Huw Llywelyn Rees


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2nd December

user image 2013-12-02
By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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Liberal_Party_logo_(pre1988)     418px-Lloyd-George_Explaining_his_Policies

On 2nd December 1868, the Whigs who under William Gladstone, had begun referring to themselves as Liberals, won the general election and became the dominant political party in Wales.

A brief history of the Liberal party, with specific reference to Wales;

1885 - In the general election held on 24th November 1885, the Liberals had a candidate in every Welsh constituency, winning 30 out of 34.

1887 - Gladstone, with the support of the Welsh Liberals, attempted to convince Parliament to accept Irish Home Rule. The proposal split the national party and Parliament rejected the measure.  

1897 - The Liberal Council for Wales, who campaigned for Home Rule for Wales, was founded by David Lloyd George,

1902 - Lloyd George led a successful rebellion by the Liberal-run Welsh councils, whose refusal to implement the Conservative's hated Education Act made him a Liberal hero.

From 1905 until 1922, Welsh Liberals held some of the most senior political positions in government. 

1906 - The Welsh Liberals reached their highest point, when 35 out of the 36 Welsh seats, returned a Liberal MP.

1908 -  Liberal Prime Minister, Henry Campbell-Bannerman died and was replaced by Herbert Asquith who appointed Lloyd George as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lloyd George, who had been a long opponent of the Poor Law in Britain, introduced the old age pension for people over seventy.

1909 - Lloyd George announced what became known as the People's Budget.  In which, people on lower incomes were to pay lower taxes.  After a long struggle with the House of Lords, he finally got his budget through parliament.

1910 - The Welsh Liberals fought the election using the slogan “The Liberals always deliver more than the Tories promise”.

1911 - Lloyd George's next reform was the National Insurance Act, which gave the British working classes the first contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment. 

1913 -  Lloyd George underwent  a parliamentary inquiry into the claims of corruption involving shares in Marconi and although he had profited directly from the policies of the government, it was decided that he was not been guilty of corruption. 

1915 - 1916 -  After the outbreak of the war,  the Conservatives began to question Asquith's abilities as a war leader and Lloyd George agreed to collaborate with the Conservatives, to remove Asquith from power.  The coalition government led by Lloyd George gave the Welsh Liberal Party its first ever prime minister, but in Wales, there was much disagreement over whether or not to support the coalition. 

1918 -  After the war, Lloyd George wanted to bring in more reforms, but was frustrated the Conservative members of the coalition and eventually ousted from power.

During the 1920s, the Labour Party replaced the Liberals as the voice of opposition to the Conservatives and the Liberals went into decline, so much so that by 1926, Lloyd George was seen by the Liberals as a villain who was destroying their party.

1945 - In the year of the death of David Lloyd George, Welsh Liberals had just seven MPs  and two of these, Gwilym  and Megan Lloyd George, both the children of Lloyd George, defected to the Conservative and Labour parties, respectively. 

1966 - Emlyn Hooson, set about rebuilding the Welsh Liberal Party establishing the Welsh Liberal party as a separate state party within the Liberal Party's federal structure.

1979 - The Welsh Liberals suffered from the Lib-Lab pact and support for the failed devolution referendum resulted in a poor election for the Liberals with over half of the 28 seats it contested losing their deposit.

1981 - The Liberals allied with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and it looked for a time as if the long-awaited post-war Liberal revival would occur in Wales.

1988 - The Liberals merged with the SDP to form the Liberal Democrats, but the new party’s fortune plummeted.

2001 - 2003 - The party were in a coalition with the Welsh Labour Party in the Welsh National Assembly, but this had no impact on the Welsh Liberal Democrats electoral fortunes as they remained stuck on six Assembly seats post 2003. 

2010  The Liberal Democrats entered a Westminster coalition with the Conservatives.

  800px-Llandudno_in_Wales     Foehn1

On 2nd December 1953, the "foehn effect" caused unusually warm winter weather in the Llandudno area. 

This was one of five times in the last century that the village of Aber on the North Wales coast has experienced temperatures above 17C, during December or January.

The "foehn effect", occurs when southerly or southwesterly winds carrying damp air are forced upwards to go over the Welsh mountains and deposit the moisture as rain.  The now drier winds then descend the other side of the mountain and are warmed by compression.  Sometimes these winds reach sea level, bringing the warm dry air with them.

32646133     300px-Michael_D_Jones

Michael Daniel Jones (2 March 1822 – 2 December 1898) - As a founder of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, Jones is recognised as the first to advocate a political solution to defending Welsh identity and, therefore, is seen as one of the most significant forerunners of Welsh nationalism.

 Congregationalist minister, principal of Bala Congregational College and one of the fathers of modern Welsh nationalism, Jones is best remembered as a founder of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia known as Y Wladfa. His idea of a Welsh speaking colony or "little Wales beyond Wales", had come to him after he had spent some years in the United States, where he observed that Welsh speaking immigrants assimilated very quickly compared with other peoples and often lost much of their Welsh identity. Patagonia was chosen and Jones recruited settlers and provided the financing, it was chosen for its isolation and the Argentines' apparently generous offer of 100 square miles of land along the Chubut River (pictured) in exchange for settling the still-unconquered land of Patagonia for Argentina. Other countries that had been considered were Australia, New Zealand and Palestine.  


Born on this day 1941 in Holywell

Mike England - former Wales soccer international, captain and manager.

Mike England won 44 Welsh caps and won the inaugural 1972 UEFA Cup with Spurs.

He managed Wales 1979 to 1987, but was deeply affected by the death of the Scottish manager Jock Stein, following a 1986 World Cup qualifying match between Wales and Scotland and retired from football shortly afterwards to manage a nursing home in North Wales.  


  On 2nd December 1876, Cardiff RFC played its first match, against Newport at Wentloog Marshes. 

The club had come into existence on 22nd September 1876 as an amalgamation of the local Glamorgan and Wanderers clubs.  The initial strip of a black shirt with a white skull and crossbones was deemed inappropriate, so the club adopted the black and blue striped kit of Cambridge University, which Thomas William Rees, a student at Cambridge, had brought back with him.   

In 1881 won the South Wales Challenge Cup and later that year was one eleven clubs that formed the Welsh Rugby Union in Neath.  Over the years, Cardiff has beaten South Africa, New Zealand and Australia and in 1991 were runners-up of the inaugural Heineken Cup competition.