wales as against only 21 per cent of the Elementary School teachers.

[page 119]

The quality of the former is also stated to be as satisfactory as their number. The following table represents the situation in other Colleges:

The Training Colleges at Barry, Caerleon, and Swansea are not dealt with as they are connected with certain Authorities which, as a rule, provide employment for their students. The figures for 1925 in the above table are most disquieting, as they show that the migration of teachers to England is rapidly on the increase. It would seem, however, that a certain proportion of those who start their career in England eventually return to Wales and are presumably better teachers as the result of their experience in a wider sphere.

140. It is clear that, while the Training Colleges and Training Departments prepare a perfectly adequate supply of teachers who are competent to teach Welsh in the

[page 120]

Elementary Schools, only a small minority find employment in these schools, and those who are employed are generally of an inferior quality. At the root of the trouble there are several causes, such as the relative smallness and poverty of the Welsh schools as compared with those in England, which necessitate the employment on a wide scale of untrained and uncertificated teachers, but the main reason for the present situation is the entire lack of system in the methods adopted by the majority of Welsh Authorities to secure teachers for their schools. The method of filling Elementary School posts which exists in most of the Welsh counties inevitably encourages the best teachers to leave the country. The Education Authorities of large English Towns select enough teachers in May to fill all the vacancies that are likely to occur up to the July of the following year, and if there are no appointments available on the first of September they are employed as "supply" or additional teachers and are paid from that date. The Authorities of London, Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, and other great municipalities, send representatives, who are experts in the art of selection, to the various Colleges to interview the students and to inspect their College records, and naturally choose the best, whether they have been trained specifically for work in Wales or not. Other Authorities advertise their vacancies widely, and so attract a large proportion of students of the better quality from the Welsh Colleges. The Welsh Authorities, on the contrary, fill their vacancies when they happen to occur and are of necessity left with the residue remaining after the securing of the best teachers for England. No deputations from the counties ever visit the Colleges and no enquiries are made concerning the merits of the candidates, and the method of selection is haphazard and unsatisfactory. Even though the North Wales counties have combined for the purpose of maintaining a Training College they do not take any joint action to secure teachers.

141. The Governing Bodies of the Secondary Schools are much more systematic in their method of selection, and

[page 121]

in consequence secure a fairly satisfactory proportion of the teachers who are best equipped for work in Wales. These vacancies are generally filled at the time when the students are leaving College, and are notified to the College Authorities, of whom enquiries are made as to the merits of those who are at the time seeking employment. The result is that, whereas in one particular Training Department, only 21 per cent of the Elementary students found work in Wales, 53 per cent of the Secondary students were secured for Welsh schools. The staffing of Welsh Elementary Schools must remain in a sadly unsatisfactory position unless, and until a much more systematic method of selecting candidates from the Colleges is adopted by the Education Authorities.


142. The University College of Wales at Aberystwyth was opened in 1872 with a Welsh-speaking Welshman, the Rev. T. C. Edwards, as Principal, assisted by two Professors. The University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire at Cardiff was opened in 1883, and that for North Wales at Bangor in 1884. In the branch of Welsh studies a most auspicious beginning was made by the delivery of John Rhŷs's famous "Lectures on Welsh Philology" at Aberystwyth, but until the establishment of the University of Wales in 1896, progress was necessarily slow. Students required the hall-mark of a degree, and this could only be obtained by submitting to the rigid regulations of an external examining Body - the University of London - under which no place was found for Welsh except as a post-graduate subject. "When the University was founded," Sir J. Morris-Jones told us, "my classes leapt up at a bound from five or six to fifty or sixty." Three-year courses were arranged for Pass Students, and a more advanced course for Honours. Until the reorganisation of the University in 1921 the authorised syllabus for these courses was the same for all the Colleges. Since that date each College has enjoyed full liberty to arrange them in its own way.

[page 122]

143. The freedom thus secured to the Teacher was in no subject more desirable than in that of Welsh, on account of the discussion and controversy which have been going on as to the respective claims of Philology and Literature to the attention of students of Welsh. It is a question which, in principle, has during recent years been the subject of lively discussion in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and elsewhere with regard to the study of English, and, as in those Universities, the result appears to be that a reasonable balance of the opposing views is likely to be found. At any rate the freedom now enjoyed by the several Colleges in framing their own courses of study enables the Professors to develop their own view of the proper treatment of Welsh, and there are signs that this freedom is being used to create a healthy variety of practice.

144. We note with satisfaction that, in the Welsh departments, Welsh is in the main used as the medium of instruction and in examination papers. To carry this out effectively is, however, no easy matter. The knowledge of the language brought by the students to the University is very unequal, and our University witnesses complain especially of the low standard of conversational Welsh and the poor vocabulary of some students who have been taught Welsh in Secondary Schools. Moreover, the constituent Colleges themselves do not appear so far to have made any provision for classes in Welsh to help on backward students, as has been done in French and German. Little if anything has so far been done in the constituent Colleges to use Welsh as a medium of instruction in subjects outside the Welsh department, and it is felt by the teachers of Welsh that this failure tends to make Welsh appear in the eyes of the students as merely one among many special subjects for the degree course, instead of occupying a dominant position and of exercising the pervading influence which should belong to it in a University claiming to be the highest expression of national culture. The University witnesses, however, though conscious of the difficulties due to the mixed character of the classes, the inadequacy of the supply

[page 123]

of Professors in certain subjects with knowledge of the language, and the want of good Welsh text-books, are convinced that the experiment should be tried in subjects in which the conditions are most favourable.

145. The staffing of the Welsh departments in the Colleges appears at first sight to be numerically on a level with that of other language departments. On the general adequacy of the provision of teachers in the Colleges it is not our business to pronounce. The Welsh departments of the Colleges at Cardiff and Swansea have each only one Professor and one Lecturer to cover the whole range of the subjects, Philology, Grammar, Literature, both for Honours and for Pass students. At Aberystwyth and Bangor there are separate Professors of Language and of Literature; but at Aberystwyth neither the Professor of Welsh Literature nor the Professor of Welsh has an Assistant, the one Lecturer on the Staff being Reader in Celtic Philology and Palæography. At Bangor there is a single Assistant Lecturer. The numerical parity with other Departments is, however, illusory, because the Welsh staff, besides having to deal with a subject which has not yet been scientifically organised from a teacher's point of view, have to overcome a difficulty such as is to be found in no other department - a most lamentable want of text-books.

146. "It seems to me", Professor Ifor Williams told us, "that this lack of cheap editions of well-edited textbooks is the root of most of the evils that afflict us at School and College. ... Our students on entry are not so well equipped on the literature side as they should be, and cannot profit as much as they ought from the courses taken in College. They have to spend a considerable portion of the session in copying notes on their unedited texts instead of studying them; while the Lecturer also, who is compelled to dictate these notes, thereby wastes time which he ought to be devoting to lectures on advanced subjects or to private research." Professor Gwynn Jones told the same story. "Aforetime persecution and later neglect of the native language in education have left us with practically no

[page 124]

printed collections of material and no handbooks or other usual aids which can be used for teaching purposes. My own students have to read manuscripts for themselves, or to rely upon my own transcripts." In the words of the Memorandum presented to us by the University, the University Teachers of Welsh have to be at the same time "researchers, editors and publishers" before they get to the business of teaching.

147. The Board of Celtic Studies appears to have amply justified its creation in pursuance of a recommendation of the Royal Commission. The value of its periodical issue of a Bulletin of Celtic Studies has been widely recognised both at home and abroad. Steady progress is being made with the preparation of a Welsh Dictionary, and with a revised edition of a Memorandum on Welsh Orthography. A similar verdict may be given for the University Press which came into being at the same time. The Press does not of course confine itself to Welsh publications, but it aims steadily at giving due prominence to their claims, and has already established a firm and fruitful alliance with the Board of Celtic Studies and with the National Library and the National Museum.

148. The University of Wales holds a peculiar position among the British universities. Its present constitution is an attempt to create a national university in the more exact sense of the word. It is true that the framework of its national character is not its connection with a central government, as would be found in a similar institution, say, in France, but rather its dependence upon the Welsh Local Authorities, all of whom voluntarily levy a rate for its maintenance. This must necessarily be until such time as the country is ripe to accept the suggestions made by the Departmental Committee on the Organisation of Secondary Education in Wales. The reality of its national character, however, does not depend on outward conditions, but on the completeness of its identification with all the activities, material, intellectual, and moral, of the Welsh people, on its willingness and ability to furnish Welsh

[page 125]

life with that interpretation and criticism which may be expected from a university. On this point, as far as the Welsh and cognate Departments are concerned, we are more than satisfied that the University has justified its existence not only as a university but as a national institution. The remarkable renascence in Welsh literature and scholarship of the last twenty-five years may be fully attributed to the University, and to the teachers, ministers, and others whom it has trained and inspired. Even those institutions in Welsh life which are inclined to be critical of the University, owe to it, for the most part, their powers of criticism. Any strengthening, therefore, of the Welsh Departments in the University will directly benefit, not only the Welsh language, but Welsh life in general. Even more important than the official connection of the University with Welsh life is the part which the members of its Welsh Departments, both teachers and students, fill in the national life. They have become the natural leaders in all intellectual activities, in poetry, the drama, music, theology, and journalism. They have also exerted a great and beneficent local influence, through the help they have given to such activities as the numerous literary societies.

149. At the same time it must be admitted that the University has not devised the means of assimilating the non-Welsh members of the teaching staffs to the life of Wales. These "strangers" have been extremely helpful on the more official academic side of the University, and, with a few exceptions, have shown real goodwill towards modes of living and thinking which are alien to them. But "goodwill" is hardly enough; the very words convey a suggestion of unnecessary and undesirable condescension. Something more positive is required before the University as a whole, the majority of whose professors are non-Welsh, may claim to be national in the full sense of the word. It was rather a surprise to the Committee to understand that only a negligible number among them have made any attempt to learn the Welsh language, a considerably smaller proportion in fact than in the earlier days of

[page 126]

the University Colleges. We should expect to find that, of all new-comers into Wales, university professors, with their trained minds and aptness for new learning, would be conspicuous among those who had acquired the Welsh language. That it is not so must be reckoned, not so much to the discredit of the non-Welsh element in the University, as of the apathetic public of Wales. It would, we think, be a grievous mistake to limit university appointments to Welshmen, but the growing demand for such a limitation derives its force from the natural inability of non-Welsh-speaking professors to understand Welsh life and Welsh ideas, and the too ready acceptance of the view that the duties of a professor in the University of Wales differ in no respect from those of professors elsewhere. The cure for this discontent and the effective means by which the University may become, in all its parts, fully national, is the recognition of the Welsh language as the most effective means by which a stranger may become a full citizen of Wales.


150. Several types of classes are recognised under the Adult Education Regulations of the Board of Education. The instruction in the more advanced of these, i.e. the University Tutorial Class proper and the Preparatory Class, is provided by the University Colleges acting through Advisory or Joint Committees. Classes of a less advanced standard, viz., One Year and Terminal Classes, are held under the auspices of the Workers' Educational Association and of the Young Men's Christian Association and the National Council of Music. Each of these bodies is now recognised as an "Approved Association" under the Board's regulations. The majority of the Authorities make a money grant towards this work; some Authorities also conduct classes of a similar type. These are recognized under the Board's Regulations for Further Education as part-time courses for older students.

151. The statistics appended relate to classes held in Wales approved for grant under the Adult Education Regulations, and give separately for the several years the number

[page 127]

of classes in which Welsh Literature and Welsh History were studied therein. But it might be mentioned that several classes other than those of Welsh Language and Literature were conducted almost entirely or mainly in Welsh; this refers more especially to the following subjects: Bible Literature and Research, History of the Hebrews, Sociology, Early Church History, Philosophy, Hanes a Llenyddiaeth yr Hebrewr, Greek.

[page 128]

[page 129]

152. A criticism sometimes levelled against these classes is that the scope of the instruction provided is not wide and liberal enough in range and character, and that classes in subjects like Economics and Industrial History should not form so large a percentage as 43 of the whole. There is no doubt, however, that these subjects do make a strong appeal to adult students at the outset, but experience shows that a desire is expressed later for a variety of subjects. We consider that it should be possible in Wales to stimulate a demand for a larger number of classes in Welsh Literature and Welsh History. In the session 1925-1926 there were 26 University Tutorial Classes and Preparatory Classes in Welsh subjects, The W.E.A. also held one class in Welsh Literature and one in Philosophy of Religion (conducted in Welsh). This latter is a hopeful development, for it means that the W.E.A. is aware of the importance of providing subjects other than Economics, and in particular, of providing for Welsh. The recent establishment of a North Wales Branch of the W.E.A. with a Welsh poet of repute as Organising Secretary holds out the prospect that the study of Welsh will receive every encouragement. In a land like ours, with its long tradition of Adult Sunday Schools, Literary Meetings and Eisteddfodau, it is natural to expect to find fertile soil for these classes in which at least half the time must be devoted to discussion - so dear to the heart of our countrymen. From what we have learnt of the work we are convinced both of the great possibilities of the movement and of the value of Welsh both as a subject and a medium. It is clear that in Wales, to a greater extent perhaps than in England, the movement is quickly grasping the community as a whole and is assuming the character of a national movement of enlightenment. In this connection we welcome the establishment of "Coleg Harlech", and the opportunities which it will undoubtedly offer to teachers and students of adult classes, and of Sunday Schools, to meet together in a cultural atmosphere. We take this opportunity of

[page 130]

expressing the hope that the Welsh language and Welsh studies will have an honoured place in the curriculum and life of this Institution.

153. Owing to the financial limitations with which this type of work has had to contend, practically no propaganda on its behalf has been undertaken by the Colleges, but the distribution of the classes has corresponded fairly closely with the spontaneous local demand. The Committee were informed that, generally, social and economic subjects are preferred in industrial areas, whereas Welsh subjects (Literature and History) are preferred in rural areas. By the appointment of a Director of Extra-mural Studies at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, the cause not only of Welsh Studies, but of Adult Education in Wales generally should benefit. From representations made to us it would seem fairly easy to stimulate the demand for Welsh Classes if circumstances allowed the University and its constituent Colleges to encourage any active propaganda.

154. In all classes where Welsh Literature and Welsh History are studied the language used is Welsh, but in addition to this some interesting experiments in the use of Welsh for the teaching of other subjects have been made. Thus at Abergynolwyn, in the session 1919-20, lectures in Industrial History were given in Welsh, and at Brongest a three-years' course in Economics was conducted in the Welsh language. At Towyn during the session 1925-26 a course in the Principles of Education was given in the Welsh language. In session 1925-26 Welsh was either the exclusive or the normal medium of instruction in 44 classes.

155. We were informed by H.M. Inspectors that the discussions heard in the classes generally reach a high level, and much of the written work is of an excellent standard. Some original compositions, the work of students in these classes, such as lyrics, sonnets, short stories, character sketches, and literary criticisms, have already appeared in various Welsh newspapers and periodicals. The establishment of Welsh classes in certain rural districts has given a

[page 131]

decided impetus to the study and appreciation of the Welsh language and literature. We were informed by an authoritative witness that farm servants have been known to write essays by candle light in stable lofts, and a farmer and his manservant to sit by the fireside till the small hours of the morning studying an interesting medieval Welsh text together. We have evidence in the efforts of many classes, especially in rural areas, of a real search for education among the students, and a keen desire for knowledge and culture. Given an enthusiastic tutor with the power of inspiring others, great things are possible in this direction, especially in rural districts where there are fewer counter-attractions.

156. The following section from the Memorandum on The Scope of University Extra-mural Adult Education in Wales merits quotation. "If the use of Welsh in extra-mural classes is confined merely to the study of Welsh language and Literature the development of these classes from a national and cultural standpoint will be greatly hampered. Indeed, most of the subjects which are within the range of extra-mural work could be taught through the medium of Welsh. There are of course bound to be difficulties as the various books needed in many of these subjects are wanting in Welsh. Nevertheless a great deal can be achieved by means of the spoken word. There can be no doubt as to the educational advantages that would result from a general appreciation of the fact that the Welsh language is capable of leading students through all fields of knowledge. It would give the extra-mural student a new sense of values of his native possession and would have an invigorating effect upon the language itself as a medium of culture." There is even more than this. In the discussion hour the student who may be inarticulate in English is fluent in Welsh. His pent-up thought finds release best in his native language.

157. We cannot close this section of our Report without paying a high tribute to the excellent work of the National Library of Wales in providing books for adult classes. The total number of books on all the subjects supplied by

[page 132]

the Library reached a total of 3,514 for the period 1925-26. Certain of the County Circulating Libraries also assisted the classes by securing books bearing on the various courses of study including Welsh, and in some Public Libraries the necessary books were set apart for the use of students attending Adult Education Classes.


158. The Colleges with which we have to deal here are concerned almost exclusively with the preparation of candidates for the Ministry of the various Churches in Wales. They are nine in number, two being connected with the Church in Wales, and seven with the different Nonconformist bodies in the Principality.

I. Colleges connected with the Church in Wales

159. (a) St. David's College, Lampeter. There were in residence in October, 1926, 126 students, of whom about a half had a colloquial knowledge of Welsh, but the proportion of those who spoke it and wrote it freely and accurately was much lower. Of the remaining half 20 came from England, 21 were the sons of English parents resident in Wales, and about 25 were the sons of Welsh-speaking parents but who had not been taught their native tongue. Of those who had some acquaintance with the language, less than 40 per cent took it as a subject for their degree, and during the last four years no student has taken an Honours Course in Welsh. There is on the Staff a Professor of Welsh who devotes his whole time to the work of his department, and yet the situation is slowly but surely deteriorating, and the knowledge of Welsh possessed by the present generation of students is probably poorer than has been known at any period in the history of the College. It frequently happens that many who take up the study of Welsh when they enter, abandon it at the end of the first year, and sometimes even at the end of the first term,

[page 133]

because of the utter inadequacy of their previous acquaintance with the language and the impossibility of their attaining the standard necessary for examination purposes. It has also been observed that students from a typical Welsh County like Cardigan are not too eager to accept curacies in North Wales, which until quite recently attracted many from the College, because they are not confident that their Welsh is adequate for the needs of a thoroughly Welsh parish. Those who take Welsh as a subject right through their degree course - and this is available for all students whether they take the ordinary Pass Course or an Honours Course in any other subject - are taught Welsh Grammar and Composition and the history of Welsh literature, together with the special study of such books as Y Bardd Cwsc and the Book of Job. All the lectures on Welsh literature are given in Welsh and much of the instruction on composition is given in the same language.

In other directions considerable attention is paid to the Welsh interests of the students. Two Welsh services are held weekly in the Chapel, and the student who knows the language is expected to read one lesson in Welsh even at the English services. The Welsh Debating Society is the most flourishing in the College, special classes are held for the composition of Welsh sermons and for instruction in Welsh reading, and prizes are given annually for a Welsh Essay and Welsh Reading. An entrance scholarship is offered for proficiency in the language, and the "Edmwnd Prys" Exhibition is awarded each year to the student who is best acquainted with the Welsh Prayer Book and Metrical Psalms. Graduates and Final Year men are responsible for the services in two neighbouring Mission Churches, and thus gain experience in conducting services and in preaching in Welsh. There is in the College a separate Welsh library with an admirable collection of Welsh books and periodicals and of English books dealing with Wales. St. David's Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm, a Welsh Festival Service being held with a special preacher, and the day concludes with a Welsh Concert. The College has a staff of 13

[page 134]

Professors and Lecturers, of whom 6 are Welsh-speaking - a very decided advance on the situation of a few years ago.

(b) St. Michael's College, Llandaff. This is a Theological College, for Graduates and non-Graduates, in which the training is of a purely vocational and devotional character. There were in residence in the session 1924-1925, 21 students of whom 9 were able to preach in Welsh. No provision is made for the teaching of Welsh, but two Welsh services are held weekly. The late Warden remarks that, although he had two Welshmen on his staff, neither of them could take a Welsh service and that he himself had to learn enough Welsh to supply the deficiency.

II. Theological Colleges connected with the Free Churches in Wales

160. These Colleges, although generally speaking the instruction conveyed by them is purely theological, contain three different types of students.

(1) Graduates in Arts who, in many cases, proceed to the B.D. degree of the University of Wales.
(2) Students pursuing an Arts Course at one of the Welsh University Colleges, many of whom graduate, but some of whom abandon the course at an earlier stage.
(3) Theological students who are admitted after having passed the Matriculation Examination of the University of Wales or another examination set by the College Staff. These receive a course of instruction in systematic and practical theology for a period covering two or more years.
The following particulars set forth what is being done by each College to promote the knowledge of Welsh among its students.

(a) Aberystwyth (Presbyterian Church of Wales or Calvinistic Methodists). No. of Students 32. Not Welsh-speaking 3. Every Welsh-speaking candidate for admission is required to pass a qualifying examination in Welsh

[page 135]

unless exempted by a Welsh Matriculation Certificate. Of the Graduates in the College in session 1924-25, 14 took Welsh in their Arts Course, 12 of them up to the Final stage and 4 obtained Honours. No classes are conducted entirely in Welsh, although a considerable use of the language is made in lectures. Devotional exercises, including addresses by the Professors and Students, are generally conducted in Welsh, and Daily Prayers in both languages, but principally in Welsh. This is also the sole language spoken at Literary or Debating Societies and the atmosphere of the College is preponderatingly Welsh.

(b) Bala (Presbyterian Church of Wales or Calvinistic Methodists). No. of Students 9. Not Welsh-speaking 2. There is no provision for teaching Welsh in the College. As some of the students do not understand Welsh, the lectures which they attend are given in English, but when a purely Welsh class is available that language is frequently employed. The contributions of the students in discussion and criticism are also often delivered in Welsh.

(c) Bangor (N. Wales Baptist). No. of Students 22. Not Welsh-speaking 0. All First Year students pursue an Arts Course at the University College, including Welsh as a subject, but comparatively few of them proceed to degree courses. During the 1925-1926 session 5 students took Welsh in the Intermediate and none in the Final stage. All Students, therefore, had at least one year's teaching in Welsh as a class subject. A Welsh class is also taken in grammar, composition and translation, mainly with a view to efficiency in the pulpit. Two courses of introductory lectures to the New Testament are given in Welsh, and students are given a choice of language in a course on the Old Testament Prophets. Sermons are delivered in the College in Welsh and English, but mainly in Welsh, and the sermon is afterwards discussed in the language in which it was given.

(d) Bangor (Independent). No. of Students 25. Not Welsh-speaking 0. During the session 1925-1926 10

[page 136]

students took Welsh in the Arts Course, 2 of them up to the Final stage. The Welsh class and the lectures mentioned above are also available for students of this College, and, in addition to these, some lectures on the New Testament are given in Welsh, while occasionally a course on the History of Theology in Wales is also delivered in that language. Every student, therefore, receives some instruction in Welsh for at least a period of two years, and for a longer period should he so desire.

(e) Brecon Memorial College (Independent). No. of Students 25. Not Welsh-speaking 5. There is no teaching of Welsh in the College as Welsh is regarded as an Arts subject. The instruction given is strictly theological and is provided for students who have already followed an Arts Course. Lectures are generally delivered in English, which has always been the language of the Class Room. The tutors, however, occasionally by way of illustration, use Welsh in translating Greek or Hebrew. Of the students in session 1925-1926, 5 took Welsh as an Arts subject for their degree, one of whom proceeded to the Final stage.

(f) Cardiff (S. Wales Baptist). No. of Students 23. Not Welsh-speaking 12. Of those in residence during the session 1925-1926 4 took Welsh in their Arts Course, but none proceeded to the Final stage. The studies and lectures are conducted almost entirely in English. A special class for instruction in Welsh has, however, been recently established by a member of the staff, in which a course of study covering a period of three years in grammar, composition, poetry, the History of Wales, and the History of Welsh Literature is followed. Sermons in Welsh are preached in the College and are afterwards discussed and criticized in that language.

(g) Caermarthen Presbyterian (Unitarian and Congregational). No. of Students 27. Not Welsh-speaking 1. All students who follow an Arts Course take Welsh as one of their subjects and about a third of them proceed as far as the Final Stage. In the College itself there is a One Year

[page 137]

Course in Welsh Grammar and Composition and a further One Year Course in Welsh Literature. English is the medium of instruction in all classes except those specifically provided for the study of Welsh. Practically all the preaching done by the students outside the College is in Welsh, and in the College itself the atmosphere and spirit are more thoroughly Welsh now than at any period in its history.

161. It is understood that in most of the Colleges there is a substantial increase in the number of students in residence this session, 1926-1927. It will have been observed that, taking the Colleges as a whole, the amount of time and attention devoted in them to strictly Welsh studies is not very considerable. If we except the Welsh class at the two Bangor Colleges, the three years' course at Cardiff College, and the two hours a week given to the teaching of Welsh at Caermarthen College, there would not seem to be a very consistent or determined effort to promote the knowledge of their own language among the Welsh-speaking students. It is true that a substantial use of Welsh is made in other directions, such as in the delivery of sermons, and in Debating and Literary Societies, and in the general life of the Colleges, most of which are thoroughly Welsh in atmosphere, but the specific study of the language would not seem to occupy the place in the curriculum that might perhaps be reasonably expected. In defence of what, at first sight, appears to be a weakness in institutions which train candidates for the Ministry of definitely Welsh Churches, it is maintained that Welsh is a subject for an Arts Course and is, therefore, mainly the concern of the University Colleges, where a substantial proportion of the students receive their education previous to their admission into these Colleges in which the instruction is strictly confined to theology.

162. We have received from the Principal of one of the Colleges a reasoned statement defending the policy of the Theological Colleges as a whole and of his own in particular,

[page 138]

in the matter of teaching Welsh and it may prove helpful to reproduce it here in a compressed form.

In the generality of cases the training of a candidate for the Ministry falls into two parts, (1) An Arts Course at a University College and (2) a course in Theology at a Theological College and Welsh is always taken as a subject in the Arts Course. In some Theological Colleges Welsh is taught by a member of the staff, but in my own College the view is taken that it should be taught by expert Celtic scholars at the University Colleges. The present tendency is to devote too much time to Welsh, to the neglect of other subjects essential to real success in the Ministry. The special study of a language, and particularly as an Honours subject, is not very helpful to a ministerial candidate, and what he requires is acquaintance with literary masterpieces in prose and poetry, and practice in essay and sermon writing. If the Elementary and Secondary Schools did their duty there would be no necessity for Welsh theological students to spend more time in studying Welsh than English students have to devote to studying their language.

The use of English as the medium of instruction is educationally sound, even if all the students are Welsh, because the knowledge of English is essential educationally and commercially, and a Welsh student must be bilingual. For this purpose English must be either a subject in the curriculum or the medium of instruction in the class-room, and, as it is not the first it must be the second. Then again, practically all theological and philosophical books which the student needs for his studies and subsequent reading are in English, and those who advocate the use of Welsh are thinking of the interests of that language, while those who defend the present practice of employing English as the language of the class-room are concerned simply with the interest of the student, and his equipment for the Ministry.

[page 139]

Students whose native language is Welsh, who speak it and preach it, would be ill-equipped for their work even in Wales unless they obtained a fair knowledge of English, and the class-room gives them their only chance to acquire this. They may preach in Welsh, but their preparation for the pulpit will be the reading of English books. And further, English monoglot students from English Churches in South Wales are entering the Colleges in increasing numbers and this complicates the problem. Besides these, there are students who come from the Welsh Churches in the industrial districts of S. Wales who are familiar with Welsh as the language of prayer and preaching, but use English in their social intercourse and in social and political discussions. These take Welsh in their Arts Course, but are very anxious to improve their English, so as to be able to take an English or a Welsh Church as occasion may arise. Then there is the Welsh student from a Welsh home, whose knowledge of English is very meagre and whose one great need is a thorough knowledge of that language. He speaks Welsh perfectly, and has taken it as a subject in his Arts Course, and the greatest service that can be rendered to him is to make him familiar with English. His library will consist very largely of English books, literary, philosophical and theological, and of English sermons in particular, and his essential need is the ability to express in Welsh what he has read in English, and for this the best training is the writing of Welsh essays. For this type of student to use Welsh habitually in the class-room would be to inflict upon him a grave and an irreparable wrong.

Students should have completed their Arts Course, including Welsh, before they enter a Theological College and the Schools, Elementary and Secondary, and the University Colleges are the institutions where the language should be studied.

[page 140]

163. The chief criticisms that we have to pass on this very interesting and instructive statement are that it does not cover the cases where Welsh students take an Arts Course, but do not include Welsh in that course. In the Principal's own College it would seem, from statistics supplied to us, that only 5 students out of 25 had taken Welsh in their Arts Course and only 1 out of the 5 up to the Final stage. Neither does it cover the numerous cases, of which, however, there are none in this particular College, where students have not proceeded beyond the matriculation stage in their general education and whose study of Welsh also ceases presumably at that point. And further, the contention that students who have taken Welsh in their Arts Course do not require any systematic teaching in that language when they have reached the Theological Colleges loses much of its force, seeing that the writer frankly admits that those who have taken English in their Arts Course still continue to receive valuable instruction in that language in these identical Colleges.


164. Witnesses representing the various teachers' organisations, in giving evidence before the Committee, all agreed that, at present, the teaching of Welsh was on the whole unsatisfactory. Some were of opinion that it was rather late in the day to attempt to make the teaching effective in some parts of the country, but most held that with courage, enthusiasm, and industry, the language could be saved even in districts which were fast becoming anglicised. All witnesses agreed in attaching blame to the various codes and regulations which had, in the past, undervalued the place of the native language and culture in the educational system of Wales. Many blamed the apathy and indifference of parents, but agreed that "the parents of to-day are themselves the product of the English institution in their midst. They were never taught their own language." "Home life and school life in the bilingual and

[page 141]

Welsh areas are divorced from each other." The witnesses differed in the amount of blame they apportioned to the teachers already in the schools. It must, however, be stated that much of the evidence presented to the Committee proved that the ineffectiveness of the teaching of Welsh in the past and, indeed, in the present is due, very largely, to the inadequate supply of fully trained teachers, especially in the Elementary Schools. One body of witnesses in giving evidence on the "Dearth of adequately trained teachers" stated: "We attach much weight to this as one of the many causes responsible for the very unsatisfactory state of Welsh in our schools to-day. A very large percentage of the Elementary School teachers are Welsh-speaking but of these, only a comparatively low percentage have taken Welsh as a College Course." Another body of witnesses stated that "the haphazard methods of determining what teachers are capable of giving instruction in Welsh must be modified", and recommended that the special training of teachers of Welsh should occupy an important place in all Welsh Colleges. The recommendation of another body is that teachers who are preparing for teaching in the Schools of Wales should be compelled to take the Welsh Course in the Training Colleges. More than one witness and body of witnesses stated as a firm conviction that if the teachers - Elementary and Secondary - could be mobilised into a strong body in the cause of the teaching of Welsh the problem could soon be successfully solved. It is encouraging to note that the Welsh teachers of East Glamorgan, a densely populated area where many linguistic difficulties present themselves, have banded together and formed Undeb Athrawon Cymreig, a union of teachers of Welsh who meet together to discuss difficulties and pool experiences gained in surmounting them. The evidence presented by the Undeb made it clear to the Committee that difficulties can be overcome by the spirit of enthusiasm and service. It is the Committee's hope that other areas will follow this lead, and that affiliated branches will be formed in all the counties of Wales. In addition to

[page 142]

the difficulty of getting an adequate supply of trained teachers of Welsh, the lack of suitable books and apparatus for the effective teaching of Welsh was mentioned by many witnesses, but it was felt that though there is still room for improvement in the supply of books and apparatus, the best use had not always been made of the available material. All witnesses were agreed that up to the present the Welsh language had not been given its rightful place in the Examination system, and that this often led to the neglect of the subject - particularly in the upper classes of the Elementary school - as the children's knowledge of Welsh did not, according to most plans in operation, help them in the Entrance Scholarship Examination of the Secondary Schools.

165. More serious was the evidence, though witnesses differed on this point, that the attitude of teachers, and especially of Head Teachers, on the vital question of the teaching of Welsh was not always such as would aid in overcoming the very real difficulties of the problem. One body of witnesses stated that the teachers as a whole were most anxious to co-operate in making the work effective; others stated that the opinion of the teachers on the value of Welsh "varied very considerably and was generally in direct proportion to the teacher's knowledge of the language". This last body of witnesses stated that some teachers exaggerated and multiplied the difficulties beyond all reason, while a few were definitely hostile to the teaching of the subject.

166. The Committee received evidence from a number of H.M. Inspectors of Schools acting in different types of districts both in North and South Wales. There was a distinct measure of agreement among them as to the causes of the ineffective teaching of Welsh in many Elementary schools. In their opinion the chief fault lay with the system whereby, in the past, teachers in Wales had received practically all their teaching at College through the medium of English, although it was known that they would spend their lives teaching in parts of Wales where Welsh is the

[page 143]

mother tongue of the children. The inevitable result was that, although the teachers themselves could speak Welsh fluently, English was to them the school language and they felt unfitted to attack the problem of the teaching of Welsh.

167. To remedy this state of affairs one of H.M. Inspectors recommended that "all teachers destined for schools or hoping to get posts in schools where a scheme of bilingual instruction is established should receive a training in Welsh which is comparable at least with that which they receive in English. One could get along fairly well if all such teachers were able to meet the requirements of the higher paper in Welsh set in the Certificate Examination by the Board of Education." At present, however, the proportion of those who have a sufficient knowledge of the language and of the methods of teaching it to be enthusiastic and efficient teachers of Welsh is not high, but the state of affairs is not hopeless for "one is able to record, with much pleasure, that some of the Welsh Training Colleges are now, and have been for some time, turning out students, women chiefly, who have a very adequate knowledge of the language and of the methods of language teaching." Another cause of the ineffective teaching of Welsh put forward by these witnesses was that the language had not yet gained a prestige as a time-table subject equal to that of English and Arithmetic. It was neglected often through lack of knowledge of its literary and linguistic value. "We have to rid ourselves of the idea that a school in Wales must be a replica of a school in England with the exception that the former has undertaken the extra task of teaching Welsh because it happens to be in Wales."

168. There was some difference of opinion as to the success of the various efforts made to cope with the problem. One witness stated that "the mass of teachers - with three or four outstanding exceptions - were found to be totally unaware of the problem", and that "Welsh was the worst taught subject in the schools" in his district. He attributed this to the fact that "the English atmosphere in the Welsh lesson gave the children a false attitude towards their own

[page 144]

language, but more than that, it robbed them of the opportunity of regularly hearing good conversational Welsh which they could emulate and which would eventually permeate the neighbourhood." Another witness stated that "considering the difficulties of the task, the work on the whole has been generally satisfactory. Still more satisfactory is the promise for the future. Teachers throughout the Country are taking up the subject with more enthusiasm and endeavouring to perfect their own knowledge of the language, while education committees are giving Welsh a more definite place in the school work."

169. Many individual teachers, who are attacking the problem in their respective areas, gave evidence. The Committee feel that much praise is due to these enthusiastic teachers for the energy and ability with which they are trying to realise their aim of teaching Welsh, either as the mother tongue or as a second language. Speaking of a seaport town with a very small percentage of Welsh-speaking people, a witness stated: "After many public meetings and discussions it was decided to make Welsh optional in all schools and parents were circularised regarding their wishes, with the result that over 60 per cent were in favour of their children learning Welsh. In 1914 the proportion of children taking Welsh was one in three. The Welsh teachers' lessons became so interesting and attractive that the relative numbers were reversed until the proportion taking Welsh reached three to one, and the numbers continued to increase until at last a very small minority remained outside the Welsh Classes. Consequently I made the experiment of having Welsh taught to all the children. During the whole of my experience there have been only two dissentient parents. ... Now that all the children are learning it the subject is put on an equality with other subjects in the curriculum. As a result the English children take a greater pride in it. Their mental attitude towards the language has become more friendly and understandingly sympathetic." The evidence of those who gave reports of their experiments in the

[page 145]

teaching of Welsh shows that all the experiments had certain features in common. All the head teachers in whose schools the experiments were being carried out testified to the value of Welsh as an educational and cultural subject in their respective schools, whether these schools were situated in predominantly Welsh-speaking areas, mixed areas, or predominantly English-speaking areas. All were agreed that there was no sacrifice of efficiency in the teaching of the other subjects of the curriculum; that in their opinion there was a distinct gain all round, especially in sympathy and comradeship among the children. The evidence showed that, even in such practical things as the winning of scholarships to the Secondary Schools, the children had not suffered. Another point common to all the experiments was that the head teachers had either secured enthusiastic teachers of Welsh or persuaded all or some of their class teachers to share in their experiments, and thus head teacher and class teachers had been co-partners in launching the experiment. Through this co-operation it had been possible to grade the courses so that the continuity so essential to successful teaching had been secured. The importance of a well-planned scheme, well prepared lessons in which nothing was left to chance, and of careful organisation of the Welsh scheme throughout the school by the head teacher, was emphasised by all witnesses, and it is noticeable that the experiments were conducted in every case without special provision for class-room accommodation, staffing, allowances for books or apparatus.

170. The indifferent attitude of many Welsh-speaking parents was frequently noted, not only are they said to be indifferent to the language as a school subject but to neglect to speak the language in the home. The following are extracts from the evidence of H.M. Inspectors on this point: "The indifference of Welsh-speaking parents is often given as a great obstacle to the effective teaching of Welsh. There is no doubt that the majority of Welsh-speaking parents in the areas with which I am concerned

[page 146]

do not speak Welsh habitually at home. It must, however, in fairness be said that the reason for this is very largely the school itself, which has in past years been conducted almost entirely in English. ... One cannot expect the average unintelligent parent to go to the trouble of resisting the anglicising influence of the school day by day. The parents of to-day were taught in English as their children are at present, and taught to believe that salvation lay in a knowledge of English. I think it is safe to say that the parents who do in my area insist upon their children speaking Welsh are generally the more intellectual parents and also those parents who have the firmest hold on their children. ... Needless to say this indifference of parents is not confined to the teaching of Welsh."


171. We have already seen that, among the factors which have contributed to the preservation of the Welsh language, the Churches stand foremost, and their service can be traced back to the beginning of Christianity in this land. In every age official representatives, priests and ministers have been conspicuous for their share in the development and enrichment of what is best and most permanent in Welsh literature, and there have been long periods when they alone, by their devotion, saved what was most valuable in Welsh life from deterioration and decay. The crowning service of the Church to the language was the translation into Welsh of the Bible and of the Book of Common Prayer, and the publication of Archdeacon Edmwnd Prys's Metrical Version of the Psalms. It is unfortunate that the Church in Wales, as represented by many of her men of light and leading, cannot be said to have manifested in subsequent ages the same consuming zeal on behalf of the language which was displayed by these loyal and distinguished Churchmen, but there are historical reasons which explain this comparative indifference. In its earlier days the nobility and gentry of the Principality

[page 147]

not only were the patrons, but frequently also were the creators of what has proved to be of permanent value in Welsh literature. The influence of Tudor legislation and the attraction of Court life gradually seduced them from their former interests, and a process of anglicisation set in which has continued with an ever-increasing intensity down to our own day. As the gentry constituted the most influential element in the Church, their attitude has reacted upon it with considerable force. Further, for two centuries Bishops of the type of Davies, Morgan, and Parry, were succeeded by English prelates whose main interests were often centred elsewhere, and English incumbents were placed in charge of many a Welsh parish. These intrusions, combined with the growing influx of Englishmen into Wales, produced in time a divided religious community speaking two different languages, and thus many parish priests, feeling themselves unable to conduct two parallel services, abandoned the Welsh services, and so hastened the complete anglicisation of their flocks. Yet it would be an error to assume that the Church in Wales has been wholly neglectful of the interests of the Welsh-speaking people committed to her charge. In the year 1906 there were 1,103 Welsh services held each Sunday in her Churches, and there is no reason to think that there has been a serious decline in these numbers. Her Welsh Sunday Schools are in a flourishing condition, and are under the control of a Central Union of Church Sunday Schools, which issues, in Welsh, an excellent series of Handbooks for teachers and a wide range of Commentaries, written by some of her best scholars and theologians. The Church in Wales also publishes one weekly newspaper and three monthly journals, all of which have a respectable circulation. The Committee, however, view with some apprehension the tendency displayed in recent years to appoint monoglot English dignitaries and parish priests to positions in which a knowledge of Welsh should be regarded as indispensable. A policy of this description cannot fail to alienate from the Church in Wales the sympathies of the Welsh-speaking community,

[page 148]

and must inevitably hasten the anglicisation of the Church herself, as well as that of the nation as a whole, a result, which, in view of her history and traditions, the Church should be the first to deplore.

172. The Nonconformist Churches of Wales since the Great Revival have a better record of adherence to the Welsh language, but their task has been considerably simpler than that of the Episcopal Church. Although, with the exception of the Calvinistic Methodists, they are not Welsh in origin, they have with minor exceptions become Welsh in character, genius, and language, and until quite recently have been able to resist the temptation to become bilingual. The Church in Wales, on the other hand, has been a bilingual community for centuries and there has never been a radical separation of the two linguistic elements. Because the parish priest is in charge of the whole flock, Welsh and English alike, services in both languages are generally held in the same church, and frequently both English and Welsh worship side by side at a bilingual service. The transition from one language to the other is substantially simplified by the use of a liturgical service, and this, more especially in the case of the young and adolescent, has tended to subordinate Welsh to English as the language of worship. The Nonconformist Churches have adopted a different policy which is, by the conditions described above, impossible for the Church in Wales. For those Churches the language difficulty appeared only after they had become firmly established as purely Welsh institutions, and when the problem arose, they kept the two elements entirely apart, and provided separate ministers and separate buildings for such members of their communions as were not familiar with the Welsh language. Although this sometimes involved the loss of some of the most useful members of the Welsh congregations, who were at first lent to the "English Cause" to ensure for it a favourable start, and who remained there, this policy was remarkable in preventing the intrusion of bilingualism into the Welsh-speaking Nonconformist Churches. In recent years, however, the

[page 149]

situation has been rapidly changing, and in many districts the Nonconformist Churches are finding it difficult to maintain services in which Welsh alone is used. In rural areas the language problem is hardly felt at all, but in the large towns, in the watering places [ie holiday resorts] on the North Wales coast, which are now practically English colonies, and in the industrial districts of South Wales, it has already become acute. Many causes have combined to create this situation, chief among them, perhaps, being the continuous influx of an English-speaking population with its inevitable effect upon the natives. Moreover, the Day Schools have for years been steadily turning out generations of English-speaking and English-reading citizens.

