Orders of the Day — Welsh Courts Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 14th October 1942.

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Clause I is the kernal and pivot of the whole Bill. The Bill does not give Wales all that it asked in that remarkable petition signed by 365,000 people which was presented to Parliament. We could not expect a Bill of this character to do so. It is limited in its scope, but it is in the right direction. It is a definite advance. It is a milestone. That petition was signed not only by Welsh people but by a large number of English people as well. That is a testimony to the fair-mindedness of the English nation. Many English people in Wales felt that the position of the Welsh language in the Welsh courts was unfair. We shall have to observe the operation of this Bill from day to day in practice, and if in the course of its application it is found that further provisions and amendments are required, it will be for this Government or some future Government to show more clearly and unequivocally still if necessary that the Welsh language must have absolute equality in Wales with the English language. The provisions of this Bill will help Wales considerably in that direction.