Orders of the Day — Welsh Courts Bill

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

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Photo of Dr William Thomas Dr William Thomas , Southampton

As a representative of an English constituency but as a native of Wales, possessing some of the faults and, I hope, a few of the many virtues of my fellow countrymen, I wish to add my tribute to those of my fellow Members in thanking the Government for bringing forward this Bill and removing a very long-standing injustice. I am not so much concerned with the sentiment which has been underlying the speeches of many of my hon Friends. I am glad this injustice is being removed, because, as the Home Secretary showed, there is no greater difficulty than that in which a man finds himself when he is brought before a court to be tried for some offence, or is taking part in some civil action, and cannot think in the language which is being used, but has to translate in his own mind. Such a man, however well he speaks English, is under a disability. In what I am going to say I do not wish to be misconstrued by my fellow Welshmen, but I believe in the decentralisation of a certain amount of government both in regard to Wales and Scotland. I think that the domestic policy of Wales could be better activated, as it were, if there were a form of local government in Wales, and I think the same thing applies to Scotland, but I should deplore unbridled Welsh or Scottish nationalism—