173. These and other powerful influences have so affected the home and church life of the people that English is rapidly becoming the dominant language of the young and adolescent even of the Welsh population, and thus the work of the Welsh Churches is seriously hampered and their religious life gravely imperilled. The knowledge of Welsh possessed by the younger members is becoming so inadequate that they are no longer able to take an intelligent interest in the services, that they lose their affection for the Welsh Churches and ultimately sever their connection with them. They become English in speech, but, remaining Welsh in spirit, they are not attracted by the English service, and thus they lose their hold on one tradition without gaining another. Where a compromise has been attempted by introducing English into the Welsh services, the result is seldom satisfactory and the leakage continues. The process of anglicisation is not confined to the young and adolescent; there are wide districts where all the Churches, which thirty years ago were certainly Welsh, have been converted into English. The Calvinistic Methodists in their evidence stated that, in Monmouthshire, it has now become impossible to conduct services in Welsh, except in the few areas which attract settlers from other parts of Wales. In the Vale of Glamorgan almost every church has changed its services from Welsh into English,

[page 150]

and in the industrial valleys of the same county the situation is disquieting. The Churches in these industrial regions were built for and by men who came there from the purely Welsh counties, but to-day the children, and still more the grandchildren, of these pioneers are ceasing to speak and even to understand Welsh, and in many churches the Gospel is preached to the old and middle-aged in the presence of the young, whose faces only light up when the preacher lapses into an English quotation. Religion is thus in danger of becoming to the rising generation a sound signifying nothing, and affording neither inspiration nor guidance, and that at the most critical period in their lives. That this linguistic revolution is not confined to the Calvinistic Methodists is amply proved by the information tendered to us by every other religious body, and it would seem that Nonconformity in Wales, as a whole, is in grave danger of losing for ever what has been the most characteristic and most impressive element in its work, the exclusive and consistent use of the Welsh language in its religious services and its other activities.


174. The Sunday School has been for considerably more than a century one of the most potent and influential factors in the life of every religious community in Great Britain, but in Wales it has occupied a position which is unique, and to that extent its influence there has been deeper than elsewhere. What mainly differentiates the Welsh Sunday School from any other type is the attendance of scholars of all ages from the infant to the veteran of eighty and upwards. It has always set before itself as its main object the teaching of Scripture and of the fundamental truths of Christianity to the Welsh people in their own language. It has also clung to the Catechetical Method of teaching, first introduced into the schools established by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and later adopted by Griffith Jones and by Thomas Charles, who prepared for this specific purpose the famous manual

[page 151]

Yr Hyfforddwr which is still in use. To measure aright the extent of the service rendered by the Sunday School to the preservation of the Welsh language it must be borne in mind that for generations the Day Schools were close preserves for English, the use of the vernacular in them being prohibited, and that until comparatively recent times the Sunday School was the only institution in which the children of Wales were taught to read their own tongue. It was there, too, that they learnt to think, and to express themselves in that language, and so, saved Welsh, as far as the masses were concerned, from degenerating into a mere patois without any recognised standard of purity and with no literature of its own*. The examinations now conducted for the scholars by every religious body have also been fruitful in developing the art of writing the language, and it is no exaggeration to state that the Sunday School has done more to preserve Welsh as a cultured and flexible organ of expression than any institution in the land. To it we owe in great measure the very considerable output of Welsh literature in the last century; it was there that the poets, essayists, and philosophers of that age gained the knowledge of the language in which the artist's creative instinct expressed itself.

175. The process of anglicisation which is affecting the life of the Churches generally is, however, beginning to act with particular force upon the Sunday School, hitherto the most effectual barrier against the English tide. Many scholars come there with an utterly inadequate knowledge of Welsh, and the time that should be devoted to purely religious instruction has too often to be spent in teaching them to read and understand Welsh, without which the work of the school becomes ineffective and uninteresting. In the industrial areas the task of teaching is becoming increasingly difficult, more especially in the junior sections, because, although the children read Welsh fluently, English

*It will be remembered that the "Pwnc" has been an instrument of teaching good enunciation and securing a high standard of speech.

[page 152]

has to be used for the purpose of explanation, and as the scholars advance in age, they become more sensitive to their inadequate equipment in Welsh and are, therefore, difficult to retain in the school. The following statistics supplied by the Baptist Union of Wales and Monmouthshire illustrate the extent of the leakage among the adolescents. In a Glamorgan area there sat for the annual Sunday School examination 387 scholars between the ages of 12 and 15, 74 between the ages of 15 and 18, and only 21 between the ages of 18 and 21. It may be inferred that children trained with much care in their younger days find their English environment too strong for them, and, as they grow up, their linguistic resources become inadequate to their religious interests. So they drift away from the Welsh Sunday School and the Welsh Services, and the Church sees them no more.


176. Next in importance in its influence upon the Welsh language and its preservation comes preaching. The sermon has been, and continues to be, the dominant element and the crowning feature in the Sunday services of the Nonconformist Churches of Wales and at every religious assembly whether monthly, quarterly or yearly. At the Sasiwn or Cymanfa the sermon is the main centre of attraction, and draws its unfailing multitudes of hearers, and the beneficial effect upon the preservation of the language is beyond question. Preaching in Wales has always been Biblical, and every sermon is based upon a verse or paragraph of Scripture which, of itself, implies on the part of the preacher a wide and accurate knowledge of Biblical Welsh, or, in other words, Welsh in its most cultured form. This, in its turn, reacts upon the congregations and creates in them a familiarity with the language at its best. By this means there has been produced a fairly homogeneous tongue of a high quality which has prevailed over all dialectal distinctions, so that a sermon is understood in every corner of Wales, whether the preacher hails from the North or from the South. The frequent

[page 153]

quotations of hymns from the rich store of hymnology for which Wales is justly renowned has led many to appreciate some of the finest products of Welsh poetical art and emotion, and to find in them their earliest inspiration and stimulus. It is to the pulpit and its influence that we must attribute the prevalence of cultured and idiomatic Welsh among the peasantry of our land. We regret, however, to note, that, while there has been in recent years an undoubted advance in the knowledge of the nuances and idioms of the language, this is to-day largely discounted by the too frequent interpolation of English words and phrases, so prevalent in modern preaching, and that at a time when the Welsh language is constantly developing to meet every reasonable demand that is made upon it.


177. In the nineteenth century almost the only agencies of strictly Welsh culture were associated with the Churches, and the adolescent, in particular, had to look to them for opportunities to develop his capacities. In the Bands of Hope the children were trained to sing and to recite Welsh poetry, in the Literary Societies and Bible Classes the young people learnt to express themselves in Welsh on any subject, and in the Competitive Meetings and Eisteddfodau, people of all ages came together to cultivate Welsh music, poetry, composition, and recitation. Recent years have witnessed the growth of two new movements, the Young People's Guilds and the Welsh Drama. In the Guilds the work is of a more comprehensive and varied character than was that of the Churches; they give scope for the discussion of history, biography, economic and social problems. In the Welsh areas the meetings are conducted entirely in Welsh, but in the more anglicised districts they tend to be bilingual. The Drama, although not exclusively connected with the Churches, has been taken under their wing; and most of the Welsh Dramatic Companies now in

[page 154]

existence are connected with some Church, which is thus linked with a movement that daily proves the capacity of the Welsh language to express every human emotion.

178. In our day, however, other activities and institutions, besides those associated with the Churches, claim the attention of the young and adolescent. Educational institutions such as the Evening Continuation Schools, Technical Classes, and the Extra-Mural Classes connected with the University Colleges, and those conducted by the Workers' Educational Association, religious and social movements such as the Young Men's and Young Women's Christian Associations, Women's Institutes and the work of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides are slowly, but surely, displacing the Churches from the position they formerly occupied as the sole patrons of culture for the Youth of Wales. And unfortunately every one of these institutions save a small number of University Tutorial Classes is English in language and atmosphere, and detrimental to the use and preservation of Welsh among our youth. In industrial districts the economic problem presses so acutely that young people, often led by immigrants who are utterly out of sympathy with national and spiritual aspirations, become so obsessed with economic and industrial concerns that they have neither time nor inclination for more humanistic interests.


179. Our attention has been drawn to the very considerable volume of books, periodicals, and newspapers which is being published in Welsh by the Churches. Each of the four denominations, Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Wesleyans, has its own Book Room with its publishing and distributing departments, and so great is the combined output of all these agencies that a very substantial proportion of Welsh literature published to-day is due to the efforts of the Churches.

180. The greatest achievement of the Churches in this particular department is perhaps the publication of "Y Geiriadur Beiblaidd" (Bible Dictionary). Although it

[page 155]

originated with the Guild of Graduates it is almost entirely the work of the ministers of the various Churches and finds its readers among their members. More than 8,000 copies were purchased while it was being issued in monthly parts, which proves conclusively that there still exists in Wales a large public which is prepared to buy, and to read books of real value and substance.


181. Among the resolutions passed at the Annual Conference of the National Union of Welsh Societies held at Barry in May 1925, and transmitted to the Committee for their consideration, the earnest hope is expressed that the Committee would "perceive that the desire and the unflinching purpose of the people of Wales is that the entire culture of the Welsh people should be wholly consonant with the tradition and aspirations of the Nation without any degree of subordination to exterior influences apart from those external elements which are regarded as essential factors in national culture at all times." The Union further declared that they considered it imperative that in the entire educational system of Wales, the Welsh language should not occupy any subordinate, or even secondary position: that, on the other hand, every effort should be made that all the scholars and the students of Wales should, during the years of study, become thoroughly conversant with the language, literature and history of Wales, and that the Welsh Language should be used as the medium of instruction at all times, so far as that might be possible.

182. The Conference also recommended that sufficient resources should be placed at the disposal of the University of Wales to establish an effective faculty of Celtic studies competent to arrange thorough research into the history and development of the Welsh Language and the cognate Celtic languages, also to afford equal facilities for the study of the history of the Welsh Nation and the sister Celtic Nations individually and in their relation to other nations

[page 156]

generally. The Union expressed the conviction that the University of Wales should at all times give adequate recognition to the characteristics, and the spiritual land intellectual bias of the Welsh nation, and that it should intelligently further the development of the special material resources of Wales. Finally they recommended that the Secondary Schools of Wales should be open to all without payment of fees, and that instruction both in the Secondary Schools and in the Elementary Schools should be through the instrumentality of the Welsh language to the utmost extent practicable.

183. We were informed by the Union's representatives that its members seek to use all the force of the movement to strengthen the plea for the full consideration of the Welsh point of view in questions affecting Wales as a whole. In the same spirit it is their practice to urge the claims of Welsh national feeling upon governing and administrative bodies, both national and local. Particularly in the sphere of educational administration, so we were informed, has such action been frequent, and occasionally successful, for the Union is above all anxious to see the public educational institutions of Wales in complete harmony with the life and traditions of the Welsh people. The Union regards disharmony in the past as being largely, if not mainly, responsible for the rapid depreciation of the native language, and cultural tradition of the Welsh people during the past fifty years. If Wales is to survive as a national entity, it is urged that the education of the children and youth of Wales should be truly and uncompromisingly national.

184. We are convinced that there are both in North and South Wales many Welsh people, imbued with a sane love of their country and having the best interests of Wales at heart, who would welcome the opportunity of contributing to a fund to ensure that Welsh educational books should be published free at least of financial loss to both author and publisher. With the backing of such a fund no financial difficulty would be incurred in publishing and distributing books in Welsh which would compare with the

[page 157]

best English volumes now available for the use of schools. The particular class of people which we have in mind, representing generally the best elements in Welsh life to-day, consists not only of Welsh speaking individuals, but includes a large percentage of earnest public spirited members of the community who do not speak the language. We conceive, therefore, that bodies such as the National Union of Welsh Societies would be well advised to issue to well-disposed persons of this class a carefully drawn up appeal for funds which could be utilised judiciously in the manner outlined in this paragraph. The contributors to such a fund would have the certain knowledge that the money was being spent to good purpose and they would be in no small measure contributing to the solution of one of the most pressing problems which confront Welsh teaching to-day.


185. "If English Literature is to be a real influence on the national life nothing that can help to make books attractive can be deemed unimportant." We consider that, mutatis mutandis [with appropriate modifications], this is also true of Welsh Literature. In putting forward the above proposition, the Departmental Committee on the Teaching of English stress the need for the co-operation of publishers, booksellers, public libraries and education authorities. For the purpose of our own enquiry we consider that the same co-operation among the above-mentioned bodies, together with that of teachers, is equally essential in the case of Wales and Welsh Literature.

186. During the examination of our witnesses we heard many complaints, especially from teachers, of the lack of suitable text-books in Welsh, and we recognise that such complaints are not altogether without foundation. Witnesses from different parts of the country were dissatisfied with the poor assortment, the low standard and the high price of Welsh educational books generally. The publishers on the other hand, dependent as they are upon the teachers for the submission of manuscripts, contended that if the teachers of Wales would produce manuscripts of a

[page 158]

higher standard, an improvement in text-books would be assured. In this connection we were informed by a representative of an important Welsh publishing house that they offered a prize at Pwllheli National Eisteddfod for school readers for Standards I, II and III of Elementary Schools. The following adjudication of the manuscripts submitted speaks for itself:

"We are disappointed with the productions of these four competitors. ... not one of them ventures on new ground, and the plans of these books are only an imitation of others which have already been published. We fear that only little attention has been given to the needs of children in Standards 1, 2 and 3."
187. In the pre-war years [ie pre-1914] an insufficient supply of suitable books was doubtless a great handicap to the efficient teaching of the language, but the post-war period has witnessed a steady improvement in the number, character and printing of Welsh books. We are of opinion that generally the difficulty created by a scarcity of suitable books has been over-emphasised, and we are not convinced that the best use has always been made of the material available. Enthusiastic teachers of Welsh in Elementary Schools informed us that, although it could not be said that ample reading material was available for present needs, there had been a great increase in late years; but it is obvious that if, as is hoped, the teaching of Welsh in the schools expands, the need will arise for a greater variety of books. That there is now a considerable number of books available in Welsh will be seen from a perusal of the lists contained in the Cylch Dewi pamphlets - Welsh Books for children, Yr Aelwyd Gymraeg, and Y Gymraeg yn yr Ysgolion. Since those pamphlets were published, one Welsh publishing firm - Messrs. Hughes and Son, Wrexham - have produced some dozens of excellent books suitable mainly for top classes. It is generally those teachers who do not keep in touch with the activities of the publishers who still complain of the inadequacy of the supply. Enthusiastic

[page 159]

teachers even in small schools manage to collect a surprisingly large number and variety of books; others, less enthusiastic, experience considerable difficulty in procuring one set of reading books for the two or three groups of pupils in the school. We were informed that Caernarvonshire teachers have set themselves to the task of making their own graded material in their private time, so that the majority of the Infants' Schools of the County are now well equipped in this respect.

188. It should not be necessary, we think, to point out that it is unreasonable to expect in Welsh either the variety or the number of English books available for school use. The question of the publication of Welsh books is largely one of supply and demand, and we are convinced that if, in the future, the demand can be increased, there is every likelihood of a satisfactory response being made in the matter of supply. Moreover, the provision of Welsh books for schools is further handicapped and complicated by the greatly varying standard in Welsh attained by pupils in different schools. To give a specific instance; two books written specially for children and used as class readers in the first class of many Infant Schools in the Northern Counties of Wales were found quite unsuitable in more anglicised areas on account of their difficulty of vocabulary. The volumes could only be used in Standard IV of many schools, and for pupils of this standard the subject matter of the books in question was obviously unsuitable. In order, therefore, to provide suitable class books for all areas in Wales, the Welsh publisher is confronted with the problem of supplying three types of books, viz., (a) those with subject matter and vocabulary suitable for a child of 7, and (b) those with subject matter suitable for a child of 9 and over, but written in the vocabulary of a child of 7 (for use in bilingual areas), and (c) those with subject matter suitable for a child of 11, but written in the vocabulary of a child of 7 (for use in anglicised areas). Where the matter is suitable, the language is often too difficult, and where the language is easy, the matter tends at times to be puerile and even babyish.

[page 160]

189. Whereas English publishers, in consideration of the wider appeal and consequent increased sales of their text-books, are enabled to pay higher fees to authors and to commission first class artists for the preparation of illustrations, the actual sales of Welsh books, so we were informed, do not by any means provide sufficient revenue to enable authors to live on an income derived solely from publication, with the result that the writing of books is mainly done by enthusiasts as a labour of love in leisure hours. Similarly the same lack of profit makes the provision of illustrations by artists of distinction quite prohibitive.

190. Throughout the whole range of Welsh educational publications the weakest link is, we think, in the provision of suitable books illustrated in colour for the use of infants and of a series for children up to the age of 11. A type of publication on similar lines to Stead's Books for the Bairns with some material even easier, would meet a long felt need: it is gratifying to record, however, that a decided improvement in the supply of books of this character has been noticeable during the last three years, and that Welsh and even English publishers are now setting themselves seriously to the task of providing entertaining Welsh Literature for young pupils. Many of the illustrations which we have seen are of high merit while the general make-up of the books is distinctly pleasing, but there is still a great dearth of rag and picture books for "little people". In this connection we welcome the enterprise of the Editor of Cymru'r Plant in issuing as a supplement an illustrated portion Cymru'r Plant Bach. This is a step in the right direction, and we recommend that reading books of this type be provided for infant classes. The number of prose text-books, serving as Literature for study in Secondary Schools, stories, essays, etc., is, we are glad to note, also gradually increasing, and fresh anthologies of poetry appear from time to time, and books on science (Cwrr y Llen, Gwilym Owen: Gyda'r Wawr, ed., Professor Fleure), Economics (Elfennau Gwleidyddiaeth, J. J. Roberts) and the History of Politics have recently been published, but

[page 161]

there is a distinct lack of Welsh books dealing with Geography, Science, Hygiene, and History which could be used in Secondary as well as Elementary Schools. The following are some of the chief needs of Senior Departments of Elementary Schools and of Secondary Schools:

(a) Class Readers for all Standards of Elementary Schools;
(b) Literary readers for lower forms;
(c) Books on the "Direct Method" for use in teaching Welsh to non-Welsh-speaking pupils;
(d) Books on Welsh Composition;
(e) Books for general reading, of interest to boys and girls, especially romances, novels, and books of adventure. Translations of the best English and foreign books for boys and girls;
(f) More anthologies of prose and poetry suitable for various grades, and edited for schools, on the lines of Telyn y Dydd, Caniadau Cymru and Cywyddau Cymru, but with notes and vocabularies;
(g) More school editions of Welsh Classics, with introductions and notes, particularly of those books which are at present out of print;
(h) Biographies of eminent Welshmen and Welshwomen, suitable for schools;
(i) Books on Hygiene, Physical Culture and Domestic Science.
191. It is of the utmost importance, we consider, that all Welsh books used in schools should conform to the system of orthography accepted by the University of Wales. We think it essential, too, that all explanatory notes should appear in the language in which the book is written; it seems to us unfortunate that all dictionaries used in schools in the teaching of Welsh are bilingual. The use of such books is often discouraging to pupils. For example, in

[page 162]

one dictionary compiled specifically for the use of children we note that the Welsh words "cywydd" and "cynghanedd " are translated "homoeodistich" and "concatenation" respectively - a perfect example of ignotum per ignotius [an explanation which is harder to understand than the thing it is meant to explain]. A Welsh dictionary in Welsh compiled on the lines of the Petit Larousse would be a great boon to Welsh classes.

192. It may be well to give here some consideration to the question of grants made by Authorities to schools towards the purchase of books, a question which we consider of prime importance in all matters concerning the future position of the teaching of Welsh. The average annual allowance per pupil granted by educational authorities for Wales in respect of individual schools is 3s. [15p] for books, stationery and apparatus. When it is considered that the major proportion of this amount is necessarily devoted to the purchase of school stationery and apparatus, the provision for the purchase of books is in the region of ½d. [1p] per child per week; this figure covers the cost of books in both English and Welsh. The whole of this small sum is barely sufficient to provide the books needed for English alone.

193. In upper departments an allowance of 5s. [25p] per pupil would doubtless be above the average grant, and here, too, the same conditions apply; more than half the sum allotted is devoted to the provision of stationery and apparatus, the remaining amount, little more than ½d. per pupil per week, is the only source from which Welsh books can compete with the claims of English. An adequate supply of school books is, we conceive, vital to the efficient conduct of a school; indeed educational fitness is retarded if the supply of books to the school is arrested. Excellent schools and well qualified conscientious teachers are, it will be admitted, essential elements in a good educational system, but a generous supply of school books is a sine qua non, and we would seriously ask Authorities to make separate and liberal grants to the Schools in their areas for the purchase of Welsh books and apparatus required for the teaching of the language.

[page 163]

194. A scarcity of Welsh books in any particular school, however, is not necessarily to be attributed to the action of the Authority. Their practice, as has been seen above, is to allow a certain sum per pupil for books and stationery. A Head teacher who thinks it advisable to provide a large number of English Readers, may decide to omit orders for Welsh Readers for some time. For this reason, we think it would be a good plan if a certain minimum of the amount per pupil were reserved for Welsh Reading books, so that this portion could not be expended on any other material. We do not doubt that once the demand is created, a supply of fresh classbooks on modern lines will be forthcoming. It must be remembered in this connection that the correct type of English book has only comparatively recently been produced after many years of experimentation, and that the experience so gained should avail to lighten the task of writers and publishers for Welsh students.

195. To improve the supply of Welsh books, the following from among many suggestions which have been made, appear to us worthy of recommendation:

(a) The establishment of Translation Boards in various Welsh or English towns to translate foreign (children's) Classics, including English, into Welsh for the use of Welsh schools. This is work which the University, through its Guild of Graduates and the Press Board, might be asked to undertake. The editors and translators of the "Cyfres y Werin" series could also render valuable aid in this connection*.

(b) The University Press Board might be asked to act as an Advisory Board to guide publishers and to encourage authors in the publication and production of Welsh books for children - particularly for the younger children - in which field, as has

*This is in general accordance with Professor R. L. Archer's suggestion.

[page 164]

already been stated, the need is greatest at the moment. This recommendation was actually suggested by one Authority. The importance of such creative effort can hardly be overstated; indeed, it was the considered view of some of our witnesses that the fate of the Welsh language movement will depend on the intrinsic value of its literary output, both for children and adults.

(c) To give publishers the practical backing that is indispensable if the output of Welsh books is to improve, there should be a generous increase in library provision for schools. Every school, if not every classroom, should have its permanent and ever-increasing lending-library of Welsh story and other books.

(d) To give practical effect to the above suggestion, authorities and teachers might assent to a definite ratio of Welsh and English books in school libraries. The above rule should not be applied too rigidly to the exclusion of indispensable English books. But the present proportion of Welsh to English books in existing school libraries is surprisingly small, and an immediate effort is needed to redress the balance.

(e) We are of opinion that an exhibition of modern Welsh books, which could be circulated among the towns and villages of Wales, would be of considerable benefit to teachers of Welsh and would arouse interest on the part of the public.


196. Perhaps the heaviest blow that was ever given directly and intentionally to the Welsh language was the 20th section of Statute 27, Hen. VIII Ch. 26, whereby it is enacted that all proceedings in any Courts of Law shall be conducted in the English tongue; and further that no

[page 165]

person or persons that use the Welsh speech or language shall have or enjoy any office or fees within this realm of England, Wales or other the King's dominions upon pain of forfeiting the same office or fees unless he or they use and exercise the English speech or language.

197. For 75 years after the passing of the Act not a single native of Wales was appointed Judge of the Court of Great Sessions, and of the total of 217 judges of that Court appointed during the 288 years of its existence, thirty only were natives of Wales and Monmouthshire,* the greater number of whom had probably little or no knowledge of Welsh. There was no statutory provision for interpreters and the incompetence of many of those who so acted was a public scandal.† When the Act which abolished the Court of Great Sessions was before Parliament in 1830, it was strongly but unsuccessfully urged that in Wales justice should be administered in Welsh, or at least that competent interpreters should be appointed for the Courts, and that abstracts of all Acts of Parliament should be published in the Welsh language.‡

198. When the County Court system was established in 1846, the then Lord Chancellor (Lord Lyndhurst) is said to have treated a knowledge of Welsh as an essential qualification for a judgeship of those Courts in Wales, and in any case the earlier occupants of that position possessed that qualification. When, a quarter of a century later, this principle was disregarded, the matter was the subject of a discussion in the House of Commons, namely in March, 1872, and a resolution was adopted declaring it to be "desirable, in the interests of the due administration of

*W. R. Williams. The Great Sessions in Wales pp. 18, 19.

†This was the subject of a once popular satire, "Y Sessiwn yng Nghymru", by the poet Glan y Gors (1767-1821) who also poured scorn on "Dic Shon Dafydd" or the Welshman who affected no knowledge of Welsh.

Y Cymro (London, 1830) i. 61, 75, 90, 108 (where a petition by London Welshmen dealing with these points is given.).

[page 166]

justice, that the judge of a County Court District in which the Welsh language is generally spoken should be able to speak and understand that language."*

199. It is nowadays rare, whatever may have happened formerly, for any judge to demur to a witness's request to be allowed to give his evidence in Welsh, and it is certainly true that at Assizes and Quarter Sessions the interpreting is now generally done with a satisfactory degree of efficiency. A point to be noted, however, is that inasmuch as the form of the Oath to be taken by a witness is prescribed by Statute, it has to be taken either in English, or, if in Welsh, then through an interpreter.† This also applies to the words in which an Affirmation may be made. It seems desirable that a statutory Welsh form of both Oath and Affirmation should be provided, and that Welsh versions should also be provided for certain other statutory forms, such as the questions, cautions and explanations of charges, which the Summary Jurisdiction Acts and the Criminal Justice Act (1925) require should be addressed by the Court to the accused on the hearing of charges against them in Courts of summary jurisdiction. This would give to the Welsh forms equal statutory authority with the English, and would result in the substitution of one uniform certain formula for the present motley variety of versions that are, we understand, in use throughout the Courts of Wales.

200. Probably the simplest way of providing such statutory Welsh forms would be that adopted in the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1837, which, by the way, contained the first legislative recognition of the Welsh language since 1562, when Parliament ordered the

*Hansard. Parl. Debates, 3rd Ser. Vo!. 209, cols. 1648-1673 (March 8th, 1872) and col. 1844 (March 12th, 1872).

†See the Home Secretary's answer to Major W. Cope, M.P., 20th February, 1923. (Parl. Debates: Official Report. 5th Series. Vol. 160, p. 830).

[page 167]

translation of the Bible into Welsh.* Section 23 of the Act of 1837 enacted that the Registrar-General should "take order that the solemn declaration and form of words provided to be used in the case of marriages [under the Marriage Act, 1836] be truly and exactly translated into the Welsh tongue", and further declared it "lawful to use the declaration and form of words so translated ... in all places where the Welsh tongue is commonly used or preferred."

201. No fees are now charged for the services of interpreters in criminal cases at Assizes and Quarter Sessions, though it would seem that there was formerly no provision for interpreting the evidence of witnesses for the defence. In all civil cases, in these Courts, as well as in the High Court, whenever the evidence of a Welsh-speaking witness has to be interpreted or a Welsh document translated, that has still to be done at the expense of the litigants, the interpreter's fee being allowed on taxation of costs, usually on the same scale as that of an expert witness. When, moreover, it is sought to prove a will made in Welsh, the duty of providing an English version of it, and of verifying, by affidavit, the accuracy of the translation, is not discharged by the officers of the Probate Division, or Registry, but is cast upon the executor.

202. In County Courts, where the Registrar or Bailiff did not undertake the necessary interpreting, the Lord Chancellor, on representations made to him, occasionally sanctioned the payment out of public funds, of a small annual sum (e.g. 5 or 10) to an outside interpreter whose

*An Act of the following year - the Pluralities Act of 1838 - gave power by section 104 to the bishop of any diocese in Wales to refuse institution or license to any clergyman who,"after due examination and inquiry should be found unable to preach, administer the sacraments, perform other pastoral duties and converse in the Welsh language". In 1888, the Bishop of Llandaff successfully defended an action by a patron for refusal to institute to the living of Goytre, in Monmouthshire, a clergyman who could not speak Welsh, the bishop having previously held an inquiry as to whether the parish required a Welsh-speaking clergyman. (The Marquis of Abergavenny v. the Bishop of Llandaff, 20 Q.B.D. 460.)

[page 168]

appointment was regarded as permanent. Where this was not done, a practice tended to grow up of casting on the litigants the expense of paying for the services of an ad hoc interpreter, but according to the Home Secretary, in answer to a question in the House of Commons, on the 5th April, 1925, "there is no authority for making any charge to any litigant for these services". When the matter was at this time brought to the notice of the Lord Chancellor, he caused a Circular (No. 5a, 1925, dated 9th April, 1925) to be issued to "Registrars of County Courts in Wales and Monmouth". From this, we quote the following paragraph;-

"Clerks and bailiffs of established Courts who have knowledge of the Welsh language must be called upon to act as interpreters when necessary, and are not entitled to additional remuneration for doing so. In unestablished Courts and in established Courts in which there is no clerk or bailiff capable of acting as interpreter, and the Registrar himself does not act as interpreter, interpreters may be paid fees from County Court Funds in accordance with existing authorities. Under no circumstances should any charge be made to a litigant for these services."
In Courts of summary jurisdiction, popularly known as Police Courts, such interpreting as may be necessary is usually done by the Magistrates' Clerk, or more often, perhaps, by one of his clerks, or when neither is able to do so, then it may be, by an officer of police, the last-mentioned practice being obviously open to objection in the case of police prosecutions. Occasionally the difficulty is overcome by requisitioning the services of an outside interpreter, his fee being payable in the first instance by the party requiring his services, subject to the possibility of the Justices ordering its payment as part of the costs awarded by them against a defendant or respondent. Where the Magistrates, the parties, the witnesses and the advocates, if any, are all familiar with Welsh, the whole evidence is not infrequently taken in that language without being at

[page 169]

all interpreted. The same is known to have been done, though less frequently, in the County Court, more especially in North Wales, but never at Assizes, nor to the best of our knowledge at Quarter Sessions. Apparently no instructions corresponding to those of the Lord Chancellor's Circular to the Registrars of County Courts have been issued to Magistrates' Clerks in Wales, as to the interpreting of Welsh evidence. The fees in Coroners' Courts are payable out of public funds. It is highly desirable that there should be one general code of instructions with reference to interpreting applicable to all Courts in Wales, and that the duty of making the necessary provision in that respect should on all occasions be undertaken by the State, and not by the individual.

203. Serious as the effect of the statute of 1535 (27 Hen. VIII) undoubtedly has been in the past in putting the language in a degraded position, there does not appear to have been any attempt to use it to the discouragement of Welsh since Wales entered on the new era of political development which dates from the Reform Act of 1868 and which has been marked by so much legislation and administrative action in which Wales has been treated as a distinct unit, and the Welsh language accorded special recognition. It is significant that some of the chief Governmental Acts affecting Wales during this period had to do with education, but as these have already been dealt with, the mere mention of them here will suffice. They are - the appointment in 1880 of the Departmental Committee on Intermediate and Higher Education in Wales, the passing in 1889 of the Intermediate Education (Wales) Act, the granting of Charters to the three earlier University Colleges - in 1884, 1885 and 1889 respectively and to the University of Wales in 1894, the recognition of Welsh as a specific optional subject in elementary schools in 1890, and as a class subject in 1893. But during this time Wales and its language received distinctive recognition in many spheres besides that of education. Thus in 1873 there was published the first official Welsh abstract of an Act of Parliament, namely

[page 170]

the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act, 1872. The Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, the Factory and Workshop Act, 1891, and the Quarries Act, 1894, provided that in the appointment under these Acts of inspectors to serve in Wales, "among candidates otherwise equally qualified, persons having a knowledge of the Welsh language (should) be preferred". Welsh versions of the official abstracts of these Acts, and of many Special Rules under them were from time to time issued by the Home Office. Welsh translations of the Local Government Act, 1888, and also of that of 1894 were issued by the Local Government Board.* By the Census Act of 1890 provision was made, for the first time, for recording in the census the language spoken by every person in Wales, and this has been carried out, with some slight modifications, at each subsequent census.

204. Coming to public administration in the present day, we are informed by the Welsh Board of Health (which was constituted in 1919 to succeed the Welsh Insurance Commission, appointed in 1911), that practically all the outdoor Officers (47 out of 51) have a knowledge of Welsh and that every assistance has been given by the Treasury and the Ministry of Health to the Board in the pursuit of this policy. Of the indoor staff, besides three out of the four members of the Board, 14 out of 33 higher officials are competent to speak, read and write in Welsh. Under these conditions the Board have been able to issue pamphlets, circulars, leaflets and forms in Welsh, and to see that all letters received in Welsh are replied to in the same language. A similar policy and practice has, we understand, been adopted by the Welsh Church Temporalities Commission. By the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1923 (second Schedule) it is provided that "an arbitrator nominated otherwise than by agreement for an arbitration relating to a holding in Wales or Monmouthshire shall be a

*For a list of other Government publications issued in Welsh, including reports of various inquiries, see the Volume of Appendices to the Report of the Welsh Land Commission (1896), pp. 130-132.

[page 171]

person who possesses a knowledge of Welsh agricultural conditions, and if either party to the arbitration so requires, a knowledge also of the Welsh language."

205. The very remarkable success of the War Savings campaign in many of the Welsh-speaking counties, such as Cardiganshire, was largely attributable to the almost universal use of the Welsh language - outside a few large towns - in pressing home the appeal to the small investor. We may also mention a state-aided institution working under a Royal Charter which finds it necessary to make considerable use of Welsh in its educational work - the King Edward VII Welsh Memorial Association, for the prevention, etc., of Tuberculosis which, inter alia, issued a much appreciated Welsh synopsis of its annual report.

206. The Board of Education appear to have recognised fully that their main instrument for exercising an influence over the fortunes of the Welsh language is the Inspectorate. We are informed by the Welsh Department that 23 Inspectors have been appointed on the Welsh Staff since 1907, and that in all these cases there has been no difficulty in securing persons who, whilst in other respects worthy of appointment, possessed also a knowledge of Wales and of the language. In the case of other Government Departments instances in which the language has been officially employed are, we have seen, sufficiently numerous to show that there is at any rate no statutory disability. Moreover, what has been said indicates that in the highest spheres of public administration affecting Wales a knowledge of Welsh is to an increasing extent coming to be recognised as a valuable qualification for the Public Service.

207. In the field of Local Administration we are inclined to think that, apart from the question of Teachers, which we deal with elsewhere, the Welsh language now receives due consideration in the appointment of Executive Officers. A more serious defect in our local administration is the want of provision, particularly in the University Colleges, for training in studies which would give a more adequate

[page 172]

preparation for public service, and in Wales, of course, a high place among these studies should be assigned to a knowledge of what is characteristic of Wales.


208. Our survey in this portion of the Report has forced upon us the conviction that the traditional defences of the Welsh language have become seriously weakened during the last fifty years, and that it is upon the schools that its salvation will in future depend. By laying this stress upon the schools, we do not maintain that they have in the past performed, or that they do in the present perform their duty comparably to the older institutions. We believe that, on the whole, the elementary schools in particular are in no better case than the churches, and the following report from one of H.M. Inspectors in a Welsh district gives the situation in so far as the teaching of Welsh in his own inspectoral area is concerned;

"Generally speaking, and with very few exceptions, the present position is this. At the leaving age, after 8 or 9 years of schooling, the children are not able to speak or write freely either their own language or English. That seems to suggest that there is something radically wrong with the language teaching, and among the many faults I place the following as being in most urgent need of reform:

(1) The second language - English - is introduced too early, usually in 1st Class Infants, before the children are able to speak their own language fluently, and obviously before they are capable of tackling and understanding a foreign language which they hear only in school. They even learn to read English while still in the Infant Class, but they do not understand what they read, nor do they, as a rule, understand the English of the teacher. Thus they get into the habit of reading what they do nat understand and of listening to sounds they do not understand, the evil

[page 173]

effects of which are not fully realised. The habit frequently persists right throughout their school career.

(2) The Welsh - so called - spoken by the teachers is a mongrel tongue, being neither Welsh nor English, but a mixture of the two - "Y sgrifennwch y next line fel hyn", "dyna goo' boy", "Darllenwch chi, number one", "Tynnwch two bant o six", "At two addwch four", "Achos ei bod hi' n rhy oer yn y cool lands", etc. etc. And even when the Welsh is fairly free from an admixture of English, the Welsh spoken is a debased type of dialect. Is it surprising then that children, hearing such language for eight or nine years, from their teachers, should at the age of 14, find themselves incapable of ready expression in one language or the other? The remedy is obvious, though perhaps not easy."

209. The salvation of the language depends on the schools, imperfect as they are, because here the problem is comparatively simple. In the churches, it is complicated by many incalculable factors, and not even those best entitled to interfere in religious affairs could venture to make the preservation of the language a primary question. Our insistence then, on the schools as the last hope is not because they are, as promoters of Welsh, in a more satisfactory state, but because it is possible to point definitely to certain improvements, which, if made, will result in, at least, a great prolongation of the life of the language. Had it not been for this belief about the schools, we should be compelled to take a pessimistic view of the prospects of Welsh. From nearly all quarters we have had evidence to show that the unpredictable changes in modern life have jeopardised its very existence, and some reference must now be made to the more important among those changes. In the first place, there is the reaction of modern social and economic conditions on the churches. Hitherto the religious leaders have been unable on account of their loyalty to the

[page 174]

Welsh language to give all their attention to what we must admit to be the larger issue, namely the preservation of those standards of life which depend on a religious consciousness and the dissemination of religious ideas. We cannot expect that in the anglicised districts, the religious leaders will be much longer able to carry on the unequal fight in the churches, unless goodwill and efficiency in the schools come to their immediate aid. Without that aid, the cause is lost.

210. The scientific inventions of these latter days, and especially their commercial application, have tended to centralize all social life, in Wales as in England. When London and Cardiff were, by means of the wireless telephone and the motor car, brought into closer contact with the rural parts of Wales, it was not the cities that felt the effects of this association, but the rural areas. Now the English language has been brought, not to the doors, but literally into the houses of thousands of Welshmen who hitherto neither heard nor spoke English. If a Church Literary Society, in the wilds of Snowdon or in the remotest parts of Anglesey, wishes to devote a meeting to listening to the wireless broadcasting, it must be prepared to turn that meeting from Welsh into English. And this is taking place all over Wales; the wireless telephone is surely achieving the complete anglicisation of the intellectual life of the nation, and the language itself is as surely going the way of the intellectual life. We regard the present policy of the British Broadcasting Corporation as one of the most serious menaces to the life of the Welsh language, and think that our general recommendations will lose much of their value unless the matter is put right. The authorities responsible for the form and quality of the programmes are under a common misapprehension of what the Welsh people really want. They, naturally perhaps, think of the matter in terms of national pride and sentiment, and a good deal of the "patriotism" of the Anglo-Welsh press may easily lead the English officials of the B.B.C. to suppose that a ceremonially punctilious recognition of Wales as a nation is all that is required to silence all protests. Their

[page 175]

discretion and courtesy have never been at fault, but these are virtues which, though paramount in diplomacy, are inadequate to satisfy a national hunger. Nothing short of the full utilisation of the Welsh language in broadcasting, by whatever means this may be effected, will meet the case. It is not enough to give, as at present, an occasional quarter of an hour (in English) to Welsh Literature or History, or an occasional song in Welsh, though these items are of course desirable as part of a general programme for English speaking listeners, and we strongly deprecate attempts to satisfy Welsh demands by giving "Welsh Nights" in English spoken with a stage-Welsh accent, intolerably vulgar to the ordinary Welsh ear. There are Welsh speakers and singers to whom the whole nation would be glad to listen; there are standards of literary and musical achievement in Wales, just as there are in England, and we suggest that it is a part of the function of a Broadcasting Corporation, which has the whole of Great Britain as its province, to devise the means of acquiring knowledge of these facts. It is a rather pathetic comment on the position of Welsh in its own country that the only regular Welsh programme is that given once a week from the Dublin Station by the Irish Government.

211. Even those remoter parts of rural Wales which till lately had been little influenced by the flood of English tourists are no longer immune, and will therefore have to look to something more positive than their remoteness as a bulwark against the encroachment of English. The motor car goes everywhere, and the wilder districts, on account of their scenery, naturally attract the English visitor. Under proper conditions, that is to say, if the Welsh language had been given its due place in the schools, the influx from the outside world would be purely beneficial; it would strengthen a native culture, which, firmly secured in the language, would, in turn, give that language a greater content of meaning and experience. As it is, the boarding-house keeper, the tradesman, and others who benefit materially by the presence of visitors, have become outposts

[page 176]

of saxonism in Welsh Wales. It is their entirely laudable desire to appear at their best to the new-comers, and they judge that the use of English at the expense of Welsh will conduce to that end. They will continue to think so until they shall have laid in their school life a firm foundation on which to build a native culture.

212. Another disconcerting feature of the present situation is the economic interchange of population between England and Wales, due, in itself, to reasons of which the Welsh may perhaps be proud. A large proportion of the youth in the villages of Caernarvonshire, for instance, thanks to their educational opportunities, fit themselves for situations of which Wales has but a small supply. They therefore emigrate in large numbers to England, and such villages as we have instanced have become, to a great extent, breeding grounds from which the professional classes of England - teachers, doctors, lawyers, ministers - are recruited. The balance of population is thus upset, and as families die out, the old cottages come on the market at ridiculously low prices. They are snapped up by people from Lancashire and other parts of England, so that the Welsh countryside of to-day has a much larger proportion of monoglot Englishmen than it ever had. As long as the proportion of immigrants remains below a certain point, no harm is done, for the English children rapidly become Welsh speaking. The disconcerting fact, however, is that the immigration seems to be growing and that the schools are not fully prepared to deal with it. Here again, if the schools fail to convert their young Englishmen to Welshmen, as the chapels were able to do in the past, the cause of the Welsh language is lost in many a village which to-day sends up a census return of a hundred Welsh speakers per cent.

213. It would be unjust to state that the National Eisteddfod is becoming anglicised, but it is certainly true that it is not becoming more Welsh. The normal Presidential address is still delivered in English, and many musical adjudicators have now set up a rule of delivering in English

[page 177]

adjudications on music sung to English words, regardless of the fact that many of the singers, especially in the choirs, though trained to sing English, have little understanding of the language. It seems to the Committee only reasonable that the National Eisteddfod, grown to its present proportions by the goodwill of those whose only artistic outlet was through the Welsh language, should rigidly adhere to that language in all its activities. It is to be regretted that there is no central authority which can impose its will upon the local committees, for it is inconceivable that such an authority, with a policy unchanging from year to year, would be as oblivious of their duty to the language as some committees are. In one other respect, at least, a central authority would make the Eisteddfod a really effective patron of research into Welsh literature and history. At present, valuable prizes are offered for research by the local committees, but as it is impossible to know, more than two years in advance, where any particular eisteddfod is to be held, only about eighteen months' notice of the subject can be given. The result is inevitable; the only work that is of the slightest consequence to scholarship must be on a subject which, by a lucky chance, some scholar has already made his own. The National Eisteddfod Association performs, somewhat casually, some of the functions of such a central authority, but the notice it gives of its subjects is generally no longer than that given by the local committees.

214. The Welsh periodical press deserves special mention in any survey of the resources of the Welsh language. It has passed through three distinct periods in its existence of over a century: a first pioneer period of great difficulties which extended to the middle of the nineteenth century; a second period of activity and prosperity which were at their height in the third quarter of the century; and a third period of waning prosperity which has now lasted for some twenty years, and which reached its present phase after the war. In the second period, the weekly press, in particular the Baner and the Amserau, wielded a great power over public opinion, and it may be said to have been

[page 178]

the most potent factor in forming the political thought of the last century. Together with the Sunday School, the periodical press was the Welshman's academy; it not only utilised the language, it enlarged and enriched it. All questions - political, social, religious, æsthetic - were its province, and its service in the dissemination of ideas, at a time when sport, gambling, and the gossip of society were not allowed to lull the sensibilities of the people, was incalculable in its benefits. To-day the English daily paper, which reaches even the remotest parts of Wales, has proved almost too strong a rival for the Welsh weeklies, though its relation to the intellectual needs of the Welsh people is exiguous. We wish to record our admiration of the courageous efforts of proprietors and editors who still, in a period of great material difficulties, successfully follow the best traditions of Welsh journalism. Literary criticism and general articles of the very first rank appear weekly in Welsh papers, and, here at least, Welshmen have no excuse for looking over the border for guidance. Like the Welsh Churches, the Welsh press must look to a thorough reform in the schools for the security of its future.

215. One of the most pleasant features of Welsh life in the last century was the dosbarthwr - the man who undertook the distribution of the various Welsh periodicals whether religious or secular. He did not however confine himself to newspapers and journals; he was the distributing agent of Welsh books. These men formed, in their day, an almost perfect channel for the publication of all kinds of literature, and the vast quantity of books published in Welsh in the 19th century was made possible only by their devotion and industry. To-day, for one reason or another, very few of them are left, and Welsh life is the poorer and the position of the language the more precarious for their disappearance. The most helpful adventure which our organised Welsh Societies could embark on at the present time would be the re-establishment of the dosbarthwr.

216. Representatives of Welsh firms stated in evidence that the publishing trade in Wales is in a difficult position.

[page 179]

They were emphatic in their testimony that this is not altogether due to a diminution in demand; on the other hand, public taste had greatly improved and there was a good sale for the best contemporary literature. Welsh books in the past had been produced on a small margin of profit, which is, under modern conditions, impossible and the public are not yet used to enhanced prices. They named two causes of their present difficulties. In the first place, the old dosbarthwyr, who were content with a small profit, have disappeared, and the booksellers who now attempt to sell Welsh books have none of the public spirit of their amateur predecessors. The Committee agree that the distribution of Welsh books is in a terrible state; throughout the whole of Wales there are not more than ten booksellers' shops where a new Welsh book can be bought without inordinate trouble. The booksellers' windows are crowded with cheap English novels of the ephemeral kind, and when Welsh books are exhibited at all, they are too often mere "old stock" for which there can be but little demand. Secondly, whereas in the past the publishers made their profit on the enormous sale of religious books - Bible Commentaries, Hymn-books, and theological works - and were content to sell secular books at little or no profit, the different denominations have now their own Bookrooms which print, publish, and distribute all the really profitable books, and even act as booksellers for prize books of a more secular kind supplied to the Sunday Schools. They have also entered upon printing as a commercial venture. An instance was quoted of a poster announcing a Boxing Match which had been severely condemned by the churches of a particular denomination; that poster was printed at the press of that denomination. We cannot help agreeing that these commercial adventures of the religious bodies have had a blighting effect on the Welsh book trade, and hope that it is not yet too late for them to revert to their more legitimate activities.

[page 180]




217. The individuality of a nation is its birthright. War or conquest may obliterate it; an alien culture may overlay it; the unseen processes of history may efface it; immigration may dilute it; and yet it makes a fight for life and that battle is just. There is no profit in uniformity. For more than eighteen hundred years of history the Welsh people has maintained its individuality; it withstood the encircling power of the Romans; it was hardly affected by the inroads of the Teutonic invaders; it was maintained in spite of the armed occupation of Edward I, and the administrative assimilation of Henry VIII. Against the more insidious pressure of English industry, English commerce, English visitors, English books, English newspapers, it has maintained a steady resistance. That resistance from instinctive has become conscious. More through ignorance and want of sympathetic understanding than from policy or purpose the English system of education has in the past assisted hostile influences. But the existence of this Committee proves that British policy has become aware of the injury that was threatened and wishes to aid the Welsh people to preserve its birthright. It is for the Welsh people to seize and use this opportunity, by systematic, continuous, and hopeful effort. All the benefits of association with English wealth, English culture, English learning, English thought, may be obtained by Wales without surrender of its individuality.

218. The language of a people is the outward expression of its individuality. With the loss of its language some essential part of its character is at least obscured. In the literature of a people are enshrined the traditional habits of thought of a people, the life of its spirit, its aspirations, its visions, its continuous purpose. We do not wish to depreciate the value for Welshmen of their part in the

[page 181]

heritage of English speech and English literature. These things may be retained and duly valued without surrender of their own national heritage. But nothing that is worth having can be preserved without effort, without determined and unremitting effort. The sympathy of Whitehall opens a door; but the Board of Education can only work through Welsh Education Authorities; the attitude and action of Welsh Authorities will in the long run be determined by the will of Welsh men and women. In the long last, unless the Welsh people, all and each and everyone, work to maintain their own individuality as expressed in their language and their literature, no one else can do it for them. This Committee can only point the road.

219. In developing the study of our theme we naturally turned to the Report of our fellow-workers - the Committee on the teaching of English in England.* Their problem is not quite the same as ours. English is not threatened with suffocation by an extraneous language, or by a literature that does not correspond to the national spirit. It merely suffers from neglect, from the competition of other subjects that more obviously require study and systematic instruction. But English was not, and is not in a happy position. Unlike the French, the English have not learnt to make English the capital instrument of English education. They also need to be stimulated to effort; they also need to be taught not only that English is not only worth while, but that it is necessary above all other means for the development of English minds, of English qualities, of the English spirit. The English Committee and those who follow their exhortations have also a war to wage, a struggle to maintain. Therefore, their reflections are in a measure true also for the Welsh. "English", they say, "is plainly no matter of inferior importance, nor even one among the other branches of education, but the one indispensable preliminary and

*The Teaching of English in England, 1921. Report of the Departmental Committee appointed by the President of the Board of Education, to enquire into the position of English in the educational system of England. See especially pages 10-21.

[page 182]

foundation of all the rest." We believe this to be also true of Welsh, at any rate for all children who come from Welsh-speaking homes. Their education should begin in Welsh. All their ideas will suffer in precision and clarity if they first reach them through the medium of a foreign tongue. For those whose home-language is English, Welsh has a different value. For them Welsh is the only means of approach to the mind and spirit and tradition of the people among whom their lot is cast. Without it they will remain strangers to all that is most characteristic of their native land. They will not be Welsh, nor will they be truly English. "For English children no form of knowledge can take precedence of English, no form of literature can take precedence of English literature; the two are so inextricably connected as to form the only basis possible for a national education." Substitute Welsh for English and this is still true. An education that is not national lacks many of its most important elements. Welsh youth can acquire all the best elements of English culture without sacrificing Welsh; but without Welsh they cannot develop those national qualities which lie at the centre of their being. From the Report of the Modern Languages Committee* we take the following:

"We are, and must be, concerned with Modern Studies as an instrument of culture; and by culture we mean that training which tends to develop the higher faculties, the imagination, the sense of beauty, and the intellectual comprehension. Clearer vision, mental harmony, a just sense of proportion, higher illumination - these are the gifts that culture ought to bring. It cannot bring them to all; in their fulness they can be possessed by few; but in some measure they may be shared by all who desire them."
This passage, in its immediate application, applies more directly to the position of English (and other modern foreign languages) in Welsh education. But it sets out

*Modern Studies. Page 47. Report of the Prime Minister's Committee on the position of Modern Languages in the educational system of Great Britain. 1918.

[page 183]

effectively the view of the higher functions of the study of the Welsh language and Welsh literature which we have taken as our ideal.

220. We believe that the Welsh language, Welsh literature, Welsh history, together form the individual heritage of Welsh men and women which cannot be resigned without grave loss, and cannot be replaced by any substitute - not even by English language and literature - as a means of culture for Welsh natures, and in a Welsh environment. The position of Welsh youth is fortunate in this: that they have within their reach and of comparatively easy attainment the mastery of a second language, a second literature, a second culture. Only those who live in bilingual countries have such a chance. But the acquisition of English by Welsh youth does not compensate for the loss of their own national birthright.

221. So far, we have dealt with the Welsh language as the mother tongue, but many who would agree with what has been said, might be inclined to ask the further question "What is the value of Welsh itself as a language, apart from its claims on those whose mother tongue it happens to be?" It is here difficult to separate the arguments which have convinced us on this point from those others which, applying to the preservation of the mother tongue, have a more emotional appeal.

222. From the standpoint of the individual dweller in the Principality, whose mother tongue is Welsh, both logic and utility are clear witnesses to the value of the language; from the social and communal standpoint, the argument is no less cogent. Welsh is not merely the Welshman's language, it is also the language of that society called Wales, it is the instrument of the national life. The particular form of that national life depends on many causes, some accidental and some inherent in our being, and one of the greatest of these is this matter of language. The weft and warp of our being have been laid and conditioned by the fact that all Welshmen of the past have spoken this

[page 184]

particular tongue. It was no more their choice than their parentage, it was part of their destiny. Their destiny, in turn, formed and conditioned the destiny of the whole nation, for the history of Wales is the collective history of men and women speaking the Welsh tongue. The achievements of the past, whatever victories were gained over ignorance, whatever inroads were made by the light upon the realms of darkness - in other words, all that forward movement which we call national progress - are the actual and tangible expression in deeds of ideas which were first expressed in words. The inevitable sequence of idea, word, action, idea, cannot be broken, because it is governed by life itself. It is not peculiar to the Welsh nation; what is peculiar to that nation is the fact that the word has from time immemorial been Welsh, and nothing in the world can now change the character which the Welsh word has imposed upon action and idea.

223. A contemporary Welsh poet, singing the praises of his lady, says that the exquisite shape of her lips is due to the Welsh speech which every day passes over them. This is but a happy conceit, but it expresses in a parable the truth about the cultural life of the whole nation. The idiom of a Welshman's thought has been fashioned by the idiom of his speech. That idiom, in turn, has expressed itself in a particular kind of culture, similar, let it be granted, to the culture of other civilized nations, but differing greatly in many outward details, which are sometimes apt to appear more significant than the more fundamental forms which underlie them.

224. It is true that, in time, that culture may be totally changed, and if the Welsh language were to die, it would perforce change or disappear. The march of events in the modern world is rapid, and no one can predict what disasters may befall a nation in the process of changing its language. It is hardly too much to assert that those parts of Wales which have definitely lost their Welsh have not yet in any true sense become part of England, neither do they share effectively in its abundant culture. Theirs is indeed a

[page 185]

perplexing case; on the one hand, through no fault perhaps of their own, they have lost all hope of participating in the new life which is pulsating through the Welsh literature and thought of the present day; on the other, the long custom and tradition of their ancestral speech, with its accompanying idiom of thought, seems to incapacitate them from assimilating those ideas which are of vital value to an Englishman.

225. It has been fashionable of late to maintain that Welshmen who cannot participate in the literature of their own country may yet contribute something that is essentially "Welsh" to the general content of English culture, especially as expressed in literature; the drama in particular has been mentioned as the most likely channel. This claim is an attempt to find a niche in the culture of England for those who dwell in English Wales, since it is plain that they cannot have much part in the cultural life of Wales itself. It would be well to satisfy ourselves whether this doctrine has any foundation in fact; whether it is anything more than a pious aspiration.

226. We may readily grant that a person whose home is, say, in Radnorshire, if he have creative imagination, may find in his immediate environment ample material for artistic expression. He may interpret the life of Radnorshire to the rest of England and Wales, just as, for instance, Zangwill interpreted the life of the Jews in London. For that reason, fiction, poetry and drama, dealing with these interesting corners of the Principality are to be welcomed, but they cannot claim to deal with Welsh life as a whole. No man can understand and interpret the inner life of a nation unless he is himself an essential part of that life, just as a bay, secluded and distant though it may be, is part of the ocean, feeling the ebb and flow of its tides and the turbulence of its storms. The Welshman whose language is not that of his country may, on the other hand, be compared to a lagoon which was once part of the great sea, but has now been shut out from the parent waters; it has the same constituent parts as the ocean itself, but it will never feel the flow of its tides nor be moved by the great storms.

[page 186]

227. It is often asked why Welsh plays in English are generally failures, while so many Scots plays are brilliantly successful. The answer lies in this matter of language; the Scotsmen who have written the great plays belong to a nation that has always spoken the English tongue and is subject to all the great movements that sweep over England, and so they in turn, initiate other movements that affect the whole of the English-speaking world. Sir Walter Scott, R. L. Stevenson, and J. M. Barrie were not dwellers in a small English enclave surrounded by a traditional culture which they themselves had lost; they were complete citizens of the English world.

228. It may be argued that, even if language is an essential of literary culture, literature itself is only one art, and a nation may express itself most effectively through the medium of other arts - music, painting, sculpture and architecture. It is precisely here that the peculiarity of the Welsh tradition lies. For good or evil, whether from causes innate in the Welsh nature, or for historical and economic reasons, Wales has no art but literature and music; it has hardly attempted to express itself in the other arts, our sculptors and painters, such as Gibson and Wilson, having no particular Welsh significance, in the sense that the Welsh poets are significant. The creative energies of the centuries have been diverted to the one medium of literature and to a lesser extent, music.

229. The position of music is peculiar; it seems in Wales to depend largely on the literary tradition for its growth and encouragement. A revival in music and in its study is to be discerned in Wales to-day, but it has been inspired, and is sustained, by the literary revival. When the outlook in literature was limited and parochial, so too was the outlook in music. To-day when literature has all its windows open to the world, music is also being refreshed and strengthened. It is true that the content of modern Welsh music is being enlarged by the study of the great Continental composers, especially Bach, but its creative inspiration

[page 187]

comes from the ideas and emotions of Wales itself, from ideas expressed in Welsh words and emotions made articulate in Welsh numbers.

230. We have now briefly indicated the position of the Welsh language in Wales, and its importance in the life of the people. The whole of this Report is, we trust, an argument for the better utilisation of the language in education, but there still remain a few considerations which fall more properly within the scope of this Section. The necessity of teaching the mother tongue in the schools is the fundamental assumption on which all our conclusions are based. Welsh people, however, are apt to forget that this assumption has a converse, namely, that unless Welsh is taught in the schools it has no chance of surviving. It cannot live unless it acquires, in the minds of those who speak it, a prestige which we fear it does not at present possess; that prestige is impossible unless the language is an integral part of the general culture based on the schools. When we try to imagine what, under the old system, must have been the Welshman's attitude to his own language, we begin to realize the great and beneficent power exerted by the religious bodies, on whom alone the education of the children in Welsh depended. A Welshman of those days could see the efforts made by the State to create a culture among the common people in England and Wales, and he naturally assumed that it was intended by the State that everything worthy of admiration and respect should be included in the educational system. In that system he saw that his own language had no part; teachers, inspectors, class-books, prize books, all were joined together in suggesting that the language of culture was English, however imperfectly acquired. What measure of prestige Welsh had was due to the Welshman's habit of giving the outward exercises of his religion a larger share in his life than is usual among other nations. The language became associated in his mind with holiness and the higher life, and was thus surrounded by a glamour which was for a time more powerful than anything which may be called prestige.

[page 188]

To-day, for better or Worse, the case is much altered. Religious exercises, for the moment, play a much smaller part in the life of the Nation, especially since the war,* and the highly developed educational system which Wales possesses has caused the culture of the schools to loom much more largely in the national perspective. Unless, therefore, Welsh acquires an honoured, or even a predominant part in the education of our boys and girls, it will fall, in the general estimate, to a position below anything that may be called a national culture.

231. We were assured by different witnesses that girls in Wales are much more inclined than boys to "drift into English". This need cause no surprise, because social conventions and the refinements of life make a stronger appeal to women than to men, and the Welsh girl, in whose education Welsh has played but a small and despised part, naturally, in the years of adolescence, and during the time of courtship, thinks that she shows a greater delicacy in speaking English. No language has the slightest chance of surviving under these conditions - if, that is to say, it fails to meet the social needs of the mothers of the future, and fail it will, unless it has found an honoured place in popular education. Many witnesses, especially from South Wales, asserted that they find no difficulty in keeping their children Welsh-speaking as long as they remain under the influence of the Home and the Church, but from the moment that they enter the public school, they begin to relax their hold on their native language. It is clear that the policy of "Welsh on the hearth", excellent as it is up to a point, is inadequate to preserve the language. No language can live without prestige, and prestige is to-day impossible apart from education.

232. Welsh, then, must be taught in the schools, even though there may exist other excellent means of handing on the language, such as the Home and the Church, not only

*This statement is based on the evidence of all the religious bodies.

[page 189]

and not necessarily, on account of the superior facilities of a highly organized educational system, but because the language needs for its preservation that particular kind of prestige which only the schools can give. That, however, does not conclude the matter; at least two other considerations are here pertinent. First, prestige cannot be maintained unless the literary output of the language is, in any given period, well ahead of the general cultural level. The discussion of this point is outside our terms of reference; we only mention here the fact that the reaction upon literature of the educational revival during the last twenty-five years seems to be in every respect excellent. A century and a half of national striving after self-expression has at last made itself manifest in the high standard of contemporary Welsh literature, which, in quality if not in quantity, can bear comparison with the contemporary literature of any nation.

233. The second consideration is intimately bound up with our matter; it is the question of refinement, what used to be called in Wales syberwyd, in the Welsh taught in the schools. The Welsh language, even in the purely Welsh schools, must always, of necessity, face a serious rival in English, especially if we are right in our contention that the quality of the English will be improved by the methods of teaching recommended in this Report. Now, English has a definite standard of refined articulation to which every educated person tries to conform. Teachers, in Wales as well as in England, lay great stress on this point, and are rightly severe on slipshod and uncultured pronunciation, and other faults, such as the dropping of h's, The Committee fear that this is not always so with the teaching of Welsh; we have heard that teachers will allow their pupils to speak and read the language with a coarse and open articulation, and will make but the most perfunctory efforts to check the dropping of h's in those parts of Wales where that fault is rampant. The tendency is far too common to regard Welsh as a beloved vernacular, a homely speech, the use of which puts people at their ease in company by making little demand on the usual courtesies of social intercourse.

[page 190]

Teachers, we fear, quick to correct a wrong articulation, or a coarse manner in speaking English, do not show equal care in their treatment of Welsh. In fact, boneddigeiddrwydd, "good-breeding", in the speaking of Welsh, seems to have been a lost ideal during the whole of the nineteenth century, if we may judge from the evidence in literature. It was not so in the eighteenth,* and there is no doubt that the reason for this deterioration is to be found in the neglect of Welsh in the public education of the nineteenth century. We cannot insist too strongly that refinement in speaking a language is absolutely indispensable to its prestige, and cannot but emphasise that the teachers must take a new view of their duties. It is not enough to teach such Welsh as may be barely correct and intelligible; it is not enough even to teach a good style of written Welsh; the last refinement is also the first necessity, the creating of a tradition of cultured and dignified speech. Welsh in its own home must regain the dignity which is pictured in the verse of Hywel ab Owen, Prince of Gwynedd, when he praised his lady:

"Dewis yw gennyfy, hartliw gwanec,
Y doeth yth gyuoeth, dy goeth gymräec."

"Choice of mine, lady of the wave's beautiful hue,
Cultured one among thy people, is thy refined Welsh."

A man speaking his native tongue should always feel a certain restraint of courtesy as of one speaking in the presence of a great lady.

234. Here again the School may well look up to the Church. The tradition of refined speech has been kept alive in what is, after all, the commonest form of public Welsh,

*Gronwy Owen (Letters. Principal Davies's Edition, pages 61-2) says: "Cornelia, the Mother of the Gracchi, is commended in History for having taught her Sons in their infancy the purity of the Latin tongue. And I may say in Justice to the memory of my Mother, I never knew a Mother, nor even a Master, more careful to correct an uncouth, inelegant phrase, or vicious pronunciation than her."

[page 191]

"Cymraeg y Pulpud", the "Welsh of the Pulpit". That Welsh has some faults, but at its best it is traditional, and conforms to a rigid standard of diction and articulation.


235. Any discussion of the present state and future prospects of the Welsh language, not only in the educational system, but in the national life, will be of little use unless it is fully realised that the key of the whole position is the Elementary School. In this matter, as in others, we have, in the past, been inclined to fashion our educational ideas in conformity with those of England, though those ideas are the result of conditions which are not found in Wales. In England, the great movements in life and literature which have made the language the most important portion of an Englishman's heritage were in the past, and are largely even to-day, the creation of men and women whose education did not begin in the public elementary schools. Even the constituency of those movements, that is to say, the classes which are first inspired by them, is not composed, in the first instance, of such men and women. Throughout its history England has regarded the Public Schools and the Universities as the seed-plots of the national language, and it is significant that whenever the general knowledge of the mother-tongue and its expression in speech are discussed, whether to be praised or blamed, the reference is usually confined to the Public Schools. It would certainly be a serious matter for the English language and even for English literature if the elementary schools were to fail in their duty towards it; it would be serious, we say, but it would not be fatal.

236. We must, in facing our problem in Wales, resist the common temptation of thinking in accordance with English conditions. If the Elementary Schools in Wales, in the present social and economic circumstances, fail to equal, we are almost tempted to say surpass, the Secondary Schools and the University in the efficient teaching of the language, the whole cause is lost, and then we may as well accustom

[page 192]

ourselves to regard the future of the Welsh language as depending on the fashions of a professional class and the good will of the scholar. Nearly all those who, in any given generation, make use of Welsh as the language of the home, or the language of commerce, or as the language of the highest culture and scholarship, must have passed through the portals of the Elementary School; it is the one fact that is common to all classes and conditions of Welsh speakers. Of the pupils at present in Welsh Secondary Schools ninety per cent have come from the Elementary Schools, and if a percentage were taken of the Welsh-speaking pupils and those who take Welsh as a subject of instruction, it would certainly be found to be even higher.

237. There is a further consideration. The basis of Secondary School teaching must be laid in the Elementary Schools, and good will and competence in the Secondary School are quite unable to do justice to the teaching of Welsh, if the foundation laid in the Elementary School is unsatisfactory. This point demands the very special attention of Authorities, as the co-ordinating factor in any given area, because the Committee has had brought to its notice more than one example where the excellent teaching in a secondary school has been largely wasted owing to the bad preparation in the elementary schools of the district. Indeed, in one instance, it was pathetic to see the despair of a specially gifted teacher in a Secondary School in a Welsh-speaking area who could see her fellow-teachers in districts less favourable to Welsh achieve results which were impossible for her, owing to the superior character of the elementary teaching in those other districts. There is, of course, another side to the problem, where the Secondary School fails to build on the good foundation laid in the Elementary School, but that will be mentioned in its proper place.

238. Finally, it should be remembered that the great majority of Elementary School pupils do not pass to a Secondary School; in other words, the bulk of the Welsh

[page 193]

nation is made up of men and women who depend on whatever education they have secured before the age of 14 as a preparation for life. An essential part of that preparation is the acquisition of real intelligence in speaking and understanding the mother-tongue. In the past the Sunday Schools have been forced to supply the deficiency of the Elementary Schools, but it has by this time become generally recognised that this is a duty that properly falls on the Day School, and the high culture which has in the past distinguished the peasantry and workpeople of Wales will depend for its continuance on this - whether the Elementary Teachers and the Authorities who supervise their work have the same seriousness of purpose and devotion to duty as the self-trained Sunday School teachers of the past generations.

239. It will now be granted that it was no exaggeration to assert that "the Elementary School is the key of the position". We may probably be allowed to go even further and say that, though whatever content of culture the Welsh language may in the future possess does not depend on the Elementary School, the general spread of that culture and ultimately the very existence of the language itself, undoubtedly do.


240. All teachers and those who were directly concerned with education, whether as officials or as members of Local Authorities, were of opinion that it would be impossible to devise a uniform scheme which could be applied to Wales as a whole. Some witnesses, on the other hand, not so directly connected with the educational system, were inclined to the opinion that, as we were concerned with the preservation of one historically undivided national culture, it would be inadvisable to emphasise local differences, and that nothing could be gained unless Wales were treated as one entity. Here again we believe that opinion has been unduly influenced by the analogy of England. The

[page 194]

Committee on the Teaching of English had before them a comparatively simple task because, having wisely confined their inquiry to that part of Britain where no other language than English is spoken, they could with confidence regard all social and cultural differences as negligible. The Welsh Committee cannot afford to do this, because the cultural differences with which they are faced represent, or at least, are concomitant with, differences in the incidence of Welsh as the habitual speech. We have therefore been forced to consider our problem under three main heads, viz.:

(a) Districts in which the population is predominantly Welsh speaking.
(b) Districts in which there is a fairly strong proportion of Welsh speakers, the rest of the population being either anglicised Welsh, or of English descent.
(c) Districts where English greatly preponderates or where English is the sole language.
241. The above classification is at best but a conventional frame-work, made with the sole object of assisting us in dealing with a problem which, taken as a whole, some witnesses were inclined to regard as insoluble. We, however, are far from holding that opinion; at the same time, we think that nothing will be gained by refusing to face the actual facts frankly and courageously. We shall now proceed to deal with the different districts in greater detail, and to give precision to our classes by further definition. It will be seen at once that the first and third districts are the more nearly homogeneous, and therefore present less difficulty than the second. If in dealing with some or all of the districts we name definite localities, we do so merely for the convenience of quick identification and not because we wish to single out any particular locality. It must also be remembered that we are here dealing with Elementary Schools, and that we are therefore justified in indicating, at first, quite minute sub-divisions corresponding in many cases to the areas served by a single school.

[page 195]

(a) Districts in which the population is predominantly Welsh-speaking

242. This division includes, on the one hand, those districts where Welsh is not only the predominant language but is the sole language of all daily intercourse, and on the other, districts where English is generally understood by the whole population and may, when occasion demands, be used by them in their daily intercourse. Of the first kind, we may take as an example almost any parish in Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Merioneth, West Denbighshire, Cardiganshire, Welsh Pembrokeshire, some parishes in Welsh Brecknockshire, the greater part of Caermarthenshire, and possibly some parishes in West Glamorgan. In extreme cases as, for instance, those rural parts of Caernarvonshire where English visitors do not penetrate, English is never heard, and the tendency of the inhabitants, in spite of the English Press and Wireless Broadcasting in English, is to forget whatever English they have learnt in the Elementary School, and to depend entirely on Welsh for self-expression and for all means of culture. In this case, English cannot be regarded even as a potential means of culture for the masses; their sole hope is in the Welsh language, and it should be the aim of the Elementary Schools in such districts to equip their scholars with the means of enjoying a full citizenship of the British nation, a full participation in the general culture of Europe and a full fellowship with humanity, through the medium of the only tongue that is known to them.

243. Of the second kind, we may take as an example some of the towns in the areas we have already named, such as Bangor, Beaumaris, Llanelly, Lampeter, Denbigh, the northern portions of Swansea, some of the upper portions of the Rhondda, portions of the Aberdare district, and Twyn Carno in the upper part of the Rhymney Valley in Monmouthshire. These districts are by no means completely homogeneous, but they have this in common - Welsh is the preponderating language, and Welsh is the

[page 196]

language used in the vast majority of the places of worship and of the homes. Here it may be granted that English, being generally understood, and being often used in common talk, is a potential means of culture. Witnesses, however, were unanimous in their opinion that such culture as may come into Wales through the medium of the English language has failed to penetrate into these districts; in other words, the hope of the future is with that language which is not only the traditional but the actual speech of a great majority of the inhabitants. For this reason, then, we believe that we are justified in including in the same group the two types of districts where the population is predominantly Welsh-speaking. Even where these districts are detached and surrounded by a more anglicised population, the area is seldom if ever smaller than that served by a single Elementary School.

244. In all the schools which can be included in category (a), the language of the Infant School should be exclusively Welsh. Witnesses were agreed on this point, but a few modified the term "exclusively" by adding "or very nearly so". If it could safely be assumed that all teachers would conscientiously carry out this recommendation, it might be well to allow such a modification, but we are afraid that, in some instances, where the teacher regarded herself as unable, or was actually unwilling, to carry out the spirit of the recommendation, undue advantage might be taken of any looseness in the scheme. We cannot insist too much, here and elsewhere, on the necessity of the scheme being carried out in the same spirit in every school, and on the obvious undesirability of different schools interpreting our recommendations in different senses. We therefore wish it to be definitely understood that, in all schools in these districts, Welsh should be the language of the Infant Department in the same sense as English is the language of the Infant Department in London.

245. It may be necessary, here and there, to make provision for the proper educational treatment of any monoglot English child that happens to attend the school. The

[page 197]

difficulty of dealing with such a child varies enormously in different districts within this division. For example, in the rural parts of Caernarvonshire or even in the town of Caernarvon itself, experience shows that such a child acquires in a few months a knowledge of Welsh from intercourse with its Welsh-speaking fellows and, sometimes, even in a few weeks, and during the process becomes indistinguishable from the Welsh children. In these schools no special provision seems to be necessary for the English child; the disadvantages which he will suffer in the first few weeks will soon pass away. In places like the Upper Rhondda, however, or Aberdare, an English child would probably converse with his fellows in English, and take a longer time to acquire sufficient Welsh to enable him to profit by the lessons. In such a case, it must be left to the teacher to devise adequate means of dealing with the difficulty.

246. In the Upper Departments the medium of instruction should be, at the outset, mainly, if not altogether, Welsh. At this point it is unfortunately necessary to call attention to some serious instances where the Authority has been at fault in neglecting to ensure proper co-ordination between the Infant and the Upper Departments. Children were sent up from an Infant School where the teaching had been exclusively in Welsh who therefore did not know a word of English, to an Upper School where the teaching was exclusively in English. The results, as may be imagined, were disastrous, and much of the public opinion in those districts which was adverse to the teaching of Welsh was due to this unfortunate remissness on the part of the co-ordinating authority. It should be insisted, here, that Authorities should devise some means of seeing that any scheme of Welsh teaching is carried out in its entirety; otherwise the hard work of a generation of devoted teachers may be of no avail.

247. Witnesses differed in their opinions as to what stage is suitable for the introduction of English in schools of this type. Some teachers maintained that Welsh should remain

[page 198]

the only language of the School up to the third or even the fourth year after the pupil had passed out of the Infant School, and that English should be intensively taught in the upper standards. It would certainly require much courage to embark upon an experiment of this kind; on the other hand, a teacher possessed of that courage would also, in all probability, have the capacity to carry it through, and, for that reason, we do not wish to state a contrary opinion too dogmatically. It is necessary, however, continually to keep in mind the two objects which such a scheme should seek to serve, namely a complete utilisation of the mother tongue as a means of expression not only in school, but in the whole of the adult life, and, secondly, a thorough grounding in English as the second tongue. The plan of intensively teaching English in the upper standards would probably, in most cases, attain the second object, but as it would also entail the almost total disuse of Welsh throughout those standards, it would, we think, make the first object almost impossible of attainment, because, as far as the Elementary School is concerned, the fruitful years, for which the preceding period has been but a preparation, are those normally spent in the three upper classes.

248. In most cases, then, the introduction of English as a second language should be gradual, and in order that it may be gradual, in the exact sense of the word, it should commence in the first or the second year after the child has passed from the Infant School. The lessons in English should be given by the Direct Method, which should be used with discretion and not pedantically. We recommend the Direct Method of teaching English in Welsh schools with all confidence, as, unfortunately, most teachers, even in the Welsh areas, seem at present to be better equipped for teaching English than Welsh, and therefore, if Welsh in the English schools is to be taught by this method, a fortiori, English in the Welsh schools should be taught in the same way. In some of the districts which we enumerated as purely monoglot the teacher's task will be to teach a complete new language from the very beginning, and he

[page 199]

will thus have the opportunity of laying the foundations of such a knowledge of English, uncontaminated by debased local usage, as few districts even in England may hope for. The inhabitants of the Welsh-speaking districts have often boasted the superiority of their English, especially their written English. There is no reason why, with such a scheme as we suggest, this boast should not rest on solid fact. In other districts, such as those included in our second enumeration, the teacher's task will be, at first sight, easier. He will supplement and correct the considerable amount of English which the child has already picked up outside school.

249. It is essential that practice in reading and writing should be accepted as part of the Direct Method. As the pupils move up the school the time given to English should be increased so as to ensure that they have acquired a fair command of the language at the end of their school life. It must not be forgotten, however, that on this point, there is in Wales (and possibly in England) a good deal of loose thinking. The institution of Secondary Education is comparatively recent, and people are still inclined to think of educational completeness as they did at the time when there were no Secondary Schools; that is to say, they expect a complete knowledge of such subjects as are taught in the Elementary Schools to be imparted by those schools. In the complete acquisition of the English language by the average Welsh boy, as in every other subject of study, the Elementary School cannot do more than mark one stage, and the Secondary School has its own well-defined contribution to make in carrying further the work commenced in the Elementary School. Loose thinking on this subject is responsible for much of the alleged discontent of parents, who imagine that an exclusively Welsh education in the early standards has stood in the way of a complete acquisition of the English language at the school-leaving age.

250. While English is thus being gradually acquired by the Welsh pupil, Welsh should at no period cease to be the medium of instruction in some subjects. It is obvious that

[page 200]

Religious Instruction, and the lessons in Scripture, History and Nature Study, Hygiene and Physical Training, and possibly in English Literature, should be given in Welsh. Other subjects such as Arithmetic and Geography might be differently treated. It is essential that a pupil should, before he leaves school, be familiar with the commonest arithmetical terms in English as well as in Welsh, and it would therefore be necessary to introduce English very gradually into the Arithmetic lessons so that the usual exercises in that subject could, say in the Sixth Standard, be done in English. As to Geography, some witnesses were of opinion that it should be taught throughout the school in Welsh, and many instances of successful teaching in that language were adduced. We cannot withhold our commendation of those teachers who have shown this thoroughness, and of others who may in future adopt such a plan, but one consideration is important in this connection. If the teaching throughout the school has been consistently and conscientiously carried on in Welsh along the lines here indicated, there is some danger of English becoming what Welsh now too often is, a mere "subject" unless it is applied to some portion of the general non-linguistic work of the school. We would therefore recommend that some of the Geography lessons, for instance, should be given altogether in English in the higher classes. There seems to be no educational objection to having some of these lessons in English and some in Welsh; on the other hand, the subject would gain in interest by being so treated, and the two languages would be thus effectively co-ordinated in the pupil's mind by being applied to a common subject. This method of treating the subject of Geography, however, is only recommended on the supposition that the full scheme of teaching in Welsh is in operation throughout the school.

251. Such a scheme as we have outlined above has been adopted in many districts, and the unanimous testimony of those best able to judge, namely the teachers themselves, is that it has been an unqualified success. This view is confirmed by H.M. Inspectors. It must be remembered that

[page 201]

it is not in the Welsh-speaking districts that one naturally looks for striking and unexpected results, but rather in the anglicised districts, where often the very idea of teaching Welsh is still regarded as an innovation. Yet many members of the Committee, who had been brought up and educated in the old tradition, were astounded when they realised, for example, that ordinary boys and girls had passed out of some schools in the Welsh-speaking districts with a mastery of cynghanedd and with a wide acquaintance with contemporary Welsh literature. Indeed, judging by the ample evidence set before us, we are forced to regard the difference in educational efficiency between the schools which have adopted some such scheme as this and those which, from unwillingness or inability, still lean on the old methods, as being greater than any difference that could be found in English schools.

252. In some large and important districts among those enumerated above the prejudices due to the long duration of the old vicious system die hard. The matter would not be so serious if those prejudices were frankly and openly avowed, for the force of public opinion would in time be strong enough to dispel them. The real difficulty is that, in many of these schools, lip-service is paid to the larger and newer ideas, and no other kind of service whatsoever. Nor is this attitude confined to the teachers; we have found much reason to suspect that some Authorities are, to say the least, only too willing to turn a blind eye to any inconsistency in their servants between profession and practice. It seems that the best service which the Committee can render to the cause of Welsh in the Welsh-speaking districts is to call attention to the many excellent opportunities which are now neglected, and to suggest the removal of the whole matter of the teaching of Welsh from the realm of public patriotism to that of practical education.

253. So far we have thought it necessary to insist on the great ease with which the change could be made in those localities where it has not yet taken place. In saying this we judge by the quality of the human material in the

[page 202]

schools, but unfortunately there is another aspect of the question which presents much greater difficulties. However anxious the parents, teachers, and Local Authorities may be to see a real reform, their best efforts are hampered by the dearth of suitably trained teachers. On no point did we hear stronger evidence than on this, and we are emphatically of opinion that the first and most necessary step will be to take measures to ensure an adequate supply of trained teachers from the various Training Colleges and Departments. We deal with this matter elsewhere, but it has to be mentioned here in view of its very great importance as a preliminary to any solution of our problem.

(b) Districts where there is a fairly strong proportion of Welsh speakers, the rest of the people being either anglicised Welsh or of English descent

254. From the educational standpoint this is the most difficult class. Not only is the population of these districts mixed, but, in the various localities which we are here forced to group together under one heading, it is mixed in different ways. We have, first, those parts (of which some of the South Wales industrial areas like Pontypridd and Mountain Ash are examples) where the Welsh feeling is perhaps as strong as anywhere in the country. Here the religious services, for the most part, are still held in Welsh, though English immigration, aided by a neglect of Welsh in the past, has so affected the great majority of the children that they have become, for all practical purposes, monoglot English speakers. Pupils in these schools may be roughly divided into three classes - those who are English by descent and speech, or, being Welsh by descent, have monoglot English-speaking parents; those whose parents are Welsh-speaking, but who are themselves unable to speak Welsh, though they understand it to some degree, and are still associated with Welsh institutions, such as the churches; and lastly, those who, whether on account of the greater care of their parents, or because they are newcomers from Welsh Wales, are Welsh in sentiment, speech and associations. It

[page 203]

is obvious that sound educational policy will have different aims with regard to these three classes of children. The ideal aim, of course, would be to assimilate the first and second classes to the third, but we feel that, by attempting the almost impossible, we should run the risk of failing to deal adequately with the third class, whom it should be our first concern to prevent from following the example of the children of the second class, and growing up as monoglot English speakers. The kind of lesson that would be appropriate to the pupils of the first two classes would not only be wasted on the third, but would make Welsh as a school subject so stale and uninteresting that any attempt to introduce it to the schools on these lines might harm the Welsh-speaking pupils very much more than it would benefit the English-speaking. Unfortunately, this is the present state of things in many schools of this type, and the Committee wish to record their opinion that little good can be done until the facts are boldly faced.

255. We have next, in this division, areas where the second class of pupil is almost negligible, that is to say, localities like the City of Cardiff, or perhaps Llandudno, in which the proportion of English people and anglicised Welshmen with no knowledge of Welsh and very little national sentiment, is preponderatingly great. The test by which such places may be distinguished from others like Pontypridd and Mountain Ash, is simple. In the latter towns, the places of worship are normally Welsh, and many even of the English churches were once Welsh. In Cardiff or Llandudno, on the other hand, the churches are normally English, and most of the Welsh churches were founded to meet the requirements of a small minority of worshippers, exactly as in London or Liverpool. In these towns the Welsh-speaking children are often as proficient in the language as those of rural Caernarvonshire or Cardiganshire; indeed, the parents of most of them are comparatively new arrivals from the Welsh-speaking rural parts, and the annual summer visit to the old home is sufficient to ensure the preservation of the language in the second generation. The

[page 204]

Committee have had many cases brought to their notice, not only from Cardiff, but from English towns like London and Liverpool, where even the third generation born in those surroundings spoke perfect Welsh. It became clear during the course of our inquiry, that in some areas, these children were very badly neglected by Authorities, They were grouped together with absolutely English children and had to submit to elementary (and necessarily infantile) lessons by the Direct Method, which were - we choose our words deliberately - ludicrously inadequate to their requirements. It may be argued that it would be better to leave these children out of the Welsh class altogether, if no better provision can be made for them; or alternately, to confine the Welsh teaching to them. The Committee regard both these suggestions as counsels of despair, and for reasons presently to be mentioned, think that the adoption of either would be undesirable. Another suggestion has been often made, namely that, in large areas like Cardiff, one or two centrally situated schools should be set apart as Welsh schools, where the teaching would in every respect be similar to that outlined as appropriate to the purely Welsh districts. Some members of the Committee were warmly in favour of such a plan, but the Cardiff witnesses and others were opposed to it, considering that it might cause the relinquishing of all Welsh teaching in the other schools, and that the distances from the home to the school for all children, except those in the immediate neighbourhood, would make their attendance impossible.

256. While refraining, out of deference to the witnesses' explicit opinion, from pushing that suggestion any further, we must insist that no teaching of Welsh can be considered satisfactory for the Welsh-speaking children in these areas, unless it corresponds in spirit and approximates in amount to that given in the Welsh areas. It should be noted that the proportion of Welsh speakers in the professional middle class of a city like Cardiff is very high, and the conclusion to be drawn from that fact is that the professions are largely recruited from Welsh Wales and that

[page 205]

Welsh Wales will be unable to develop a middle class, because the members of that class will necessarily become anglicised as they rise in the social scale, unless some immediate provision is made for their children in those areas in which economic conditions have forced the parents to settle. The Committee have been much impressed by the pitiful helplessness of enthusiastic and patriotic Welshmen who, in spite of all their efforts, see their children grow up strangers to the life and culture which they value most; and we do not consider it seemly in a country like Wales which prides itself on the completeness of its educational system, that it should be necessary to send a child away from home in order that he may retain a knowledge of the language which the parents have always spoken on the hearth. We therefore suggest that the immediate attention of the Authorities in these areas should be directed to the Welsh-speaking children, even if it entails the postponement for a time of any reform in the teaching of Welsh to English-speaking children.

257. We come next to those areas in which all, or nearly all, the children are included in our first classification, namely those who are English by descent and speech, or being Welsh by descent, have parents who only speak English. Examples of these areas are the Eastern and Western valleys of Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan, and portions of Montgomeryshire, and possibly of Denbighshire, marching with the English border. It might appear, to an outsider, more natural that these districts should be grouped with those in our next main division presently to be discussed, but there are reasons which, once they are considered, will make it clear that their affinity is with Pontypridd and not with Radnorshire or South Pembrokeshire. The modern cultural tradition of these districts is Welsh, and it was here that much of the Welsh literature of the nineteenth century was produced. It was in West Monmouthshire, in a district which became rapidly anglicised at the beginning of this century, that Islwyn, the most original, if not the greatest, of the nineteenth century

[page 206]

poets lived and laboured. The traditions of the eisteddfod and other typically Welsh institutions still remain strong, as the Eisteddfodau held at Abergavenny in 1913 and at Pontypool in 1924 showed, and some of the places of worship are still struggling to retain the Welsh tongue. The Vale of Glamorgan, which is a purely agricultural district, became anglicised about fifty years ago with the large immigration of English labourers to the farms and of servants to the great mansions, and finally lost its Welsh with the spread of elementary education. But it has great traditions of service to the Welsh language even in recent times. Here was born Iolo Morganwg whose influence on the nineteenth century was probably greater than that of any other; here the Dean of Llandaff, Bruce Knight, though partly of English blood, acquired that knowledge of Welsh which made him the leading authority on the Welsh language in the first half of the nineteenth century. This was the home of Matthews Ewenny, best beloved of all the Glamorgan preachers, of the hymnologists Thomas Williams, Bethesda, and John Williams, St. Athan, and of a score of others whose names are familiar throughout Wales.

258. It is clear, for these among other reasons, that, unless all that we have so far maintained is false, these districts must be treated educationally in the same spirit as the purely Welsh-speaking districts, though the methods must radically differ. In one respect, as we have already said, they present a much simpler problem than districts like Pontypridd and Mountain Ash. All the children, with the exception of a few immigrants, are equally ignorant of the Welsh language, and must be taught on the basis that English is their mother tongue. When the reforms which we advocate in this report are in full working, as we hope to see them in the near future, there is no reason why the school-children of this class should not be treated as to the mother tongue and the second language exactly like the children in Welsh Wales, except, of course, that here the mother tongue is English and the second language Welsh, and except also (and this is a most important difference)

[page 207]

that the local and national traditions and all that a school child has most to be proud of, belong to the second rather than to the mother language. That is to say, the language of the Infant School should be English, and Welsh should be introduced in the upper departments as early as the practice approved for the school will allow. If the Authorities exercise due care in the selection of their teachers, and if the policy of the Training Colleges is widened so as to furnish a much greater supply of teachers qualified to teach Welsh, there is no reason why the school children in these districts should not, at the school-leaving age, have a knowledge of Welsh at least approximating to the knowledge of English which children of the same age possess in the Welsh-speaking districts. We have here the pleasure of placing on record the results achieved at one of the Cardiff schools with purely English children. Two little English girls, aged ten and eleven, were selected from Standard IV by the teacher and orally examined by members of the Committee. These children, who had had no special teaching, understood everything that was said to them, and they at once answered all the simple questions in correct, though slightly hesitating, Welsh, using with confidence and accuracy, the difficultly distinguished forms of the verb to-be, mae, oes and sydd. It is, then, not irrelevant at this point, to ask - if these results could be attained with children of purely English parentage in an industrial city with little or no Welsh tradition, what can not be done with Welsh children in districts with literary and historical traditions unsurpassed by those of any district in Wales?

259. Before leaving this second division, we must return for a moment to those mixed areas, where some of the children speak Welsh, where the majority have some knowledge of it, and where there is a strong English element. At first sight, from the point of view of school organization, the task of teaching Welsh in these schools looks hopeless. Yet, it is attempted with a fair degree of success throughout these districts, and the Glamorgan Education Authority is now making a special attempt to make its teaching efficient

[page 208]

in schools of this kind. the chief difficulty has been already mentioned, the great lack of uniformity among the children in their knowledge of Welsh. It is specially acute in Infant Schools, and if some solution is found there, the task will be much lighter in the upper departments.

260. The Committee are of opinion that they cannot contribute to the solution of the problem without insisting on the division of the children on the only rational basis, namely that of the home language. They fully recognise all the objections to this course, and frankly admit that the adoption of this policy entails a double set of classes. Even if English were adopted as the general medium of instruction, some duplication, and that of a most undesirable kind, would be necessary for the Welsh lessons proper. Indeed, the absolute exclusion of the non-Welsh speaking children would by no means help; it would make the problem still more difficult, as then the duplication would be permanent, and the school would resolve itself into two distinct schools meeting in the same building. We must be prepared to face the unpleasant fact of duplication, but the name will probably be found to be much more terrible than the fact.

261. There are, at least, three ways in which duplication may be made, not only less onerous, but even acceptable. First, by grouping. This will obviously be easier in large schools than in small, and small schools may have to look for relief to our third expedient. In the large school there should not be much difficulty in grouping the pupils, according to their knowledge, if a considerably greater part of the school day is devoted to Welsh - a reform which is desirable on other grounds also. With this arrangement, the reading lesson, for example, from a book appropriate to the Welsh-speaking children of the first year, might be taken with English-speaking children of the third or fourth year. Such a grouping as we here suggest can be successfully done only if the majority of the teachers in the School are able to teach Welsh, so that the Welsh lesson may be taken simultaneously in nearly all the classes, This again brings us back to the great weakness in the schools, the

[page 209]

serious lack of teachers trained in Welsh, with which we deal elsewhere. The first step, therefore, in any organisation on the basis here outlined rests with the Authorities charged with the appointment of teachers to the schools.

262. Secondly, by individual methods which are being actively explored at the present time. Many of the witnesses, with whom the Committee as a whole agreed, were confident that, both in schools where the grouping system is difficult and in schools where it is comparatively easy, individual work can supply, if not a complete, at least a working solution of the difficulty. It will hardly be necessary to suggest to those teachers who were trained before this method was developed, that they should make themselves familiar with it and give it a fair trial, before adopting more cumbrous and possibly less satisfactory means of coping with their difficulty. Authorities generally would do well to provide special courses for this class of teacher, as is being done by some progressive Authorities.

263. Thirdly, there arises out of what has been already said the undoubted fact that schools of the type here described, are, as compared with English schools and with Welsh schools in homogeneous areas, badly understaffed. If the work of a school is duplicated, even in one subject, it is clear that more teachers will be required than what is normally the school establishment. We recommend, therefore, that those Authorities which have under their charge schools of the kind should in the first instance convince themselves of the existence of abnormal conditions and of the consequent necessity of a more generous allowance of teachers, and, in the second place, make a reasoned representation to the Board of Education showing why such schools under their authority require special treatment. We are naturally loth to prejudice the case for Welsh teaching by burdening it with this unfortunate necessity, but we should fall short of our duty if we failed to place our opinion on record; and, after all, it is a burden that falls on the teaching of Welsh in one particular type of school only. We see no reason for thinking that schools in purely Welsh or purely English districts are under this necessity.

[page 210]

264. One further point must be noted with, regard to these schools. It was recommended above that the division of the children should be on the basis of the home language. Witnesses have stated that this recommendation is not quite so simple as it looks, because the home language may be nominated by the teacher or by the child himself in defiance of the facts. That is to say, a teacher may decide that the home language of a child whose Welsh seems to him not to be as good as his English, is English; or it may even happen that a child, who thinks that he speaks English better than Welsh, may tell the teacher that his home language is English; it was asserted by many witnesses that such statements had been often made. It is well, in face of these facts, to say plainly that by "home language" is meant not necessarily the language that a child appears to speak more readily, but the actual language which he hears on his own hearth. On this point there is only one competent authority, namely the parents themselves.

(c) Districts where English preponderates, or is the sole Language

265. In these districts, except to the eye of the historian, Welsh appears in the guise of a foreign language; on the other hand, English culture appears in the guise of a foreign culture, and it is these two facts, taken together, that constitute their particular problem. Some of the areas such as South Pembrokeshire and the peninsula of Gower ceased to be Welsh hundreds of years ago, that is to say, have never been a part of modern Wales. Other areas such as the whole of Radnorshire seem to have held aloof from the great religious movements of the eighteenth century and to have become separated from the rest of Wales, in some degree in sentiment, and altogether in language. Some areas in this division, such as East Monmouthshire, held out against the English tide till the beginning of the nineteenth century, and here Welsh may be said to have died actually of inanition. Sir Joseph Bradney* states

*In his Memorandum, The Decay of the Welsh Language in the eastern part of Monmouthshire, submitted to the Committee.

[page 211]

that "the decay of the Welsh language in the eastern part of the County of Monmouth seems to have commenced about the middle of the eighteenth century. Up to this time, Welsh was throughout the County the colloquial language of the people, as it was also in the Hundreds of Ewyas and Ergyng (Archenfield) in the County of Hereford, and even in that part of the Forest of Dean called in Welsh Cantref Coch, in the County of Gloucester. ... As to when Welsh services were abandoned in the different churches, it is difficult to say exactly. It was a gradual process. ... At Trevethin there was no English Church until the year 1820 ... and for some time after this Trevethin Church was used solely for Welsh services. ... Welsh was finally abandoned there in 1890. In the Churches of Oldcastle (Hengastell) in Monmouthshire and Walterston (Tre-Wallter) in Herefordshire, Welsh services were regularly held till the year 1830. As to Welsh in the chapels, as in many other parts of Wales, the old language continued after it had left the church. At the Baptist Chapel of Gaer-lwyd, in the parish of Shirenewton, and at Llangwm, Welsh has been used, so I am informed, within the memory of many. In the Baptist Chapel at Llanddewi, Rhydderch Welsh was the only language till the year 1850. At the Chapel of Pwll Lleucu in Llanvapley, Welsh services were held till 1870 and perhaps later. ... Coming to recent times within my own experiences, 40 years ago it was not uncommon to hear Welsh spoken by the older people." Sir Joseph Bradney, himself Welsh-speaking, gives it as his opinion that "to resuscitate the Welsh language in the eastern and agricultural part of Monmouthshire would be an impossibility."

266. Most of these districts are agricultural, and some of them are among the most sparsely populated in Wales. It comes as a great surprise to the traveller in these parts, inaccessible to the great anglicising influences of modern times, to find no vestige of the old tongue except in the place names, which are still, for the most part, correctly pronounced by the inhabitants. If, against the opinion

[page 212]

quoted above, we were to persist in the hope that the countryside of Radnorshire and Monmouthshire might still become a part of Welsh-speaking Wales, we should have to agree that such a conquest would be the result of a very slow penetration. We do not think that the teaching of Welsh in these schools, whether voluntarily accepted or compulsorily imposed, could ever, by itself, bring the language into general use. The only hope would be if Welsh should become the language of a greatly superior culture in the neighbouring districts; that is to say, if the schools in the Welsh and half-Welsh districts do their duty by the language. Thus on Welsh Wales and its educational system depends not only its own salvation but the linguistic and cultural reconquest of its lost provinces.

267. If it is undesirable, as we have maintained above, that a second language should be even attempted in the Infant School, and if, therefore, coming from the universal to the particular, no English should be taught in the Infant Schools of the Welsh-speaking parts, it follows that no Welsh should be taught in the Infant Schools of this class. There will certainly be general agreement with this statement, because its logic is unassailable, but when we come to apply the same logic to the Upper Departments, in which in the Welsh Schools two languages are to be taught, we find, in some quarters, a decided hostility towards a proposal to submit all the children to a course of Welsh instruction. The witnesses who gave evidence for the Radnorshire Authority were unanimous on this point, and spoke on the matter with some heat; the Pembrokeshire and Monmouthshire evidence, though couched in more conciliatory terms, was no less decided as to those parts of their areas which fall within this division.

268. Authorities may, or may not, be convinced that it would be advantageous to teach Welsh in their districts. Should they be so convinced, they have the power to make the instruction compulsory or optional, but under whichever form it is introduced, the Authority's orders cannot be efficiently carried out unless the teachers are not only

[page 213]

qualified to teach Welsh, but also fully persuaded that the children would be benefited by it. As a matter of fact, we have gathered during the course of the Inquiry that these two conditions are mutually dependent for their fulfilment. Even if the Board of Education or some future Welsh National Authority were to make Welsh compulsory in all schools in geographical Wales, the results would be illusory unless efficient teaching arrangements can be made, and unless there is general conviction that solid benefits would result from the teaching. There is, indeed, a possibility which if it were realized would certainly bring about the fulfilment of the latter condition. If at any time, Welsh life in general, in its industrial, business and educational activities, should become so organized that no one in Wales could carry on his ordinary business without a knowledge of Welsh, even Radnorshire would be forced to reconsider its position. As we have insisted on other occasions, the remedy is in the hands of Welsh-speaking Welshmen, and its application depends on the completeness with which Welsh Wales will carry out the reforms suggested in this Report.

269. We must now, however, confine ourselves to things as they are, and a few words will be necessary on the general case for the teaching of Welsh in the English areas. In Welsh Wales, as we have seen, it is not so much a question of educational benefit as of educational necessity. There should be no more need for argument that a child at Llangefni should use and learn his native tongue than that a child at Stratford should use and learn English; but in English Wales other reasons for teaching Welsh will have to be adduced.

270. The consideration that would make the quickest appeal to the man in the street (say at Newport) would be that a knowledge of Welsh was often necessary for public appointments in Wales, and always to persons who move from the English parts to those where Welsh is the general language of the community. Many such utilitarian arguments could be, and indeed have often been, brought

[page 214]

forward, but they are certainly not in themselves strong enough to support the case for the universal teaching of Welsh. The case rests on much stronger arguments, some of which we will briefly name, though they are but a small part of the case built up on the evidence which came before us.

(1) Wales has no history which is not bound up with its language; even the history of those districts now most estranged from its general life has little of interest or of romance that is not vitally connected with the language. All the children living within the boundaries of the Country should, at some period of their school life, learn how much the Welsh language means to their fellow-countrymen who, when almost every other element of the national life has either changed or vanished, have preserved this one portion of their heritage against all hostile influences. Even a comparatively short course of instruction in Welsh, in conjunction with lessons in Welsh history, would give the English-speaking children a feeling of unity with the nation as a whole, and might even arouse in them a sense of responsibility for the preservation and extension of the language. Many of our witnesses who were most enthusiastically concerned in the cause of the Welsh language, were themselves unable to speak it.

(2) The Welsh language is worthy of study for its own sake. It has a noble lineage, an exceptionally distinguished history, a structure and vocabulary as adaptable for the expression and inculcation of knowledge as any other language. The excellence of its literature, especially its poetry, would amply repay the trouble of acquiring the language.

(3) A second language is an incalculably valuable possession. It promotes clarity of thought through the effort to present the same ideas in two different modes; it extends the sources of inspiration of any person whose mind is even in the least degree artistically creative. It would be impossible to give a similar bilingual training in English

[page 215]

elementary schools, but in bilingual Wales, the requisite teachers and the requisite practice in speech are available, and it would be a pity if this opportunity were neglected. French, for instance, taught in the elementary schools would necessarily be that of "Stratford-atte-Bowe"; the Welsh taught in Wales would be metropolitan; it would be pure Welsh as Welshmen speak it.

(4) Children who have acquired some knowledge of the language in the Elementary School and who proceed to the Secondary School may ultimately acquire great proficiency in it. This may lead to still further progress at the University. One of the teachers of Welsh in a Secondary School at the present moment is a native of Radnorshire and was at one time a monoglot English speaker. There are examples of University students, born in purely English areas and of monoglot English parentage, who have acquired high distinction in the Honours School of Welsh in the different colleges.


271. We observe with interest that the study of the Welsh language and literature is included in the curriculum of the great majority of these schools. Since the main duty of the Central School is to provide for its pupils a broad and liberal education and the basis of a sound culture, we would make a strong claim that Welsh should find an important place in the curriculum of schools of this type. Central Schools differ widely from Secondary Schools in their appeal: the former do not, as a general rule, prepare their pupils for specific public examinations and their curriculum is consequently untrammelled by the requirements of external examining bodies. It is generally true that the pupils of Secondary Schools pass in a greater or less degree into the colleges (both University and Training Colleges), the professions, or institutions of higher education, and they would therefore tend in large measure to leave their original place of abode. This is especially true of pupils born in the rural areas. But these conditions do not apply

[page 216]

generally to pupils in Central Schools. Like pupils of Elementary Schools, they tend to pass their after-school life in their immediate neighbourhood. The bulk of the stable population of any district will in the course of time be drawn from such schools. If, therefore, the basis of their cultural education has included a study of Welsh language and literature, as wide as has been compatible with the demands of the other subjects of the time-table, they will be able to play a prominent part, especially in Welsh and bilingual districts, in the social life and cultural activities of the neighbourhood. We do not wish to suggest that, without this basis of Welsh instruction, such opportunities would be denied them in their after-school life, but we believe that, equipped with a knowledge of Welsh and having studied at least some portions of the best in Welsh literature, they would be able to lead a fuller life than if their study of Welsh had ceased at their passing out from the elementary school.

272. These same arguments will apply to a large number of pupils of Secondary Schools especially in rural areas. One education official stated in his evidence that the Secondary Schools of Wales to-day are slowly, but surely transforming the outlook of young people with regard to the Welsh language and institutions, and developing Welsh national consciousness. In his area most of the leaders of public life and thought are drawn from the Secondary Schools, and are deeply interested in Welsh life. We see no reason why a similar part should not be played in the future by the pupils of our Central Schools.

273. The important questions of the staffing and equipment of Central Schools are discussed at length in the recently published Report of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education.* We feel that, in Central Schools where Welsh is taught, the appointment of well qualified specialist teachers of Welsh, the provision of form libraries

*The Education of the Adolescent, Report of the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education, 1926.

[page 217]

of Welsh books, and a generous apportionment of time for the study of the language, are essential. If these schools are to "be constantly establishing connection between school studies and life",* then no curriculum which does not make ample provision for the study of the Welsh language and literature in Welsh and bilingual districts would fulfil its purpose in equipping the scholars for life in Wales.


274. We have recorded our opinion that the Elementary School is the key to the whole position: that there is considerable evidence of lack of co-ordination in schemes of Welsh teaching in schools of various grades, and that the effectiveness of the teaching in Secondary Schools depends in the first instance on the quality of the work done in the Elementary Schools. We have observed that, in spite of the expansion of facilities for Secondary education, the bulk of the people of Wales depend on the education they have received up to 14 years of age. There can be no question of the great influence exercised by the requirements of the Examination, by which free places in Secondary Schools are awarded, on the outlook and curriculum of the Elementary School. Admission to Secondary Schools is by way of two examinations. The first is the Free Place Examination usually conducted by the Authority with varying degrees of co-operation with teachers in Secondary and Elementary Schools. The second is the ordinary Entrance Examination, usually, if not always, conducted by the Head of the Secondary School concerned. There is to-day a tendency, acceptable, we believe, to the Board of Education, to combine these two examinations. We believe such combination to be sound, especially if an increasing share of the examining is given to experienced teachers in Elementary and Secondary Schools. Secondary School Regulations up to the end of 1925 stated in the Explanatory Note that the Board accepted the recommendation of the Departmental Committee on Scholarships and Free Places, which was that

*Ibid p. 126.

[page 218]

the written test at the Free Place Examination should be confined to English and Arithmetic, except in the case of Welsh-speaking candidates, who should be allowed the opportunity of answering written questions in Welsh. The form of this examination does not depend on regulations and therefore there is an open choice of measures intended to remove the serious handicap from which the Welsh-speaking child suffers at present. We have indicated how schools ought to be grouped or graded on a language basis, and we are, therefore, of opinion that no general written Language Examination for the whole of a heterogeneous area can possibly afford a fair test for children so widely varying in language attainments. Some Authorities are evidently anxious that the Language paper should permit the Welsh-speaking child to answer some of the questions in Welsh, but we have been convinced by evidence that English has now become the "Examination Language" even in areas predominantly Welsh. The whole training for this Examination has been on English lines, and the child has acquired two types of vocabulary - a Welsh vocabulary which he uses in the actual Welsh lesson and, possibly, at home and in the street, and an English vocabulary, including a kind of English technique with which to deal with exercises in almost every subject except Welsh. Until the Welsh child is trained in the art of expressing himself on paper in Welsh, as thoroughly as he is coached in English, the option of writing an essay in Welsh or English is illusory. We were told that even in those parts of Wales where English is heard only in the school, nearly ninety per cent of the pupils elected to write their essays in English rather than in Welsh - a clear proof that "coaching" in a foreign language in which all subjects are taught is more effective for examination purposes than native knowledge of a mother tongue, treated merely as one of the school subjects.

275. A solution which will help to convert this examination from a definite hindrance to a powerful aid in the promotion of the Welsh language must be sought along

[page 219]

two lines, In the first place Welsh must occupy such a position in the organisation and curricula of Elementary Schools that Welsh-speaking children shall use that language naturally and easily in expressing their ideas on all subjects. Secondly, the Free Places Examination must be much more intimate and individual so as to have due regard to the linguistic training and capacity of the child.

276. We have had weighty evidence that the Arithmetic syllabus of the average Elementary School is greatly overloaded and contains complexities of little educational or practical value. Time has thus to be given to Arithmetic which might be devoted to language study with far greater advantage. We must record our reluctance to accept an ingenious system by which it was suggested to us that a bonus of marks should be given to the child who offers both English and Welsh at the examination.

277. One of H.M. Inspectors presented to us a striking piece of evidence on the Free Places or Entrance Examination and its influence on the teaching of Welsh in Elementary Schools:

"There is not the slightest doubt that the present Scholarship system for entrance into the Secondary Schools acts very much against the successful teaching of Welsh. When Welsh is taught, the time given to English is generally, although it need not necessarily be, less. Unfortunately, the Welsh children are rarely given an opportunity to gain full credit for their knowledge of Welsh. In the 1925 Entrance Examination set by one County Authority the Composition paper consisted of five questions, of which four had to be answered. Of these the first - an essay - could be attempted in English or Welsh, while one of the questions was a question on the Welsh language. A monoglot English child might gain full marks on the paper. The option given to the Welsh child of writing the essay in Welsh is a doubtful advantage to him as the schools are now conducted. It is uncommon to find more than three hours per week given to Welsh, while the rest of school life is conducted in English. It stands to reason that few of the

[page 220]

children in the bilingual areas are able to write as well in Welsh as in English. The extra question in Welsh gave a child who knew both languages the advantage of choosing from five questions instead of four. One English paper for 1925 consisted of nine questions of which five were to be answered. Two of the questions were on the Welsh language, while a third could be answered in English or Welsh. A monoglot [English] child could gain full marks, so that there was no special impetus to cause the school to make a special effort in Welsh. However, the Welsh child had the advantage of choosing five out of nine, while the monoglot English child had to choose five out of seven. Both the entrance scholarship papers were set by Authorities who have shown every sympathy with the language. The question is, of course, very difficult. It would not appear unfair to set in my bilingual areas, at least one compulsory question in Welsh - if this were done the effect in the schools would be almost magical. Another possibility would be to set one or two questions where an option was given between a question on English Literature and one on the Welsh Language. The monoglot English child would have to show some knowledge of English Literature if he could show none of the Welsh language. Another possibility worthy of consideration would be the setting of a paper part Arithmetic and part Welsh, allowing the child to choose, say, half his questions from the Welsh part if he so desired. The system has been adopted in one Intermediate School (not in my area) of setting an optional paper containing questions in Geography, History and Welsh, allowing the child to choose questions from any part of the paper. This gives the child an opportunity to gain credit for his knowledge of two languages."

278. A piece of evidence offered by the Welsh Secondary Schools Association is worth quoting: "There is a lack of co-ordination between the work of the Elementary School and that of the Secondary. The amount and the character of the work in Elementary Schools vary from school to school according to the enthusiasm of the Heads and

[page 221]

Assistants for Welsh and the teaching capacity of the staffs. For this reason it is at present generally necessary in Secondary Schools to commence the teaching of Welsh from the beginning with non-Welsh-speaking pupils; moreover, pupils on entering, apart from their greater or less knowledge of Welsh, have little or no knowledge of the grammar of any language. Each Elementary School rightly has the liberty to frame its own curriculum, but it would be an asset to the teaching of Welsh in a neighbourhood if the Heads of Elementary Schools could draw up and agree upon a common curriculum in Welsh for all schools in a Secondary School district, so that Secondary Schools could carry on from the point reached in the Elementary School." We regard this suggestion as of great importance.

279. The grave injustice which a monoglot Welsh pupil suffers in the Entrance Examination should be removed; either the examination itself should be amended, or the quality of the teaching which is tested by the examination should be improved. If, by the adoption of the former alternative we could solve the difficulty, it might be suggested that there should be three options, (a) an English essay, (b) a Welsh essay, (c) a piece for translation from English to Welsh. Such a paper would probably deal justly with all types of candidates, and the third option is regarded by many educationists as a far better test than the essay, for which the pupils may be, and often are, crammed. But desirable as such a change may be on its own merits, its benefits would be illusory unless it were accompanied by an improvement in the Welsh teaching.


280. The Report of the Committee on Modern Studies (issued in 1916) shows how the organisation of language teaching becomes beset with difficulties if an attempt is made to meet all the demands of the present day. The programme of a Secondary School must not be overloaded on the literary side, and, as it is not possible for the average

[page 222]

pupil to learn all, even of the most important languages, he will have to make a choice - the best that can be made, within the limits of time, to serve his practical and cultural interests.

281. If the organisation of the language teaching is embarrassingly difficult in England, it is still more so in Wales where an additional language has to be dealt with. It is true that children who are familiar with two indigenous tongues are often said to show special facility in acquiring a third and even a fourth language, and we may quote here a relevant passage from the Modern Studies Report (§17): "In Wales the concurrent study of Welsh and English is encouraged by the policy of the Central Welsh Board and the other authorities which control Welsh education. This policy is immediately inspired by the desire to preserve and develop the national language and literature, without forgoing the advantages which a knowledge of English may bring. It is claimed that their bilingual training should give Welsh children greater facility in acquiring other living languages. We agree that the successful acquisition of a second language creates a desire, stimulates hope, and trains the faculties for the subsequent learning of other languages. In Wales the second language (English or Welsh) can be begun early; in many districts both are current; in all, the second language can be more easily taught and learned than can any second language in any part of England or in almost any part of Scotland. We observe, in fact, that a considerable number of Welsh school children do reach a qualifying standard in French and that Latin is not neglected. To these results bilingual education may be an assistance rather than an impediment, and this view was taken by our witnesses."

282. It is generally admitted that the Welsh language should be an essential part of the curriculum of a Secondary School in every district where it is spoken by the great majority of the pupils, and opinions differ only when an attempt is made to define, in terms of time and method, the actual place it should occupy. Some of our witnesses

[page 223]

claim that Welsh, in such circumstances, should be given the identical role which is accorded to English in the Report on The Teaching of English in England (1921). Their attitude would fairly be described by a passage (§9) from that Report, which follows here and in which "Welsh" has been substituted for "English": "We make no comparison; we state what appears to be an incontrovertible primary fact, that for Welsh children no form of knowledge can take precedence of a knowledge of Welsh, no form of Literature can take precedence of Welsh literature; and that the two are so inextricably connected as to form the only basis possible for national education." Again (§57): "We have treated Welsh as a subject but also as a method, the principal method whereby education may achieve its ultimate aim of giving a wide outlook on life. When that aim is kept in view, it will be found that Welsh as a subject must take not any place which may be happen to be vacant, but the first place; and that Welsh as a method must have entry everywhere."

283. A closer comparison of the conditions of a school even in the most strongly Welsh district, and of a school in England, shows that the two cases are not exactly parallel. The Welsh-speaking child is everywhere subjected to some external English influences, as has been amply illustrated in other sections of our Report. Further, although Welsh, in recent years, has established its claim to a predominant place in the curriculum of a Welsh Elementary School, provision has been made, in all the schemes which have come before us, for giving the children at least a fair grounding in English. It follows that, while in England there is only one medium for general education in Secondary Schools, there are two media available in the thoroughly Welsh parts of the Principality, although one of them, the Welsh, ought to be a far more efficient, as it is a more immediate, vehicle for the expression of thought and the communication of knowledge than the more or less painfully acquired English. At the same time it is

[page 224]

possible for a school, through neglect of the intrinsic advantages which result from the cultivation of the home language, to change the linguistic balance of a pupil's mind and, gradually, to make him more proficient in English than in his native tongue. Several of our witnesses consider that the present system of Secondary education and examination encourages the latter process; they lament this and ask for a remedy.

284. At this point it will be useful to refer to a Table in Appendix III, presented by the Central Welsh Board as the result of a questionnaire addressed by them to 135 Secondary Schools in Wales. The seventeen Authorities are placed in order of strength of the Welsh-speaking element, i.e. the percentage of pupils habitually speaking Welsh at home. The table gives also the percentage of pupils (not habitually Welsh-speaking) who have one or two Welsh-speaking parents, the percentage of pupils receiving Welsh lessons, and the number of pupils presented in Welsh at the examinations of the Central Welsh Board. Of the total of 32,740 pupils on the registers, only 28 per cent are returned as habitually speaking Welsh; but an additional 26 per cent have either one or two Welsh-speaking parents, so that, on the whole, 54 per cent come from homes which may be described as more or less Welsh in atmosphere at least. The areas fall into three strongly marked groups (a) Merioneth, Cardigan, Anglesey, Caernarvon and Caermarthen, with purely Welsh-speaking percentages ranging between 80 and 58.5; (b) Counties of Denbigh, Montgomery, Glamorgan, Brecon, Flint, Swansea County Borough, Pembroke and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, with percentages varying between 32.7 and 12.4; (c) Cardiff County Borough, Monmouthshire, Newport County Borough and Radnor, with percentages varying between 3.2 per cent and 0.4. But the Welsh-speaking element is not evenly distributed in any area, as will be seen from the following contrasts, given in percentages of Welsh speakers, the highest and the lowest being selected in each area named: (Merioneth) Ffestiniog 98.4,

[page 225]

Dolgelley Girls, partly a boarding school, 45.2; (Cardigan) Tregaron 95.4; Aberystwyth 62.7; (Anglesey) Llangefni 86.5; Beaumaris 50.8; (Caernarvon) Bottwnog 100, Llandudno 16; (Caermarthen) Ammanford 77.1, Caermarthen (Boys and Girls combined) 42.1. Still greater contrasts are visible in Group B: (Denbigh) Llanrwst 75.8, Wrexham (Boys and Girls combined) 14; (Montgomery) Machynlleth 69.2, Welshpool (Boys and Girls combined) 1; (Glamorgan) Ystalyfera 74.1, Penarth (Boys and Girls combined) 1; (Brecon) Ystradgynlais 68.6, Brynmawr 5.6; (Flint) St. Asaph 37.5, Hawarden 2.5; (Pembroke) St. David's 57.6, Pembroke Dock 0. The relatively low percentages at Aberystwyth, Beaumaris and Llandudno, in such thoroughly Welsh counties as Cardigan, Anglesey and Caernarvon, are partly explained by the fact that the three towns named are watering places which attract streams of English residents and visitors. The extremely low percentage at Llandudno is due to the neighbourhood of the teeming population of Lancashire and Cheshire. Even of Barmouth, with its intensely Welsh hinterland, the Head Master has to write "The district in which the school is situated is not only much frequented by English visitors, but it has also a rapidly increasing element of English residents". Schools in the eastern portions of the border counties have an environment hardly distinguishable from that which obtains on the other side of Offa's Dyke.

285. When there is so much inequality in the distribution of Welsh speakers in the various districts, it is clear that every Authority which deals with Secondary education has to face a problem which is more or less peculiar to itself, and to consider the circumstances of each individual school when laying down schemes of instruction. Most frequently the matter is left in the hands of the head master or local governors, but it sometimes occurs that the County Authority controls the schemes directly or indirectly, e.g. the Glamorgan Authority makes Welsh teaching compulsory to some extent by means of a regulation that "as from 1928 a pass in Welsh at the Senior Central Welsh

[page 226]

Board certificate examination or its equivalent shall be a sine qua non for appointment as an uncertificated teacher."

286. At present Welsh lessons, in one form or another, are given in all the 135 schools to which the inquiry extended, with the exception of 17, viz,: both of the 2 schools in Radnorshire, 9 of the 13 schools in Monmouthshire, 1 of the 32 schools in Glamorgan (this school has only recently come under the County Authority), 4 of the 8 schools in Pembrokeshire and 1 of the 4 schools in Newport County Borough. All these are, as might be expected, in districts which have been anglicised, or (as in the case of South Pembrokeshire) have not been Welsh for centuries.

287. In order, however, to obtain a fairly accurate idea of the state of Welsh instruction in the country as a whole, it is necessary to analyse the returns more closely, as the schools differ largely in the provision they make for the lessons. There are very many questions to be asked: How far is the instruction spread in the school - is Welsh taught to all the pupils or only to certain forms or only to a selection of pupils in certain forms? What is the allowance of time in each week? Is Welsh used as a medium in teaching other subjects - if so, to what extent? What are the character and range of the Welsh scheme with regard to method and substance? The answers for each school are embodied in the results of the Central Welsh Board's questionnaire, but they can be only roughly summarised because of the diversity of conditions. Forty-six per cent of the pupils in the 135 Secondary Schools were said to be receiving Welsh lessons at the time of the inquiry. This is considerably more than the proportion of Welsh-speaking pupils, but less than the proportion of pupils with at least one Welsh-speaking parent. It must, however, be pointed out that the return excluded pupils who had previously had Welsh lessons, but had discontinued them because of their promotion to more specialist work or for other reasons, so that the proportion of pupils who will have received Welsh lessons at some period of their course is probably as high as 15 per cent. This is not an unsatisfactory

[page 227]

state of things compared with that of forty years ago. Not only was the general provision of Secondary education extremely inadequate at that time, but such schools as were available, with the exception of Llandovery, offered no opportunities for the study of the Welsh language. The progress made in the course of a single generation has, obviously, been very great; but in the opinion of the Committee, much has yet to be done before Welsh may be said to have gained its rightful position in the schools. Of the 135 schools, 38 have more than 50 per cent of Welsh speakers, viz. 3 in Anglesey, 1 in Brecon, 5 in Cardigan, 6 in Caermarthen, 9 in Caernarvon, 2 in Denbigh, 2 in Glamorgan, 6 in Merioneth, 2 in Montgomery and 2 in Pembroke. All of these provide a course of instruction which leads up to the standard in Welsh represented by the School Certificate of the Central Welsh Board, and about half of them presented candidates also for the Higher Certificates in the year of the inquiry. The standard of the School Certificate in Welsh is at least equal to that in any foreign language, but is reached with comparative ease by Welsh-speaking pupils who have enough knowledge of English to translate from one language into the other. Some of the schools are, on this account, able to prepare their pupils for examination in this subject with the small allowance of only two weekly lessons throughout the course. In such a case the whole of each form would usually be under instruction in Welsh. More commonly each junior form is taken en bloc for the Welsh lessons, option being given to the pupils, in the following years, to select another language, most often French, instead of Welsh. Another method is to allow options from the beginning, each section continuing the language which it has begun. Occasionally the pupils are allowed, when they have reached a certain stage, to choose any two of the languages - Welsh, French, Latin. This is a reaction from an earlier phase when an attempt was made to teach all three languages at once. When the number of languages taught, besides English, is reduced to two it is, of course, found possible to increase

[page 228]

the number of weekly lessons assigned to each. In these cases three or four lessons would be a common allotment, five exceptional, until the School Certificate stage has been passed, when as many as seven or eight would be given to meet the specialised requirements of the Advanced stage.

288. Although Welsh is the native tongue of at least half and, in most of the schools now under consideration, of the great majority of the pupils, it has nowhere been established as the medium, the pervasive everyday language of the school. As a correlative fact, in no case is English treated as a mere subject of instruction, as if it were a foreign language; reasons have already been given why it would be totally inconsistent with the circumstances to regard English purely in that light as far as the Secondary Schools are concerned. In a Welsh school English must occupy a composite position - part subject, part medium. But our Welsh witnesses point out that, having made this admission, at least an equal claim can be made for Welsh.

289. The answers to the questionnaire relating to this aspect of the subject reveal that Welsh, even in the most Welsh districts of Wales, is far from dividing the field equally with English as a medium of instruction. In response to the request: "If Welsh is the medium of instruction in any subject, name the subject", it was usual to name "Welsh" in the first instance. That Welsh should be the medium in the Welsh language lessons is only what might be expected, as it has become almost universal to use the direct or conversational method in the early stages of teaching any language. But half of the 38 Welsh schools which are under immediate consideration could not state that they used Welsh in the teaching of any other subject. The other half gave answers of which the following are examples: (1) "Welsh is at times used as the medium of instruction in most of the subjects, especially in the junior forms where knowledge of English is very imperfect", (2) "Welsh is used in the Scripture lessons in the lower forms", (3) "Welsh is utilised wherever possible", (4) "Welsh is not a medium, but is used extensively in the lower forms (with English) for

[page 229]

languages and History", (5) "It is sometimes used in History, practically always in Welsh History", (6) "This is a thoroughly Welsh-speaking district and Welsh is used freely in the teaching of any subject in the lower forms. I feel that no subject should be handicapped through its being taught in English when an explanation in Welsh would be most helpful to the pupils. Pupils in the lower school grasp a thing much more quickly in Welsh. In the upper school they are equally familiar with English and Welsh." The qualifications contained even in the most thorough-going of these examples show that Welsh is, on the whole, used more as a hand-maid of English - for purposes of explanation - than as the chief medium for the communication of knowledge. If this is true of the schools containing a very large proportion of Welsh speakers, it need hardly be said that there is very little attempt, in the schools which stand outside that limited class, to utilise the potentialities of Welsh as a medium. In the Welsh lessons proper, as has already been mentioned, English-speaking pupils are usually taught to express themselves in Welsh from the beginning in accordance with the principles of the Direct Method; but the conversation is, at first, strictly limited to such objects and actions as are capable of being presented to the senses, so that the connection between word and thing may be directly established. The range of ideas and of the corresponding vocabulary is, at a later stage, extended by means of reading material accompanied by a glossary of words which had not previously been made familiar. Given plenty of time and skilful teaching, the pupils may reach a stage when their command of idiom and vocabulary would enable them to use the new language as a second medium for general purposes, with more or less success in proportion to their natural aptitudes. Unfortunately, this goal, with respect to English-speaking pupils, is seldom reached as far as the evidence submitted enables us to judge. In the first instance the result is not really aimed at, and in the second, neither the time nor (usually) the teaching is, in the specified circumstances,

[page 230]

adequate to the purpose. The schools, in parts of Wales which are mixed as regards linguistic conditions, are contented, if the pupils reach a stage of proficiency equal to that acquired in a foreign language.

290. The hesitation with regard to the fuller use of Welsh as a medium, even where the conditions are favourable, is quite intelligible when certain facts are considered. The great bulk of the schools have not been in existence for more than thirty years. At the time of their establishment the University had only just come into being and the supply of qualified Welsh-speaking teachers was extremely short of the needs; a reference to the school staffs of the period shows that even in the heart of Welsh Wales, English assistants were extensively employed, and English head masters or head mistresses were by no means infrequent. Apart from the scarcity of Welsh teachers, some governing bodies held that it would be to the advantage of Welsh children to be as much as possible in contact with monoglot English men and women who would teach them to speak the Empire language fluently and with a correct accent, and so remove a handicap from which Welsh children were supposed to have suffered in the past.

291. Generally speaking, therefore, the schools were not, at the outset, well equipped for developing a thoroughly Welsh Scheme of Education. Nor for many years afterwards could they emancipate themselves from the meshes of the traditional English system in which they were caught. The Central Welsh Board commenced its operations in 1897, and in the following year Mr. Owen Owen, the Chief Inspector, reported as follows: "I am a little disappointed to find that systematic instruction in Welsh is given only in 36 out of the 88 schools ... at every turn I found that Welsh-speaking children were hampered by their ignorance of literary Welsh and Welsh grammar. There are at least 60 schools in which a systematic study of Welsh might be pursued with advantage." In 1904 some improvement was recorded, but Mr. Owen was still not satisfied with the general position. He reported: "It is satisfactory to

[page 231]

observe a steady increase in the number of pupils offering Welsh at the written examination. In the lower forms, however, the subject has not reached the position which it ought to obtain. ... There are still, in bilingual districts fifteen schools at least in which the subject finds no place in the curriculum. ... Education Committees would do well to spare no effort to ensure for the Welsh language its proper place, first in the elementary schools and afterwards in the secondary schools of the Principality." From the above extracts and others which might be quoted, it is evident that the Central Welsh Board had from the commencement given attention to the question of Welsh teaching, and the reports of their Inspectors during the last ten years show that the schools in the Welsh-speaking districts have been encouraged to give fuller play to the native language in the programme of instruction and that schools situated in districts where Welsh is weak have been urged at least to afford opportunities for learning the language.

292. The Welsh Department of the Board of Education was established in 1907, and from that date the attitude of Whitehall towards the teaching of Welsh in the Secondary Schools of the Principality, instead of being cautiously acquiescent as it had been in previous years, became, as might have been expected, most warmly sympathetic. Previously the Regulations for Secondary Schools, first issued, in 1904, were the same for England and Wales, and contained no reference to the teaching and use of Welsh; but, in the first year of its existence, the Welsh Department issued separate Regulations for Wales in which special provision was made for Welsh. The steps taken by the Department in subsequent years to obtain its proper place for Welsh both as subject and medium, so far as Regulations and memoranda could promote this end, are detailed in paras. 90-104. From 1907, therefore, the influence exercised upon the Intermediate Schools by the Central Welsh Board through its delegated powers of inspection and examination was strongly reinforced by the official support

[page 232]

of the Welsh Department, The Schools could feel themselves at liberty, not only to teach the Welsh language and literature as subjects, but to make any reasonable use of Welsh as a medium in teaching other subjects. The extent to which the language has been used as a medium has been discussed, and it remains to describe the range of knowledge achieved by the schools with regard to the language and literature.

293. The scope of the instruction in Welsh is naturally determined to a large extent by the requirements of the examinations for the Certificates, viz., the School Certificate intended for candidates of about 16 years of age who have been four years under instruction at a Secondary school, and the Higher Certificate intended for candidates who have pursued a further course of study for two years. Candidates for the School Certificate have the choice of two schedules, one of which (Group II) is on the "foreign language" basis, involving translation of passages from set books, questions on the contents of the books, translation of English passages into Welsh, exercises in grammar and syntax and composition; candidates may answer questions either in English or Welsh. The other schedule (Group I) is constructed on the hypothesis that the examinees can use Welsh freely as their native language; there is no translation, a wider range of literature is set than in the first alternative, and ample opportunity is given for the expression of ideas in Welsh. In framework it corresponds very closely to the schedule in English, including a précis exercise. Of 1,690 candidates who took Welsh in 1926, only 149 selected the "all Welsh" alternative. Considering the number of habitual Welsh speakers in the schools taken as a whole, we should have expected a much larger proportion of entrants for the papers which have been specially prepared to meet their needs, but the following explanation has been submitted on behalf of teachers who have, so far, hesitated to adopt the "all Welsh" schedule, although they acknowledge its inherent suitability for the pupils in question. They point out that, as this schedule

[page 233]

is based on the home language standard, the ground to be covered is more extensive and the level of proficiency demanded is higher than in the Group II alternative which is taken by the great bulk of the candidates. Most pupils with any ambition hope to win the matriculation qualification for which a credit mark in English is absolutely necessary. The requirements in English are identical with those which prevail in England, for the standards of all the Examining Bodies are now equalised. It follows that, if a Welsh pupil takes Welsh on the higher scale, he has to study two languages, instead of one, on the home language level. In the interests of the pupil, therefore, the teachers enter him for the Group II schedule, which he can cover with comparative ease. The time thus saved is, they urge, usefully devoted to extra preparation in English, which is, by hypothesis, to some degree, and certainly on the literary side, a foreign language to the pupil. A candidate who does not aim at matriculation can obtain a certificate on easier terms as regards English so that the difficulty does not exist for him.

294. At present the University of Wales requires, for matriculation, a "credit pass" in English on the home language standard and a "credit pass" in one other language of a group (which includes Welsh) on a foreign language standard. It is suggested that a new syllabus of English, on the pattern of the present French syllabus, should be included in the foreign language group, to be taken only by candidates offering the "all Welsh" syllabus in Group I. We are of opinion that it is unreasonable to exact a knowledge of two native languages from any pupil, whether he be English or Welsh, and the above arrangement seems to us perfectly fair, especially as it is inconceivable that the English paper for Welsh pupils could ever be of so elementary a standard as the foreign language papers. An alternative method, simpler in its working, might be suggested of allowing candidates who gain a "credit pass" in the "all Welsh" syllabus to qualify for matriculation on a "pass" basis in English in Group I. This would

[page 234]

place such candidates in the same position, relatively, as the candidates who offer English in Group I with a foreign language, and it would remove the difficulty described above. If the University of Wales would accept the arrangement, the situation, as regards the fuller encouragement of Welsh studies, would be considerably eased. The ensuing certificates would not be recognised by other Universities, according to their present regulations, but the specified combination of attainments would very well suit the Welsh conditions.

295. Complaints have been made that the syllabus in Group II Welsh, although it is fairly easy for Welsh-speaking candidates, is much more difficult than the corresponding syllabus in French, and that pupils who, having no initial knowledge of either language, select Welsh instead of French, are unduly penalised thereby. Welsh is acknowledged to be intrinsically more difficult than French for an English monoglot, chiefly because the connecting links between the English and pure Welsh vocabularies are negligible, whereas there are countless such between the English and French vocabularies in the shape of common derivatives from Latin words; the Welsh idioms, also, are, on the whole, more alien in character. The only compensation is afforded by the ease with which Welsh may be pronounced as compared with the long training required for correct French speech, the sounds of which differ so greatly from the spelling, not to speak of the numerous irregularities. It is impossible to ascertain how far monoglot English pupils are deterred from taking up Welsh for the School Certificate by the disparity between French and Welsh. The percentage of "credit passes" in Welsh (Group II) in 1926 was 78.1, while that in French was only 47.9, but the greater success in Welsh is due, as has already been explained, to the fact that the schedule is taken very generally by Welsh-speaking pupils who have become bilinguals, so that translation from the one language into the other presents little difficulty to them.

296. It is of importance to mention that the French syllabus, on the recommendation of the Secondary Schools

[page 235]

Examinations Council, includes no set books; translation is tested only by unseen passages for which general preparation can be made. In Welsh (Group II) the candidates may take either a paper involving careful reading of three books (two prose and one verse) or a paper consisting of unseen passages. The set books are probably found to be too long for pupils who have no home-knowledge of Welsh. The "unseen" paper, on the other hand, is too difficult in respect of vocabulary. In order that the standard of this paper may be equalised with that of the corresponding French paper, it is suggested that a vocabulary* of about 500 common words should be circulated to the schools by the Central Welsh Board after consultation with the University, and that the meanings of any words not included in the vocabulary, but occurring in the examination paper, should be supplied. The Welsh-speaking candidates would not be unduly helped by the vocabulary, for they are already in possession of it. Further, we see no reason for the retention of set books in Welsh when they have been abandoned in French and German. The Central Welsh Board's Examiners in Welsh and the Examinations Council have strongly recommended that Welsh-speaking candidates should be prevented from taking the Group II alternative, but it would be difficult, we think, for any external authority to make the necessary distinction, as there are many grades of proficiency in the command of a language. We certainly recommend that some steps should be taken to prevent the balance from being unduly weighted in favour of French. At the 1926 Examination of the Central Welsh Board only 39 per cent of the candidates took Welsh, while 67 per cent took French.

297. Higher Certificate. Of 501 candidates who sat for the Higher Certificate in 1926, only 86 (17 per cent) took

*The vocabulary should give only the principal form of a word with its meaning, e.g, cerdded would be given without its variations, cwch but not cychod, oer but not oeri, mynydd but not mynyddig. These derivatives could be taught in the course of the lessons and their omission from the vocabulary would make the latter more comprehensive.

[page 236]

Welsh, while 178 (35 per cent) took French. In Welsh there are four very searching papers - H.1 and H.2, Welsh Literature from the Mabinogion to the present day; H.3, Translation of "unseen" Welsh passages into English, and H.4, translation of a difficult English passage into Welsh and an essay in Welsh. The standard in Welsh, as in other subjects is high so that successful candidates may be exempted from the first year stage of the degree course in Welsh at the University. The certificate was gained by 76.7 per cent in 1926.


298. The Committee are forced to the conclusion that the present system of examinations, while it offers full opportunities for the study of Welsh as a subject, places limits on the employment of Welsh as a medium of general instruction. In the first place, the language in which the questions are set and the answers have to be written, inevitably determines the medium through which the candidate must be prepared. It would be futile, for instance, to expect a candidate who had been taught history in Welsh to do himself justice when confronted with a paper of questions in English to be answered in that language. Until two or three years ago, all the schools in Wales which did not come within the scope of the Intermediate Education Act had to avail themselves of the Oxford Local or other Examinations, the question papers of which are, perforce, set in English. But those schools are now at liberty to enter their pupils for the Central Welsh Board Examinations, and it is only necessary, for the present purpose, to consider the arrangements of the latter. Apart from the Welsh lessons proper, the subjects which have been most frequently suggested to us as suitable to be treated by means of Welsh as a medium are Scripture, History and Geography. Permission has always been given to answer the Scripture questions in Welsh, although up to 1925 inclusive the papers were set in English; in 1926 they were

[page 237]

printed also in Welsh and the candidates were allowed to choose either version, so that in this subject at least the examination offers no obstacle to the full use of the home language in the actual teaching, But Scripture is not one of the subjects which are accepted for matriculation purposes by the University, and the number of candidates presented in the subject is relatively very small; in 1926 it was only 291, while 4,049 and 3,156 were presented in History and Geography respectively. In the two last-named subjects the question papers have always been printed in English, and we have now to consider whether it would not be feasible to print a Welsh version of the same questions as in the case of Scripture.

299. In order that Welsh may be used freely and effectively as a medium in preparation for an examination, it is obvious that the examiners, as well as the teachers concerned, should not only be masters of their subjects, but also have adequate knowledge of the language. It is a further condition of successful correlation that the teachers and pupils should have at their disposal a supply of text-books in Welsh. In Scripture it is not difficult to satisfy all these conditions; the examiner has always been a competent Welshman and, as we are referring only to Welsh-speaking districts, teachers with a knowledge of Welsh and of the subject will probably be adequate to the demand; the Welsh texts of the Scriptures form the chief part of the material and are immediately available. In History, all the nine examiners employed for the 1926 Examination in History bear Welsh names and at least some of them may be assumed to know the language; of the six examiners in Geography only one is Welsh. Assuming, however, that teachers can be obtained, just where they are wanted, with the language and subject qualifications, and that the Central Welsh Board can also find examiners similarly equipped, there yet remains the question as to the supply of Welsh text-books in History and Geography. We are assured that there is, at present, not a single Welsh text-book in either subject that would be suitable for study at the School

[page 238]

Certificate stage, not to speak of the Higher stage, whereas there is, of course, a wealth of English books. The oral lessons might still be given in Welsh with reference to the English texts, but this would almost inevitably be found so awkward that the teachers would take the line of least resistance and fall back upon English as the medium. If the instruction is to have the thoroughly Welsh cast which many of our witnesses have desired, it is clear that a series of Welsh aids to study must be produced in each subject. The general question of providing a supply of educational Welsh literature is dealt with in another section.

300. There is yet another point to be considered in connection with the effect of the present examinations upon the position of Welsh in the curriculum and especially upon the question of Welsh as a medium. In 1919 the Welsh Department suggested that the Central Welsh Board should improve its status by becoming an Approved Examining Body under the recently established Secondary Schools Examinations Council. After due investigation the desired approval was obtained, the great advantage of it being that the Central Welsh Board's Certificates would be recognised for matriculation purposes by all the other Examining Bodies who are represented on the Council; this has already taken place with one exception. The examinations of the eight Examining Bodies are periodically investigated for the purpose of ascertaining whether the standards of the Certificates are as nearly as possible equivalent. Welsh as a subject presents no difficulty as a Welsh expert is included in the investigating panel, but the standardising of other subjects examined partly in Welsh and partly in English will, if it is done at all, necessitate some alteration of the investigating arrangements. These would necessarily form a subject of negotiation between the Central Welsh Board and the Secondary Schools Examinations Council. Whatever may be the present obstacles to a bold and thorough use of Welsh in teaching definite branches of the curriculum up to the School Certificate stage inclusive, we are decidedly of

[page 239]

the opinion that the native language should not be relegated to the position of a mere subject in any school which has a fair proportion of Welsh-speaking pupils.

301. We have carefully considered the evidence submitted by the Welsh Secondary Schools Association, which consists of the Head Masters and Mistresses only, and by the Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools, and also by that of Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools. We gather that almost all the schools have one or more Welsh-speaking teachers on their staffs. From another return obtained by the Central Welsh Board it appears that, of 166 teachers employed in giving the Welsh lessons, only about 34 per cent obtained Honours in Welsh at the University, while about 40 per cent obtained a pass in Welsh at the Final stage in the degree examination of the University. Of the remainder some had no qualification higher than the C.W.B. certificate or the University Intermediate, while others had passed no examinations, but could show evidence of competence in the way of successful teaching or production of useful text books. Of the whole, about a third had received training to teach the subject at a University or Training College, another third had attended Summer Courses which partly included such training, while the remainder had to form their own methods by dint of experience. The Secondary Schools Association pronounced the opinion that "the supply of specialists in Welsh was likely to exceed the demand in the near future and that students taking Welsh honours would be well advised to take either an Honours or a Final Course in some additional subject as an extra qualification when seeking posts in Welsh Secondary Schools." At two of the University Colleges, Cardiff and Swansea, no one can take an Honours degree in any subject without satisfying the examiners in at least one other subject at the final or pass stage. The statistics quoted hardly show a plethora of qualified Welsh scholars, but it is obviously true that the smaller Secondary Schools cannot afford to engage a teacher who can show only the Welsh qualification. On

[page 240]

the other hand we have been informed that, in some schools, such teachers as have honours degrees in Welsh are not fully utilised, and recently a person was appointed to teach Welsh throughout a certain school, who had only obtained a pass degree in the subject and had received no Secondary training, while candidates with high honours in Welsh, and specially trained to teach it in a Secondary school were rejected. We are of opinion that the action of the appointing Authority shows clearly that Welsh is not yet taken seriously in all schools where it is taught.

302. The Welsh Secondary Schools Association consider that it is necessary, in schools where the pupils are mixed as regards home language, to divide the form into three sections (a) Welsh-speaking pupils taking Welsh (b) non-Welsh-speaking pupils taking Welsh (c) pupils not taking Welsh; and claim that such an arrangement involves a more generous scale of staffing. The existence of the (c) class is inevitable, unless some form of compulsion or strong persuasion is adopted, but it seriously complicates the organisation. With regard to classes (a) and (b) there is a general agreement in favour of their separation, on grounds which have been fully stated in the section dealing with the similar problem in the Elementary Schools; briefly, pupils with a good colloquial knowledge of Welsh have their progress retarded if they are grouped with pupils who do not know the elements of the language. The segregation has its disadvantages; not only does it split the form inconveniently but it deprives the monoglot English pupils of the inspiration which they would receive from hearing their class-mates use Welsh as a living language. On the other hand, the Committee consider that the interests of the Welsh-speaking pupils should govern in this matter, especially when they are in the majority. The drawback mentioned need not be of long duration; after a certain period of separate treatment the English section, if skilfully taught, could reach a stage at which they might join the Welsh section without undue detriment to the latter. It is, indeed, a question whether the difficulty

[page 241]

should not have been overcome, at least to a great extent, before the pupils concerned were admitted to the Secondary School, for we have had convincing evidence that young English monoglots can make sound progress in Welsh if adequate teaching arrangements are made for them up to the age of eleven or twelve in the Elementary Schools. Inequality of attainment is sure to exist in any case, whether Welsh or any other subject is under consideration, but the modern teacher has at his disposal methods of individual work by which he can ensure the progress of pupils at their own natural rate, so that brightness is not penalised through being yoked with mediocrity. The efficiency of every arrangement that may be proposed depends ultimately on the professional equipment, and the zeal of the teachers who have to carry it out.

303. If the Assistant Masters' Association had their way, some of the difficulties of organisation would ultimately vanish; in the memorandum submitted on their behalf it is declared that the aim should be (1) that Welsh should be taught to all pupils in the primary schools, and to all pupils in Secondary Schools, or, with respect to the latter "at any rate that opportunity for such study should be available in every case with definite official support and bias in its favour"; (2) that all members of the staffs should acquire some knowledge of Welsh and have real sympathy with its aims. They add, however, that these and other measures advocated are not immediately feasible.

304. Much of the evidence submitted to us was concerned with the difficulty of finding adequate place for Welsh without sacrificing some other language which is claimed to be at least equally important. Not only in commercial centres but all over Wales, French is the most frequent rival. Sometimes the parents' desires are satisfied by the inclusion of both languages in every pupil's programme. More often Welsh and French are alternatives. Recently some schools have adopted a plan suggested in the Report on Modern Studies: Welsh is studied on a full intensive

[page 242]

programme while the pupils are taught French on a lower scale, mostly with the view of giving them the power of reading the language, and vice versa. The plan is adaptable to a form as a whole or to two sections, one of which does Welsh plus "minor" French, while the other does French plus "minor" Welsh; it certainly eases the strain on the pupils. It may be mentioned, also that the group requirement for the School Certificate can be satisfied without the "credit" pass in Groups II (Languages) if the candidates show proficiency in translating Welsh or French into English. The combination of French with "minor" Welsh would suit the junior forms of very many schools in districts such as a seaport, where it is often alleged, though perhaps mistakenly, that French is more important than Welsh for the pupils' after careers. Pupils of proved linguistic ability who wished to perfect their knowledge of Welsh could be allowed more time for the subject during the latter part of their course. In schools with a classical bent the combination in the lower forms would naturally be Welsh-Latin rather than Welsh-French, and similar arrangements could be made for schemes of "major" Welsh plus "minor" Latin or vice versa, with facilities for the complete development of either study at a later stage. It is not necessary here to advance a plea for classical culture, as the subject has been fully discussed in the Report on the Classics in Education (1921), with special reference to Wales, but the following quotation from the recommendations to be found therein is quite relevant to the purpose of the present Report. "That in the Secondary Schools of Wales no arbitrary limit be set to the number of languages learnt by pupils possessing linguistic talent, and that a boy or girl thus gifted be everywhere afforded a chance of learning Latin and Greek, preferably through the provision in each educational district of at least one school offering regularly a complete classical course, or by a system of visiting teachers." Applying the argument generally, we find that, in fact, there has not been any arbitrary limit to the

[page 243]

number of languages which can be learnt by gifted pupils, and we have had from the Modern Languages Inspector of the Central Welsh Board the statement that "some schools introduce a second or third language in Form VI. It has been found that pupils, having cleared away the miscellaneous débris of the School Certificate examination, often make surprising progress at this stage. The modestly polyglot pupil is no longer a portent. During the last four years, two boys from country schools have gained scholarships in French and Italian at Oxford and have since been awarded Heath Harrison travelling scholarships. Another boy learnt German in Form VI. He has since done well in German in the University and gained a modern language scholarship at Cambridge. All three had a thorough knowledge of Welsh and could read two or three additional languages." Through this and similar evidence we are convinced that, with proper organisation, a pupil possessed of the necessary ability, and staying in school for the full course, can add a satisfactory superstructure of modern European or classical culture to a linguistic foundation, including Welsh, acquired before the age of 16. But we also agree with the general conclusion of the Modern Studies Committee that a good knowledge of one language besides English, with a reading knowledge of one other is the most that can successfully be aimed at by the average pupil who leaves school after about four years' instruction. For such pupils, whose fortunes will generally lie in Wales, it is difficult to see that any language can substantiate a better claim than Welsh to be one of those studied. It may be mentioned at this point that Latin and Mathematics are no longer compulsory subjects at the Matriculation examination of the University of Wales, and that the Certificate can be obtained by a pass in one of the two, and that consequently it may often be to the advantage of a linguistic pupil to sacrifice Mathematics rather than Latin.

305. Some witnesses have pressed the contention that it is of no use to teach Welsh, unless the pupil shall not only have read an adequate amount of Welsh literature

[page 244]

before he leaves school, but shall also have acquired the power of speaking and writing the language fluently and correctly. This, decidedly, should be the aim in Welsh Wales but it is probably beyond the reach of monoglot English pupils in any apportionment of time which is likely to be arranged on their behalf. It is, therefore, suggested that teachers should not be discouraged if such pupils halt or make mistakes when called upon to express themselves orally in the language, provided that on leaving school, they are able to read Welsh prose and poetry with intelligence and pleasure and further, if they can understand fairly rapid speech in Welsh. When pupils are in possession of as much vocabulary as is implied in the foregoing, although the knowledge takes the "passive" rather than the "active" form, they will, if they use their opportunities in after life, be able to understand a Welsh sermon or political speech and enjoy a Welsh drama or Welsh singing. The oral proficiency may come later by contact with the Welsh environment. The most serious disability which they are likely to suffer is at the University, if they wish to take Welsh in their degree course, as the lectures are delivered and the discussions conducted in Welsh. Generally we hold that the power to speak Welsh with fluency and correctness should be regarded everywhere as a highly desirable acquisition and, in this connection, we support the recommendation, made by several witnesses, that the Central Welsh Board should give candidates for their certificates the same opportunities for showing oral proficiency in Welsh as in French and German.

306. It is a very long standing grievance of the Welsh people that, at meetings and committees containing a majority of Welsh-speakers, the proceedings have frequently to be conducted in English for the convenience of the monoglot English members. The latter belong to a generation for whom no Welsh education was provided and Welshmen, acknowledging this, feel compelled to remove the disability of their colleagues by speaking English, although for themselves it is only the second-best

[page 245]

vehicle of expression which they use at a considerable disadvantage. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that some of our witnesses urge that the option of evading the Welsh lessons should not be allowed in districts where the prevailing language is Welsh. Parents are not always good judges of what is implied in the duties of citizenship.

307. We are glad to note that in many of the schools a strong endeavour is made to introduce a Welsh atmosphere. It is stated that the morning service is conducted in Welsh in at least fifty schools, in some cases daily, in others once or twice in the week. A Welsh hymn is frequently sung on those occasions. "Very few schools are without their annual School Eisteddfod, and the acting of a Welsh drama is very common. The celebration of St. David's Day is universal. We know of schools in predominantly English areas where the Headmaster and Welsh members of the staff converse in Welsh with each other and with Welsh-speaking pupils on every possible occasion in and out of the classroom. Such a practice impresses the pupils with the fact that their teachers regard Welsh as their natural means of communication with each other and helps to inspire respect for the language." These extracts from the evidence of the Welsh Secondary Schools Association are very satisfactory as regards the spirit which they show, and it is only to be regretted that these practices are not more general.

308. It has been pointed out in a foregoing section that the fate of Welsh as a living language depends in the first instance upon the Elementary Schools through which the great mass of the population passes, while it is in the most plastic state as regards habits of speech. On the other hand, although only a minority comes under the influence of the Secondary School system, it is from that minority that the future teachers, both secular and religious, will be drawn, and most of the men and women who are likely to occupy prominent positions in the public life of Wales. The importance of the influence which may be exercised by the

[page 246]

Secondary Schools with respect to the preservation and extension of Welsh culture is not, therefore, to be measured by any numerical standard. One of their most obvious obligations is to contrive, by means of a well-planned course of instruction, that any knowledge of Welsh possessed by pupils on entrance, whether native or acquired, should be deepened and enlarged. The habitual Welsh-speakers are "the salt of the Welsh nation" and the vitality of the language requires that their number should be increased. It should be considered a great reproach if pupils, originally Welsh-speaking, were to lose their grasp of Welsh through the neglect of the school to cultivate their powers.

309. We have already expressed sympathy with witnesses in thoroughly Welsh-speaking districts who would desire to press individual English monoglot pupils to join in the Welsh lessons. The difficulties in such a case have probably been exaggerated, as it is to the advantage of the pupils that they should be enabled to adapt themselves to their own environment. Where the monoglot English pupils are in a majority, and still more, when they compose the whole school, the case for placing Welsh compulsorily on their programme stands on a different footing, as the appeal of environment is either partially or wholly inapplicable. It is satisfactory that, in the former set of circumstances, at least opportunity is given for learning the language. The truth is that English, and even Welsh, teachers do not appreciate the standing of Welsh as a language of European dignity. We have attempted in our historical introduction to state the facts about the language, in the belief that, when they are generally realised, there will be no hesitation in placing it in the curriculum of every school in Wales.


310. The aim and the methods of Welsh teaching will naturally vary with the various districts of Wales. Whatever method is employed, it cannot be too strongly urged that success is never attained unless the aim is definitely

[page 247]

known and constantly kept in mind. Indefiniteness and uncertainty of aim, as will be shown later, are more common in regard to Welsh teaching than in most other subjects. This is probably due to many causes, but perhaps chiefly to the fact that until recent years the teaching of a second language has been seldom attempted in an Elementary School, nor have the special aims of the teaching of Welsh received adequate consideration, and this has given rise to many false notions as to the purpose of teaching the language. It is, we believe, a common fault to gauge the whole of the success of the teaching by the facility acquired in the oral use of the language; important results are to be looked for in other directions. It will not be denied that the highest aim of the teaching of Welsh in a Welsh School must be defined in social and moral terms. A love of country, language and history increases self-respect and self-reliance. There is, too, an intellectual aim, especially of value to English pupils - a study of Welsh as a second language will naturally have the effect of improving the child's knowledge of English; it is true that these indirect aims are not of themselves a full statement of the case. The language should be learnt for its own sake, but the extent to which it can be learnt and its literature studied must vary in the different localities.


311. In drawing up the scheme of work for Elementary Schools in Welsh, several important considerations have to be taken into account. The amount to be attempted must of necessity vary with the particular neighbourhood. The work should be carefully apportioned between the different Standards in order to attain the maximum result in the time devoted to the subject, and it is not necessary that each Standard should give equal attention to all the various branches of the subject - conversation, reading, writing, etc. Better work would be produced and the time more economically spent, if certain Standards specialised in

[page 248]

certain aspects of the work. Thus, in all schools except those in completely Welsh districts, the work in the Infants' Schools would normally be confined to simple nursery rhymes, songs and hymns, and to simple Welsh conversation. The first two Standards of the upper Departments should also be concerned mainly with conversation, and the aim at these stages should be to acquire a fairly wide vocabulary and a good variety of phrases and modes of expression. For this purpose, the pupils would learn a further variety of recitations and songs. The special work, but by no means the only work, of Standard III should be the completion of Welsh reading. Most of the mechanical difficulties in regard to English reading will have disappeared by the time the child reaches Standard III. Hence, Welsh reading can be attempted at this stage in earnest with little danger of confusion. Standard III will, of course, proceed still further with Welsh conversation, and learn additional recitations and songs, but, we repeat, the special phase of the work in this Standard should be reading. Standards IV to VI might pay special attention to writing and composition, whilst the particular feature of the work of the highest standard might consist of a thorough revision of all the work done throughout the standards. Suitable Welsh literature should be studied at all stages of the work.

312. The scheme should ensure a sufficiently comprehensive vocabulary for the child, and therefore, it is important that the Welsh scheme for the whole school should be drawn up by the same member of the staff rather than by different teachers. During the child's school life it should learn the Welsh vocabulary that concerns the various relationships to home, school, and society into which the child will enter. Where the scheme is drawn up by several teachers there is a danger lest several of them give prominence to the same type of vocabulary (e.g. words concerned mainly with home), and as a result the child's vocabulary will remain limited and inadequate. It is essential that the work of all the Standards put together should be

[page 249]

as complete a training in the language and literature as possible, and this can only be ensured by arranging that the work of each class is a systematic part of a complete scheme.

313. The scheme should also provide for the systematic revision of all past work. Progress in learning a language is measured by the extent of the vocabulary, the ease of expression, and the variety of diction acquired. It is useless to learn new words and expressions if the old are forgotten. It often occurs, when past work is not revised, that Standard V is little in advance of Standard III. It may happen that Standard V has more difficult recitations, or uses more complex sentences in conversation, but when it is tested upon the simpler work of past standards, it often fails to give a good response. Each teacher should, therefore, keep a detailed account of the work done in the course of the year, and the first task of the following session should be the revision of the work already done.

314. One of our witnesses, qualified to give an expert opinion, thought that the teaching of the language suffered because of the lack of uniformity in the syllabus of studies. A comprehensive and well-graded scheme, extending from the Infant School to the Higher Stage of the Central Welsh Board Examination should, he suggested, be framed and adopted throughout Wales. This would tend to bring all pupils to a certain fixed standard of proficiency at the completion of their Secondary School course. Although we do not feel justified in endorsing the application of any scheme of rigid character to all schools and all areas, we are nevertheless of opinion that such a scheme, with the necessary provision for exceptional cases, and with due regard to the number of Welsh speakers in the various areas, would at least have the merit of indicating to teachers generally what to teach in point of sequence, content, and matter. When a teacher receives a number of children from, say, Standard III to form a new Standard IV he knows what approximate degree of attainment to expect from them in

[page 250]

English, Arithmetic, History, Geography, and Nature Study, and he is clear as to where he will begin the new work. There is not one teacher in 20 (so we were informed) who can tell, even approximately, what knowledge to expect from the same children in Welsh, and it would appear that very few teachers have any standard fixed in their minds with sufficient clearness to enable them to assess attainment in Welsh. The Committee feel that a system is needed by which the teaching of Welsh could be co-ordinated throughout the county areas, and by means of which the progress in Welsh studies of children who move from one area to another could be ensured. Some of our witnesses suggested the desirability of the appointment of special supervisors of Welsh for this purpose; others recommended that Primary Inspectors and Deputy Directors, where such exist, should make the inspection and co-ordination of the Welsh teaching a part of their work. The Committee recommend that the Board of Education should appoint a special Inspector of Welsh, with functions similar to those of Staff Inspectors in England. His special work would be to stimulate, help, and co-ordinate, the teaching of Welsh throughout the country, in the Elementary and Secondary Schools and Training Colleges.


315. Language teaching has in recent years been revolutionised, and we are convinced that if the methods which have been of such signal success in, e.g., the teaching of French in Wales, can be applied with understanding and enthusiasm to the teaching of Welsh, good results will inevitably follow. It is important, however, that the teacher should have a firm grasp of modern direct methods. To equip the teacher with a knowledge of these methods, the Training Colleges and Training Departments should undoubtedly do their part. It is essential, too, that a number of manuals on the methods of language teaching should be available in every staff library for the use of the Welsh

[page 251]

teachers.* We would especially urge the provision of volumes of this type, since there does not exist in the Board of Education's excellent Suggestions for the consideration of Teachers a chapter on the teaching of Welsh. We strongly recommend that this deficiency be made good with as little delay as possible, and that a contribution, compiled by experts and containing, in addition to instruction on the methods of teaching Welsh, detailed schemes of study for all stages and for the different linguistic areas of Wales, should be included for the guidance of teachers.

*Copies of at least some of the following books should be provided:

Jespersen, Otto. "How to teach a Foreign Language". Allen and Unwin, Ltd. 1923. 4s. 6d.

Ripman, W. "Hints on Teaching French". Dent. 1898. 1s. 6d. Third Edition. rewritten, 1904.

Breul, Karl. "The Teaching of Modern Foreign Languages". Cambridge University Press, 1898. 2s. 6d. Last Edition, 1913.

Brereton Cloudesley. "The Teaching of Modern Languages". Blackie, 1905. 1s.

Gouin, François. "The Art of Teaching and Studying Languages". Translated by Victor Betis and Howard Green. George Philip and Son, London, 1892. 7s. 6d. A description of the method is also contained in Adams, John: "The New Teaching". Hodder and Stoughton, 1918. Chap. III, pp. 72-127. "Modern Foreign Languages", by Louis de Glehn.

Kirkman, F. B., "The Teaching of Foreign Languages, Principles and Methods". University Tutorial Press, 1914. 1s.

Kittson, E. Creagh. "Theory and Practice of Language Teaching". Oxford University Press, 1918. 5s.

Palmer, H. "The Scientific Study and Teaching of Languages". Harrap, 1917. A clear analysis of Methods. 10s. 6d.

O'Grady, Hardress M. "The Teaching of Modern Foreign Languages". Constable, 1915. 2s. 6d.

Atkins, H. G. and Hutton, H. L. "The Teaching of Modern Foreign Languages in School and University". E. Arnold, 1920. 6s.

Evans, Ellen. "The Teaching of Welsh". Educational Publishing Co. Ltd., Cardiff. 4s.

Phillips, W. "Theory and Practice of Teaching Welsh". Spurrell. 7s. 6d.

[page 252]

316. We were much impressed by the views of an expert witness, whose experience of the teaching of Welsh extends throughout South Wales generally. He says, "It is not too much to say that the teaching of Welsh in Welsh-speaking districts is the one part of the curriculum that has not yet been greatly affected by the broadened view of Elementary Education which has revolutionised the teaching of the various school subjects, both as regards content and methods during the past 20 years. Welsh is still where English was 20 or 30 years ago: there is little or no training in free oral expression, either as an aim in itself or as a necessary preparation for genuine written self-expression in prose and verse composition: and reading is still just reading (or 'barking at print') and does not become the gateway to the realm of books and to the study and appreciation of literature. ... In the majority of the schools Welsh becomes a somewhat arid 'subject' involving mainly dictation, translation and monotonous mechanical reading, and spontaneity, free expression, and originality depart. ... The general fundamental defect of Welsh teaching in all schools is its formalism. The teacher of English - even the Welsh teacher of English in Welsh schools - has now realised that spelling, dictation, grammar, reproduction and mere reading, though necessary as a means to an end, do not feed the soul. But these barren exercises, together with translation, are still the main stock in trade of the Welsh teacher in the great majority of our schools." We strongly recommend, therefore, that teachers should study modern or direct methods of language teaching, such as the Gouin, the Berlitz, the Haeusser, and Jena methods, together with their application to the teaching of Welsh. There is still too much teaching of mere word equivalents, and often an imperfect patois does service as a means of communication between teacher and children in the Welsh lessons. A graduated course of lessons could, without much difficulty, be arranged for pupils between the ages of six and eight. These "direct" lessons should deal entirely with phrases and sentences about objects seen and

[page 253]

handled by pupils and actions performed with these objects. Lessons of this type could be given with advantage to English-speaking pupils as well as pupils who have a very imperfect knowledge of a local dialect.

317. Throughout the initial stages, then, the teaching should be conducted on direct method lines of an oral character, with increasing practice in written work in the upper departments. It is a mistake to assume, though such an erroneous view is doubtless widely held, that lessons based on the Direct Method should be exclusively oral. We agree that oral work is largely characteristic of the earlier stages of the method, inasmuch as training in the sounds of the language, to which we refer later, must of necessity form the basis of the initial instruction. This does not mean, however, that written work is entirely banished from the lessons. Opportunity for practice in written work in the form of occasional simple passages for dictation, written answers to questions in Welsh, reproductions of easy passages previously studied, short compositions based on previous oral composition, etc., should be given in the various classes of the upper departments, according to the progress of the pupils.

318. It should not be necessary to point out that, in general, Welsh should be the language of the Welsh lesson, though we would not defend in a class of monoglot English children a lengthy use of Welsh, for the purpose of explaining a Welsh word or expression in cases where the giving of the equivalent English word by the teacher would save laborious explanation and consequent loss of time. In spite of this recommendation, however, we would warn teachers against the practice of translating into English whenever a difficult Welsh word is encountered in the lesson. It is fatally easy to adopt the line of least resistance and to form the habit of avoiding all explanation in Welsh by resorting to translation. The indication of an object in a picture, a hasty sketch of a few lines on the blackboard, a gesture by the teacher, a reference to a lesson or page already studied - any of these methods may serve to convey to the pupils the

[page 254]

meaning of a word which at first sight appears unintelligible. In general, the enthusiastic teacher will find that the occasions upon which he or she will require to use English in the Welsh lessons are rare.

319. We attach great importance to the creation of a thoroughly Welsh atmosphere in the Welsh lessons. We would suggest that, wherever possible, the lessons should be given in a room specially set apart for the teaching of the language. Pictures of important scenes in Welsh history, maps of Wales containing the Welsh names of the counties, towns, mountains and rivers, and portraits of Welsh historical and literary characters should have a prominent place. The modern practice of decorating the class-room walls with a historical or literary frieze, built up by the scholars themselves under the guidance of the teacher might with advantage be adopted to illustrate the History and the Literature of Wales. Similarly "time charts" of Welsh Literature and History might, we think, find a prominent place in the Welsh class-room. The room should abound, too, in realien of all kinds: posters and programmes of Eisteddfodau, notices of meetings, Welsh advertisements, copies of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly Welsh publications, illustrated postcards in albums arranged by districts or subjects, including the excellent collections published by the National Library of Wales and the National Museum, a gramophone with a suitable collection of Welsh records, many of which might conceivably be of the teacher's own recording, a piano with a good collection of Welsh national and folk songs, anthologies of poetry suitable for pupils of all ages, guidebooks to the various counties of Wales, histories and dramas, Welsh mottoes, bygones - all these and other aids should be at the service of the enthusiastic teacher of Welsh.

320. Many witnesses laid stress upon the fact that one of the chief difficulties in the way of the effective teaching of Welsh in the schools is that of organisation. It is the opinion of the Committee that many of the difficulties of organisation could be substantially reduced by the adoption

[page 255]

of some system of vertical classification, and by the newer methods of language teaching. By a system of vertical classification, knowledge of and ability to use the Welsh language could be taken as a basis, and children who were equal in attainment could be drawn from several Standards, e.g. I, II and III and taught together. The advantages are obvious: there would be unity of method, progress would be rapid, and the teacher would no longer feel the strain of attempting to teach one half of the class at the expense of the other. The difficulties of applying this classification are naturally much greater in small schools than larger ones.

321. Many of the difficulties which confront the enthusiastic teacher of Welsh with a class of pupils at very different stages of attainment, difficulties which are practically insurmountable if attacked as a class problem, begin to assume smaller proportions when viewed from the angle of the individual child and his stage of attainment. Children within a class can be classified into groups or teams and the work graded according to the attainment of the group with the teacher as guide and leader. The Committee feel confident that the adoption of some system of individual and group teaching will aid very considerably in solving the problem of the teaching of Welsh. Much progress has been made by the use of such methods in the teaching of English. Many schemes for beginners have been worked out and there are a few sets of individual apparatus on the market to enable teachers of English to proceed on sound educational lines. What has proved effective in the teaching of one language should also prove effective in the teaching of another. A few successful experiments on such lines have been brought to the notice of the Committee, and we recommend that teachers should work on the lines of the individual and group methods used in Infant Schools for the teaching of English, and on some modification of the Dalton Plan for upper Standards. In order to carry out these recommendations, the schools will need to be well equipped with

[page 256]

books and apparatus; the publication of a well-graded set of individual apparatus for the teaching of Welsh would help considerably in solving the problem of teaching the language in the early stages, while for individual work in the middle and upper schools a plentiful supply of books is absolutely necessary. We would also make a strong claim for the provision of form and class libraries of Welsh books in all types of schools.

322. We learn with gratification that in the Secondary Schools of Wales a large proportion of the Welsh teachers are well qualified and have profited by recent developments in modern language teaching, and that from the outset the direct method has been used. We are informed, however, that it has not been easy to avoid the triviality and lack of system which so frequently attend "direct" lessons. There is a danger lest direct method lessons should consist too exclusively of the vapid question and answer of the textbook, but we note that the best teachers call music, literature and drama to their aid. It is too often accepted as inevitable that most of the conversation in direct method lessons must take the form of questions and answers, the teacher asking the question, and the pupil answering. Such procedure is neither essential nor advisable.

323. The quality of the Welsh taught in the schools caused several of our witnesses some uneasiness. A cleavage between the written and the spoken language is actually taking place, and we would accordingly venture to suggest that the oral side of Welsh should receive greater attention in the schools. Teachers can do much by speaking good Welsh themselves, and by impressing on the pupils the importance of speaking pure idiomatic Welsh as a matter of mere respect for their mother tongue. More prominence might well be given in the Secondary Schools to oral composition, debates, and to written composition requiring the use of the vocabulary of everyday speech. Further, we would recommend that the Central Welsh Board should hold an oral examination in Welsh at both School and Higher Certificate stages. This has been done for

[page 257]

years in the case of French, even lecture expliquée being prescribed at the higher stage, but the candidate who offers Welsh is not required to give any evidence of oral proficiency. We consider this a serious defect in the examination arrangements of the Board, which no consideration of expense can justify.


324. We confess that we are not wholly convinced of the necessity for devoting much time, especially at the Elementary stage, to the study of Welsh phonetics. It appears to us that the difficulties encountered by pupils in studying the language are not so much those connected with the actual production of Welsh sounds as with difficulties of construction, grammar and vocabulary. Indeed, it is the common experience of many of our witnesses that, apart from the production of the ll sound, the long a (as in bach and possibly the correct u sound, there is little in Welsh sound production that calls for special effort on the part of the English pupil. Welsh spelling is phonetic to a degree not encountered in English. We would recommend, therefore, that constant speech training and practice in clear and distinct expression should be given to English pupils learning Welsh, especially in the elementary stages, but we do not consider that a useful purpose would be served by devoting time to the learning of phonetic symbols and to the scientific study of Welsh phonetics, at least in the Elementary School. At the secondary stage, however, a comparative study of Welsh, French and English sounds would not, we think, be beyond the powers of the pupils, though here again we would add a word of caution against an unwarrantable amount of time being devoted to this aspect of the language instruction.


325. In the past, translation from Welsh into English played such an important part in the Welsh lessons, both in School and University classes, that the Welsh lesson was in

[page 258]

grave danger of developing into a lesson in the cultivation of an elegant English style. We fear that this pernicious practice has not been entirely eradicated from our educational institutions, and that an exaggerated importance is still attached to exercises of this type. There are, we grant, occasions when a test of exact translation from Welsh into English fulfils a useful purpose, and the exercise is not without some value at the higher stages, but even then we claim that its chief merit rests on its worth as a test in the writing and nice use of English.

326. Translation from English into Welsh, on the other hand, is of more value, especially at the Secondary stage, particularly if the correct Welsh versions of the English passages are learnt by heart. "We must", says Jespersen, "make a distinction between the ability to feel at home in a language, and skill in translating from and into it; even if these two accomplishments may be found in one and the same person, yet they are not seldom to be seen separated. ... I may say that my ability to translate quickly and well is so decidedly inferior to my ability to understand and to express my thoughts in those languages which I have studied, that I scarcely like to have my linguistic attainments judged by my skill in translation."*

327. In upper classes we feel that the methods of lecture expliquée, reading, and writing in the Welsh language have considerably more to commend themselves than those of translation. Properly considered, success in translation is an end rather than a means. If we are to regard skill in translation as the fine flower of language study, then the case for its general employment, oral or written, in the schools rests on a slender basis. We feel, with Jespersen, that in learning a second language our ideal must rather be the nearest possible approach to the native's

*See "How to teach a Foreign Language", by Otto Jespersen, Ph.D., p. 52, where he quotes the case of the Wends in Lusatia, who speak both Wendish and German with equal fluency, yet the common people generally refuse when they are asked to translate something from one language to another. The languages are as different from each other as English and Russian.

[page 259]

command of the language, so that the words and sentences awaken the same ideas in us as in the native, and these ideas, as we well know, are not the same as those called forth by the corresponding words in our own language.*

328. A word must be said here in condemnation of a common practice among teachers of depending upon printed books, often written by entirely ignorant people, for supposed Welsh equivalents of English words. Many teachers are still in the mentality of the mid-nineteenth century, when people thought that there must be a native Welsh word to denote every object, and therefore supplemented the supposed deficiency of the common spoken language by invention. Members of the Committee have actually heard such words as penwisg, or even diddosben, for het or hat, and one class was heard to answer the teacher's question (referring to a page in a book) "Beth yw hwn?" with the word "gwastrodwas" (page-boy), vociferated in the most convincing unison. Some of the text-books for the oral method in general use are, for this reason, worse than useless.


329. It will be convenient at this stage of our Report to deal with the objection often made to proposals for a more satisfactory treatment of Welsh, that this cannot be done without adding to a curriculum which is already overburdened. The use or Welsh as one of the main instruments of culture in the schools must depend largely upon the state of public opinion in Wales. It is certain that the position of the language in the schools has greatly improved in the last twenty years. From being a timid candidate for admission to the curriculum, it has established itself as one of the most important subjects. By this development Welsh has actually become a competitor on almost equal terms with the other principal subjects in the curriculum, and the problem of dealing with the "squeeze" of subjects has become, as a result, specially difficult in

*Ibid., p. 54.

[page 260]

Welsh schools of ail grades. Many important witnesses accordingly represented to us that the Committee at this juncture could not render a greater service to the cause of Welsh teaching than by suggesting a solution of this problem of the competition between subjects in the curriculum. It has been shown by the Reports of the Committees on the position of Classics, English, Modern Studies, and Natural Science in Secondary Schools that a full and adequate treatment of all these subjects in the same school presents, even in England, an almost insoluble problem, seeing that the school hours are not sufficient to allow of the suggested amount of time being given to each subject. In Wales the claims of Welsh inevitably increase this already great difficulty. It would seem necessary, therefore, that schools should so choose their subjects, so arrange their time-tables, and so revise their methods of teaching as to present a curriculum which shall be completely adequate for the general culture of the pupils, without making an impossible demand upon their time and energies. The solution of this difficulty would remove what is perhaps the main hindrance in the way of a fuller recognition of Welsh as a leading subject in the curriculum of Welsh Schools. This observation applies to all stages of education, but it is, of course, specially applicable to Secondary Schools.

330. The place of Welsh in the curriculum, and particularly in the scheme of language training is a matter which calls for careful consideration, since (i) with Welsh is bound up a literary and historical heritage which should be treasured up and made an object of study and investigation; (ii) the language is the repository of a native culture that should specially appeal to us and influence us as a people; (iii) as a language, in active use Welsh must always stand on a different footing from other languages in the curriculum (such as French) which are not spoken locally. The educational advantage of instruction in a language other than the mother tongue and parallel with it, both from the point of view of the language itself

[page 261]

and of its literary value and content, is fully recognised in our Secondary Schools and institutions of higher education, where language training occupies an important position. The chief aim in language teaching is facility in its use and familiarity with its literature, but, in addition to this, the study of the language, in itself provides valuable mental discipline, and exercises the intellect in a way that no other study exactly does. Further, it is generally recognised, and expert experience confirms the view, that exercise in expressing oneself in a second language, if properly correlated with the mother tongue, leads to a better knowledge of the mother tongue and, therefore, to increased power of expression and definiteness of thought. While the validity of this argument is readily admitted in Secondary Schools and institutions of higher education, the general conditions differ in the case of Elementary Schools. In Elementary Schools in England, and in purely English areas in Wales, the ages and "school stay" of the pupils and their general scholastic abilities are such as to make the introduction of a second language a more difficult matter than in Secondary Schools, though the recent raising of the age limit has done something to remove this difficulty. But in Welsh and bilingual districts a factor is operative that considerably modifies this difficulty. For here is a second language - parallel with the mother tongue, whether English or Welsh-living, widely spoken and possessing an extensive literature with an unbroken tradition. Such a condition does not exist, at least to the same extent, in any other part of the British Isles. Hence those who are most deeply concerned with school reform have, for a long time been pointing ont the educational loss that arises from neglecting the study of Welsh in schemes of instruction. They urge that by providing for Welsh, in parallel and well correlated schemes of Welsh and English, we in Wales ought to be in a position in Wales to realise even in Elementary Schools many of the educational benefits of language training which are so highly prized in Secondary Schools.

[page 262]

331. It is sometimes urged as a reason against the introduction of Welsh into a school in anglicised districts that none of the pupils, or only a small proportion of them, will ever need to know the language, and that therefore the pupil's time instead of being wasted on Welsh should be devoted to more useful studies. It is obvious that the identical argument would apply to much of the work done in such a subject as French at a Secondary School, as only a comparatively small proportion of the pupils taking it are ever likely to acquire mastery of the language, or even advance so far as to read it with ease and pleasure. Judged therefore by the standards sometimes applied to Welsh, the work, except for the small proportion of the pupils referred to, would have to be pronounced futile. It is noteworthy that, while many teachers, for the reasons mentioned above, are opposed to the introduction of Welsh into the schools, they raise no objection to the introduction of French under precisely the same conditions and limitations. This is probably due more to the acceptance by them in a conservative spirit of a traditional curriculum than to well considered views on educational needs and advantages.

332. If intellectual training is the main, if not indeed the only, educational advantage that accrues from the study of French for the great majority of the pupils, precisely the same advantage would be secured by the substitution for it of the study of Welsh. Actually indeed the advantages would be greater. For in Welsh and bilingual districts the second language, studied in correlation with the mother tongue, whether English or Welsh, would then be spoken locally and would have literary and historical associations of a national character. Its study could therefore be arranged on fuller and maturer lines than would be possible with a foreign language like French, and it would have cultural appeals and influences unobtainable from the latter language. Even in districts where Welsh is not spoken, the substitution of Welsh for French, while securing for the majority of the pupils the same educational advantages in the sense of intellectual

[page 263]

training, would enable those desirous of doing so, to pursue the study of Welsh after leaving school, and so to become more fully interested in the native language and in the intellectual activities of the land in which they live. This in itself is an important consideration. In addition, such study would help not inconsiderably in the movement for the strengthening and development of the national character that it should be one of the prime concerns of our schools to promote.*

333. If the question be now asked, "Can a school in Wales teach Welsh effectively, and at the same time attempt to cover the syllabus of a school in England which has not to teach a second language?" we reply that there is an educational value in the study of this second language that justifies us in amending our syllabuses so as to give it more room, and altering our time-tables so as to give it more time. Indeed, where the intention is to establish the acquisition by children of two languages for humanistic ends, it is reasonable to suppose that both outlook and procedure should be different from those when the teaching is confined to one language throughout the school life. If Welsh is to have a place in the curriculum at all, a daily period of 40 minutes should be regarded as the minimum in Elementary Schools. We were informed that in some schools two periods per week only were allotted to the subject. In another school (in this case a Secondary School) two consecutive periods on one day of the week were devoted to Welsh. Such arrangements are merely a waste of time and effort: they are discouraging to teachers and pupils alike and result in making the subject unpopular. It is a disturbing fact that the average time devoted to Welsh to-day in the Elementary Schools is inadequate for any practical purpose. It indicates clearly that the status granted to the vernacular as a subject is far below that of any of the three R's. In Secondary Schools it should be

*We are indebted for much of the substance of the above paragraphs to the Memorandum of Dr. W. Williams, Divisional Inspector of Schools.

[page 264]

realised that as much time is needed for Welsh as on the one hand for English, and on the other for Latin or French, if the subject is to be effectively taught. Examiners continually complain that pupils entered for Central Welsh Board examinations in Welsh are weak in mutations and composition. The explanation of these criticisms is undoubtedly that teachers and pupils are not allowed adequate time to prepare for the examination.

334. We now pass on to discuss the question whether it is necessary to exclude certain subjects from the timetable. In this connection we would point out that it is not so much a question of cutting out as of adopting a different attitude towards the so-called "other subjects". The issue is one which the English Committee had also to face: they concluded as follows: "If a child postpones the study, say, of Arithmetic, History or Geography, he simply lacks them for the time being and when he does begin, his more fully developed powers of mind enable him to progress more rapidly." Since the system of "payment by results" was abolished, the time devoted to the teaching of Arithmetic has been generally curtailed. It is possible that the necessary limit of curtailment of time compatible with efficiency has not yet been reached throughout the schools, and particularly in the junior classes. We are aware of the popular assumption with regard to the utilitarian value of Arithmetic. As a matter of truth, however, there must be a large proportion of the population and among them many people of distinction and culture, for whom a knowledge of the first four rules in pure number and money and in a lesser degree, in weights and measures, is sufficient to meet their needs throughout life. No one would regard this as a criterion of a low intellectual level. Life has not developed in such a way as to call for any general use of arithmetical knowledge, and there is no evidence at present that it ever will. A sound training in Arithmetic is necessary as a preliminary to University courses. An understanding of certain arithmetical processes is helpful, and possibly necessary in a number of occupations, but even there

[page 265]

greater recourse is had to mechanical means for rapid and accurate computation than to any direct effort of the human mind, e.g. the slide rule, different kinds of ready reckoners, and other mechanical devices.

335. The other argument advanced in favour of devoting much time to Arithmetic is based upon its alleged value as mental training. The view that such training is largely if not entirely "ad hoc" has many supporters to-day. It is not demonstrable that a child who has been trained to work Inverse Proportion sums with ease, is able consequently to apply his mind the more intelligently to other themes. It is known that many children who are weak in Arithmetic are able to deduce and argue quite effectively by other means. It is admitted that there is a type of mind that takes readily to arithmetical thinking and later, possibly, to mathematical studies. A little elasticity in the organisation of an Elementary School, and especially of a Secondary School would provide ample exercise for pupils of this particular type. We would, therefore, submit that the position of Arithmetic, History, Geography, Nature Study and other subjects in the present school syllabus can be so modified during the first three years, at least, as to make it possible and even profitable to allot six hours per week to the teaching of Welsh. We believe, too, that given competent teaching, the average child would be able to enjoy Welsh as a medium of instruction in certain directions by the time he reached Standard IV. Its increasing use as a medium of instruction, until It shares that position equally with English, would ensure that the child of fourteen would so possess the language that its retention and further acquisition would be but a matter of normal effort.

336. Usually, children are admitted to Secondary Schools sometime between the ages of ten and twelve, and the test for entrance is in English and Arithmetic. It is possible that the type of paper set at present in Arithmetic would be beyond the capacity of a child of ten if educated as suggested above, although the possibility is not readily conceded. In any case, it might well be reconsidered

[page 266]

whether such knowledge of Arithmetic is an indispensable test of intelligence. There is some ground for suggesting that the child be allowed to submit his knowledge of Welsh as an alternative to Arithmetic. The justification for paying more attention to Welsh in the Elementary School is its cultural value. Hence it would be the duty of the Secondary School to preserve the continuity of the child's study of the language and to give it due place as a medium of instruction. To test his fitness at the outset to profit by instruction so given would appear to be perfectly reasonable, and even essential. These suggestions as to the time which should be devoted to Welsh assume certain changes in school organisation which are not considered here. It will suffice to state now that no insuperable difficulty need arise. In any reorganisation of the school time-table we are of opinion that Welsh, English, and the humanistic subjects, with Handwork should be the basis of the Elementary School work; Arithmetic should rather be treated as a technical subject, which it would not be necessary to teach to the same extent to every child. By a systematic treatment of the two languages, the schools should give the children the nearest equivalent to a "classical" education, and hence much time should not be allotted to non-cultural subjects whose practical value for the average child (beyond the very elements), as explained above, is small.

337. As we have briefly indicated above, we are of opinion that more time could be given to Welsh, in so far as practice in speaking and hearing the language is concerned, as distinct from specific language lessons, by using Welsh as a medium of instruction to a greater extent than is at present the practice in all types of schools. We see no reason why Scripture should not be taught in Welsh in large numbers of Elementary and Secondary Schools. In the case of many pupils the language is already the medium of instruction in this subject in the Sunday Schools which they attend. Similarly, we would encourage the teaching of the History and the Geography of Wales through Welsh. We are convinced, too, that Arithmetic can be efficiently

[page 267]

taught in the same medium, as well as Nature Study, Hygiene, Domestic and Rural Science, Handwork, and Physical Instruction. In this connection we recommend that the Board of Education issue to Welsh schools a pamphlet indicating the Welsh words of command to be used in conjunction with the Board's Manual of Physical Instruction. We are informed that Welsh words of command are used in certain Welsh troops of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides with satisfactory results.

338. With the generally improved text-books now available, and by the adoption of modern methods in the teaching of all subjects and the consequent saving of time, we feel that the enthusiastic teacher would find it possible to allot more time to the teaching of Welsh, and we have no doubt but that the other subjects of the curriculum would benefit from the possession by the pupils of a second language, for where Welsh is properly taught and well correlated with the other school subjects, not only is the scholastic part of the work other than Welsh done as efficiently, but a higher standard of intellectual training is attained. In this connection we wish to place on record the fact that in those schools where generous provision of time is made for the study of Welsh, the general level of scholarship attained by the pupils in the other subjects studied is without exception at least as high as in schools in the same districts making little or no provision for Welsh. In particular we were impressed by the fact that English, far from suffering by competition with Welsh, was generally better taught in those schools where Welsh was also a subject.


339. An adverse influence is exercised upon Welsh in some of our schools by the adoption of the Parents' National Educational Union schemes of instruction. We have knowledge that the scheme has in some schools known to us led to the curtailment of time which had previously been allotted to Welsh, and has caused the almost total exclusion

[page 268]

of the study of the Geography and History of the locality and the Principality. A case was brought to our notice of Standard III of one school which had adopted a P.N.E.U. scheme where less than one-third of the pupils could write correctly the name of the country in which they lived, while several of them had no idea of the county in which they lived, and most of those who knew, spelt it incorrectly. Yet these children were making an intensive study of Kent, Hampshire, and Surrey before they knew the most elementary facts about their own county. We note with regret that the examinations of the P.N.E.U. for which many schools in Wales prepare, have virtually no reference to the Principality. We suggest that representations should be made to the Parents' National Education Union by the Welsh Executive of the National Union of Teachers, and by the Union of Welsh Teachers, that separate schemes for Wales should be compiled, and that greater prominence should be given to the Welsh language and the History and Geography of Wales in any revised schemes prepared by the above Union for schools in Wales.

340. We may conveniently here refer to the Dalton Plan, which we understand has been adopted enthusiastically by many teachers in Welsh schools. We do not wish to discuss, on educational grounds, the merits of the Dalton Plan, which has undoubtedly brought a new atmosphere of joyous industry into many a spiritless classroom. But we wish to record a general tendency, when new schemes advocated in England and America are introduced, to adopt such schemes in their entirety in Welsh schools, for example, the ready-made published schemes of a particular London school and to make little provision for the special claims of Welsh teaching. There appears no need to neglect the Welsh language in putting the Dalton Plan into use. It is possible for an enthusiastic teacher so to modify his "assignments" as to allot a due place to the study of the Welsh language and the History and Geography of Wales. The same criticisms apply with equal cogency to the individual methods now largely employed in the best Infants'

[page 269]

Schools. The principles upon which individual apparatus is devised apply equally well to the teaching of Welsh as of English. We would, therefore, urge teachers to welcome new ideas in pedagogy, to put them into practice, but at the same time to apply them with due modification, and in accordance with the special conditions that obtain in Wales; in particular we would urge them to see to it that the teaching of Welsh should not suffer from the adoption of new pedagogical methods which, while excellent in every other respect, would affect adversely the status of Welsh teaching in the schools.


341. "'The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life' is a truth whose application to the teaching of Welsh has not yet been even dimly realised. And it is not only teachers in the Elementary Schools who need to realise it, but all those who have to do with Welsh education, in particular those concerned with the education and the training of teachers at the Secondary Schools at the Training Colleges and at the Universities, and those of us who, as Directors and Inspectors, have to superintend and advise the teachers afterwards in their work."* This opinion is typical of the evidence received by the Committee from every quarter. It was generally maintained that the teaching of Welsh is not so successful as it should be, because so few teachers are fully equipped to teach the subject. The Training Colleges were blamed for this deficiency, and it must be admitted that much blame lies at their door for the faults of the past. It should, however, be remembered that in rural, and even in some urban areas, a large percentage of the teachers are uncertificated and even supplementary, and have received no instruction in Welsh except what they may have been taught in the Secondary Schools. Many of these teachers are able to speak Welsh fluently, but their knowledge of the literature, and of the methods of transmitting knowledge is admittedly inadequate.

*Quotation from the Memorandum of H.M. Inspector.

[page 270]

342. Until the number of Certificated teachers in our Elementary Schools increases, the inadequacy of the methods in the schools cannot properly be laid to the charge of the Training Colleges. Before they can do their part of the work - that is, at the end of two years, to turn out teachers fitted to teach Welsh - the students who enter the colleges must be better equipped. Those responsible for the Elementary and Secondary education of intending teachers must adopt measures to secure that Welsh, at least up to the standard of the School Leaving Certificate, be a necessary part of the preliminary training. With some such definite foundation, the Training Colleges could begin seriously to attack the problem. They, in their turn, must be places where the Welsh language, culture, traditions, and literature are an integral part of the college life, because a teacher's success depends not only on the thoroughness of his training in specific subjects, but also on the unconscious influences of his environment, when his ideas are being formed.

343. The Welsh language must occupy an honourable position in every department of College life, if the Colleges are to turn out teachers with the love and enthusiasm necessary to overcome the difficulties of apathy and ignorance with which they will be faced, but enthusiasm can only be purposeful when based on knowledge; every student, therefore, should follow a course in Welsh language and literature. In such a course great prominence should be given to speech training. "The vital factor is the spoken word and it is this which is most persistently neglected", is a statement made by one of H.M. Inspectors when speaking of the schools in his district. Conversation, debates, reading, recitation, story telling, the performance of dramas and dialogues, and the singing of folk songs and hymns should form a basic part of the Training College course. Attention must also be paid to clear speech, and prospective teachers must be given definite training in correct methods of producing sounds.

[page 271]

344. Wide reading should be encouraged. The Literature Course should include set works which should be studied in relation to the particular period to which they belong, and not as isolated books. Over and above that minimum, the students should be allowed to follow their own tastes by doing a piece of individual work, which should be shown up as part of their examination test. Welsh should be used not only as the normal medium of instruction in the Welsh lessons, of intercourse between Welsh-speaking members of the Staff and students, but also, wherever possible, as the medium of instruction in other subjects. Many teachers find it difficult to teach through the medium of Welsh because, throughout their College days, English was the only official language of culture within the College walls. Unless this is changed, we can expect little improvement in the art of teaching Welsh.

345. Enthusiasm, zeal, a substantial background of linguistic and literary knowledge, are not enough. They are the first essentials to success, but the technical skill to transmit these to children is necessary. One of H.M. Inspectors stated "Every student who has any knowledge of Welsh should study the methods of teaching the language; I cannot see why an exception should be made of this subject in his studies of methodology." It is therefore part of the work of the Training Colleges to give definite instruction in the best methods of language teaching, and in the practical application of these methods to the bilingual problem as it is found in the three areas already described.

346. It has already been stated that a large number of the teachers employed in the schools have had little or no tuition in the Welsh language and literature, and no training in the methods of teaching Welsh. Means must be found to enable these persons to qualify as effective teachers of Welsh and the provision of such means must be an integral part of any scheme for the reformation of Welsh teaching. Although it is admittedly difficult to make up for deficiency in training, a few successful attempts

[page 272]

by some Authorities have been brought to the Committee's notice and we should like to place it on record that we consider it the duty of teachers already in the schools to avail themselves of these opportunities. Summer School Courses organised by the Welsh Language Society, the Union of Welsh Societies, the Board of Education and others, greatly help to remove the handicap of those who, through no fault of their own, have not been trained to teach Welsh. Evening classes and Saturday morning classes have also been found valuable, and it is the Committee's belief that the University and the Authorities would be most ready to organise such classes, should the demand be forthcoming from the teachers already in the Schools. Refresher Courses in the methods of language teaching organised for longer periods would be of great value to the teachers. The Committee recommend that Authorities grant periodical leave of absence to teachers of Welsh to enable them to pay visits to schools which are known to be conducting successful experiments in the teaching of Welsh, so that the whole country may have the chance of benefiting from the work of these pioneers.

347. The Training Departments of the University Colleges should give every student undergoing elementary training and able to speak Welsh a thorough instruction in the methods of teaching the language. This would necessitate, in some cases, a re-organisation of the staffs in the departments, because it is essential that the students should receive not only instruction in lectures, but supervision and guidance in the school practice. Further, it is clear that much greater strictness must be exercised in directing the preliminary courses, to secure that Welsh should be one of the subjects in that course, at least up to the second year. Normal students receive their education at the public expense, and for a specific purpose, namely to become efficient teachers in the public schools. Their choice of subjects, therefore, must be determined by considerations of public interest, and we are emphatically of

[page 273]

opinion that a University Training Course in Wales which does not include Welsh, at least for Welsh-speaking students, is not one which should be paid for out of public funds.


348. It is clear that the success of any plans for the promotion of the study of the Welsh language must largely depend upon the policy and efforts of the University of Wales and its Constituent Colleges. The University is perhaps at present the highest symbol and the best expression of our national unity. It is steadily coming, by the efforts of its distinguished Professors and Lecturers, and through the Board of Celtic Studies and the University Press, to be the accepted centre for the study of Welsh philology, literature and history in this country; and it is assuming a growing responsibility for the preparation and training of Teachers in our Elementary and Secondary Schools. If it can add to the exercise and development of these functions a fuller realisation of its mission as the representative of a Welsh culture which would give a distinctive character to University life in all its activities, the University will adequately fill the place we think it should occupy in our scheme for the promotion of the study of the Welsh language. We have now to consider the means by which this aim may be attained in such a way as to avoid any abrupt disturbance of the work in the Colleges or any risk of impairing the external value of the University Degrees or the financial stability of the University.

349. We will deal in the first place with the teaching of Welsh as a department of University studies, and secondly, with its use as a means of developing a special atmosphere and culture. On the first point the University submitted to us definite proposals of great importance: an increase in the staff of the Welsh Departments, and a better provision of Welsh text-books. We are of opinion that action on both points is urgently required; but both involve an increase of expenditure, and if on financial grounds preference has to

[page 274]

be given to one or the other, we think the supply of textbooks is the more urgent. There is, however, a close connection between the two; for, it is agreed that the present dearth of text-books is not only a serious drawback to the students, but throws a great deal of troublesome, mechanical, and avoidable labour upon the Teachers, and hinders the formation and adoption of a common terminology in subjects in which that is greatly needed. The provision of text-books would therefore be a direct contribution to the strengthening of the teaching staff. Moreover, its effects would not be confined to the University, but would be felt at once throughout the other branches of our educational system. There seems to be no doubt that, if the money can be found, a scheme of intensive preparation of text-books could be undertaken at once. The Professors of Welsh assure us that they would have no difficulty in obtaining the services of a number of competent and willing men and women who have of recent years taken the Honours Course in Welsh under their direction. The Board of Celtic Studies in their last Annual Report state that they are at work upon a scheme for the preparation of such books, and the hearty co-operation of the University Press can be counted upon. The difficulty is one of finance, and is undeniably serious. For even though an excellent demand in proportion to the population of Wales and to the number of University students may be counted on, that might well be insufficient to encourage either the University Press or publishing firms to supply it at the cheap rate which is possible for books in demand over a wider area. There are, we understand, precedents in Ireland and elsewhere, for a State contribution to the printing of Ancient and Medieval texts, and we strongly recommend that the case for such aid in Wales should be pressed in the proper quarter. It should be borne in mind, when such an appeal is made, that what is wanted is not a series of small and elaborately got up editions to be acquired by Public Libraries and by a few individual scholars or collectors, but volumes suitable for a wide distribution among University students both in and

[page 275]

outside the Colleges, and for teachers and their more advanced pupils in schools. But there is still greater need for books outside the category covered by the Irish precedent, and for the provision of those we earnestly plead that, in view of the necessity for a prompt supply and for intensive effort in their preparation, a non-recurrent grant of, say, 500 for five years should be made to the University, or that the Treasury should for a period of years make a grant to meet money raised for the purpose by Authorities or private subscription.

350. There is in our opinion an urgent need of increase of the teaching staff in the Welsh Departments of the University Colleges. As we have already admitted (§145), the staffs in the Departments of Welsh are numerically not below the level of those in other Language Departments of the Colleges; but the systematic teaching of Welsh is a new thing, still in its infancy and lacking any body of experience and tradition. For this reason, and in view of what has been said above about the peculiar difficulties caused in the Departments of Welsh by the want of text-books, it seems to us that, until that defect at any rate has been made good, the ordinary standard for staffing a Language Department is inadequate to meet the case of Welsh. We are aware of the financial difficulties with which the University, like other Universities in this country and at this time, has to contend, but we feel bound to commend this matter to the University as one deserving some priority of treatment owing to the pressing importance of the national educational issues which depend upon the efficiency of the University in this respect. It is remarkable that, in the circumstances, the Welsh Teachers of the University have been able to produce so much original work. It is quite unreasonable to expect that they can further find the time for the encouragement and guidance of post-graduate studies and of extra-mural work which is required; still less that they should be able to cope with the new demands upon their strength and time which our general recommendations must involve.

[page 276]

351. We have referred in Part II (§143) to the discussion which has taken place in recent years as to the respective claims of Philology and Literature to the attention of students of Welsh. It is quite clear that both aspects of the language require more attention than either has yet received, and in a University composed of four constituent Colleges, it would be most unfortunate to lay down rules or to make recommendations in the direction of uniformity of treatment. We think that the University and the Colleges are well able to find the right solution of the problem for themselves.

352. We may now pass on to consider what can be done to promote the use and influence of the Welsh Language in the University outside the special Departments of Welsh Language and Literature. The Royal Commission on the University of Wales noted with satisfaction (Rep. §§259-60) the movement which had arisen for the institution of University Courses in Social Science and Administration, as calculated to provide both a vocational training for the growing number of persons required for municipal and local administration, and also as a more direct preparation for the duties of citizenship than that afforded by the established Courses for a Pass Degree. We desire to point out the great importance of including in such Courses a study of the Welsh Language. A Course designed as a preparation for citizenship and administration for the inhabitants of Wales cannot serve this purpose effectually unless it gives a prominent place to the study of the history and essential features of Welsh culture and modes of thought, and this study can hardly be pursued without a moderate degree of proficiency in the language of the people. In the Citizenship Course, for the Pass Degree at Bangor the student has a choice of Latin or Greek or Welsh or French Literature in the first year, and in the remaining two years a choice between continuing the subject taken in the first year and a course in Greek Literature or in Roman History and Political Institutions. We hope that in all the Colleges Schemes may be so planned as to bring the study of Political

[page 277]

Philosophy, Economics and History, Into the closest possible relation with the conditions and characteristics, past and present, of the Welsh people. It is no doubt contrary to sound educational policy that University Colleges should undertake work below a University standard; but, as a temporary measure, while the schools are being given time to improve and strengthen their provision for the teaching of Welsh, we think that the provision of some elementary classes in Welsh would be desirable, and would, indeed, be more easily defended than the classes of a similar nature which we understand are already provided in the case of French. It is probable that this principle of correlation of the Departments of Welsh with other Departments might with advantage receive more attention than hitherto. The University Statement draws our attention to the need of it as regards the Department of History. The reason for this defect is, we conceive, mainly due to the lack of staff. The ground to be covered by the Modern History student is very extensive, and it is probably impossible with the present number of Teachers to cover this ground effectively and at the same time to give a special attention to Welsh History over and above what is necessary to secure its place in the general scheme.

353. The difficulty is, in fact, more or less the same as that which confronts us when we come to the wider and more important point of the desirability of the use of the Welsh Language as a means of instruction in Departments other than that of Welsh Language and Literature in which it already prevails. The University Statement is explicit in favour of a new departure in this direction. "Students who specialise in subjects other than Welsh have under present conditions little incentive to consider a knowledge of Welsh as a desirable part of their general culture ... The wider use of Welsh in the University must be considered as one of the surest ways of promoting its study and of securing its position in the national life." It is freely recognised that such a change cannot be introduced suddenly into all Departments or

[page 278]

even into selected Departments at all the Colleges. But in this matter, as in so many others with which we have to deal in this Report, we feel strongly that the vicious circle must be broken somewhere and a beginning made even if the conditions are not entirely favourable. And it may be said that in one or two Departments the conditions are already favourable to a degree which would in our opinion amply justify the experiment. The subjects most confidently mentioned in this connection by our witnesses are Hebrew, Greek, Philosophy, Agriculture. The selection is explained by the fact that the large majority of students composing the classes in the first two and in the advanced work in Philosophy are destined for the Ministry and are mainly drawn from Welsh-speaking homes, and agricultural students are the sons of farmers with whom as a class Welsh is the language of the home. We do not propose that in any of these subjects Welsh should be the sole medium; ample discretion must be left to each College and Staff to determine the conditions under which the experiment should be tried. Of the subjects named, Philosophy probably presents the greatest difficulties, and would demand the most cautious and tentative treatment. The masterpieces of philosophical writing have not been translated into Welsh nor has any book of established reputation in the subject been written in Welsh. The absence of an accepted philosophical terminology in Welsh will also be embarrassing for both teacher and student. Moreover, Welsh-speaking candidates for posts as Teachers of Philosophy are rare. But even with these drawbacks it appears to us that it might be of great advantage to students, as well as to the movements for promoting the study of the language, that a teacher in Philosophy when qualified to do so, should, for example, occasionally deliver a small number of lectures in Welsh, in which he would aim at enforcing his main propositions in the language and idiom most natural to the mental habits of his hearers.

354. We must not leave this subject without endorsing very heartily the plea made to us by Professor J. Lloyd

[page 279]

Williams for a more frequent use of Welsh in College music both for training and for singing. The importance of phonology and of appreciation of Welsh poetry for an improved style of singing and of composition of vocal music, points, as he rightly says, to the need for co-operation between the Departments of Music and Welsh. There is also much to be done in the way of strengthening the position of Welsh in the social and recreational life of the Colleges. We are convinced that a greatly extended provision of hostels for students - so desirable from other points of view - will contribute greatly to promote the use of Welsh on this side of undergraduate life. We do not lack appreciation of the advantages to be gained by free intercourse between Welsh and English students, but we fear that hitherto Welsh culture and the Welsh spirit have too often been sacrificed to an unreasonable regard for the wishes and tastes of a small minority.

355. The University Statement concludes with a suggestion that the University should set up a Committee, consisting of the Professors and Lecturers in Welsh, with perhaps other qualified persons, to deal with Orthography and similar matters, including the introduction of new words and to "guide the language in its progressive adaptation to modern needs". We think the aim is desirable, but that it is not necessary or expedient to create a new body for the purpose. It appears to us that the University Board of Celtic Studies would be quite competent to deal with these matters through a Committee of its own body reinforced, when expedient, by the addition of members from outside who might be chosen from time to time in accordance with the nature of the work in hand.

356. The proposal that a knowledge of Welsh should be required of all candidates for admission to the University has been made to us, but is not supported by any considerable body of opinion. Even were it not contrary to the general policy of our recommendation to use compulsion as a means of promoting the study of the language, the

[page 280]

proposal would still be, in our opinion, for a long time to come, financially and administratively impracticable both for the Colleges and for the Secondary Schools.


357. We have already noted in our Report the gratifying fact that the number of extra-mural and other Adult Education classes in Welsh Literature and Welsh History is increasing and, what is even more important, that there is an increasing tendency to use Welsh as the normal medium of instruction of classes in Philosophy, Bible Literature, Economics, and Sociology. The great impediment to the more common use of the vernacular in classes other than those in Welsh Literature and Welsh History is, we are convinced, the lack of suitable text-books written in the Welsh language. Such text-books are seriously needed in such subjects as Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and History. There is no doubt that the provision of modern text-books written in Welsh on the subjects more generally studied in Adult Education Classes would give a powerful impetus, not only to the more general use of the Welsh language in these classes, but also to the progress of the Adult Education movement in Wales. The student who thinks most easily in Welsh, and whose acquaintance with technical and academic English is somewhat scant, is obviously at a disadvantage in following a lecture or reading a book upon a more or less abstruse subject. It is, moreover, equally certain from the very definite evidence which we have received that the Welsh language is eminently adaptable for the presentation and treatment of the aforementioned subjects. In our view the University Press Board could render no better service than by issuing a series of cheap text-books in Welsh, similar in form and content to the Home University Library.

358. We would make the strongest claim for a large extension of the use of the Welsh language in Adult Education Courses, more especially in centres serving the Welsh-speaking districts; it appears to us that a high degree of

[page 281]

culture is possible in such districts where the Welsh language is used as a medium of instruction in after-education. We were informed of many centres where any attempt to conduct a tutorial class in English would have proved a failure. The use of Welsh, too, is of great service in promoting the adaptation of the language to the needs of contemporary life, and particularly in providing a sound and scholarly selection of technical terms in various branches of knowledge. Such a service would have a great effect in removing the sense of inferiority which has been so baneful to the Welsh language in the past. We are convinced, too, that it would be impossible effectively to reach the workers in these areas except through the Welsh language. By conducting these classes in Welsh we are proceeding on sound educational lines, since it follows of necessity that thereby the continuity of the people's culture is maintained. Moreover, the use of the language assists in preserving an atmosphere of freedom and homeliness in the classes. In this connection some of the views presented to us in a memorandum prepared by Mr. Silyn Roberts are illuminating. The writer stated that his experience had led him to believe that the Welsh workers are as much attached as ever to Welsh poetry and literature and that a literary lecture is invariably enjoyed and appreciated. "The reason why they raise such a demand at present for subjects such as Economics, which hitherto have been regarded as foreign to the Welsh mind, is that the working class has awakened to the importance of economic freedom and is proceeding on the principle that 'nothing but truth alone can make them free'. In other words, the workers are awakened to the great responsibility that political enfranchisement has imposed upon them. Curiosity to understand the social and economic structure more thoroughly does not imply less but rather more interest in national institutions, the native language and the national culture."

359. While the suggestion has been made in some quarters that the teachers of the classes should formulate a scheme for the production in Welsh of the necessary books,

[page 282]

we consider it hardly desirable to place this extra burden upon the shoulders of these men and women who are, with a few exceptions, subject to dismissal at the end of any session, and dependent for their salary upon the number and nature of classes that happen to be formed.

360. A further suggestion, put forward for our consideration, was that the University of Wales should amalgamate the extra-mural work of the four University Colleges under one Joint Extra-Mural Board and under one Director of Extra-Mural Studies, and that a definite system be created to take the place of the present arrangement and that permanent tutors be appointed. Such unification, it was urged, would enable all Welsh tutors to assemble during the summer months, when classes are not held, in order to consider the compilation of Welsh text-books on such subjects as Welsh History, Literature, Politics, Music, etc., under the direction of the University, which would be ultimately responsible for the production of the books. The supply of these text-books would make possible a general scheme for teaching all subjects in all types of schools in Welsh-speaking areas through the instrumentality of the Welsh language. We feel, however, that we cannot endorse a recommendation which would take the direction of extra-mural work out of the hands of the Colleges and concentrate it on the University Board. Such work has long been, and ought to continue to be, an important and growing function of the Colleges, for its exercise is essential if they are to keep in the closest touch with the people. On the other hand, the University has through its University Extension Board, to see that the efforts of the several Colleges are co-ordinated: and that no gaps are left in the supply of extra-mural classes from the want of co-operation on the part of the Colleges. It may even find branches of the work which can more conveniently be handled by the University than by the Colleges. We think that the University may in particular render a special service to the cause by bringing together the extra-mural teachers of Welsh, and also those who use Welsh as a medium of instruction in other subjects, for

[page 283]

conferences on matters connected with their work. Such conferences, for example, might have a great practical effect in promoting agreement upon technical terms to be employed in various subjects.

361. While it is true that extra-mural classes generally outlive the fidelity of a percentage of their original members, there is no doubt that the residue left over from the first and second year invariably justifies the original venture. What we would urge more especially in Welsh classes organised upon this system of sequence is that the instruction should start with the History of the Nineteenth Century or even of contemporary Welsh Literature. The interest of most first-year students in notabilities with whose names they are conversant must, we think, be greater than in theories of literary composition. There appears to us no reason why the history of Welsh literature should not be studied backwards from the known, that is the contemporary, through the live tradition of the nineteenth century to the forgotten tradition of Dafydd ap Gwilym and the Mabinogion. Equally important in our view is the inclusion in the actual language teaching of a few lectures in each course on such subjects as the history of words and place names. Grammar, it is unnecessary to add, should not be taught as a set, dead subject, and in adult classes we would recommend that prose composition as an artistic exercise should have its due place. Indeed, we are obliged to recognise that an unjustifiable amount of time, part of which might be devoted to the study and writing of prose, is at present being given to the study of the englyn and the sonnet.

362. Mention has been made in this Report (§78) of the potent, cultural influence of the Welsh Drama Movement. In this connection suggestions have been made to us that it might be found possible to link this popular movement with the work of Adult Education by the establishment of Terminal Courses to study the art and craft of the Drama and to read intensively some of the best

[page 284]

specimens of dramatic work. Or, to be more ambitious still, it might be possible in the populous areas to arrange a University Extension Course, as distinct from the ordinary Tutorial Classes, for the study of the Drama. The advantage of such a course, of which as yet there is no example in Wales, is that there is no limit set to the number of persons attending the lectures or first part of the class, while the full grant of 45 can be gained if only 12 students attend for the second part provided the Course extends to 48 hours.

363. We desire to add to the recommendations recorded in this Section our conviction that the cause of Adult Education in Wales would be well served if one of the Welsh journals could do something on the lines of what is done by the Reader the monthly journal of the National Home Reading Union. Notices of Classes held in Welsh Language and Literature, and Welsh History, and the syllabus of work could be given. Suggestions might also be made as to a suitable course of reading for the general reader, and helpful articles on the lines of those contained in the Adult School Union Annual Handbook on the works of prescribed authors might appear from time to time. Such a scheme might even conduce to the formation of Reading Circles and Organised Classes.


364. The Welsh Churches that submitted evidence to us were quite unanimous in their emphasis upon the grave consequences to religion in Wales that must ensue if the language is allowed to disappear. They also dealt very carefully and completely with the difficulties which they have to face in the districts which are subject to a growing process of anglicisation, but they had remarkably few constructive proposals to offer as to what they themselves could contribute in order to effect an improvement in the situation. In the main they were inclined to place upon the homes and the schools, the responsibility for a profoundly disquieting state of affairs, and were seemingly

[page 285]

unconscious of any defects in their own methods of meeting the difficulties which are pressing upon them with an ever increasing force. The Committee, while fully recognising the admirable services rendered by the Churches to the preservation of Welsh, feel that these have not entirely exhausted their resources, and that further measures are yet available which may be profitably utilised in the interests of the language. Our recommendations will be found at the end of the Report.


365. It must be recognised that before the establishment of the National Library of Wales such Libraries as there were worked under substantial difficulties. They were isolated units, and bodies like the National Library of Wales and the Library Association were either not then in existence or had not succeeded in bringing into operation schemes of co-ordination, so that they have been cut off from sources of expert knowledge and enthusiasm and from that realisation of a common great purpose which would have resulted in increasing co-ordination. Their vision has therefore tended to be rather a narrow one, and it is to be feared that this has particularly affected them in the extent to which they have been enabled to meet the needs of the Welsh-reading section of their subscribers and to contribute towards the promotion and the greater utilisation of the Welsh language. Much has depended on the extent to which, and the capacity with which, the views of Welsh people of literary tastes in the neighbourhood have been represented on the Library Committees, and on the intimacy of the connection between those Committees and cultural organisations of all kinds - both those using Welsh as a medium and those directly pursuing the study or cultivating the practice of Welsh.

366. Prior to the establishment of the National Library, the Municipal Libraries at Cardiff and Swansea not only performed the ordinary functions of such institutions, but also, to some degree, did work of national significance in

[page 286]

collecting and preserving for Wales books and collections of books of literary and historical significance, and in providing facilities for reading and research work by students. The Libraries at Cardiff and Swansea have, for many years, had special Welsh sections in charge of Librarians who are not only experts in the craft of librarianship, but are also fully competent to guide and advise students, and to encourage the interest of the general public and reading circles in the pursuit of subjects relating to Wales and the Welsh language.

367. In all the Welsh Counties, with one exception, County Library Schemes have been set up mainly through grants from the Carnegie Trust. The schemes do not differ in any material point. The County Council, as the Public Library Authority, provides, out of the rates, monies for the maintenance of the scheme. It usually hands over its working to the Education Committee which sets up a County Library Sub-Committee made up in part of members of the Education Committee and in part of persons co-opted on account of knowledge of books, of the reading public, or of cultural organisations. The aim is to establish in each village a branch of the Library in which there shall be a supply of books changed at intervals from the Central Repository, usually situated in the county town. Each Committee appoints a Librarian whose duties are rather more than those of merely buying and cataloguing books. He must not only be a bookman of some culture, but also an educationist of wide vision. The Carnegie Trustees were wise enough to foresee difficulties of which we have already spoken, and so made the awarding of a grant for capital charges conditional on the payment of a reasonable salary to the Librarian. We have had evidence of the work of many of these Librarians. An important line in our enquiries dealt with the relative proportion of Welsh and English books in County Libraries in Wales. We are unable to give statistical tables, but one or two examples will be illuminating. We were told that the Denbighshire Rural Library contained, in the fifth year of its operation,

[page 287]

14,226 English and 3,317 Welsh books, and that, of the 67,132 issues of books from the library in the last completed library year, 7,667 were issues of Welsh books. In the Cardiganshire Library, then in its seventh year of existence, of a total stock of 9,922 books, 2,065 were books in Welsh. The Flintshire Library, which has been running for one year, has 113 books in Welsh out of a total stock of 7,469 books. The Montgomeryshire Library, in its seventh year, has a total stock of 8,264 books, of which 734 (1,730 issues in the last year) are in Welsh. In Glamorganshire (sixth year of scheme) the figures are: Total 25,000; Welsh 1,044, of which there were 1,523 issues from the local centres: Pembrokeshire (second year of scheme) has 9,076 books, of which 845 are in Welsh: Breconshire and Radnorshire Joint Library (sixth year of scheme) total 16,230, Welsh 177: Caernarvonshire (ninth year of scheme) total 13,920, Welsh 3,595 (with 21,343 issues). These figures will seem unsatisfactory to those who are concerned about the position of the Welsh language, but we believe it is true that the proportion of Welsh books in stock to those actually published is higher than that for English books.

368. The great majority of rural library centres are established in schools. This is significant. The reading public of to-morrow is in the schools to-day. From the point of view of our reference we conceive the ideal position to be something along the following lines. The local County Library centre in the School; the head master, or one of his staff, acting as Librarian; his training and tastes equipping him not only to organise the Welsh teaching on sound lines so that through the School Library, his pupils pass by natural stages to the treasures of the County Library, but also enabling him to advise and direct the adolescent and adult population in courses of reading and discussion in literary and debating societies.

369. The English Report says (page 82): "Many local authorities ... supply books on a generous scale, and some of them have adopted schemes for the circulation

[page 288]

of books to the schools, and issued lists of books for the guidance of teachers." Taking all the difficulties into account, we are not satisfied that so favourable a statement could be made of Welsh Authorities in respect of school libraries of Welsh books. The average child leaving the primary school should not only have read a large number of supplementary readers in Welsh, but should be in possession of information which will whet its curiosity and guide its choice in a course of reading for some years after leaving school. The medium is the Welsh section of the County Library box of books in the hands of an enthusiastic and intelligent Welsh teacher. The books may be beyond the capacity of the children at the moment, but that is no reason why they should not know their titles, something of their content, the charm of some of their simplest passages, the names and life-histories, in brief, of the authors. An important section of every County Library should consist of a complete and up-to-date section of Welsh general readers for schools. At the same time we must record our conviction that the question of school libraries has become of such urgent moment as to demand the immediate and careful consideration of Teachers and L.E.A.s, and, in view of our reference, Welsh Societies.

370. Elsewhere we point out the importance of intimacy of contact between the National Library and the Schools of Wales through Authorities. We observe that this line of development has already been decided upon and that exhibits of photostat reproductions illustrating books, manuscripts, prints, have been arranged for Pembrokeshire and Flintshire. The evidence states that "Slides and photostat reproductions are available for use in the schools and for lectures to adults in the towns and villages throughout the County." It would seem most appropriate to deal with this material through the medium of the Welsh language, wherever possible, thus linking up instinctive feeling for the language with interest in local tradition and literary achievement and pride in our great national institution. Here lies a point of contact of which Welsh societies should

[page 289]

make the greatest possible use. In English areas, or predominantly English areas, the loan collections cannot fail, if properly dealt with, to correct the view that Welsh has no rich literary heritage, and even to inspire some persons with a desire for knowledge of the language so that acquaintance with these treasures may be first-hand. We hope that the question of the library service as a powerful medium for the promotion of the Welsh language will figure with increasing prominence on the agenda of the Library Conference, and that some of the suggestions we have put forward may form subjects for discussion. In particular, we hope that special consideration will be given to the promotion of adequate Welsh libraries in schools and to the linking up of such libraries with the further cultural development of the adolescent and adult both in leisure, at home, and in classes, reading circles, and societies.


371. Even in Wales, where the percentage of entrants into the Secondary Schools is higher than that of England, unless something is done to attach children leaving the Elementary Schools to some society interested in the promotion of Welsh, they are in danger of forgetting their Welsh, especially in bilingual and anglicised areas. We think that the resources of the cultural and literary societies in Wales could be utilised to this end.

372. The Cymmrodorion and Cymreigyddion Societies have done excellent work for the preservation of the language. We suggest, however, that they should now undertake definite pioneer work in organising Welsh classes and courses of studies, as well as in providing the periodical lectures, which, although excellent in their way, do not allow the majority attending to take an active part in the meeting. Welsh classes in literature and language of different standards could be organised and a definite well-graded course mapped out in such subjects as Welsh History, and Music. They could also do missionary work with beginners' classes for anglicised Welshmen and for

[page 290]

Englishmen anxious to learn Welsh. It was brought to the Committee's notice that one Welsh Society took upon itself the duty of providing the programme of the Literary Societies of the various Welsh churches in the district. An extension of this plan should vitalise the Literary Societies of the Churches, and prove a bulwark against their conversion into English-speaking literary societies, which sometimes happens. Co-operation between the societies and churches is a very real need; for example, it would ensure that modern Welsh books would be continually added to the libraries of the Welsh Sunday Schools. We were told that the Swansea Welsh Society makes an annual grant to the Swansea Schools for the purchase of Welsh books. This example might be followed by other societies who by this means would strengthen Welsh in the Welsh Sunday Schools.

373. While the Welsh-speaking adults are well-provided for and the Welsh children of Wales moderately so, there appears to be no provision for the adolescent. Even the Dramatic Companies, which would appeal so strongly to young people from 14 to 21 years of age, are generally composed of people of the ages of 21 or over. One or two successful attempts have been made to attach the children to the Cymmrodorion or Cymreigyddion Societies by holding a children's party once a year at which Welsh stories are told, Welsh poems recited, Welsh songs sung and Welsh games played. The Committee think that this idea could be extended and that junior branches of these societies could be formed which would meet periodically, say once a week or once a fortnight, in the winter months. These would in time prove excellent nurseries for the older parent branches. Up to the present, because of the postponing of certain provisions of the Education Act of 1918 in regard to Day Continuation Schools, most of the young people have been allowed to drift, except in so far as individual churches have attempted to solve the problem of continued education in Welsh. It is, however, true that excellent work is done in the Welsh Literary and Debating Societies of the Young People's Guild in many chapels and churches,

[page 291]

while the Ysgol Gân (Singing School) and Cymanfa Ganu have done much to keep the adolescents who are outside the Secondary Schools, in touch with Welsh traditions and culture. Competitive meetings and Local Eisteddfodau have also in the past stimulated the Welsh life of many districts and the success of these institutions shows no sign of declining.

374. There have been movements to promote the Welsh language generally among adults, and a serious attempt has lately been made to attach the young by such movements as Urdd Gobaith Cymru Fach, where the children pledge themselves to speak Welsh and seek to serve Wales. This has the distinct advantage of being a national movement. There are also vigorous branches in many schools (both Elementary and Secondary and even among the children of expatriated Welshmen in Patagonia), but as the movement is of fairly recent growth it has not yet been able to attack the problem of organising the children who leave the Elementary School for the pit, factory, or office. Cymru'r Plant, the monthly organ of the movement, does keep all the members in touch with the work of the Urdd, the additional stimulus of the personal club is, however, needed especially for adolescents.

375. We would suggest that, although much work and organisation would be entailed, it would be excellent if junior branches of Cymmrodorion and Cymreigyddion Societies were formed for young people between the ages of 14 and 18 or 21 years of age. These branches should not be purely literary, but should form some kind of Welsh corporate club life. The head teachers and staff of the Elementary Schools would be invaluable as advisers and organisers. Under the auspices of these junior branches, week-end historical, archaeological and geographical excursions, which might lead to interest in local research, could be organised. Definite graded courses in Welsh Language and Literature should also be provided, and Junior Dramatic Companies and Musical Societies should be organised. The Y.M.C.A. (Welsh Branch) reports that

[page 292]

during 1925-26 three classes were arranged in Welsh Language at Rhydpennau, Merthyr and Clynderwen, whilst a Welsh Literature class was held at Llanelly. Twenty-two newspapers and magazines in Welsh are provided in 10 branches of the Association, and there are Welsh Libraries - the number of books is not given - in 14 branches of the Association. As far as can be ascertained, although the Welsh girls who belong to the Y.W.C.A. speak Welsh amongst themselves in the Welsh-speaking areas, most of the classes even in the Welsh-speaking areas are conducted in English.

376. The Committee learn from their witnesses that the dramatic companies, so often attached to individual churches, have done and are doing much, not only to preserve but also to instil new vigour into the Welsh language. Many of these dramatic companies, which are the direct result of the movement for preserving the Welsh language, now perform in English, though their work in English is often less valuable, and it is to be deplored that they are now deserting their mother tongue to perform in English, though their work in English is often much less valuable.

377. It is stated that the County organisers of the National Federation of Women's Institutes, when addressing the institutes, do so in Welsh in the Welsh-speaking districts. Although several of its propaganda and organising leaflets have been translated into Welsh, no special effort (as far as can be discovered) has been made to arrange classes and lectures in the Welsh language. As the local institute is responsible for drawing up its own programme, it would be a simple matter and would prove highly beneficial in the Welsh-speaking districts to utilise the Welsh language, and even in the mixed and predominantly English-speaking districts much would be gained from courses connected with Welsh folklore, history, music and geography.

378. The Boy Scouts' Association (Welsh Branch) has translated its pamphlets into Welsh; it reports that Welsh

[page 293]

is used by all Welsh-speaking scouts during their periods of instruction and in their games and general intercourse. Welsh songs are freely sung at the Scout Camp Fires and at the Scout and Cub Leaders' Training Courses; Welsh Hymns are used in the scouts' own religious services, but no definite instruction has yet been given in Welsh owing to scarcity of Welsh-speaking instructors. With reference to the Girl Guide Movement, the Committee have been informed that the Welsh language is used in some counties - Caernarvonshire, Glamorganshire, Merionethshire and Pembrokeshire.


379. One of the most potent influences in the anglicisation of Wales is the dearth of music to Welsh words. There has been of late much controversy in musical circles between those who, on the one hand, claim that much more regard should be given by Eisteddfod and Festival Committees to the works of Welsh composers, who, as a rule, have written to Welsh words, and those, on the other hand, who maintain that musical culture in Wales has been starved by the neglect of the great European composers. It will be worth our while to devote some space to an examination of this controversy, because we hope to show that the issue as it presents itself to the average Welsh mind is unreal, and that not only is the remedy for our present trouble simple, but that its application is pressing if we wish to retain the traditional connection between Welsh music and the Welsh language.

380. If the former party to the dispute carried their argument to its extreme limit, it would result that in our organised musical gatherings, only the works of Welsh composers would be produced. This would naturally end the gradual anglicisation of our eisteddfodau and festivals, and give a much needed encouragement to native composers. But there are two considerations, which seem to make such an extreme policy impossible. In the first place, Welsh music, it must be admitted, has not kept pace with the

[page 294]

advance of Welsh literature and of the utilisation of the language. Very little of the poetry of the last twenty-five years, of which the nation is justifiably proud, has inspired our musicians, who are still in that stage of development in which "words suitable for music" can be the only basis of musical work. An examination of the songs published in this century shows that the words, even when written by the leading Welsh poets, were made to order, and represent a cultural stage from which the educated opinion of the nation has long ago advanced. Opinion on musical matters is outside our reference, but we have no hesitation in stating that the words of some of our popular Welsh solos and choruses are entirely unworthy of the present cultural state of the nation. Welsh music has nothing comparable, let us say, to Gwynn Jones's Madoc, otherwise Madoc would have already been set to music. This lamentable divorce between our literary and our musical culture accounts for much of the lack of interest in Welsh shown by the rising generation. It should be remembered that popular culture in Wales has always had a strong musical bias, and that, therefore, when Welsh music fails to avail itself of the resources of Welsh literature, the public taste fostered by that literature, will naturally turn away from any musical expression which is unworthy of it.

381. The other consideration is so obvious that we need spend no time over it. Music certainly has a national aspect, but unlike literature, its appeal transcends the bounds of language. No one will therefore seriously maintain that the artistic culture of Wales will be best served by confining our public music to the work of Welsh composers. On the other hand, representatives of the latter of the two classes mentioned above, who wish to induce the Welsh people to listen to, and learn the works of the great European composers, have little understanding of Welsh sentiment, and often through sheer insensibility, succeed in conveying the impression that they despise the native musical culture and wish to substitute for it an entirely new culture based on the knowledge of foreign music. It is

[page 295]

certain that if we go on to devote all our most important festivals to music sung to English words, the traditional competence in music of the people speaking the Welsh language will be at an end, through the disappearance either of the Welsh language itself or of Welsh music. A member of the Committee was present at a small eisteddfod recently held in one of the most Welsh villages in Wales, and was pained to find that, while the songs sung in the children's section and in the minor competitions were in Welsh, all the pieces in the more important competitions were in English, though the composers of the music were Germans and Frenchmen.

382. We have said that the remedy is simple. We are of opinion that the Council of Music of the University of Wales, while doing admirable work for musical education, has done little towards the preservation of that culture which is bound up with the language. They seem to have attacked their problem from the wrong end. Instead of beginning with an insistence on the study of Bach and other masters and thereby laying themselves open to misunderstanding, they should, as a first measure, have made arrangements to have Bach's words translated into Welsh just as they have been translated into English. A performance of the Elijah seems to be one of the standing items of the National Eisteddfod, and it is always given in English for the reason that no one has thought it his duty to translate the words. Now that we seem to be advancing from Mendelssohn to Bach, no improvement can be discerned in what is surely vital to all musical knowledge and appreciation, namely the association of the music with words which shall be fully significant to the singer and the listener. Why should the Welsh provincial soloist be debarred from singing, for instance, the songs of Schubert, instead of those inferior songs which one hears repeated time after time? The words of Schubert's songs lend themselves admirably to translation into Welsh, and a competent Welshman who understood the task would have a much greater and more immediate effect on Welsh musical taste than many of our professional musicians.

[page 296]

383. We therefore suggest, as one of our major recommendations, that the Council of Music should immediately apply itself to the task of providing all the music recommended by it, especially choral pieces and solos, with Welsh words, even if this means the postponement of more strictly musical work. It should be able to accomplish much at no great cost of time or money, and we recommend that it set up a committee with the addition of members co-opted from the Welsh Departments and from amongst Welsh writers in general, to undertake this task. When this is done, there will be less to complain of the inferiority of Welsh songs available for the gramophone, as the supply of good singers competent to render music sung to Welsh words is plentiful.


384. In most of the agricultural areas the language used in the every-day life of the rural population is Welsh, and in many districts it is still the only one. On the farms, and wherever farmers meet for market and business purposes - whether at mart or fair, at Agricultural shows or Union meetings - Welsh is exclusively used. Names of live stock, crops, feeding stuffs, implements are practically all Welsh. For a few of the more recent introductions - artificial manures, feeding cakes, etc. - the English, or the original name is used in a more or less altered form. But the whole life and environment of the people is Welsh, and whenever they express themselves either in relation to farming operations or to social and religious questions it is always through the medium of the Welsh language. The development of local cultures is characteristic of the Welsh peasantry. In modern Wales they are literary and theological to a greater degree than scientific. This is in the main attributable to the number of Welsh books dealing with the former subjects, and the lack of Welsh books on scientific subjects. These local cultures have always expressed themselves in Welsh. And it is highly important from the standpoint of rural life that such traditions should be not only saved but further developed.

[page 297]


385. Though there has been a great effort to organise agricultural education in Wales for the last 40 years, especially in connection with the University Colleges at Bangor and Aberystwyth, yet, it must be admitted that, until recent years the dissemination of agricultural scientific knowledge has been slow. The chief reasons for this state of affairs have been (a) the use of English as a medium of instruction in rural and agricultural science classes; (b) the appointment of teachers who only possessed purely theoretical knowledge or who were unfamiliar with Welsh conditions. But during recent years there has been not only a great development of the work, but also a marked awakening of interest amongst the rural population in scientific knowledge as it bears on agriculture. A Welsh Department of the Ministry of Agriculture has been formed with an Office in Wales. The work in the University Colleges referred to has been further developed, three of the Colleges having on their staff advisers in various branches of Agricultural Science, with whom the farmers confer. Organisers of Agricultural education have been appointed in all the Welsh counties, assisted in each case by a staff of scientific experts. Farm Institutes have been formed, where many of the young men and women after leaving the Secondary Schools go for further training. Adult Classes in Agriculture are conducted and lectures given even in the most remote districts of rural Wales. In the Welsh-speaking areas it has been found essential to the development of this work to conduct these classes in Welsh. The character of the work done, and its relation to the language question were clearly given in evidence before our Committee by the Organiser of Agricultural Education for Merioneth, from whose evidence we quote the following extracts: "I have not so far delivered a single agricultural lecture in English in this county. ... The first two annual reports of the work of the department for which I am responsible were published in English, but on discussing them in lectures and classes I was continually asked for Welsh reports especially

[page 298]

those on the results of experimental work, as the members of the classes could understand them in Welsh better than in English. After the first two years all the reports have been written and published in Welsh, and I am confident that they are of greater value to the farmers of the county than the English reports were. ... I am often asked for Welsh pamphlets and books dealing with the different aspects of agriculture - 'The Feeding of Live stock', 'Breeding', 'Crops', 'Husbandry', etc. There is no doubt that the lack of Welsh books and periodicals dealing with agricultural subjects has in the past greatly hampered progress in this direction. ... A significant fact from the point of view of agricultural education is that it is in those districts where Welsh culture is highest that we have the most successful adult agricultural classes."

386. We beg to call attention to the following recommendations of the Royal Commission on Land in Wales (1896) regarding the place of the Welsh language in Agricultural Education, which have not yet been fully realised:

(1) That a Welsh Edition of the Journal of the Ministry of Agriculture be issued periodically.
(2) That all Acts of Parliament directly affecting the rural districts of Wales be translated into Welsh, either in extenso or in the form of a concise and plain summary.
(3) That the Inspectors of the Ministry of Agriculture in Wales should have at least a working knowledge of Welsh.
In conclusion, we suggest that, in order to raise the standard of rural agricultural science classes in Wales it is necessary:
(1) That Welsh Readers bearing on agricultural subjects be published for the use of schools and classes in Welsh-speaking rural areas.
(2) That in those County Schools in rural areas where Agricultural Science is taught, the Welsh language should be the medium where Welsh predominates.

[page 299]

(3) That all adult classes in Agriculture in Welsh-speaking districts should be conducted in Welsh.
(4) That the Agricultural organisations in Wales should endeavour to provide a better supply of Welsh books on agricultural scientific subjects.
(5) That the reports of the Agricultural Departments of the University Colleges and the various Farm Institutes and the County Councils be published in Welsh as well as in English.
(6) That an agricultural journal be published in Welsh similar to those published by the Ministry of Agriculture for Scotland.

387. Apart from the counties of Monmouth and Radnor and the larger industrial centres, a great proportion of the business carried on throughout the Principality in all trades and professions is conducted in the Welsh language; not, necessarily, because all the people are unable to speak English, but because, to the Welshman, his own tongue comes naturally. Speaking broadly, the country seems to be divided as follows:

(1) The Counties bordering upon England. - In the towns and the rural portions of the counties on the borderline, practically the whole of the business is transacted in English. There are, however, notable exceptions, such as the South-eastern portion of Denbighshire.

(2) The Industrial Towns and Seaside Resorts. - In these there is a distinct tendency to the increased use of English, owing to the influx of English people into the industrial towns as workers and into the seaside resorts as residents or holiday visitors.

(3) The Rural Areas, e.g., Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Caermarthenshire, Merionethshire and Cardiganshire. - In these areas whenever the rural population foregathers for markets, fairs, etc., Welsh is the language used almost

[page 300]

without exception. For commercial purposes, in such circumstances, Welsh as a medium of intercourse is essential to all who would participate in the business of this section of the community. It should be remembered that throughout the rural districts there are numbers of bilinguals whose knowledge of English is so restricted that they are not far removed from the "Welsh-only" class.

388. The Committee have come to the conclusion that a knowledge of the Welsh language is an undoubted commercial asset in Wales. Monoglot Englishmen, although possessing all other qualifications for their particular spheres, are seriously handicapped by their ignorance of Welsh. The ideal commercial man in Wales, whether a Welshman or an Englishman, is he who is equally at home in both languages. Some commercial witnesses - merchants and manufacturers, although not themselves Welsh - would go so far as to say that for certain positions (e.g. commercial travellers) a knowledge of Welsh is not only desirable but positively essential. Most of the large industrial Corporations have Welsh-speaking men among their Directors, Managers and Officials, whilst English professional men and tradesmen in considerable numbers find it necessary in their own interests to secure Welsh-speaking partners and responsible assistants, and the Banks provide their Branches in the Principality almost invariably with Officers who can meet their customers on terms of equality in respect of language.

389. Opinion as to the relative value of French or Welsh in commerce as a subject to be taken in educational examinations - so far as Wales is concerned - is strongly in favour of Welsh. No one would desire that Wales should be confined in all her activities to Welsh-speaking people, but, all other things being equal, a knowledge of Welsh is certainly an incalculable asset, and it appears to us that opinion on this point is more advanced in commercial circles than it is in administration.

[page 301]


390. In the predominantly Welsh-speaking areas the problem of the preservation of the language hardly arises: Welsh is almost exclusively the language of the home, and consequently that of all social intercourse, of play, of business and industry. Welsh life is so strong and virile that it assimilates without effort all English elements. In a few years even English children become thoroughly conversant with Welsh. We are of opinion that with comparatively few exceptions, there are no indications that this Welsh atmosphere is losing its hold in such areas.

391. In the bilingual and English-speaking areas, however, the problem is becoming increasingly acute. Powerful influences have for some time past affected Welsh homes in these areas, and it cannot admit of a doubt that English is rapidly becoming the dominant speech and the medium of thought of the children and young people of Welsh homes. The Welsh communities in most of the large towns find it overwhelmingly difficult to retain Welsh as the language of the home, and it is only by the daily vigilance of parents that it is able to survive. English is the language of the streets, of daily life, of the playground and the school. "To the child", we were informed by one witness, "his playmate can be a more important linguistic factor than his parents, his minister and his schoolmaster combined." This view was also put to us by another witness as follows: "The children adopt the language of their games and of their amusements, and introduce it to the home circle, thus making an effort to simplify and unify their mental life by insisting at all times on using one language only. Even though they still comprehend Welsh, the tendency will be to forget it by neglecting to use it."

392. One consequence of the English immigration to Wales is the intermarriage of English and Welsh persons, with the almost inevitable result that the home language becomes English. In the case where a Welshman marries

[page 302]

an Englishwoman this is almost invariable, but it is often found that where a Welsh woman marries an Englishman, the husband in time forms some sort of acquaintance with Welsh; only in very exceptional cases, however, is anything approaching a competent knowledge of the language acquired. Moreover, statistics show that even when two parents are Welsh-speaking the language of the home is often English in the areas under review. This has, naturally, a tendency to cause the child to despise the mother tongue; a strong suggestive idea inimical to Welsh is at work, with the consequence that the child rapidly ceases to speak the language.

393. It is indubitably the fact that the schools have been a potent factor in producing this condition, as will be seen from the following extract from the Memorandum of a body of Specialist Teachers who have given much thought to the problem: "Apathy among Welsh parents is far too common, but the origin of this apathy is not found in any opposition to the Welsh language as such, but is due to the reflex action arising from the neglect of Welsh in the schools. When the native language secures its proper status in the schools, then apathy will disappear. In fact there are many instances already on record where parents have resorted to speaking Welsh at home when the language has had greater attention in the school."

394. Intimately connected with the problem under consideration is the fact, the importance of which was stressed by many witnesses, that the parents are very largely influenced by the utilitarian view of the commercial value of a knowledge of English. In this connection we were informed by Professor Chapple: "If a language is to live, it is impossible for it to do so without the co-operation and active sympathy of parents. A great part of the difficulty in this case is that parents see the material necessity for English, and to the parents the preparation for this necessity for the child becomes in their idea a first duty. Welsh-speaking parents proud of their own knowledge of

[page 303]

Welsh do not always encourage their children to speak the language. One difficulty, therefore, to be surmounted is to bring home to parents the conviction that necessity is not merely a material matter."

395. We are convinced that with the loyalty of the hearth, the efforts of the school will be far more effective. One of the most potent agencies in the anglicising of the homes was the school, but to-day the anglicised homes threaten to become the greatest hindrance to the successful work of the school in Welsh. To maintain Welsh as a living language it must be used in the homes of the people. While the home influence is largely neutralised by a neglect of the language in the schools, it is equally true that the schools by themselves cannot expect to make satisfactory progress unless their efforts are backed up by the influence of the home. We must admit that, in spite of a growing interest in Welsh and Welsh life and literature in many homes, there is throughout the country and particularly so in those parts where the plight of the Welsh language is most critical, a great mass of apathy. Welsh parents often do not take the trouble to teach Welsh to their children, and to encourage the children to speak Welsh and to make Welsh the language of the home. While it is right that special difficulties in individual cases should be remembered, they go but a little way to explain or justify the apathy which often prevails.

396. The Welsh people have undoubtedly suffered very considerably from a consciousness of inferiority due to a variety of historical causes. Many Welsh people consider anything English superior to their own, and there is an impression even in the most Welsh-speaking areas that English is more "respectable" than Welsh. The result is that the Welsh language does not always hold the place of honour to which it is entitled in the homes of the people of Wales. A changed attitude of mind amongst many parents is necessary before a revival of Welsh in the home will become general.

[page 304]

397. During the last 40 years a fashion has arisen to give Welsh names both to private residences and to children, especially to girls, but this is not enough. The whole atmosphere of the homes must be Welsh, if the language is to be kept alive in the bilingual and English-speaking areas. Everything that would have a tendency to foster a love of country and its language should have a place in the home. Portraits of Welsh heroes, and pictures of inspiring incidents in Welsh history should have a prominent place in the home and Welsh nursery rhymes should be taught to the children in the earliest stages of their education. We think, too, that prominence should be given in the home to the singing of Welsh folk and national songs: not only should the children be taught to read Welsh, but they should also have access to what is best in Welsh literature. Welsh children should be encouraged to read Welsh newspapers and magazines, and every endeavour should be made by Authorities and teachers to inspire the parents with interest in the Welsh work of the schools; such co-operation between school and home is very essential, and has done much to create enthusiasm for the language in some of the bilingual areas. Above all the language should be honoured by making it the medium of conversation in the home. If parents always spoke Welsh in their homes and everywhere when in the presence of their children, there ought to be no difficulty in keeping the Welsh language alive on Welsh hearths, even in the most anglicised parts of the Principality. One witness, the mother of several children, submitted to us a memorandum from which we make the following quotation: "We always speak Welsh in our home and everywhere when the children are with us, with the result that they all speak it naturally and easily. ... By insisting on their speaking Welsh in our home, I have managed to keep our hearth a perfectly Welsh one." The testimony of another witness was as follows: "After living 44 years in Liverpool and London, I have personal and domestic experience of the success with which children, born and bred in these cities, can with slight

[page 305]

attention and comparative ease be brought up to speak Welsh without impairing their knowledge of English and other languages."

398. Parents in English-speaking areas have found it a great advantage to spend their holidays in purely Welsh-speaking areas, and it was suggested by more than one witness that play centres should be established in some of the large towns where Welsh children could meet for Welsh musical and other games, and for general intercourse in the language. The need for such provision was emphasised by one witness in the following terms: "The most intelligent Welsh parents in many large towns would welcome the establishment of play centres where children from good Welsh homes could meet for Welsh musical and other games under effective guidance and supervision." The key to the whole situation lies with the mothers of Wales. As one of our witnesses wrote: "The trouble and its cure lie with the Welsh people themselves, and more especially with the mothers of Wales, for be the fathers as patriotic as they may, it is the mothers who are always at home with the children, and who have the most influence over them during the most plastic years of their lives."


399. Finally, we recommend that section 20 of the Act of Parliament known as 27 Henry VIII cap. 26, which forbids the use of Welsh in Courts of Law should be repealed. With regard to public administration we have already indicated our view that the section is being interpreted in a spirit of benevolence towards the Welsh language. In the administration of Justice, we have no reason to doubt the conclusion of Sir John Rhŷs and Sir D. Brynmor Jones, K.C., that "the gentler and more tactful treatment of Welsh witnesses by the Judges of the High Court during recent years"* has done much to remove the grievance of Wales under the section. But the grievance which the

*The Welsh People, p. 392.

[page 306]

whole section created unquestionably still exists, and it is not reasonable to expect that the Welsh language can be considered as free from any taint of inferiority or humiliation while this ban upon its use in the discharge of ordinary duties of citizenship remains on the Statute Book.

The repeal of the section referred to would perhaps afford a convenient opportunity for empowering the Lord Chancellor to provide, by Statutory Rule, Welsh versions of all statutory forms of Oaths, Affirmations, and Declarations, and also of the formal Questions, Cautions, and Explanations prescribed for use in criminal proceedings, especially in Courts of summary jurisdiction, so that such Welsh versions should have equal validity with the Statutory English forms. And further, in all cases where provision is not already made for the services of a Welsh interpreter, or for the translation of any Welsh document whenever necessary in the course of legal proceedings (including the business of the District Registries of the Probate Court) such provision should be made by the State, and the expense thereof borne out of public funds and not by the individual.

[page 307]


The figures in brackets refer to paragraphs.

The Committee recommend:


1. That a chapter on the teaching of Welsh be included in the Board's "Suggestions for the consideration of Teachers" as soon as practicable. (315).

2. That Inspectors make special references in their reports on individual schools to the teaching and position of Welsh. (111).

3. That a member of the Welsh Inspectorate be charged with the supervision of Welsh teaching in all grades throughout Wales, with functions analogous to those of Staff Inspectors of the Board. (314).

4. That a pamphlet containing the Welsh words of command be prepared for distribution to schools for use with the Board's publication on Physical Exercises. (337).

5. That the President of the Board be asked to approach the Treasury with a view to obtaining a grant of 500 a year for 5 years for the preparation and publication of books suitable for the use of University Students in Welsh. (349).

6. That the Board should be prepared to recognise representations from Education Authorities, as to the necessity for a more generous allowance of teachers in the case of duplication of classes in some schools. (263).


7. That the teaching staff in the Welsh Departments of University Colleges be increased. (349).

8. That elementary classes in Welsh for non-Welsh-speaking students, as a temporary measure, be provided. (352).

9. That at least some of the work in such departments as Hebrew, Greek, Philosophy, Economics and Agriculture, be conducted in Welsh. (353).

[page 308]

10. That University Extension Courses for the study of the Drama be instituted as Terminal Courses, and that the University consider the expediency of appointing an Adviser for Welsh Dramatic productions. (362, 80).

11. That attention be called to the want of provision, in the University Colleges, for training in studies in preparation for public service administration, and that in Wales a high place among these studies should be assigned to a knowledge of what is characteristic of Wales. (207, 352).

12. That the University bring together the extra-mural teachers who use Welsh in their classes, for conference on matters connected with their work, and for the discussion and elucidation of difficulties. (360).

13. That the use of Welsh in Adult Education Classes of all types, and particularly in the Summer Schools connected with Tutorial Classes, be greatly extended. (357-358).

14. That the University approach the Treasury University Grants Committee with a view to obtaining a non-recurrent grant for the publication of books suitable for the use of University Students in Welsh. (349).

15. That the University Press Board act as an Advisory Publication Board to guide publishers and to encourage authors in the publication and production of Welsh books for children. (195).

16. That the University Press Board issue a series of cheap manuals in Welsh for use in extra-mural classes, similar to the Home University Library. (357).

17. That, as suggested by the University, a Committee be set up to deal with orthography and similar matters, including the introduction of new words with a view to the compilation of a technical vocabulary. (355).

18. That all reports issued, whether by the University or the Welsh Departments of the Colleges, on the work in Welsh be published in Welsh as well as in English. (348).

[page 309]

19. That the Council of Music provide Welsh words for all the music recommended by it. (383).


20. That in every Training College or Training Department in Wales, provision be made for well-graded courses in Welsh language and literature. For this purpose a whole-time Teacher of Welsh will be necessary in each College or Department. (343-347).

21. That every student in a Training College or Training Department in Wales follow a course in Welsh language and literature. (343).

22. That Welsh be a medium of instruction not only in Welsh lessons, but in other subjects wherever possible. (344).

23. That Training Colleges give training in the best methods of language teaching, as applied to Welsh, and that a study of the problems connected with bilingual teaching be included in the Syllabus. (345).

24. That the Training Departments of the University Colleges give every student undergoing elementary training and able to speak Welsh, a thorough training in the method of teaching the language. (347).

25. That in every School or Department for Domestic Science provision be made for part of the instruction to be given in Welsh.

26. That courses in Individual Work and methods be given to teachers to enable them to apply such methods in the teaching of Welsh. (344).


27. That more adequate means be devised to secure that Schemes for the teaching of Welsh are carried out, and that due co-ordination be secured from stage to stage throughout the schools in the area. (111).

[page 310]

28. That each Authority set up a Curriculum and Schemes Sub-Committee for Primary Education, consisting of Members of the Authority, Teachers, and Members of the Inspectorate of the Board of Education, to examine periodically schemes for the teaching of Welsh, and Welsh books and apparatus. For Secondary Schools Authorities should arrange periodical conferences and urge upon the Central Welsh Board the exercise of its functions as a Clearing House for educational ideas and as a Bureau of Information as to the teaching of Welsh. (108, 110).

29. That in Infant Schools in areas of types (a) and (c) the sole medium of instruction be the mother tongue and no second language be introduced in these departments. The recommendations respecting areas of type (b) are given in full in the body of the Report. (240-270).

30. That Authorities include among their co-opted Members at least one Member having special knowledge of Welsh and Welsh teaching. (108).

31. That the immediate attention of Authorities in such areas as Cardiff and Newport be directed to the necessity of providing for the special needs of the Welsh-speaking children. (256).

32. That a more generous allowance of teachers be made to those schools where the classes are duplicated, and that reasoned representation on the subject be made to the Board of Education accordingly. (263).

33. That the examination for admission to Secondary Schools be reconsidered by Authorities, and that a Committee be set up by each Authority for this purpose, and that more importance be attached to Welsh in the Examination for Entrance to Secondary Schools. (274-279).

34. That the attention of Authorities be directed to the practice, adopted for many years by leading Authorities in England, by which students about to leave Training Colleges are interviewed on behalf of such Authorities with a view to selection for appointment. (140).

[page 311]

35. That Authorities generally consider the provision of courses for teachers in individual work and methods. Apart from the general merits of such courses, they should be of value in indicating a means of lightening the curriculum. (338, 346).

36. That Authorities provide courses for teachers, who have had no tuition in Welsh and no training in the best methods of teaching Welsh, and refresher courses for teachers already trained. (346).

37. That arrangements be made to enable teachers to visit schools where exceptional work in Welsh is being accomplished. (346).

38. That each Authority have a complete, up-to-date, and carefully graded Specimen Library of Welsh text-books, reading books, and apparatus, available for inspection by Teachers Or parents, and that teachers be kept constantly informed of recent additions. (114).

39. That a supplementary allowance be made by each Authority for the provision of books and equipment for the teaching of Welsh. (114, 193).

40. That Authorities pay very much greater attention to the question of School Libraries in general and particularly to the provision of Welsh books in school libraries. (193, 369).

41. That provision be made in Domestic Science Schools and Departments under the control of Education Authorities for part of the instruction to be in Welsh.

42. That Authorities encourage experiments in the teaching of Welsh in their schools and give wide publicity to records and results of such experiments. (119).

43. That Authorities consider the expediency of a wider use of Welsh in their circulars and notices.


44. That all possible steps be taken to help the schools to prevent the balance between Welsh and French being weighted against Welsh. (296).

[page 312]

45. That power to speak Welsh with fluency and correctness be regarded as an essential aim of the instruction, and that the Central Welsh Board give candidates taking Welsh in Group II the same opportunities for showing oral proficiency in Welsh as are already afforded in the case of French and German. (323, 305).

46. That set books in Welsh be abolished at the School Certificate stage (Group II), as in the case of French and German. (296).

47. That a vocabulary of about 500 common Welsh words be circulated by the Central Welsh Board to the schools and that the meanings of any words not included in the vocabulary, but occurring in the examination paper for Group II, be supplied. (296).

48. That a new syllabus of English on the pattern of the present French syllabus be included in the foreign language group, to be taken only by candidates offering the "all Welsh" syllabus in Group I. (294).

49. That the Central Welsh Board use its influence to discourage schools in purely Welsh areas from taking Group II Welsh in preference to Group I. (296).


50. That all teachers of Welsh should have a firm grasp of modern methods of language teaching. Every Staff Library should contain a certain number of Manuals on this subject for the use of Welsh teachers. (315).

51. That Welsh should be the language of the Welsh lesson in all districts and in all types of schools. (318).

52. We recommend the formation of form and class Welsh libraries in schools of all types. (321).

53. We are of opinion that careful speech training is essential throughout all stages of Welsh teaching. (324).

54. In Elementary Schools situated in districts where the population is predominantly Welsh-speaking, Welsh should be the medium in Religious Instruction and in teaching some of the following subjects: History, Nature

[page 313]

Study, Hygiene, Domestic Science, Handwork, and Physical Training. Geography might be taught in English and Welsh in co-ordination. (250, 337).

55. Many of the difficulties of organisation in bilingual schools could be reduced by the adoption of a system of vertical classification, and of the newer methods of language teaching. (320).

56. In Secondary Schools we recommend that pupils with a good colloquial knowledge of Welsh should, for Welsh lessons, be segregated from pupils who do not know the elements of the language. (302).

57. To ease the pressure in the Secondary School curriculum we recommend that in some schools the plan of Major Welsh and Minor French or Latin, or vice versa, be adopted. (304).

58. We consider it possible to make certain modifications in the time devoted at present to the teaching of Arithmetic, History, Geography, and Nature Study so as to ensure more time for the study of Welsh. (333-335).

59. That recommendations be made to the Parents' Educational Union by the Welsh Executive of the National Union of Teachers and by the Union of Welsh Teachers that separate schemes for Wales be compiled, giving prominence to Welsh studies, and in particular to the Welsh language. (339).

60. That periodical conferences of teachers of all types be held for discussion of continuity of Welsh instruction between school and school. (237).


61. We suggest that organised Welsh Societies should endeavour to re-establish, if possible, the dosbarthwr, or to find some substitute. (215-216).

62. That the Societies appeal for funds for the publication of Welsh books. (184).

[page 314]

63. That local Welsh Societies co-operate to secure that Welsh classes and courses of Welsh study are provided. (372).

64. That Junior branches of Welsh Societies be formed, and that for this purpose the Societies co-operate with Welsh School Teachers. (375).


65. That a much wider use of the language as a medium of instruction in Theological Colleges in suitable subjects other than Welsh is desirable. (364).

66. All students who follow the Preliminary Arts course to any stage should include Welsh as a subject of that course.

67. That all students who have not proceeded beyond the Matriculation stage in their general education and do not follow an Arts course, receive special consideration and be given a thorough course of instruction in Welsh in the Colleges. (163).

68. That the Principals of the Colleges be invited to confer and to consider these and other similar objects.

69. That those Churches which have no Theological Colleges in Wales arrange for their students destined for service in Wales to take a course in Welsh at a Welsh College.


70. That Section 20 of 27 Henry VIII, cap. 26 be repealed. (399).

71. That a statutory form of both Oath and Affirmation be provided and Welsh versions be also provided for certain other statutory forms, such as the questions, cautions and explanations of charges, which the Summary Jurisdiction Acts and the Criminal Justice Act (1925) require should be addressed to the accused on the hearing of charges against them in Courts of summary jurisdiction. (199-399).

[page 315]

72. That there be one general code of instructions with reference to interpreting applicable to all Courts in Wales, and that the duty of making the necessary provision in that respect be undertaken on all occasions by the State, and not by the individual. (399).

W. N. BRUCE (Acting Chairman).
    P. A. LEWIS (Secretary).
4th July, 1927.

[page 316]


(i) List of Witnesses examined by the Committee.

Officers of the Board of Education.

Mr. D. T. Davies, Assistant Inspector of Schools.
Dr. Abel J. Jones, H.M. Inspector of Schools.
Mr. J. Elias Jones, H.M. Inspector of Schools.
Mr. T. Owen, M.C., H.M. Inspector of Schools.
Mr. Caleb Rees, H.M. Inspector of Schools.
Mr. W. Roberts, H.M. Inspector of Schools.

Representatives of the Welsh Board of Health.

Mr. Howell E. James, Secretary.
Dr. D. Llewelyn Williams.

Representatives of the Welsh University and University Colleges.

Mr. D. B. Anthony, Registrar, University of Wales.
Professor T. Gwynn Jones, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Professor Sir John Morris-Jones, University College of North Wales, Bangor.
Professor Henry Lewis, University College of South Wales, Swansea.
Mr. Saunders Lewis, University College of South Wales, Swansea.
Mr. Herbert Morgan, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Professor Ifor Williams, University College of North Wales, Bangor.
Professor J. Lloyd Williams, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Professor Mary Williams, University College of South Wales, Swansea.
Venerable Archdeacon Robert Williams, Llandilo.

Representatives of Training Departments and Training Colleges.

Professor R. L. Archer, University College of North Wales, Bangor.
Professor C. R. Chapple, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Principal John Fairchild, St. Mary's College, Bangor.
Miss Olivia Griffiths, Normal College, Bangor.
Principal D. R. Harris, Normal College, Bangor.
Mr. John Hughes, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Principal Ivor B. John, Training College, Caerleon.
Principal Rev. Canon A. W. Parry, South Wales Training College, Caermarthen.
Mr. R. Williams Parry, University College of North Wales, Bangor.
Mr. Thomas Roberts, Normal College, Bangor.

[page 317]

Representatives of the Central Welsh Board.

Dr. William Edwards, former Chief Inspector.
Mr. J. Bevan Evans, Member of the Board.
Rev. Principal Thomas Lewis, Memorial College, Brecon.
Miss Sadie Price, Assistant Inspector.
Mr. Thomas Roberts, Chief Examiner in Welsh.
Alderman Rev. D. H. Williams, Chairman.

Representatives of Local Education Authorities.

Mr. S. J. Evans, Member of the Committee.
Mr. R. H. Williams, Secretary to the Education Committee.

Professor Joseph Jones, Chairman of the Education Committee.
Mr. David Powell, Member of the Committee.
Mr. W. E. Evans, Director of Education.

Mr. R. E. Bevan.
Alderman Rev. T. A. Thomas, Member of the Committee.
Mr. H. J. Lewis, Director of Education.

Alderman Ben Evans, Chairman of the Education Committee.
Mr. J. D. Evans, Member of the Committee.
Rev. W.Thomas, Member of the Committee.
Mr. T. Harries, County Inspector.

Caermarthen Borough
Rev. D. J. Thomas, Chairman of the Committee.
Mr. W. Thomas, Head Teacher.
Miss Edith Watts, Head Teacher.
Mr. H. A. Thomas, Clerk to the Committee.

Llanelly Borough
Mr. W. Davies, Member of the Committee.
Alderman E. Willis Jones, Member of the Committee.
Alderman Joseph Roberts, Member of the Committee.
Mr. Fred Rees, Teachers' Representative.
Mr. I. W. Watkins, Secretary to the Committee.

Alderman William George, Chairman of the Education Committee.

Mr. Meredith Williams, Chairman of the Education Committee.
Mr. Hugh Jones, Llangollen.
Mr. E. Jenkins, County Inspector.
Mr. J. C. Davies, Director of Education.

[page 318]

Alderman Rev. D. Gwynfryn Jones, Member of the Committee.
Alderman Dr. J. Owen Jones, Member of the Committee.
Dr. J. Humphry Williams, Member of the Committee.
Mr. J. Bevan Evans, Director of Education.

County Alderman Rev. W. Saunders, Chairman of the Elementary Committee.
Dr. John James, Chief Education Official.

Mr. Thomas Jones, Member of the Committee.
Mr. Alfred Hughes, Member of the Committee.
Mr. Moses Griffith, Organiser of Agricultural Education.

Alderman William Thomas, Member of the Committee.
Mr. Brynmor Morgan, Director of Mining Education.
Mr. T. G. James, Director of Education.

Mr. LI. Vaughan Evans, Clatter Council School, Caersws.

Mr. D. Dundas Roach, Chairman of the Education Committee.
Alderman Urias Richards, Member of the Committee.
Mr. T. Davies, Assistant Director of Education.

Sir Francis Edwards, Bart., Chairman of the Committee.
Mr. J. O. Burton. Member of the Committee.
Mr. E. J. P. Osborne, Director of Education.

Representatives of Religious Organisations.

Baptist Union of Wales and Monmouthshire.
Mr. T. G. James.
Mr. D. B. Jones.
Rev. W. R. Watkin.
Rev. W. A. Williams.
Rev. W. Saunders, Secretary.

The Church in Wales
Venerable Archdeacon A. O. Evans.
Rev. Canon Griffith Thomas.
Rev. Professor R. H. Richards.

[page 319]

East Glamorgan Monthly Meeting - Welsh Calvanistic Methodists
Rev. D. Davies.
Mr. D. T. Davies.
Rev. Howell Davies.
Mr. T. Jones.

Welsh Independents
Rev. James Davies.
Rev. T. M. Roderick.
Mr. T. J. Williams.

Presbyterian Church in Wales
Mr. Abraham Harries.
Rev. John Owen.
Rev. John Roberts.

Welsh Wesleyan Methodist Church
Rev. H. Meirion Davies, ex-President Welsh Wesleyan Assembly.
Rev. Hugh Evans, President Welsh Wesleyan Assembly.
Rev. D. Gwynfryn Jones, Secretary.

Representatiues of Teachers' Organisations.

Anglesey County Association, N.U.T.
Mr. Madog Jones, Bodorgan.
Mr. Robert Owen, Holyhead.

Caernarvonshire County Association, N.U.T.
Mr. W. R. Jones, Bangor.
Miss Jennie Thomas, Organiser of Infant Schools.
Mr. J. E. Thomas, Penygroes.
Mr. J. J. Williams, Bethesda.

Denbighshire County Association, N.U.T.
Mr. H. E. Hughes, Wrexham.
Mr. W. R. Owen, Wrexham.

Incorporated Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools (Welsh Branch)
Mr. D. B. Jones, Abergele.
Mr. H. D. Jones, Pengam.
Mr. J. Parry, Bethesda.

Incorporated Association of Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools (Welsh Branch)
Miss J. Lewis, Newtown.
Miss Mabel Parry, Bangor.
Miss G. Williams, Pontypool.

Merionethshire County Association, N.U.T.
Mr. J. R. Jones, Trawsfynydd.
Mr. R. E.Jones, Blaenau Festiniog.
Mr. D. J. Williams, Llandderfel.

Montgomeryshire County Association, N.U.T.
Mr. J. E. Jones, Llanbrynmair.
Mr. D. Rowlands, Llanymynech.

North Wales Teachers' Federation (N.U.T.).
Mr. H. A. Hughes, Llanidloes.
Mr. W. Lloyd Pierce, Welshpool.
Mr. E. T. Williams, Prestatyn.

National Union of Teachers (Welsh Executive)
Mr. Dan Edwards, Port Talbot, Chairman.
Mr. W. Griffiths, Trefriw.
Mr. A. W. Swash, Cardiff.
Miss M. Price, Pwllheli.

[page 320]

Association of Headmasters and Headmistresses in WeIsh Secondary Schools
Mr. S. J. Evans, Llangefni.
Mr. Edgar W. Jones, Barry.

Union of Welsh Teachers
Mr. W. I. Jones, President.
Mr. J. Ellis Williams, Corresponding Secretary.
Mr. D. O. Roberts, General Secretary.

Welsh Federation of Head Teachers
Mr. J. E. Griffiths, ex-President.
Mr. J. Lloyd Jones, Secretary.
Mr. J. T. Lewis, President.
Mr. Rhys Nicholas, former President.

Representatives of Welsh Societies and other bodies.

Byddin Yr Iaith (Welsh Language Army)
Mr. R. W. M. Evans, Organising Secretary.

Cardiff Cymmrodorion Society
Professor Morgan Watkin.
Mr. Jenkin James, Clerk to the University Council, University of Wales.

Guild of Graduates
Miss Frances Rees, Warden of the Guild.
Professor Ernest Hughes.

Swansea Cymmrodorion Society
Miss Magdalen Morgan.
Rev. James Davies, Landore.

Union of Welsh Societies
Rev. R. W. Davies. Rhymney.
Professor Ernest Hughes.
Mr. D. Arthen Evans. Secretary.

Welsh Holiday School (Llanwrtyd Wells)
Miss Magdalen Morgan, Member of Staff.
Mr. Roland Thomas. Director.

Representatives of Welsh Publishers.

The Educational Publishing Company, Cardiff and London
Mr. R. H. Rees, Manager.
Mr. D. J. Rees.

Messrs. Hughes & Son, Wrexham
Mr. Rowland Thomas, Manager Welsh Branch.
Mr. Edward Roberts.

J. Southall & Co., Newport
Mr. J. E. Southall.

Mr. E. Morgan Humphreys
Editor of Y Genedl.

Mr. Ifan ab Owen Edwards
Editor of Cymru and Cymru Plant.

[page 321]

Individual Witnesses.

Mr. E. R. Appleton, British Broadcasting Company, Cardiff.
Sir Joseph Bradney, C.B., D.Litt.
Mr. T. R. Davies, Newport, (Pem).
Mrs. J. E. Evans, Swansea.
Mr. Octavius Evans, Rhymney.
Miss E. A. Howells, Whitland.
Mr. Edmund D. Jones, Barmouth.
Mr. Morris Jones, Whitland.
Mr. Stephen Jones, Superintendent, Phonetics Laboratory, University College, London.
Mrs. E. Lewis, Wrexham.
Mr. John Morris, Bangor.
Mr. O. Jones Owen, Blaenrhondda.
Mr. O. Morgan Owen, General Manager, Alliance Assurance Company.
Mr. W. H. Owen, Ynyswen.
Mr. W. R. Owen, Rhosddu.
Mr. D. Rhys Phillips, Librarian, Swansea Free Library.
Mr. Gomer Roberts, Ruthin.
Mr. H. T. Roberts, Midland Bank, Holywell.
Mr. J. H. Roberts, Penysarn.
Miss Kate Roberts, Aberdare.
Mr. W. Rowland, Portmadoc.
Mr. D. J. Saer, Aberystwyth.
Miss Ellen Williams, Barry.
Mr. Joseph Williams, Blaenau Festiniog.
Mr. Owen Williams, County Librarian, Ruthin.

(ii) The following additional names represent persons who did not give formal evidence, but read papers at one or other of the Public Conferences in Wales.

Mr. Richard Barnett, Dolgelley.
Mr. Robert Davies, Hope, Flintshire.
Rev. Professor Miall Edwards, Brecon.
Mr. Rhys Elias, Merthyr Tydfil.
Miss Ceridwen Gruffydd, Ponkey.
Alderman Morgan Hopkin.
Alderman William Jenkins, M.P.
Dr. Gwenan Jones, Aberystwyth.
Rev. Fred Jones, Treorchy.
Alderman Richard Jones, Chairman Montgomeryshire Education Committee.
Mr. John Lloyd, Dolgelley.
Professor J. E. Lloyd, Bangor.
Miss Rachel Morgan, Brynamman.

[page 322]

Rev. J. Dyfnallt Owen, Carmarthen.
Mr. T. Powell, Machynlleth.
Mr. T. Powell, Porthcawl.
Mr. John Rees, Llanfyrnach.
Mr. T. J. Rees, Swansea.
Miss Kate Roberts, Aberdare.
Mr. W. J. Roberts, Mold.
Mr. E. D. Rowlands, Chwilog.
Miss L. A. Williams, Llanelly.

(iii) List of Bodies and Persons who submitted written statements, but who did not give oral evidence before the Committee.

Mr. R. P. Baker, Manager, International Correspondence Schools, London.
Rev. R. G. Berry, Gwaelodygarth.
The Boy Scouts' Association.
Rev. Principal J. M. Davies, Baptist College, Cardiff.
East and West Glamorganshire Baptist Union.
Cardiff Headmasters' Association.
Mr. Isaac Edwards, Merthyr Tydfil.
Rev. Canon John Fisher, St. Asaph.
The Girl Guides' Association.
Mr. E. J. Jones, University College, Cardiff.
Rev. Principal J. M. Jones, Independent College, Bangor.
Rev. M. H. Jones, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth.
Mr. T. O. Jones (Cynfor), Caeruarvon.
Professor J. E. Lloyd, Bangor.
Mr. Richard Morgan, Llanarmon.
National Library of Wales, per Mr. John Ballinger.
Mr. W. R. Owen, Deganwy.
Mr. Iorwerth Peate, University College, Aberystwyth.
Mr. J. Arthur Price, Lincoln's Inn.
Rhondda Head Teachers' Association.
Rhondda Teachers' Association, N.U.T.
Mr R. Silyn Roberts, Bangor.
Urdd y Deyrnas, per Mr. Owen Griffith.
Mr. T. H. Waterhouse, Holywell.
Welsh Department, Board of Education.
Mr. G. J. Williams, University College, Cardiff.
Dr. W. Williams, H.M. Divisional Inspector of Schools.
Mr. W. J. Williams, H.M. Inspector of Schools.
Mr. W. S. Gwynn Williams, Llangollen.
The Young Men's Christian Association.
The Young Women's Christian Association.

[page 323]

Together with the following Local Education Authorities:

Mountain Ash.
Newport (Mon.).

Alphabetical List of Witnesses

Anthony, Mr. D. B.
Appleton, Mr. E. R.
Archer, Professor R. L.
Bevan, Mr. R. E.
Bradney, Sir Joseph.
*Buiton, Mr. J. O.
Chapple, Professor C. R.
Davies, Rev. D.
Davies, Mr. D. T., Assistant Inspector of Schools.
Davies, Mr. D. T., Pontygwaith.
Davies, Rev. Howell.
Davies, Rev. H. Meirion.
Davies, Rev. James.
*Davies, Mr. J. C.
Davies, Rev. R. W.
*Davies, Mr. T.
Davies, Mr. T. R.
Davies, Mr. W.
Edwards, Mr. Dan.
Edwards, Sir Francis.
Edwards, Mr. Ifan ab Owen.
Edwards, Dr. William.
Evans, Ven. Archdeacon A. O.
Evans, Alderman Ben.
Evans, Mr. D. Arthen.
Evans, Rev. Hugh.
*Evans, Mr. J. Bevan.
Evans, Mr. J. D.
Evans, Mrs. J. E. Evans.
Mr. Ll. Vaughan.
*Evans, Mr. Octavius.
Evans, Mr. R. W. M.

*These also read papers at one or other of the Public Conferences in Wales.

[page 324]

*Evans, Mr. S. J.
Evans, Mr. W. E.
Fairchild, Canon John.
*George, Alderman William.
Griffith, Mr. Moses.
Griffiths, Mr. J. E.
Griffiths, Miss Olivia.
Griffiths, Mr. W.
Harries, Mr. Abraham.
*Harries, Mr. T.
Harris, Principal D. R.
Howells, Miss E. A.
Hughes, Mr. Alfred.
*Hughes, Professor Ernest.
Hughes, Mr. H. A.
Hughes, Mr. H. E.
Hughes, Mr. John.
Humphreys, Mr. E. Morgan.
James, Mr. Howell E.
*James, Dr. John.
James, Mr. Jenkin.
James, Mr. T. G.
Jenkins, Mr. E.
John, Principal Ivor B.
Jones, Dr. Abel J.
*Jones, Mr. D. B.
*Jones, Rev. D. Gwynfryn.
Jones, Mr. E. D.
Jones, Mr. Edgar W.
Jones, Alderman E. Willis.
Jones, Mr. Hugh.
Jones, Mr. H. D.
Jones, Professor Joseph.
Jones, Mr. J. E., Llanbrynmair.
Jones, Mr. J. Elias.
Jones, Mr. J. Lloyd.
Jones, Alderman Dr. J. Owen.
Jones, Mr. J. R.
Jones, Mr. Madog.
*Jones, Mr. Morris.
Jones, Mr. R. E.
Jones, Mr. Stephen.

*These also read papers at one or other of the Public Conferences in Wales.

[page 325]

Jones, Mr. T. (Towyn).
Jones, Mr. T. (Trealaw).
*Jones, Professor T. Gwynn.
Jones, Mr. W. R.
Jones, Mr. W. R.
Lewis, Mrs. E.
Lewis, Professor Henry.
*Lewis, Mr. H. J.
Lewis, Miss J.
Lewis, Mr. J. T.
Lewis, Mr. Saunders.
Lewis, Rev. Principal Thomas.
Morgan, Mr. Brynmor.
Morgan, Mr. Herbert.
*Morgan, Miss Magdalen.
Morris, Mr. John.
*Morris-J ones, Sir John.
Nicholas, Mr. Rhys.
Osborne, Mr. E. J. P.
Owen, Rev. John.
Owen, Mr. O. Jones.
Owen, Mr. O. Morgan.
Owen, Mr. Robert.
Owen, Mr. T.
Owen, Mr. W. H.
Owen, Mr. W. R.
Parry, Principal, A. W.
Parry, Mr. J.
Parry, Miss Mabel.
Parry, Mr. R. Williams.
Phillips, Mr. D. Rhys.
Pierce, Mr. W. Lloyd.
Powell, Mr. David.
Price, Miss M.
Price, Miss Sadie.
Richards, Rev. Professor R. H.
Richards, Alderman Urias. Rees, Mr. Caleb.
Rees, Mr. D. J.
Rees, Mr. Fred.
Rees, Miss Frances.
Rees, Mr. R. H.

*These also read papers at one or other of the Public Conferences in Wales.

[page 326]

Roach, Mr. Dundas.
Roberts, Mr. D. O.
Roberts, Mr. Edward.
Roberts, Mr. Gomer.
Roberts, Mr. H. T.
Roberts, Mr. J. H.
Roberts, Rev. John.
Roberts, Alderman Joseph.
Roberts, Miss Kate.
Roberts, Mr. Thomas.
Roberts, Mr. W.
Roderick, Rev. T. M.
Rowland, Mr. W.
Rowlands, Mr. D.
Saer, Mr. D. J.
Saunders, Alderman Rev. W.
Saunders, Rev. W.
Southall, Mr. J. E.
Swash, Mr. A. W.
Thomas, Rev. D. J.
Thomas, Rev. Canon Griffith.
Thomas, Mr. H. A.
Thomas, Mr. J. E.
Thomas, Miss Jennie.
Thomas, Mr. Roland.
Thomas, Mr. Rowland.
Thomas, Rev. T. A.
Thomas, Rev. W.
Thomas, Mr. W.
Thomas, Alderman William.
Watts, Miss Edith.
Watkin, Professor Morgan.
Watkin, Rev. W. R.
Watkins, Mr. I. W.
Williams, Alderman Rev. D. H.
Williams, Mr. D. J.
Williams, Dr. D. Llewelyn.
Williams, Miss Ellen.
Williams, Mr. E. T.
Williams, Miss G.
Williams, Professor Ifor.
Williams, Mr. Joseph.
Williams, Mr. J. Ellis.
Williams, Dr. J. Humphry.
Williams, Mr. J. J.

[page 327]

*Williams, Professor J. Lloyd.
Williams, Professor Mary.
Williams, Mr. Meredith.
Williams. Mr. Owen.
Williams, Mr. T. J.
Williams, Mr. R. H.
Williams, Rev. Archdeacon Robert.
Williams, Rev. W. A.

*These also read papers at one or other of the Public Conferences in Wales.

[page 328]


(a) 1921 Census. Welsh-speaking people per square mile.


Note. - Density of population should necessarily be taken into account in any comparison made between counties from the above figures.

[page 329]


[page 330]



I. Statistics relating to the Counties and County Boroughs of Wales

In the Table given below, which refers to Secondary Schools only, the Counties and County Boroughs are placed in order of strength of the Welsh-speaking element among the pupils (i.e. the percentage of pupils who speak Welsh habitually at home).

The columns contain particulars as follows:

S. - the number of secondary schools in the area, including schools established under the Act of 1902, as well as Intermediate Schools.
R. - the total number of pupils on the registers.
WS. - the percentage of pupils speaking Welsh habitually at home.
WP2. -the percentage of pupils, not included in WS, who have two Welsh-speaking parents.
WP1. - the percentage of pupils, not included in WS, who have one Welsh-speaking parent.
WL. - the percentage of pupils (R) receiving Welsh lessons.
SC. - the number of pupils who took Welsh at the last Central Welsh Board (or other) School Certificate Examination.
HC. - the number of pupils who took Welsh at the last Central Welsh Board (or other Higher Certificate Examination.

[click on the image for a larger version]

Notes on the Table

(1). It should be noted that the term "habitually speaking Welsh at home" excludes very many pupils who have some knowledge of the language, although not speaking it habitually. The

[page 331]

proportion of these may be inferred from Columns WP2 and WP1. Pupils who have two Welsh-speaking parents must often hear Welsh spoken and can hardly fail to have some understanding of it. Even those who have only one Welsh-speaking parent will have some opportunities of hearing Welsh conversation if the parent has Welsh friends.

(2). It will be seen that of the five counties which have the largest proportion of Welsh speakers, three are in North Wales and two in South Wales.

(3). Less than half of the total number of pupils are reported to be receiving Welsh lessons at the time of the enquiry, but it should be remembered that in some schools all the pupils have studied Welsh for some years, although they may drop the subject during the latter part of the school course.

[page 332]


(a) Welsh courses at the Glamorgan Training College, Barry

All students take a Course in Welsh. Four classes are arranged: (a) Beginners, who have no knowledge of Welsh. (b) Elementary: students who know a little Welsh, but do not take the subject for the final certificate examination. (c) Ordinary: a one-year course for the final certificate. (d) Advanced: the second year course for the final certificate. During the session, 1926-27, there were 74 second-year students, of whom 12 took the Advanced, 20 the Ordinary, 19 the Elementary, and 23 the Beginners' Welsh Course. Of the 75: first year students, 25 took Ordinary Welsh and 50 the Beginners' and, Elementary Courses.

1. Beginners' Course

In their first year Beginners are given an outline course in the history of Welsh Literature. Words of national and folk songs are learnt and simple conversation is begun.

In the second year, Welsh is taught to them on the Direct Method. A graded scheme of conversation is employed in these lessons. An introduction to literature is given in the form of nursery rhymes and other simple verses and stories. Extensive use of apparatus is made to illustrate the scheme. This includes:

Objects, e.g. a furnished doll's house, a model of a farmyard with animals, washing and ironing utensils, etc.

Boxes of individual apparatus for word-building and spelling, have been prepared through experiment and elimination for a period of years. This apparatus has been specially designed to make the Welsh lessons attractive and to give those who learn the language a sound command of the spoken and printed word.

Pictures illustrating nursery rhymes.

Maps of Wales showing old divisions, places, names and routes mentioned in the Mabinogion; homes of famous men in Welsh history and literature; castles of Wales; monasteries of Wales; etc.

Instruction is given in the principles on which the Direct Method of teaching Welsh is based.

2. Elementary Course

Students are given an outline of the history of Welsh literature in their first year. Simple passages of prose and poetry are read and discussed and sometimes committed to memory.

In the second year, they read more Welsh texts, e.g. simple poems taken from modern authors, easy stories, folk-tales, folksongs, etc., short plays (one of which is prepared for performance).

[page 333]

Composition, (oral and written).

Students in this class are given more detailed instruction in the principles underlying the Direct Method of teaching Welsh and in the practical application of the Method in different types of schools.

3. Ordinary and Advanced Welsh

Until Session 1924-25, students taking the Ordinary and Advanced Courses in Welsh followed the Syllabus of the Board of Education and were examined by the Board. Then a new scheme of work together with a new system of examination was adopted. A Board of External Examiners was formed, consisting of one Examiner for each of the subjects to which the new scheme applies (Welsh, English, Mathematics, History and Geography). The Examiners were selected by the College and approved by the Board of Education. The syllabus is prepared by the member of Staff responsible for the subject, and submitted to the Board of Education and the External Examiner. The chief aim in drawing up the new scheme was to provide more training in Oral work, with a view to raising the standard of the spoken word, also to stimulate interest in literature and to encourage wide reading by means of individual work.

Ordinary Course

I. Oral Work

Speaking, reading, recitation and acting.

Instruction in speech-training, to encourage clear enunciation and articulation. Debates and lecturettes by the students on topics of national interest. Training in reading intelligently and appreciatively. Several books of prose and poetry to be read and passages committed to memory and recited.

One-act plays or scenes from longer plays to be prepared and acted.

II. Study of Set books.

(a) Reading of a novel (e.g., "Gwr Pen y Bryn").
(b) Reading and performing of a one-act Welsh play (e.g., "Ffrois").
{c) Learning of Nursery Rhymes and words of folk songs.
(d) Two short poems to be learnt and recited.
(e) One short story to be learnt and told.
(f) The growth of the lyric, working from present-day writers ("Telyn y Dydd"), back through the Nineteenth Century lyric writers (Alun, Ceiriog, Talhaearn, etc.) to Williams Pantycelyn. ("Caniadau Cymru" to be read).
(g) The study of one or more prose works, e.g., "Er Mwyn Cymru" Sir O. M. Edwards, "Efengyl Marc" (new translation), or one of "Cyfres y Werin" series.

[page 334]

III. An outline course in the history of Welsh literature, emphasising the different types of literature belonging to different periods and showing the influences bearing on these periods.

IV. A piece of individual work (about 20 foolscap pages).

Students to choose a subject or subjects which appeal to them - subject to the approval of the lecturer. The subjects chosen vary considerably and include Welsh Literature, History, History of Literature, Literary Criticism, Folk-Lore, Folk-Music, Local History. The collecting of material for these essays leads to wide reading, and consequently to enlargement of the students' vocabulary. Some subjects chosen include: Y delyneg fel y'i ceir gan Geiriog ac Eifion Wyn. Y soned yng Nghymru. Cymeriadau Daniel Owen. Gweithiau llenyddol. Syr Owen M. Edwards.

V. The Method of Teaching Welsh. This branch of the work is considered of supreme importance.

VI. An Essay.

Letter-writing to be practised and examined.

Advanced Course. This Course includes the Ordinary Course with the following additions.

I. Oral Work.

(a) Reading and performing of a longer drama, (e.g., Y Bobl Fach Ddu, Y Ty Dol).
(b) Learning of more nursery rhymes and words of folk songs.
(c) Two poems, ODe in free metre and one in strict metre, to be learnt and recited.
(d) One short story to be learnt and told.
II. Set Work.

The following works to be read and studied, in connection with their periods.

(a) Pwyll Pendefig Dyfed (original version).
(b) Cywydd y Gwynt (Dafydd ap Gwilym) Rules of Cynghanedd to be studied. Selections from "Cywyddau Cymru" and Blodeuglwm. Englynion to be read.
(c) Yr Haf a Cherddi Eraill (R. Williams-Parry). Study of different types of poetry, e.g., the lyric, the sonnet, the "Awdl", the "Englyn".
(d) "O Gors y Bryniau" (Kate Roberts). Other short stories to be read. Clawdd Terfyn. (Dewi Williams), Y Marchog - Gwenda Gruffydd.
III. A piece of individual work (about 50 foolscap pages).

Types of subjects chosen: Welsh lyric poetry of to-day. The growth of the drama in Wales. The novels of Daniel Owen.

[page 335]

IV. The Methods of Teaching Welsh. Continuation of the work begun in the Ordinary Course.

V. An Essay.


The Test is by examination, short thesis and Oral work.

Form of Examination.

(a) Examination Paper.

Examination questions are set by the College Staff and sent to the External Examiner who may add or delete. The Examination is not so much a test of memory, as of the power of understanding the language and of using words. The answers are marked by the College Staff and the External Examiner.

(b) Short Thesis.

The subject is chosen by each student and submitted to the Staff for approval. Theses are marked by the Staff and are then submitted to the External Examiner.

(c) Oral Test.

This takes the form of an Eisteddfod meeting, organised by the students themselves to illustrate different forms of oral work done during the year. The entertainment is given before the External Examiner, the lecturer of the subject, and all the students who have taken part in the work during the year. An opportunity is given to the External Examiner of interviewing individual students, if he wishes to do so.

The Methods of teaching Welsh and Practical Teaching

All students who take the Ordinary and Advanced Courses in Welsh, have a special course in the methods of teaching Welsh.

Main headings of scheme -

(a) Differentiation of method involved in teaching Welsh in:
(a) Welsh-speaking districts.
(b) Bilingual districts.
(c) English-speaking districts.
(b) Drawing-up of schemes of work for different kinds of districts.
(c) Use of and the making of apparatus.
(d) Welsh books for children-their classification.
(e) Welsh as a medium of instruction in other subjects.
Students give a series of lessons in Welsh during their period of school practice. They frequently observe lessons in Welsh given on the Direct Method to Beginners in College, also a number of lessons given in Welsh in the Demonstration School. During the Teaching Inspection, all Welsh students are required to give a Welsh lesson. Notes of Welsh lessons are always written in Welsh.

[page 336]

Bilingual Course.

All students who took the Ordinary and Advanced Courses, took the Bilingual Paper in 1926.

Welsh as a Medium of Instruction.

History and Welsh are closely correlated in College. Subjects for these in History generally pertain to Wales, more especially to local History. Students who can do so, write their theses in Welsh. A course of lectures on Welsh History is given to first and second-year students taking the subject with Welsh as the medium of instruction.

Music and Welsh. The Singing of Welsh songs, folk-tunes and national airs forms an important part of the Course in music. Two alternative lists of traditional songs are specified in the syllabus of the Board of Education for memorising. The College, with the consent of the Board, has substituted six Welsh songs for six of the English songs in one of the alternative lists.

Welsh songs are sung in the students choral classes, in the daily sing-song and in all services and entertainments held in the College.

Welsh in Extra Education and other subjects.

Students who can do so write their short theses in Handicraft, Science and Extra Education in Welsh.

(b) Selected examples of Method in Welsh Teaching

1. Rhosddu Council School, Wrexham.

Headteacher, Mr. W. R. Owen.

A mixed school of 500 children, less than three miles from the English border. All the activities of the School district are English, there is only one Welsh place of worship in the district. In 1910, the tradition of the school was entirely English; there was a very small proportion of Welsh-speaking children in the school. Because of the difficulties of staffing, the subject was not taught during the War but the head teacher was busy evolving a scheme which is now working with very satisfactory results.

Three classes were at first formed, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, the subject was optional and the classes were taught by the headteacher; until he trained his teachers to do the work, some of them had no knowledge of Welsh. The teaching aimed at a correct and fluent articulation of Welsh, the acquisition of a useful vocabulary of Welsh words and simple forms of expression. Reading formed a very important part of the scheme, specially prepared passages were used, unmutated in the initial stages.

Translation was not entirely avoided. The evidence showed that the children made definite progress through a well-thought-out scheme and had gained a mastery of what they set out to do.

[page 337]

2. Gladstone Girls' School, Barry.

Headteacher, Miss Ellen Williams.

A school of 350 girls in a cosmopolitan area. Here Welsh is optional but all the children take the subject; in 1914, the proportion who took Welsh was one in three. There are three Welsh-speaking teachers, all of whom teach Welsh. The Direct Method is employed; much use is made of individual apparatus which stimulates interest and enables the children to progress each at her own rate. Much is done to create a Welsh atmosphere within the school, and a special study is made of local folk lore, local history and geography. Welsh games, dances and Folk Songs are taught throughout the school course.

3. Ynyswen School, Treorchy, Rhondda.

Head teacher, Mr. W. H. Owen.

A school of 320 boys, homes 70 per cent Welsh, 30 per cent English. Here the experiment is made of dividing the classes into Welsh and English sections. This is reported as working very successfully and having no undesirable effects in dividing the school into two camps - Welsh and English. The Welsh children are taught through the medium of Welsh as far as possible and English is introduced as a second language. Welsh is introduced as a second language to the English children. The Method employed, is the Direct Method. Special attention is paid to the Welsh library in the school and the children are encouraged to read as widely as possible. Welsh is a compulsory subject, but no opposition has been offered and the English children are most anxious to learn Welsh.

4. Blaenrhondda School, Rhondda.

Head teacher, Mr. O. Jones Owen.

This is a mixed school of 235 children, all of whom take Welsh as a matter of course. It is taught by the Gouin Method. About 50 per cent of the children could speak Welsh, in 1919, when the experiment was started. The school was first divided into Welsh and English sections for the Scripture lessons and later for the Welsh lessons. At a later stage the use of Welsh as a medium of instruction was extended to other subjects such as History, Geography and Arithmetic. Even sewing lessons and occasional lessons on such subjects as mining are given in Welsh.

5. Whitland Infants' School.

Headteacher, Miss E. A. Howells.

Staff: Head teacher and two Supplementary Teachers.

Children: Welsh Section 35 in Welsh room taught through the medium of Welsh. English Section 32 in English room taught through the medium of English.

[page 338]

The second language is not begun in the Infants' Department. The children are taught on individual lines and progress is rapid. Since this method has been introduced the headteacher stated "it has been the means of transforming teaching from drudgery into a joy".

6. Whitland Council School.

Head teacher, Mr. Morris Jones.

A mixed school of 169 pupils.

Children's home language: Welsh 69 pupils, Bilingual 27 pupils, English 73 pupils.

Here the work is a continuation of the work done in the Infants' School. The children are divided into classes, on a language basis and the second language (English or Welsh) is not introduced until the children reach Standard 3 (nine years of age) when the Direct Method and individual apparatus are used. No increase of staff is reported to be necessary as the teachers are bilingual.

7. Alexandra Rd. Boys' School, Aberystwyth.

Headteacher, Mr. D. J. Saer.

Mr. Saer recommended that the children be taught entirely through the medium of the mother tongue until the ninth year. The second language should not be introduced until the children had gained considerable mastery over the mother tongue as an expression of thought, and acquired the power to read and write. After this stage the second language ehould be introduced and taught intensively. Mr. Saer stated that this experiment had recently been tried in several schools and that the results are satisfactory.

[page 339]


Aberystwyth University College, 65, 69, 114, 121, 123, 127, 128, 130.
ab Owen, Hywel, 16, 17.
Act, Education, 1870, 65.
Act, Education, 1902, 90, 95, 97.
Act, Endowed Schools, 1869, 61.
Act, Intermediate Education, 1889, 69, 98.
Agriculture, Welsh in, 296-299.
Aims, 246-7.
- in Welsh Teaching, 243-4.
Aled, Tudur, 17, 18.
Anglesey, 71, 82-84.
Anterliwtiau; 78, 79.
ap Gwilym, Dafydd, 17, 18, 32.
- Society, 49.
ap Cynan, Gruffydd, 12-15.
ap Iwan, Emrys, 47, 48.
apathy, 103, 145, 146.
apparatus, 142, 256, 269.
areas, linguistic, 193-215 .
Arithmetic, 219-20, 264-6.
Assizes, 166-7.
Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools, 239, 241.
Association of Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools, 239.

Bands of Hope, 153.
Bangor University College, 65, 69, 114, 118, 121, 123, 127, 128, 276.
Bards, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 30, 32, 33, 43.
Bevan, Madam, 39.
Bible, 21-23, 26, 29, 31-36, 39, 81.
Board of Celtic Studies, 10, 274-279.
Board of Education, 100.
- Inspectorate, 90.
- Regulations, Elementary Schools, 85-89.
    - Further Education, 126.
    - Secondary Schools, 89.
    - Training Colleges, 89, 109-10.
    - Training of Teachers, 161.
- Reports, 90.
- Welsh Department, 49, 69, 85, 96, 171, 23I, 232.
books, lack of, 28, 142, 157-164.

[page 340]

Boy Scouts, 292-293.
Brad y Llyfrau Gleision, 53.
Bradney, Sir Joseph (quoted), 210-1.
Brecknockshire, 82, 83.
British Broadcasting Corporation, 174- I 75.

Caerrnarthenshire, 82-84.
Caernarvonshire, 61, 82, 94, 71, 76, 98.
Cardiff, 71, 82, 83, 99, 107.
- University College, 65-69.
Cardiganshire, 82-84.
Carnegie Trust, 286.
Catechism, 36, 37.
Celtic languages, 3, 4, 8, 11, 155.
Central Welsh Board 49, 70, 99-101, 106.
- Curriculum, 99.
- Higher Certificate, 235-6.
- School Certificate, 234-5.
- Statistics, 92, 224-5, Appendix III.
Charles, Thomas, 40-2, 57, 150.
Church in Wales, 12, 50, 146-8.
Churches, Nonconformist, 148-50, 152.
- educational activities of the, 153-4, 284-5, 290-1.
-Baptists, 152-4.
- Calvinistic-Methodists, 41, 45, 47, 148-50, 154.
- Independents, 154.
- Position and Policy of, 146-155.
- Publications, 154.
- Wesleyans, 154.
Coleg Harlech, 129.
Colleges, Theological, 132-140.
- Training, 100-1, 108-13, 143.
    - Regulations, 110.
    - Statistics, 93, 119.
Commerce, Welsh in, 299-300.
Committee on English, 1, 2, 181-2, 223, 287-8.
- Consultative, 216.
- on Intermediate and Higher Education in Wales, 1880, 65, 169.
- on Modern Studies, 221-2.
- on Secondary Education in Wales, 106, 124.
Commission of 1847, 53, 55-6, 58, 64.
- Cross, 61, 96.
- Royal (1886), 67.
- Royal on Land in Wales, 298.
    - on University of Wales, 276.

[page 341]

Common Prayer, 29, 30, 34, 146.
Co-ordination, 220-21.
Courts, County, 165, 167-8.
- of Great Sessions, 165.
- Police, 168-9.
Curriculum, 68, 102-3, 259-67.
- difficulties of, 241, 259-60, 264.
Cymru'r Plant, 160, 291.

Dalton Plan, 268-9.
Davies, Sir Alfred, 69, 93.
- Dan Isaac, 66.
- Dr. John, 29, 32, 147.
- Richard, 20, 29.
de Walden, Lord Howard, 81.
Denbighshire, 61, 82, 105-6.
Districts, bilingual, 202-10.
- English-speaking, 210-15.
- Welsh-speaking, 194-202.
Dosbarthwr, 178-9.
Drama, 78-81, 153, 185-6, 283-4, 290.

Edwards, Dr. Lewis, 46-8, 59.
Edwards, Sir O. M., 38, 48-50, 69, 90, 93.
Edwards, Rev. T. C., 121.
English Culture, 180-1.
- Departmental Committee on, 287-8.
- language, 53, 55-9, 65, 75.
- Public Schools, 191.
Extra-Mural Classes, 126-132, 280-4.
- Welsh as medium in, 281.
- Welsh literature in, 283.
Examinations, effect of, 236-46.
- Free Place, 217-8, 221.
Experiments, 105, 144-5, Appendix III.

Fisher, Canon John (quoted), 6, 22, 28, 33.
Flintshire, 39, 82-3, 100, 105.
French, 235-6, 241-2, 300.

Gentry, 15, 25, 26.
Girl Guides, 292-3.
Glamorgan, 45, 82, 84-5, 99, 105, 225.

[page 342]

Glyndwr, Owen, 32.
Guilds, Young People's 153.
Gwent, 13, 45, 75, 77.
Gwynedd, 30, 32, 75, 77.

Hearth, Welsh on the, 188.
Henry VII, 3, 6, 7, 25.
Henry VIII, 7, 25, 180.
- Statute 27, Ch. 26, 164-5, 169, 305-6.
Hiraethog, Gruffydd, 12, 33.
His Majesty's Inspectors, Views of, 172-3, 219-20, 262-3, 266-7, 269, 270-1.
History, 277.
Home, Welsh in the, 301-5.

Instruction, Continuity of, 105.

Johnson, Mr. H. V., 55, 57.
Jones, Mr. E. J. (quoted), 25-6.
Jones, Griffith, 35-39, 41, 43, 57, 150.
Jones, Prof. Gwynn (quoted), 123.
Jones, Robert, 38.
Justice, Administration of, 164-172, 305-6.

Kaye-Shuttleworth, Sir James, 53, 54, 59-60.
Kyffin, Morris, 21-22.

Latin element, 5, 14, 18, 31.
Legislation, Welsh in, 156, I64-72.
Lewys, Huw, 21, 22.
Library, National, 104, 131-2, 285, 288.
Libraries, 285-9.
- Cardiff, 285-6.
- Swansea, 285-6.
- County, 287-8.
Lingen, Lord, 56-7, 60.
Llandovery College, 45, 62-4.
Llanover, Lady, 44-5.
Lloyd, Prof. J. E. (quoted), 5-7.
Local Education Authorities, Attitude of, 181.
- Policy of, 94-108.

[page 343]

Mabinogion, 15, 236.
Matriculation, 233-4, 238.
Method, Direct, 66-9, 250-7.
- Training in, 111-3.
Merionethshire, 82-5.
Merthyr, 76, 82, 85.
Monmouthshire, 13. 35, 45, 82, 84, 98.
Montgomeryshire, 25, 82, 83.
Morgan, Bishop, 22, 23, 29, 31-2, 147.
Morganwg, 13, 40, 45.
- Iolo, 32, 206.
- Lewis, 32-3.
Morris-Jones, Sir John, 15, 49, 50, 121.
Mother, Influence of the, 305.
Museum, Welsh National, 104.
Music, 186-7, 279, 293-6.
- National Council of, 81, 126, 295-6.

Newcome, Canon, 51, 52.
Newport, 82-3, 106.

Owen, Daniel, 58.
Owen, Gronwy, 43.
Orthography, 161, 279.

Parents, Apathy of, 140, I45-6, 303.
- National Educational Union, 267-8.
Parry, Bishop Richard, 29, 147.
Passage from Elementary to Secondary Schools, 217-21.
"Payment by Results", 60, 96.
Pembrokeshire, 82-3.
Penceirddiaid, 15-17.
Phillips, Sir Thomas, 59-69.
Phillips, Mr. W., 62.
Philology, 8-10, 122, 276.
Phonetics, 257.
Play, Importance of, 301.
Population, Interchange of, 176.
Powys, 30, 75, 77.
Preaching, 40, 152-3, 190-1.
Press, 35, 177-8.
Prichard, Vicar, 33.
Prys, Edmund, 23, 29-30, 32-146.

[page 344]

Public Administration, 164-72.
Publishers, 158-60.
Pwnc Yr Iaith, 49.

Quarter Sessions, 166-7.

Radnorshire, 35, 39, 70, 82-3, 98, 105, 185, 210, 212-3.
Reformation, 4, 33, 78.
Revision of Work, 249.
Revival, Methodist, 4, 34-5, 39, 43, 78.
- Classical, 4, 43, 78.
Revolution, Industrial, 35.
Rhondda, 84.
Rhÿs, Sir John, 9, 121, 305.
Rhys, Dr. Siôn Dafydd, 20, 24.
Robert, Dr. Gruffydd, 17, 23-4.
Rural Agricultural Education, 297.

Salesbury, William, 19. 20, 22, 24, 28-9, 31, 33.
Schemes, 249-50.
- County, 61, 70.
- External Schemes, Influence of, 267-9.
- Rural Lore, 91-2, 94, 104.
Schools, Catechetical, 150.
- Cathedral, 25.
- Central, 21S-217.
- Charity, 36-7.
- Circulating, 35-9.
- Elementary, 70, 191-215.
- Schemes, 247-50.
- Endowed, 61.
- Grammar, 3, 23-6, 61.
- Intermediate. 48, 65, 98.
- Monastic, 12-3. 2S-6.
- National, 51-2.
- Normal, 59.
- Secondary, 221-47.
    - Examinations Council, 238.
    - Linguistic division of pupils in, 240-1.
    - Scope of instruction in, 232-3.
    - Welsh as medium of instruction, 228-31, 246-8, 253.
    - Welsh atmosphere in, 245, 254.
- Sunday, 40-2, 46, 53-7, 62, 77, 150-2.
- Summer, 71-2, 272.

[page 345]

Society, British and Foreign, 2-51.
- Cambrian, of Dyfed, 75.
Cylch Dewi, 73, 158.
- Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg, 66.
- Cymreigyddion, 209, 290-1.
- Cymmrodorion, Hon. Society of, 43-4, 6S, 73-4.
- Cymmrodorion Societies, 289-91.
- for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 150.
- for Utilising the Welsh Language, 66-68.
- Gwyneddigion, 44, 74.
- National, 2, 51.
- Welsh Language, 77, 96.
Societies, Welsh, 71-4, 155-6, 289, 93.
Speech training, 270-1, 289-90, 257.
State and Education, 50-3.
Stephens, Thomas, 4, 76.
Swansea, 82, 85.
- University College, 114.

Teachers, 60, 108-9.
- Attitude of, 140-6, 302.
- Certificate, 109.
- Dearth of trained, 141.
- Head, 142.
- Migration of, 118-21.
- Training and Qualifications of, 108-18, 143, 239-40, 256, 269-73
Text-books, 101, 273-5, 280, 282.
Training Departments, 113-8, 270, 272-3.
Translation, 257-9.
- Boards, 163.
Time-table, 143.
Tudors, 6, 13, 18-9, 22, 24, 29, 45, 147.

University of Wales, 8, 10, 46, 69, 71, 121-6, 273-80.
- Colleges, 65-9.
- Extension Board, 81, 282.
- Press, 163, 273-4.
- Teaching Staff, 123, 125-6, 275.
- Text books, 123-4.

Vaughan, Rowland, 22, 34.

War Savings Campaign, 171.
Welsh -
- Board of Health, 170.
- in Administration, 156, 164-72.

[page 346]

- in Secondary Schools, 226-7.
- Distribntion of Welsh speakers, 224-5.
- Laws, 12, 14-5.
- Medium of Instruction in Secondary Schools, 228-31, 236-8, 253
- Medium in Extra-Mural Classes, 130.
- Memorial Association, 171.
- Note, 2, 96.
- Secondary Schools Association, 239-40.
- Time required for teaching, 263-4.
- Value of, 183-8, 214-5.
Williams, Mr. G. J. (quoted), 20, 24, 74
- Prof. Ifor (quoted), 123.
- William, Pantycelyn, 40.
Women's Institutes, 292.
Workers' Educational Association, 106, 126-9.

Y.M.C.A. 106, I26, 292.

[page 347]



The Welsh Department of the Board of Education issues from time to time valuable Reports and other documents. The list which follows includes many which have aroused widespread interest.

Egwyddorion bwyd a diod iach. Crynodeb o Wersi Ar Gyfer Ysgolion, ynghyda Nodiadau at Wasanaeth Athrawon. (Welsh Translation of Hygiene of Food and Drink.) 3d. [By post 3½d.]
Dydd Gwyl Dewi (St. David's Day.) 1914. 3d. [By post 4d.]
St. David's Day. 1915. 6d. [By post 7d.]
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant: Gwyl Goffa Cymru, 1915 (Welsh version of preceding.)
Patriotism. 1916. 3d. [By post 4d]
Report on the Experiment in Rural Secondary Education at Welshpool County School for Boys. 2s.6d. [By post 2s. 7d.]
Experiment in teaching Geography at Ruabon County School. 1s. 6d. [By post 1s. 7d.]
Scheme for the Collection of Rural Lore in Wales. 6d. [By post 6½d.]
The Neglected Treasures of the Countryside. 6d. [By post 6½d.]
The Countryside as Educator. Summaries of Lectures on "Rural Lore as an aid to Education". Summer Course for Teachers, Jesus College, Oxford, 1922. 1s. [By post 1s. 1½d.]
A Nation and its Books. 1s. [By post 1s. 2½d.]
"Education in Rural Wales". An Education Policy for Schools in Rural Districts and for Training Colleges. 3d. [By post 3½d.]
Guide to Loan Collections available for Schools and Colleges. 3d. [By post 3½d.]
List of Public Elementary Schools in Wales (including Monmouthshire.) 5s. [By post 5s. 1d.]
"Directory". Inspection Arrangements and List of Local Education Authorities. 1s. [By post 1s. 0½d.]
Suggestions for the preparation of Schemes under the Education Act, 1918. 6d. [By post 7d.]
List of Secondary Schools in Wales. 2s. 6d. [By post 2s. 6½d.]
Report of the Departmental Committee on the Organization of Secondary Education in Wales. (Cmd. 967.) 1s. [By post 1s. 2d.]

These and other publications on the theory and practice of education are on sale at the Sale Offices of H.M.S.O. given below.

CARDIFF: 1, St. Andrew's Crescent.
LONDON: Adastral House, Kingsway, W.C.2. EDINBURGH: 120, George Street.
MANCHESTER: York Street. BELFAST: 15, Donegall Square W.
Or through any Bookseller.